Chiasso, the Swiss municipality at the Italian border, recently announced the intention to start allowing tax payments in bitcoin starting January 2018. These payments will be limited to amounts of 250 CHF at first – that’s around 220 Euro, or 260 USD.
Switzerland has been leading the world in cryptocurrency adoption for a while now in both industrial and political spheres, so much so that the Zug area (near Zurich) is now called “crypto valley” – inspired by Silicon Valley from the USA, an area which used to lead the world in high tech research and development, but is now home to increasingly less useful mobile apps. While cryptocurrency is borderline illegal in the USA for initial company funding (the so called ICO model), Zug has been allowing tax payments via bitcoin since July 2016, up to 200 CHF in value. So far, they say over 40 payments have been collected. At a national level, Switzerland has de-taxed much of cryptocurrency dealings to increase adoption, and even their public transit network SBB offers direct bitcoin purchases on their ticket machines, for values ranging from 20 to 500 CHF.
Chiasso’s move solidifies Switzerland’s leadership in adopting and accepting blockchain technology, bringing these important concepts closer to the mainstream. Chiasso – which already houses 8 new cryptocurrency-oriented companies – is hoping to usurp the title of “cryptopolis” from Zug with this recent move in an attempt to draw in more adventurous entrepreneurs and crypto startups.