Federal Council wants to improve framework conditions for blockchain

Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), Financial Sector, Report

Press Release Federal Council, 14.12.2018

The Federal Council acknowledged the high potential of distributed ledger and blockchain technology for innovation and enhanced efficiency both in the financial sector and in other sectors of the economy. The Federal Council stated in the report that it wishes to exploit the opportunities offered by digitalisation for Switzerland. It wants to create the best possible framework conditions so that Switzerland can establish itself and evolve as a leading, innovative and sustainable location for fintech and blockchain companies. Moreover, it wants to consistently combat abuses and ensure the integrity and good reputation of Switzerland as a financial centre and business location.

The report provides an analysis of relevant framework conditions, clarifies the need for action and proposes concrete measures. It is based on the work of the blockchain/ICO working group, which was set up by the Federal Department of Finance (FDF) in January 2018 and which also consulted the fintech and financial sector as part of its work. The analyses show that there is no need for fundamental adjustments to the Swiss legal framework, but that there is still a need for specific adjustments. The Federal Council has instructed the FDF and the Federal Department of Justice and Police (FDJP) to draw up a consultation draft in the first quarter of 2019 in a bid to:

  • in civil law, increase legal certainty for the transfer of rights by means of digital registers,
  • in insolvency law, further clarify the segregation of cryptobased assets in the event of bankruptcy and examine the segregation of data with no asset value,
  • in financial market law, devise a new and flexible authorisation category for blockchain-based financial market infrastructures,
  • in banking law, reconcile the bank insolvency law provisions with the adjustments in general insolvency law, and
  • in anti-money laundering law, more explicitly anchor the current practice of making decentralised trading platforms subject to the Anti-Money Laundering Act.

On 7 December 2018, the Federal Council also took note of a report by the interdepart-mental coordinating group on combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism (CGMF) on the money laundering and terrorist financing risks posed by crypto assets and crowdfunding. The analysis shows that cryptobased assets may pose a threat in the area of money laundering and terrorist financing. Due to the small number of cases, however, the real risk in Switzerland cannot be estimated conclusively. Nevertheless, Switzerland has a comprehensive regulatory system in place, which is why further improvements need to be addressed with internationally coordinated measures. The Federal Council has also instructed the FDF to examine whether anti-money laundering law should be adapted with regard to certain forms of crowdfunding.

The MME DLT/Blockchain team has analysed the report of the Federal Council in Detail. Find the results of our assessment here.

Download report (PDF, 2.0 Mb)

Your team


In need of legal, tax or compliance advice? We look forward to contacting you.


  • Alexandra Geiger,

    Stefan Keller

    Kryptowährungen in der Nachlassplanung und- abwicklung


  • Thomas Linder

    Die Versteuerung digitaler Vermögenswerte


All publications