Searching for clarity in Swiss ICO regulation

Author: | Published: 26 Feb 2019

Prager Dreifuss counsel Michael Mosimann, who advises startups on public offerings, reviews how Switzerland’s legislative framework stands up to blockchain

"We want to do an ICO without regulation." – This was a sentence that was heard many times in 2017 when potential clients were told that their public token sale (or ICO), and potentially also their business model could be subject to Swiss financial market regulations. It certainly did not come as a surprise to many lawyers when the Swiss Financial Market Supervising Authority (Finma) released a public announcement in September 2017 stating that the Swiss financial market regulations were 'technology neutral' and therefore potentially applicable to ICOs and blockchain-based business models. Other market participants, however, were taken aback. Since then, Finma and other financial market supervising authorities around the world have emphasised and clarified this further....