Category Archives: Financial Services Standards Association

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Approved Swiss Blockchain Startup Goes for Banking License

A Swiss blockchain company which has gained regulatory approval in the alpine pro-cryptocurrency nation is to seek a banking license.

Startup Smart Valor has won approval to operate in the country’s buoyant financial market and will be regulated by the local Financial Services Standards Association (VQF) rather than the national regulatory agency, the Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA).

This means that Smart Valor as yet is the only company to have been given this scope, allowing it to be monitored by FINMA. Its next step will be to apply for a banking license which it hopes will allow the company to offer security investments early next year.

The proposed launch will be an online platform for alternative investments which will also include crypto, tokenizing all platform assets. Smart Valor’s founder Olga Feldmeier commented:

“Most of these investments have previously only been available to a small elite of high-net-worth individuals and institutional investors… Tokenization transforms the way people own things, improves liquidity, and makes these investment opportunities accessible to a broader audience of investors.”

Smart Valor was founded in 2017 by Feldmeier in an attempt to disrupt Switzerland’s banking system after jumping from China-based Bitcoin wallet Xapo. In a formal statement from the company it outlined the scope of its plans for 2019:

“Pending regulatory approval, the VALOR platform will expand its offering to asset-backed tokens, such as equity in blockchain companies, blockchain-related infrastructure projects, real estate, crypto funds, venture capital, and private equity funds.”

Along with Gibraltar and Malta, Switzerland is fast becoming a global hub for blockchain and cryptocurrencies, with investors from all over the world moving there. Towns such as Zug, a small town of 120,000 people just a short drive from Zurich, and the southern Italian-speaking Swiss town of Chiasso, are beginning to make a name for themselves in the global crypto space.

 

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