The Swiss financial regulator has issued the country’s first cryptocurrency asset management licence, allowing Crypto Fund to offer services to institutional clients in the blockchain-based asset class.
The Zug-headquartered company had earlier this year been granted limited freedom to distribute offshore-based cryptocurrency funds by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA). But the upgrade announced on Tuesday allows the firm to issue a wider array of collective investment products that track bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, including funds based in Switzerland.
Crypto Fund is also allowed to provide investment advice for institutional clients. In essence, the crypto financial services provider can now operate on the same level as traditional asset managers in Switzerland.
Several other competitors have been queuing up at FINMA’s door to get approval to offer their services in Switzerland. New outfit Seba Crypto recently joined that list, announcing that it hopes to get a license to offer full banking services for cryptocurrency operators in future.
But Crypto Fund has scored a major coup in getting the first significant license to date. The news also boosts Switzerland’s credentials as a so-called ‘Crypto Nation’ as it pushes to carve a niche in the rapidly evolving world of crypto finance. It remains to be seen whether this opens the floodgates for other licences to be issued.
Crypto Fund is one branch of the company Crypto Financeexternal link, which was set up in June 2017. “The importance of crypto assets is growing and our aim is to accelerate maturity in these markets. Regulatory recognition remains highly sought after by participants, as seen in recent press and company statements,” stated Crypto Finance CEO Jan Brzezek.