Xapo, a Bitcoin wallet provider, has announced its approval from a financial market watchdog (supervisor organization) in Switzerland to serve non-U.S. customers. Xapo, founded in the Silicon Valley, stores the private keys of their clients to get access to their private digital funds.
As Xapo stated, it took them almost two years of hard work and investment to get conditional approval (approval after meeting certain conditions) from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) to operate in Switzerland.
One condition to meet is a membership in a Self-Regulatory Organization (SRO — an alternative to direct supervision by FINMA) so that Xapo can serve non-US customers from the headquarters in Switzerland.
Xapo has got plenty of required tools implemented on their path to the approval. So, it is going to become even more convenient for its users.
Xapo former managing partner, Olga Feldmeier, who coordinated the licensing process in Switzerland, reported to Reuters that the company was defined as a financial intermediary. This means that they will not have to pay for the costly banking license.
It is a great move for Switzerland to remain on the leading positions in the financial technology (fintech) industry.
So, why this news is so breaking? Bitcoin Suisse has been operating bitcoin ATMs and bitcoin brokerage for quite a while. But it doesn’t itself have access to the keys store.
Swiss cabinet has offered new regulations for the fintech companies: FINMA grants fintech license that is restricted to taking deposits (100 million Swiss francs — $99.9 million) without lending.
So, Xapo is now on its way to join SRO.