Switzerland’s Federal Council has voted 99-83 (with 10 abstentions) that existing “procedural instruments of the judicial and administrative authorities” should be adopted forthwith, “so that they can also be applied to cryptocurrencies.”
The motion was introduced by Giovanni Merlini (FDP / TI), a Swiss Free Democrat.
Current Swiss Finance Minister Ueli Maurer reportedly argued that the Federal Council plans to create original rules for the governing of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin this spring.
The council nonetheless voted to formally bring the sector under the existing framework.
Merlini reportedly argued that legislation was needed immediately to curtail the criminal use of cryptocurrencies.
He said that anyone can create an anonymous cryptocurrency and can use it for malfeasance.
Potentially anonymizing features, Merlini also argued, make cryptocurrencies the favoured media for extortions and money laundering.
The resolution also called for clarification of the extent to which crypto trading platforms should be regulated in the same manner as “other financial intermediaries,” a feature Finance Minister Maurer reportedly said went beyond what was planned in the industry-tailored proposal he promised.
Switzerland has so far been regarded as a crypto-friendly jurisdiction and is the home of the so-called, “Crypto Valley,” located in the town of Zug, where many crypto companies and “non-profit foundations” have domiciled.
Sentiment changes in Switzerland may be due in part to the controversy surrounding certain high-profile crypto ventures with ties to Switzerland.
As well, in December, an aspiring “green” cryptomining project called Envion, based partly in Switzerland, may have also stalled entirely after a judge dissolved the company.
Envion founders had reportedly been feuding intractably and had been unable to proceed with developing the project.
11 months prior to the judge’s ruling, Envion founders collected approximately $100 million USD from 30 000 ICO (initial coin offering) participants.