Swiss government preps for blockchain bonanza
The Swiss government is staying open-minded with its latest plan to create clever framework conditions for blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) in the financial sector.
With the heady scent of money in the air, the Swiss Federal Council says it wants to “exploit the opportunities offered by digitalisation for Switzerland” and “create the best possible framework conditions” so fintech and blockchain firms find their way to the alpine nation.
In a report of immense dryness from the council, it provides an analysis of relevant framework conditions, clarifies the need for action and proposes concrete measures.
This is based on the work of a blockchain / initial coin offering (ICO) working group, which was set up by the Federal Department of Finance (FDF) in January 2018 and which also consulted the fintech and financial sector as part of its work.
The analyses show that there is “no need for fundamental adjustments to the Swiss legal framework, but that there is still a need for specific adjustments”.
The Federal Council has instructed the FDF and the Federal Department of Justice and Police (FDJP) to draw up a consultation draft in the first quarter of 2019.
In terms of these specific adjustments, the aims include increasing legal certainty in civil law for the transfer of rights by means of digital registers; and in insolvency law, further clarify the segregation of crypto-based assets in the event of bankruptcy and examine the segregation of data with no asset value.
In addition, when it comes to financial market law, the plan is to devise a new authorisation category for blockchain-based financial market infrastructures.
While this may not get the pulses racing, credit must be given to Switzerland’s overlords for another astute move when it comes to fintech matters.
Other recent news includes the introduction of a new fintech licence with relaxed requirements (it talked about this in 2016); and the parliament also relaxed the anti-money laundering (AML) rules for “small” fintech firms.