Swiss crypto companies may receive regular access to banking services soon
Swiss-based crypto companies may get regular access to banking services this year itself. The country’s growing crypto industry has been stunted because Swiss banks have refused to let them set up accounts. With the exception of a few banks, most Swiss financial institutions have refused services to the fintech start-ups in Switzerland’s Crypto Valley. But this issue might be resolved soon as several government officials and bankers are working together.
Swiss stock exchange SIX is going to set up a cryptocurrency exchange
The fully-regulated crypto exchange, which will be called the SIX Digital Exchange, will allow digital tokenization of securities. The Swiss national bank and Swiss regulator, FINMA, will oversee its operations and the exchange will operate just like the regular stock exchange. The new platform, that will begin trading digital assets from next year, is aimed at closing the gap between traditional securities and crypto investments. SIX Digital Exchange is going to be based on a distributed ledger technology like blockchain.
Switzerland’s approach towards cryptocurrency and Blockchain technology has been friendly. Zug, which is home to the country’s Crypto Valley recently announced that they’ll enable Blockchain-based voting. The election is scheduled to happen between June 25th and July 1st.
But it seems economic wisdom has prevailed, as various policymakers and seasoned financiers have come together to break the deadlock. The finance director of the canton of Zug, Heinz Tännler, is one of the team. Tännler told the Financial Times that he expects that the obstacles will be removed in the coming months. This will ensure that the Swiss-based crypto companies can operate with banks like any other business. He further added that he expects that Swiss politicians and regulators will work together to achieve this.
See Also: Switzerland’s University of Basel Announces an Ethereum Blockchain Project to Verify Academic Qualifications
“We hope to clarify relationships by the end of the year at the latest. Time is pressing – other jurisdictions such as Malta and Singapore are very active and making a lot of effort to attract these companies. The lack of access to bank services is a significant competitive disadvantage.”
He further added that Switzerland’s central bank, financial supervisor and federal government “are willing to help” to resolve this issue. He adds,
“We have to push certain national institutions to resolve this problem quickly and effectively, but that now seems to be going well.”
The crypto industry’s representatives have warned that they’ll move their businesses to more crypto friendly environs. Former director of the Tezos foundation, Guido Schmitz-Krummacher, said,
“Starving startups of bank accounts is akin to killing the goose that laid the golden egg.”
The Blockchain and cryptocurrency expert believes that the reputation of Zug’s Crypto Valley could be jeopardized. According to him failure to provide a reliable environment for start-ups will harm its reputation. He said,
“I am already seeing projects choose Singapore, Malta and Gibraltar because they can’t get a bank account in Switzerland. They will be followed by projects already established in Switzerland unless the banks and politicians address this topic.”
See Also: Proxeus and WWF Switzerland bring accountability to donation process through the blockchain
Finance Minister, Ueli Maurer, has set up a working group which work together to find a solution to the issue. The group has representatives of the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA), the financial regulator and the central bank. A task force has been set up by the SBA and they also plan on establishing standards for ICO start-ups. This will help in simplifying the bank account opening process.
Swissinfo quoted a written statement by the SBA, which said,
“Both we as an association and the banks have an interest in business relations in this growth area. Banks see the potential that the blockchain technology offers for their industry and Switzerland as a financial and technology hub.”
The Crypto Valley Association welcomed the SBA’s actions and said they looked forward to “a progressive broadening of offerings by a number of Swiss banks.”
Image via Shutterstock
Join our telegram group