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A campaign to radically change Switzerland’s financial industry into some kind of Bitcoin’s economic system lost yesterday, but it did manage to win almost 500,000 votes.

This controversial plan, known as the Sovereign Money Initiative, would have seen commercial banks barred from electronically creating money when they lend beyond their deposits. This process is how most money in the world is created.

In the last decade Bitcoin and digital currencies have emerged as a technological alternative to the debt-based financial industry and have been met with a mixture of mockery, scorn and fear.

Both Warren Buffett and Jamie Dimon have both recently expressed their deep-seated skepticism of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. The creation of Bitcoin in 2009 took place at the same time than the global financial crisis and both the cryptocurrency movement and support for the Sovereign Money Initiative in Switzerland have grown exponentially.

“Cryptocurrency and the blockchain does look like where we’re heading. It could have been used under the system we were proposing,” said Emma Dawnay, board member of MoMo, the group which proposed the Sovereign Money Initiative.

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