Swiss Stock Exchange Head Advocates Development of “E-Franc”
Robert Lacher, the head of Switzerland’s stock exchange, has spoken in favor of the development of a Swiss national cryptocurrency backed by the country’s central bank.
Mr. Lacher stated his belief that “there would be a lot of upsides” to developing a state-administered cryptocurrency, adding that the stock exchange “would be strongly supportive” of any initiative in favor of such.
“An e-franc under the control of the central bank would create a lot of synergies — so it would be good for the economy,” Mr. Lacher said, adding “I don’t like cash.”
Swiss Central Bank Sees “No Need” for National Cryptocurrency
The chairman described the hypothetical development of a national cryptocurrency as an excellent opportunity for Switzerland to extend its position as a leader in virtual currency innovation and adoption.
In response to Mr. Lacher’s comments, the Swiss National Bank issued a statement asserting that the bank sees “no need” to develop a national cryptocurrency, adding that existing cashless and cash-based payment systems are working smoothly.
Despite Mr. Lacher’s enthusiasm for a state-administered cryptocurrency, the chairman reasserted that the stock exchange and its owners, SIX Group, will not allow trading in cryptocurrency tokens. “We have actually no plans to admit trading of cryptocurrencies or ICOs. But we see a lot of advantages for blockchain across our businesses,” he said.
Switzerland Positions Itself as International Leader in Distributed Ledger Technology
Mr. Lacher also spoke in favor of the Swiss government’s policies designed to position the nation as a global leader in distributed ledger technology, however, acknowledged the risks associated with being a pioneering adopter of a disruptive phenomenon.
“I think the strategic direction is good, but it’s like going into fog,” Mr. Lacher said. “You don’t know what you will see on the other side. Many mistakes will be made, but we will also learn a lot and I am sure, we will be successful.”
Last month, The Swiss Economics Minister, Johann Schneider-Ammann, said that Switzerland should strive to “become the crypto-nation” whilst speaking at the Crypto Finance Conference in St. Moritz. During the conference, Mr. Schneider-Ammann described virtual currencies as comprising “part of the fourth industrial revolution,” but added that “It is too early” to determine if cryptocurrencies require regulatory oversight.