Authorization for ICO in Switzerland

Without permission from FINMA, neither the ICO nor the project manager can carry out activities, and must be the holder. Lack of permission is a direct prohibition on the distribution of crypto exchanges ICO.

FINMA is subject to regulation by both the financial company and the product used, and the payment system. The presented requirement exists to ensure the security of all entities in situations where such a payment system is not used by banking institutions.

There are also 12 ways to become a member of an SRO approved by FINMA. The list of companies that hold the permission of a legally established standard to perform actions with cryptocurrency in Switzerland includes one member – Moving Media GmbH.

The company was a member of an SRO called ARIF and spent several years obtaining a permit and an appropriate license.

For the current period of time in Switzerland there are no general rules and regulations governing the activities of financial markets, and decision-making regarding each company takes place individually.

Cryptocurrency exchanges that carry out operations related to cryptocurrency in Switzerland must appropriately control all transactions and cash flow. And also to establish the identity of participants for the detection of financial fraud and funds obtained in a fraudulent way, as it is done in England and states that are loyal to crypto-exchanges and ICOs.


FINMA has released a brief analytical review of ICO specifics, dated September 2017. Investors received without the involvement of a financial institution with the right to issue, and for personal accounts, will not be considered by the regulator.

As well as those for which there is no secondary turnover and the introduction of payment instruments is not required. The application of legislation and law is influenced by the structure of the ICO, which includes the following points:

  1. Licensing cryptocurrencies will be subject to those ICOs that have obligations to their participants and investors;
  2. financial institutions and crypto-exchanges that conduct professional cryptocurrency transactions and issue payment instruments and tokens have obligations to detect and combat money laundering;
  3. issued tokens receive a classification of securities, and when working with them, it is necessary to obtain a standard license;
  4. when collecting collective contributions through ICO and their external management, FINMA approval is required.

In conclusion, it is worth noting that when registering a crypto exchange and creating an ICO project, specialists who understand the specifics of the blockchain and financial regulation should be involved in order to avoid the ban or significant restrictions on the part of Swiss law.

Our company experts consult in the field of obtaining international licenses, tax planning, corporate law and finance features, and also provides comprehensive support services for business related activities in many countries.

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