Swiss Financial Regulator to Cap Anonymous Crypto Transactions at $1,000 a Month

Swiss Regulator to Cap Anonymous Crypto Transactions

The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) is extending the scope of its anti-money laundering (AML) ordinance to cover cryptocurrency assets.

The adjusted regulations, which will come into effect Jan. 1, 2023, mean that customers will have to prove their identity if they make transactions that total 1,000 Swiss francs (about $1,003) or more during a one-month period when they trade crypto for cash or another anonymous form of money, FINMA said in a Wednesday (Nov. 2) press release.

The amendments are the result of a consultation during which the regulator assessed how best to interpret and enforce new AML laws, the release stated.

While some in the Swiss crypto industry argued that the 1,000-franc threshold would create unnecessary roadblocks to legitimate crypto transactions and should be raised to as much as 25,000 Swiss francs (about $25,008), according to a CoinDesk report, FINMA ultimately rebuffed requests for a higher limit for unverified transactions.

In recent times, Switzerland has sought to establish itself as a crypto hub, and the country is home to several regulated crypto banks that serve some of the world’s largest digital asset platforms.

“Traditionally, Swiss banks are considered among the most secure in the world with a high level of protection against fraud, making the Alpine nation a top destination for businesses and individuals looking to keep their wealth safe,” PYMNTS wrote last month.

However, in the past, money launderers have tried to take advantage of Switzerland’s banking secrecy laws, and regulators have been at pains to disassociate the Swiss financial services sector from criminal funds and dark money, CoinDesk reported.

For example, the government recently proposed a registry of company ownership that will make it harder to hide the true ownership of assets through shell companies.

The government said last month the move aims “to strengthen the prevention and prosecution of financial crime and thus the integrity and reputation of [Switzerland as a] financial center and business location.”

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