On February 16, 2018, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) has published guidelines on ICOs, more particularly: (1) pure cryptocurrencies, (2) utility tokens and (3) security tokens.
In a nutshell, FINMA confirmed that:
- Pure cryptocurrencies are – as a general rule – only subject to the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AML);
- Utility tokens are not considered as “securities” (provided that their sole purpose is to confer digital access rights to an application or service and if the utility token can actually be used in this way at the point of issue); and
- Security tokens are considered as securities. However, issuing securities does – as a general rule and with reserve to specific derivatives – not require an authorization and may thus be issued from Switzerland on the primary market, on the basis of a prospectus (depending on the type of securities).