Swiss Federal Assembly Approves Motion On Cryptocurrency Regulation

Switzerland Parliament’s legislative body, The Swiss Federal Assembly, approved a motion instructing the Federal Council to adapt the existing laws to regulate cryptocurrencies.

Liberal assemblyman Giovanni Merlini introduced the motion, which was approved with 99 to 83 votes in favor and 10 abstentions. Merlini intends to instruct the Council to adapt the provisions on procedural instruments of the judicial and administrative authorities. With this, they can also be applied to cryptocurrencies.

The Federal Council plans to submit proposals for the regulation of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin for consultation in the spring.

While presenting the motion, Merlini argued that it was important to close gaps in protecting cryptocurrency users against abuse. Cryptocurrencies could be issued to anyone with a decentralized, cryptographic-based peer-to-peer data network, while a large part of the cryptocurrencies is completely anonymous, which favored extortion and money laundering.

The legislation aims to clarify how the risks could be contained and whether the entities operating the cryptocurrency trading platforms should be equated with the financial intermediaries and subject to the financial market supervision.

Various countries around the world are taking steps to regulate digital currencies and its underlying blockchain technology.

Recently, Indonesian financial regulator announced new rules for trading cryptocurrencies and digital gold assets on futures exchanges. Venezuela also issued a decree establishing a legal framework for cryptocurrencies in the country.

In January, South African financial regulators said they are considering a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. Further, Malaysia’s Finance Minister announced that cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings have come under regulation in the country.

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