Crypto Valley – Switzerland’s rapidly growing blockchain hub

The picturesque town of Zug is Switzerland's answer to Silicon Valley

Crypto Valley is an ecosystem situated in and around Zug with live connections to centres of blockchain innovation in London, Singapore, Silicon Valley and New York. The hub sits in a small but affluent lakeside town near Zurich, and is rapidly becoming a global leader of blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

Blockchain is a constantly growing list of records that are linked and secured by cryptography, and is often associated with controversial cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. Blockchain can be used to manage online identity verification, to aid manufacturing growth, and can even be implemented in innovative e-commerce platforms.

“We are a global leading ecosystem for blockchain technology” Oliver Bussmann, president of Crypto Valley Association, told the Business Insider. The Crypto Valley Association was set up towards the beginning of 2017 to foster the growth of blockchain and to coordinate parties within the ecosystem.

The Ethereum Foundation is also based in Zug, and their mission is to promote and support the cryptocurrency platform. Bussmann disclosed that the Ethereum Foundation “decided to set up the foundation here and that triggered the set up of a new ecosystem — law firms, tax, accounting, smart contract evolvement firms, startups, universities.”

Billions have been invested in the crypto sector, and the technology has the potential to streamline operations in existing businesses, generate innovative enterprise opportunities, and decentralise services. Bussmann added “to establish that you have to work on all dimensions: startups, investors, governments, corporations, R&D etc. You have to bring them together.”

According to Crypto Valley, the hub’s “business-friendly regulatory framework, deep talent pool and sophisticated infrastructure” has allowed Zug to rapidly grow as a leading centre of blockchain. Zug’s corporation tax sits at just 14%, and the town boasts a culture of high productivity and competitiveness.

Switzerland’s prosperous cryptocurrency industry could have full access to conventional banking services by the end of the year, according to a top Swiss policymaker. The financial sector is beginning to capitalise on blockchain after maintaining a level of skepticism, and major bank CEOs are now declaring that blockchain will underpin the financial industry “in five years.”

UBS and IBM are currently involved in Batavia, the blockchain-based global trade finance platform, and PwC recently unveiled a blockchain audit service. Nonetheless, many remain reluctant to fully engage with the technology, and UBS has previously warned that bitcoin exists in a “speculative bubble.”

Traditional and unconventional companies are both attempting to capitalise on blockchain, and members of the Crypto Valley Association range from startups to members of the Big Four. Bussman is optimistic regarding the future of cryptocurrencies, and has even suggested expanding Zug’s Crypto Valley into a Swiss “crypto-nation.”