Could Switzerland be the next country to constitutionalize Bitcoin?

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Swiss non-profit think tank 2B4CH plans to launch a referendum proposal to have Bitcoin as part of Switzerland’s Federal Constitution.

Under Swiss law, “popular initiative” referendums are triggered upon reaching 100,000 signatures. 2B4CH is attempting to drum up support at the grassroots level to meet this criterion.

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The past few months have seen several countries, including El Salvador, and to a lesser extent Ukraine, formally adopt pro-Bitcoin positions at the governmental level.

However, the reason for this was due to raw deals both countries receive when dealing with international legacy structures. Given that Switzerland is a crucial player in banking, the biggest obstacle faced by 2B4CH is the lack of political will to rock the boat.

What are the chances of a Bitcoin referendum happening?

It’s still early days for 2B4CH’s campaign to bring in Bitcoin as part of Switzerland’s Constitution. So early that the group said they had not defined the content of their initiative.

What’s more, they openly admit that they are “not too optimistic” about getting their plans passed into law. Instead, they say, for now, the idea is to set out the feelers and bring about conversation and debate on the topic.

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We are not too optimistic about getting a law actually passed, but the goal is to get 100k signatures, to open a public conversation and open debate.

Although they previously stated that they had not defined their initiative, they later said one possible idea is to include Bitcoin, alongside gold, as part of the Swiss National Bank’s reserve assets.

Is the Swiss government pro-crypto?

The Swiss government’s attitude towards Bitcoin and cryptocurrency is generally positive.

Both the government and financial watchdog (FINMA) acknowledge the benefits of blockchain technology in driving innovation. So much so that Switzerland is aiming at becoming a global leader in this sector.

As a testament to this, in 2017, the Crypto Valley Association set up a base in the canton of Zug located in central Switzerland.

In explaining why Switzerland was chosen, the Association spoke of a number of benefits including privacy culture, world-class infrastructure, and access to global markets. But perhaps most important, from the perspective of a crypto organization, is the country’s secure and predictable legal framework.

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“Switzerland has a strong tradition of legal security, predictability and protection of intellectual and property rights.”

Swiss law does not define cryptocurrency or virtual assets. But it acknowledges that they can take the role of money and be used as payment for goods and services. However, current legislation stops short of classifying it as legal tender.

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Author: Samuel Wan


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