FINMA calls for stricter disclosure requirements for Bitcoin transactions

The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA has announced an amendment to the guidelines for Bitcoin regulation. It concerns the threshold for reporting crypto transactions.

Since January 1, 2020, new laws concerning financial services have been in force in Switzerland. The Bitcoin regulation is also affected.

As the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA announced on 7 February, it is calling for the obligation to report Bitcoin & Co. transactions to be reduced to CHF 1,000 per transfer. This change was due to a change in the law that came into force at the beginning of the year.

 

FINMA demands reduction of reporting requirements for Bitcoin transactions

FINMA also announced that the Financial Services Act FIDLEG brings into force the new FINIG Financial Institutions Act and various enforcement ordinances. This ultimately obliges the Financial Market Authority to issue new provisions. In addition to adjustments to existing ordinances, it is also issuing a new Financial Institutions Ordinance. This will ultimately also have an impact on the regulation of Bitcoin and other crypto assets. Thus FINMA demands:

“FINMA also proposes that the thresholds for client identification in exchange transactions in crypto-currencies in the FINMA Anti-Money Laundering Ordinance be adjusted: It should be lowered from the current CHF 5,000 to CHF 1,000. This will implement international requirements adopted in mid-2019 and take into account the increased money laundering risks in this area”.

 

If the requirement is implemented, everyone who makes Bitcoin transactions in Switzerland in excess of 1,000 Swiss francs must therefore identify themselves perfectly.

The FINMA ordinance also regulates the details of professional liability insurance for asset managers, trustees and managers of collective assets.

 

Crypto-regulation: more clarity in Germany as well since 2020

However, new guidelines also came into force in Germany at the beginning of the year. For example, a transitional period has been in force in Germany since January 1, allowing crypto-custodians already active in the market to continue to carry out their business. Service providers who are venturing into new waters this year and wish to include Bitcoin custody in their business can apply for a corresponding license from the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin).

According to a BTC-ECHO survey, most banks and potential cryptosecurities depositories have a positive attitude towards the topic. Some institutions are already working on appropriate custody solutions, while others are still in the observation position. Above all, the Stuttgart Stock Exchange, Commerzbank Group and BNP Paribas stood out as pioneers in the survey.