In a blog post on Oct. 31, Sygnum, which gained a Swiss banking license in August this year, can now proceed with its first product for the Singapore market.
Sygnum was the first Swiss company to win the title of cryptocurrency bank and will target accredited investors and institutions with a multi-manager fund, which will also debut in its home jurisdiction.
Long on the cards, the Singapore documentation comes in the form of a capital markets services (CMS) license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the Asian city state’s de facto central bank.
Sygnum’s head of asset management, Stefan Mueller, commented in the press release:
“The CMS license is an important milestone to establishing our asset management arm, leveraging the vibrant financial environment in Singapore. This is complementary to our banking services in Switzerland and will also benefit our Swiss institutional and private qualified investor clients.”
Execs reveal major Swiss crypto interest
As Cointelegraph reported, Singapore continues to position itself as a friendly environment for cryptocurrency and blockchain businesses.
MAS is part of the government structure looking to integrate the emerging technologies with state activities and beyond, as its Project Ubin finance scheme is set to commence operations next year.
Sygnum meanwhile is also eyeing expansion into markets such as Hong Kong, as well as in Europe. In September, Peter Wuffli, the ex-UBS head who is now the company’s CEO, underscored his desire to tap the full potential of the cryptocurrency market.
“Thousands of clients have contacted us for a one-stop-shop for asset custody, loans and trading cryptocurrencies seamlessly with fiat currencies,” he revealed.
The Swiss blockchain industry seems to be recovered and even shows the employment growth in the sector, according to the main national industry body report.
Recent data suggests that the Swiss blockchain industry is making impressive gains. The latest report by the country’s main industry body, Crypto Valley Venture Capital (CV VC), for example, points to increased valuations and rising employment figures. On releasing the report, CV VC exclaimed that “the summer is back.” But is it really time to start celebrating?
According to the report, published in collaboration with the Big Four accounting firm PwC and its partner Inacta, the top 50 blockchain companies have doubled their valuations in the first half of 2019 to $41 billion. Furthermore, it estimates that the Swiss ecosystem as a whole now encompasses 800 entities, employing 4,000 people, including six so-called “unicorns,” each with valuations in excess of $1 billion.
But before we get too carried away, it is important to draw attention to some nuances in these figures. Firstly, the term “valuation” in this context means something different to its conventional meaning in traditional industries. The methodology section of the report clarifies that sometimes this figure is based on funding, sometimes on traditional valuation metrics, and sometimes on the market cap of tokens.
It is in the third case — market capitalization — where things become a little murky. Utility tokens are a form of digital asset that provide access to a network or service. In this respect, by using utility token sales as a proxy of valuation, there is a danger that valuation becomes conflated with revenue. So, while we can take these figures as indicative of a broadly positive trend, we need to bear in mind that the margin of error is likely to be higher than for conventional initial public offering valuations, which is understandable given that we are dealing with a diverse, and largely nascent, emerging industry.
Beyond the headline figures, however, what really matters are the use cases. The so-called “crypto winter” was a necessary and beneficial sanity check for the blockchain industry. Many of the projects that were based primarily on hype or speculation have died off and most of those that have survived and thrived are attempting to solve real problems.
These projects are not simply a collection of identikit coins and wallets. WPP Energy, for example, is creating a secure platform to trade renewable energy supply globally. Utopia Music wants to improve the music industry by monitoring which tracks are being played and linking them to a copyright smart contract, which will automatically pay the relevant artists and rights-holders faster than ever before. Etherisc is aiming to use blockchain technology to build decentralized, cost-effective insurance products. In each case, blockchain is being used as a tool to solve specific problems.
We have also seen continued strengthening of the financial underpinnings of the Swiss blockchain ecosystem in recent months. For the first time, the national financial regulator, FINMA, granted licenses to two banks, Sygnum and SEBA, which are focusing on digital assets. This looks like a farsighted move, as such regulated financial institutions will play a crucial role in integrating digital assets and tokens into the wider financial economy — opening up access to a greater number of traditional investors and institutional players. These banks will also enable blockchain startups to open a corporate bank account more easily, a process that had previously been slow and bureaucratic.
More broadly, the Swiss government has been quite forward-thinking in creating a blockchain strategy to give the sector a stable legal foundation, without stifling innovation. Added to the country’s traditional advantages — such as its excellent infrastructure, competitive tax regime, and legal and financial expertise — it makes for a compelling combination for many blockchain startups. Places like the Swiss city of Zug, known as Crypto Valley, have created a test tube for innovation and experimentation, combined with stable regulatory oversight.
