Switzerland as the jurisdiction for new blockchain based finance

February kicked off with news that Switzerland now lets tokenized securities trade on a blockchain with the same legal standing as traditional assets.

The significance is at two levels. The first level is simply legal certainty. Switzerland has long been officially a multi-currency county, because of an alternative currency called WIR.  The WIR was set up in 1934 by people wanting to create an alternative to a financial system that had failed so dramatically in 1929. Sound familiar? WIR accounts for a tiny % of Swiss GDP but it is legal. So the idea of adding another legal currency was not too big a stretch and you can (for example) pay taxes in Bitcoin and buy it at any railway station. The recent legal changes take this further by giving legal certainty to global investors in blockchain assets for large scale securities transactions.

The second level  is that this legal certainty comes from a significant economy. Switzerland is often number one in league tables of innovation and is a major financial center.

Switzerland obviously faces lots of jurisdictional competition, which is one reason why most countries will avoid being too heavy handed in banning cryptocurrencies/blockchain despite temptations to do so.

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