Both projects received bank licenses to operate and boost blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.

For the first time in Switzerland, two projects seek to conduct approaches and research on banking activities with cryptocurrencies. Two projects were approved by the banking regulatory systems. It is known that these projects will have a large amount of money for their realization, as well as the support of very important bankers.

In this way, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) approved the granting of licenses for the companies Sygnum and SEBA Crypto. This information was confirmed by both banking companies last Monday, August 26th. The news did not turn out to be a surprise since last month, a report would have appeared indicating that FINMA would be evaluating the approval of licenses at the same time for both projects focused on cryptocurrencies.

The news marks an important advance of the blockchain industry, thus venturing into the traditional financial system. Both companies, SEBA Crypto and Sygnum, can develop their projects freely. Both companies aspire to be among the first banking institutions dedicated to cryptocurrencies in the world.

Both projects have had broad support from other banking institutions. It is known that the SEBA Crypto group has made an important alliance with a private bank, represented by Julius Baer that also has its headquarters in Zurich. On the other hand, Sygnum, the company that is located in Zurich, has partnered with Peter Wuffli, who is former CEO of UBS and who was also, at some point, financial advisor to Philipp Hildebrand, the renowned Swiss banker.

According to statements that correspond to the approval of these licenses, the idea that both projects were granted at the same time to both companies by FINMA, responds to the purpose of avoiding generating bad competition between the companies. In the same vein, the idea is also to avoid giving more advantage to one than to the other since this can also suppose, among the possible clients, some type of distrust or better impression on the other.

This support to the companies by the FINMA is also due to the declarations of the cryptocurrency exchange house Bitcoin Suisse, which has plans to expand its business to Switzerland, so this company would also seek to manage a bank license in the Alpine country.

Laws that Should Comply Cryptocurrency Banks in Switzerland

Last Thursday, August 22nd, FINMA approved a series of amendments to the laws that go against money laundering, which are linked to the ordinances approved by a working group that was formed during the G7 meeting, called FATF. Therefore, this reform must be respected by any banking institution, including the new financial companies SEBA Crypto and Sygnum.

The reform says that only cryptocurrency and token transactions, like happens with transfers too, will be allowed to users who have their accounts duly registered and verified by the competent bodies, as well as by the cryptocurrency financial companies.

FINMA concluded its statement explaining that, unlike the FATF, it will not allow outflow for cryptocurrency purses that are not regulated.

By María Rodríguez


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