Swiss Federal Plans to Improve Blockchain Framework

The Swiss Federal Council has adopted the dispatch on the further improvement of the blockchain framework. If approved by parliament next year, the proposals would make Switzerland among the most forward-thinking governments in the world in terms of the adoption of distributed ledger technology (DLT).

27 November 2019 | AtoZMarkets – Following a meeting held this morning, Switzerland’s Federal Council, the nation’s collective head of state and government, announced it will commit to improving the legal framework for blockchain and DLT companies.

Swiss government supports blockchain with proposed changes

The proposed changes, subject to parliamentary approval, will amend nine civil law and financial market federal acts in total. The nation’s Federal Department of Finance posted details of the potentially groundbreaking legal framework to its website earlier today.

The proposals are the result of extensive consultation and a Federal Council study into the Swiss blockchain industry. In December 2018, the government published its findings in a report. The document noted that Switzerland’s legal landscape is already well-suited to supporting cutting-edge technologies. However, it did acknowledge that the financial nature of the blockchain technology required laws expressly tailored to it.

According to the 2018 report, such a legal framework is would make Switzerland a leading nation in the DLT industry. The document also notes the importance of ensuring that the country’s reputation as a center of finance and business is preserved during the process of becoming a world leader in blockchain.
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80 responses were received during the consultation process

Today, the Council said that some 80 responses have been received during the consultation process. All the participants welcomed the Federal Council’s proposed framework adjustments. The proposal has been amended in line with suggestions. Furthermore, the council will put the proposals to parliament in early 2020.

Among the reforms, the Federal Council recommends the creation of electronic registration of rights and changes to the way crypto assets are considered in the event of bankruptcy. The Federal Council also wants to allow for cryptocurrency exchanges to register with regulators as “DLT trading facilities” and trading venues should also be able to get a license to offer to trade as a securities firm. Each of these provisions requires amendments to existing legislation.

If approved in parliament next year, the Swiss legal framework would be one of the planet’s most progressive. The country is already amongst those leading the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry thanks to its favorable business legislation, which attracts foreign companies from a range of industries.

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