On the 10th of August, the second ambassador meeting of this year took place. digitalswitzerland invited the ambassadors of the member companies to two keynote speeches about blockchain. Numerous ambassadors participated on the event that showed the technology’s hosted by ETH in Zurich.
Blockchain Ecosystem Switzerland
The first presentation was held by André Wolke, Co-Founder of ValidityLabs. He gave an introduction about the ecosystem of blockchain in Switzerland and its resulting challenges and opportunities for companies.
Introduction into blockchain technology
He introduced Bitcoin as a cryptocurrency, based on blockchain technology, that is owned by about 3 million people worldwide. According to him, “Blockchain technology is a highly important topic that has high potential to completely change the way we interact in the future.”
André stated that Zug has become the hub for ICO’s (initial coin offerings), crowdfunding campaigns based on cryptocurrency. He estimates that about 90% of all ICO’s reside in Zug because in Switzerland startups do not have to deal with a as heavily regulated environment as in the U.S.
Therefore, Switzerland benefits from an economic growth through the raising amount of companies based here and the increased demand for employees with the respective skill set. However, many companies are confronted with challenges resulting from the new technology. These challenges include knowledge about how the technology itselves functions and how to leverage its potential.
How to acquire knowledge
André explained that blockchain technology has the potential to disrupt banking, marketplaces, Internet of Things and organization management. The decentral organized technology, for example, enables to track goods from the supplier to the end consumer, which completely exceeds current possibilities in supply chain management. He also showed examples of use cases, like Modum and Etherisc.
Collaborative Innovation: The blockchain Challenge
Another use case for blockchain was developed within the digitalswitzerland challenge. The blockchain roundtable has been awarded the most lucrative bet, as they are trying to facilitate the long-winded incorporation process. Michel Lewrick, Chief Innovation Officer for Swisscom and Daniel Haudenschild, CEO of Swisscom blockchain AG, provided insights into their project.
Solution finding with Design Thinking
Michel explained, that due to the project’s mixed group structure consisting of consultants, lawyers, commercial registries from three cantons, banks, corporates and experts, finding a solution was very difficult. That’s why they applied the Design Thinking approach, a solution focused and action oriented methodology that designers use to solve problems and find desirable solutions. Design Thinking helped them to effectively come up with a solution that would take all involved stakeholders into account. (For a topic deepdive, please read our blog)
First results of the challenge project
Daniel then presented their Minimal Viable Product (MVP), an online tool for incorporating a company. This tool enables to speed up the founding process by using blockchain technology. The technology guarantees highest security amongst sender and receiver in the online transmission. Thus, the process can be completed online within 35 minutes, whereas before it could take up to 3 to 4 weeks, involving banks, lawyers and a commercial registry and require the sending of many paper documents between this parties.
Next steps for the blockchain Roundtable
The project team intends to give priority rights to the bank providing the incorporating companies with a blocked account, which is mostly needed in the founding process. Also, the solution is only limitedly scalable since it needs collaboration with every canton individually. However, the MVP is already available for the cities Zug, Geneva and Zurich.
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