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Switzerland Launches Blockchain Task Force



The Swiss government has initiated a new organization that would help solidify its regulatory framework around blockchain startups and ICOs.

Called Taskforce Blockchain, the group is led by Finance Minister Ueli Mausrer and Economics and Education Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann.

It also includes federal and local officials, and members of different blockchain startups and legal representatives, according to a fact sheet.

The group will examine the legal guidelines around ICOs and blockchain companies.

It would also work with the State Secretariat for International Financial Matters – the federal body tasked with implementing financial market regulations and representing the government’s financial interests across the globe.

Schneider-Ammann lauded the inclusion of blockchain companies in the talks surrounding their legal framework.

He said:

“[Blockchain is] becoming more important as a technology for many industries, not just crypto finance. [What is needed is liberal regulation], which opens opportunities for Switzerland’s position while at the same time reducing risks.”

Switzerland has long held a positive stance toward blockchain startups and cryptocurrency organizations.

It is also home to “Crypto Valley,” a region in the country known for the number of companies developing projects based on the technology.

The 30-kilometer stretch of land from Zurich to Zug, known as ‘Crypto Valley’, has progressive laws, a competitive hiring environment and low taxes, and it’s this unique mix that has enticed businesses looking for a place to gain traction amid an uncertain international legal climate.

While governments in the US, China and Russia have all taken strict or uncertain regulatory stances toward digital currencies, Switzerland has largely continued the laissez-faire philosophy that has long made its banks valuable, and ‘Crypto Valley’ has become the center of the movement.

Additionally, the government’s Federal Council proposed a regulatory sandbox last year to make a warmer environment for startups to work with their projects.

Part of this sandbox’s goal would be to observe the development of new business models encouraged by financial technologies.
The government also aired hopes to encourage more companies to build their base of operations in the European country.

The Taskforce Blockchain’s first meeting is scheduled on January 12, 2018.

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