As we’ve seen lately, Switzerland happens to be the most competitive global economy – for the seventh time in a row.

Now it is all about keeping this position by creating new ecosystems all over the country. We truly believe the key success for Switzerland is not by copying other successful innovation hubs but by finding our own identity and creating business hubs with our own characteristics.

The crypto valley as best practice

The crypto valley in Zurich and Zug is the latest of these business hubs setting a new trend. It is not only a nice place to live with high quality of life and low taxes, but it is now home to a great outcrop of communities passionate about blockchain technology and crypto currencies.

In fact, the crypto valley seems to be way ahead of the world in a few ways.

Consider this:

  1. Zug happens to be the first municipality to accept bitcoin as a payment method for government services.
  2. Zurich and Zug self-appointed themselves as a “Crypto Valley” hosting around 15 companies that specialize in Blockchain technology (the underpinning technology behind bitcoin). Some of the most popular ones are Xapo, Monetas, and Ethereum. Meanwhile, there are other companies that now call Zug home that you might not have heard about such as Patria Digitalis, ShapeShift, Crypto, BlockChain Source, iProtus and many other companies.
  3. Not only entrepreneurs are based in the crypto valley, also investors, experts and lawyers are settling in new offices here. Also many associations, like the Crypto Valley Association or the Swiss Bitcoin Association are activating the community.
  4. Vitalik Buterin – creator and chief scientist of Ethereum Foundation – operates his non-profit organization in Zug. This foundation helps maintain Ethereum’s core technology that’s powering the rise of Ether (or Ethereum) itself as the next most popular Cryptocurrency only next to bitcoin.
  5. Last but not least, the first worldwide diversified cryptocurrency fund has been founded lately in Zug from well-known Swiss entrepreneurs – (Bernegger, Reichmuth and Brzezek, cryptofundag.ch). A pioneer project as we would love to see more of them in our country.

All this is thanks to the crypto valley’s rising prominence and popularity as a hub for modern-day blockchain technologies. Now it is very important to continue the growth at the same pace, or even quicker in order to be recognized as leading blockchain hub – worldwide. Only then will many more entrepreneurs, investors and experts join and support the hub to become huge.

Our observation and looking forward

At digitalswitzerland this sort of hub development excites us. This is good for the Swiss economy. Businesses, investors, and even educational institutions benefit by joining forces and being quicker and stronger. These ecosystems have the potential to make it big just like other ecosystem led growth stories like Silicon Valley, Berlin, Israel or Bangalore.

These hubs go a long way to help make the Swiss business ecosystem stronger as they bring various entities together. In a world that gets increasingly virtual, close-knitted hubs such as Crypto Valley take networking, relationships, and business traction to a whole new level.

Going forward, we will analyse how to develop other such hubs in Switzerland along other topics like cybersecurity, data centers, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, machine learning, Internet of Things, etc. in order to be positioned best worldwide for the next few years with our competencies and new strong ventures. Switzerland is known for chocolate, cheese, knifes and banks, in a few years we will be known for the home of blockchain, cybersecurity and hopefully many other issues the digital future will bring.

What do you think? Which other innovation hubs already exist in Switzerland? Which other innovation hub should we pay attention for in the next months and quickly enable and scale? Let us know and stay informed and signup to our newsletter.

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About Nicolas Bürer

Managing Director @digitalswitzerland

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