Swiss Blockchain Company Gains Regulator Approval, Seeks Banking License in 2019

Swiss blockchain startup Smart Valor has won approval from the country’s regulators to operate in the local financial market, Reuters reported September 5.

Smart Valor will be regulated by the local Financial Services Standards Association (VQF) rather than the national regulatory agency, the Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA). The VQF is authorized by FINMA to check anti-money laundering (AML) compliance.

Status as a regulator-approved financial intermediary will purportedly give Smart Valor more credibility, as it will be actively supervised for AML compliance. However, it was not clear whether other blockchain-related companies in the country have won approval as financial intermediaries. Both FINMA and VQF declined to comment.

According to Reuters, Smart Valor plans to launch an online platform for alternative investments, including cryptocurrencies, in the fourth quarter of 2018. The company is also applying for a banking license, which the firm hopes will allow it to offer securities investments in the first half of 2019.

Smart Valor founder Olga Feldmeier told Reuters that tokenization is going to change the way people approach investing:

“Tokenization transforms the way people own things, improves liquidity, and makes these investment opportunities accessible to a broader audience of investors.”

Switzerland is among several countries who are actively adjusting and creating legislation to welcome blockchain projects. As Cointelegraph previously reported, the country is home to a world-famous Crypto Valley located in the canton of Zug.

In early July, local companies aided the Zug government in trialing blockchain technology in local online voting system. The non-binding trial vote involved 72 out of 240 citizens with access to the online voting system.

Smart Valor was founded in 2017 by Olga Feldmeier who had previously worked for China-based Bitcoin wallet Xapo. Feldmeier founded the firm in an effort to disrupt the Swiss banking system.

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