Overall, the latest CV VC figures show a Swiss blockchain industry that has gotten back on its feet. The companies that have survived and thrived in this new economic environment have been using blockchain as a means to an end, not an end in itself. To sustain and build on this progress, we should now aim to gradually build a sustainable ecosystem of real businesses serving real clients — an endeavor that will not only involve innovative startups and the blockchain community, but also mainstream businesses and regulators.
The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.
German Ramirez is a co-founder of The Relevance House, a full-service blockchain and emerging technology marketing agency. German is a pioneer in digital marketing, transformation and blockchain, and has 20+ years of international experience in strategy, branding, marketing and innovation.
Swiss crypto broker Bitcoin Suisse has purchased a minority stake of CoinRoutes Inc., a provider of pan-exchange smart order routing and algorithmic trading software.
Swiss crypto broker Bitcoin Suisse has purchased a minority stake of CoinRoutes Inc., a provider of pan-exchange smart order routing and algorithmic trading software.
The investment and a new director
Bitcoin Suisse announced the news on Oct. 22, specifying that it acquired a $3 million share of CoinRoutes. Niklas Nikolajsen, the chairman of the Bitcoin Suisse Group, became a member of the board of directors of CoinRoutes’s United States and Swiss entities.
Bitcoin Suisse had tested CoinRoutes’ Smart Order Routing and patent-pending Consolidated Best Bid & Offer offerings for a year prior to the acquisition to assess the products’ capabilities. The company eventually fully integrated the technologies into its own brokerage and trading platform.
Bitcoin Suisse in other news
Bitcoin Suisse recently introduced a range of developments such as a partnership with fintech firm Amun to launch a new cryptocurrency exchange-traded product on the country’s stock exchange SIX. In July, the broker also applied for banking and securities dealer licenses from Switzerland’s finance regulator.
Following the approval of the Blockchain Act by Liechtenstein’s Parliament on Oct. 5, Mauro Casellini, CEO of Bitcoin Suisse in Liechtenstein, outlined the importance of the Act, saying:
“The positive decision without dissent from the Liechtenstein government shows the importance of the ‘Blockchain Act’. The TVTG [the Act on Tokens and Entities Providing Services Based on Trusted Technologies] not only creates legal certainty for all market participants, but also heralds a new era, the token economy. With its pioneering role, Liechtenstein proves once again that it is the ideal location for FinTech and Blockchain companies and thus for us too, in the heart of Europe.”
Cointelegraph presents a weekly digest of news from the German-speaking world, with help from Cointelegraph auf Deutsch.
The German-speaking world has seen another week of events in the crypto industry, with a new survey revealing that 27% of Germans are interested in using Facebook’s planned Libra stablecoin, which has been discussed all over the world since its announcement in June 2019. Despite existing criticism of Libra, global regulators do not plan to ban either Facebook’s crypto initiative or other stablecoin projects, the European Central Bank (ECB) director claimed earlier this week.
Lykke launches utility token to bet against crypto markets
As reported by Cointelegraph auf Deutsch on Oct. 14, Swiss blockchain startup Lykke recently launched a new token designed to track the performance of the top 25 cryptocurrencies by market cap as well as to put bets on falling prices in the crypto market. Dubbed Short LyCI, the new Lykke’s utility token reportedly includes 73% of Bitcoin (BTC), 9.6% of Ether (ETH) and 5.9% of XRP.
Lykke founder Richard Olsen, who is also a co-founder of private financial services firm Oanda, noted that Short LyCI is a simple investment product to manage risks and hedge exposure during downturns on crypto markets.
Ormera, new platform for electricity billing
On Oct. 14, Swiss companies PostFinance and Energie Wasser Bern (EWB) announced the launch of Ormera, a new startup providing a tool for measuring and automatic billing of self-generated electricity. Based on blockchain technology, Ormera’s platform intends to cut administrative costs by supporting effective use of energy generated in decentralized production, EWB said in the announcement.
Combining internet-of-things and blockchain components, Ormera targets energy supply companies, energy and real estate service providers and property management firms, the report notes.
