eFranc: Is Switzerland abolishing cash in favor of e-currency?

The francs may have had their day – instead, the Swiss National Bank is to issue a digital currency, the eFranc.

Hans Gersbach and Roger Wattenhofer, two scientists from the renowned ETH University in Zurich, made a bold demand: The Swiss National Bank should issue its own crypto currency as legal tender, the eFranc.

eFranc could be easier and safer

Consumers could use it to pay anywhere with their mobile phone – and it would even be much easier: “You no longer have to worry about whether you have enough money with you, and you don’t need to go to the ATM,” explains Gersbach.

Unlike with EC or credit cards, no bank or credit card company would be required for a payment with cryptocurrency. On the one hand, this saves fees and, on the other hand, nobody except the respective trading partners can trace a payment.

First of all, the eFranc could be another payment alternative alongside existing options such as EC cards or cash. In the medium term, however, Wattenhofer sees no perspective for paper and coins. “I suspect that cash will soon be over,” he writes on the ETH blog. However, the researchers do not want to force the eFranc on the Swiss: “The public can use banknotes as long as they want,” assures Gersbach.
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