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CVA Statement on Swiss Banking Association Guidelines

By September 21, 2018Articles, CVA in the News

Swiss Bankers Association – with support from the Crypto Valley Association – has developed guidance for Swiss banks opening bank accounts for crypto & blockchain companies.

The Crypto Valley Association (CVA) welcomes the issuance of new guidance from the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) to its members, regarding the treatment of blockchain-based companies in the country. The new guidance directed to member banks of the SBA is intended to provide increased clarity and assurance and remove barriers to the growth of the Swiss blockchain ecosystem.

The guide, an initiative of the SBA and developed with the input and assistance of the CVA Regulatory Working Group, makes key distinctions between blockchain-focused companies seeking to raise capital through an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) and those who do not. According to the outline, companies which do not fundraise through an ICO should be treated no differently than regular Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Further distinction regarding documentation needed is made between ICOs carried out with fiat currencies and those using cryptocurrencies. The guide has been welcomed by FDF, the Federal Department of Finance, and FINMA, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority.

Oliver Bussmann, President of the Crypto Valley Association, welcomed the announcement, saying “We have seen a lot of positive growth in the ecosystem over the past 18 months and now it was very important that the SBA, CVA and authorities could come together and successfully work on a solution that can ease some of the restrictions that could hamper the continuation of that growth.”

Dr Mattia Rattaggi, who chairs the CVA Regulatory Working Group, added, “This guide is an important and timely contribution. As a multi-stakeholder organization it was important for us at the CVA to bring a diverse range of perspectives and expertise to the table for the development of these guidance and we hope that it will benefit the healthy advancement of the crypto/blockchain industry in Switzerland.”

Switzerland has gained a world-wide reputation as a popular destination for crypto and blockchain companies. In 2017, four of the ten largest ICOs were conducted in Switzerland. In 2018 the country continues to rank among the most attractive places for blockchain companies.

Read the SBA announcement here.