Zug, 17.07.2019

Cantonal authority accepts bitcoin but subsequently has it converted into Swiss francs


It is now possible to pay by bitcoin at the Office of the Cantonal Registry of Companies (HRA), and indeed in situ on a smartphone by app or wallet, the customer able to set up a receipt address solely for his transactions by means of a QR (Quick Response) code generator.


All that then needs to be done is for the code to be scanned with the corresponding amount in bitcoin duly transferred, as the Zug-domiciled Inacta AG IT company, which set up this payment system and which it will operate in cooperation with the equally Zug-based Bitcoin Suisse company, explained last week.


Zug already enjoys a reputation for its preparedness to embrace much of what Blockchain technology has to offer. Indeed, even before this latest development, it had already been possible to make payment in kind or settle bills issued by the HRA through bitcoin or ether. And it is now as long ago as three years that the city of Zug has been accepting bitcoin, though only to the value of CHF 200, as payment for fees at the Residents Registration Office.


However, while such payments are made in cryptocurrencies, the canton actually receives payment in Swiss francs. Indeed, it is the afore-mentioned Bitcoin Suisse company which converts them in this way ensuring the funds arrive in the canton’s accounts in a more traditional way, Inacta explaining that “in such a way any fluctuations in the exchange rates do not lead to any big surprises, with neither the customer nor the canton put at risk”.


While all this is awe-inspiring, Crypto Valley has not enjoyed the best of publicity of late after the Swissinfo news portal reported that legal proceedings had been embarked on in the United States after the Bitfinex trading platform and a company called Crypto Capital, of murky structure, was involved in an $850 million fraud. According to its website, Crypto Capital is based in Zug, but no precise address is given.