FINMA expects all cryptocurrency providers to step up their game and monitor whether criminals are using digital assets in illegal transactions.
According to reports, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority – FINMA – would require local digital asset providers to take additional steps to prevent criminals from using cryptocurrencies. The watchdog would also look into bitcoin ATMs because it believes drug dealers frequently use them.
The Financial Markets Authority (FINMA) is on the lookout for criminals who use cryptocurrency.
According to a report, Switzerland’s financial regulator, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, or simply FINMA, will closely monitor local crypto providers in an effort to reduce money-laundering transactions.
Swiss platforms and brokers dealing in digital assets would have to beef up their monitoring efforts and keep an eye out for bad actors who use cryptocurrencies. The Bern-based watchdog believes the initiative is “immediately necessary,” emphasizing that criminals use the asset class to fund terrorist acts.
FINMA has also focused on bitcoin automated teller machines. Drug dealers, according to the regulator, frequently use such ATMs as payment systems. It is worth noting that Switzerland is a small country, but with 130 Bitcoin automated teller machines, it ranks sixth among countries with the most stations.
FINMA also passed an anti-money laundering provision, lowering the threshold for unidentified cryptocurrency purchases from 5,000 Swiss Francs (CHF) to 1,000 CHF (approximately $1,080). In other words, all financial institutions dealing with digital assets must collect data on anyone initiating transactions worth more than this amount.
UBS: Crypto Regulations Could Cause Problems
UBS, one of Switzerland’s leading banks, recently shared its thoughts on the hot topic of digital asset regulations, indicating that implementing certain rules may have a negative impact on the market.
Furthermore, the bank warned its customers that regulatory crackdowns could deflate the “bubble-like” cryptocurrency markets. The Swiss bank also labeled the asset class as “speculative,” warning professional investors that it could be risky:
“While we cannot rule out future price increases in cryptos, we see this as a speculative market with significant risks for professional investors.”
On the other hand, when the cryptocurrency market was booming at the beginning of May, UBS took a different stance. It planned to give its wealthy customers access to digital assets through third-party vehicles later in 2021.