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Switzerland has welcomed Bitcoin with open arms and embraced the concept of cryptocurrencies including encouraging mining of same in Switzerland. The banking culture of Swiss banks has been on a decline of late and the authorities see this as a potential revival of their business. In fact only recently the Economics Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann, stated he would like to see Switzerland to become a major, “crypto-nation” at a crypto finance conference in the alpine resort of St Moritz. Contrary to many other countries Switzerland is interested in participating in the cryptocurrency market with development in the Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) being at the top of their agenda.

Roman Bruskov, DeHedge Editor-In- Chief and sounding like a spoke person for the European and UK banking community, told, he thinks the Swiss government is placing a risky stake on cryptocurrencies by making such bold announcements about ICOs. He said: “The established history of the Swiss nation as a haven for finance, its constant neutrality in world affairs and its adherence to banking secrecy is making it an ideal refuge for crypto investors and a playground for the germination and development of some very dangerous precedents that could leak into the outside world eventually. “The mere fact that the Swiss government is making such statements puts it, and its considerable weighing in financial affairs, in stark contrast with mainstream global movements aimed at stemming the volatility and rampant spread of cryptocurrencies as a destabilising force for many economies.” Sounding a cautionary note, Mr Bruskov added: “It will not be long before we witness the first scandal involving the words ‘Swiss’ and ‘crypto’ in the same headline if such hazardous foreplay with the phenomenon is allowed to develop further.”

Contrary to this, Olga Feldmeier, CEO of blockchain start-up SMART VALOR reckons that there are a number of factors pulling them closer. Not the least of which is that Switzerland is one of the most decentralised and democratic societies in the world. He told “If you would put ‘decentralisation’ of power on a line from 1 to 10, Bitcoin is at 10 and Switzerland is at 9. “Switzerland’s direct democracy is unique example of how decentralisation works in practice. It is actually equivalent to what Bitcoin is in terms of technology.” He went on, “Switzerland’s reputation for secrecy extends past “Swiss bank accounts” being the fictional end destination for the spoils of every villainous plot in the movies.

Mr Feldmeier pointed out that “Switzerland used to be safe-haven for rich and powerful around the world to protect their wealth during wars and instabilities. As this concept disappears the question of the redefinition of key competitive advantage emerges.”

Although Switzerland still dominates banking for the world’s richest, its market share in “secret” banking is beginning to slide. Switzerland has $6.8tn in assets under management below its 2007 peak but still a significant figure and according to a report from the Swiss Banking group, 9.1 percent of global assets under management arrived in Switzerland at a massive total of over $10tn amazing when you consider that its gross domestic product was just $477 billion in the same year.

Mr Feldmeier says that cryptocurrencies allow “Switzerland to build a competitive edge”.

There are many cryptocurrency exchanges in Switzerland (See Cryptocurrency Exchanges) and of course the European exchanges are also quite accessible. With such countries as Switzerland, Sweden and Singapore welcoming Bitcoin and offering full exchange facilities, those countries heavily regulating Bitcoin are going to fall by the wayside and lose potential revenue as a result. Revenue countries such as Switzerland will pick up.

This article is for information purposes only and is not to be construed as financial information for any purposes such as investment or speculation and it is the responsibility of the reader to perform proper due diligence before acting upon any of the information provided. We recommend that you consult with a licensed, qualified investment advisor before making any investment decisions. Press Release