The Crypto Valley is known to be one of the most “crypto-friendly” regions in the world. But what specifically is happening within the Blockchain ecosystem? The “Crypto Valley Roundup” aims to provide insight and highlights from selected events every two months.
With the first Blockchain companies settling in the area of Zug from 2013 onwards, the term “Crypto Valley” was soon born in reference to the “Silicon Valley”. Thanks to politics and regulation, Switzerland was able to create the necessary legal certainty for a flourishing ecosystem around Blockchain and cryptocurrencies at an early stage.
The regulator, which provides the necessary legal certainty for an industry, has been active since 2015. Internationally, this is very early for the Blockchain space. Last but not least, the space has enjoyed new company settlements, and steady development. The ecosystem has advanced into various industries and the Crypto Valley has also grown geographically far beyond the canton of Zug. So it’s high time to take a closer look at what’s going on.
Marketplace for different digital assets
The emergence of digital assets doesn’t just include cryptocurrencies. Another area that is gradually gaining momentum is tokenization. In a nutshell, it describes the representation of an asset on the blockchain. It may be a small step forward for trading traditional financial products, but for illiquid assets such as real estate, art, or commodities, tokenization can open up new worlds. However, trading venues for tokenized assets are largely lacking.
Taurus Digital Exchange (TDX) is a Swiss company that aims to remedy this situation. The new marketplace aims to serve the growing demand from banks and issuers for an open infrastructure for tokenized securities and digital assets. The company has already secured the necessary approval from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA). Several banks and established financial institutions have also been announced as partners of the platform.
Insurance company accepts bitcoin
In mid-April, AXA became the first all-lines insurance company in Switzerland to announce that it would accept Bitcoin (BTC) for customer payments. The company had already been seeing strong demand for alternative payment methods such as cryptocurrencies for some time. With the increasing digitalization as a result of the Corona crisis, this trend has accelerated. With this decision, the world’s largest insurance company wanted to suit the needs of their customers in the Crypto Valley.
AXA has also supported other blockchain projects in the past. For example, they are a member and on the board of the association Cardossier, which is developing a blockchain platform to digitally represent the lifecycle of a vehicle. Together with importers, road traffic authorities and other members, the aim is to increase transparency and efficiency in the market. Further, they are participating as a sponsor in the Blockchain Challenge of the University of Basel.
Award for Crypto Valley Startup
Globally, wealth management firms have made tremendous strides in all areas of digital customer service over the past 18 months. The leading firms have not only managed to stay connected with their clients in times of social distancing. They have also been able to transform their business models, expand service offerings and reach new customer segments.
The Aite Group awards program recognizes innovation by companies that use new technologies to outperform the status quo. FINMA-licensed SEBA Bank was named “Digital Startup of the Year” at the Digital Innovation in Wealth Management Forum for its seamless, secure and easy-to-use bridge between digital and traditional assets.
Successful funding round of venture capitalist
The first crypto companies in Crypto Valley were founded in 2013. For the time being, many startups have had to do without financial support. Finally, three years later, the first blockchain-focused venture capitalist was founded – Crypto Valley Venture Capital (CV VC). Early on, the company began to establish a local ecosystem for startups, and today it is an integral part of the Swiss crypto industry.
Just over a month ago, the venture capitalist completed a 13 million Swiss franc funding round. With the new capital, CV VC aims to further expand its startup portfolio. So far, the company has invested in 27 blockchain startups from Switzerland, Europe, the Americas, and Africa. Through the completed financing round, the next growth phase is to be initiated, planned among other things are divisions in Asia and Africa.