Cryptocurrency was once a phenomenon among tech-oriented individuals and quickly became one of the hottest topics across the globe. Not only is cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin, popular among financial tech investors, but a lot of our high-earning clients are also looking to invest in crypto. And while many see cryptocurrency as a great new investment and centralized currency, others are not as thrilled. Many nations are making it difficult for those interested in doing business with cryptocurrency by creating high taxes or outlawing some crypto activities completely. Switzerland, however, has embraced cryptocurrency and has infrastructure for interested investors to easily obtain, hold, and trade various cryptocurrencies. In this article, we take a look at what cryptocurrency is, how it is viewed in Switzerland, and how our clients can take advantage of the Swiss crypto market. For more information on investing in cryptocurrency or other financial planning topics, contact Alpen Partners! 

Cryptocurrency Basics

Cryptocurrency is digital money that uses cryptography, or puzzle solving, for security. With the cryptography step, it is difficult to counterfeit. The currency does not have a central authority and can be used for a variety of things, such as buying goods and investing. Before Bitcoin, there were some failed attempts at creating a digital currency with a central entity, but nothing gained traction like their decentralized relatives. The cryptocurrency movement began in 2008 with the inception of Bitcoin. Today there are 18,740,806.25 bitcoins in circulation. Cryptocurrency has found its way into many aspects of our everyday lives that we may not even be aware of. Blockchain technology has helped create advancements in financial technology and is changing the way we handle our finances.  There are now several different kinds of cryptocurrency, such as Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash. 

You may be wondering what you can do with cryptocurrency. Let’s take a look: 

Invest
Cryptocurrencies are an effective way to grow wealth or hedge a portfolio. Many also enjoy digital cash to support the idea of one free, hard currency for the world.

Buy Goods and Services
Some businesses do accept Cryptocurrencies, primarily Bitcoin. You can even buy yourself dinner at some restaurants. One of the most valuable goods bought with cryptocurrency is real estate. Many countries can offer the ability to buy the property and pay fees and taxes with Bitcoin.

Mine
Mining is how new crypto coins are released. Miners can compile recent transactions into blocks and solve the difficult puzzles used to protect the transaction. Whoever solves the puzzle first gets to place the next block on the blockchain and claims the reward. Mining is allowed in Switzerland and is not regulated. There are taxes applied when the minder sells.

Crypto Rules, Regulations, and Taxes in Switzerland

Switzerland has a very strong economy, nearly the best in Western Europe, making it ideal for investing in new and exciting sectors. Luckily, Switzerland is one of the most crypto-friendly nations in the world. The Swiss economy doesn’t only welcome cryptocurrency, but it is encouraging it! In fact, the Swiss canton of Zug has even started accepting up to 100,000 CHF in cryptocurrency as tax payments. However, the country has strict regulations surrounding who is permitted to use crypto and who can qualify. Also, exchanges are regulated by FINMA. 

Investors are hoping the currency will gain a lot of traction and raise the price of the coin. Switzerland, already well known for a progressive viewpoint on individual banking and privacy, and this holds true with cryptocurrency regulation – with an open attitude towards digital money, although highly regulated. Economics Minister, Johann Schneider-Ammann, stated in January of 2018 that he would like to see Switzerland as “the crypto-nation.”

Initial Coin Offering, or ICO, is like an IPO for cryptocurrency. When a new digital currency is developed, money is needed to fund it. The nation’s economic authorities have accepted cryptocurrency with open arms and are even encouraging ICOs, becoming a hotspot for these initial coin offerings. Regulations were applied in 2108 to recognize the possibility of abuse in the system, such as money laundering. 

How to Purchase Cryptocurrency in Switzerland

In Switzerland, investors can purchase Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies through ATMs, cryptocurrency banks, or qualified investment professionals. The ordinary person can purchase 100-500 Swiss francs worth of bitcoin from any SBB/CFF railway station with an automated ticket vending machine or can purchase them from an ATM with a small fee. They can also be purchased through various platforms online from a Swiss bank or stockbroker. If you are a non-resident interested in purchasing or investing in crypto in Switzerland, it’s crucial to understand the Swiss banking and investment system fully. With the guidance of Alpen Partners, you can begin your digital investment journey easily. 

How to Purchase Cryptocurrency with Alpen Partners 

Together with our partner Swiss private banks, Alpen Partners can offer the full Swiss private banking experience to international clients. The advantages of having an account in Switzerland include currency and investment diversification, asset protection, and the possibility to deposit assets in some of the oldest and best-capitalized banks in the world. Cryptocurrency is not going away any time soon, and many of our clients realize they want to be capitalizing on this growing trend. Alpen Partners can help you begin and manage your crypto portfolio. Not only can our experts create a cryptocurrency portfolio used to grow your wealth or hedge your other assets, but we can also help with investments of all kinds, whether it’s Switzerland or in another economic hotspot.