Andri Silberschmidt was our guest today on the Relai Bitcoin Session. Andri is a Swiss politician and entrepreneur. In addition to his activities in the National Council and as a board member of the FDP Switzerland, he is also a co-founder of the successful catering company kaisin since 2018.
We sat down with Andri to talk about Bitcoin and his views on blockchain technology.
You can watch the video here.
Alternatively, you can tune in on AnchorFM for the audio-only version.
The Main Takeaways
Andri Silberschmidt‘s first experience with cryptocurrencies happened in 2017 when he purchased a Ledger for his party when they started to accept donations in cryptocurrency.
“That was the first time I became exposed to crypto, going through the process of setting up the Ledger.”
More recently, he sat down for a one-to-one session with a Bitcoin expert to learn the basics. Around that time, he also invested in crypto for the first time.
Bitcoin is Digital Gold; Other Chains Will Have Different Uses Cases
Andri considers bitcoin as digital gold and expects it to have a higher value in ten years’ time than it does today.
However, he also thinks that other blockchain networks – and their cryptocurrencies – will gain in importance as they establish themselves for other use cases for the economy.
He sees higher potential in these chains than Bitcoin in the future, providing Ethereum as an example.
Switzerland is an Attractive Destination for (Bitcoin) Businesses
Andri explained that Switzerland did not set out to start a Crypto Valley or necessarily aimed to become a blockchain hub. Instead, the country actively works to be an attractive destination for all types of businesses. Ending up as a go-to destination for crypto and blockchain startups was not planned but many factors came together to make that happen.
A key factor Andri points out is that the country realized early on that regulation in this space is needed but not to the extent that it hampers innovation and business growth.
“Switzerland didn’t go and say, “we need to regulate blockchain.” Instead, the approach was to remain technologically neutral and to look at which laws are affected by these new technologies and then adjusting these laws.”
What’s important when it comes to crypto regulations, Andri explained, is that regulators work with companies as opposed to against each other.
The Central Bank’s Mission is Monetary Stability; If Buying Bitcoin Can Provide That, They Can Consider It
To answer the question of whether he can envision the Swiss central bank buying bitcoin anyone soon, Andri said that he thinks that politicians should not have a say in how the SNB handles its money.
The Swiss Constitution states that the SNB is independent, and that’s how it should remain, despite some circles from right to left trying to direct the central bank’s actions, Andri explained.
However, if the central bank believes that investing in cryptocurrencies will help them to fulfill their mission of monetary stability, they can do that. The chances of the SNB investing in Bitcoin, however, he sees as being a 1 out of 10.
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