Switzerland has been widely known as a tax haven for the wealthy individuals and business groups actively involved in money laundering and illegal activities. However, the Swiss Financial Markets Supervisory Authority FINMA looks willing to take strong measures to shed the undesirable tag. And at the center of its attention are activities related to cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.
In a February report, Finma said that the virtual currency Bitcoin needs to be treated as a potentially serious medium for illegal activities including money laundering as an increased number of consumers and businesses expand their payment options to accept Bitcoin.
The report adds that Bitcoin’s ability to be used anonymously and internationally increases the risk it could play a role in terrorist financing. The report detailed the revised diktat of the Swiss regulator on money laundering.
It was earlier widely reported that Bitcoin technology is a dream come true for criminals who can use the anonymous feature of the technology to upload child abuse images and malware and pollute the blockchain – the public ledger of all the transactions occurring in the Bitcoin network. European regulators have earlier also warned that Bitcoin is being increasingly used by terrorist organizations such as ISIS to raise funds for their inhumane activities.
Bitcoin emerged as a digital currency six years, however, the revolutionary and disruptive remittance method has been unable to gain acceptance of most governments until now. The Swiss regulator has been extremely critical of Bitcoin and related business. In June, the financial authority had ordered the Swiss exchange Bitcoin Suisse to shut down its ATM network until enquiries about the exchange’s operations were cleared.
The regulator’s two-month consultation ended in April and the feedback will be taken into consideration while revising the Anti-Money Laundering Ordinance.
In a February report, Finma said that the virtual currency Bitcoin needs to be treated as a […]