Switzerland has built a reputation as a leading EU country in the crypto and blockchain industries. Due to its positive crypto regulations and the fact that it is home to some of the top crypto organizations in the world, Switzerland is often referred to as “Crypto Valley.”
Blockchain solution providers are moving their companies from the EU countries to Switzerland because of the welcoming political and legal crypto environment. So what’s Switzerland`s secret?
In 2020 the Swiss Parliament, in addition to the already existing legal framework, passed “umbrella legislation” which allows for the tokenization of rights, claims, and financial instruments. This was perceived as a game changer because it allows a secure and direct transfer of legal ownership rights that are automatically transferred via the blockchain to each new investor.
In such a way, more and more investors could be attracted since blockchain provides them with legal certainty. Thus, even though it's traded in a foreign jurisdiction, you would still look at the underlying right for investors to have the confidence to invest in that asset.
In Switzerland, blockchain and cryptocurrencies are popular with the public as well as private sectors. After the capital of the “Crypto Valley”, the city of Zug, successfully launched its blockchain-based digital identity (SSI) program, the Swiss government plans to start the same initiative on the national level. SSI enables citizens to have full control over their own data and makes their legal actions secure and transparent.
Additionally, Swiss government agencies accept digital currencies as a form of payment which today is very convenient. The demand for crypto is rising and each state that wants to bring investments and innovations should have free access to digital currencies.
The municipalities of Zug, Chiasso and Zermatt accept some tax payments in digital currencies as well. People can buy Bitcoin 24/7 from all ticket machines of the Swiss Federal Railways. Olaf Ransome, the founder of financial consultancy 3C Advisory, says more Swiss local banks, both private and cantonal, will facilitate investing in cryptocurrency for their clients in the coming year.
Privat companies in the country are active in the areas of financial and banking services, blockchain protocol and infrastructure, and even art, education, energy and utility, insurtech, media and entertainment, transport and supply chain. Switzerland is home to approximately 800 blockchain-based businesses, valued at EUR 21 billion in total.
Those companies include such crypto leaders as the Ethereum Foundation, DFINITY, Polkadot, Bitmain, Tezos, Cardano, Cosmos, Libra, etc. Earlier this year, the stablecoin Tether announced on Twitter that it wanted to make the southern Swiss city Lugano “the European bitcoin capital”.
Switzerland is not the only country adopting crypto and welcoming blockchain technologies. Countries like France, the UK, South Korea, Dubai, Singapore, and Australia are also active in creating a warm crypto environment. However, Switzerland manages to be on top of attracting startups and creating the most welcoming legal regulations for them. The member of the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum team, Nikolaos Kostopoulos explained this phenomenon in the following way:
“There are numerous reasons that constitute Switzerland more advanced and progressive in comparison to countries such as Belgium or France. The country has established procedures, progressive financial legislation, human resources and infrastructure to support a framework to accelerate financial innovation”.
To sum up, Switzerland showcases a very mature ecosystem and is an epicenter of cryptocurrency activity and blockchain technology in general. It seems like it is no longer a country that is best known for holding only old money and guarding client confidentiality, it is now a secure and progressive space for the cryptocurrency and digital assets industry.
Other governments should implement similar policies in order to bring innovations in their countries. Such a flourishing blockchain environment like in Switzerland can mainly be attributed to an overall positive regulatory outlook toward blockchain and digital currencies.
Progressive legislation alongside private initiatives in the blockchain industry is a good recipe to build a stable economy, protect the customers and attract well-capitalised international investors.
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