Switzerland adopts pro-blockchain and crypto regulatory stance

By Staff Reporter

Switzerland, known as a haven for crypto assets, has issued a regulatory framework that is perceived to be positive for the blockchain and the crypto-asset industry.

While initial discussions indicated that the country may issue new laws for the distributed ledger, or blockchain, the latest ruling shows that the government wants to regulate it within existing laws.

Swiss Federal Council issued a report on Friday, providing a legal framework for blockchain.

It stated that Switzerland’s existing rules are well suited to account for new technologies, but there is still a need for some amendments.

In the report, the council has proposed changes to the country’s securities law to increase legal certainty of crypto tokens thought it came short of coming out with areas that might require specific changes.

The terms “securities” and “derivatives” in the financial markets are relevant to players in the blockchain space, it said.

The anti-money laundering rules, under the country’s Anti-Money Laundering Act, are also deemed adequate to cover activities related to cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs), citing no need for any “fundamental revision.”

There are some areas that might require more legal clarity.

For instance, the council wants to segregate crypto assets from the insolvent debtors’ total estate during bankruptcy proceedings.

Under the country’s existing Debt Enforcement and Bankruptcy Act (DEBA) it is not clear whether these assets can be segregated.

The government has also proposed the creation of a new “authorization category” for infrastructure providers in the blockchain sector and will make amendments to its Financial Market Infrastructure Act accordingly.

Switzerland has been at the forefront of creating pro-blockchain regulations on which it has been working on since 2016. In 2017, it carried out a consultation on regulatory amendments to account for fintech and blockchain.

 

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