A consortium of nine large companies — including UBS, Credit Suisse, Swisscom, Swiss Post, SIX, Raiffeisen, Swiss Railways, Zuercher Kantonalbank and Mobiliar — will enable Swiss consumers to use a single digital identity when making eCommerce purchases.
According to a report in Reuters, the idea behind the project is to get to a point where consumers can use one login to make purchases at shops, buy train tickets and engage in banking activities online. The group aims to create a joint venture in 2018.
The Swiss government plans to support the effort by certifying customers’ digital identities, with the consortium providing the infrastructure to make the project possible. Combined, the companies’ existing customers make up three-quarters of the Swiss population. The group will invest tens of millions of Swiss francs in the project. Legislation enabling the digital ID eCommerce system to take off will be introduced in the middle of next year.
Switzerland isn’t only leading in digital identities. The country is also advanced when it comes to cryptocurrency, with Vontobel, the Swiss bank, giving investors the ability to bet against cryptocurrency when it launches two mini futures to short bitcoin.
According to news report in Reuters last week, citing a term sheet by Vontobel, if the value of bitcoin falls by 10 percent or more, the value of one of the two mini futures increases by close to 6 percent, while the other increases by nearly 10 percent.
The price of bitcoin has been volatile all year, dipping as much as 29 percent last week, after hitting a record high of $7,888. Bitcoin started the year at around $1,000 and has soared since. While some on Wall Street are skeptical of bitcoin — including the CEO of JPMorgan, Jamie Dimon, who called it a “fraud” and said that he would fire any traders who trade the cryptocurrency — it’s also growing in legitimacy.