Liechtenstein’s Prime Minister, Daniel Risch, has revealed that the Principality is planning to introduce Bitcoin as a payment option for state services. While there is no specific timeline for implementation, the plan is to accept Bitcoin deposits and convert them immediately into the Swiss franc, which is Liechtenstein’s national currency. This move follows in the footsteps of the Swiss communities Zug and Lugano, where local authorities accept Bitcoin for certain taxes and public services.
Risch has also expressed openness to investing state funds in Bitcoin in the future. With Liechtenstein’s reserves currently at 2.23 billion Swiss francs ($2.51 billion), the Principality saves three times its annual budget of 900 million-franc ($1 billion) by investing in capital markets. As part of those funds could be invested in the world’s largest cryptocurrency, Bitcoin may well become a valuable addition to Liechtenstein’s investment portfolio.
Liechtenstein has made headlines in the past for its supportive regulatory environment for blockchain and cryptocurrency businesses. In 2019, the Principality passed the Blockchain Act, which created a legal framework for these industries, recognizing the unique features of blockchain technology and providing clarity on how blockchain-based assets should be classified and regulated. Additionally, several banks in Liechtenstein are open to working with cryptocurrency businesses, and the Financial Market Authority of Liechtenstein has licensed several regulated cryptocurrency exchanges.
Liechtenstein’s proximity to the Crypto Valley, Switzerland’s hub for blockchain and cryptocurrency innovation, also makes it an attractive destination for businesses in these industries. While crypto assets like Bitcoin are still considered too risky for investment by some, Risch’s stance on this may change over time. Liechtenstein’s move to accept Bitcoin as a payment option for state services, therefore, marks a significant step in the integration of blockchain and cryptocurrency into the mainstream economy.