Switzerland’s Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) has published guidance on anti-money laundering requirements for blockchain-based companies.
The regulator said it considered AML to be ‘technology-neutral’, and expects all payments, including blockchain transactions, to follow the requirements. It said: “Institutions supervised by FINMA are only permitted to send cryptocurrencies or other tokens to external wallets belonging to their own customers whose identity has already been verified and are only allowed to receive cryptocurrencies or tokens from such customers.”
FINMA oversees Switzerland’s financial system, from banking to securities dealers and even Facebook’s cryptocurrency project, Libra. FINMA officials have met with U.S. Congressional Representatives over Libra, according to the Wall Street Journal.
“FINMA-supervised institutions are thus not permitted to receive tokens from customers of other institutions or to send tokens to such customers,” they wrote. Further, FINMA does not allow the passing of tokens from unregulated wallets and requires AML information for all parties.
At the same time, FINMA has issued the first banking and securities licenses to two blockchain companies, SEBA Crypto AG and Sygnum AG. These are the first companies registered in Switzerland as broker-dealers with a specific blockchain focus, and will have to follow the new AML rules.