Switzerland to regain cryptocurrency crown

Friday 20 July 2018 10:14 CET | News

Swiss regulators are stepping up efforts to halt an exodus of cryptocurrency projects from the country, according to Reuters.

Thus, Switzerland is losing business to offshore rivals including Liechtenstein, Gibraltar and the Cayman Islands, where banks are more welcoming. The crypto-related business in Switzerland has grown rapidly and employs hundreds of people, according to local officials. Moreover, supporters also consider it a key innovation for the future of global finance.

The wealthy Swiss canton of Zug, for example, has been dubbed “Crypto Valley”, with 200-300 virtual currency entities opening there in recent years.

FINMA, Switzerland’s financial market supervisor, has held discussions with the SNB and bankers’ association on how to make banks more accessible to cryptocurrency ventures.

However, providing the legal framework to launch ICOs and for banks to do business with cryptocurrency companies is not easy. The risk of fraud and lack of transparency about who owns cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ether have made regulators around the world wary. The United States is among countries that are increasing scrutiny of the sector.

Swiss banks are worried because some companies that carried out ICOs did not do anti-money laundering (AML) checks on their contributors, industry sources said. This means the banks themselves could fall foul of AML rules.
Overall, Switzerland’s authorities have said they want to create conditions for the country to remain competitive but with no room for scams or financial crime.

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Keywords: cryptocurrency, ICOs, banks, money laundering, Switzerland, cryptocurrency exchanges
Countries: World