Swiss to vote on proposals to treat bitcoin as foreign currency

Swiss to vote on proposals to treat bitcoin as foreign currency

Politicians in Switzerland are set to vote on proposals submitted by 45 members of the Swiss Parliament for bitcoins to be legally recognised as a legitimate foreign currency, like the euro or dollar.

The proposal was put forward by the Parliamentary Group for Digital Sustainability (Parldigi). It calls on the Swiss Government to evaluate the opportunities for the use of bitcoin by the country's financial sector and to clarify the digital currency's legal standing with respect to anti-money laundering, VAT, and securities laws.

If approved by Parliament, the questions will be posed to the Swiss executive arm of government, the Federal Council for judgment.

The Pardigli faction says it has been debating the credibility of bitcoin internally for some months.

In a press statement, the group says: "Its (Pardigli's) members, coming from major parties such as SP, FDP, GLP and the Greens, have concluded that Bitcoin and comparable digital currencies not only pose risks, but also opportunities for Switzerland's financial sector. Furthermore, as Bitcoin is already in use as a means of payment in Switzerland, it makes sense to ensure legal certainty regarding money laundering laws and VAT."

As a first step to boosting the credibility the currency as a recognised medium of exchange, Pardigli says it has begun to accept donations in bitcoins.

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