Politicians and business leaders have come together in Vaduz to discuss the Blockchain Act. Most view the new law as an enormous milestone for the country and the industry.

Vaduz, 18th October 2019 – Liechtenstein’s Crypto Country Association (CCA) has invited for a press conference to discuss the Token and TT Service Provider Act (TVTG) – the so-called Blockchain Act. The new law has passed the parliament earlier this month in a second and final hearing. All lawmakers unanimously decided to approve the bill.

Blockchain Act marks the beginning of a new era of digitalization

Prime Minister Adrian Hasler opened the press conference, stating his views on the new law and blockchain technology. In his opening remarks, PM Hasler said the international significance of the law and confirmed he had received various positive reactions from politicians of other countries.

Undoubtedly, other countries have been following the progress achieved in Liechtenstein. Just last week, both Germany’s and Switzerland’s ministers of the economy visited Liechtenstein and asked for a more in-depth exchange between their respective countries and Liechtenstein regarding blockchain technology. Germany’s minister Peter Altmaier even mentioned the German government is considering its own blockchain law.

PM Hasler pointed out that innovation in the field of blockchain has so far been hindered by a lack of legal certainty, a view that many blockchain businesses share. With the new law, he said, companies will save time and reduce their compliance costs.

He called for the beginning of a “new era of digitalization” and a significant disruption of Liechtenstein’s financial marketplace. The Blockchain Act should facilitate this new era by enabling opportunities, minimizing risks, and protecting users and investors.

Following PM Hasler, Mauro Casellini, CEO at Bitcoin Suisse (Liechtenstein) AG, commented on the Blockchain Act from a business perspective. He pointed out the significance of the law to foster innovation and called for businesses to use the opportunity to shape the future of the token economy.

Business representatives across the board welcome the Blockchain Act

The opening remarks were followed by a panel discussion.

Kiran Raj, CEO from Bittrex, explained that the Blockchain Act was the reason why the exchange has decided to move to Liechtenstein. No other country has yet created this level of legal certainty, which is paramount for Bittrex’s business model.

Casellini pointed out that although Bitcoin Suisse has a banking licence in Switzerland, the company still operates a business in Liechtenstein because it enables Bitcoin Suisse to passport services to the European Economic Area.  This, says Casellini, is one of the prime advantages of Liechtenstein’s location.

He also noted the strengths of the token Container-model, which is part of the Blockchain Act: It legally defines the term “token” by referring to the rights within the token. “It [the token] will be validated by whatever you put in,” said Casellini. “If you don’t put anything in, it stays nothing. If you tokenize a commodity, the token will be considered a commodity.”

Phillip Büchel, Blockchainbüro, also views the Blockchain Act as a milestone, but he points out that a digital world will still require a physical validator. In the real world, someone needs to check and enforce the law, he said.

Klaus Stark from Ganten Group believes the Blockchain Act is one of the reasons why Liechtenstein’s blockchain community has grown so fast. This community has transformed Liechtenstein from a primarily financially oriented marketplace into one of the leading blockchain hubs in Europe.

The conclusion of this press conference was clear: Both lawmakers and business leaders believe the Blockchain Act is a milestone for the country. It creates legal certainty, which will attract more blockchain businesses to migrate to Liechtenstein.

Image: ©Ramona Salzgeber