Whilst lots of governments all over the world are troubled about the cyber money frenzy, which induces money laundering and other illicit actions as well as it may lead to the burst of a bubble, Switzerland holds its own position in the regulatory race.
Some weeks ago the country’s economics minister Johann Schneider-Ammann said that Switzerland wished ‘to be the crypto-nation.’ The politician announced it in front of journalists at a closed cyber money conference in St Moritz, according to The Financial Times.
And that is not surprising as for the last time Switzerland has been positioning itself as quite a friendly one towards bitcoin and its brethren. For instance, as PwC informed, four out of ten largest offered ICOs have been in based in this country.
ICO market, in its turn, offers Switzerland an opportunity to ‘polish’ its business reputation, especially, in the light of the past country’s disgraces, when its local banks assisted their opulent customers in deviating from taxes. Ironically, not long ago Steven Mnuchin, the US Treasury Secretary, expressed a concern that bitcoin could become another ‘Swiss bank account,’ used for money laundering. So it might seem that both phenomena (crypto market and Swiss policy) are from the same pot.
Embracing virtual asset business can be very budding, but there is another perplexity coming out. And it is the extent to which the Swiss government will be ready to adopt it.
Jörg Gasser, the state secretary at the country’s finance ministry, recently said that the body is looking forward to the booming of the crypto market in Switzerland.
“We think there is huge potential — but the market is not as disciplined as we want. We want it [the ICO market] to prosper but without compromising standards or the integrity of our financial markets.”
Nearly at the same time, when the country’s economic minister made the announcement concerning Switzerland’s crypto ambitions, the Swiss authorities in the city of Berne notified that the working group in initial coin offerings was going to look at regulatory issues. In the meantime, The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (Finma), is anticipated to implement upgrade in control over ICOs.
According to the FT, cyber money first enthusiasts explain that Switzerland has become an adorable place for ICO project due to the fact that there are lots of wealthy investors as well as tech experts. Offstage, a small town not far from the country’s largest city Zurich – Zug – is already labeled as “Crypto Valley.” The local crypto community claims that every day up to ten startups from different corners of the world inquire about how to run ICO in Switzerland.
Supporters also say that Switzerland is prosperous in the crypto market also thanks to its readiness to endorse business novelties.
“Swiss regulators are among the few that really have a deep understanding of the technology and how it works,” explained the partner at Swiss law company MME Martin Eckert.
Notwithstanding the above, in September 2017 Finma announced that it was probing several ICO incidents with a view to money laundering, flaws in control and terrorism supply.