Bern, 15.01.2020 – During its meeting on 15 January 2020, the Federal Council took note of developments currently taking place in stablecoins. Switzerland is actively involved in international efforts with regard to stablecoins, in particular in the Financial Stability Board (FSB) and other standard-setting bodies. It remains open to innovative approaches in the financial market. At the same time, the challenges and risks involved require an internationally coordinated response.

The Federal Council first expressed its views on global stablecoin projects on 16 October 2019. It continues to monitor such projects closely, including the Libra project and in particular the form which Libra may take in the future.

Looking ahead to the forthcoming World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, the Federal Council was briefed by the Federal Department of Finance on 15 January 2020 about current developments in stablecoins. The focal points included the FSB’s work on the regulation and oversight of global stablecoins and the activities of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to address the risk of money laundering and terrorist financing in stablecoin systems.

Switzerland is generally open to projects that reduce the cost of cross-border payment transactions and seek to promote financial inclusion. It takes the associated risks seriously and will ensure the integrity of the financial market.

The Federal Council recognises the challenges and reservations surrounding stablecoin projects, for example as regards financial stability, combating money laundering and terrorist financing, monetary policy and data protection. Global stablecoin projects especially can give rise to questions over the sovereignty of national monetary systems. The Federal Council continues to advocate that monetary and stability policy challenges, in particular, be addressed through international cooperation between governments, central banks and supervisory authorities, with private providers also included. The competent Swiss authorities are already in close contact with their foreign counterparts in this regard. Switzerland remains open to discussions on internationally workable approaches to the use of new technologies. The forthcoming World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos will offer an opportunity to pursue these discussions in greater depth.

News from: Federal Department of Finance and Federal council