In a statement released Monday, the CEO of Switzerland’s Bitcoin Suisse said his company had been approved by government regulators to start operating Bitcoin ATMs in the country.
“BTCS will turn on its existing — but until now offline — ATM network, consisting of a number of Zurich-based machines,” Nicklas Nikolajsen said in a statement. “A network which will be expanded throughout eastern Switzerland and Liechtenstein, and where BTCS is now actively looking for locations and partners to realize this vision.”
He said that over the coming months his company would expand to offer new products and services, and welcomed investors to purchase equity or bonds.
Bitcoin Suisse had planned to launch its first Bitcoin ATM, a Lamassu machine, in early June at coworking space Impact Hub Zurich.
The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority blocked the machine’s launch, however, pending a review of the company’s regulatory compliance.
The company suspended the planned rollouts of other machines in Switzerland. Bitcoin Suisse had already installed one Lamassu machine in March on Bitcoin Boulevard in the The Hague, Netherlands.
Bitcoin Suisse was then subjected to Switzerland’s Financial Services Standards Association, a self-regulatory organization that is obliged to supervise its members with regard to the combating of money laundering and the prevention of the financing of terrorism.
“The membership status is an important leap forward for BTCS, which has now been accepted into the elite community of licensed financial service providers,” Nikolajsen said.
Long a global financial center, Switzerland said in mid-June that it had no plans to regulate digital currencies:
“Given that virtual currencies are a marginal phenomenon and are not in a legal vacuum, the Federal Council sees no need for legislative measures to be taken at the moment.”
That said, compliance with the state financial regulator, FINMA, was always a part of the bargain.
As we reported in June, “the Swiss financial regulator FINMA furthermore recently ‘confirmed the need for Bitcoin brokerage activities to respect AML regulations and undergo registration with a SRO.’”
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