Switzerland seems to be a country to watch in regards to adoption of the digital currency Bitcoin by the mainstream. They were the first country in the world to have a city where you can pay for public services with it. Now from the 11th of November anyone can top up their Bitcoin wallet 24 hours a day from any of the SSB Ticket machines.
In May 2016, the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation reported that residents will be able to make payments of up to 200 Swiss francs i.e. $200 or £140, using the crypto-currency for public services, in a trial scheme that began on July 1 and runs until the end of the year.
Zug, a central city in Switzerland is known as the "crypto-valley" as it hosts more than a dozen companies specialising in Bitcoin-related activities.
The Mayor, Mueller, seems very pro Bitcoin stating: "I can imagine that in the near future it will be possible to pay your tax bill with Bitcoin."
The SSB ticket machines were first introduced at all SSB train stations and at many other transport companies throughout Switzerland in 2015. The idea was to make payments to these machines easier using innovative technology and enable consumers to use contactless, faster payment with the Postfinance-Card, American-Express, Mastercard PayPass and VISA payWave credit cards.
These ticket machines already allow you to top up pay-as-you-go calling credit for mobile phones for carriers Swisscom, Sunrise, Orange, Lebara, Yallo, Lyca Mobile, Coop Mobile, M-Budget Mobile, Aldi Suisse Mobile, Mucho Mobile, GT Mobile and Ortel Mobile.
You can also purchase phone cards for low cost phone calls abroad through BeeOne, Flash and the Telecom FL Phonecard. If you want to make payments over the Internet without using your personal bank details, you can also purchase the Paysafecard Internet Payment Card at SBB ticket machines which can be used in over 3,500 online shops.
On the SSB website it gives clear simple instructions on how to use their service to purchase Bitcoin from the machines using the QR code with limits set between CHF 20 and CHF 500.
It is quite clear that the purchase of Bitcoin will be available from the ticket machines from November but there is no clarification on whether you can purchase your transport tickets with it yet, although it looks highly likely in the near future, if not already planned.
This is a massive step forward in regards to adoption by the mainstream and I have no doubt that it is only a matter of time before you can also use the digital currency to use the other services that these SBB machines provides like mobile phone top-ups, phone cards and internet payment cards.