Swiss Financial Regulator Grants Fund License to Crypto Asset Management Startup
Switzerland has yet again proved its strong support for crypto. The country’s financial regulator FINMA has granted the same license as professional fund managers to a Zug-based startup, Crypto Finance AG.Crypto Finance Can Now Manage and Distribute Foreign and Domestic FundsWith the license, Crypto Finance AG gets the status of an asset manager of collective investment schemes. This implies that the company can offer services as well as investment advice to institutional clients interested in the blockchain-based asset class, reports Bloomberg. The firm will now be able to to issue a wider array of collective investment products related to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.“The importance of crypto assets is growing and our aim is to accelerate maturity in these markets,” said Jan Brzezek, CEO of Crypto Finance AG in a statement on Tuesday. He further added that FINMA’s authorization was an important acknowledgement of Crypto Fund and of crypto assets around the world.Crypto Finance AG offers blockchain-related services to clients via its three subsidiaries – Crypto Fund AG, which handles asset management, Crypto Broker AG, which acts as a brokerage intermediary for qualified and institutional investors, and Crypto Storage AG, which provides a proprietary solution for storing private keys.Over $100 Million Raised by Swiss Startup to Build Crypto BankWhile Crypto Finance AG has become the first firm to receive a license from FINMA, there are other major crypto firms as well waiting in queue to get licensed by the regulatory authority.Among them is Seba Crypto AG, which recently raised over $100 million from private and institutional investors to build a regulated crypto bank.The Zug-based startup headed by former UBS managers Guido Buehler and Andreas Amschwand is now looking to obtain approval from FINMA to offer traditional and crypto banking services to consumers. FINMA’s approval will enable the startup to manage crypto trading and investments for banks and investors, and provide corporate financing services such as technical guidance on initial coin offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrency services to consumers apart from banking services to corporate clients.Switzerland, with its crypto-friendly moves, is strengthening its position as a leading crypto hub in the world. In September, the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) issued new guidelines to offer more support to startups using blockchain technology.SBA’s aim is to bring blockchain regulations on par with that of traditional banks’ legal framework to mitigate risk while promoting an environment conducive to the growth of blockchain startups. Among the guidelines is the suggestion that blockchain projects which start off without conducting an ICO should be treated the same as Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs).The Swiss company Alprockz AG also recently announced that it is planning to raise funds to develop a financial platform for issuing its own stable cryptocurrency ROCKZ (RKZ), which will be backed by the Swiss Franc in the ratio of 1:1.Featured image from Shutterstock.