Author: switzerlandtimes.ch

Cryptocurrencies are part of the digital banking innovations that are here to stay amid the significant changes in the world of finance. Originally designed to let consumers control their money themselves, cryptocurrency technology has come a long way as it is now accepted by digital banks, hybrid financial firms, and even some traditional banking institutions. Somewhere between 2010 and 2020, bankers realized the unlimited potential of cryptocurrencies and decided to provide support for them via crypto trading markets. One of the pioneering forces in this crypto banking revolution is the digital bank founded by German billionaire and fintech visionary…

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For many years, Eritrea has refused to take back citizens failing to qualify as refugees. This week, Switzerland’s parliament voted in favour of sending them to another African nation, reported SRF. This week, Petra Gössi (PLR/FDP) put forward a motion that calls on the Federal Council to conclude a transit agreement with a suitable third country. The motion referred to an unsigned agreement from 2003 with Senegal, which was supported by Gossi’s party then. Parliament voted 120 to 75 votes in favour of the motion. By taking a tougher stance, many of those in favour want to send a signal…

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This week, Switzerland’s Green Party started collecting signatures to launch a referendum. The vote would ask voters whether to accept a plan to force those renovating or constructing a new building to install solar panels, reported RTS. The Green Party says there are enough roofs in Switzerland to ween the country off imported fossil fuel and to avoid resorting to nuclear power. Currently, only 10% of roofs are being used for solar power production. Nadine Masshardt, head of the Swiss energy foundation, an organisation supported by the Green and Socialist Parties and an anti-nuclear group, thinks solar output could be…

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Every year, the World Economic Forum (WEF) compares the economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment of men and women across the world. The latest report, published on 14 June 2024, shows a shrinking gap between Swiss men and women. This year, Switzerland scored 0.785 and ranked 20th, up from 0.783 and a rank of 21st in 2023. The scores for educational attainment (0.992) and health and survival (0.964) were not far off perfect equality – 1.000 represents equality. However, scores for economic participation and opportunity (0.720) and political empowerment (0.464) showed large gaps. Switzerland’s…

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On 9 June 2024, Swiss voters voted on four federal initiatives, two related to healthcare cost, one born in the Covid-19 era related to “physical and mental integrity”, and one on renewable electricity. The first asked voters whether to subsidise health insurance premiums based on income and the second whether to formally restrain healthcare spending. The third asked voters whether to accept a loosely defined plan aimed at ensuring that those refusing “invasions of physical and mental integrity” would not be treated any differently. The fourth asked voters whether or not to accept a government plan aimed at boosting the production…

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Swiss scientists are working hard on technology to extract CO2 from the air to combat climate change. Since they began their work on the technology they have already halved the cost to between US$ 400 and 600 a tonne, reported SRF this week. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), by the second half of this century humanity will need to extract more CO2 from the air than it is adding to avoid runaway climate change. If correct, it means we must learn how to extract and store a lot of CO2. A Swiss company named Climeworks is…

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In the most recent QS ranking, ETH Zurich remains the top university in continental Europe, trailing only six others in the US (MIT 1st, Harvard 4th, Stanford 6th) and the UK (Imperial – 2nd, Oxford 3rd, Cambridge 5th). ETH Zurich came 7th in the previous ranking. In addition to ranking 7th overall, ETH Zurich was ranked number one for a number of subjects including Earth and Marine Sciences, Geology and Geophysics. It also ranked in the top 10 across a significant number of other subjects. Established in 1855 as the Swiss Federal Polytechnic School, ETHZ can count 22 Nobel laureates,…

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Switzerland doesn’t produce enough electricity to meet its needs, particularly in winter when demand is highest. To keep the lights on it imports electricity from its neighbours, much of it produced with polluting fuels. This leaves Switzerland reliant on its neighbours and acts as a drag on its climate progress. To remedy this, the government wants to make it easier to and more attractive to install renewable energy sources such as hydro, sun, wind and biomass. However, the government plan has been criticised and will be presented to voters who will decide on its fate on 9 June 2024. Switzerland’s…

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Black Banx, a pioneering digital banking platform, has been a game-changer in the financial industry, catering to a global audience with its innovative approach. Founded by German billionaire Michael Gastauer, Black Banx stands out for its inclusive nature, welcoming not only traditional banking clients but also those often overlooked by conventional banks, including individuals interested in crypto-based transactions and the unbanked.  The platform’s borderless financial system operates worldwide, offering services to individuals and businesses alike, regardless of their financial status. Inclusive Financial Services Black Banx offers inclusive financial services to ensure that everyone, regardless of their background or financial…

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In March 2024, as Switzerland’s month-on-month inflation rate went to zero and the annual inflation rate dipped to 1%, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) cut its key interest rate from 1.75% to 1.5%. Some expected the bank to keep cutting. However, in both April and May 2024, monthly inflation returned, making further imminent rate cuts less likely. This week, the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) published data showing consumer prices rising 0.3% during May 2024. At the end of May, consumer prices were 1.4% higher than at the end of May 2023, a rate within the range targeted by the SNB. …

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