All Posts By

Samuel Dionne

Crypto Valley Association Unveils Asset Tokenization Paper at Launch Event for Western Chapter

By | CVA in the News

The association’s Asset Tokenization Paper defines best practice for the tokenization of assets in the Swiss blockchain ecosystem

The Crypto Valley Association (CVA), a leading global blockchain and cryptographic technology ecosystem, will release its Asset Tokenization Paper at the inaugural launch event for its Western Chapter today. The paper, which defines the tokenization process for Swiss companies, also addresses legal and technical questions relating to asset tokenization, and provides guidance to those engaging with security tokens. 

Dr. Mattia Rattaggi, board member & Regulatory Policy WG Liaison, said, “The CVA is extremely pleased to offer the Crypto Valley community this unique Asset Tokenization Paper, written by practitioners, for practitioners. We believe this paper will provide a useful guide to entrepreneurs seeking to carry out Security Token Offerings or trade security tokens in Switzerland, and will assist them in addressing questions from a legal and technological standpoint. This marks an important stepping stone for us as we work together to cement the Crypto Valley as an industry-leading ecosystem.”

The 52-page paper was led by Florian Ducommun, Chair of Asset Tokenization Task Force, and authored by a task force of attorneys, compliance specialists, and technology experts, from organizations including HDC, PwC, MME, SEBA, and Lykke. The group collaborated to produce a document which would increase understanding of the legal, regulatory and technical environment and ensure compliance with market standards using streamlined processes, with the overall aim of shaping a strong framework for blockchain technology in Switzerland.

The launch event for the CVA’s Western Chapter, at which the paper will be presented later today, will take place at the EPFL Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, located in the centre of Western Switzerland. The event will explore the topics of crypto finance, digital assets, and blockchain education, and will play host to representatives from PwC Switzerland, Kraken, SEBA Bank, University of Geneva, Swissquote, and more.

Commenting on the event, Jérôme Bailly, Chair of the CVA Western Chapter, said, Today’s launch of our Western Chapter marks a milestone in the continued maturation of the CVA and of the Swiss blockchain ecosystem. We are bridging the development gap taking place across Switzerland and expanding the reach of the CVA and its resources. As we look to reinforce Switzerland’s position as a leading crypto nation, the new Western Chapter of the association will play a vital role. The unveiling of the Asset Tokenization Paper cements this significant event and drives the CVA closer to its mission.”

This follows the recent announcement of a strategic partnership between CVA and Zürich Tourism, which aims to develop and promote emerging technologies in the city of Zürich and surrounding region.

Download the full document (52 pages)

CVA welcomes the Swiss Federal Council adoption yesterday of the dispatch on the framework conditions for DLT/blockchain

By | CVA in the News

The Swiss Federal Council adopted yesterday the dispatch on the framework conditions for DLT/blockchain that aims at increasing legal certainty, removing barriers for applications based on DLT and reducing the risk of abuse. The CVA welcomes this step.

The decision constitutes a very important development for the blockchain industry in Switzerland. It provides the country with a very advanced, fundamental and comprehensive legal framework for the DLT/blockchain industry, achieved by adapting existing laws to the extent that necessary instead of introducing a technology-bespoke law.

The CVA is also pleased to see that many of the comments it provided in the course of the consultation (for instance regarding the bankruptcy law) have been taken into account (along with various comments provided by other national trade associations). The first draft of the dispatch was first proposed in December 2018 and put in consultation until June 2019.

With this framework, Switzerland possesses the best conditions to further nurture its already leading, innovative and sustainable position for fintech and DLT companies. The Swiss Parliament will probably examine the proposal for the first time in early 2020.

The CVA wishes a swift political process and stays ready to assist it as needed and required. announces a Corporate Sponsorship Agreement with Crypto Valley Association (CVA)

By | Articles, CVA in the News

Nyon, Switzerland, 22.11.2019 is proud to announce the Corporate Sponsorship Agreement with the Crypto Valley Association, one of the world’s leading blockchain and cryptographic technology ecosystems. The agreement establishes as the CVA’s official online voting supplier from 2020. The CVA will use the mobile application for different purposes, including statutory voting such as during the Annual General Meeting and within any relevant decision making process requiring member participation. provides mobile online voting that is easy and intuitive, with higher security than current mobile banking apps.

