Switzerland’s blockchain industry has recently concluded its 4th Cryp[to Valley Summit in Zug, a gathering of blockchain driven companies that opt to disrupt fintech, assets and currencies. Ueli Mauer, Swiss Finance Minister and the country’s president for 2019, said in his key note speech that “swift and clear” changes to the regulatory system will enhance Switzerland’s status as an international blockchain hub. At the same time Rahm Emanuel, the mayor of Chicago, delivered a key speech suggesting that mass crypto adoption may be inevitable.
Switzerland’s Zug is currently known for its crypto friendly environment, building a reputation as the world’s crypto hub, aspiring to rival Silicon Valley’s reputation as start-up hub. With more than 750 companies and more than 3,300 jobs, Zug is boosting a healthy ecosystem. With a supportive mayor Zug is already accepting crypto payments for services offered. Moreover, the city has received over CHF30 million in “marketing value” by attracting new companies in the region.
Notably, we understand, that the support of the Swiss government does not end there. The government is in a consultation process to change/update financial and corporate regulation that routes back at the beginning of the century, thus setting the legal foundations for the blockchain industry. Such foundations will remove risk and increase regulatory transparency and thus attract even more Blockchain companies into the country, generating even more jobs and income taxes down the road. Switzerland has attracted more than $400 million out of the $1.5 billion crowdfunding raised in 2017 by blockchain companies.
The main regulatory changes are expected in the way decentralised digital tokens can be incorporated into the Swiss business infrastructure. One proposal is to create a new category framework which will allow some financial activities to be carried out by tech companies without a banking license.
But blockchain is more than cryptocurrencies as more and more business striving to identify bottlenecks to be solved with the use of the technology. Reduction of cost, transparency, auditing, and process optimization are some of the areas companies are looking to apply blockchain. No doubt that fintech and banking will take a significant share, especially when considering payments, money transfers, trading, even bank deposits can be drastically affected by the use of technology and cryptocurrencies. The range of possible applications is huge.
Only a few thousand miles away, the former chief of staff at the White House during Barack Obama’s term, and former House of Representative from Chicago, Rahm was quoted say that he thinks “an alternative way of currency dealing with the debt markets is going to happen” at some point in the future. His speech was inspired by the recent financial crisis in Venezuela and his belief about the outlook of cryptocurrencies. He went to say that he was ready to facilitate regulation similar to those adopted by Colorado and Wyoming. Colorado exempts cryptocurrencies From Securities Laws if they meet certain criteria while Wyoming has passed laws that recognize crypto assets as money authorizing the banks to provide custodian services for digital assets.
It is my understanding that sooner than later more states will follow suit with employing digital assets friendly laws enabling the US ecosystem to accelerate. Recognizing the trend Switzerland is accelerating its own regulation to provide transparency and thus accommodate even more Blockchain project in land. It is inevitable that the rest of EU will not remain indifferent for long. UK is likely to follow suit with the rest of Europe not later than 2020/2021. Cryptos are expected to receive a more accommodating legal and regulatory environment going forward and this is good for growth.