Swiss Government to Take a Cautioned Approach to CBDC Author: Jimmy Aki Last Updated: 13 December 2019 Switzerland is one of the most crypto-friendly countries in the world, with an environment that provides enough of an encouragement for growth. However, the country’s government is looking to take a step back and evaluate its position before the launch of any government digital currency. Earlier today, the Federal Council of Switzerland published a press release on its website, in which it gave its approval to a report which showed the risks and opportunities posed by issuing an E-Franc- the country’s currency. Restricted Scope of Operation for Potential Swiss CBDC After a careful analysis, the Council posited that it will be impossible for a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) to meet the levels of efficiency required for it to be adopted as a payment methods, adding that it could also pose a threat to the stability of the Swiss financial system and the prospects of the government enacting forward-thinking monetary policies. “A universally accessible central bank digital currency would bring no additional benefits for Switzerland at present. Instead, it would give rise to new risks, especially with regard to financial stability,” the release claimed. The same view was shared by the Swiss National Bank (SNB), the country’s apex banking institution. In the release, the SNB argued against a CBDC, claiming that monetary policy and economic stability requirements are much more than what any digital asset can provide. As such, the government concluded that while the prospect of developing a CBDC is not entirely out of the question. Any one released will only be restricted to use by financial market players, and not the public. The release added, “A ‘wholesale token’ issued by the SNB could possibly help to enhance efficiency in the trading, settlement and management of securities.” However, this setback doesn’t necessarily mean that a CBDC in Switzerland won’t come, as the institutions expressed their commitment to continue monitoring the situation. Many have called Switzerland to develop a CBDC, as they believe that the regulations in place viz a viz cryptocurrency operations in the country will make it a proper ground to experiment how these assets could work. However, not much progress has been made on that front, as the government has so far not been convinced that launching a digital asset of its own will really solve anything. Retail Crypto Adoption on the Rise Regardless, the adoption of digital assets in the country- especially for use by the public- has continued to ramp up. Last month, Swiss crypto banking institution Bitcoin Suisse announced that it had partnered with European payment processor and financial service provider Worldline to boost the adoption of Bitcoin in the country. Per the press release, both companies have signed a letter of intent to build crypto payment services in the country, which will be used by merchants and retail companies both online and in-store. As the release estimates, the new service will bring cryptocurrency access to 85,000 Swiss merchants who have integrated the SIX Payment Services- a payment infrastructure from Worldline- into their operations. Thanks to crypto implementation, the network will grow and promote crypto use at a mass scale across both e-commerce and point-of-sale platforms.