Bitcoin automated teller machine (ATM) manufacturer Lamassu has moved to Switzerland due to regulatory difficulties in other countries, according to a blog post.
Lamassu, which is now called Lamassu Industries AG, has moved to the Swiss canton of Lucerne, because the firm wants “to be in a place where rules are well defined and regulators are pro-innovation.”
Lamassu disclosed in the post that its applications to open an account were rejected by 15 banks since it produces terminals for bitcoin, while not taking part in trading or storing digital currencies. In addition, the company was purportedly rejected by payment processor Stripe for having the word “bitcoin” on their site.
Switzerland is known around the world because of its crypt-friendly approach and blockchain development hub “Crypto Valley” in the city of Zug. In December, Zug was ranked as the fastest-growing tech community in Europe. Zug came out top in a comparison of year-over-year growth of attendees to tech-related “meetup” events per European city, with a 177 percent increase in comparison with last year.
Several major companies in the cryptocurrency space have relocated to more friendly jurisdictions as a means of regulatory arbitrage. In May, the formerly biggest cryptocurrency exchange in Poland, BitBay, decided to suspend its activities in the country as banks would no longer cooperate with the company.
The exchange announced that it would instead be conducted by a new supplier in the Republic of Malta, where local laws are more crypto-friendly.
Later in June, the world’s largest crypto exchange, Binance, set up a bank account in Malta, saying that the new bank account was “very significant” development since the exchange first revealed it was relocating its headquarters to the island. The move was reportedly taken in light of the news that Japanese regulators had issued a warning to the exchange.
Apart from Switzerland and Malta, other countries, such as Bermuda, Estonia, and Liechtenstein, are also actively adjusting and creating legislation to welcome blockchain and crypto projects. In July, Bermuda put forward plans to amend the Banking Act in order to establish a new class of banks that offer services to local fintech and blockchain organization.