In a first, Swiss financial watchdog FINMA (Financial Market Supervisory Authority) has approved the country’s first cryptocurrency investment fund, Reuters reported on Wednesday.
The Crypto Market Index Fund will be provided by a Swiss cryptocurrency investment company Crypto Finance AG. The fund will analyze the performance of the related index “Crypto Market Index 10” provided by the country’s stock exchange SIX Swiss Exchange.
Under FINMA regulations, the fund’s custodian would be SEBA Bank AG.
According to the announcement, the fund would be restricted to certain qualified investors and would invest in “established cryptoassets with a sufficiently large trading volume”.
In addition, FINMA also approved SEBA Bank, a Swiss bank specializing in digital assets, allowing it to offer institutional-grade custody solutions globally for collective investment schemes.
In an email conversation with Forbes, Buehler, a former senior executive at UBS, the Swiss investment bank, noted:
“Institutional investors such as banks and insurance companies are now ready to invest in cryptoassets.
They prefer to invest via a fund wrapper which has a higher standard in terms of security and regulation. There is institutional demand for crypto investment, but there was previously no custody bank solution available until now. With this missing gap being closed we expect demand to grow significantly.”
Additionally, CNBC reported earlier this month that FINMA has granted a pair of licenses to SIX Digital Exchange to operate a cryptocurrencies exchange and custody service for blockchain-based securities.
Regarding the new crypto fund, FINMA has clarified that it must comply with Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations and the counter platforms should be based in a member country of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).