Crypto Fund Wins License From Swiss Markets Watchdog
Switzerland’s financial markets regulator has issued a license to a cryptocurrency investment fund in a move that opens the door for wider institutional participation in the country’s crypto activities.
Zug-based Crypto Finance AG announced on Tuesday that the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) has given the green light to its subsidiary, Crypto Fund AG, to legally act as an asset manager.
A search on the FINMA database shows that Crypto Fund AG – founded by former UBS banker Jan Brzezek in 2017 – is now authorized as a manager of “collective investments” under the country’s Collective Investment Schemes Act.
With the license, the firm said Crypto Fund AG is now allowed to manage and distribute both domestic and foreign funds for investing in crypto-related projects. The registration as an asset manager arrives as an extension to another license that Crypto Fund AG received from FINMA in June which limited the firm’s activities to merely distributing funds to qualified investors.
Brzezek said in the release:
“The importance of crypto assets is growing and our aim is to accelerate maturity in these markets. Regulatory recognition remains highly sought after by participants, as seen in recent press and company statements.”
The news comes as Switzerland continues to gain traction as a country offering a relatively welcoming regulatory regime for companies working with cryptocurrencies and blockchain.
FINMA notably issued guidelines early this year that clarified when it would class tokens as securities and what crypto projects need to do to carry out ICO activities while remaining compliant.
In June, SIX, the primary stock exchange in Switzerland, announced it is developing a blockchain-powered trading platform that is aiming to tokenize traditional financial assets to boost liquidity for institutional investors.
Meanwhile, SEBA Crypto AG, another Zug-based crypto startup (also founded by former UBS bankers), is seeking a banking and securities dealer license from FINMA, having raised $104 million in a bid to become a regulated crypto bank, as CoinDesk reported last month.