About Crypto Valley Association
The Crypto Valley Association (CVA) is an independent, government-supported organization located in the Swiss Canton of Zug. Its focus is on developing and executing community-driven programs targeted at establishing and growing the ecosystem for blockchain and cryptographic technologies globally. Currently, the community consists of approximately 1,500 active and 7,000 passive members, 30% of which are international.

About is a blockchain based voting app offering full supervision to voters directly from their smartphone and the first solution enabling voting rights to any standard token holder. Furthermore, matches the highest requirements in voting platforms in terms of security, data confidentiality and the integrity of the results. Professionals and private organizations are’s primary customer targets.

Ray Chow-Toun, Founder of said: The shoemaker’s children in the blockchain ecosystem do not go barefoot. Henceforth blockchain based voting is a natural evolution in the decision making process at the Crypto Valley Association and we are proud to supply leading edge solution to our peers.

Alexander Schell, Executive Director of the Crypto Valley Association added: is an important new strategic partner for the CVA. In order to make our internal voting infrastructure and mechanisms more transparent, we are partnering with to leverage blockchain technology into the governance of the association. We want to demonstrate, in collaboration with our members and partners, the broad application of distributed-ledger technology. is a perfect example of this symbiosis.

For more information, contact at

Economic Framework of Digital Currencies

By | Articles, CVA in the News

Regulatory Working Group (RWG)
Task Force: “Central Banks, Digital Currencies and Monetary Policy – CBDC & MP”
Athanasios Ladopoulos, Task Force Leader.

“This paper is part of a series of papers on central banks, digital currencies and monetary policy. We kick off our journey by examining the economic framework of crypto currencies and briefly addressing relevant issues, opportunities and threats, as well as shedding light on how Central Banks, Retail Banks, Governments and their constituents could be affected. While cryptocurrencies are becoming the evolutionary step of paper money, digital currencies have been in use for some time now, for example in interbank lending and electronic accounts for major financial institutions. However, when it comes to retail banking and more specific the public, digital currencies are destined to change the way we interact with money…”

Read more: Download the full document.

Audit guidance on cryptocurrencies

By | Articles, CVA in the News

In September 2019, the Commission for Auditing of EXPERTsuisse ‒ the professional association of Swiss certified experts on auditing, taxes and fiduciary ‒ published a Q&A guidance on the audit of cryptocurrencies.


It was developed by auditors of six major audit firms with specific knowledge and experience in cryptocurrencies and distributed ledger technology. The guidance is based on an exemplary case and focuses on Bitcoin due to numerous possible conditions and circumstances depending on the token, its origin and how the companies handle their holdings. It covers the consideration of the internal control system and procedures to obtain audit evidence about the relevant assertions in the financial statements.

The Q&A stresses the importance of an effective internal control system pertaining the handling of the private keys. The whole life cycle is comprised in order ensure the entity’s exclusive control over the private keys in case of the entity managing its own wallets. The controls should inhibit unauthorized access to the private keys as well as to recovery seeds. Adequate measures can include e.g. an entitlement management with multisignature solutions for the authorization of transactions and the consideration of necessary redundancies. Companies with cryptocurrency holdings ought to regard not only operative controls but also accounting-related controls during the year and in the process of financial statement preparation, like the process of tracking transactions accurately and completely together with a proper valuation. In the Q&A several aspects and control designs are presented for controls related to cryptocurrency holdings. Audit clients should be aware that an inadequate internal control system in this context might result in higher audit fees due to additional audit procedures and increased risk or even a disclaimer of opinion.

Within the audit an entity will have to demonstrate existence of its cryptocurrency holdings. This relates particularly to the control over private keys. Two ways of providing evidence are micro transactions and sign message. The suitability and execution of these procedures depend on the circumstances and timing of the audit. The Q&A elaborates on the necessary steps and considerations of the procedures.

For the auditor it is important to take the degree of reliance of different sources into account when verifying transactions or determining balances of public key addresses on the blockchain. The information can be accessed directly or via providers. Even though the Bitcoin blockchain is public, query errors or incorrect displays might lead the inconclusive or insufficient evidence.

