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Swiss Bitcoin Advocates Campaign for National Bank to Hold Bitcoin Reserves

Swiss Bitcoin Advocates Campaign for National Bank to Hold Bitcoin Reserves

Apr 22, 2024

Swiss Bitcoin Advocates Campaign for National Bank to Hold Bitcoin Reserves

In Switzerland, a renewed initiative led by Bitcoin advocates is underway to persuade the Swiss National Bank (SNB) to incorporate Bitcoin into its strategic reserves. The non-profit think tank 2B4CH has spearheaded the campaign, aiming to hold a national referendum that could amend the Swiss constitution, mandating the central bank to hold Bitcoin.

Yves Bennaïm, the founder and chairman of 2B4CH, expressed that this move is intended to uphold Switzerland's political neutrality and sovereignty amid global uncertainty. "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 said in a statement to Swiss news outlet Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ) on April 20.

For the referendum to take place, advocates need to gather 100,000 signatures from Swiss citizens within 18 months. Considering Switzerland's population of approximately 8.77 million, this means about 1.15% of the nation's residents must sign the petition. This requirement previously presented challenges for 2B4CH during a similar attempt in October 2021.

Luzius Meisser, President of Bitcoin Suisse, supports the new campaign, highlighting the independence it could signal from the European Central Bank. "By including Bitcoin in its reserves, Switzerland would mark its independence from the European Central Bank. Such a step would strengthen our neutrality," Meisser stated.

Meisser is set to advocate for the benefits of adding Bitcoin to the SNB's balance sheet during a meeting on April 26, where he will have three minutes to present his case. In the past, he suggested that the SNB should allocate over $1 billion monthly to Bitcoin rather than German bonds. SNB Chair Thomas Jordan, however, has been resistant to the idea, stating that Bitcoin does not meet the reserve criteria.

The campaign has garnered international support from figures like German politician Joana Cotar, who tweeted in favor of the initiative. If successful, Switzerland could become the first Western country to hold Bitcoin reserves, following El Salvador's pioneering step to adopt it as legal tender in 2021.

As it stands, the future implications of the campaign could have significant impacts on Switzerland's financial strategy and the broader global perception of Bitcoin as a reserve asset. The result of Meisser's upcoming presentation to the SNB and whether the required signatures will be obtained within the designated timeframe remain to be seen.

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