Liechtenstein is planning to accept Bitcoin (BTC) as payment for state services, Prime Minister Daniel Risch said in an interview with German business daily Handelsblatt.
“A payment option with Bitcoin is coming,” said Risch, who also serves as Liechtenstein’s finance minister.
Although there isn’t a specific timeframe for the implementation of this payment option, Risch said the plan is to accept Bitcoin deposits and exchange them immediately for the Swiss franc, Liechtenstein’s national currency.
A similar approach has been used by the Swiss communities Zug and Lugano, where local authorities accept Bitcoin for the payment of certain taxes and public services.
Risch is also reportedly open to investing state funds in Bitcoin in the future.
With the state’s reserves currently standing at 2.23 billion Swiss francs ($2.51 billion), the principality each year saves three times its 900 million-franc ($1 billion) annual budget, investing the money in capital markets.
Part of those funds could be invested in the world’s largest cryptocurrency, per the report.
“Crypto assets like Bitcoin are currently still too risky,” Risch said. “But this assessment can change.”
Liechtenstein’s crypto-friendly policies
This is not the first time Liechtenstein has made headlines thanks to its supportive regulatory environment that has helped to position it as a leading destination for blockchain and cryptocurrency businesses.
In 2019, Liechtenstein passed the Blockchain Act, which created a legal framework for blockchain and cryptocurrency businesses. The law recognizes the unique features of blockchain technology and provides clarity on how blockchain-based assets should be classified and regulated.
The principality is also home to several banks that are open to working with cryptocurrency businesses, as well as to regulated cryptocurrency exchanges, including Bittrex Global and LCX, which are licensed by the Financial Market Authority (FMA) of Liechtenstein.
Additionally, Liechtenstein is part of the Crypto Valley, Switzerland’s hub for blockchain and cryptocurrency innovation which is situated around Zurich and Zug.
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