ICO regulation in Switzerland

The list of loyal states in relation to cryptocurrency and projects related to ICOs is supplemented by Switzerland, which has a fairly good level of legal regulation of the cryptocurrency market.

For the purpose of the study, authorized representatives of the city of Zug have introduced payments within the canton using Bitcoin. But due to the emergence of a large number of innovations in ICOs and technologies in the field of blockchain, the country’s regulatory framework is largely subject to changes and adjustments.


As well as around the world, registration of crypto exchanges is related to companies providing financial services. The cryptocurrency exchange will be supervised by the Swiss financial market surveillance service – FINMA, one of the largest regulators in Switzerland.

As a rule, crypto-exchanges can get approval for the implementation of such activities or a banking license. Institutions involved in financial intermediation and having the appropriate status, FINMA permission is not necessary, but they have the opportunity to become a member of a self-regulatory organization.


Obtaining a banking license is supposed to companies or crypto-exchanges, openly offering their services and aimed at receiving financial resources in the form of investments. However, the list of conditions for different institutions may vary.

It is legally established that the amount of the authorized capital cannot fall below 1 million francs, and cryptocurrency licensing takes about 6 months.

The most common requirements are:

  1. Assets are paid out to personal client accounts of institutions;
  2. the main activity of a financial institution is aimed at trading in securities;
  3. the number of depositors is not less than 20, the amount of deposits from 1 million monetary units of Switzerland.


For participants with deposit sizes of less than 1 million francs, from August 2017 in Switzerland it is allowed to carry out actions related to cryptocurrency without an established license, provided that the period of validity of such deposits will be at least 60 calendar days.

This is one of the many weaknesses in ICO regulation. Moreover, active discussions are taking place on the topic of granting FinTech companies permission to accept investments not exceeding 100 million francs.

In the current period, the investment of such deposits and the payment of interest on them is possible only in the case of industrial commercial activities.

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