An obscure blog post about a Liechtenstein bank’s web traffic spiking 900% after it began offering crypto has sparked furious debate on Reddit.
Finance blog Bits of Gold reported yesterday that Bank Frick, in the central European principality of Liechtenstein, had seen a huge increase in traffic since it began offering “professional traders and financial consultant customers” the option of buying cryptocurrencies in March 2018.
Headlined “A Bank in Liechtenstein Grew Its Traffic by 900%, by Selling Cryptocurrencies” the blog noted customers can buy Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ether, Ripple, Litecoin, Ethereum Classic, NEM, Qtum or Stellar using USD, Swiss Francs or Euros.
It was the first bank in the country – one of the world’s tiniest nations – to do so, holding the currencies in cold storage.
Frick’n nice to ICOs
Bank Frick also offers banking and advisory services to ICOs (a rarity among regulated banks) and provide custody services.
The aim seems to be to blend the ease and security of traditional banking with the promise of cryptocurrencies.
They have since announced they will open a new trading platform called DLT Markets to allow institutional customers to buy cryptocurrency.
“With our spin-off, we are offering institutional clients a unique combination of a fintech company and a bank regulated by the EU,” said EO of Bank Frick, Edi Wögerer in a statement.
Profits doubled after it began selling crypto
The bank has done nicely out of all of this, doubling profits from $3.2 million to $6.3 million – even if that sounds like a very small percentage of the $3.8 billion of client assets it holds.
So far so good, but Reddit users seemed a little hung up on the 900% web traffic increase.
The Bits Of Gold blog post stated:
“Organic traffic to the bank’s website was relatively low before they started to become involved in cryptocurrencies, never exceeding 200 and normally staying around 120 impressions from July 2015 to the end of 2017.
“Once the bank began to make it known that they were going to become involved with cryptocurrencies, traffic to their website and their exposure began to shoot through the roof, reaching a peak of around 1250 impressions per month.
“This is an increase of over 900% of the figures that they were experiencing, pre-cryptocurrency.”
Blog post popular on Reddit
The article was posted to r/cryptocurrency, where it has already received 2000 upvotes and 120 comments.
While there were plenty of supportive comments about the bank’s progressive views on crypto (and just as many bemoaning the fact crypto was supposed to replace banks) – numerous Redditors took issue with the idea the site traffic increase was in any way noteworthy.
“Wow they grew their web traffic from 200 to 1200 impressions per month (no really).” wrote Mr_Again. “That means that 1000 whole extra people clicked on a website … The article you’re reading now probably has more impressions than the actual bank it’s reporting on”
Toyake made a similar point: “So a tiny bank got a little bit bigger” while DopaLog called it “A curious metric meaning f— all, but certain to further increase traffic to their website. Kudos.”
Yes, but look at it in perspective…
These might seem like reasonable criticisms of the admittedly tiny numbers, but as user Hensiey pointed out: “Numbers like this might look low. But a single user can deposit crypto worth a few million … it’s still impressive in my opinion.”
And Speshalneedsdonky pointed out: “Let’s not forget that Lichtenstein only has a total population of 37000 so 1250 in a month is pretty good going.”
Raverrevolution did a bit of research and discovered Liechtenstein is a tiny, tiny pace.
“Lol, I just looked up Liechtenstein, because I had no idea what it was, and this bank must be the only bank in the entire country. LOL the entire country is 62 sq miles.”
Liechtenstein actively courting blockchain and crypto
In fact, it’s the sixth smallest country in the world, nestled between Switzerland and Austria, and you can walk the eight miles from one border to the other in an afternoon and still have time for coffee and croissants.
Taking its cues from other tiny places like Malta and Gibraltar, Liechtenstein has been actively courting the cryptocurrency and blockchain industries with crypto friendly legislation.
The Central Bank has announced plans to offer a security token and will offer a digital coin backed by the Swiss Franc.