Switzerland has made its name as a domicile for some of the most cutting-edge projects that are based on the distributed ledger technology (DLT), such as foundations sponsoring leading blockchain protocols out of the "crypto valley". Swiss private law and financial regulation is also known to be a pioneering legal framework and garnered worldwide attention with the recent "DLT" legislative package. The positive legal framework for ledger-based securities attracted in particular the attention of financial institutions and regulators, but also new market entrants.
The years following the 2017 boom of initial coin offerings (ICOs) showed a clear tendency of projects that attempt to fit within a positive regulatory framework and an interest in utilizing the technology for other purposes than mere fundraising.
We at Baker McKenzie understand digital assets and the use of DLT as a new industry field in a highly dynamic legal and regulatory environment. It is essential to consider such project not only from a local and technology-based perspective, but also from an international tax, legal and regulatory view. Baker McKenzie is the global one-stop full-service shop for such projects. It is one of only a handful of law firms in the world with a practice group devoted to structuring and implementing complex cross-border transactions with innovative DLT aspects. And we can advise you beyond the Swiss border, worldwide with an internationally recognized team on all legal and regulatory issues concerning blockchain.
We help our clients to legally structure blockchain and DeFi-based projects and to set up financial instruments and other assets on the blockchain. For many clients, we have been able to find innovative solutions that comply with the national and international financial market regulations. We advise numerous financial institutions on custody, payment services and AML-related and other compliance issues in connection with digital assets, and seek regulatory approvals where required. We advise market participants on setting up financial market structures based on DLT. We also help our clients keep issues such as tax treatment, IP protection, cyber security and antitrust on the radar. Further, we advise a large number of issuers on the issuance and listing of traditional securities (derivatives, investment funds) that have blockchain-based instruments as underlyings. Many clients have chosen us as their partner to keep an eye on the development of regulatory trends at local and international level.