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Swiss Bitcoin Advocates Push for the Referendum to Include Bitcoin in National Banking Reserves

Renewed efforts initiate a Bitcoin referendum

Swiss Bitcoiners are rallying efforts to initiate a constitutional change that would allow the Swiss National Bank (SNB) to include Bitcoin in its financial reserves.

Key takeaways:

  • Swiss Bitcoin proponents aim to gather over 100,000 signatures to trigger a referendum on incorporating Bitcoin into the national bank's reserves.
  • Adding Bitcoin is touted as a measure to preserve Switzerland's sovereignty and neutrality.
  • Recent global developments in cryptocurrency may bolster the campaign’s impact.

Several advocates from the Swiss Bitcoin community are intensifying their efforts to incorporate Bitcoin into the Swiss National Bank’s reserves, requiring a change to the country’s constitution via a referendum. Yves Bennaïm, founder of the nonprofit 2B4CH, has outlined plans to kickstart this initiative by first gathering the necessary 100,000 signatures from Swiss nationals within 18 months, a challenge that previously hindered the campaign in October 2021. 

Bennaïm discussed the current preparations with the Swiss news outlet Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ) on April 20, emphasizing the organizational steps being taken to approach the State Chancellery. The initiative underscores a strategic push to fortify Switzerland's financial autonomy in a globally unstable economic climate.

Strategic arguments for Bitcoin reserves

The argument for integrating Bitcoin into the Swiss National Bank’s reserves centers on enhancing Switzerland's financial independence and neutrality, especially from the European Central Bank. Luzius Meisser, president of Bitcoin Suisse and an advocate for the proposal, is slated to present these benefits to the Swiss National Bank at a meeting on April 26. Meisser, who previously suggested that the SNB should invest in Bitcoin rather than German government bonds, will have three minutes to make his case. 

Reflecting on past interactions, Meisser points out that following his advice in 2022 would have made Switzerland richer by 30 billion Swiss francs ($32.9 billion), emphasizing the high stakes of delaying Bitcoin integration.

Influences and opinions on Switzerland's crypto stance

The broader context of global cryptocurrency acceptance, including recent approvals of spot Bitcoin ETFs in the United States and Hong Kong, could play a crucial role in influencing the Swiss National Bank's stance. Leon Curti, head of research at Digital Asset Solutions, expressed optimism that these developments might sway the SNB's decision. 

Additionally, the discussion has caught the attention of international figures such as German politician and Bitcoin activist Joana Cotar, who advocates against an EU-backed digital currency, signaling a supportive stance towards Switzerland’s potential move towards Bitcoin. This international perspective highlights the growing intersection of cryptocurrency with traditional banking systems and national policies.