Joerg Gasser, head of the State Secretariat for International Financial Matters, and Finance Minister Ueli Maurer made the trip to Israel to discuss financial cooperation; this included blockchain technology.
Gasser said, of the discussion: “We need market access and each other’s markets unfettered and as free as possible.”
Switzerland is not a member of EU (European Union) and, as such, feels that it sometimes gets left by the wayside when it comes to financial decisions.
“Israeli authorities focus on EU regulations but the EU doesn’t fully recognise our rules and regulations for political reasons”, said Gasser (pictured below).
However, he seemed confident that, going forward, the two countries would be able to resolve the situation in a way that’s mutually beneficial for all involved.
Gasser: “You can always find ways and solutions.”
Gasser also made the point that Switzerland’s regulations are recognised by the European Securities and Markets Authority.
Both countries agreed to exchange notes on regulating blockchain technologies.
Eager to get the ball rolling as soon as possible, Gasser plans to prepare a report on blockchain regulation be the end of 2018 for the Israeli officials that would outline general recommendations, Reuters reports.
He expects that these notes might be approved by the Israeli parliament in 2019 and go into effect by early 2020.
Switzerland has become a hub for ICOs and other blockchain-related activity with many startups choosing to operate from the Swiss city of Zug which has established itself as a tech hotspot.
Israeli PM: Banks will disappear
Israel too has long shown an interest in these exciting new technologies and, of course, has the money to fund them.
Indeed, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (pictured above) last year suggested that the era of traditional banks and banking was coming to a close altogether and that cryptocurrency may be the turning point.
He said: “Is the fate of banks that they will eventually disappear? Yes. The answer is Yes. Does it need to happen tomorrow? And do we need to do it through Bitcoin? That’s a question mark.”
A slight overstatement, perhaps, but Europe’s appetite for all things crypto isn’t showing any signs of waning so we can look forward to reading Gasser’s report at some point in the next few months.