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Swiss Bitcoin Advocates Seek Referendum for SNB to Hold BTC

Key Insights:

  • Swiss Bitcoin enthusiasts push for a referendum to integrate Bitcoin into the national bank’s reserves, highlighting financial sovereignty and neutrality.
  • Despite past setbacks, the movement to add Bitcoin to the SNB’s assets is gaining momentum, aiming to influence Switzerland’s financial strategy and independence.
  • The initiative reflects global financial shifts, as approvals of Bitcoin ETFs in the US and Hong Kong may sway the Swiss National Bank’s stance.

In a renewed effort to integrate Bitcoin into the Swiss National Bank’s (SNB) reserves, Swiss Bitcoin enthusiasts are mobilizing to gather support for a referendum. This initiative seeks to amend the country’s constitution to include Bitcoin among the central bank’s reserve assets. 

Led by the not-for-profit think tank 2B4CH, the campaign hinges on collecting 100,000 signatures from Swiss citizens within 18 months to trigger the referendum process. This requirement presents a significant hurdle, as evidenced by a similar attempt in October 2021 that fell short of meeting this threshold.

The proponents of this initiative argue that incorporating Bitcoin into the SNB’s reserves would bolster Switzerland’s sovereignty and neutrality in an increasingly volatile global landscape. According to Yves Bennaïm, founder and chairman of 2B4CH, preparations for the referendum are underway, with necessary documentation being finalized for submission to the State Chancellery.

Strategic Implications and Historical Context

The proposition to add Bitcoin to the SNB’s reserves is not without precedent or rationale. Advocates like Luzius Meisser, president of Bitcoin Suisse, emphasize the strategic advantage of diversifying the central bank’s assets to include Bitcoin. Meisser is slated to present the case for Bitcoin to the SNB, highlighting the potential for Switzerland to assert its financial independence, particularly from the European Central Bank. This initiative is rooted in a broader vision of enhancing the country’s financial autonomy and resilience.

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Historically, the SNB has been cautious about embracing cryptocurrencies as part of its reserve strategy. In April 2022, SNB Chairman Thomas Jordan articulated the bank’s stance, stating that Bitcoin did not fulfill the criteria necessary for inclusion in the bank’s reserves. 

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Despite acknowledging the technical feasibility of acquiring Bitcoin, the central bank has remained skeptical about its suitability as a reserve currency. This skepticism is echoed in the SNB’s approach to environmental concerns, with the bank actively reducing its investments in fossil fuel companies to mitigate its carbon footprint.

Economic Considerations and Global Perspectives

The debate surrounding Bitcoin’s inclusion in the SNB’s reserves touches on broader economic and global financial dynamics. Luzius Meisser has pointed out the potential financial gains that Switzerland could have realized had the SNB adopted his earlier recommendation to purchase Bitcoin. By not participating in the early acquisition of Bitcoin, Switzerland risks facing higher costs in the future should other central banks decide to incorporate Bitcoin into their reserves. This perspective underscores the opportunity costs and strategic considerations that inform the debate on Bitcoin’s role in national reserve strategies.

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Recent developments in the global financial landscape, such as the approval of spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds in the United States and Hong Kong, have added momentum to the argument for Bitcoin’s inclusion in the SNB’s reserves. Advocates like Leon Curti of Digital Asset Solutions view these developments as indicative of a shifting regulatory and investment climate that could influence the SNB’s stance on Bitcoin.

International Reactions and Future Prospects

The initiative to incorporate Bitcoin into the SNB’s reserves has elicited responses from international observers. German politician and Bitcoin activist Joana Cotar has expressed support for the Swiss referendum initiative, highlighting the broader debate on digital currencies and national sovereignty. The Swiss Bitcoin community’s efforts reflect a growing interest in how digital assets can be integrated into national financial strategies amidst evolving regulatory and economic contexts.


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Curtis Dye

Curtis is a cryptocurrency news and analytics author with a focus on DeFi, BLockchain, CeFi, NFTs etc. He has publication skills such as SEO optimization, Wordpress, Surfer tools and aids his viewers with insights on the volatile crypto industry.

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