Switzerland Offers Support to Blockchain Businesses Wanting Cryptocurrency Banking Access
Switzerland Offers Support to Blockchain Businesses as It Strives for Banking Access for Cryptocurrency
Switzerland has been in many publications lately for their jump into blockchain technology and cryptocurrency. However, to keep up with their goal of being a safe hub for cryptocurrency, the country’s authorities have decided to improve the access that blockchain companies have to the traditional financial system. This decision makes it exponentially easier to open corporate bank accounts that will create opportunities for investors, traders, and other community members.
As the country faces the loss of cryptocurrency projects as the baking industry prevents access, new guidelines were issued by the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA). These guidelines outline what banks have to do to get involved with the startups, of which there is about 530 projects in the Swiss Crypto Valley Hub. These entities require access for traditional banking services to be tied in, but the biggest fear from banks is that they cannot be protected from failing the anti-money laundering protocols.
SBA strategic adviser Adrian Schatzmann said,
“We believe that with these guidelines, we’ll be able to establish a basis for discussion between banks and innovative startups, making the dialogue simpler and facilitating the opening of accounts.”
Since the industry began, there are only a few of the banks in Switzerland that even allow crypto companies to make a deposit of the funds earned in ICOs. In fact, two of them that had actually agreed ended up closing the accounts and withdrawing their policies. Adding to their pre-existing fear of failing AML protocols, it is common knowledge that ICOs do not perform any AML protocols on anyone that contributes to their crowdfunding efforts. Without even checking, Swiss banks have to put themselves on the line with blind trust.
With the new guidelines, there are separate checks required for the two crypto options – blockchain firms with ICOs and blockchain firms without them. The guidelines also dictate the Know-Your-Customer (KYC) and AML protocols that need to be placed on ICOs that use fiat currencies, and the ones that use other cryptocurrencies to do it. With these clear rules on how to monitor these issues, the Switzerland authorities hope that banks will become more willing to accept these accounts.
According to Oliver Bussman, who heads up the Crypto Valley Association,
“This provides more clarity not only to banks, but also to startups.”
Though the discussions with the banks have gone relatively well, the results will reveal how effective the new guidelines are.