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Switzerland played a pioneering role by awarding two crypto banks fully-fledged banking licences in 2019. Since then, more and more banks have either introduced or expanded their crypto trading service offerings. Digital assets are not only popular among crypto enthusiasts but form an integral part of many balanced portfolio allocations.
Trading in digital assets works differently to trading in traditional assets in a number of ways. The conventional intermediary functions commonly associated with traditional assets trading, such as clearing and settlement, may not be necessary. Moreover, the nature of the digital assets being traded often diverges significantly from that of traditional assets. For this reason, a bank that offers crypto trading has to be aware of the tax liabilities and the respective filing and reporting obligations involved.
In this article, we highlight the most relevant Swiss tax aspects for Banks and other financial institutions with a digital assets trading offering.