Switzerland embraces cryptocurrency culture https://t.co/qpxhIZ9he4
— Financial Times (@FinancialTimes) January 25, 2018
Switzerland’s Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts has announced it will accept payments in bitcoin.
Blockchain, the technology that facilitates bitcoin transactions, is the focus of research projects and continuing and executive education programmes at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts. By accepting the bitcoin cryptocurrency, the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts is indicating its ability to disseminate knowledge on cutting-edge technologies such as blockchain, as well as its desire to gain experience in the practical aspects of this novel area.
The Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts does not transact directly in bitcoins; instead, it has contracted Bitcoin Suisse AG to transact cryptocurrency business on its behalf by means of a payment system that resembles an e-banking portal. This allows the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts to accept bitcoins without actually having possession of them. The payments are converted into Swiss francs once a week, or daily if a CHF 10,000 threshold is reached. Bitcoin Suisse AG bears the risk of any exchange rate losses and currency fluctuations.
The proliferation of blockchain startups and their mammoth ICOs show there’s a lot of interest in decentralizing applications and services. And though it’s an oxymoron, we’re now seeing a few “centers” of “decentralization” emerging — a handful of cities engaged in serious jurisdictional competition to become the prime innovation hub for blockchain-based technologies.
Places like Dubai, Singapore, and Zug, Switzerland are making efforts to position themselves in the lead, but Zug, known in blockchain circles as “Crypto Valley,” is currently the perceived leader. It is the home for crypto-powerhouses Ethereum, ShapeShift, Xapo, Tezos, Melonport, and Monetas, among numerous others.
The Swiss municipality of Chiasso has announced that it will accept tax payments in bitcoin from January 2018 onwards. The announcement signifies a further gathering of momentum for Switzerland’s bid to become a global leader in the bitcoin and cryptocurrency industries, with Chiasso seeking to rival Zug’s Crypto Valley as a major global hub for bitcoin adoption and innovation.
Switzerland’s Falcon Private Bank has become the country’s first financial institution to add Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and Litecoin to its offering.
In a press release today, Zurich-based Falcon, which last month introduced Bitcoin tools for clients, said the move “proves [its] agility and underlines its strategic repositioning” on the market.
Arthur Vayloyan, global head of products and services, commented:
”The first reactions to our Bitcoin services have been very encouraging and we are convinced that by adding three new Blockchain assets we will fulfil our clients’ future needs.”