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30 October 2020
On 25 September 2020 Parliament approved new regulations for Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT).(1) The goal of this new legal framework is to further establish and increase Switzerland's reputation as a leading, innovative and sustainable location for fintech and DLT companies.
DLT allows shared data management and, in particular, shared accounting among participants that do not know or do not trust each other's identity.
The new DLT framework provides advanced regulatory solutions and amends 10 federal acts, including:
The new DLT framework contains the following noteworthy features:
On the basis of the DLT framework, a blanket ordinance(2) aims to introduce the legislative amendments into the federal legislation. On 19 October 2020 the Federal Department of Finance initiated the consultation of the cantons, political parties and other interested groups on the blanket ordinance. This process will run until 2 February 2021.
The amendments to the acts and ordinances are tentatively expected to enter into force on 1 August 2021, except for the amendments to the Financial Services Act and the Financial Institutions Act, which have already been adopted by Parliament as part of the DLT framework. They will enter into force earlier.
These new legal developments should be welcomed overall. Indeed, the legislature took a pragmatic approach, recognising the growing and widespread use of DLT and crypto-based assets. Moreover, the new law offers helpful solutions that should reassure market actors by bringing about more legal certainty and comfort (eg, through the removal of barriers for DLT applications and the implementation of abuse-mitigating measures). Because Switzerland already has a world-class and pioneering infrastructure for financial markets, these qualities should allow it to remain at the forefront of the DLT and fintech scene.
For further information on this topic please contact Jürg Schneider, Hugh Reeves or Lucas Nanchen at Walder Wyss by telephone (+41 58 658 58 58) or email (email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com). The Walder Wyss website can be accessed at www.walderwyss.com.
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