FINMA: new rules for blockchain-related businesses

Posted 27 August, 2019

Switzerland's Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) has released new requirements for blockchain payments in Switzerland. The rules will cover blockchain service providers, like exchanges, platforms and custodian solutions.
FINMA's spokesperson commented that the guideline was designed following the June guidance from FATF.

It was noted in the document that blockchain-related companies cannot avoid the existing legal framework aimed at money laundering fight particularly. Moreover, the risk of such evasion is said to be extremely high in the blockchain sector given different methods of anonymous transactions.

Blockchain service providers have to check their clients via identification and inform the authority in case of any suspicious activities on their platforms. Blockchain companies must comply with data provision requirements to the same extent as banks do. 

The Swiss regulator noted that it departs from FATF guidance, as FINMA would add to the exception list payments made via unregulated wallet solutions.

According to the regulator, the market lacks systems both national and international that could provide a secure and reliable method of blockchain transaction data transfer. Moreover, some service providers failed to sign bilateral agreements for data passing. 

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