Switzerland - a small country in central Europe which doesn't only offer incredibly beautiful nature, but is also the home of APPICS!
For centuries, Switzerland has been world-famous for its standing in the financial world (apart from Swiss watches and Swiss cheese, of course!).
Swiss banks are generally known as very reputable, and despite its size Switzerland has been leading in wealth management for decades.
So when blockchain technology was first introduced to the financial sector, it comes to no surprise that Switzerland was one of the first to embrace it.
Today, Switzerland is one of the most advanced countries in the world in terms of blockchain adaptation, and has truly become an international hub for blockchain companies.
The small town "Zug" close to Zürich ,where APPICS also has its headquarters, has officially become "Crypto-Valley" and is a well-known spot for crypto enthusiasts.
There is even a Crypto Valley Association with the aim to be “an independent, government-supported association established to take full advantage of Switzerland’s strengths to build the world’s leading blockchain and cryptographic technologies ecosystem.”
But what exactly makes Switzerland so attractive as blockchain hub? Let's take a look!
Financial Regulations regarding Cryptocurrency
Swiss banks have always been known for their client orientation.
In the past, Switzerland was especially known for keeping their customer's privacy, and enabling people to create "secret" bank accounts.
Now that times have shifted, the financial sector in Switzerland is also re-orientating.
More and more swiss banks now actually offer business accounts for crypto companies, and banking products are being adapted to the growing interest in blockchain.
Additionally, several swiss banks have started offering cryptocurrency as part of their trading portfolio to customers!
Apart from that, Switzerland is also one of the countries with the most Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) initiated.
This is due to advanced government rules that have brought clarification and support for blockchain companies.
The swiss national Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) is one of the first authorities around the globe to recognize the potential of blockchain and classify and ICOs according to a clear regulation structure, offering crypto start-ups a great place to settle.
Voting with Blockchain in Switzerland
As you know, the benefits of blockchain technology reach far beyond the financial sector.
You can even utilize the technology for referendums!
In Switzerland, a referendum is very often used as a democracy tool for both regional and national matters. Citizens were able to vote on important matters like education, energy, and food security via mail, internet and polling stations.
But now, "Crypto Valley" Zug is bringing blockchain technology into the mix.
The city of Zug started a first test-vote based on blockchain technology earlier this month, also evaluating whether this procedure could also be used on a broader scale in the future.
Part of the vote was also a test to see if citizens would be up for a blockchain-based electronic ID system that could be implemented and be used for future votes.
Even though this was merely a test, it turned out to be a success and showed how the people in Crypto Valley are embracing blockchain technology and looking forward to change!
Digital assets on the Swiss stock market
Both the financial and public sector in Switzerland are being heavily influenced by blockchain technology - partly also due to the high interest from the citizens.
The Swiss Infrastructure and Exchange (SIX) Group, the parent company of Switzerland’s principal stock exchange, has announced that they are working on a fully integrated infrastructure for trading, settlement and custody of digital assets.
That is huge!
The swiss stock exchange is planned to become a "digital asset ecosystem" and even the CEO of the swiss stock exchange stated:
"This is the beginning of a new era for capital markets infrastructures. For us, it is abundantly clear that much of what is going on in the digital space is here to stay and will define the future of our industry."