The state of wealth is increasingly digital. Not just in managing wealth, from online investment portals to the ever-reliable Bloomberg terminal, but also in the assets themselves, Marc Taverner writes in an article for finews.first.
Some call it «modern» wealth, others call it «digital wealth», but they reflect the same reality: an increasing proportion of successful and profitable portfolios include digital assets. Also known as crypto assets and cryptocurrencies, they are often well-recognized by their specific asset classes: Bitcoin, Ethereum, USDC, Tether, and more.
When crypto assets arrived, purchasing them directly was the first and only avenue to having them in a portfolio. Facing the complexity of opening a cryptocurrency wallet or finding an OTC provider appropriately licensed in their jurisdiction, many intelligent investors stayed out of the market and waited for it to mature.
«Whether digital or physical, investors want assets held in European banks»
As prices rose, financial products started to appear – or at least, to be proposed. While much attention is paid to the state of even more US ETF filings (against its ever-stubborn Securities and Exchange Commission), Europe is already decades ahead. Europe is already home to several products specifically designed for private investors, family offices and even pension funds that wish to diversify into crypto assets.
This reflects our continent’s clear lead in regulating and managing digital wealth. Although Europe faces competition from other jurisdictions like the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, and Singapore, demand remains for Europe-licensed products.
Whether digital or physical, investors want assets held in European banks. In many cases, they go one step further – they want their assets and products (not to mention their financial services providers) to be Swiss-licensed and regulated. Switzerland has become a model for licensed, regulated crypto asset investment. While it is not part of the EU, its approach represents what the EU could interpret as an ideal outcome when implementing MiCA.
«It is no surprise that companies driving investment digitization are Swiss-headquartered»
Switzerland’s approach is particularly interesting given that it is not part of the EU but is rather subject to the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (Finma). Having worked in several other jurisdictions, Finma is unique in that it has nurtured a healthy, appropriately regulated, and self-policing environment that makes it possible for responsible players to create financial products in crypto assets.
It is no surprise that companies driving investment digitization are Swiss-headquartered. One has launched a platform for creating actively managed certificates, including for Bitcoin, which shortens the launch timeline from years to weeks. This empowers licensed providers like us to create avenues into crypto asset investment that do not exist in other markets. This tracks with continental interest in products like Fidelity’s Bitcoin ETP.
Originally launched in Frankfurt, it also has a home on Zürich’s SIX exchange. Not to mention the foresight of outstanding Swiss private banks whose early embrace of crypto assets and leadership solidified Switzerland’s place as the premier jurisdiction for digital wealth.
«After MiCA’s approval, all eyes are now on its execution»
With Finma’s guidance and the healthy ecosystem of licensed crypto asset providers, investors here in Switzerland are well-equipped to explore digital wealth. Moreover, because Swiss regulators have provided an official framework on which companies, service providers and exchanges can operate legally, investors have more confidence in engaging with these asset classes and products without fear. Indeed, we founded our firm, XEROF, here. There is no other location we could have started than Switzerland.
After MiCA’s approval, all eyes are now on its execution. And if Europe wishes to teach the world what regulated crypto asset markets look like, then Switzerland shall act as its star pupil. Its approach towards licensed investments in these digital assets sets a standard that countries across Europe can aspire towards if they want their citizens’ investments into crypto assets to remain regulated and protected.
Marc Taverner is the CEO and co-founder of XEROF, a leading Swiss financial services provider specializing in crypto assets and offering institutional services across digital and fiat currencies, including cross-border settlement, currency exchange, OTC brokerage, asset custody, and frictionless payments. Founded in 2020. Most recently, Tavernier led INATBA, one of the largest multi-stakeholder blockchain trade associations backed by the European Commission and Abu Dhabi Global Market, where he oversaw all aspects of policy engagement and governmental relations amid tremendous regulatory advancements like MiCA. He also served on the management team at Bitfury, one of Europe’s first unicorn crypto asset companies.
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