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The adoption of security tokens, or the more commonly used name, cryptocurrencies have been growing in recent years. Since the first cryptocurrency Bitcoin, founded in 2009, many other digital currencies have emerged into the market. According to Reuters, there are over 2,000 types in circulation today. Similar to traditional investments such as equities or stocks, bonds and funds, a marketplace is needed for such securities to be traded – and it is the same for cryptocurrencies. Over the years, multiple cryptocurrency exchanges have emerged where some are regulated and deemed safe, there are others that are anonymous in ownership and physical location. It may be surprising to know that the set-up of cryptocurrency exchanges are not all that complicated. We advise that in order to have a sustainable and long-lasting cryptocurrency exchange, it is important to consider the establishment of the exchange. Not only in terms of reliability but also for tax purposes.

This comparative legal review found in the PDF above will look into the set-up of cryptocurrency exchanges in renowned jurisdictions: Switzerland, Malta and Lithuania. Kindly take note that it should be borne in mind that this comparison chart does not purport to be legal advice and all the contents of this comparative chart are drafted on the basis of information provided to us. Readers of this comparative chart should note that at the date of circulation of this comparative chart, the laws and regulations to which this comparative chart makes reference, may be subject to further amendments which will not be reflected in this comparative chart.


Authorising Authority:

Swiss Financial Market Services Authority - FINMA

Type of License:

FinTech License

Relevant Activity

The FinTech License is applicable to anyone who is primarily active in the financial sector, who professionally accepts public deposits of up to CHF 100 million or who carries out public offerings to obtain them, but neither invests nor pays interests on the deposits.

One of the business models within the scope of the FinTech License is providing wallets for crypto tokens.

A crypto token wallet provider falls within the scope of the FinTech License if:

  1. the crypto token wallet provider has a repayment obligation towards the clients;
  2. the wallet provider provides brokerage
    services in relation to foreign exchange and cryptocurrencies; and
  3. the wallet provider as a broker, holds clients’ assets for a period of no longer than 60 days.

Our Experience

lecocqassociate provides a full range of financial regulatory, corporate and commercial advice in relation to the structuring and incorporation of entities.

This article is for information purposes only. It does not constitute professional advice or an opinion. Please contact us for any questions.

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