Report: Swiss National Bank Has No Plans for a Digital Swiss Franc

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The Swiss are in no rush to launch a central bank digital currency (CBDC).

Swiss National Bank Clears the Air on CBDC

According to a report in the Swiss weekly business publication Handelszeitung, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) is in no rush to introduce a CBDC.

The development, or its lack, was announced at a recent press conference hosted by the Swiss Bankers Association where SNB chief, Carlos Lenz, said there is no need for a digital franc because the current payment system works just fine without one.

Lenz went on to criticize blockchain technology stating it is “very inefficient” and that a decentralized solution for something like a CBDC is not ideal.

For the uninitiated, Switzerland has been deep down the CBDC rabbit hole since at least 2019 when the country’s parliament asked the government to examine the potential of developing a CBDC.

Similarly, in December 2019, the Swiss government came out with a statement saying a digital franc would be too risky. On the flip side, Switzerland has established itself as a global blockchain and crypto hotbed with conducive regulations for businesses involved in the digital asset space.

Notably, Facebook’s stablecoin project Diem – previously known as Libra – is also based in Switzerland.

It is interesting to note that despite the Swiss government’s discouraging outlook toward CBDCs, ample research has been conducted on the subject. For instance, in 2020, the Bank of International Settlements concluded a trial testing the practical usage of CBDCs among financial institutions.

No Current Plans to Introduce CBDC

On a similar note, France’s central bank recently announced the successful completion of a new CBDC experiment in collaboration with Swiss cryptocurrency bank SEBA. However, Lenz cleared the air at the press conference saying these are just studies and not implementations.

Lenz said:

“This is not about implementation on a productive level.”

Adding:

“There are currently no plans to introduce digital bank money. This also applies to the wholesale area.”

Notably, Lenz juxtaposed the ongoing efforts by various European nations to develop a CBDC with the general fear that was faced by the Swiss during the introduction of the euro.

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