Switzerland’s Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) has announced new rules to facilitate speedy issuance of FinTech licenses for blockchain and cryptocurrency-based projects.
These “relaxed requirements” will allow institutions who are registered to conduct business in Switzerland “to accept public deposits of up to CHF100 million, provided that these are not invested and no interest is paid on them.”
Crypto Valley and Self Regulation
Any company applying for one of the new licenses will be verified and vetted by FINMA and must also agree to future financial audits.
The long term goal of promoting the Swiss FinTech sector, partly based on self-regulation, has attracted a number of ICOs to launch in the country, mostly centred around so-called Crypto Valley aka the picturesque town of Zug, just outside Zurich.
The Association for the Quality Assurance of Financial Services (VQF) is the largest of the officially recognised self-regulatory organisations (SRO) that is overseen by FINMA and serves as a direct contact point for blockchain startups.
Olga Feldmeier, VQF member and CEO of Smart Valor, has long believed that with this balance of self regulation coupled “with FINMA as our regulator, Switzerland has a very good chance to develop into a global crypto hub.”
Smart Valor themselves are attempting remove the roadblocks to accessing digitised assets by providing a token issuance platform complimented by a secondary trading marketplace.