500,000 Swiss Vote for Bitcoin-Like Financial System but Public Not Ready Yet

Crypto-friendly Switzerland went to polls on Sunday to vote on the ‘Sovereign Money Initiative’ which would have seen the country bar any institution besides the central bank from creating new money, reports Forbes.

The system would have seen a door opening for the central bank to adopt a blockchain solution, not unlike Bitcoin; an alternative sovereign money. Although the idea did not receive a popular reception from voters, 25% supported the proposed initiative at the polls, numbering 500,000 votes.

The Swiss National Bank, prior to the landmark vote, had already begun looking into using blockchain to help keep track of its financial industry and the Federal Council of the Government of Switzerland is currently considering its own central bank digital currency (CBDC) called the e-franc.

“Cryptocurrency and the blockchain does look like where we’re heading. It could have been used under the system we were proposing,” said Emma Dawnay, board member of MoMo, the group which proposed the Sovereign Money Initiative, but confirmed that the Swiss central bank was looking at “similar things”. MoMo is made up of academics, former bankers, and scientists.

Swiss National Bank president Thomas Jordan has suggested that central bank money could be issued using DLT, despite being one of the votes detractors, maintaining that the Sovereign Money proposal was a “dangerous experiment”.

MoMo’s spokesperson Raffael Wuethrich is still hopeful despite the outcome of the campaign to change Switzerland’s banking laws: “…the discussion is only just getting started. Our goal is that money should be in the service of the people and not the other way around and we will continue to work on it.”

MoMo board member Dawney suggested that the financial system needed fundamental change and needs to go through a process of public education:

“The way money currently comes into circulation still isn’t well understood… Before we can expect change we need to educate people about how money is created and the established institutions which benefit from it,” she said.

 

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