A play by Lamassu Bitcoin Ventures to Lucerne, Switzerland shows how crypto firms may relocate in order to be in a place where local regulations and cultures are more accommodating.
For as long as most of us can remember, Switzerland has been famous as a country with views and outlooks that appeal to the libertarian mindset. There’s the history of Swiss neutrality that served the country well during World War II, although some have accused Switzerland of turning a blind eye to atrocities that engulfed Europe at that time. There’s also the relatively docile gun culture in Switzerland, where military service is mandatory.
Now, Lamassu is suggesting that Switzerland is the place to do business for Bitcoin-related ventures.
The company is claiming that in other countries, it is often met with resistance from banks and payment processors. Notably, Lamassu reports that Stripe would not work with them because of Lamassu’s involvement in creating Bitcoin ATM kiosks.
In a way, it’s like a business moving to Nevada from some other U.S. state – looking for a place where local government is friendly to business goals. But there’s also a more specific plan here – creating Bitcoin ATMs is yet another way to usher in mainstream cryptocurrency use – and some come countries are more enthusiastic about that than others.
For instance, although China is home to the majority of Bitcoin mining pools, government reception in the Middle Kingdom has been mixed. The United States is also slow to fully embrace cryptocurrencies due to concerns about regulatory issues.
By contrast, Switzerland has a reputation of being open to cryptocurrencies and blockchain, as in the city of Zug, which is known as the top tech community in the European Union.
In addition to Switzerland, there’s news that Estonia, Liechtenstein and the small island of Malta are also good places for cryptocurrency enthusiasts to do business. Applying the principle of flag theory, companies like Lamassu are picking up and moving their operations to better vantage points as the world slowly adjusts to our newest blockchain technologies.
“Several major companies in the cryptocurrency space have relocated to more friendly jurisdictions as a means of regulatory arbitrage,” reports Ana Alexandre today at Cointelegraph. “In May, the formerly largest cryptocurrency exchange in Poland, BitBay, decided to suspend its activities in the country as banks would no longer cooperate with the company. The exchange announced it would instead be conducted by a new supplier in the Republic of Malta, where local laws are more crypto-friendly.
The trading world is adjusting, too. We know that we have this technological capacity – we know that it can be used for good or for not-so-good purposes. We know that there are pros and cons involved in using any given cryptocurrency coin. We just don’t know fully how that’s going to shake out. Like these budding companies, traders have their eye on the pulse of the markets and on the attitudes of governments toward cryptocurrency sectors. Keep an eye on what Lamassu and other companies are doing in Zug and around the Swiss tech community.