Bitcoin Daily: FINMA Grants Licenses To Two New Blockchain Firms; ShortHop Crypto Exchange Launches In Seven New States


The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) has granted the first “banking and securities licenses” to two blockchain companies: SEBA Crypto AG and Sygnum AG.

The firms will be the first registered in Switzerland as broker-dealers with a blockchain focus. They will be required to follow the new anti-money laundering (AML) requirements that FINMA revealed this week.

“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,” the regulators wrote, according to CoinDesk.

In other news, crypto exchange ShortHop has revealed to CoinDesk that it is launching in seven additional U.S. states: Indiana, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Arizona and Montana.

The exchange is already live in California, Washington and Illinois.

ShortHop, which is owned by Velocity Markets, allows customers to transact digital asset listings from multiple order books on one screen, as well as its own orders, so that customers can receive the lowest price, said Velocity Markets CEO Jonathan Kelfer.

“You might find that when you go on Binance, the spot price for bitcoin is the quoted price,” Kelfer said. “When you go on Gemini it’s the quoted price there as well. We’ll use that in aggregate to get the best price across the ecosystem.”

And the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) announced that it has formed partnerships to apply blockchain to its Clearing House Electronic Subregister System (CHESS) in 2021.

The memorandum of understanding was signed with Digital Asset and VMware, enabling the three to work together on distributed ledger technology (DLT) initiatives in Australia and New Zealand.

“This new partnership is a very positive development that will help us support a wider range of DLT solutions developed by the industry,” said ASX Deputy CEO Peter Hiom in a press release. “It confirms our belief in the potential of DLT as we remain on track to deliver the CHESS replacement system in March-April 2021.”