Switzerland to Relax Laws to Accommodate Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Startups

Switzerland to Relax Laws to Accommodate Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Startups

The Swiss government has announced a new legislative approach to blockchain regulation in an official report. The document recognizes the technology as one of the most important recent developments for the financial sector in stimulating the country’s economy.

Also read: How Bitcoin Companies can Legally Operate in Switzerland

A Swiss Innovation Paradise

According to the report, the Swiss Federal Council’s main focus is on “ensuring the integrity and reputation of Switzerland as a financial center” and on better positioning the country to “exploit the opportunities offered by digitalization.”

The government’s plan is to create the best possible legal framework conditions so the country can continue to evolve as a leading and sustainable destination for fintech, blockchain, and innovative companies in a number of fields.

Although the report discusses the risk of cryptocurrencies being used for illegal purposes like the financing of terrorism, it maintains a positive attitude towards the technology, noting that the country’s laws should be amended to recognize encrypted digital tokens that are not backed by any physical assets. The Federal Council also made clear that it wants decentralized financial transactions to have a place in the legal code.

A Lighter Touch

Switzerland to Relax Laws to Accommodate Blockchain and Cryptocurrency StartupsThe report mentions a proposal to give discretionary powers to the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) to loosen regulations affecting decentralized securities trading platforms as long as their activities do not harm investors. This regulatory approach circumvents current legislation enacted so as to be aligned with the EU’s position on the subject.

Swiss economist Luzius Meisser expressed his belief that this approach to legislation could prove much more effective in a written statement, saying:

This shows once again how the traditional Swiss approach of having principle-based laws that give a lot of discretion to citizens and regulatory agencies are much more innovation-friendly than overly detailed European-style laws.

Switzerland has decided to achieve these objectives without creating a slew of new laws, opting instead to adapt current legislation to incorporate new technological developments. Mattia Rattaggi, spokesman for regulatory matters at the Crypto Valley Association (CVA), commented on the association’s stance on these announcements:

We feel that this approach best represents the principle of technological neutrality and is in line with the position taken by the CVA in the consultation process … Crucially, this approach ensures maximum consistency within the current legal framework while keeping it principle-based and flexible, while allowing changes to be adopted on a ‘need-to-regulate’ basis.

Proposed Changes

Switzerland’s Federal Council’s report outlines several modifications to the country’s laws but clarifies that there are no intentions to immediately change financial or insurance industry-related laws, as it considers that blockchain technology is still “in its infancy” when it comes to these sectors. The most important legislative changes proposed so far include:

  • Amending the Collective Investment Schemes Act to include a new type of “limited qualified investment funds” with the intention of placing future innovative products on the market in a more time and cost-effective way.
  • Start recognizing data as an asset by changing company bankruptcy laws. This would allow Swiss courts to handle and properly distribute digital assets when solving legal disputes.
  • Widen the Anti-Money Laundering Act to include decentralized exchanges and allow law enforcement to dispose of third-party digital assets.
  • Creating new authorization categories to give FINMA discretion to loosen regulations for decentralized securities traders and exchanges based in Switzerland.
  • Amending the Financial Institutions Act and the Financial Market Infrastructure Law to make them more flexible towards blockchain initiatives.

What do you think about Switzerland’s regulatory stance on cryptocurrencies? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and Shutterstock.


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The post Switzerland to Relax Laws to Accommodate Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Startups appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Monitor Bitcoin Cash Development With the Coin Dance Tracking Page

Monitor Bitcoin Cash Development With the Coin Dance Tracking Page

Monitor Bitcoin Cash Development With the Coin Dance Tracking Page

Cryptocurrency data website Coin Dance revealed on Friday the team’s revamped Bitcoin Cash protocol development tracking page. Interested proponents can get a comprehensive look at all the completed BCH developments, proposals, ideas that are being discussed, and concepts that are currently under development.

Also read: Markets Update: Bears Continue to Drag Cryptocurrency Prices Down

The Coin Dance Bitcoin Cash Protocol Development Tracking Page

The analytical website Coin Dance has added a lot more detail to the site’s development section. The Bitcoin Cash protocol development tracking page expands upon a list of development discussions, proposals, and code that’s being developed right now. For example, there are currently 12 featured concepts ‘under development’ by the groups of developers who help the BCH protocol prosper. Developers from groups like the Cashshuffle developers, Bitcoin ABC, and Bitcoin Unlimited (BU) have all contributed to the maturing ideas.

Monitor Bitcoin Cash Development With the Coin Dance Tracking Page
BCH protocol development under discussion.

According to Coin Dance statistics, the 12 features under development include UTXO commitments, Modified fee structure, enable Schnorr signatures, reinstate more opcodes, add Compact Blocks, Graphene version 2, and more. The website data describes what the feature does like how Graphene v2 adds a lot more functionality to the first Graphene phase.

Monitor Bitcoin Cash Development With the Coin Dance Tracking Page
BCH protocol development under discussion.

In another instance, the Coin Dance documentation describes Bitcoin Unlimited’s Compact Blocks protocol. “Supporting CB in BU would strengthen the connections between the BU peers and the rest of the network, without having to rely on intermediates,” explains the BCH development tracking page. Additionally, the site gives users a link to where they can read up on more information specifically tied to each concept.

Optimization, Privacy, Scaling, and Whether or Not Its Backward Compatible

The tracking page also details there are 14 Bitcoin Cash protocol developments under discussion. This means BCH programmers have merely conversed about the idea but no one, in particular, is developing the specific concept. Features being discussed include Bobtail, One Way Aggregate Signatures, Representative Tokens (GROUP), Avalanche, BLS Signatures, and more.

Monitor Bitcoin Cash Development With the Coin Dance Tracking Page
BCH protocol features under development.

All the features that Coin Dance has listed, whether they are being discussed or under development, explain the underlying purpose of each improvement as well. Each concept has a little icon on the top left corner of the window frame and a popup window details the features intention. A fingerprint icon says “the purpose of this proposal is to improve security.” Other icons include usability, extensibility, optimization, privacy, and scaling. Moreover, icons on the upper right explain if the concept is “not backward compatible.”

Monitor Bitcoin Cash Development With the Coin Dance Tracking Page
BCH protocol features under development.

If anyone is interested in what is going on with Bitcoin Cash development, then they will likely appreciate the development tracking page. Coin Dance still has its other sections of data sets which include the BCH protocols nodes, blocks mined, hashrate, politics, opinion, mining profitability, and a section where BCH users can create vanity addresses. In the Bitcoin Cash protocol development section enthusiasts and researchers can also see completed progress that happened during prior upgrades.

What do you think of the newly revamped Coin Dance BCH development tracking page? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


Images via Shutterstock, Pixabay, and Coin Dance. 


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