A statement by Romeo Lacher, chairman of the Six Swiss Stock Exchange, has generated much buzz in the cryptocurrency space recently: Switzerland could soon adopt the e-Franc – a blockchain-based version of the Swiss Franc.
According to his profile page, Dr. Lacher has been a member of the Six Swiss Stock Exchange Board for 10 years and Chairman of the Board for one year, elected until 2020. He holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration from the University of St. Gallen and Harvard Business School in Boston, MA.
Switzerland, which has been touted as the European capital of cryptocurrencies, has been searching for new and innovative ways to hold on to investors. Despite being a traditional destination for long term investments, Switzerland has been battling with the tough financial reality of the XXI century.
From massive account leaks to being forced to reveal identities to tax authorities, Swiss accounts are no longer as attractive as they used to be – and authorities have taken note. Earlier this year, Finance Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann said he wanted Switzerland to become “the crypto nation”.
Cryptocurrencies might be the fuel that Switzerland needed to keep up with the modern times, especially with the upcoming millenial generation of investors. The e-franc would make it the first European economy to fully embrace cryptocurrencies on a Federal level.
Vladimir Putin of Russia has also mentioned that his own country should embrace “new technologies” before other countries do (enable subtitles to view English translation). Although Mr. Putin did not mention the blockchain specifically in this video, it was understood from context that he referred to cryptocurrency technology. Last year, Mr. Putin had already delegated powers to former president Dimitri Medvedev to regulate cryptocurrencies and develop new policy to drive it into the future under the auspice of the Russian Central Banking authority.
It is no surprise, then, to see a senior member of the Swiss financial establishment also call for development of a possible e-franc under the Swiss Central Bank.
The race for crypto dominance is good for everyone. We certainly hope more European nations join this race to implement blockchain tech across the Continent.
The time to find an alternative to fiat money is now. And, as Dr. Romeo Lacher said in a recent interview to Financial Times : “I don’t like cash“.