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Swiss regulators to engage towards crypto friendly shift

Swiss Regulators to Engage Towards Crypto Friendly Shift

By Stefan Filipović
Published 19 days ago

Switzerland has been pretty open towards cryptocurrency since the beginning of the blockchain revolution. As it is one of the financial centers of the world, Switzerland's crypto-friendly view did wonders or the cryptocurrency public image. Such position was supported by favorable regulations that placed cryptocurrencies as an equal member of the financial system as a whole. TheTokener reported about the recent granting of accounts for cryptocurrency companies by Swiss banks. It looked like everything is going well for the crypto community in Switzerland and it seemed like the country is heading towards becoming a crypto haven. But, everything looked like that in theory. In practice, things have not gone so well after two Swiss banks shut their door for cryptocurrencies. The consequence of this was that crypto businesses have started to shift from Switzerland towards favorable offshore rivals like Liechtenstein, Cayman Islands, and Gibraltar. Good news is that Swiss regulators did not take this lightly and they will engage in Switzerland's attempts to regain the crypto-friendly spot, as Bitcoinist reports. 

The Problem

Unfortunately, cryptocurrency ventures are allowed in only a small number of Swiss banks which makes further crypto projects in the country quite difficult to launch. Service to cryptocurrency businesses and groups has recently been withdrawn by at least two Swiss banks. This has only further reduced the number of institutions that provide services like accepting deposits to crypto business. On the other hand, banks that accept cryptocurrency deposits do that under very strict conditions. These conditions include that ICO companies need to have KYC and AML procedures compliant with Swiss regulations. Also, on top of that, cryptocurrency businesses need to pay initial assessment fees that go up to $2,500 in order for banks to grant them the service. This crypto climate in Switzerland for the consequence had a recent exodus of crypto businesses.  

The Solution

Reason for the careful approach of banks towards crypto businesses lies in the fact that the crypto space still has some unclear rules and regulations. Banks representatives especially stated that ICO projects are the main issue because of the fear of money laundering and other malpractices. Switzerland has been actively working on the solution that will satisfy both sides. Swiss National Bank (SNB), Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) and Switzerland's Financial Market Supervisor (FINMA) have all been called by The Swiss Finance Minister to a discussion on future crypto regulations in order to find a mutually beneficial solution. The idea behind these talks is that SBA should create a system of checks and conditions that must be fulfilled in order to open bank accounts for cryptocurrency companies.

Conclusion

These events are a statement of crypto-friendly views of Switzerland. Country’s officials are doing everything in their power to find a place for cryptocurrency projects in Switzerland’s financial system. It remains to be seen whether bankers view on cryptocurrencies will change with new regulations. Regardless, it is an optimistic sign that one of the financial centers of the world wants cryptocurrencies in their financial system. 

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