Blockchain Taskforce makes recommendations to strengthen Switzerland as an international blockchain hub

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At this year’s Blockchain Summit on 26 April 2018 in the heart of the well-known Crypto Valley in Zug, Federal Councilor Johann Schneider-Ammann received a white paper on the topic “Strengthening Switzerland as a Blockchain Hub” and a position paper on the legal classification of ICOs. The publications were written by the Blockchain Taskforce, a group of around 50 personalities from politics, business and science. The documents contain a series of recommendations on how laws and framework conditions in the Blockchain and ICO field should be adapted in order to strengthen the Swiss Blockchain/ICO location in the best possible way.

The Blockchain Task Force concludes, among other things, that

  • for practical and economical reasons, the possibility of digital transfer of ownership of tokens should already be possible to date applying a broad interpretation of the existing law. Alternatively, a change in the law is proposed;
  • the current Anti-Money Laundering Act does not need to be amended. It is sufficient to consistently apply the existing law to the new technology;
  •  a so-called “sandbox” (an experimental space with lower regulatory requirements) for blockchain start-up companies should be created (similar to the existing Fintech sandbox);
  •  it is extremely important that Blockchain companies can open a bank account without further ado. This is currently only difficult to achieve;
  • new standards (so-called “best practice rules”) for the issuance of tokens and transactions on the blockchain are to be introduced. FINMA should define when tokens should be regarded as securities within the meaning of the Financial Market Infrastructure Act or as deposits within the meaning of the Swiss Banking Act;
  • general criteria for the term “token” should be established. With a so-called “Token Map” a group of criteria and terms shall be proposed, which can be used in connection with the design and evaluation of blockchain-based projects, which issue their own tokens.

The Blockchain Task Force also announced that it would continue its activities but change its name to Swiss Blockchain Institute. An ICO will be launched to finance future activities of the institute.

Further information at:

Starkung des Blockchain-Standorts Schweiz

Positionspapier zur rechtlichen Einordnung von ICOs

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Guenther Dobrauz
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Published by

Guenther Dobrauz

Guenther Dobrauz

Guenther Dobrauz
Leader PwC Legal Switzerland
Birchstrasse 160
Postfach, 8050 Zurich
+41 58 792 14 97

Guenther leads PwC Legal 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.