Published On: Fri, May 18th, 2018

Switzerland to Examine Introduction of E-Currency

The Swiss central bank is opposed to the introduction of a digital currency. The Swiss government by contrast has agreed to examine the issue more closely.

A member of the Swiss parliament last week tabled a motion asking that the advantages and risks of a digital currency be more closely examined, and now the country’s cabinet has agreed, «Reuters»reported. The «legal, economic and financial aspects relating to the E-franc» will be investigated, the government said in a statement.

The cabinet «is aware of the legal as well as the monetary policy challenges posed by the use of an E-franc», the government added. The move by the Swiss government comes about a year after the Swedish central bank, Riksbanken, published a report on the introduction of an electronic currency in Sweden. The difference between the Nordic country and Switzerland in this respect however is the far advanced switch to a cashless society in Sweden, whereas Swiss citizens hitherto have been far more resistant to such a development. The Swiss National Bank (SNB) for instance is currently exchanging the country’s banknotes.

Incalculable Risks

The directorate of the SNB has made clear its (current) position on the issue of a digital currency. The bank sees no need and no advantages, but rather incalculable risks in introducing an E-franc.

Before the government can embark on a closer examination of an electronic version of the Swiss franc, it needs to wait for approval of the motion by the lower house of parliament.