Tuesday, 30 May 2023

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Liechtenstein adapts blockchain laws to developing crypto landscape

Liechtenstein adapts blockchain laws to developing crypto landscape

The blockchain and crypto industry is constantly growing and changing around the world, and the Principality of Liechtenstein is no exception. 

The sixth smallest country in the world, located in the middle of Europe between Switzerland and Austria, has attracted the attention of the international and European crypto communities alike since the early days of the industry. 

In 2019, Liechtenstein became one of the first countries in the world to adopt specific legislation on crypto and blockchain, namely the Token and Trusted Technology Service Providers Act (also known as TVTG or the Liechtenstein Blockchain Act), which has been in force since the beginning of 2020 and established one of the world’s first regulated environments for token-related services.

Since 2020, the number of crypto service providers in Liechtenstein has been increasing, as companies find optimal conditions there to establish and develop their crypto business. The TVTG’s high level of regulatory certainty and direct communication with the local financial market regulator, the Financial Market Authority (FMA), have also contributed to this crypto-friendly environment.

What else makes Liechtenstein special and attractive for crypto service providers? Will the upcoming Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulation be compatible with Liechtenstein’s Blockchain Act? Or is Liechtenstein’s government planning to tighten the law after the collapse of major crypto businesses like FTX, Celsius or Three Arrows Capital?

To get a betting understanding of crypto’s future in the country, Cointelegraph sat down with Thomas Dünser, director of Liechtenstein’s Office for Financial Market Innovation and Digitization. Dünser is a senior adviser to the prime minister of Liechtenstein, responsible for innovation and digitalization issues within the Ministry of Finance and was the project leader and co-author of the Blockchain Act.

The first comprehensive national token law

From 2016 to 2018, the blockchain and crypto industry faced a tremendous amount of uncertainty as governments around the world had only begun to develop regulatory concepts for digital assets. Amid this uncertainty, the announcement that the Liechtenstein government considered blockchain as a promising technology was already something of a sensation.

With the publication of the draft law, it also became clear how Liechtenstein would treat tokens. In particular, Liechtenstein was the first country in the world to regulate the…

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