Federal Council wants to improve framework conditions for blockchain

14.12.2018 14:35

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The Federal Council adopted a report on the legal framework for blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) in the financial sector. According to the report, selective adjustments of the legal framework are necessary. The Swiss Blockchain Federation welcomes the report and supports the path being taken by the Federal Council.

The report provides an analysis of relevant framework conditions, clarifies the need for action and proposes concrete measures. It is based on the work of the blockchain/ICO working group, which was set up by the Federal Department of Finance (FDF) in January 2018 and which also consulted the fintech and financial sector as part of its work. The analyses show that there is no need for fundamental adjustments to the Swiss legal framework, but that there is still a need for specific adjustments. The Federal Council has instructed the FDF and the Federal Department of Justice and Police (FDJP) to draw up a consultation draft in the first quarter of 2019 in a bid to:

  • in civil law, increase legal certainty for the transfer of rights by means of digital registers,
  • in insolvency law, further clarify the segregation of cryptobased assets in the event of bankruptcy and examine the segregation of data with no asset value,
  • in financial market law, devise a new and flexible authorisation category for blockchain-based financial market infrastructures,
  • in banking law, reconcile the bank insolvency law provisions with the adjustments in general insolvency law, and
  • in anti-money laundering law, more explicitly anchor the current practice of making decentralised trading platforms subject to the Anti-Money Laundering Act.

The Swiss Blockchain Federation welcomes the report. The fact that Switzerland is taking a pragmatic approach is to be welcomed. The organisation is now calling for the report to be rapidly put into action with a binding agenda, so that blockchain companies can enjoy legal certainty in the near future. For Heinz Tännler, President of the Swiss Blockchain Federation, things are clear: “Legal implementation now needs to follow on quickly from this report. Switzerland needs this certainty as the basis for further development.”

(Press release / SK)

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