Switzerland could become the next country in the world to constitutionalize Bitcoin if the latest plans receive the backing they need and go ahead. The country is already known around the world to be a financial haven for many, so it perhaps does not come as a surprise to learn that there is serious interest in making cryptocurrency become a part of Switzerland’s Federal Constitution. The move, though, is coming from an independent non-profit group called 2B4CH. The association was founded in Geneva in 2017 and has been created to study social and financial transformations brought by Bitcoin and blockchain technology, whilst also studying the impact of decentralized cryptocurrencies. A think tank, 2B4CH has fewer than 20 members currently within the association but they do not accept any donations as they want to protect its independence and the privacy of its members.
100,000 signatures needed for a referendum
A referendum within the nation can be triggered when 100,000 signatures have been acquired under Swiss law, which is why 2B4CH has decided to try and drum up the support they need from a grassroots level to try and acquire the total required in order to take it to the government. The move is one that would follow other countries that have already decided to formally adopt Bitcoin, with the likes of crypto friendly El Salvador and Ukraine having already adopted pro-Bitcoin positions at the governmental level despite the fact that there are countries – such as China and India – that continue to be against the idea of adopting the digital currency. Unfortunately, following El Salvador and Ukraine could be a rather difficult task for Switzerland to replicate as the biggest obstacle that they face will be the lack of political will that there will be to challenge the crucial position that the country has in regards to world banking.
Little optimism a referendum will happen
Although 2B4CH is still within the early days of their campaign to bring Bitcoin in as part of Switzerland’s Constitution, it would seem that there is very little optimism that they will succeed in doing so; even within the campaign group. They have openly admitted that they are not too optimistic about their plans and getting them passed into law, whilst also revealing that they are yet to define the content of their initiative, thus suggesting that there is still some way to go. There has been some suggestion, though, that a possible idea that they could look to explore and use is to include Bitcoin and gold as part of the Swiss National Bank’s reserve assets. Furthermore, 2B4CH has also stated that they are only looking to get out feelers into the wider public and to bring a focus to the topic, thus allowing for a conversation and debate to develop in the future, perhaps to allow for organic support to fester.
Swiss government could be favorable to the proposal
Should the referendum happen and a proposal be put forward, there is every chance that the Swiss government could look to adopt Bitcoin (Read also The possible scenarios for Bitcoin in the future – from the best to the worst) and cryptocurrency in the future. This is because its attitude to digital currency is rather positive. The government and financial watchdog (FINMA) are already understood to have acknowledged the benefits blockchain technology provides and how it is as innovative as possible. Furthermore, Switzerland is already looking to become a global leader within the market sector, as well. The country’s law does not define cryptocurrency or virtual assets currently and acknowledges that they can take the role of money to be used as payment for goods and services. However, it should be noted that current legislation does stop short of stating that crypto can be considered legal tender.
FINMA already making moves
FINMA has already shown their hand to the idea of digital currency as they approved the Crypto Market Index Fund that has been launched by Crypto Finance. There are some limitations to the Crypto Market Index Fund at the moment, as it is restricted to qualified investors and they may only invest in leading cryptocurrencies with a sufficiently large trading volume. This move was just one of the latest to have been approved by the FINMA as they make Switzerland one of the world’s most crypto-friendly countries, as the move followed the one that allowed the town of Zug to trial crypto payments for certain city services.