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Switzerland: New law to bring Bitcoin and blockchain into the mainstream

  • The Swiss Council of States has unanimously approved a new blockchain law.
  • The law will allow the use of applications with cryptocurrencies and blockchain facilitate and will probably come into force at the beginning of next year.

Switzerland continues to take big steps towards becoming the leading crypto and blockchain hub in Europe. In order to achieve this, the Alpine country has already introduced numerous laws in the past to create the best possible conditions for the start-up scene in the country. Yesterday, Switzerland passed a new far-reaching law that further opens the door for cryptocurrencies.

As it was announced yesterday, after the National Council, the Council of States, the second chamber of the Swiss Federal Assembly after the National Council, has voted for the new blockchain law with an overwhelming 42 to 0 vote. Although the amendments still have to be put to the final vote at the end of September, this seems to be a mere formality, so that the law will probably come into force at the beginning of next year.

Basically, the Blockchain Act is intended to create more legal security and fewer obstacles for blockchain applications and to minimize abuse. In other words, the law aims to move cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology into the mainstream. To this end, the law covers the exchange of digital securities and sets standards for crypto exchanges.

In concrete terms, for example, there should be facilitation for providers who only serve institutional or professional customers. In the future, they will not have to join an ombudsman’s office. In addition, a new framework for the commercial operation of DLT infrastructure will be created to limit the risk of abuse. Furthermore, the separation of cryptocurrencies from the bankruptcy estate will be legally clarified.

The explanatory memorandum to the bill also states:

In order to put the trading of rights by means of manipulation-resistant electronic registers on a secure legal basis, an adaptation of the securities law is proposed. As a consequence, the interface to the new category of securities in book-entry securities law will have to be regulated by selective adjustments. […]

In financial market infrastructure law, a new authorisation category for DLT trading systems is created. This is intended to create an appropriate and flexible legal framework for the new forms of financial market infrastructure that are possible due to technological developments

Switzerland leads the crypto revolution in Europe

However, Switzerland is not the first country in Europe to enact comprehensive blockchain legislation. Malta and Liechtenstein have long had a firm legal basis, but Switzerland is one of the financially strongest countries in the EU. As reported by CNF, numerous Swiss banks have already shown themselves to be open to cryptocurrencies in recent months.

For example, Swiss banks such as Seba and Sygnum offer custody and trading of cryptocurrencies. In addition, the Swiss banks UBS and Credit Suisse have participated in blockchain payment attempts. Only yesterday, Charles Hoskinson, the inventor of Cardano, referred to a passage in the draft law that described both Cardano and Algorand as promising blockchain solutions and a possible option for distributed electronic registers.

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About Author

Jake Simmons

Jake Simmons has been a crypto enthusiast since 2016, and since hearing about Bitcoin and blockchain technology, he's been involved with the subject every day. Beyond cryptocurrencies, Jake studied computer science and worked for 2 years for a startup in the blockchain sector. At CNF he is responsible for technical issues. His goal is to make the world aware of cryptocurrencies in a simple and understandable way.

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