Johann Gevers was so impressed by the business location advantages in the Greater Zurich Area that he based his startup, Monetas, in the canton of Zug. Since then, Johann has been spearheading the “Crypto Valley” initiative, and has attracted numerous renowned cryptofinance companies to the area, creating a Silicon Valley for digital finance here.
Johann Gevers founded Monetas in 2012 while he was still living in Vancouver, Canada. He moved the company to Zug in 2013. Monetas is developing a decentralized, global platform for financial and legal transactions – with extremely low transaction fees, blazing speed far beyond what legacy financial services can offer, and the highest level of cryptographic security. The Monetas platform requires only a smartphone, and makes both traditional and emerging financial services accessible to consumers everywhere, thereby powering financial inclusion worldwide.
The Monetas platform can be used across the entire spectrum of commerce, including banking services, insurance products, securities exchanges, algorithmic contract automation, and more. The open design works with all types of currencies (fiat, commodity, and crypto-currencies), all types of assets (digital and physical), across devices, operating systems, telecom providers, and national borders. “What the internet did for communications,” Gevers says, “cryptofinance will do for financial and legal transactions.” Monetas feels right at home in the heart of Zug. Twenty-seven employees from all over the world are involved in the further development of Monetas’ transaction platform, and their ambitious rollout plans across Africa and other markets.
Johann Gevers on the decision to make Zug the company’s home base: “Switzerland boasts a long tradition of privacy, direct democracy, respect for human rights, world-class infrastructure and educational institutions, and a stable, business-friendly legal and political system. It also has an exceptional level of expertise available in the areas of cryptography and security.” The complete package was what counted for him, he says. This also includes easy access to friendly government and financial regulators, and a growing network of companies involved in digital finance. “We are building a global cryptofinance hub in Zug that offers a very attractive, supportive environment for entrepreneurs and new technologies.”
The cryptofinance industry also urgently needs a clear, business-friendly legal framework, so in 2014 Johann founded the Digital Finance Compliance Association (DFCA) to develop such a framework. The DFCA has made excellent progress – they expect their framework and self-regulating organization to be approved by Swiss regulators in 2016 and to serve as a model for cryptofinance regulation worldwide.
Monetas was assisted by Greater Zurich Area AG during its search for a location. “The team from Greater Zurich Area AG accompanied and supported us during the process of locating and starting up our company here. GZA opened many doors for us, and introduced us to a diverse network of individuals, companies, educational institutions, local authorities, and service providers in the economic region of Zurich, which greatly accelerated our progress.” In the future, Gevers envisions that Zug’s Crypto Valley will grow into a leader in the digital finance space. “Pioneers are welcome here in Zug, and many have joined us already.”
«One of Zug’s attractions is the exceptional level of expertise available in the areas of cryptography and security.»
Johann Gevers, CEO of Monetas