A postulate has been submitted to the Swiss Parliament requesting that Bitcoin be treated like a regular fiat foreign currency.
The proposal was submitted by representative Thomas Weibel and if approved by the Parliament it will be submitted to the Federal Council in Switzerland. If the Council agrees that Bitcoin should be treated like other foreign currencies, it will then look at how the postulate could be implemented.
The postulate asks the executive branch to reply to four basic questions: whether or not Bitcoin represents an opportunity for the financial sector, should Bitcoin be treated as a foreign currency, what regulatory instruments should be used to establish legal certainty for Bitcoin and similar currencies, and what sort of regulatory changes are needed and when can they be implemented.
The postulate was co-signed by 45 members of parliament (out of a possible 200) after they came to the conclusion that Bitcoin can create new opportunities for the Swiss financial sector and that measures should be taken to regulate the application of VAT and the execution of money laundering controls.
Bitcoin continues to hold the attention of the public, the financial markets and regulatory bodies around the world. Last week Profit & Loss reported that the Chinese government banned financial institutions from using the virtual currency.
But David Woo, head of rates and currency research at Bank of America, whose research paper on Bitcoin sparked such discussion last week, tells Profit & Loss that the ban in China is not necessarily as damaging for the fledgling currency as some have assumed.
“They didn’t outright ban the currency,’ he says, “And in some ways it might actually be beneficial for Bitcoin that the Chinese government came out and made a statement because now market participants have a clearer idea about what is and isn’t allowed in regards to trading Bitcoin.