Switzerland will process Bitcoin payments

The city council will decide on whether to expand Bitcoin payments to more government services.

The Swiss town of Zug hosts a number of Bitcoin related companies and it will begin processing Bitcoin payments on July 1st.

Switzerland.-  The Swiss town of Zug is to start processing Bitcoin payments as soon as July 1st and it will continue through the end of the year. If the process proves successful, the city council will decide on whether to expand Bitcoin payments to more government services.

For the first time, a government will use cryptocurrency for payments of up to 200 Swiss francs (US$200.) Dolfi Mueller, Zug Mayor, explained that the city council desires to show its “openness to new technologies” by backing local financial technology companies.

This experiment faces opposition, though. Some officials are sceptical to the implications of relying on virtual currency in any way or even considering expanding its use. “The town of Zug could undermine the status of cash with its actions,” said Gregor Bruhn, a Zug council member.

“I can imagine that in the near future it will be possible to pay your tax bill with Bitcoin,” replied Mayor Mueller to Bruhn’s remark.

If nothing else, Zug’s experiment can shed more light on the benefits and advantages of cryptocurrencies, which are still at an early age. But the truth is that if enough people voluntarily uses Bitcoins, there is no doubt that governments would follow, as long as this and other crypto-experiments can show reduced processing times, lower transaction costs and other efficiency benefits from using the virtual currency.