Crypto Regulation Instructions Approved By Switzerland’s Federal Assembly

News, Regulation | March 22, 2019 By:

Switzerland’s Federal Assembly, the legislative body of the Swiss government, has approved a motion instructing the Swiss Federal Council to begin adjusting existing legislation to apply to crypto regulation.

Introduced by Liberal assemblyman Giovanni Merlini, the motion has been approved by the Swiss Federal Council, the highest executive authority of the Swiss Confederation, with 99 to 83 votes in favor and 10 abstentions. The Federal Council will now be responsible for adapting the provisions on procedural instruments of the judicial and administrative authorities so that they can also be applied to cryptocurrencies.

“It was important to close gaps in protection against abuse,” Merlini said. “Cryptocurrencies could be issued to anyone with a decentralized, cryptographic-based peer-to-peer data network. A large part of the cryptocurrencies is completely anonymous, which favored extortion and money laundering.”

Merlini is hoping that by adapting the existing laws, a clarification will be made regarding crypto trading platforms and whether they should be subject to regulation by the country’s financial regulator, the Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA).

Following the approval of the motion, Swiss finance minister Ueli Maurer stated that the proposal went ahead of the scope of the planned regulations. In December 2018, Maurer said that Switzerland should tweak existing laws to allow for the new technology and its financial applications instead of creating a specific blockchain or crypto legal framework.