Swiss Regulator Approves First Two Blockchain Banking and Securities Dealer Firms
On August 26, 2019, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (“FINMA”) issued, for the first-time, banking and securities dealers’ licenses to two “pure-play Blockchain service providers,” SEBA Crypto AG, registered in Zug, and Sygnum AG, registered in Zurich. In the press release, FINMA cited its technology neutral stance and published guidance on how it applies Swiss anti-money laundering rules to financial services providers operating on the Blockchain. The regulator also reiterated the Financial Action Task Force (“FATF”) guidance issued in June 2019 on financial services in the context of Blockchain technology, and its own guidance, issued in February 2019, addressing Payments on the Blockchain.
The final rule also sets the schedule for regular Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (“CPI-U”)-based adjustments in the standard minimum investment amount, and conforming adjustments to the TEA minimum investment amount, every 5 years, beginning 5 years from the November 21, 2019 effective date.
FINMA Issues Licenses and AML Guidance re the Blockchain
CrowdFundInsider: FINMA Re-Affirms Stringent Approach to AML and Blockchain
FinTech News: Swiss Regulator Releases AML and Blockchain Guidance
Law360: Blockchain Firms Must Respect AML Law, Swiss Say
SEC Seeks a Better Way for Companies to Raise Capital
In mid-September 2019, the 90-day comment period for the concept release issued in mid-June by the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) will end. This release requests public comment from startups, entrepreneurs, and investors as to how the government agency can “simplify, harmonize, and improve” the way in which companies raise capital in the private and exempt public markets. Limitations on who can invest, how much can be invested, and other restrictions on the “exempt offering framework” are all open to comment and reassessment in this effort to assist the SEC as it seeks to “analyze and improve the complex system we have today,” as mentioned by SEC Chairman Jay Clayton.
SEC Concept Release on Harmonization of Securities Offering Exemptions
Law360: Investor Advocates Fear Looser Exemption Rules will Backfire
Investment News: SEC Exploring Access to Private Placements