Switzerland Financial Regulator Approves Country's First Crypto Fund
The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) approved the Crypto Market Index Fund, per the country's law.
FINMA announced the news of the approval in an official press release on Wednesday (September 29, 2021). According to the financial regulator, the new crypto fund which falls under the "other funds for alternative investments" category, will be open to only qualified investors.
Meanwhile, FINMA said that there were some certain requirements tied to the approval, considering the risks associated with cryptocurrency. According to the Swiss regulator, the fund would invest only in cryptocurrency assets with "sufficiently large trading volume."
Also, investors are to use only established counterparties and platforms in a member country of the Financial Action Task Force to process the investments.
Swiss asset manager Crypto Finance manages the fund, while PvB Pernet von Ballmoos AG, an investment management firm, will administer the fund. Also, the Swiss regulated financial services company SEBA Bank will be the fund's custodian.
In a separate press release by Crypto Finance, the company stated that qualified investors including asset managers, Swiss wealth management banks, and pension funds, have been expecting such a regulated fund.
Commenting on the new milestone, the CEO of Asset Management at Crypto Finance, Bernadette Leuzinger, said:
"Crypto Finance is pleased to launch the first Swiss crypto fund, supervised by FINMA and launched with strong Swiss partners PvB and SEBA Bank. The investment fund enables clients of innovative wealth and asset management firms to participate in this upcoming asset class and to further diversify their portfolio in a secure and regulated way.”
Also, a statement by the CEO of SEBA Bank, Guido Buehler, reads:
"Asset managers can now offer strategies based on crypto assets to a broader audience by using Swiss-based mutual fund structures with SEBA Bank as an approved custodian. We are excited to enable liquid investment funds to investors using crypto assets as the underlying investment universe."
The establishment of Switzerland's first crypto fund marks the latest cryptocurrency-related approval by the Swiss regulator. Earlier in September, SIX Digital Exchange (SDX) AG, got two licences from FINMA. The approvals will enable SDX Trading to act like a stock exchange, and SDX AG to launch a central securities depository for digital assets based on distributed ledger technology.
At the time, SIX's global head of exchanges and a member of the executive board, Thomas Zeeb, said:
"This is an important milestone in bringing the digitalization of capital markets into the mainstream, but it is only the beginning. We will continue to work with our clients, regulators, and other stakeholders to shape the markets of the future.”
FINMA has also issued licenses to banks to engage in cryptocurrency services. Apart from granting approvals, Switzerland is also known for its cryptocurrency adoption. In February, the canton of Zug partnered with cryptocurrency broker Bitcoin Suisse, to accept cantonal tax payments in BTC and ETH.
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