Switzerland Awards First AML/KYC Licence To Bitcoin Company
Payment gateway Payment21’s owner has become the first Bitcoin company to gain full regulatory compliance from Switzerland's financial regulator.
In a blog post Tuesday, Moving Media announced it had a licence as a so-called Directly Subordinated Financial Intermediary (DSFI).
This represents supervision by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) as a compliant partner in AML and KYC regulation.
The licensing came after what Moving Media describes as “over one year of substantial effort and investment.” Managing Director Bernhard Kaufmann commented:
“We are committed to meeting the legal requirements of the Swiss financial marketplace. Our handling of compliance issues enriches the digital currency ecosystem, and demonstrates that Swiss regulators embrace competitiveness in financial services, and truly encourage Fintech innovation in the digital era.”
Kaufmann’s optimism is indicative of the current mood in Switzerland surrounding increasing Bitcoin-specific participation of both crypto and traditional players.
Two of the country’s banks launched exposure to Bitcoin and Ethereum in July, while regulatory repositioning and advocacy has seen further options for citizens in some locales to interact with cryptocurrency directly. Kaufmann added:
“Government licensing is crucial when establishing a payments business. Official approval in a leading European financial center like Switzerland is a key differentiator in the competitive landscape.”
Payment21 is looking to expand into other cryptocurrency sectors meanwhile, offering OTC brokerage to investors in a scheme currently being piloted.