Switzerland is one of the leading locations in the area of distributed ledger technology (DLT) and blockchain. Especially in the financial sector, a growing fintech and blockchain ecosystem has developed in Switzerland. For Switzerland as a business location, it is crucial for the legal framework to enable innovation and for new technologies to be able to thrive. At the same time, Switzerland's integrity and good reputation as a business location must continue to be guaranteed in this area too.
Facts about Switzerland as a crypto location:
- Switzerland is one of the most advanced financial centres in the fintech and blockchain sector with over 1000 companies and innovation-friendly framework conditions.
- On 1 August 2021, Switzerland became one of the first countries in the world to enact legal regulations for blockchain technology. This creates legal certainty and enables innovation and growth.
- For Switzerland, the integrity of the financial centre is central. It attaches importance to ensuring that the same rules apply to cryptocurrencies as to real monetary assets, e.g. in the area of combating money laundering. Switzerland is actively working for the rapid international implementation of the corresponding international standards so that no loopholes in the law and no havens for criminal business are created.
On 1 August 2021, the Federal Act on the Adaptation of Federal Law to Developments in Distributed Electronic Register Technology and the associated blanket ordinance came into force.
One of the proposal's key areas is the amendment of securities law. It will provide a secure legal basis for the trading of rights through electronic registers. Furthermore, the segregation of crypto-based assets in the event of bankruptcy will be clarified by law. Finally, a new licence category for DLT trading systems will be established in financial market infrastructure law, thereby creating a flexible legal framework for new forms of financial market infrastructure.
Analysis of money laundering risks
On 14 December 2018, the Federal Council took note of a report by the interdepartmental coordinating group on combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism (CGMF) on the money laundering and terrorist financing risks posed by crypto assets and crowdfunding. The analysis showed that crypto-based assets pose a threat in the area of money laundering and terrorist financing. Due to the small number of cases, the real risk in Switzerland cannot be estimated conclusively.
CGMF report "Risk of money laundering and terrorist financing posed by crypto assets and crowdfunding"
Last modification 23.12.2022
State Secretariat for International Finance SIF