Swiss Lawmakers Approve New Measure to Regulate Cryptocurrencies

Wilfred Michael 

Wilfred Michael

News reporter

21 March 2019,
Swiss Lawmakers Approve New Measure to Regulate Cryptocurrencies

With the matter of regulating the use of cryptocurrencies taking on increased significance in different countries in recent times, the Swiss Federal Assembly has made a bold move.

According to a March 20 press release, members of the Federal Assembly of Switzerland voted 99 to 83 votes in favor of a notion moved by Giovanni Merlini of the FDP.Liberal political party to apply existing regulations to the use of cryptocurrencies.

Specifically, Giovanni’s approved notion is tailored at instructing the Swiss Federal Council to bring the use of cryptocurrencies and businesses in the industry under the watch of the “judicial and administrative authorities.”

The lawmaker believes that adopting such an approach will mitigate the risks involved in cryptocurrency transactions which are mostly anonymous and “favor extortion and money laundering.”

Among the regulations that could apply to the cryptocurrency industry is that exchange operators will fall into the same category as other financial intermediaries, thus, allowing the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) to oversee their activities.

As Swiss Finance Minister, Ueli Maurer, said after the approval, a range of other regulations likely used for financial market participants may still be extended to the crypto industry to guarantee more security for players in the space.

As has reported in recent times, Swiss regulators emulated other countries like Belarus and Thailand by making reasonable efforts to provide regulation to the country’s fast-growing cryptocurrency ecosystem.

In November, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) released a guidance letter asking local banks to use a “flat risk weight” of 800% while dealing with cryptocurrencies and also report transactions worth more than 4% of their capital.

Also, in the same month, the regulators defied odds by approving the listing of the First Swiss Exchange Traded Product (ETP) tracking some of the most popular cryptocurrencies.


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