The sort and extent of audit procedures depend on numerous aspects and will vary from client to client. Relevant factors are the type of token being held, their origin, underlying DLT characteristics, whether the company manages the private keys on its own or uses external storage services, the effectiveness of the internal control system and processes as well as the timing of the audit, just to mention a few. The auditor has to choose his or her audit approach for each client respectively, but the recently issued Q&A provides orientation on an exemplary base case which can be adapted accordingly and helps to foster crypto activities in Switzerland.

The Q&A is available for members of EXPERTsuisse at in German, French and English.


Author: Heiko Petry (Board Member Working Group Tax / Accounting / Structuring and Audit Senior Audit KPMG AG)

Crypto Valley Association signs MoU to join IDAXA

By | CVA in the News

The Crypto Valley Association (CVA) of Switzerland is the seventh national trade association to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the International Digital Asset Exchange Association (IDAXA) with the goal to provide a unified voice for the Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) industry. 

The Swiss join six existing IDAXA signatories including Blockchain Australia (formerly known as the Australian Digital Commerce Association), Singapore Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Industry Association (ACCESS), Japan Blockchain Association (JBA), Korean Blockchain Association (KBCA), Hong Kong Blockchain Association (HKBA) and the Taiwan Parliamentary Coalition for Blockchain & Industry Self-Regulatory Organization. 

The Crypto Valley Association (CVA) is an independent, government-supported organization located in the Swiss Canton of Zug. Its focus is on developing and executing community-driven programs targeted at establishing and growing the ecosystem for blockchain and cryptographic technologies. Currently, the community consists of approximately 1,500 active and 7,000 passive members, 30% of which are international.

“IDAXA plays a key leadership role in representing the voice of the DLT community towards regulators and allowing both small and big FinTech firms to participate in developing industry standards,” said Chris Gschwend, Head of CVA’s VASP/AML Task Force. CVA’s Executive Director, Alexander Shell, added: “We look forward to connecting our members to the wider crypto community through joint collaboration on a number of topics.”

Taking place at the CVA offices in Zug, Switzerland, the MoU signatories were Ronald M. Tucker, founder and President of Blockchain Australia, Anson Zeall, founder and chair of ACCESS Singapore, Dr Mattia Rattaggi, CVA Board Member, and Alexander Schell, Executive Director of CVA. 

Ronald M. Tucker, convenor of the V20 and founder of Blockchain Australia, said “we are delighted to welcome Switzerland’s peak body to IDAXA. This is an important moment for European representation in the global crypto alignment and it further reinforces our ability to better foster relations amongst governments and VASPs globally to help ensure better economic outcomes in the digital asset economy.”

IDAXA was established by way of an MoU signing at the V20 Summit, which was held in parallel to the G20 Leaders Summit in Osaka, Japan, where VASPs convened along with policy makers and regulators to develop a clear roadmap toward compliance with a new set of recommendations from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). Under the revised FATF Guidelines, VASPs offering services such as custody solutions and exchange or trading platforms will be required to implement AML due diligence measures, among other requirements.



CVA and Zurich Tourism Establish Official Partnership

By | CVA in the News

Both parties affirm their mutual interest in acknowledging, developing and promoting the fields of distributed ledger and related technologies to create business activity in Zurich and Switzerland, thus promoting the country as a global blockchain destination.


It has been agreed under a Memorandum of Understanding that a synergy between the two entities will enable the creation of a larger and broader Swiss blockchain ecosystem, attracting not only businesses related to the field but also visitors who will benefit from the valuable experiences created by mutual events and activities. 

A partnership between the Crypto Valley Association and Zürich Tourism is absolutely beneficial to promote Zurich as a main hub for Economy and Innovation. The aim of Zürich Tourism Congress Bureau is to attract international guests to Zurich for business events. With no doubt, the collaboration with the Crypto Valley Association plays an important role to reach our goals. “, commented Vanessa Reis, Relationship Manager of Zurich Tourism.

With Zurich being a global center for banking and finance, each organization has for goal to uphold and advocate the reputation of the city and its surroundings as being an economic destination of choice for anything blockchain-related.

“We are more than delighted to announce our partnership with Zurich Tourism. In order to attract international businesses, it is important to join forces when it comes to promoting Switzerland as a tech hub. Instead of scattering resources, we need to collaborate and support each other to reach this goal. As a result, Switzerland as a whole becomes an even more attractive place for doing business” said Alexander Schell, Executive Director of the Crypto Valley Association.


