The current state of regulation of blockchain operations used in the financial industry in Switzerland


Virtual currencies (‘VCs’) and other technical developments supposedly set to revolutionise the financial industry and many of its processes are being hotly debated right now. Although the economic and (technical) viability of many of the latest inventions and creations commonly known as ‘fintech’ are still in doubt, one technology stands out, and according to many pundits has the potential to alter materially how banks and other financial industry participants will settle payments and securities transactions in the future. This is blockchain technology. This newsletter will highlight the main regulatory aspects and open questions regarding the regulation of blockchain technology in Switzerland, such as:

  • What is blockchain technology and how does it differ from the current systems?
  • How is blockchain technology regulated under the current Swiss regulatory framework?
  • Does my blockchain operation require an authorisation under the Swiss Financial Market Infrastructure Act?
  • Does my blockchain operation require an authorisation as a bank?
  • Is my blockchain operation subject to anti-money laundering regulations and obligations?
  • What are the criminal laws applicable to blockchain operations?

Download the newsletter here.

If you’re interested in this topic or have any questions connected with it, please feel free to contact our experts Martin Liebi or Guenther Dobrauz.

Guenther Dobrauz, Partner
Leader Legal FS Regulatory & Compliance Services
Office: +41 58 792 14 97
PricewaterhouseCoopers AG Birchstrasse 160 | Postfach | CH-8050 Zurich

Martin Liebi, Senior Manager
Head Capital Markets within Legal FS Regulatory & Compliance Services
Office: +41 58 792 28 86
PricewaterhouseCoopers AG Birchstrasse 160 | Postfach | CH-8050 Zurich

Published by

Guenther Dobrauz

Guenther Dobrauz

Guenther Dobrauz
Birchstrasse 160
Postfach, 8050 Zurich
+41 58 792 14 97

Guenther leads the PwC Legal Services Practice in Switzerland and the Legal FS Regulatory & Compliance Services department. He is a PwC Partner since 2015 and a global expert on legal advisory, specializing in supporting the structuring, authorization and ongoing lifecycle management of financial intermediaries and their products. He in particular also focuses on leading large scale regulatory change and compliance alignment projects.

Guenther is the author of books on investment selection, FinTech Regulation and European, Swiss and Liechtenstein investment law. He also wrote 80+ publications in international expert magazines and has to date been speaking at more than 60 conferences worldwide.

Guenther Dobrauz received his Masters and PhD degrees in law from Johannes Kepler University (Linz, Austria). He holds an MBA from the University of Strathclyde Graduate School of Business (Glasgow, UK) and has participated in Harvard Business School’s Executive Education Program.

Guenther Dobrauz was Legal Counsel of an international hedge fund group and served as Managing Partner and Legal Counsel of a Swiss Venture Capital firm. He has practiced in court and with a leading business law firm.