- SNB Vice President Martin Schlegel refers to Bitcoin as “a very interesting concept”.
- Swiss National Bank could potentially invest in Bitcoin if it meets the requirements for foreign reserves.
Swiss National Bank VP’s Remark Sparks Interest The Vice President of the Swiss National Bank (SNB), Martin Schlegel, has stirred up the Bitcoin community with a recent comment made during a TV interview.
When asked to complete the sentence “I consider Bitcoin…” by a Swiss presenter, Schlegel responded with, “a very interesting concept.” Although this was his only remark concerning Bitcoin, it provides a fascinating glimpse into the SNB’s perspective on the technology and the potential use of Bitcoin, without explicitly supporting or opposing it.
Diverging Perspectives on Bitcoin from Central Banks
Contrasting Views from Other Central Banks This statement stands out, as US Federal Reserve (Fed) or European Central Bank (ECB) officials would likely never concede that the top cryptocurrency is an “interesting concept.” ECB President Christine Lagarde has frequently dismissed Bitcoin as “worth nothing” and a “speculative investment with no intrinsic value.”
Exploring the Possibility of SNB Investing in Bitcoin Interestingly, Schlegel’s remark isn’t the first time the Swiss National Bank has commented on BTC. SNB chief Thomas Jordan discussed the possibility of including Bitcoin in the central bank’s foreign reserves during the SNB’s April 2022 General Meeting.
This followed two open letters from financial services company Bitcoin Suisse, which advocated for investing in the cryptocurrency and establishing a framework “to be able to acquire and hold Bitcoin for monetary and exchange rate purposes if needed.”
Jordan responded to the proposal at the General Meeting, stating that Bitcoin does not currently meet the requirements for foreign reserves and, as such, the SNB has chosen not to include BTC on its balance sheet. However, he also mentioned the bank’s ability to act swiftly should that evaluation change: “We can arrange the technical and operative conditions relatively quickly when we are convinced we must have Bitcoin in our balance sheet,” said Jordan.
Swiss National Bank’s Unique Position and Potential Bitcoin Investment
The Unique Position of the Swiss National Bank The Swiss National Bank differs from its American and European counterparts in that it cannot employ accounting tactics to enhance its balance sheet. As a joint-stock company, the SNB adheres to the appropriate reporting rules. This means the SNB cannot conceal its losses by valuing government bonds at cost price instead of market price.
The implications of this distinction were evident in March 2023 when the SNB announced its annual financial statements. The Swiss National Bank reported a loss of about two-thirds of its equity, with an annual loss of 132.5 billion francs, reducing the SNB’s equity from 204.2 billion francs ($225.97 billion) to 65.8 billion francs ($72.81 billion).
At the time of writing, the BTC price stood at $27,918. With the release of the US unemployment rate, BTC could experience a volatile Friday.