The Establishment & the future
News was just released by Sparebanken Øst, a 174-year-old Norwegian bank for private individuals and businesses, that they have invested NOK 15 million in Norwegian Block Exchange (NBX). This gives the bank a 16.1% stake, which means the deal values NBX at NOK 100 million post-money.
Kryptografen has tried in vain to find a European bank that has bought into a crypto exchange. There are examples in the US, where Goldman Sachs has invested in Circle and Polionex, for example, but European counterparts have been on the fence. It may therefore appear that Sparebanken Øst is the first bank of its size to invest in a crypto exchange.
A good match
Director of Product and Business Development, Øyvind Pedersen Jr. will not answer whether they have negotiated with other banks in this process but says that several financial institutions have shown interest in NBX.
“NBX and Sparebanken Øst has been an incredibly good match from the start. The bank understands NBX’s vision and is particularly interested in developing more solutions, especially in savings and payments.”
We can read in the press release, that they are investing money in NBX. The question remains what will be invested at a strategic collaborative level. Øyvind Pedersen Jr. answers, that it is first and foremost important for NBX to have long-term and strategic owners.
“With Sparebanken Øst we could not have been happier. The bank has had a very long history in traditional banking services, while also being interested in new technology. The insight the bank will be able to contribute, will be incredibly useful for NBX. It is not inconceivable that NBX and Sparebanken Øst will come to work together on the development of various services that run across traditional banking and crypto. “
This deal is obviously a positive contribution to building a bridge between traditional financial players and crypto projects.
“The fact that a traditional banking institution invests in a crypto exchange and blockchain company has a very strong signal effect. Traditional finance is beginning to understand the many benefits blockchain technology can bring to the industry. Hopefully, this also means that more players develop good solutions for end-users in Norway as well.”