New Chair Takes Over Western Chapter of CVA

By | CVA in the News

New Chair Takes Over Western Chapter of CVA

The association announces the assignment of new leadership in its Romandy Chapter, which will be continuing the efforts of the past structure. 


After a full year of service toward the association in its French-speaking Chapter, Aires Marques is completing terms, handing over at the same time its role and responsibilities to newly appointed Chair, Jérôme Bailly.

It was a great experience to chair the CVA Western Chapter, together with an amazing team. We will continue to support the CVA to build the blockchain ecosystem also here in Romandy. As a team member, Jérôme showed enthusiasm, commitment and ownership, I’m glad to be completing my 12 months term and to pass on the torch to Jérôme and to see the CVA achieve even more with him leading the way forward,” said Aires Marques.

Jérôme is present in the CVA since 2018 and was already active within the association as CMO of corporate member LakeDiamond. He has a broad knowledge of business development and marketing for innovation coming from his years in digital agencies and his recent involvement in the promotion of the Initial Coin Offering of the aforementioned EPFL startup, LakeDiamond.

“Being in the CVA greatly helped our team in the promotion of our token sale. It’s now my turn to help the association. I want to thank Aires, who has done a splendid job in setting up our local team. I’m now looking forward to working with these motivated people who are the critical aspect of growing the association in our Chapter.

The Crypto Valley doesn’t limit itself to Zug anymore. The Valley is Switzerland in its integrality, and beyond. Our Western Switzerland Chapter unites the blockchain and the tokenization initiatives from Geneva fintech and EPFL startups. My direct objective is to onboard the new corporates which are now coming into our crypto space and transform this local ecosystem into a more active and open French-speaking blockchain area.” said Jérôme Bailly, new Chair of the Western Chapter. 

As a mission, the Western Switzerland Chapter of the Crypto Valley Association continues to foster the growth of blockchain and cryptographic technologies ecosystem in the Romandy region of Switzerland.

The board warmly welcomes Jérôme as the new chair and wishes to address its warmest regards to Aires for all the work he has accomplished in its year in the position. 

CVA comments on the recently published SFTA working paper on cryptocurrencies and ICOs

By | Articles, Policy / Regulations


By the Tax/Accounting/Structuring Working Group

On 27 August 2019, the Swiss Federal Tax Administration (SFTA) has published a working paper on cryptocurrencies and ICOs/ITOs in relation to respective wealth, income and profit tax, withholding tax and stamp duty considerations. The working paper can be downloaded here (German).


This publication follows up with previous publications by the SFTA on the Swiss VAT guidance for supplies involving cryptocurrencies & ICOs in June 2019 as well as the accounting guidelines published by EXPERTsuisse for utility tokens and asset tokens. 

The position shared within this working paper is based on the practice maintained by the SFTA to date and therefore represents a snapshot of the transactions submitted to the SFTA by end of May 2019. Further, the token categorization is aligned to the guidance published by FINMA on 16 February 2018. Having said that, it must be assumed that there are still open questions in respect of particular transaction circumstances which require conclusive answers and constitute “work in progress”. 

The CVA Working Group Tax / Accounting / Structuring (CVA WG TAS) appreciates the systematic efforts of the SFTA shared within this working paper as it helps to further provide transparency on the current tax practices. However, the working paper contains several gaps, assumes very specific, non-generic facts and circumstances and in turn, leaves a lot of blank spots. This asks for further clarifications.  

In order to provide the community with our perspective on this working paper, we as the CVA WG TAS gladly share below respective comments prepared by Thomas Linder / MME.  



The SFTA distinguishes between Native / Payment Tokens without legal claim, Asset-backed Tokens with a contractual claim to repayment or cash payment and Utility Tokens with a contractual claim to use a digital service. In the case of Asset-backed Tokens, a distinction is also made between Debt, Equity and Participation Tokens, although all (digital) participation rights under company law are expressly excluded from these definitions.

It is thus based on FINMA’s token triad of Payment, Asset and Utility Tokens. However, its ICO Guidelines from February 2018 are a purely purpose-oriented, regulatory classification in which the Anti-Money Laundering Act (payment/means of payment), the securities regulations (asset/investments, above all also participation rights under company law) and a category without financial regulations (utility/usage) are represented. Therefore, the use of similar terms is more confusing than clarifying. The same can also be said of the practical notices issued by the VAT authorities in this area, which also use different definitions. A more comprehensive, cross-agency system would have been more effective and easier to understand.



