Swiss digital asset bank Sygnum is launching institutional-grade custody and trading services for a portfolio of decentralized finance (DeFi) tokens. DeFi refers to the sector of crypto that seeks to recreate many of the same offerings of traditional finance but without intermediaries. 

In an announcement, the bank revealed that it will launch regulated banking services for Aave (AAVE), Aragon (ANT), Curve (CRV), Maker (MKR), Synthetix (SNX), Uniswap (UNI), and 1inch (1INCH). Sygnum will also provide custody and trading for the stablecoin USD Coin (USDC).

Initially, the bank's clients will be able to invest directly in the portfolio of DeFi tokens; Sygnum revealed that it would also launch DeFi yield-generating products and services as well as unspecified "custom solutions" with DeFi partners. Sygnum's DeFi products and services will be "integrated seamlessly" with national currencies, cryptocurrencies, a digital Swiss franc, and asset tokens in a single account, the bank revealed.


"The innovations in the DeFi space have the potential to transform many of the existing traditional use cases in the financial industry," Thomas Eichenberger, Head of Business Units at Sygnum Bank, said in a press release accompanying the announcement. Eichenberger lauded the "very attractive return profiles" offered by digital asset products in the continued low-interest environment.

"Sygnum is pioneering a bridge between traditional and decentralized finance," said Curve CEO Michael Egorov, who anticipated more such bridges in the future.

DeFi activity dips

The news comes as a welcome boost for the decentralized finance sector, coming as it does in a month where DeFi activity on Ethereum has dipped significantly

Both trading volumes and transaction numbers slipped in May in what analytics firm Glassnode described as "a historically large decline" that's resulted in "almost completely clear mempools and waning demand for transactions and settlement."


It's not all bad news for DeFi, though; the decline in activity on the network has also seen transaction fees drop to 2020 levels. 

And as the price of Bitcoin crossed $40,000 earlier this week, prices for DeFi tokens including Aave, Uniswap and Compound rose in its wake, demonstrating an unusually high correlation with Bitcoin.

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