Cryptocurrency exchange license in Switzerland

Crypto Exchange License Switzerland

Switzerland is not only one of the world's financial centers but also a pioneer in the development of the crypto business. Back in 2014, the Confederation fixed the legal status of non-fiat currencies. The legal recognition of crypto assets launched the active development of the financial market trading in digital currencies.

Cryptocurrency in Switzerland is considered an asset that can be exchanged and used for various commercial activities. To work with cryptocurrency, including as ICOs or crypto-exchangers, you must obtain a Swiss Crypto license. There are several types of licenses depending on the chosen field of activity:

  • Banking license
  • Investment fund license
  • FinTech license
  • DLT trading system license

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Regulation of blockchain FinTech projects

Please note that there is no specific legislation regulating activities related to digital currencies in Switzerland yet, although, in 2021, the government introduced promising amendments to some laws concerning blockchain technology. Digital money is now included in the current financial services system, so crypto assets are subject to general rules.

The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, or FINMA, is the main regulatory body for licensing firms that deal with non-fiat funds. In addition, in Switzerland, indirect control is carried out by self-regulatory organizations VQF SRO.

Advantages of a crypto exchange license Switzerland

The Swiss Confederation is not a low-cost jurisdiction. However, there are many reasons to get a crypto exchange license Switzerland:

  • Active support for the cryptocurrency environment.
  • The loyal attitude of the government and supervisory authorities (FINMA, Swiss Bankers Association, etc.).
  • Loyal tax policy.
  • Economic and political stability, favorable business environment.
  • Qualified workforce.

Applying for a crypto exchange license Switzerland: Requirements and procedure

Only a resident company (the applicant must register a firm in the territory of Switzerland) with a business permit can apply for a license.

The applicant must prove that their firm can ensure compliance with all KYC/AML policy requirements. The applicant and those responsible for the management and administration of the company's operations must have a good business reputation.

To obtain a crypto exchange license Switzerland, you must:

  • Define crypto assets and designate the scope of business (what transactions will be conducted).
  • Prepare a detailed business plan and financial projections.
  • Choose the organizational structure of the company (at least 1 director and 1 shareholder).
  • Prepare constituent documents and internal regulations.
  • Open a bank account.
  • Fill in and submit an application for licensing.

Company registration requires a minimum share capital, the amount of which depends on the legal form chosen (the minimum initial capital is CHF 20,000 for LLC/GMBH and from 100,000 for joint-stock companies/AG). The process of obtaining a license takes 4-12 months.

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