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Success! Switzerland’s Trial Municipal Vote Using Blockchain

Yesterday saw a successful day in Zug — Switzerland’s “Crypto Valley”, as the city completed its first trial municipal vote using blockchain. The success was first reported by the Swiss News Agency.

Trial Municipal Vote Using Blockchain

The vote was held using a trial digital ID system; city authorities used this system since 2017 to issue digital identities to residents. Blockchain technology for governance has been a consideration in many jurisdictions for some time now.

A mobile app was used to place votes and also allowed for residents with digital IDs to give opinions on other city matters such as the inclusion “of fireworks at the annual Lakeside Festival, and whether they think digital IDs should be used to borrow books from the library or pay parking fees.”

An overall consensus on the use of the blockchain digital ID for future referendum voting was found as well, with the technology deemed as a massive success.

Voter Turnout

Though the digital ID system was successful, voter turnout was not. Head of communications for the city, Dieter Müller, was not too happy about the voter turnout stating that “The number of participants could have been higher,” and he hoped that more resident would have taken part; out of 240 total voters who registered, only 30 percent participated in the trial. 

Despite this, “the premiere was a success,” and moving forward there will be an assessment of the exercise’s technical details in the coming months. Focus on privacy and voting secrecy will be at the forefront of concern along with considering other uses the city can use the blockchain ID system including tax-returns and parking fee systems. Making the app more user-friendly will also be a consideration, as some voters who did take part in the trial had difficulty with the process.

>>Three Potential Cryptocurrency Hubs Around the World

Zug “Crypto Valley”

Zug is a cryptocurrency and blockchain hotspot. It is a small but bustling city outside of Zurich. It implements a very business-friendly taxation scheme along with favorable laws for business and as a result houses tens-of-thousands of companies earning the name “Crypto-Valley”. Currently, home to over 200 blockchain companies, it also is the home of Ethereum’s foundation.

Featured Image: DepositPhotos.com/Tzido

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Blockchain in Switzerland | Blockchain will “Penetrate” it’s Entire Economy

Blockchain in Switzerland: It seems that blockchain technology is expected to infiltrate Switzerland’s economy even more-so. Already, the Alpine nation has been known as quite the hot-spot for all things cryptocurrency. But this time it seems that the technology behind blockchain specifically, allows for a real push in technological advancement for the nation.

Johann N. Schneider-Ammann on Blockchain in Switzerland

At the Crypto Valley Conference in Bern, Swiss Federal Councillor Johann N. Schneider-Ammann, stated:

“Hardly anyone still doubts that blockchain will penetrate our entire economy.”

A transcript from the event was published by the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research today, June 21. Schneider-Ammann is one of seven of the countries collective heads of state.

He furthered: “We need to put even greater emphasis on digitalization and technology in schools. We need more IT specialists (not to mention Blockchain experts). And we need more research projects and professorships in this field.”

It seems the reason for his surety lies in the technological advancement blockchain would mean for the country. Though much is still to be discovered about the technology, its educational benefits will be a “decisive factor” for its implementation. 

What’s So Hot About Switzerland?

Switzerland is already known as quite the hot-spot for business and in more recent years; crypto-related business. It has also been somewhat ahead of the crypto-game: Zurich (the nation’s Capital) set up its first Bitcoin ATM four years ago (before 2017’s massive popularity surge), its national rail company has since 2016 allowed the purchase of virtual currency at over 1,000 distributors across Switzerland and according to financial watchdog Finma, in 2017 six of the world’s biggest ICO’s ever took place. Four of those were in Switzerland. 

And then there’s Zug.

Zug is a small city outside of Zurich, which has a very business-friendly taxation scheme and as a result houses tens-of-thousands of companies inclusive of the famous “CryptoValley”. It is currently home to over 200 blockchain companies including Ethereum’s foundation. Zug has also since 2016 accepted Bitcoin payments for council services and its first blockchain-based municipal vote is expected to happen very soon (June 25-July 1 more specifically). 

So it’s clear that Switzerland has been highly supportive of the cryptocurrency sphere and the technology that underpins it – blockchain. 

>>Buying Crypto on Foreign Exchanges? Better Tell the IRS

It’s not all fun and games though. Schneider-Ammann is aware that moving forward in such a space, requires diligent regulations and the need for a “Blockchain Task Force” spear-headed by himself:

“But just to be clear, a good economic framework doesn’t mean giving carte blanche! Abuses must also be consistently prevented in the new digital world. And businesses need legal certainty. Otherwise, investment will be withheld.”

Who’s to know what the future will bring for blockchain in Switzerland. It seems the country and the technology will be moving in the right direction. 

Featured Image: DepositPhotos.com/swisshippo

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