Although Switzerland has become a haven for Blockchain and digital asset businesses in the last few years, such activities are now subject to regulations and reviews locally. In its 2019 Annual Report, the Switzerland’s Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) indicated that it has conducted investigations of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) in relation to anti-money laundering and other requirements.
Overall, the Authority conducted 1,185 investigations, up from 1,086 investigations in 2018, and 30 enforcement proceedings, down from 42 launched in 2018. Its Enforcement division looked closely at initial coin offerings (ICOs) in Switzerland in 2019. According to the report, with regards to ICOs, the regulator investigated about 60 Initial Coin Offerings and identified a breach of the Anti-Money Laundering Act at more than ten ICOs and brought charges against the responsible people. Furthermore, eight investigations resulted in entries being made on FINMA’s warning list due to suspected illegal conduct and 3 companies faced enforcement proceedings.
The review and investigation of ICOs in Switzerland is a welcome sight and should further cement the country’s important role in the further development of Blockchain technologies and digital asset businesses in line with current and future regulatory and legislative regimes around the world.