Swiss Financial Authority FINMA Grants Country’s First Crypto Asset Management License
The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) has issued the country’s first cryptocurrency asset management license, authorizing Crypto Fund to offer services to institutional clients in the blockchain-based asset class.
The Zug-headquartered company had earlier this year been granted limited freedom to distribute offshore-based cryptocurrency funds by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA). But the upgrade published on Tuesday enables the firm to distribute a wider array of collective investment products that track bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, including funds based in Switzerland.
“The authorization represents our professional work over the last 12 months and is a major milestone for us. Our thanks go, above all, to our partners who made this ground-breaking authorization possible and to FINMA for the good cooperation,” said Mathias Maurer, COO of Crypto Fund AG.
With the license, the company said Crypto Fund AG is now approved to manage and distribute both domestic and foreign funds for investing in crypto-related projects. The registration as an asset manager arrives as an extension to another license that Crypto Fund AG received from FINMA in June which limited the firm's activities to merely distributing funds to qualified investors.
Jan Brzezek, the CEO of Crypto Finance said:
“The importance of crypto assets is growing and our aim is to accelerate maturity in these markets. Regulatory recognition remains highly sought after by participants, as seen in recent press and company statements.”
There is a wave of rival crypto funds queuing up to get support for a range of crypto-related products and services, which include applications for a license to offer full banking services for cryptocurrency operators in the country.
The step to authorization as an asset manager of collective investment schemes by FINMA raises the bar for crypto companies in Switzerland and abroad.
Without such an authorization, the activities of crypto companies are limited in Switzerland and are only subject to fulfilling compliance with money laundering regulations; however, this does not address prudential supervision over all activities or the organization of the crypto firm.