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The Swiss arm of “Big Four” accounting and services giant Ernst & Young is now a corporate member of the Bitcoin Association Switzerland, a bitcoin advocacy group.

In a year where Ernst & Young (EY) Switzerland began accepting bitcoin as a payment method for services rendered, the services giant is continuing to endear itself to bitcoin adopters by joining the Bitcoin Association of Switzerland (BAS), a Swiss community of bitcoin enthusiasts and advocates.

“As an Association, we want to pave the way for Bitcoin to flourish and unfold its full potential,” reads a BAS mission statement. The association also raises bitcoin awareness by presenting the cryptocurrency at third-party events.

An announcement by BAS today stated:

Being the first of the Big 4 to get into Bitcoin, the next obvious step for EY was to support our local Bitcoin community by joining the Bitcoin Association as a corporate member. We are very happy to welcome EY to our fast-growing community.

In November 2016, EY Switzerland installed a Bitcoin ATM in its office space and provided its employees with a digital wallet app that enabled purchases with bitcoin. The much-publicized bitcoin binge is a part of the firm’s wider digitization effort. In January 2017, EY Switzerland began accepting bitcoin for the firm’s many services including advisory and auditing.

“It is important to us that everybody gets on board and prepares themselves for the revolution set to take place in the business world through blockchains, smart contracts and digital currencies,” stated EY Switzerland CEO Marcel Stalder at the time.

Big on Bitcoin

Bitcoin-related developments and advances are becoming commonplace in Swiss society. The town of Zug famously began accepting bitcoin for municipal services in mid-2016 as a part of a trial. “With Bitcoin, we’re sending a message,” stated Zug’s mayor at the time. The serene, lakeside town of Zug is also known as Switzerland’s ‘Crypto Valley’ with about 20 industry companies including the likes of bitcoin wallet Xapo moving in to set up shop.

By the end of 2016, Zug’s city council voted to continue allowing bitcoin payments following the completion of the initial trial.

The operator of Switzerland’s national railway service also began selling bitcoin through its 1000+ ticketing machines across the country and will continue to do so until 2018. In November, Switzerland’s federal council outlined a FinTech-friendly agenda that included a regulatory framework for digital currencies.

This year, the Swiss government backed the launch of the Crypto Valley Association – also headquartered in Zug – as a non-profit advocacy and development group geared to attract blockchain development efforts in the country.

Featured image of EY Bitcoin ATM from EY.

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Posted by Samburaj Das