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The Swiss DLT Initiative: empowering collaboration by building bridges

After three successful years, the 4T-DLT initiative is ready to fly on its own. Look back at the key highlights of this initiative on distributed ledger technology which could not have happened without the great support from our esteemed members as well as technical and legal experts.

Under the umbrella of digitalswitzerland, MME Legal and Swisscom launched the 4T-DLT initiative in January 2021, with the ambition to combine technical and legal standards to create an open repository, with the ultimate goal of building a secure, interoperable and reliable Swiss Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) infrastructure. 

The initiative quickly gained momentum, which led to SwissCaution and SDX joining the endeavour in March 2021, contributing knowledge and expertise. The four organisations became stakers, who contributed with funds and resources to the development of the initiative’s activities.

Raising awareness within the population with educational videos on the four pillars of trust

In April 2021, five short educational videos were released, outlining the foundation for a trustworthy Swiss infrastructure for digital data. MME and Swisscom gathered industry leaders and experts from academia to help create these blueprints outlining the four central pillars of a secure DLT infrastructure and combining the technical and legal spheres

To learn more about the videos and the contributors, read the article “4T-DLT” – Swiss Initiative Defines Four Pillars of Trustworthy DLT Ecosystem

Navigating Trust: The essential guide to a secure and interoperable digital infrastructure

The 4T-DLT initiative published a white paper in September 2021. Broken down into the 4 Trust pillars, the authors provide fundamental information on the technical and legal framework to establish and operate a secure, interoperable, reliable and trusted digital infrastructure. The white paper is both a navigation guide and a source of knowledge for users, advisors and authorities. 

The set-up of a new comprehensive, interoperable and reliable DLT ecosystem based on Swiss quality standards requires cooperation across companies, organisations and experts as well as interactions with policymakers and regulators. This will help citizens leverage the potential of DLT technology by enabling the independent storage of digital information, values and rights, as well as their straightforward, legally secure and efficient transfer. Ten principles have been defined, which all DLT interfaces should adhere to in order to achieve effective, secure and flawless communication. This is the overall aim of the different activities within the initiative. Find more insights in this interesting article.

Enabling dialogue: Highlights from the CMTA & DLT Event

In March 2022, Capital Market Technology Association and digitalswitzerland’s 4T-DLT initiative joined forces and gathered 80+ experts in Zurich for an insightful event to strengthen collaboration and exchange insights. This gave the DLT community a chance to connect on a deeper level, network and create partnerships.

Read more about the event or check out our gallery.

Empowering the community with the launch of a platform

The 4T-DLT website was created in May 2022. This platform was designed to enable users to find information, share resources and engage with the community. It enabled the community to add their own events and blueprints, exchange with their peers on the forum, as well as define important terms together. Over the months the community grew steadily until reaching over 200 members.

Following this willingness to collaborate and share perspectives, digitalswitzerland organised a meeting; gathering experts in Distributed Ledger Technology and Digital Assets. Capital Market Technology Association, Digital Assets Switzerland, Suisse Blockchain, Swiss Blockchain Federation, VNTR by Postfinance, TBTA and 4T-DLT experts discussed joint synergies to transform Switzerland into a leading DLT hub. As a result, digitalswitzerland created a LinkedIn Group to share events, insights and perspectives on the DLT landscape. 

Enabling organisations to grasp DLT potential and apply it to their business 

In June 2023, digitalswitzerland organised a learning event in Bern, where digitalswitzerland’s members could learn from their peers on topics such as digital assets or tokenisation of company shares. We had the chance to hear from Hochschule Luzern, DFINITY Foundation, daura, SDX, Swiss Post, Magic Tomato and Taurus. 

DLT ecosystem is ready to fly on its own

The power of collaboration, innovation and determination enabled the 4T-DLT initiative to drive positive change. Thus, digitalswitzerland will focus its resources on other topics which still require collaboration and innovation to transform Switzerland as a leading digital nation.

We would like to warmly thank all the experts who contributed to this successful initiative:

Shapers: Dr. Luka Müller-Studer, Harald Baertschi, Sebastian Bürgel, Yannick Hausmann, Dr. Jacques Iffland, Patrick Oltramare, Fedor Poskriakov, Dr. Mattia Rattaggi, Patrick Salm, Adrien Treccani and Gino Wirthensohn

Contributors: Guillaume Gabus, Rolf W. Guenter, Nathan Kaiser, Travin Keith, Aurelia Nick, Bruno Pasquier, Orkan Sahin, Marc Stammbach, Jade Sternberg and Dominic Vincenz

The 4T-DLT website will be live until 13 May 2024.

On 24 March, 70 C-levels and DLT-experts gathered at Kraftwerk in Zurich to exchange on decentralised financial markets and standardisation. Capital Market Technology (CMTA) and digitalswitzerland 4T-DLT co-organised an insightful event where players from the industry came together, got inspired by the presentations and networked with their peers at the aperitif.

What were the goals of this event?

Event aims:

An evening packed with learnings presented by DLT-experts

Stephanie Tauber Gomez, Senior Innovation Manager at digitalswitzerland and our moderator for the event, led through this inspiring night. She welcomed many different experts on stage who all shared insightful news from the field of distributed ledger technology. Two of these experts were Jacques Iffland, Chairman of CMTA and Partner at Lenz & Staehelin, and Patrick Oltramare, 4T-DLT Shaper and CEO of SwissCaution, who outlined the necessity of collaboration between their two organisations to best push the limits of DLT. They emphasised the fact that it is only together that we can have an impact on the future.

