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Switzerland’s federal government has called for a study into the risks and opportunities of launching the “e-franc”, a proposed state cryptocurrency powered by blockchain technology.
The Federal Council, Switzerland’s seven-member executive council that constitutes the federal government, has thrown its support behind a 32-year-old Swiss lawmaker Cédric Wermuth’s call for a formal government study into the possibility of launching a state cryptocurrency.
The politician, who is vice president of the Social Democratic Party, has championed the formal proposal at a time when a number of other nations including the likes of China, Singapore, Canada, Israel, England among several others are actively researching the issuance of a state cryptocurrency backed by the central bank.
In backing the young politician’s call for the study, the Swiss Federal Council said in statements reported by Reuters:
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.
It’s up to the lower house of the Swiss Parliament, the National Council, to decide if it wants to back the federal request for the study. If approved, the task falls on the Swiss finance ministry to research and ultimately produce the government-backed study.
It’s a noteworthy development from Switzerland, a country commonly seen among the friendliest jurisdictions for cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs), a radical new method fundraising through cryptocurrencies. Earlier in February, Switzerland’s financial watchdog and regulator, the Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), published guidelines for operators to undertake ICOs in the country.
In January, Swiss economics minister Johann Schneider-Ammann called on Switzerland to become “the crypto nation” and urged the nation to build on the proactive lead taken through embracive initiatives like in the city of Zug, a Swiss town that has come to known as the ‘Crypto Valley’.
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