Switzerland Wants to Open a Sandbox to Attract More Blockchain Startups
Switzerland’s government is considering new regulations in light of fintech advancements such as blockchain.
Switzerland’s government is considering new regulations in light of fintech advancements such as blockchain, with the aim of creating a more welcoming atmosphere for startups working in the space.
The Swiss Federal Council – a seven-member group that serves as the country’s collective head of government – said today that it is seeking consultations on regulatory changes for the domestic financial industry to account for fintech.
Specifically, the government is proposing that firms that accept less than 1m Swiss francs in deposits (just over $1m USD) be classified differently than other institutions – a move that would create a so-called "regulatory sandbox" within which startups could experiment with new technologies. The Federal Council is also eyeing changes to licensure requirements below a certain depositary threshold.
While the statement was light on details about when such changes would be put in place, the Council indicated that it would draft possible changes as needed.
The Council noted:
The development is the latest indication that Swizterland’s government wants to attract blockchain startups.
The country is already home to a number of startups in the ecosystem, with some of those companies specifically citing a more permissive regulatory environment. Preliminary approval for bitcoin wallet service Xapo to operate in the country, announced last week, highlighted the kind of accommodation taking place.
Others, including railyway operator SBB as well as a consortium of Swiss business including its major telecom provider, have also pursued deployments of the tech.
Image via Shutterstock
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