Swiss Federal Council Seeks Consultation on Blockchain Laws

Europe Switzerland

The Swiss Federal Council has set out on a route to improve the country’s blockchain-related regulations by initiating a consultation on the topic.

Following last week’s Swiss Federal assembly instruction for the country’s Federal Council to adjust the existing laws to make them applicable to cryptocurrencies, the assembly has initiated consultation on improving framework conditions for blockchain/DLT.

On February 22, the Swiss Federal assembly agreed to instruct the country’s Federal Council to adjust the existing laws to make them applicable to cryptocurrencies. Passed by a 99 to 83 vote majority, the motion’s goal was to place cryptoassets under the supervision of financial authorities, reduce risks associated with cryptos and protect cryptoassets’ users by determining whether crypto exchanges are financial intermediaries and regulating them and other service providers in the crypto space.

Now, in a follow up to the last week’s vote, the Swiss Federal Council has set out on a route to improve the country’s blockchain-related regulations by initiating a consultation on the topic.

Announced in a press release, the consultation aims to “increase legal certainty, remove hurdles for DLT-based applications and limit risks of misuse”. The release points out that while Switzerland’s regulations are already well suited to new technologies, a “need for selective action” exists.

The propositions announced for consultation include:

  • The possibility of electronic registration of rights in the Swiss Code of Obligations to guarantee the creation of negotiable securities and increase legal certainty in the transfer of DLT-based assets.
  • The segregation of crypto-based assets in the event of a bankruptcy in the Federal Law on Debt Collection and Bankruptcy.
  • The creation of a new authorization category for “DLT trading facilities” in financial market infrastructure law.
  • Adaptation of the future Financial Institutions Act to introduce the possibility of obtaining a license to operate an organized trading facility as a securities firm.

The release also pointed out the need for a more precise definition of anti money laundering practices but does not include these issues in the consultancy, which will conclude by the end of June 2019.

About the author

Maciek Klimowicz

Maciek Klimowicz

A seasoned writer and editor with 10 years of experience in a variety of print and online media. Recognizing the transformative potential of the blockchain technology, Maciek has now put his pen to work to explore the key issues of this fast-evolving sector. Contact him on [email protected].

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