Question by Fiala (17.5661): Blockchain technology and virtual currencies. Opportunities and threats
- How does the Federal Council assess the opportunities and risks for the Swiss banking center regarding virtual currencies and so-called blockchain technology?
- What does it mean for the strategic level of Swiss politics?
- How does he assess “positive change” for the financial world?
Statement of the Federal Council of December 11, 2017
Developments in blockchain technology represent an important aspect of digitalization, particularly in the financial sector. Cryptocurrencies (e.g. Bitcoin) and also novel financing methods (“Initial Coin Offerings”) have recently received public attention. Blockchain technology also offers new business models in the area of mapping, verification and settlement of contracts (“smart contracts”). Innovation (including blockchain technology) thus has a correspondingly prominent role in the Federal Council’s financial market policy. Initial steps have already been taken: The fintech rules adopted by the Federal Council on July 5, 2017, as well as the fintech license envisaged in the Fidleg/Finig package, support business models in the field of cryptocurrencies. The Federal Department of Finance (FDF) plans to set up a working group with representatives of the offices concerned and the industry to carry out the necessary clarifications with regard to blockchain technology and to identify any need for action.