Switzerland’s blockchain startups are now primed to receive public funds thanks to new Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) license guidelines. The official FINMA press release was released Dec. 3 announcing the $100 million sky-high limit previously only accessible for banks.
The new fintech license details the parameters for the self-proclaimed relaxed funding requirements stating,
“[it] allows institutions to accept public deposits of up to CHF 100 million, provided that these are not invested and no interest is paid on them. A further requirement is that an institution with a FinTech license must have its registered office and conduct its business activities in Switzerland.”
Those looking to obtain the new license would be any blockchain or crypto-related Swiss firm. Applications open at the start of 2019. This will put Switzerland’s fintech businesses on the path to compete with global technology innovations countries are rolling out around the world. The country will be viewed as a legitimate place to start a blockchain firm and finding will benefit those existing decentralized tech-related businesses.
The license requires applicants to give accurate information about their project along with anti-money laundering (AML) policies and formal business plans. Just this past November, FINMA drafted the first crypto license aimed at investment funds. It permitted crypto firms to provide collective lower-risk investment services. There have also been regulations released condoning the controversial Initial Coin Offering (ICOs).
For the first time in Switzerland, a company (that is not a bank) can request $100 million to foster business growth and development, as long as they stick to the rules. Businesses are not allowed to reinvest funding back into the market or pay interest rates with the money.
Switzerland might earn a reputation for not only being a tax haven, but also a crypto-friendly business destination.
Switzerland really is intent on pushing boundaries within the cryptocurrency industry. Just recently, local financial regulators made history by being the first to approve trade of a Bitcoin-based Exchange Traded Fund, something cryptocurrency fatcats in the US are yet to achieve.