Switzerland’s FINMA approves first crypto-fund for select investors

Switzerland’s FINMA approves first crypto-fund for select investors

Switzerland was one of the first European countries to embrace cryptocurrencies as it did. It’s in the news again today after it approved the first crypto-fund.

According to the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority [FINMA], the fund, which goes by the name “Crypto Market Index Fund,” will be restricted to only qualified investors who invest primarily in crypto-assets.

The Crypto Market Index Fund, launched by asset manager Crypto Finance AG, is categorized under “other funds for alternative investments.” It is administered by investment management firm PvB Pernet von Ballmoos AG with custody by regulated custodian SEBA Bank AG., as per FINMA.

According to Crypto Finance AG, the fund will track the performance of the Crypto Market Index 10, a product introduced by the SIX Swiss Exchange.

We are excited to announce the launch of the first Swiss crypto asset fund. By partnering with PvB Pernet von Ballmoos AG and @WeAreSEBA, the Crypto Finance (Asset Management) AG can apply their proven experience in digital assets as manager of the fund:https://t.co/m34CI4XnKo— Crypto Finance (@CryptoFinanceAG) September 29, 2021

It noted,

“The objective of the Crypto Market Index 10 is to reliably measure the performance of the largest, liquid crypto assets and tokens and to provide an investable benchmark for this asset class.”

While the fund has limited access, qualified investors include “Swiss wealth management banks, asset managers, pension funds, and other professional investors, who collectively manage several trillion CHF in assets,” according to the press release.

However, FINMA requires these investors to use established counterparties based in a member country of the Financial Action Task Force [FATF]. The investors would also be subject to corresponding anti-money laundering regulations.

Apart from receiving a green light for the Fund, FINMA also approved SEBA Bank AG as an institutional-grade custodian service by granting the firm a CISA license.

In a statement, Guido Buehler, CEO of SEBA Bank, said,

“Asset managers can now offer strategies based on crypto assets to a broader audience by using Swiss-based mutual fund structures with SEBA Bank as an approved custodian.”

With regulators in Europe recognizing the growth of cryptocurrencies, the adoption rate may soon hike at a rapid clip again. This, despite the wariness of other countries bringing the price of digital assets down in the short term.

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