Bauwens invests in Germany’s first provider of real estate tokens
German real estate giant Bauwens invested in the Foundation Group, which is known as the first-ever provider of real estate-based security token offerings regulated by major German financial authority, the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin). As reported by Cointelegraph auf Deutsch, Bauwens intends to expand its expertise in the new business field of digitizing real estate investments by investing in the Foundation Group.
Bundesbank board member: stablecoins underpin the importance of central banks
As reported on Oct. 16, a board member of the German Bundesbank recently declared that the emergence of stablecoins — cryptocurrencies pegged to fiat currencies to provide a stable value — underpins the importance of central banks. In a speech on Oct. 8 in South Africa, Burkhard Balz claimed that stablecoins benefit from a kind of indirect stability, which could be interpreted as a complement to the successful and stability-oriented monetary policy by central banks.
On Oct. 18, Cointelegraph reported on a new survey showing that 27% of German people are planning to use Facebook’s planned cryptocurrency Libra. Powered by French online survey firm Toluna, the survey shows 73% of German residents have completely rejected Libra, with 42% saying that they do not trust Facebook, while 31% of respondents noted that they only believe in centralized currencies.
Also on Thursday, BaFin’s president Felix Hufeld expressed concerns over Libra, claiming that Facebook’s planned cryptocurrency sees a number of unresolved questions and represents a parallel currency created privately.
Despite existing concerns, global financial regulators are not planning to ban either Facebook’s Libra or other stablecoins, ECB director Benoit Coeure said in an interview on Oct. 17. However, Coeure stressed that such initiatives will have to meet high regulatory standards prescribed by the ECB.
The Swiss Federal Council continues to monitor new digital technology developments such as blockchain, stablecoins and distributed ledger technology.
The Swiss Federal Council is continuing to keep close tabs on global stablecoin projects and their possible opportunities and challenges.
Switzerland is seen as very crypto-friendly
In a press release on Oct. 16, the Swiss Federal Council stated that it was recently informed about “current opportunities and challenges associated with stablecoins” and that Switzerland will continue to monitor new digital technology developments, such as blockchain and distributed ledger technology.
The Federal Council states that, while the mountainous Central European country is generally seen as very crypto-friendly and “open to innovative approaches in the financial market,” it remains committed to addressing the risks related to stablecoins and cryptocurrencies, saying:
“The Federal Council is committed to ensuring that the currency and stability policy challenges, in particular, are addressed through international cooperation between governments, central banks and supervisory authorities, with private providers also included.”
The seven-member executive council further noted that Facebook’s Libra coin, which is to be overseen by the Geneva-based Libra Association, would be exposed to limited volatility thanks to being backed by a basket of stable fiat currencies.
Libra seeks Swiss payment license
Cointelegraph previously reported that the Libra Association — the governing body of Facebook’s eponymous stablecoin project — was required to obtain a payment system license from Switzerland’s Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) for Libra. The association’s head of policy and communications, Dante Disparte, said at the time:
“We are engaging in constructive dialogue with FINMA and we see a feasible pathway for an open-source blockchain network to become a regulated, low-friction, high-security payment system. This is an important step in Libra project’s evolution, and we look forward to continuing our engagement with all stakeholders over the coming months.”
A delegation of the United States House of Representatives will visit Switzerland on cryptocurrency concerns, with Facebook’s stablecoin Libra being in the focus.
A delegation of the United States House of Representatives will visit Switzerland on cryptocurrency concerns, with Facebook’s not-yet-released stablecoin Libra being in the focus.
As local weekly news outlet NZZ am Sonntag reported on Aug. 17, a six-member delegation from the House Financial Services Committee is going to meet with Swiss Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner (FDPIC) Adrian Lobsiger to exchange views about digital currencies.
A spokesperson told NZZ am Sonntag that Libra will be the focal point of the dialogue between the regulator and U.S. lawmakers. The delegation is led by the chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, Maxine Waters, who previously requested that Facebook halt Libra’s development until the purported risks it poses could be properly understood.
The visit from U.S. legislators aims to clarify regulatory issues surrounding Libra. In hearings before the House Financial Services Committee in July, some representatives expressed their discomfort with the coin being regulated from Switzerland.
In the hearings, Facebook’s David Marcus assured Representative Bill Huizenga that Facebook had been in touch with the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority.
