Switzerland is known for being a progressive nation when it comes to cryptocurrency. Speaking at the Crypto Valley Conference in Zug yesterday, Johann N. Schneider-Ammann, Head of the Swiss Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research EAER, affirmed his views on where the small country and blockchain’s relationship is heading.
Schneider-Ammann is one of seven ministers which essentially form Switzerland’s collective head of state. Whilst delivering a speech in the city which has assumed the epithet ‘Crypto Valley’, he conveyed his positive outlook on the future of the technology.
“Hardly anyone still doubts that blockchain will penetrate our entire economy.” He stated to the audience.
However, he went on to say that this will not happen on its own; quoting Mikhail Gorbachov with, “Life punishes those who come late,” he laid stress on the importance of acting early in such situations if one is to become a significant global player.
“The World Wide Web may have been invented in Switzerland … (albeit by a Briton, but we will overlook that…), but the internet and computer Eldorado and its global corporations did not flourish here, but in the United States. Let’s do better this time!” enthused Schneider-Ammann.
In aid of this, he said more research was needed into new technologies in general, in particular, “their potential and their risks”, and that this would only be achieved through improving tech education.
“We need to put even greater emphasis on digitalization and technology in schools. We need more IT specialists (not to mention Blockchain experts). And we need more research projects and professorships in this field.”
He also emphasized the need to develop regulatory frameworks in concert with the private sector; regulation must not stifle innovation, but also must not be a “carte blanche” for companies to do whatever they like. Regarding this cooperation, he praised the private “Blockchain Taskforce” which has seen fifty private industry representatives from many fields working to create recommendations for legal coding for the Swiss government to implement.
Looking to the future, he emphasized his optimism and the importance of working together to create the new technological world.
“Blockchain can provide new opportunities, new jobs, new levels of security and new prosperity. It’s definitively never too early to start.”
Schneider-Ammann’s positivity and optimism for the future of blockchain can help us all. In these times of crypto-market contraction, there is often a lot of pessimism surrounding crypto and blockchain. However, outlooks like Schneider-Ammann’s help highlight the real substance in the space. When critics compare crypto to bubbles like the tulip bubble in the Netherlands, they miss the fundamental point; tulips don’t have utility. They can’t pull people out of poverty, can’t make us safer, can’t enable us to transact with strangers on the other side of the planet in a matter of minutes. As explained here by Schneider-Ammann, education, and input are essential for development. With these insufficient supply, it is only a matter of time before it really starts to change our lives as we know it.
Image Source: “Flickr”
Alex has been putting words on paper since he was old enough to hold a pen; when he bought his first bitcoin in January 2017, those words discovered their place within crypto as well. He holds a master’s degree in international relations from Leiden University in the Netherlands, and his special expertise lies in European cryptocurrency regulation.