Politicians in the Swiss senate passed a new set of financial law reforms on Thursday, September 10. The “blockchain act” will provide a clear legal framework regarding cryptocurrency trading and how it relates to securities laws, according to a new report.
The proposed legal reforms were agreed upon unanimously by the Swiss House of Representatives in the summer and could come into effect by early 2021. The new laws are expected to give Switzerland the most advanced blockchain regulatory framework in the world.
Swiss Senate Passes Blockchain Reforms
The legislation provides new standards for cryptocurrency exchanges in a bid to target money laundering. It also outlines clearer laws regarding the recovery of stolen coins from bankrupt businesses, while laying down a firm legal foundation for the trading of digital-only securities.
Switzerland’s decision to fast-track the new laws comes amid a groundswell of blockchain business adoption in the country now dubbed “crypto nation.” If the reforms pass as expected, Switzerland’s 900+ blockchain companies – which employ nearly 5,000 staff – will find themselves in a more amenable legal position as it relates to matters pertaining to cryptocurrency.
Heinz Tännler, President of the Swiss Blockchain Federation, said the new laws would elevate Switzerland’s role in blockchain business adoption, adding:
“As of next year, Switzerland will have a regulatory framework that is among the most advanced in the world.”
Crypto Valley Spreads to Crypto Nation
Switzerland’s latest batch of progressive legislation follows a recent decision by the Swiss canton of Zug to accept tax payments in cryptocurrency. Known as the “crypto valley” within the “crypto nation,” Zug will allow citizens to pay taxes using Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) using QR codes starting in February 2021.
The legal reforms are expected to benefit Switzerland’s prominent banking industry, much of which already provides cryptocurrency services to wealthy clients in some form. The laws will also open up Swiss business to new blockchain use-cases, such as registering real-estate and digital art on distributed ledger technology. The creation of digital versions of private company shares will also become a possibility, should the laws come into effect next year.