Switzerland has been something of welcoming territory for ICOs. The Swiss town of Zug has even become known as “crypto-valley” due to the number of blockchain-related companies which have set up there. However, for one Bitcoin whale, the country may have just “blown its chance” to position itself as the world’s natural home for ICOs.
Swiss news agency swissinfo.ch reports that global
venture capitalist and longtime crypto-bull Tim Draper, whilst speaking via Skype to the Crypto ICO summit in Zurich, said that the country “had the tiger by the tail, everyone was going to do their ICOs through you, and all you had to do was make it easier for everybody.”
On the other hand, according to Draper, rather than keep things easy, regulators got involved and “they made it tougher, they put more and more barriers up.”
As reported last month, the Swiss regulator FINMA has decided to consider ICOs on an individual basis, classifying them as either utility, asset and payment and then deciding which regulatory requirements apply. This was generally received as an ICO-friendly approach, particularly when compared to the SEC’s stance in the US, but Draper seems to be placing a
different interpretation on things. He says that due to this new regulatory environment, future ICOs will look to other places like “Singapore and Gibraltar and Cayman” to conduct their offerings.
Describing the ICO movement as “one of the greatest moments in the history of the world” Draper said that the Swiss had “lost their opportunity” to lead. For him, governments now need to compete for ICO business by “being more regulatory-lite.”
Draper’s views are likely to have been coloured by his experience of Tezos, in which he is an investor. A stand-off developed between the Tezos tech-creators and the president of the foundation charged with distributing their ICO’s proceeds, leading to an intervention from the regulator. Although things now seem to have been more or less resolved, for Draper, the situation was a “shocker”.
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