Swiss crypto firm says gets license to distribute funds

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA is seen outside their headquarters in Bern, Switzerland April 5, 2016. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich/File Photo

ZURICH (Reuters) - Zug-based Crypto Fund AG said on Monday it had received a license from the Swiss authorities to distribute funds (not to operate as an asset manager for crypto funds), saying it was the first time a crypto firm had been granted such permission.

The subsidiary of Crypto Finance Group received its license from financial market supervisor FINMA to distribute collective investment schemes to qualified investors, Crypto Finance said.

“Getting the FINMA license is a big step in the right direction, to establish us as the first point of contact for crypto assets,” Chief Executive Jan Brzezek said in a statement.

FINMA confirmed the approval without saying whether it was the first license to be granted.

Cryptocurrencies have grown in popularity as prices rallied last year, prompting increased regulatory scrutiny.

Crypto Fund AG said on its website it was also seeking approval for a passive investment vehicle tracking a benchmarked index of up to 10 of the largest and most liquid cryptocurrency assets and tokens, as calculated and maintained by Swiss bourse SIX.

(This story changes headline and first paragraph to clarify nature of approval)

Reporting by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi; Editing by Edmund Blair