Switzerland introduces new laws for digital currency sector

Lawmakers in Switzerland have introduced a new system of laws for regulating digital currency and blockchain in the country, in a move that has created new legal certainty for the sector.

Passed onto the statute books on Thursday, the new laws come in the form of corporate and finance law amendments, which give blockchain and digital currency a legal footing for the first time.

The laws offer first time definitions for exchange digital securities, as well as spelling out the legal process for the seizure of digital currency assets in bankruptcy. It also outlines the role of trading exchanges, with regard to anti-money laundering policies and other compliance measures.

The amendments follow on from the Blockchain Act 2020 which was passed into Swiss law without opposition by the House of Representatives in early 2020.

The new form of laws offering definitions for blockchain and digital currency are set to come into effect early in 2021. With the industry already growing in Switzerland, the new legal framework is expected to make the European country even more appealing to entrepreneurs, investors and startups in the space.

Switzerland is currently home to over 900 blockchain companies, including Facebook’s Libra Association, which has 4,700 employees in the country.

Building on its traditional reputation for expertise in banking and finance, there has been a concerted effort to make Switzerland appealing for the blockchain and digital currency industries, with lawmakers quick to understand and support the growth of the industry through legislation.

Similarly, a number of private and public initiatives have been running in Switzerland to attract interest from the blockchain world, including private digital currency banks like Sygnum and Seba Crypto AG, which became the first to be granted a digital currency banking license by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority in 2019.

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