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Swiss Economics Minister: We ‘ShouldThe Crypto-Nation’


So long as business and technological development continues to go well in Zug, Switzerland’s Economics Minister wants to see the country lead the world in cryptocurrency-related innovation.

Johann Schneider-Ammann, Switzerland's economics minister, has said that the landlocked country should strive to "become the crypto-nation" if experiences in the Canton of Zug, colloquially known as Crypto Valley, remain positive. He made the comment in an interview with the news outlet SRF, as well as in a speech to the Crypto Finance Conference in St. Moritz, where he spoke after receiving a so-called "crypto award."

Switzerland, he said, has led the charge in many innovative sectors over the years, and with cryptocurrencies comprising "part of the fourth industrial revolution," it could make sense for the country to take the lead on this front as well. He related that he supports "the circles that deal with it" so that they can help determine whether or not cryptocurrencies (and presumably their underlying blockchain technology) represent "a future business with future jobs or … not."

Though he mostly restrained himself from exalting the technology outright, he opined that banks which dismiss cryptocurrency fever as nothing more than hype are doing so out of "professional" concerns, as the digital assets threaten to "directly" affect their field of business. If the risks of the technology prove to outweigh its benefits, though, Swiss authorities would then rather "do without" it.

"It is too early" to say whether cryptocurrencies merit regulation, he said.

On the subject of the recently-formed blockchain working group – staffed by members drawn from the State Secretariat for International Financial, the Financial Market Authority, and the Federal Office of Justice – he remarked that the body would "provide guidance on where to look and to make recommendations as to where new directions might lead."