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Swiss Bitcoin advocates launch campaign to include BTC in National Bank reserves

swiss-bitcoin-advocates-launch-campaign-to-include-btc-in-national-bank-reserves
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Swiss Bitcoin advocates launch campaign to include BTC in National Bank reserves

Multiple Swiss Bitcoin advocates are spearheading a renewed campaign to persuade the Swiss National Bank to include Bitcoin (BTC) in its reserves through a constitutional referendum.

Yves Bennaïm, who leads the non-profit think tank 2B4CH driving this initiative, argued that integrating Bitcoin into the national bank’s reserves is critical for maintaining Switzerland’s “sovereignty and neutrality” growing global instability.

Speaking to a Swiss news outlet, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, on April 20, Bennaïm mentioned that they are finalizing the organizational setup and drafting necessary documents to be submitted to the State Chancellery in order to kick off the referendum.

Achieving the referendum’s signature requirement entails securing 100,000 signatures from Swiss citizens within 18 months, a hurdle that hampered 2B4CH’s initial bid in October 2021.

At that time, the “Bitcoin Initiative” initially aimed to incorporate Bitcoin as a reserve currency into Article 99-3 of the Swiss Federal Constitution.

Given Switzerland has a population of 8.77 million, this means about 1.15% of the populace must support the petition.

Luzius Meisser, who leads the Bitcoin-centric trading platform Bitcoin Suisse and collaborates with Bennaïm, stated that including Bitcoin would confirm Switzerland’s financial independence from the European Central Bank and reinforce its neutral position.

Meisser is prepared to discuss the advantages of adding Bitcoin to the central bank’s assets in a meeting with the Swiss National Bank on April 26, where he will be allotted three minutes to present his arguments.

His previous proposal in March 2022 for the bank to buy $1.1 billion in Bitcoin monthly instead of German government bonds was not accepted by Thomas Jordan, Chair of the Swiss National Bank, who in April 2022 declared that Bitcoin did not meet the necessary criteria to be considered a reserve currency.

Meisser believes that if the central bank had adopted his recommendation in 2022, it would now benefit from an additional $32.9 billion. He also cautioned that delays might lead to higher acquisition costs as other central banks might start buying Bitcoin.

Leon Curti, head of research at Digital Asset Solutions, remains hopeful that recent approvals of Bitcoin spot exchange-traded funds in the US and Hong Kong could influence the Swiss National Bank’s stance on Bitcoin investment.

The initiative has also drawn support from international figures such as Joana Cotar, a German politician and Bitcoin activist, who is notably critical of a European Union-backed digital currency.

Meanwhile, the effort to integrate Bitcoin into Switzerland’s national reserves complements the country’s flourishing role as a central hub for blockchain and crypto innovation, highlighted by the significant expansion of Crypto Valley, a premier web3 and blockchain center in Switzerland.

In 2023, the top 50 entities in Crypto Valley saw their value double to $382.93 billion. Notable entities included the Cardano Foundation, Ethereum Foundation, Nexo, and Metaco, a custody solution owned by Ripple.

In December, the city of Lugano in Southern Switzerland also announced its intention to accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for tax payments, reinforcing the nation’s progressive stance on digital currencies.