Zug, Switzerland. 10th May 2019 — Swiss-based startup UTRUST has been granted membership with VQF (Financial Services Standards Association), a self-regulatory organisation approved by Switzerland’s financial markets regulator, FINMA.
This enables it to operate as a ‘financial intermediary’ under the Swiss Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA). In addition to enabling UTRUST to begin operating as a digital payments technology provider, the membership with VQF will also streamline the venture’s process of onboarding merchants and customers into its ecosystem.
UTRUST has built an innovative new technology platform that will allow merchants to accept digital currencies as payment and which will modernise the payments industry by eliminating the risk of fraud and market volatility for buyers and merchants alike. The solution provides comprehensive and first-of-its-kind buyer protection and instant crypto-to-fiat conversions.
The VQF SRO exercises legally prescribed supervisory functions towards its members with regard to the combating of money laundering and the preparation of the financing of terrorism. Approval for UTRUST as a member of VQF is a crucial step in its journey to becoming a fully operational company. As a recognised SRO member under VQF, it will be subject to a number of stringent rules and guidelines. In addition to rigorous audits, the company’s on-boarding and KYB (Know Your Business) processes for merchants, as well as its AML compliance mechanisms, will be monitored on an ongoing basis. These procedures will further reinforce UTRUST’s position in the market as a trusted partner.
Nuno Correia, Co-Founder and CEO of UTRUST, says: “Securing this SRO membership gives further credibility to UTRUST, our operational model and to the blockchain ecosystem as a whole. This sets a new standard for blockchain companies and sends a strong message that this technology is here to stay.”
As the “Crypto Valley” hub where hundreds of digital currency projects have established themselves in recent years, Switzerland has been at the forefront of regulation in the blockchain and digital currency space, with an open, diligent and proactive approach to innovation. By establishing a dialogue between the startup ecosystem, market supervisory authorities have consistently managed to align the needs of ventures and regulatory demands with existing laws in the categorisation of tokens and anti-money laundering regulation.
With this approval, UTRUST will also contribute to the continued development of the digital currency payments industry by helping to establish best-practice guidelines for organisations operating in the space.
Correia continues: “Although the ecosystem is decentralised at its core, for companies to prosper and grow, engage with other companies in the mass market and expand its operations, we believe that regulation is imperative. Time has shown us that unregulated companies are not conducive to a prosperous ecosystem, as they allow bad actors to have an undue influence on the market. We are proud to be a member of VQF, and look forward to UTRUST being part of the journey to mass adoption.”