Switzerland's financial regulator extends reporting requirements for crypto transactions

FINMA said it stood by an AML ordinance requiring identity checks for transactions of virtual currencies to cash or “other anonymous means of payment” exceeding 1,000 Swiss francs.

The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, or FINMA, has announced it will be extending an anti-money laundering ordinance which requires identity checks for reporting certain crypto transactions.

In a Nov. 2 notice, the Switzerland financial regulator said it would enforce a threshold of 1,000 Swiss francs — roughly $997 at the time of publication — for transactions of virtual currencies to cash or “other anonymous means of payment.” According to FINMA, the regulator made the adjustment in accordance with the country’s Anti-Money Laundering Act and its government’s Anti-Money Laundering Ordinance.

“FINMA received numerous responses concerning the specification of the threshold for transactions with virtual currencies,” said the regulator. “In view of the risks and recent instances of abuse, FINMA stands by the rule that technical measures are needed to prevent the threshold of CHF 1000 from being exceeded for linked transactions within thirty days.”

The Swiss financial regulator began enforcing a reporting threshold for unidentified virtual currency transactions from 5,000 to 1,000 CHF in January 2020 in response to “heightened money-laundering risks” in crypto. FINMA will extend the adjusted ordinance and regulations, scheduled to go into effect in January 2023.

Related: The state of crypto in Western Europe: Swiss powerhouse and French unicorns

Switzerland’s southern city of Lugano was the host for a crypto-related Plan B conference starting on Oct. 28, in which the local government announced an economic cooperation agreement with El Salvador — the Central American nation will establish a physical government presence in the area, which some have dubbed a ‘Bitcoin embassy’. Cointelegraph reported on how local crypto enthusiasts had been visiting Lugano retail locations to demonstrate use cases for the Lightning Network and crypto assets as payments.



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