Not long ago, the Swiss rail operator has announced that their customers will now be able to purchase bitcoin via the ticket machines present in all stations. This was great news for the digital currency ecosystem, but it also looks like it started something in Switzerland.
With this in mind, around a week after the SBB announcement, the Swiss Federal Department of Finance, also known as the FDF has outlined its plan to go ahead and find ways of regulating the bitcoin network, and introducing actual legislation in 2017.
It's worth pointing out that the regulation will most likely face companies operating via the bitcoin or blockchain networks. Based on this, some of the key elements associated with the legislative proposal, is that certain fintech companies will undergo an experimental sandbox campaign. Together with this, in a recent press statement, the FDF has declared that it will create a specialized team in charge of conducting research both about bitcoin and about the alternative digital currencies. Not only this, but the FDF has also expressed its interest in the blockchain network, and its broad applications.
The Swiss Finance Minister believes that such legislation will likely encourage more FinTech companies to choose Switzerland, as the legislation will try to find common ground, without being oppressive at all.
A press statement reads: "We assume that with the steps we have prepared and the commitment we have to the overall financial services industry we can provide a solution that puts us among the top (countries) in the world that regulate this".
The agency also stated that: “(...) the FDF should conduct additional clarifications in cooperation with the interested authorities on reducing further barriers to market entry for fintech firms, also those outside financial market law (e.g. legal treatment of virtual currencies and assets).”
Under the proposals that have been made, it is quite likely for the FDF to become to main regulator of the fintech industry operating in Switzerland. Before this legislation is built, the Swiss Government will have to carry out significant research, in order to be well-documented on how fintech companies work and what they need to be successful. This will allow the Swiss Government to only introduce laws that benefit the country's budget, FinTech companies, while also protecting the public.
Based on everything that has been outlined so far, what do you personally think about the recent FinTech innovations being carried out in Switzerland? Will these laws be beneficial and turn Switzerland into a global FinTech Hub? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.