Since the summer of 2019, crypto company Bitcoin Suisse has been waiting for its Swiss banking license. However, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) has classified the application as not approvable as things stand today. The company has now withdrawn their application.
As early as July 2019, Crypto Valley veteran Bitcoin Suisse submitted an application to FINMA for a Swiss banking license. This would help further expand their offering and strengthen their position as a crypto financial services provider. However, FINMA recently expressed concerns about its anti-money laundering defence. Now, the board of directors has decided to withdraw the application for the time being.
FINMA’s unfavourable prognosis
After almost two years, the regulator has now published a brief evaluation of the authorization. In it, FINMA classifies Bitcoin Suisse’s application as not approvable as things stand at present. They see deficiencies – specifically in the area of money laundering.
“FINMA has informed the company that based on current information it considers it to be ineligible for approval and that the prognosis is unfavourable. Various elements that are relevant under licensing law make it unlikely that a licence will be granted. Among other things there are indications of weaknesses in the money laundering defence mechanisms.” – FINMA press release
In response, the Bitcoin Suisse Board of Directors has decided to withdraw the application for the time being. However, they reserve the right to reapply. They have said they have already initiated the relevant projects to improve the money laundering defence mechanism. With this being said, according to their own statements, these projects are taking longer than expected.
Record growth in Swiss Blockchain ecosystem
Demand for crypto services have soared over the past year. This is also reflected in the developments of Bitcoin Suisse and other companies in the Crypto Valley. Bitcoin Suisse expects full-year 2020 revenue of more than CHF 45 million – double the previous year – and net profit of more than CHF 15 million.
Other companies in the ecosystem have also seen similar growth. As recently as Spring, there were concerns about the crippling coronavirus pandemic. However, the latest CV VC Top 50 Report showed that these were unfounded. The Swiss Blockchain ecosystem showed striking growth in the process. Not only have the number of companies in the industry increased, but there are also more employees and unicorns in the Crypto Valley than ever before.