First cryptocurrency fund approved in Switzerland

  • 09/29/2021
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Cryptocurrency adoption continues gaining momentum in Switzerland as local financial authorities grant more regulatory approvals for crypto investment instruments.

The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) has approved the Crypto Market Index Fund as the “first crypto fund according to Swiss law,” the authority officially announced Sept. 29.

The fund is launched by Swiss asset manager Crypto Finance and is administered by investment management firm PvB Pernet von Ballmoos AG with custody by regulated custodian SEBA Bank AG.

FINMA noted that the newly approved fund is restricted to qualified investors, investing primarily in cryptocurrencies or digital assets “based on the blockchain or distributed ledger technology.”

The regulator said that the Crypto Market Index Fund may only invest in leading cryptocurrencies with a “sufficiently large trading volume.” According to Crypto Finance, the fund will track the performance of the Crypto Market Index 10, a product administered by the SIX Swiss Exchange.

“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,” Crypto Finance noted.

Related: SEBA Bank granted the first Swiss digital asset custody license

FINMA added that it would require investors to invest only through established counterparties that are based in a member country of the Financial Action Task Force and are subject to corresponding anti-money laundering regulations.

In conjunction with the fund approval, FINMA has also approved SEBA Bank AG as an institutional-grade custodian service by granting the firm a CISA license. Previously, the authority officially allowed SIX Swiss Exchange to launch a digital marketplace and central securities depository built on distributed ledger technology in early September.