Swiss Bitcoiners Seek to Amend Constitution

A group of Swiss bitcoin advocates are spearheading a popular initiative to amend the country’s constitution, allowing its central bank to purchase and hold bitcoin as part of its reserve assets. This initiative is led by Yves Bennaïm, founder and chair of 2B4CH, a pro-Bitcoin think tank in Switzerland. The proposal is also backed by Luzius Meisser, President of Bitcoin Suisse, a prominent asset management firm specialising in cryptocurrency.

The proposed amendment would modify an existing constitutional article that mandates the Swiss National Bank (SNB) to create sufficient currency reserves, a portion of which is held in gold. Under the new proposal, this article would be updated to include bitcoin alongside gold as a reserve asset. This move is aimed at protecting Switzerland’s sovereignty and neutrality in an increasingly uncertain global economic landscape.

Bennaïm has indicated that preparations for this initiative are already underway. In a recent interview with the Swiss newspaper NZZ, he mentioned that the group is “preparing the documents that must be submitted to the State Chancellery to start the process.” The initiative’s success depends on garnering public support and overcoming the scepticism of traditional financial institutions.

Meisser, who supports the initiative, plans to push for its consideration at the SNB’s upcoming general assembly. He believes that including Bitcoin in the bank’s reserves would not only benefit Switzerland but also signal a forward-thinking approach to global finance. Meisser acknowledged that his support for the initiative has a marketing aspect but stressed that Bitcoin’s increasing legitimacy as an asset could make it a valuable addition to the country’s currency reserves.

However, the road ahead is not without obstacles. A similar proposal was rejected by the SNB in 2022 when Meisser and others suggested that the central bank invest in bitcoin instead of German bonds. At the time, Thomas Jordan, Chairman of the governing board of the SNB, argued that bitcoin did not meet the criteria to be a reserve currency. Despite this setback, supporters of the current initiative are hopeful that recent developments, such as the approval of bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the U.S. and Hong Kong, might influence the central bank’s perspective.

As the initiative gains momentum, the Swiss public’s reaction and the SNB’s response will play a crucial role in determining whether bitcoin finds a place within the country’s currency reserves.

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