International Blockchain Law: Fintech-Friendly Liechtenstein

September 3, 2018

Europe’s fourth smallest nation, Liechtenstein, is angling for a big piece of the international blockchain pie. Notoriously business-friendly, the alpine oasis is one of the wealthiest (per capita) countries in the world and maintains a sophisticated financial industry.

International Blockchain Law: Liechtenstein’s “Blockchain Act”

Earlier in the year, Liechtenstein green lit new regulations “intended to regulate all activities that are possible on technical systems such as distributed ledgers and blockchain systems.”

The Blockchain Act establishes legal standards for:

  • Security Tokens;
  • Digital Asset Ownership;
  • Digital Asset Ownership Transfers;
  • Token Storage and Security;
  • AML/KYC Requirements;
  • Industry Licensing Standards;
  • ICOs, token sales, and token generation events.

International Blockchain Law: The Lure of Liechtenstein

What unique advantage does Liechtenstein present for token investors and ICOs? In short: near-immediate, personalized service. A government official enthused:

“Because we are so small, blockchain companies can move a lot faster here than other countries. You can call us for a meeting on Monday morning and we can meet you for lunch on Tuesday or Wednesday. Very few other places can do that consistently.”

International Blockchain Law: Liechtenstein is to Crypto as Switzerland is to Fiat

Over the past year, Swiss banks have rejected hundreds of blockchain and crypto-based companies. But Liechtenstein has been more than happy to welcome these fintech refugees.

Bank Frick, one of the country’s premier financial institutions, has already helped over two dozen ICOs secure traditional bank accounts. It’s rumored to have hundreds of clients in the fintech space —a boon considering the country’s slight population.

Union Bank, another of Liechtenstein’s financial institutions, announced plans to issue its own security token in a bid to become the world’s first “blockchain investment bank.” It’s ultimate goal it to serve as a “one-stop crypto and blockchain solution provider which embraces and integrates the new world of blockchain technology and crypto assets and the best practices of traditional banking.”

Adrian Hasler, Liechtenstein’s prime minister, by all indications seems committed to the fintech industry, recently enthusing:

“Blockchain technologies are laying the basis for an entirely new industry. We are confident that Liechtenstein’s existing and future legal framework and practice provide a robust foundation for … blockchain companies to provide exceptional services here in Liechtenstein.”

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The Gordon Law Group is a leading blockchain law firm based in Chicago, Illinois — though we work with investors across the country and around the world. Our practice areas — international tax, business, and tech law — are a natural fit for the fintech space.

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