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Swiss consortium launches bitcoin on Tezos blockchain

Combining smart contracts with bitcoin increases its potential use cases. (© Keystone / Alexandra Wey)

A consortium of Swiss cryptocurrency companies has incorporated bitcoin onto the Tezos blockchain. The move brings Tezos, which has based its foundation in Switzerland, a step closer to rival blockchain Ethereum.

Launched in 2018, the Tezos blockchain was designed to play host to a new generation of decentralised finance, business and social projects. It competes with a number of other blockchains, including Ethereum, which introduced bitcoin applications more than a year ago.

Ethereum is also backed by a Swiss-based foundation but has drifted away from Switzerland operationally since its launch in 2015. Tezos is a decentralised blockchain that was designed in the United States and largely built in Paris (France). But while its foundation went through a painful chapter of events two years ago, it has gone to great lengths to highlight a degree of Swissness.

The Tezos Foundation has teamed up with the Bitcoin Association Switzerland and Swiss digital asset service providers Bitcoin Suisse, Bity, Sygnum, Inacta, Lexr and Swiss Crypto Token to create the TZBTC digital tokenexternal link.

This essentially marries Tezos “smart contracts” with the world’s original cryptocurrency, allowing holders to code commands that transfer bitcoin from one party to another.

“This collaboration demonstrates that Switzerland is still a leader in financial innovation – and not just a place to save taxes,” Tezos foundation operational head Roman Schnider told “TZBTC is probably not for people who are just interested in holding bitcoin as an investment. But it demonstrates that we have the full toolkit available for people who want to create new and agile financial services.”

Blockchain allows people to exchange items of value without the need of third-party intermediaries, such as banks or lawyers. It promises to preserve privacy, add transparency and bring efficiencies to established digital systems.

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