Liechtenstein to Accept Bitcoin Payment for Government Services
Liechtenstein Prime Minister Daniel Risch has announced plans to accept Bitcoin (BTC) as payment for government services. The move is part of the country’s continued embrace of blockchain technologies.
According to a local news report, Risch, who also serves as finance minister, confirmed the new payment option by saying, “A payment option with Bitcoin is coming.” However, there is no clear timeline on when this will be implemented.
It is important to note that the principality will not be holding onto Bitcoin, but instead exchanging it immediately for Swiss francs, its national currency, to avoid the cryptocurrency’s volatility.
Liechtenstein is part of the European Economic Area, and although it is not an EU member, it could apply to EU’s Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulations. This regulatory clarity could encourage more cryptocurrency firms to invest in the region.
Liechtenstein follows a similar path to Swiss communities of Zug and Lugano, which accept Bitcoin for some taxes and public services, and even some retailers. McDonald’s, for example, accepts Bitcoin in those areas.
The move comes as a growing trend of smaller nations adopting cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. Liechtenstein is a small cryptocurrency hub in Europe, with its 2019 Liechtenstein Blockchain Act offering clear regulation for cryptocurrency businesses to operate in the country.
Despite this, the decision to invest in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies from the country’s multibillion-dollar treasury is still considered risky. Risch voiced caution on this matter, but the verdict may change in the future.
This latest plan is in line with Liechtenstein’s continued progress towards a digital future. As the world moves towards decentralized technologies, the small nation is making its presence felt in the crypto space.