Blockchain 

Libra Association Seeks Swiss Payments License for Facebook’s Crypto

Facebook is seeking a payment system license under Switzerland’s Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) for its planned stablecoin project, Reuters reported on Sept. 11.  “Regulated, low-friction, high-security” blockchain payments In an official statement today, the Switzerland-registered Libra Association — a not-for-profit membership organization established to govern the Libra network — explained its choice to coordinate a regulatory framework with the Swiss watchdog: “Switzerland offers a pathway for responsible financial services innovation harmonized with global financial norms and strong oversight. We are engaging in constructive dialogue with FINMA and are encouraged…

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Blockchain 

Swiss National Bank President Says Stablecoins Could Hamper Policy

Swiss National Bank (SNB) President Thomas Jordan said that stablecoins pegged to foreign currencies could hamper Switzerland’s monetary policy in some circumstances. Cryptocurrencies’ limited use as payment instruments On Sept. 5, Jordan spoke at the University of Basel, saying that he is convinced that cryptocurrencies are of limited use as payment instruments, stores of value and units of account, as they are subject to major fluctuations. Jordan went on to say: “Crypto tokens are more like speculative investment instruments than ‘good’ money in terms of their characteristics. Users typically describe…

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Bitcoin 

Swiss Crypto Banks Receive Licenses From Financial Regulator

The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) has reportedly granted two banking and securities dealer licences to crypto-focused banks. Two Swiss crypto-specializing firms, Seba Crypto AG and Sygnum have received banking and securities dealer licenses, the banks said in separate statements on Aug. 26. With the new license, Seba expects to officially launch its new trading platform platform in early October 2019, the company stated. Seba’s plans include the establishment of a digital asset platform for professional traders, firms and institutional clients, as well as custody storage and asset management.…

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Blockchain 

Swiss Regulator Releases AML, KYC Guidance for Blockchain Payments

Switzerland’s Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) has released guidance on regulatory requirements for payments on the blockchain under FINMA supervision. The new guidance for virtual asset service providers, published on Aug. 26, applies to blockchain service providers including exchanges, wallet providers and trading platforms. In its preface to the guidance, FINMA notes its adherence to the framework for digital asset regulation issued this June by the intergovernmental Financial Action Task Force (FATF).  More stringent than the FATF FINMA underscores that blockchain sector businesses cannot be exempted from the country’s existing…

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Bitcoin 

Swiss Private Bank Says 400 New Clients Demanding Crypto Products

Swiss private bank Maerki Baumann has had a deluge of over 400 new clients wanting to tap its future blockchain offerings since it revealed its interest in the sector. Swiss Info reported on Aug. 22 that the Zurich-based institution — which has $8.2 billion AUM but faces stiff market competition and an erosion of its margins — has opted to embrace blockchain to rejuvenate its business.  Bid to be “the go-to private bank” in Swiss crypto In an interview with Swiss Info, Maerki Baumann CEO Stephen Zwahlen said that the…

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Bitcoin 

Swiss SIX Digital Exchange CEO Departs Due to ‘Strategic Differences’

The CEO of Switzerland’s SIX Digital Exchange (SDX), the cryptocurrency-focused arm of the the country’s principal SIX Swiss Exchange, is departing the company, local news outlet SwissInfo reported on Aug. 14.  CEO departs before SDX launch Martin Halblaub will step down after eight months into his job when his contract expires at the end of August following disagreements on how the trading platform should be run.  Halblaub reportedly wanted SDX to launch as an independent company, while the board of the parent company — SIX Group — disagreed. He commented…

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Bitcoin 

Swiss Crypto Startup Makes ‘Highest’ Bitcoin Trade Ever at 4164m

Cryptocurrency services financial services provider Bitcoin Suisse claims to have conducted a Bitcoin (BTC) trade at the highest altitude ever in a promotional stunt that took place on July 13. A YouTube video proving this achievement was published on July 19. New Bitcoin “all-time high” trade According to the firm’s claims, the trade carried out by its staff took place on the summit of Breithorn mountain range in the Pennine Alps, located on the border between Switzerland and Italy. Furthermore, almost 70 people reportedly took part in this publicity stunt…

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Ethereum 

Swiss Crypto Finance App Gains Nationally Recognized AML License

Cryptocurrency-focused personal finance app Aximetria has gained a financial standards license recognized by Swiss regulators. In a press release provided to Cointelegraph July 29, Aximetria, which is based in the country, said the Swiss Financial Services Standards Association (VQF) license would allow it to function as a crypto intermediary and streamline its onboarding process. The VQF license is approved by Switzerland’s overarching finance regulator, the Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA). An award means the holder carries out activities in compliance with the organization’s anti-money laundering (AML) and Know-your-Customer (KYC) rules. …

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Blockchain 

Swiss Data Watchog Says Facebook Not Responding to Letter on Libra

Swiss privacy regulators have said that social media titan Facebook is lagging in its response to requests for more liaison. An unanswered letter A Reuters report published on July 23 revealed that the Swiss Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner (FDPIC) sent a letter to the Libra Association on July 17 but has not as of yet received any response. The Libra Association is a newly-established, independent governance consortium for Facebook’s planned cryptocurrency, dubbed Libra. Notably, David Marcus, chief of Facebook’s Calibra wallet service, has previously indicated that the corporation…

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Ethereum 

Swiss Data Protection Regulator Seeks Details on Facebook’s Libra

The Swiss data protection regulator is waiting for Facebook to provide it with particulars on data protection risks associated with the forthcoming Libra digital currency, Reuters reported on July 23. The Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner (FDPIC) — the competent authority for data processing by federal bodies and individuals in Switzerland — sent a letter to Libra Association on July 17, asking for details about Libra. The FDPIC stated: “The Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner has noted the remarks made by Mr. David Marcus at his hearing before…

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