Switzerland’s top regulator, the Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) has issued the first digital asset management license, a move that opens the door for institutional investors to the Swiss crypto market. The license approval falls in line with the country’s pro-crypto policy that aims to ensure Switzerland’s status as one of the global leaders in the budding industry of digital money.
The lucky recipient of the license is Crypto Fund AG, a subsidiary of Crypto Finance AG, founded only last year. Under the previous rules, the fund was only able to offer offshore-based crypto funds, via a limited license, obtained earlier this year. However, it has now been recognized as an asset manager, meaning it can develop a range of investment products that track bitcoin and other virtual currencies. The fund will also provide advisory services for its clients.
The Fund was founded by a former UBS banker Jan Brzezek. Commenting on the announcement, he claimed that, “The importance of crypto assets is growing, and our aim is to accelerate maturity in these markets. FINMA authorization is an important acknowledgment of the Crypto Fund and for crypto assets around the world.“
Mathias Mauer, COO at Crypto Fund AG added that, “The authorization represents our professional work over the last 12 months and is a major milestone for us. Our thanks go, above all, to our partners who made this ground-breaking authorization possible and to FINMA for the good cooperation.“
The license approval is also essential for the company as it tries to maintain a pole position in the domestic crypto industry. Numerous crypto companies are said to be waiting for their own approval from FINMA. Seba Crypto AG, another Swiss company run by ex-UBS bankers, is seeking a license to become the first regulated cryptocurrency investment bank in the world. The startup has already raised $100 million from both retail and institutional investors and is expected to triple its staff by the end of Q1 2019. Seba will also provide crypto custody services.
Crypto Fund AG operates from the town of Zug, favoured by many businesses due to its location in a canton with lowest corporate taxes. It has also been labelled a ‘Crypto Valley’, as the town has embraced the blockchain technology and a significant number of crypto startups have flocked there to take advantage of the favourable environment.
Photo by Robert Stokoe from Pexels
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