Swiss Vote Down ‘Sovereign Money’ Referendum That Commentators Compared to Bitcoin
Switzerland has voted against a financial system that multiple commentators have compared to cryptocurrency, despite it implying money creation be more centralized.
Sovereign money is an initiative that would give the country’s central bank sole control over creating money, instead of continuing to allow commercial banks to “create” money for credit and loan purposes.
Switzerland’s sovereign money referendum – which garnered around 25% or 500,000 affirmative votes – was opposed by Switzerland’s central bank, which stated that a passing vote would have made its work “considerably more difficult.”
According to Beat Weber of the Austrian National Bank, Bloomberg wrote, the idea of sovereign money, or vollgeld in German, can be compared to the use of Bitcoin (BTC) or other cryptocurrencies as a non-debt based economic system.
According to Weber, the similarities between Bitcoin and sovereign money – which takes away commercial banks’ ability to create money in the form of issuing loans without necessarily having the capital to back them – arise from the implication that for both systems, “money is not safe unless it ceases to be a claim on an issuer”:
“The underlying idea is that commodity-like money would enable individual possession of money without dependence on an issuer which may suddenly become unable to make good on its promise.”
Emma Dawnay, a board member of the group (MoMo) responsible for the sovereign money initiative, told Forbes today, June 11, that crypto “could have been used under the system we were proposing”:
"Cryptocurrency and the blockchain does look like where we're heading.”
Dawnay added that even though the sovereign money idea will not currently be adopted, "blockchain technology could be how the Swiss government could try to bring debt free new money into the economy.”
Switzerland has been referred to as the “Crypto Nation,” namely thanks to its crypto-hub in Zug and its friendly tax laws that attract crypto-related companies. Last week, Zug announced that it will be running a blockchain-powered municipal trial vote this summer, allowing citizens to vote on local issues using their mobile devices.