Lichtenstein PM takes laidback approach to blockchain

Lichtenstein, Switzerland’s eastern neighbor and home to some of the best snow skiing, enjoys a relatively low-key reputation. For decades, it was a corporate tax haven, with a number of corporations calling it home to take advantage of the country’s low corporate taxes. As the world moves deeper into the digital realm, the country is ready to embrace blockchain technology, and is preparing legislation that could make it as popular with the industry as it was for those looking for tax relief.

In an interview with CoinDesk, Lichtenstein Prime Minister Adrian Hasler revealed that the country’s pending legislation “goes much further than the blockchain legislation of other countries.” It provides a common-sense, but detailed, approach to the technology that highlights innovation while not over-regulating the industry. The country’s goal is to ultimately become a world leader in blockchain technology, according to Hasler.

The prime minister went on to explain that the new laws will provide guidance on distributed ledgers and blockchain technology designed to provide the necessary legal framework upon which to build the country’s legacy. He added that lawmakers are also putting together a plan that will allow for “a wide range of new services and business models relating to these technologies.”

The most poignant comment he provided came from his explanation of how the people view blockchain technology, saying, “There is no point in creating regulations that are excessive and lacking in practical relevance, because then the blockchain economy will simply develop outside the regulations. That surely would not be in the interest of any country. Therefore we want to propose a sensible regulatory approach by means of this law, where the role of the state in creating legal certainty and confidence comes into effect where it is needed.”

In preparing their bill, legislators reviewed laws that were being introduced in other countries and also discussed variables with fintech companies, lawyers and financial service providers. If everything goes well, Lichtenstein will introduce the bill to the public sometime this summer.

New to Bitcoin? Check out CoinGeek’s Bitcoin for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about Bitcoin—as originally envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto—and blockchain.