Federal authorities have set up a special working group to look into how to properly oversee blockchain technologies and initial coin offerings (ICOs – Swiss taskforce set to report back by the end of 2018
The State Secretariat for International Financial Matters (SIF) announced on Thursday that it had established a blockchain/ICO working group to review the legal framework and to identify any need for action alongside the Federal Office of Justice, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) and in consultation with the financial sector.
Last year FINMA began investigating a number cryptocurrency crowdfunding offerings, or ICOs, for possible breaches of Swiss law, hinting at greater regulatory oversight of some of the most prominent blockchain projects.
However, Switzerland wants to remain an “attractive location” for initial coin offerings, its international finance ministry has said as it announced the setting up of a working group to assess the need for action by the country’s lawmakers or regulators.
Switzerland has accounted for four of the 10 largest ICOs, according to PwC, with investors attracted by the country’s business-friendly regulations and digital expertise, which have led to the creation of a so-called “crypto valley”.
On Tuesday, the international finance secretariat in Bern said blockchain technology gave rise to “fundamental legal issues” in financial market and general law.
The ministry added: “The aim of this work is to increase legal certainty, maintain the integrity of the financial centre and ensure technology-neutral regulation. This clarification of the regulatory framework should help to ensure that Switzerland remains an attractive location in this area.”
The working group would report to the government by the end of the year.