With the first part of the “Federal Act on the Adaptation of Federal Law to Developments in Distributed Electronic Register Technology”, which entered into force on February 1, 2021, the Swiss legislator has created various legal foundations for blockchain-based legal positions (such as claims and membership rights) as well as assets.
This legislation is based on a genuinely civil law solution, which provides the parties with toolkits to map and transfer their rights, but leaves the technical details to the contractual agreement of the parties (and thus to private autonomy and consequently without state certification or supervisory bodies). This is intended to prevent technological development from being steered in a specific, state-determined direction and to prevent future innovations from being hindered. The new or revised provisions in the Code of Obligations (article 622 CO, article 973c CO, article 973d CO, article 973e CO, article 973f CO, article 973g CO, article 973h CO, article 973i CO und article 1153a CO) will therefore only define the objectives that a register must achieve in order to replace a traditional deed as an information carrier under securities law. The technical implementation of these requirements, on the other hand, is left to practice.