In a what can be called a remarkable feat Switzerland’s financial supervisor has issued guidelines for local startups to raise capital through ICO crowdfunding. While most countries of the world are employing strict cryptocurrency regulations, Switzerland government has expressed its desire to become the “Crypto Nation”.
Switzerland ICO guidelines specify three main categories of ICO
In summary, the guidelines basically divide the ICO crowd sales into three major categories. These are:
These are the ICO funds that are transferable and can be used as a mode of payment. Finma remarked these ICO would have to comply with the anti-money laundering regulations but they wouldn’t be considered as financial securities.
These are ICO’s that will use tokens or funds as a means to provide digital access to a product or a service. These wouldn’t be considered a security only if they are built with a purpose to serve a utility.
As the name suggests these are the ICO’s which will be sold to investors as equities or bonds and will ensure returns in the form of dividends or regular income. These will fall under the definitions of security and all regulations for financial securities will be applicable.
Switzerland government’s zeal to become “Crypto Nation”
On Friday, Mark Branson, Finma’s chief executive, said its “balanced approach“ to ICO projects would allow “legitimate innovators to navigate the regulatory landscape and so launch their projects in a way consistent with our laws protecting investors and the integrity of the financial system.”
While government around the world are busy enacting strict and hard laws to control rising cryptocurrency market, Switzerland government is taking a different path altogether. Earlier this year China, South Korea, and India have already cleared their unwillingness to adopt cryptocurrency trading and bitcoin payments.
Johann Schneider-Ammann, economics minister, last month said Switzerland wants “to be the crypto nation”. Only time will tell what will be the implication of this step by Switzerland, but for now, this is a great news for cryptocurrency market.
What do you think about this step by Swiss government? Can Switzerland be the “crypto nation”? Let us know in your comments below.
I am an entrepreneur and a writer with a bachelors degree in Computer Science. I manage the blockchain technology and crypto coverages at Coingape. follow me on Twitter at @arya_achal or reach out to me at achal[at]coingape.com.