Liechtenstein Prime Minister Daniel Risch announced plans to accept Bitcoin (BTC) as payment for government services. As reported in local news, the micro-European nation continues to embrace blockchain technologies.
Risch, who also serves as finance minister, is quoted as saying:
“A payment option with Bitcoin is coming.”
However, he did not give a timeframe. Moreover, the principality is unlikely to accept Bitcoin and “HODL” or hold onto the Satoshis it receives. Instead, it will accept deposits in Bitcoin and immediately exchange them for the Swiss franc, the national currency. The direct exchange into fiat money sidesteps the currency’s volatility.
Despite not being an EU member, Liechtenstein is part of the European Economic Area (EEA), where the EU’s forthcoming Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulation could apply. This regulatory clarity could attract more crypto firms to the region.
Similar to Gibraltar or the Isle of Man, Lichtenstein is a small but thriving cryptocurrency hub in Europe. The Liechtenstein Blockchain Act passed in 2019, provided dedicated crypto regulation, and several crypto-focused businesses have since set up operations in the country.
The nation follows a similar course to the nearby Swiss communities of Zug and Lugano, which accept Bitcoin for some taxes, and public services and retailers, including the likes of McDonald’s.
Nonetheless, the sixth smallest nation in the world is cautious in its approach to investing in Bitcoin or crypto. Risch expressed that Bitcoin and other cryptos are currently too risky for the country’s multi-billion dollar treasury–but the verdict may change in the future.
Related: Liechtenstein adapts blockchain laws to developing crypto landscape
This move by Liechtenstein coincides with a growing trend of smaller nations embracing cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.
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