Swiss FINMA published guidelines for the ICO regulation (Initial Coin Offering). Elsewhere, the word “regulation” drives investors and crypto-entrepreneurs crazy, as it can often be accompanied by restrictions or even prohibitions – that is not a case in Switzerland.
Guidelines are intended to regulate the booming market. The focus is on the prevention of money laundering activities. In addition, the mutual trust of investors and organizers should be increased. Guidelines should rate each ICO separately. For this purpose, tokens are divided into three categories:
Payment tokens are defined as exclusively transactional purposes. These tokens must comply with applicable Anti-Money Laundering Act and are not considered securities.
Utility tokens are used to access products and services. Therefore, they are not securities as long as they are used in this way.
When tokens generate dividends, they are considered as asset tokens. Such tokens are considered securities and are also regulated. If the token serves as a corporate asset, it will be subject to civil law.
Most tokens are still hybrids of the above categories. It is very difficult to regulate them as a single type. Jörg Gasser, secretary of the Swiss Ministry of Finance, told Financial Times :
“We see great potential – but the market is not as disciplined as we want. We want it [the ICO market] safe, but without compromising the standards or integrity of our financial markets. “
Switzerland repeatedly presented itself as a crypto country. Both Swiss legal situation and favorable tax situation for young entrepreneurs attract many companies that want to start ICOs to the Alpine region. At the Crypto Conference in St. Moritz in January, Swiss entrepreneur and economics minister Johann Schneider-Ammann declared that he wanted to see Switzerland as a crypto-nation. First steps of this path have already been taken.
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