Swiss Regulator Grants Broker-Dealer Licenses to Two New Blockchain Companies

FINMA, a financial authority in Switzerland, released guidance this week on anti-money laundering (AML) requirements for blockchain-based companies. It also awarded broker-dealer licenses to two new blockchain companies.

FINMA considers AML to be “technology-neutral” and anticipates all payments, including blockchain transactions, to follow the prerequisites. The gist is straightforward: “Institutions supervised by FINMA are only permitted to send cryptocurrencies or other tokens to external wallets belonging to their own customers whose identity has already been verified and are only allowed to receive cryptocurrencies or tokens from such customers,” the regulators said.

FINMA manages Switzerland’s financial framework, from banking to securities merchants and even Facebook’s cryptocurrency venture, Libra. FINMA authorities met with U.S. Congressional Representatives over Libra.

“FINMA-supervised institutions are thus not permitted to receive tokens from customers of other institutions or to send tokens to such customers,” they said.

Furthermore, FINMA does not permit the passing of tokens from unregulated wallets and necessitates AML data for all parties.

Aside from this announcement, FINMA has also granted the first “banking and securities licenses” to two blockchain firms, SEBA Crypto AG and Sygnum AG. These are the first registered Swiss companies as broker-dealers with a particular blockchain focus. These firms must comply with the new AML rules.