Functionaries in Switzerland are trying to root out the cryptocurrency firms. This comes after two banks in the country’s flourishing virtual currency industry were shut down recently.
According to Reuters the members of the industry are worried that such exits could kick-start a trend that would lead to Switzerland leading its stakehold in the cryptocurrency industry. Some customers have even flocked off to overseas competitors like Liechtenstein, Gibraltar and the Cayman Islands which are more accepting.
Zug, a picturesque village in Switzerland, has been home to a numerous amount of tech innovations and home to countless billionaires. It is currently home to more than 200 virtual entities that include many Blockchain companies. This place has become a shelter for crypto investors due to low taxes and business-friendly laws. But now, the Swiss Banks’ reluctance to provide easier access to the country’s banking system is becoming a big hurdle.
According to a member of the governing board of the Swiss National Bank (SNB), some of the crypto companies had trouble opening bank accounts. Even after complaints and appeals, the SNB was not able to help them as FINMA, but not SNB, deals with such situations. FINMA is the financial regulator in Switzerland. It embraces cryptocurrencies, but the SNB is sceptical about concerns of standing fouled of money laundering laws.
The SNB is worried that the companies that host ICOs, do not make money laundering checks on their investors. Hence they could violate money-laundering laws. The officials at top international banks have supported this concern.
It is being believed a hard task, until and unless they are able to trace all of these transactions and subjecting them to strict anti-money laundering laws. FINMA has been in constant touch with SNB to make the banks more accessible to cryptos. Yet, Switzerland is desperate to shake its image as a safe haven for tax evaders and crooks.
In 2017, four of the largest ten ICOs took place in Switzerland, but only a handful of 250 banks allowed the companies to deposit the cash equivalent of cryptos in their accounts.
Despite all these lags, Switzerland remains the world capital of crypto. As reported, Switzerland’s primary stock exchange has stated that the country is open to allowing crypto trading at its new SIX Digital Exchange.