Swiss regulator FINMA issues guidelines for stablecoins, including Facebook’s Libra

The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) has issued new guidelines for stablecoins, including Facebook’s planned cryptocurrency Libra.

The regulator announced Wednesday that it classifies stablecoins under the existing approach of blockchain-based tokens, and that rules for stablecoins may differ depending on which assets they are backed by, i.e. currencies, commodities, real estate or securities.

“The concrete design of ‘stable coins’ can vary greatly in legal, technical, functional and economic terms. Therefore, no fully generic classification is possible,” FINMA said, adding: “Money laundering, securities trading, banking, fund management and financial infrastructure regulation can all be of relevance.”

For Facebook’s Libra, FINMA said the services planned by the project would “clearly go beyond those of a pure payment system and therefore be subject to [...] additional requirements.” Earlier today, the Libra Association announced that it is looking to get a payment system license from the regulator. 

FINMA has provided the following “indicative” categorization for supervising various stablecoins:

Source: FINMA