While some countries are tightening the regulation of cryptocurrencies or banning them, Switzerland has its own approach to digital assets.
A country known for its banks and banking secrecy is well aware of the importance of digital assets in the financial world. This is one of the most crypto-friendly countries, which has a very progressive and positive attitude towards cryptocurrency.
The country strives to become a world leader in the cryptocurrency sector, seeking a far-sighted policy aimed at both attracting investment and developing new crypto products.
Cryptocurrency regulation in Switzerland
The Swiss Federal Tax Administration (SFTA) classifies cryptocurrency as an asset or property that is subject to taxes on wealth, income and capital gains. Income from cryptocurrencies is declared in annual Swiss tax returns. Thus, the cryptocurrency serves as one of the sources of replenishment of the state treasury.
The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) is the Swiss financial regulatory authority. Cryptocurrency exchanges are legal on the territory of the country only if they have received a license from FINMA for their activities.
The Swiss authorities understand the importance of regulating digital assets and actively contribute to this. So in 2020, the Blockchain Law was adopted, which determined the legality of the exchange of cryptocurrencies and the status of cryptocurrency exchanges in Swiss legislation.
The law states that when transferring a token in the blockchain infrastructure, it must comply with the regulatory requirements for the initial coin offering (ICO), anti-money laundering (AML) and combating the financing of terrorism (CFT).
In 2019, FINMA granted licenses to two financial institutions from Zurich - Maerki Baumann and Incore Bank to provide services for digital assets, cryptocurrency trading and depository activities.
These banks also assist in initial coin offerings (ICOs) and security tokens (STOs) for their customers.
In 2020, two more financial institutions, SEBA and Sygnum, received a license.
Using cryptocurrency in Switzerland
Several Swiss cities are already using cryptocurrencies to pay for goods and services, as well as various local fees and taxes.
In 2016, in the heart of the Crypto Valley, Canton Zug introduced bitcoin as a way to pay city fees.
In 2021, the canton of Zug announced the possibility of using bitcoin and ether to pay taxes.
Companies and individuals can pay up to 100,000 Swiss francs in cryptocurrency. However, partial payments are not accepted. After that, several municipalities have implemented this feature.
To pay taxes and make payments using cryptocurrencies, the Zug Finance Department has concluded a partnership with Bitcoin Suisse, a financial intermediary from Zug.
In March 2022, another Swiss city of Lugano announced a plan to make three cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Tether and Lugano's own LVGA Points token “de facto" legal tender.
To implement this plan, Lugano has entered into cooperation with Tether, the issuer of the stable currency USDT.
Based in Switzerland, Crypto Valley is the largest blockchain ecosystem in the world.
Thanks to favorable Swiss laws on cryptocurrencies and blockchain, more than 900 blockchain and cryptocurrency companies are based in Switzerland.
Here are some of them:
Bitcoin Suisse is a regulated Swiss financial intermediary that provides trading, basic brokerage services, custody, lending, staking and other crypto-financial services for private and institutional clients.
Solana has headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. It is a high-performance open source blockchain designed to facilitate the creation of decentralized applications (DApp) and one of the leading blockchains for NFT.
Based in Zug, Switzerland, Ethereum is an open source decentralized blockchain. At the moment, ETH, the cryptocurrency generated by the Ethereum protocol, ranks second in capitalization.
Tezos, based in the Crypto Valley, is a self-renewing and energy-efficient Proof of Stake blockchain with 50 million transactions.
At the moment, Switzerland is one of the most progressive and hospitable countries for cryptocurrency and blockchain companies.
Swiss cities are actively taking their own initiatives to provide opportunities and encourage their citizens to use cryptocurrency. Being one of the most prosperous banking and financial centers in the world, Switzerland actively develops and promotes digital assets in the financial sphere.
More and more citizens of the country are actively using cryptocurrencies and the adoption of digital assets continues to grow. Residents of Switzerland are increasingly using digital assets, and thanks to OWNR Wallet, you can now buy cryptocurrency with your credit/debit card.