9 Oct, 2019

Switzerland Mulls Over Introducing State-backed Cryptocurrency

Switzerland government has requested a study into the risks and advantages of introducing a state-backed cryptocurrency, a so-called “e-franc” that would use technology that is close to privately launched cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.

A report in Reuters said the lower house of the Swiss parliament must now decide if it wants to back the Federal Council’s request for the study into the subject that has already been discussed in Sweden.

Lately, the topic of cryptocurrencies has polarized countries and banks across the world. While some countries are open to digital currencies, others are not. Banks such as Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan have openly slammed bitcoin, but in the former’s case, they also launched a bitcoin futures trading desk.

If the lower house in the Swiss parliament approves the request, a study will be provided by the country’s financial ministry. However, no deadline has been announced regarding the publication of the said study.

Swiss lawmaker Cedric Wermuth, vice president of the Social Democratic Party, called for the study. In its response on Thursday, the Swiss government, or Federal Council, backed the proposal to look into it, although it said there were hurdles.

The Federal Council responded, “The Federal Council is aware of the major challenges, both legal and monetary, which would be accompanied by the use of an e-franc. It asks that the proposal be adopted to examine the risks and opportunities of an e-franc and to clarify the legal, economic and financial aspects of the e-franc.”

So far, the Switzerland government has been largely neutral towards cryptocurrencies.