The head of communications at the FDPIC, Hugo Wyler, subsequently said that Facebook had not contacted the regulator regarding the registration of its cryptocurrency project. The FDPIC then sent a letter to the Libra Association — the stablecoin’s proposed governing body — asking for details about Libra:
“The FDPIC stated in his letter that as he had not received any indication on what personal data may be processed, the Libra Association should inform him of the current status of the project so that he could assess the extent to which his advisory competences and supervisory powers would apply.”
During a hearing before U.S. House of Representatives in mid-July, Marcus fielded questions as to why the company had chosen to register its Libra Association in Switzerland rather than the U.S. “The choice of Switzerland,” Marcus claimed, had “nothing to do with evading regulations or oversight.” Marcus argued that the jurisdiction is an international place conducive to doing business.
Because of strategic differences, the CEO of Switzerland’s SIX Digital Exchange Martin Halblaub will depart at the end of August when his contract expires.
The CEO of Switzerland’s SIX Digital Exchange (SDX), the cryptocurrency-focused arm of the the country’s principal SIX Swiss Exchange, is departing the company, local news outlet SwissInfo reported on Aug. 14.
CEO departs before SDX launch
Martin Halblaub will step down after eight months into his job when his contract expires at the end of August following disagreements on how the trading platform should be run.
Halblaub reportedly wanted SDX to launch as an independent company, while the board of the parent company — SIX Group — disagreed. He commented on the decision:
“I fully support SDX’s ambition and business model and would have loved to lead SDX into the future. However, I have decided with a heavy heart — given our differing ideas on strategy, combined with the stretch the role is for my life model — that I cannot engage in a long term commitment as Head of SDX.”
Halblaub’s temporary successor will be Tomas Kindler, who will take place as the firm’s CEO on Sep. 1. SIX Group CEO Jos Dijsselhof also thanked Halblaub in an internal company memo, saying that he successfully led the company through its initial phase.
SIX Digital Exchange known for pioneering crypto products
SIX is known for being one of the first stock exchanges in the world to offer a Bitcoin and crypto exchange product. In November 2018, SIX listed a pioneering cryptocurrency exchange-traded product, which tracks five major cryptos including Bitcoin.
As Cointelegraph reported in May, a top SIX Exchange executive has revealed the company will look to issue its own digital tokens as part of its forthcoming blockchain-powered digital exchange.
In July 2019, SIX also announced that it hopes to become the first market infrastructure in the world to offer a fully integrated end to end trading, settlement and custody service for digital assets.
Ultimately, SIX expects its blockchain-based SDX digital exchange to supersede its existing marketplace within a decade. The company is also considering launching its own Security Token Offering — pending regulator approval — which will offer investors an equity stake in exchange for capital.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) could learn from other countries when finalizing its own crypto regulation, Commissioner Hester Peirce explains. While highlighting peculiar and notable features of the U.S. system, the commissioner emphasizes cross-border considerations, detailing applicable crypto frameworks of several countries.
SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce explained last week her agency’s approach to regulating crypto assets and how the U.S. could draw from other countries’ regulatory frameworks in setting its own policies. Her speech was given in Singapore at the “SUSS Convergence Forum: Inclusive Blockchain, Finance, and Emerging Technologies,” hosted by Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS).
Among the topics she discussed was cross-border crypto regulation. Peirce, known in the crypto community as Crypto Mom, suggested that “The U.S. SEC can look to our counterparts overseas for ideas in untangling some of our most difficult legal and policy questions in this area.”
“Because so much of the activity is taking place outside the United States, we have to think about our regulation with a sensitivity for cross-border considerations, cooperation, and what I call co-learning.” Peirce elaborated:
Crypto regulation affords international regulators the opportunity to learn from one another … The resulting regulatory competition will allow us to see what works well and what does not work at all.
Crypto Mom anticipates several obstacles. Since “countries all over the world are still in the early stages of determining how and whether to regulate crypto,” she foresees uncertainties regarding the various rules in those countries. The commissioner further claims that it is difficult to pin down the domicile of an enterprise in the niche due to the global nature of cryptocurrency, adding that determining the “the precise nature — currency, commodity, security, derivative — of many of the assets at issue” may also be challenging.
Bermuda’s Custody Framework
The first country Peirce mentioned the U.S. could learn from was Bermuda, noting that it is one of the only jurisdictions to address crypto custody in depth. Not only does the island have a regulatory regime for crypto businesses, but it has also released draft guidance for crypto custodial services. “It addresses such difficulties as how to store private keys for hot and cold storage while preserving necessary liquidity, what safeguards should be in place to prevent unauthorized access, and how to frame internal audit of transactions to ensure their integrity,” the commissioner described.
