Bitcoin Startup Xapo Gets Nod of Approval from Swiss Finance Regulator

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Bitcoin wallet company Xapo announced today that it has received an early nod of approval from a key Swiss regulator.

The Switzerland-based company said in a new blog post that it has been given “conditional approval” from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) to do business in the European country.

The approval isn’t final, however, as Xapo said the regulator wants to see it join a self-regulatory organization (SRO), among other steps. Xapo relocated to Switzerland in mid-2015, citing customer privacy concerns at the time as it looked to shift away from its operations in Palo Alto, California.

In the blog, CEO Wences Casares wrote that the company is “optimistic that we will meet the required conditions”.

Casares went on to write:

“We wish to commend FINMA on their professionalism throughout the approval process. Since the beginning, FINMA personnel have acted in a proactive, collaborative and transparent manner; while Xapo did not always receive the answers it wanted, we always received answers grounded in reason, law and fealty to the principle of consumer protection.”

The development represents the latest positive sign out of Switzerland for companies looking to work with the tech.

The past several months have seen a major Swiss rail operator offer bitcoin buying services through its ticket kiosks and one of the country’s telecoms join the Hyperledger blockchain project. As well, Swiss regulators continue to push for the development of a more open environment in a bid to attract startups.

Xapo was not immediately available for comment when reached.

Disclosure: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which has an ownership stake in Xapo.

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