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New crypto regulation from Switzerland

Dec 06, 2018

FINMA (Switzerland’s Financial Market Supervisory Authority) has recently announced a new fintech license, with moderate conditions, that is appropriate to blockchain and cryptocurrency-based companies.

On 3rd December, 2018 the regulator stated that the new regulation will grant recognized “innovative financial companies” the ability to accept public deposits of up to 100 million Swiss francs (or just over $100 million), under the condition that these funds are not investments and the companies does not pay interest on them. This development is a consequence of a recent revision to the country’s Banking Act by the Federal Council to support fintech innovation.

As of the upcoming year, blockchain companies that wish to be licensed under the new regulation must meet specific conditions. First of all, the legal entity must be a company limited by shares, a corporation with unlimited partners or a limited liability company. Additionally, it must also have its registered office and operate its business in Switzerland.

FINMA has also prepared a guide that will ease the application process for possible licensees, setting forth a detailed list of what they will need to provide. These list, among other things, includes explanations for applying for the license, a report about proposed business activity, a business plan including the financial projection (budget) for the next three financial years with “optimistic, realistic and pessimistic scenarios”.

Earlier this year, FINMA issued a license under the Swiss Collective Investment Schemes Act related to Crypto Fund AG, a crypto asset management subsidiary of Zug-based Crypto Finance AG, founded by former UBS banker Jan Brzezek.

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