Citizens Can Now Pay Their Taxes in Bitcoin in the Swiss Resort City of Zermatt
Zermatt, a municipality in the German-speaking section of the canton of Valais, Switzerland, will now allow citizens to pay their taxes in Bitcoin. According to the city's mayor, Romy Biner-Hauser, this is in line with the city's pioneering and innovative spirit. The announcement was made via a press release by Bitcoin Suisse, which is working with Zermatt to make Bitcoin payments possible.
Popular with Tourists
Zermatt is a tourist hotspot and each year, tourists from across the world visit the city to while away the hours skiing and doing other fun things. To enable payment of taxes in Bitcoin, the city is working with Bitcoin Suisse. The measure has already been implemented and citizens can pay their taxes and pay for public services using Bitcoin. However, the Bitcoin payments solution will only be offered to citizens of the city. It is not clear if that will change in the future, and whether tourists will also be able to avail themselves of this opportunity.
How Payments Will Work
The city will not be directly holding onto any Bitcoin. Instead, it worked with Bitcoin Suisse to create a point-of-sale system that incorporates Bitcoin. Bitcoin Suisse is the biggest and oldest company in Switzerland's crypto finance sector.
Once a user applies to the Zermatt Tax Office for the option to pay tax in Bitcoin, they will receive a special link via their email address. This link will forward them to a payment portal that they can use to send Bitcoin from their crypto wallet address. Bitcoin Suisse will then exchange the received Bitcoin into Swiss francs. These funds are then immediately sent to the city's bank account.
It Is Not Very Large
While Zermatt is a popular tourist destination, its population is not very large. It has about 4,500 residents and this system will be open to all of them. Users will be able to make payments using their desktops or tablets.
The mayor of the city does not expect many crypto transactions. However, the city is known for being innovative and Ms Biner-Hauser is curious about the technology. According to her, since everyone is talking about crypto and blockchain technology, she wants her city to be in step with the latest trend.
Inspired by Zug
Bitcoin payments were first introduced in the canton of Zug. The region is known for being a hotspot for the blockchain industry in Switzerland. This has earned it the title "Crypto Valley". Zug has been accepting Bitcoin payments since 2016.
This push to adopt crypto and blockchain shows that collaboration between the public and private sectors is growing. They could help to serve as useful models in the future when cities or governments are trying to incorporate blockchain into their operations. It is also a sign that Switzerland's crypto industry is maturing.
Switzerland, in general, has been quite accepting of the crypto industry. The country recognizes the potential that blockchain and crypto have, especially in the financial sector. It is already a major financial hub and there is a lot that blockchain technology has to offer.
As a testament to how friendly it is to the crypto industry, it should be noted that the Facebook Libra Association has its headquarters in Switzerland. The launch of the project in no doubt helped to raise the country's profile as a friendly international hub for the crypto and blockchain sector.
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