Stephanie Tauber Gomez moderating on stage.

Marc Bürki, CEO and founder of Swissquote, presented the creation of decentralised capital markets infrastructures and the importance of DLT as a new technology for these markets. Jean-Philippe Aumasson, Chair of CMTA’S Tech Committee, CSO and founder of Taurus,  explained the new CMTA token, now available for all Swiss businesses. This token is a tool for open source solutions for decentralised market infrastructures.

Presentation of Marc Bürki, CEO and founder of Swissquote.

Patrick Oltramare then introduced the recent highlights of  4T-DLT, the initiative which creates an open repository for technical and legal standards for an interoperable Swiss DLT infrastructure. We celebrated the two key milestones from 2021: 

The presentation was kept dynamic as three 4T-DLT Shapers, Johannes Hoehener – Board Member of TI&M – Mattia Rattaggi – Managing Partner at METI Advisory AG – and Fedor Poskriakov – Partner at Lenz & Staehelin – gave three-minute pitches each on the different trust pillars.

Audience of CMTA and 4T-DLT distributed ledger technology (DLT) event

To wrap up the presentations, Guillaume Gabus, Head of Portfolio and Regions at digitalswitzerland, shared with the audience a sneak peek into the future 4T-DLT website. This website will serve as a neutral platform for DLT-enthusiasts to exchange with one another collaboratively. Please bear with us until the website goes live soon!

Networking and Exchanging

During the aperitif, the stakeholders had a chance to exchange opinions and ideas on the different DLT topics and identify potential synergies. As the event was coming to an end, it was powerful to see that all the attendees seemed to share one thought: Collaboration across different industries is crucial if we want to push the limits of the DLT ecosystem.

Guests at networking aperitif of CMTA and 4T-DLT distributed ledger technology (DLT) event.
Diana Engetschwiler, Deputy Managing Director digitalswitzerland, at networking aperitif with guests of the event.
Guests at networking aperitif of CMTA and 4T-DLT distributed ledger technology (DLT) event.

About CMTA

An independent association formed by leading actors from Switzerland’s financial, technological and legal sectors to create common standards around issuing, distributing and trading securities in the form of tokens using the distributed ledger technology.

About 4T-DLT

An initiative that follows a federated and collaborative approach to create an open repository for the technical and legal information, definition and standards for a secure, interoperable and reliable Swiss Distributed Ledger Technology infrastructure. This initiative was launched by Swisscom, Switzerland’s leading telecoms & IT company, and MME, a leading Swiss consultancy firm for law, tax and compliance, under the umbrella of digitalswitzerland.

The set-up of a new comprehensive, interoperable and reliable DLT ecosystem based on Swiss quality standards requires cooperation across companies, organisations and experts as well as interactions with policymakers and regulators. This will help citizens leverage the potential of DLT technology by enabling the independent storage of digital information, values and rights, as well as their straightforward, legally secure and efficient transfer. To achieve this, MME and Swisscom have brought together industry leaders and experts from academia and business to create coherence between the technical and legal domains and to jointly foster ongoing DLT initiatives.

4 Elements of Trust

The team has previously produced four explanatory videos for each element of trust. Following the same structure, the white paper outlines each of these core pillars of a trusted DLT infrastructure to support and promote the adoption of DLT technology:

With the publication of this white paper, the authors would like to contribute to Switzerland’s continuous establishment and development as one of the world’s leading, innovative and sustainable locations for fintech companies and DLT initiatives. 

The publication of the white paper also heralds the next phase of the 4T DLT initiative. Currently, the initiators are working on sharpening the next goals and are looking forward to expanding the collaborative circle. A regular forum will be held to openly discuss innovation, lessons learned, and improvement approaches across industries and academia.

If you are interested in the full white paper, please download it here

The set-up of a new comprehensive, interoperable and reliable DLT-ecosystem based on Swiss quality standards requires cooperation across companies, organizations and experts as well as interactions with politicians and regulators. This is why MME and Swisscom have gathered industry leaders and experts from the academia to achieve coherence between the technical and the legal sphere and to jointly foster ongoing DLT initiatives. With the objective to develop these foundations in a protocol-, product- and manufacturer-neutral manner, the collaborators have produced four explanatory videos and are currently working on an initial whitepaper outlining the technical and legal framework to establish a secure, interoperable and reliable digital infrastructure. The whitepaper takes into consideration the recent amendments to Swiss federal laws in the field of distributed electronic ledgers and is expected to be published within only a few weeks from now. The standardisation work is thematically split into four areas – the 4 Trusts –, each of which deals with one of the central pillars of a secure DLT infrastructure:

With a functioning DLT infrastructure, the full potential of DLT technology may be exploited. The initial focus of this initiative was on digital assets, but all digital information, value and rights can be stored autonomously and transferred easily, efficiently and legally validly between the participants of a DLT ecosystem. Switzerland could thus position itself as the world’s leading location for standard setting applications based on DLT technology.

The Shapers

The Contributors

The flagship collaboration between digitalswitzerland, 4T-DLT and Capital Market Technology Association, with the objective of making Switzerland a world-leading distributed ledger technology hub, brought together 70 people at a first gathering at Kraftwerk in Zurich on 24 March.

The focus was on building the DLT community across Switzerland to enable the ecosystem to connect and exchange on the associated technical and legal standards.