The Swiss Federal Council has set up a blockchain task force to promote their adaptation in the country, the Handelszeitung reported in December. This Friday, 12 January, the working group will meet for the first time. Its task will be to clarify the legal need for action in the course of the rushing use of blockchain and crypto currencies. Thus the federal authorities react to the boom of Bitcoin and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) in the country.
Hoping for the Digital Ministry?
In order to advance the public potential of blockchain use and at the same time to reveal the consequences of the emerging technologies for the Alpine country, the Federal Council, the government of Switzerland, set up a task force in December tailored to blockchain technology.
Led by Finance Minister Ueli Maurer and Economics and Education Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann, the working group is made up of representatives of the Confederation, the cantons and Swiss-based Blockchain start-ups. Together with the State Secretariat for International Financial Matters, the Task Force is to examine the legal structure of initial coin offerings and block-chain companies and clarify any urgent need for action.
The reason for this is that the blockchain is becoming increasingly important for many economic sectors, Federal Councillor Schneider-Ammann told the Neue Züricher Zeitung. This calls for a liberal government “which opens up opportunities for Switzerland as a business location and at the same time reduces risks”. In doing so, one is particularly dependent on legal security. This is to be created by the task force.
Schneider-Ammann also praised the participation of the Blockchain companies in the run-up to the initial meeting as a special achievement.
The Blockchain model pupil
However, the establishment of the Taskforce is only a symptom of a crypto and blockchain boom in the Swiss Confederation that has been boiling for some time. As a result, Switzerland is maturing more and more into a pioneering state on the European continent. Numerous examples of successful blockchain adaptations and crypto enthusiasm can be found in the Alpine country. Especially with regard to the acceptance of Bitcoin & Co., the Swiss are on the advance.
Numerous towns throughout the country are struggling for the primacy of the “Blockchain capital”. The small town of Zug, known as “Krypto-Valley”, for example, is now known throughout Europe and has developed into one of the most attractive locations for Fintech companies. The Krypto Valley Association, among others, is based here and, with the support of the Federal Council, pursues the goal of establishing a globally leading blockchain ecosystem in Switzerland.
Other Swiss communities are following suit, such as Chiasso on the Italian border. According to local media, tax payments will soon be possible in Bitcoin, as in Zug.
Another example comes from the medieval city of Lucerne. Since recently, students here can pay their bills by Bitcoin. Although the university is the first in Switzerland to accept Bitcoin as a means of payment, many more are likely to follow.
While Switzerland is showing how successful blockchain adaptation can be, the motto here is: wait and see. Following the failure of the Jamaica coalition, exploratory talks are currently underway on a relaunch of the Grand Coalition of the Union and the SPD. Both parties have little elaborate ideas about the future shape of Germany as a land for digitisation. However, both parties have taken up the cause of the birth of a central office for digital political expertise – for example in the form of a digital ministry or a digital minister of state in the chancellery.
Last year, however, the Federal Association Blockchain (Bundesverband Blockchain) was founded to ensure that the keyword “blockchain” will not fall by the wayside. It wants to put the issue on the agenda of forming a government and strengthen the Blockchain ecosystem in Germany. Whether he will be successful in his project, however, remains to be seen in the coming months.