Government in Zurich has informed about its strict NO to bitcoin as a reaction to many initiatives around Switzerland, asking for Bitcoin to be allowed as a currency for tax or salaries payments.
Conversely, bitcoin became popular in the city of Zug. The Alpine country has recently warmed to Bitcoin somewhat, albeit Switzerland remains a traditional home of legacy banking and a fiat stronghold. In Zug, the local government allowed the residents to use bitcoin officially, according to the Zug scheme.
So Zurich seems to be going against the popular trend in the country. Local government or the Stadtrat does not seem to be changing its stance in the near future.
It would take only “little effort” to join the local governments, seems to support the cryptocurrency as it would become a “generally accepted payment method,” as the local newspaper Finanz Und Wirtschaft states. Nevertheless, Zurich government says, that such scheme would run “against expectations.” “It is not known to the Stadtrat that residents wish to pay taxes or fees in Bitcoin,” it continues.
This is also accompanied by overly generalized language pertaining to the nature of Bitcoin usage, some of which could be easily deemed factually incorrect. The Stadtrat writes:
The fact that every person can anonymously open as many accounts as possible restricts transparency and simplifies the potential to acquire goods illegally or launder money.
It is generally known that the use of Bitcoin is not anonymous, and that it does not employ “accounts.”
Nonetheless, it is civil protection that lawmakers seemingly state as a major reason why Bitcoin payment facilitation in Zurich is not a priority. Security of residents should not be endangered, the Stadt says, “by getting involved with a virtual currency that harbors a high risk of loss and misuse.”
Further evidence suggests the line on this cryptocurrency to be contrary to the overall plans for Zurich. Already known as a major fintech player, the city’s strategy through 2035 clearly defines the need to become a “top location” for the IT industry.
“This acknowledgment will be borne out through several E-government projects and regular involvement with representatives of the modern financial technology [industry],” the Neue Zürcher Zeitung quoted the Stadtrat as saying last month.
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