Blockchain: from bitcoin to decentralised democracy

Expert study


Blockchain technology facilitated the development of the bitcoin and other crypto-currencies. Since they first appeared in 2009, these currencies have boomed and meanwhile attained a high degree of economic importance. The technology has continued to evolve and blockchains can now be used for purposes such as writing smart contracts. This means that new economic paradigms can be established, while intermediaries between clients and suppliers are becoming a thing of the past. In the future, blockchain technology could pave the way for e-government services, electronic voting, etc., and thus contribute towards a more transparent and decentralised democracy.

The aim of this interdisciplinary study is to assess the risks and opportunities associated with this technology by examining its development in Switzerland and focusing on related economic, technological, legal and political aspects. Several case studies are to be carried out in order to examine these facets in greater depth. Ultimately the study will give rise to a better understanding of the technology and provide a basis for discussion for political and other decision-makers. It will also culminate in a general evaluation and where possible formulate recommendations relating to this topic.


Project duration

April 2017 until approximately June 2019

Project mandataries 1


Nils Braun-Dubler, MPhil (Oxon), Institut für Wirtschaftsstudien Basel – IWSB

Project group

  • Hans-Peter Gier, lic. oec. HSG, Banking Concepts
  • Stefan Meyer, Dr. rer. pol., IWSB
  • Manuel Langhart, MA, IWSB
  • Markus Gmünder, Dr. rer. pol., IWSB
  • Andreas Glarner, Dr. iur. und LL.M., MME

Project mandataries 2

  • Antoine Burret, Dr. Soc., Université de Genève, Centre Universitaire Informatique, Institut de science des services
  • Simon Perdrisat, MSc sc. Pol., Université de Genève, Centre Universitaire Informatique, Institut de science des services

Supervisory group

  • Olivier Glassey, UNIL, member Steering committee TA-SWISS and head of supervisory group
  • Christian Cachin, IBM Research
  • Hannes Gassert, crstl Gmbh
  • Uwe Heck, Informatiksteuerungsorgan des Bundes
  • Luzius Meisser, Meisser Economics
  • Marine Pasquier-Beaud, Office fédéral de l‘Energie
  • Fabian Schnell, Avenir Suisse
  • Antoine Verdon,
  • Pierre-Edouard Wahl, Crédit Suisse, Finance
  • Anja Wyden Guelpa, Chancelière d’Etat du Canton de Genève
  • Raphael Bucher, Office fédéral de l‘Environnement (OFEV)

Project management TA-SWISS

Dr. Catherine Pugin, TA-SWISS (E-Mail)

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