In a move that clearly shows the government’s resolve to encourage investments in cryptocurrencies, Switzerland’s financial markets regulator has opened the floodgates for institutional participation in cryptocurrencies.
Zug-based Crypto Finance AG subsidiary Crypto Fund AG becomes the first company to get the green light from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) to offer a wide range of blockchain-based assets to institutional investors in the country.
Crypto Fund was granted a limited license earlier this year to distribute “offshore based cryptocurrency” funds to qualified investors, but the new license from FINMA empowers the Fund to legally act as an asset manager that can offer investment advice and issue an array of investment products that “tracks bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies,” including Swiss-based funds.
Former UBS banker Jan Brzezek founded the Fund in 2017 under the country’s Collective Investment Schemes Act (CISA.) While commenting on the approval from the regulators, Brzezek said the importance of crypto assets could not be overemphasized, and his company’s goal is to “accelerate maturity” in the market it currently operates.
“Regulatory recognition remains highly sought after by participants, as seen in recent press and company statements.”
Mathias Maurer, the chief operating officer of Crypto Fund AG went on to state:
“The authorization represents our professional work over the last 12 months and is a major milestone for us. Our thanks go, above all, to our partners who made this ground-breaking authorization possible and to FINMA for the good cooperation.”
Switzerland has remained popular over the years due to its favorable crypto laws, and it has continued to blaze the trail with a set of guidelines issued by its regulators earlier this year, which focused on tokens that would be classified as securities and on how crypto companies can be compliant while carrying out ICO activities.
SEBA Crypto AG, another Zug based startup is currently seeking a banking and securities license from FINMA, in a bid to become a regulated crypto bank, as reported by CCN previously. The startup, which is headed by Guido Buehler—another former UBS banker— wants to help fill a “critical missing element of the currency ecosystem,” as most banks are still not willing to open accounts for companies involved in the cryptocurrency (or blockchain) spaces.