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FINMA’s chief warns banks on cyber threats, the US legendary investor speaks on Swiss crypto nation

FINMA’s chief warns banks on cyber threats, the US legendary investor speaks on Swiss crypto nation

03 April 2018

Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA chief Mark Branson has urged banks to do more to handle cyber threats, especially referring to security issues connected to digital currencies. Additionally, Tim Draper has given his opinion on Swiss recent idea to become a crypto nation.

Branson warns of cyber threats

FINMA’s chief Mark Branson has spoken on security issues in banking system while addressing participants of the annual conference. He said that Swiss banks nowadays face many cyber threats of various types, like “Refete” malware attack on e-banking systems. Daily, as much as 100 cyber attacks on banking systems take place. In general, cybercrime is on a rise in Switzerland. Partly to blame can be popularity of cryptocurrencies with numerous ICOs set up in Switzerland and vast popularity of fintech start-ups and online exchange platform. Switzerland wants to establish itself as the crypto nation. At the same as new banking or business models – connected to digital currencies – appear, many chances and risks come with them. Switzerland is failing so far to properly and holistically address those risks and is dragging behind the United States or the United Kingdom when it comes to developing central cybersecurity center, Branson warned. He said that Switzerland need a common platform that would bring together experts from various branches to strengthen co-operation between specialists in financial sector and the authorities. According to Branson, battling cybercrime is especially hard since many banks outsource their bank offices. On top of that, Branson mentioned that FINMA received mainly positive feedback on ICO guidelines that were issued last month. Guidelines on Initial Coin Offering were published by the Financial Market Supervisory Authority in response to growing popularity of cryptocurrencies in Switzerland. Last year CHF 850 million were raised in ICO in Switzerland, a 14 percent of total globally offered ICO’s. Initial Coin Offering is original issuance of digital currencies when investors sell Swiss Francs or sell Euros to receive tokens of cryptocurrencies. Branson added that with a use of issued guidelines FINMA will have a look at already done ICOs in Switzerland.

Tim Draper said Switzerland put off investors

              One of the legendary cryptocurrency investors from the US said that Swiss regulations are putting off investors in digital currencies. Draper addressed the issue while speaking at the ICO summit in Zurich, connected via Skype. His opinion is that Swiss authorities have frighten investors away with heavy-handed regulations introduced recently. According to him, Switzerland has already lost its chance to establish itself as the crypto nation and that fintech start-ups dealing with blockchain, online exchange platforms of cryptocurrencies and investors themselves are choosing Gibraltar, Singapore or Cayman Islands above Switzerland. Draper claimed that for crypto investors moving from one country to another is easy and that it is up to governments to lure investors in, instead of putting them off with limiting-business regulations. Draper though did not elaborate which regulation especially he considered as harmful for crypto industry, and if he was referring to the recently introduced ICO guidelines or not. He only mentioned specifically the Tezos row. This project was frozen for a few months when a dispute between the creators of technology and the president of a Swiss-based foundation that was set up to store, distribute the crowdfunding funds of CHF 221 million raised last year, was ongoing. The dispute only calmed down a bit at the end of January. Draper called the situation shocking in terms of how the foundation control funds generated in ICO. Nevertheless, Draper was in owe of last year’s result of USD 4 billion raised in ICOs, with CHF 850 in Switzerland itself.

 

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