Management & legal News

Switzerland to tweak laws for blockchain and DLT

switzerland blockchain law

On Friday the Swiss Federal Council published a report on blockchain, distributed ledger technology (DLT) and the law. The conclusion is that Switzerland’s legal framework works well with new technologies, but some small adjustments are required.

The aim is to explore additional legislation to cover a small number of areas. For example, there’s a need to increase the level of legal certainty over the transfer of rights using digital registers. Another is to adapt financial market law for blockchain-based financial market infrastructures.

There are plans formalize current Anti-Money Laundering (AML) practices explicitly for decentralized trading platforms. Finally, insolvency and banking laws will be adapted to deal with bankruptcy that involves crypto-assets.

Switzerland has been a significant destination for startups in Zug. The country is keen to create the optimal conditions in Switzerland to establish itself “as a leading, innovative and sustainable location for fintech and blockchain companies,” according to a statement.

At the same time, there’s a desire to protect Switzerland’s reputation as a financial center. Hence the need to combat money laundering. However, while the risks are real, so far the number of cases has been small. As with other countries, the government has expressed a need for internationally coordinated measures. It will explore extending AML laws to certain forms of crowdfunding. Also on Friday the Council published a report on AML and terrorist financing in the context of crypt-assets and crowdfunding.

In the run-up to the Hyperledger Global Forum in Basel, Switzerland, last week Swisscom and Swiss Post announced they’re working together to build a Swiss private blockchain infrastructure.

In July, SIX which owns the Swiss Stock Exchange announced plans to launch a digital stock market underpinned by blockchain. It intends to launch end-to-end digital asset trading, settlement and custody in the middle of next year.

A previous article provided an overview of some of Switzerland’s business blockchain activities.