In an interview with news outlet SFT, Switzerland’s economics minister Johann Schneider-Ammann recently stated that the country should attempt to “become the crypto-nation.” This, if experiments in the Canton of Zug, colloquially known as the Crypto Valley, are successful.
Per the minister’s words, these successful experiences could be extended to the whole nation, thus helping Switzerland become a “crypto-nation.” He stated (roughly translated):
“The Canton of Zug, the Cryptovalley, has come a long way. There we can gain experience. If the experiences in Zug are positive, we can extend that to the nation. Therefore the statement: It does not need to stay with Cryptovalley, it should become the crypto-nation.”
During his interview, the country’s economics minister addressed a few key concerns for those looking at the cryptocurrency ecosystem. The Crypto Valley is home to various blockchain companies, including the Ethereum Foundation. Seemingly addressing its success, the minister stated Switzerland has “grown big by everything that means innovation.”
He added that cryptocurrencies are part of the “fourth industrial revolution.” However, he cautioned that only those who understand financial markets and who can afford to lose money should deal with them.
Per the minister’s words, cryptocurrencies are still in an initial phase and, as such, haven’t stabilized. Nevertheless, taking risks and investing in them now could mean new opportunities in the long run. Given that it could create jobs in the future, he expressed his support.
Will the ‘crypto-nation’ regulate cryptocurrencies?
When asked about potential regulations, Johann Schneider-Ammann made it clear he thinks it’s too early. The minister added that experience dealing with cryptocurrencies is “still too low,” and implied regulations could stifle innovation.
SFT pushed further and asked if potential regulations could lead to a crackdown in the country, like in China. In response, the minister stated:
“We are who we are. We must and want to be able to determine our own future. We make our experiences and of course we make cross-comparisons with the neighbors and the distant competitors.”
Notably, Switzerland isn’t a member of the European Union (EU). The country remains neutral, independent and sovereign, meaning potential regulations affecting EU members won’t affect it. This, in part, is what made the country attractive to blockchain startups.
The minister also implied that banks which dismiss the cryptocurrency craze as “hype” do so for a reason. To him, the reason is based on professional concerns, as cryptocurrencies directly affect their business. He added that if the technology’s risks outweigh its benefits, then the country would “do without it.”