All types of activities associated with cryptoassets in Switzerland can exist on their own, but their effective existence requires the participation of agents for the transfer of cryptoassets and auxiliary operations, in particular, a set of marketing activities.
Regulating the marketing of cryptoassets in Switzerland
Investment tokens that trigger the enforcement of securities law requirements may also be subject to advertising requirements. The advertisement must be recognizable and link to the prospectus or other information document of the respective investment token.
There are no other special requirements for advertising and marketing cryptoassets in Switzerland. At the same time, it should still be borne in mind that regulations on unfair competition and fraud must be respected.
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Since there is no unified approach to the essence of a virtual currency in the world, its actual qualification as a currency depends solely on the legislation of individual countries.
Cryptocurrency in Switzerland is not prohibited, but at the same time, there are no clear regulatory rules for dealing with virtual currency. In this situation, each Swiss canton, due to the "residual sovereignty" enshrined in the Constitution, decides on the regime for regulating digital currencies.
So far, there are no clear guidelines on what principles the legal landscape will be based on. However, income from cryptocurrency is already subject to income tax in the Confederation, and the money itself is subject to property tax.
For four years now, the authorities of the cantonal capital of Zug have been accepting cryptocurrency as payment for their services. So far only within the framework of an experiment, which implies a number of restrictions: it will be possible to pay with digital currency only if the amount does not exceed 200 francs. For a larger payment, only the national currency of the Confederation – the Swiss franc – will help.
Regulation of the activities of cryptoassets sales agents
This type of activity in Switzerland is not yet regulated as such. However, when planning to establish a company for crypto activities in Switzerland, it should be remembered that anti-money laundering requirements are often applied to most transactions with crypto assets.
In addition, if you intend to register a crypto exchange in Switzerland, you should also remember that exchanging cryptocurrencies for fiat currencies or vice versa can be considered a money transfer, which is also the subject of AML regulations.
With regard to cryptoasset storage services in Switzerland, the transfer of private keys between clients can also be subject to the aforementioned regulations.
More on AML
Setting up a crypto company in Switzerland requires a serious approach in all organizational aspects. In particular, in most cases, care must be taken to ensure that the company can comply with anti-money laundering requirements and conduct the KYC procedure.
AML regulations apply to ICOs of swap or hybrid tokens that have payment functions. In addition, claims can be triggered if a financial intermediary, such as a payment system, is involved in the activities of the crypto company.
Regarding the obligations associated with the AML rules, the following key ones can be distinguished:
- Strengthened legal expertise in case of high risks;
- Responsibilities for documentation;
- Notification of regulatory authorities; and
- Freeze assets.
It should be noted that the degree of application of the rules for combating money laundering will depend on the specific features of the planned crypto business in Switzerland.
Crypto companies in Switzerland are subject to the same regulation as the activities of many other financial companies. The same applies to the position of the regulator in relation to cryptocurrency operators in Switzerland.
If you need more information about registering a crypto business in Switzerland or launching a cryptocurrency exchange in Switzerland, please contact the experts at IQ Decision UK. We offer a comprehensive consultation on crypto activity in Switzerland that will help you with any question about setting up a company for crypto activity, launching an ICO in Switzerland or a crypto startup in this jurisdiction and beyond.