The Strategist

Swiss watchdog issues banking licenses to blockchain companies

08/29/2019 - 11:00

The Financial Authority of Switzerland (FINMA) has issued banking licenses to two blockchain-related companies - SEBA Crypto and Sygnum.

The regulator said that this is the first time when such licenses are issued to companies specializing exclusively in the blockchain. The lcenses will allow SEBA Crypto and Sygnum to provide services to institutional and professional clients.

FINMA has also issued a guide stating that existing anti-money laundering (AML) laws apply to payments made through the blockchain because “the inherent anonymity of the technology poses increased risks”.

The manual also states, “that institutions under FINMA supervision are not allowed to receive tokens from clients of other institutions or send tokens to such clients.”

Switzerland has established one of the friendliest regulatory regimes when it comes to cryptocurrency and blockchain companies. Recently, Aximetria's cryptocurrency investment application has received a VQF license, which is recognized by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority. In addition, in July, Bitcoin Suisse applied for a banking license at FINMA.