Ticino, the southernmost canton of Switzerland, is planning to issue its own local digital currency for everyday use. Its circulation may be confined to Ticino territory.
The future cryptocurrency called ticinocoin (TIC) is a brainchild of computer scientists Claudio Rossini and Michele Fiscalini. The developers have already tested the currency: the pilot phase of the project was completed last week, reports Tribune de Geneve.
Regional virtual currency based on the blockchain technology is expected to stimulate the local economy offering faster, more transparent and less expensive transactions. According to Fiscalini, circulation of TIC may be limited to local services and products from Ticino.
The expected exchange rate of TIC is one Swiss franc. However, operations with ticinocoin may require obligatory authorisation by FINMA, the Swiss monetary regulator.
Ticinocoin is not the first local currency in Switzerland. In 2015, Lémanic Arc introduced the regional currency Lémans. Now it accounts for more than 100,000 units in circulation. The launch of the electronic version of Léman is due in March. Another Swiss region, Valais, may introduce its own complementary currency Farinet in 2017.
Switzerland, the home of Xapo, Ethereum and ShapeShift, is regarded as a haven for cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies. In May 2016, the City Council of Zug in the east Switzerland launched a pilot project allowing to pay for municipal services with bitcoin. During the initial phase of the programme, the maximum amount payable with the cryptocurrency was limited to 200 Swiss francs. The city authorities are not opposed to extending the experiment to other cryptocurrencies.