• Swiss regulator grants banking licenses to blockchain companies.
  • Cryptocurrency payments shall be covered by anti-money laundering transactions.

The Swiss Financial Markets regulator (FINMA) has granted blockchain companies  SEBA Crypto and Sygnum with the permission to provide banking serivces and deal with securities. 

FINMA representatives emphasized that it qas the first time when such licenses were granted to blockchain service providers. Now SEBA Crypto and Sygnum will now be able to work with institutional and professional investors.

Apart from that, the regulator issued new guidelines to make sure that anti-money laundering laws apply to blockchain payments, because the anonymous nature of the technology entails increased risks.

"As long as an institution supervised by FINMA is not able to send and receive the information required in payment transactions, such transactions are only permitted from and to external wallets if these belong to one of the institution’s own customers. Their ownership of the external wallet must be proven using suitable technical means. Transactions between customers of the same institution are permissible. A transfer from or to an external wallet belonging to a third party is only possible if, as for a client relationship, the supervised institution has first verified the identity of the third party, established the identity of the beneficial owner and proven the third party’ s ownership of the external wallet using suitable technical means."

Notably, a delegation of the US House of Representatives visited Switzerland. Following the visit, the lawmakers remained concerned about the prospects of the Libra project developed by  the largest social network Facebook.

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