“I look forward, for example, to learning more about Bermuda’s custody framework to see if we can draw from it as we think about how our custody rules apply in the crypto context,” she opined, stating:
These ‘laboratories of regulation’ operated by our international counterparts have me thinking about possible paths for the U.S. to become more welcoming of crypto innovation.
Singapore’s Security Token Approach
Singapore has been at the forefront of much crypto-related activity, which may be attributable to the clarity it has offered to issuers in this market, Commissioner Peirce remarked, noting:
Motivated in part by the approach taken by Singapore, which does not treat every token offering as a securities offering, I would support the creation of a non-exclusive safe harbor for the offer and sale of certain tokens.
Peirce has previously suggested that the U.S. SEC should take a safe harbor approach to crypto assets. “A token offering made in reliance on the safe harbor would have to comply with certain requirements — for example, providing clear disclosure of the assets’ functionality, including the mechanisms for changing holders’ rights and explaining how funds are to be used — before the issuer could use the safe harbor,” she clarified. “The relief could be time-limited to guard against reliance on the safe harbor by projects without a workable plan to build operational networks.” Crypto Mom detailed:
The requirements would be tailored to the needs of purchasers [of] digital assets in a way that our current regulations are not. Trading to get tokens in and out of the hands of developers and users would be permitted.
Hong Kong’s Licensing and Sandbox Regime
Commissioner Peirce also talked about Hong Kong’s crypto regulatory framework. Its Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has released guidance stating that security tokens are “likely to be ‘securities,’” which Peirce said is similar to the approach the SEC has taken in the U.S.
Hong Kong, however, also requires funds with crypto assets exceeding 10% of aggregate assets to be licensed by the SFC, and has issued a circular which places crypto trading platforms within a regulatory sandbox, Peirce noted.
According to the Financial Stability Board’s directory of crypto asset regulators, the SFC and Hong Kong Monetary Authority supervise crypto activities in the country. The former regulates crypto assets that fall within the definition of securities, while the latter covers crypto assets in investment products and wealth management services.
Thailand, Japan, Malta, Switzerland, and France
In addition to the aforementioned countries, Peirce mentioned five others in her speech — Japan, Thailand, Malta, Switzerland, and France.
Japan is significantly ahead of other countries when it comes to crypto regulation, having legalized cryptocurrency as a means of payment in April 2017. Crypto exchanges are required to register with the country’s Financial Services Agency. So far, 19 have been approved but over 110 operators have expressed interest in entering the space. The country recently “passed legislation to bring securities offerings of digital assets within its existing legal framework for securities offerings,” Peirce added.
Another Southeast Asian country Peirce mentioned was Thailand, which has adopted a unique framework for regulating crypto assets, classifying them as either cryptocurrency or digital tokens. Crypto exchanges, brokers, dealers, and initial coin offering (ICO) portals must be licensed and comply with regulatory requirements. So far, five crypto exchanges and three ICO portals have been licensed.
A number of European countries have also acted early to regulate crypto assets. The commissioner mentioned Malta, Switzerland, and France. Malta passed legislation last year that separates digital assets into unregulated virtual tokens and regulated virtual financial assets. Switzerland provided preliminary guidance for ICOs in 2017 and issued more detailed guidance last year. France recently announced a new licensing regime for ICOs and crypto service providers.
Regardless of the kind of regulation the SEC decides on, Peirce believes that “Continued communication among the world’s financial regulators will be important,” reiterating:
We also can continue to learn from one another to fill the gaps in our own regulation and borrow, when appropriate, from frameworks developed and tested in other places.
Notable Features of US Regulatory Approach
The commissioner proceeded to point out some notable features of the approach the U.S. is taking to regulate crypto assets. Emphasizing that the SEC regulates only securities, with other regulators responsible for other areas such as commodities and currencies, the commissioner commented:
One of the peculiarities of the U.S. system is the sheer number of regulators. Not only do we have the state-federal allocation of responsibility that I just mentioned, but we have multiple federal financial regulators.
She added, “Another notable feature of U.S. law is that the definition of what constitutes a security is a bit nebulous,” admitting that “Unlike many other countries, we do not have an exclusive list of what counts as a ‘security.’”
To determine whether something is a security in the U.S., the Howey test is used. “Under Howey, something — including something that is a digital asset — is a security if it involves an investment in a common enterprise with an expectation of profits derived solely through the efforts of others,” the commissioner conveyed.
