Federal Council wants to further improve framework conditions for DLT/blockchain

Bern, 27.11.2019 - During its meeting on 27 November 2019, the Federal Council adopted the dispatch on the further improvement of the framework conditions for DLT/blockchain. The proposal is aimed at increasing legal certainty, removing barriers for applications based on distributed ledger technology (DLT) and reducing the risk of abuse.

In December 2018, the Federal Council published a report on the legal framework for blockchain and DLT in the financial sector. It emphasised that it wants to create the best possible framework conditions so that Switzerland can establish itself and evolve as a leading, innovative and sustainable location for fintech and DLT companies. Moreover, it wants to consistently combat abuses and ensure the integrity and good reputation of Switzerland as a financial centre and business location.

Among other things, the report showed that Switzerland's current legal framework is already well suited to dealing with new technologies, including DLT. Nevertheless, it also pointed out the need for action in certain areas, which is why the Federal Council already submitted a series of amendments to existing legislation for consultation in March 2019. However, it refrained from drawing up a specific technology act. Some 80 responses were received during the consultation process. All the participants welcomed the Federal Council's proposal in principle.

The Federal Council has now adopted the dispatch on the adaptation of federal law to developments in distributed ledger technology. The proposal has been revised and refined in a number of areas as a result of suggestions received during the consultation process. This federal legislation, which is designed as a blanket framework, proposes specific amendments to nine federal acts, covering both civil law and financial market law. Parliament will probably examine the proposal for the first time in early 2020.

What do DLT and blockchain mean?
Distributed ledger technology (DLT) allows shared data management and, in particular, shared accounting among participants who either do not know or do not trust each other's identity. Essentially, it is a system for shared data management that is based on distributed ledgers. Blockchain represents one possible way in which data can be stored in such a system. DLT permits the direct electronic transfer of value between a network's participants without the need for a central account management entity. The development of DLT is predicted to have significant potential for innovation and efficiency gains in the financial sector as well as other sectors of the economy. In recent years, a remarkable ecosystem with innovative fintech and blockchain companies has developed in Switzerland, especially in the financial sector.

Address for enquiries

Mario Tuor, Head of Communications, State Secretariat for International Finance SIF
Phone +41 58 481 34 96, mario.tuor@sif.admin.ch


The Federal Council

Federal Department of Finance