It is also astonishing that the SFTA also takes a stand on the cantonal wealth tax and influences the (cantonal) valuation of digital assets with its price lists. In our opinion, the specification of tax values without an objectively ascertainable market value (e.g. on a regulated stock exchange) is definitely not within the competence of the SFTA and is questionable both formally and in terms of content. The proposed valuation of highly volatile assets on the reporting date would then hardly correspond to the long-term realizable, taxable market value. It is significant, however, that the cantons largely comply with these conditions without any discernible resistance.



Certain issues, such as the valuation of wage payments in the form of tokens or the distinction between private asset management and self-employment, are forced into certain ( wanted ) forms without a thorough examination of the facts. For example, an “analogous application of the criteria according to Circular No. 36 on commercial securities trading” to native tokens makes no sense at all, since these are to be treated as transactions with conventional means of payment (currencies) and are therefore not securities. In practice, however, the differences between securities and currency trading are so immanent that “analogous application” is diametrically opposed to the content and purpose of KS 36.



In principle, the token types described by the SFTA are not subject to withholding tax due to the lack of a legal basis. This is to be welcomed.

However, the FTA reserves the right to levy withholding tax “if the two following cumulative thresholds are not met:

  • The shareholders of the issuer may hold a maximum of 50% of the issued token at the time of the respective due date. 
  • The defined profit participation quota must result in payments to the token holders not exceeding 50% of the EBIT.”

Unfortunately, this provision is worded in a cumbersome manner and leaves open whether the “safe haven” is violated if both or only if one of the thresholds is not met.

At this point, we would also like to refer to the general rules concerning hidden profit distributions. These are payments to shareholders or to related third parties who have their legal basis exclusively in the ownership relationship and are not openly disclosed as such in the accounts. An obvious, recognizable disproportion between performance and consideration is assumed. A contractual payment to shareholders, which is also made to unrelated third parties under the same conditions, can, therefore in our opinion, hardly qualify as a hidden distribution of profits. The thresholds mentioned can be used as indications. However, the fulfilment of the other requirements is absolutely necessary for the existence of a hidden distribution of profits.



It is correct that the token categories mentioned are not subject to securities transfer tax, even in the case of transactions via securities dealers, provided that they do not refer to taxable securities within the meaning of the Stamp Duties Act.


The CVA WG TAS will keep you up-to-date in respect of any upcoming developments in this respect. Stay tuned!


Crypto Valley Association Enters Official Partnership with Geneva Macro Labs

By | CVA in the News

Public Announcements / Articles
Zug, 29 August 2019

Upon agreeing under a Memorandum of Understanding, the two entities have set for objective to cooperate on the development of sustainable initiatives by leveraging intellectual potential and advocating the use of Blockchain technology to develop sustainable solutions for existing and future challenges.


With various forms of cooperation being pursued; such as but not limited to the exchange of knowledge and the organization of joint conference activities, the partnership is in line with the importance and primordial aspect of achieving SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) that both parties value.

“Geneva Macro Labs is excited to announce our partnership with the Crypto Valley Association. We are looking forward to a successful collaboration and stimulating exchange around the Blockchain technology and its potential in addressing global challenges to contribute to a sustainable future.”, said Dr. Ekkehard Ernst, President of Geneva Macro Labs.

As a first mark of collaboration, the Crypto Valley Association will be participating in the “Blockchain 4 impact” joint conference of the United Nations Joint Inspection Unit and Geneva Macro Labs. 

The event aims at offering a new space for information exchange, debate and critical reflection on opportunities and limitations of the Blockchain technology in achieving Sustainable Development Goals.

“We are excited to have found a partner in Geneva Macro Labs, who is also focusing on shaping international collaboration and bringing together the brightest minds to develop solutions for a sustainable future. It is part of our shared mission
to address how existing and future challenges can be solved using blockchain technology for a better tomorrow.” commented Alexander Schell, Executive Director of the Crypto Valley Association.


Further media contact:

Alexander Schell
Executive Director, CVA
+41 79 152 1700

Dr. Ekkehard Ernst,
President, Geneva Macro Labs.
+41 79 52 74 185