SEC’s Efforts Now and Going Forward
To understand and regulate crypto assets, the SEC has established a strategic hub called Finhub for fintech and innovation to coordinate the commission’s approach to digital assets. Its staff hosted a fintech forum in May and has “met with hundreds of market participants to hear what they are working on and where they need regulatory clarity,” Peirce said.
Last month, the agency qualified two token offerings under Regulation A+ and issued two no-action letters. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) also recently approved applications for two non-custodial digital asset broker-dealers.
Moreover, the commission has issued a couple of guidance notes. One was in April which outlines a framework for determining whether a digital asset may be a security. The other, jointly issued with FINRA last month, addresses issues such as how digital asset securities can be custodied and how broker-dealers holding them can comply with other regulatory requirements.
Peirce emphasized that she “would like to see more focused momentum” at the SEC towards finalizing crypto regulation so that the U.S. will not fall behind other countries in attracting crypto businesses, concluding:
While I believe a single global regulatory framework would be unwise, regulators can create a healthy environment for this new market to grow by sharing information that will smooth cross-border transactions.
Do you think the US should adopt some of the crypto frameworks from other countries? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the SEC.
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About 7% of Switzerland’s biggest cross-industry self-regulatory organization (SRO) is now made up of members from the cryptocurrency industry.
Switzerland’s biggest cross-industry self-regulatory organization (SRO) has seen a spike of members from the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry.
88 members of Financial Services Standards Association have connection to crypto
The Swiss Financial Services Standards Association (VQF), the oldest and largest SRO in the country, said that 7% of its membership is connected with crypto-related businesses, financial news outlet Finews reports Aug. 2.
Simon Waelti, one of the co-CEOs at the association, clarified that 88 members in VQF have a connection to crypto so far, adding that the figure may come to vary over the course of the year.
The mission of the VQF is combating money laundering and the prevention of the terrorism financing in the financial sector. As stated on the official website, the VQF SRO is officially recognized, regulated and supervised by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), which is why the supervision system is considered as controlled self-regulation.
Bitcoin Suisse was the first crypto company to join the VQF
Bitcoin Suisse, a Zug-based regulated crypto financial broker and asset manager, has been a VQF member since 2014. According to the report, the company claims to be the first crypto-related company to join the association.
Bitcoin Suisse, which is also a member of Crypto Valley Association, recently applied for banking and securities dealer licenses from the FINMA in order to adapt to a rapidly-changing landscape to cryptocurrencies.
As previously reported, the VQF is also competent of issuance of its own license. Recently, the association has granted its VQF license to crypto-based personal finance app Aximetria, allowing the company to function as a crypto intermediary.
The Swiss data protection regulator is waiting for Facebook to provide it with particulars on data protection risks associated with the Libra digital currency.
The Swiss data protection regulator is waiting for Facebook to provide it with particulars on data protection risks associated with the forthcoming Libra digital currency, Reuters reported on July 23.
The Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner (FDPIC) — the competent authority for data processing by federal bodies and individuals in Switzerland — sent a letter to Libra Association on July 17, asking for details about Libra. The FDPIC stated:
“The Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner has noted the remarks made by Mr. David Marcus at his hearing before a U.S. Senate committee. The FDPIC stated in his letter that as he had not received any indication on what personal data may be processed, the Libra Association should inform him of the current status of the project so that he could assess the extent to which his advisory competences and supervisory powers would apply.”
The news follows a statement from the head of communication at the FDPIC, Hugo Wyler, who said that Facebook had not contacted Swiss regulators regarding the registration of its cryptocurrency project.
At the time, Wyler said that the FDPIC expects Facebook or its promoters to provide it with concrete information when the time comes, and that the agency is following the development of Libra in the public debate.
U.S. Regulators question Libra’s Swiss registration
As previously reported, Marcus assured Representative Bill Huizenga that Facebook had been in touch with the Financial Market Supervisory Authority, a Swiss financial regulator. Marcus also underlined that Facebook would not launch the Libra cryptocurrency project before they received the go-ahead from all relevant regulatory authorities.
At a hearing with the United States House of Representatives Financial Services Committee on July 17, Rep. Patrick McHenry asked Marcus why Facebook wanted to have its project based in Switzerland. Marcus responded that it was an “international place” conducive to doing business.