Zermatt, a municipality in Switzerland at the foot of the Matterhorn known for its ski resort, has started accepting bitcoin for government services. The Zermatt town hall now has a point-of-sale solution, installed by Zug-based Bitcoin Suisse, to accept the cryptocurrency. A spokesperson for the municipality has shared more details with news.Bitcoin.com.
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Swiss Municipality Accepts Bitcoin
The Swiss municipality of Zermatt now accepts bitcoin in collaboration with Zug-based crypto financial services provider Bitcoin Suisse. Zermatt is located in the district of Visp in southern Switzerland’s canton of Valais, beneath the picturesque Matterhorn. With a population of about 5,800, the town is one of the country’s most popular tourist resorts, especially for skiing. Bitcoin Suisse announced on Wednesday:
A point-of-sale solution provided by Bitcoin Suisse has been installed in the Zermatt town hall so that fees for services from local authorities can be paid in bitcoin.
No Tax Payments Though
According to the announcement by both Zermatt and Bitcoin Suisse, the town “will accept bitcoin as a means of payment for local taxes and official transactions with immediate effect … In addition to having access to a point-of-sale device in the Zermatt town hall, taxpayers will also be able to pay their taxes at communal level using bitcoin.”
However, when news.Bitcoin.com reached out to the municipality for more information, a spokesperson for Zermatt said on Thursday:
Unfortunately, we would like to inform you that we had spoken with the tax department and they informed us that this [paying taxes with bitcoin] is not possible. I’m sorry to disappoint you in this regard.
The Process and Mayor’s Comments
In its announcement, Bitcoin Suisse explained the process of paying the municipality with bitcoin. Anyone wanting to pay with cryptocurrency will need to apply directly with Zermatt. They will then receive an email with a link to access the town’s online payment portal, where they can transfer bitcoin directly from their wallet to Zermatt’s. Bitcoin Suisse will convert the cryptocurrency sent into Swiss francs and transfer the amount in CHF to the municipality’s bank account.
Romy Biner-Hauser, Mayor of Zermatt, commented:
An innovative, pioneering spirit is one of the trademarks of Zermatt, which is why we are happy to support residents in providing them with the solutions they require.
Bitcoin Suisse similarly helped the city of Zug accept bitcoin as a means of payment back in 2016. The company currently offers a range of crypto-related financial services, including buying, selling, custody, lending, tokenization, and payment solutions.
Biner-Hauser said the idea of accepting payments in bitcoin came from “crypto valley” Zug. While she does not expect many people to pay with the digital currency, the mayor is curious about new technology, Bloomberg conveyed. She was further quoted as saying:
Everyone is talking about cryptocurrencies and blockchain and if you don’t try it out, you don’t get smarter.
What do you think of Zermatt accepting bitcoin? Do you think other governments will follow? Let us know in the comments section below.
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Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Reuters.
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