Swiss Bitcoiners renew efforts to orange-pill the country’s central bank

0


Several Swiss-based Bitcoiners are renewing attempts to get the Swiss National Bank to hold Bitcoin (BTC) in its reserves by holding a referendum to change the country’s constitution — but they will need to convince more than 100,000 locals to sign a petition first.

Adding Bitcoin to the central bank’s reserves would help protect the country’s “sovereignty and neutrality” in an increasingly uncertain world, said Yves Bennaïm, founder and chairman of 2B4CH, a not-for-profit think tank that is leading the charge. 

“We are in the process of completing the organizational preparations for the committee and preparing the documents that must be submitted to the State Chancellery in order to start the process,” Bennaïm told Swiss news outlet Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ) on April 20.

However, 100,000 signatures from Swiss nationals are needed within 18 months for a referendum to be held on issues brought about by Swiss nationals or groups — a threshold that plagued 2B4CH’s first attempt in October 2021.

2B4CH first launched the “Bitcoin Initiative” around that time, stating its mission was to add Bitcoin as a reserve currency to Article 99-3 of the Swiss Federal Constitution.

Switzerland boasts a population of 8.77 million, meaning about 1.15% of locals will need to sign the petition.

Source: Remou Herek

“By including Bitcoin in its reserves, Switzerland would mark its independence from the European Central Bank. Such a step would strengthen our neutrality,” said Luzius Meisser, president of the Bitcoin-focused trading platform Bitcoin Suisse who is assisting Bennaïm with the initiative.

Meisser will try to convince the Swiss National Bank about the benefits of adding Bitcoin to its balance sheet in an April 26 meeting. He’ll have three minutes to plead his case.

The executive previously tried to convince the central bank to buy $1.1 billion (1 billion Swiss francs) of Bitcoin each month as an alternative to German government bonds in March 2022, according to NZZ.

However, Swiss National Bank Chair Thomas Jordan reportedly said Bitcoin didn’t meet the requirements for SNB to add it as a reserve currency in April 2022.

Related: Crypto adoption is booming, but not in the US or Europe — Bitcoin Builders 2023

Meisser is now claiming that Switzerland would be $32.9 billion (30 billion Swiss francs) richer, had the central bank followed his suggestion in 2022 and that leaving it any later risks the chances of other central banks swooping in on Bitcoin, forcing Switzerland to buy at “significantly higher prices than everyone else,” he said.

However, Leon Curti, head of research at asset manager Digital Asset Solutions, is hopeful the recent approvals for spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds in the United States and Hong Kong will influence the Swiss National Bank into investing in Bitcoin.

The NZZ article brought about a positive response from Joana Cotar, a German politician and Bitcoin activist who strongly opposes a European Union-backed digital currency.

Cointelegraph reached out to 2B4CH but didn’t receive an immediate response.

Magazine: Bitcoin in Senegal: Why is this African country using BTC?