In 2022, scandals eroded trust in the global crypto industry. However, according to the latest CV VC Top 50 Report, the Swiss ecosystem surrounding Crypto Valley in the Greater Zurich Area remained stable. We talked to crypto-stars to get their perspective on the situation.
The international crypto industry experienced a historic year of crisis. Ironically, as crypto expert Sheraz Ahmed from the Crypto Valley Association points out, this could be a blessing for Switzerland. He believes that many actors affected by the turbulence in America are now seeking refuge in countries that can offer a certain level of stability. - Crypto Valley is at the top of that list. The current CV VC Top 50 Report on the state of the blockchain industry in Switzerland certainly sends positive signals.
Despite global insolvencies, the number of companies in Crypto Valley remained steady at 1,135 in 2022, with only a 4% decline in employment. While the market capitalization of blockchain platforms dropped by 71% according to the report, commercial blockchain companies have defied industry trends, and their company valuations have grown by 55%.
Companies rely on precise conditions
In 2021,14 unicorns were active in the Crypto Valley, and in 2022, there were still nine. For the first time, two commercial blockchain companies have achieved unicorn status. One is 21Shares from Zug, the world's largest issuer of publicly-traded cryptocurrency products. CEO Hany Rashwan says, "When we founded our company, we chose Crypto Valley from 25 different jurisdictions because Switzerland enables innovation in a controlled, secure, and regulated manner." Switzerland offers some of the world's most transparent and business-friendly regulatory frameworks for blockchain companies.
Since mid-2021, there have been legal regulations in place for blockchain technology. Blockchain companies have been established in Crypto Valley since around 2013, and shortly after that, work began on current laws. This makes Switzerland an international pioneer in the field. Many experts, such as Claudio Tessone, the head of the Blockchain Center at the University of Zurich (UZH), refer to the advantages of being a first-mover. He emphasizes that two aspects have turned the current situation of the crypto world into an opportunity for Crypto Valley: "On the one hand, the existing regulation in this country is globally unique and significantly reduces risks. On the other hand, the natural pursuit of excellence, which characterizes this country, is not so easily found elsewhere."
According to CoinDesk, UZH is the world's third-best university for blockchain. Crypto experts see several Swiss universities in the ecosystem as driving forces, including the Blockchain Lab at Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HSLU) in Zug-Rotkreuz. Arman Sarhaddar, CEO and founder of Vault Security Systems puts it this way: "World-class universities and research support the innovations that also benefit Crypto Valley." His company from Thalwil in the canton of Zurich made it into the Top 50 of the CV VC report with the world's first blockchain-based lost and found app for secure asset management.
Crypto Valley is considered resilient to market cycles
Sarojini McKenna, one of the crypto-stars on the international scene, sees further reasons for the stability of the ecosystem. "Crypto Valley has stayed away from fads, which has made it more resistant to market cycles," she says. She also mentions the strong and early support from the canton of Zug. McKenna is the CEO of Dacoco from Zug, the company which has created Alien Worlds, the world's largest metaverse and blockchain game with over 8.5 million users.
Also located in Zug in Crypto Valley is Blocksport, a growing technology service provider for the sports industry. CEO and co-founder Vladimir Liulka sees Crypto Valley as an excellent place for projects in this field. And why? "The political system of Switzerland, which the citizens control, and its decentralization align with the ideas of blockchain and decentralized economy," he says.
Preserving the lead
Crypto experts also have wishes for the future. Arman Sarhaddar of Vault Security Systems would welcome more funding and subsidies. Sarojini McKenna calls for more robust support for blockchain companies in the startup phase. Hany Rashwan, CEO of 21Shares, advocates for an open, innovative mindset. He says, "Promoting the region as a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship could attract more companies and talent to the region."
Blockchain in the Greater Zurich Area
Blockchain in the Greater Zurich Area
The Greater Zurich Area - and with it the world-famous Crypto Valley - has developed into a world center of the blockchain industry. Switzerland's tech-libertarian setting and unique decentralized democratic system is the ideal home and natural partner to blockchain/DLT businesses.