Swiss-based Crypto Firms Can Handle $100M Deposits

Switzerland’s Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) announced that cryptocurrency startups can now apply for licenses to handle 100 million Swiss francs ($100 million). The companies can hold money in public deposits under new regulations published on Dec. 3. The move aims to promote technological innovation and allow cryptocurrency related companies to hold a significant amount of cryptocurrencies. In the past, only commercial banks were allowed to receive such large deposits.

According to the new announcement, companies that are granted with the fintech licenses “may not invest” or “pay interest” on the deposits. FINMA has also set operational requirements for applicants. The requirements mandate that cryptocurrency startups must submit clear documentation describing their business, target market, and the location.

Shareholders that own 5 percent or more of the issued capital of a company must be disclosed to Finma. The same applies to foreign shareholders that hold similar equity stakes. Finma said that companies must submit information on agreements, such as shareholder deals, in other ways where the applicant may be controlled or materially influenced.

The announcement said:

“The license application must contain a detailed justification. All relevant information must be documented, and changed documents must also be submitted with changes tracked.”

Recently, Switzerland started supporting cryptocurrencies by easing regulations. According to the ICO guidelines published in February 2018, Switzerland was allocating its cryptocurrency business to off-shore rivals such as the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands, Liechtenstein, and Gibraltar.

The regulations define three types of tokens (payment, utility, and asset). It also requires anti-money laundering compliance for tokens that are used for payments.

In February 2018, FINMA regulated ICOs and published guidelines. The country is being known as crypto country. The press release revealed how the country plans to apply financial market legislation in handling queries from the ICO organizers.