Smart Valor has received licenses from Liechtenstein’s financial market regulator and plans to introduce an institutional offering in the first quarter of 2021. The announcement comes at a time when Bitcoin is soaring, and the demand for cryptocurrencies is increasing.
Zug-based Smart Valor has been granted licenses from the Financial Market Authority Liechtenstein (FMA) to provide exchange services “including the staking and trading of cryptocurrencies,” according to a recent press release. The licenses are based on the new Blockchain Act introduced in January 2020. The law introduced a transition period for existing companies to register under the new legislation.
Smart Valor said it worked together with the FMA throughout 2020 to receive the necessary licenses. Smart Valor CEO Olga Feldmeier says, “We are delighted to have developed a trading infrastructure that meets the high standards of financial regulation in Liechtenstein.“
Smart Valor wants to grow its institutional business
The new licenses should put Smart Valor in a position to grow its business with institutional investors. The company wants to create an institutional offering for independent asset managers, family offices, and small banks in the first quarter of 2021. Part of the offering will be the brokerage, trading, and staking of cryptocurrencies and digital assets.
The company started operating as a crypto exchange in July 2019. Last year it established a professional board also enhanced its corporate governance. Feldmeier comments, “Last year, we had the chance to further strengthen our internal control mechanisms and compliance with money laundering regulations at international and EU level.” Ticking all the boxes in this respect is especially crucial for any business with institutional investors, who are subject to stricter regulatory oversight.
Crypto exchange scene in Liechtenstein is opening a new chapter
Smart Valor’s announcement came around the same time as the announcement of Liechtenstein-based LCX, which has also received the necessary licenses to operate comprehensive exchange services in Liechtenstein. That shows the crypto exchange scene in Liechtenstein is now ready to open a new chapter.
With all necessary licenses, the next challenge will be to onboard more investors and traders to the cryptocurrency ecosystem. With crypto prices – particularly Bitcoin – going through the roof since November 2020, more investors are now getting interested in entering the space. Much of that, however, will depend on the existence of professional exchange infrastructure and liquidity providers.
Liechtenstein and Switzerland have seen several very promising crypto exchange projects coming up in the past years. The Blockchain Act was expected to create legal certainty for these projects in Liechtenstein and thus boost the development of the sector. It has also attracted international exchanges such as Bittrex. However, it took longer for the new law to get introduced, creating a legal limbo for crypto exchanges. Now, it seems the situation is clear, exchanges got their licenses, and the whole space is ready to move forward. Good news.