The Crypto Valley Association is 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.
It supports and connects startups and established enterprises through policy recommendations, projects across verticals, initiating and enabling research, and organizing conferences, hackathons, and other industry events.
With active connections to similar hubs around the world, we also ensure Crypto Valley’s participation in the global efforts to foster blockchain and cryptographic technology innovation.
The Story of Crypto Valley
The creation of Crypto Valley was inspired by the enormous advantages of global industry clusters — a friendly regulatory environment, network effects, economies of scale, attracting the world’s best talent, building deep pools of capital and a rich ecosystem of resources and know-how for startup companies, nurturing an entrepreneurial culture, infectious energy, and strong trust relationships that make the impossible possible.
Crypto Valley was initiated by Johann Gevers after identifying Switzerland with its decentralized, citizen-controlled political system, its centuries-old culture of individual rights, innovation, and entrepreneurship, its neutrality, stability, and business-friendly environment, and its world-class infrastructure and educational institutions as the ideal environment for building the new generation of decentralized technologies. Gevers moved his cryptofinance startup Monetas to Zug, Switzerland in July 2013, defined the vision for Crypto Valley as a global hub for crypto technologies modeled on the success of Silicon Valley, and started building the Crypto Valley ecosystem in Zug, Switzerland by developing supportive relationships with the authorities, attracting leading crypto startups, helping them setup their operations, developing an ecosystem of expert professional service providers, driving the development of a friendly regulatory environment, and promoting Crypto Valley in the industry and the media.
Through the broad support of numerous individuals, startups, corporates, service providers, industry associations, educational institutions, governments, and regulators — especially the early pioneers Monetas, Ethereum, Bitcoin Suisse, MME Legal, the Digital Finance Compliance Association, the Bitcoin Association of Switzerland, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, the canton and city of Zug, the Greater Zürich Area, Switzerland Global Enterprise, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (Finma), and the Swiss Federal Government — Crypto Valley has grown into one of the world’s leading ecosystems for crypto, blockchain, and distributed ledger technologies, with dozens of companies in this space now calling Crypto Valley home and thriving in its vibrant community.
In January 2017 the Crypto Valley Association was established as a professional organization to coordinate, accelerate, and scale the further development of Crypto Valley into the world’s best ecosystem for crypto technologies and businesses. The founding members included Bitcoin Suisse, Bussmann Advisory, iprotus, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Luxoft, Monetas, and Thomson Reuters.
Located in Zug in the heart of Switzerland, Crypto Valley is uniquely positioned to make the most of the decentralized Swiss political system and its matchless business environment. Zug offers a robust platform for global growth due to its pro-business philosophy and the openness and easy accessibility of its local government. Zug’s low-tax, business-friendly environment and fantastic quality of life have attracted many of the world’s leading companies, creating an international, cosmopolitan culture, and easy access to powerful global networks.
Neutrality, decentralization, and direct democracy
The Swiss citizen-controlled political system is neutral, stable, predictable, and highly responsive to its citizens. Switzerland’s decentralized, bottom-up political culture is a natural fit for the decentralized, bottom-up crypto technologies of the future.
The Swiss have one of the strongest privacy cultures in the world, with the first bank secrecy law dating back three centuries to 1713. Current data protection laws are among the world’s most stringent.
Productivity and Competitiveness
Switzerland is ranked number 1 in the world for competitiveness and productivity – the key drivers of economic growth and quality of life.
Switzerland has world-leading infrastructure in energy, transportation, telecommunications, financial services, education, health care, environment, safety, and technological innovation.
Secure and predictable legal framework
Given its world-leading, centuries-old rule of law institutions and culture of privacy, plus its decentralized, bottom-up, citizen-controlled political system, Switzerland has a strong tradition of legal security, predictability and protection of intellectual and property rights.
Sound policies and economic strength
Switzerland follows sound economic policies, including a strong currency with by far the highest gold reserves per capita of any country, and the world’s highest GDP per capita.
Friendly regulatory environment
The Swiss financial market regulator, Finma, encourages self-regulation rather than onerous top-down regulation, and is open and easily accessible for developing improved regulations.
Proximity and access to global markets
Switzerland is in the center of Europe, the same time zone as Africa, and halfway between the Americas and Asia, with excellent air, rail, road, and ocean connections. Switzerland has an extensive network of free trade agreements with all the major trading nations.
Friendly business environment
A leading global financial hub and home to hundreds of multinational corporations, Switzerland has a matchless business environment: excellent domestic and global business networks, flexible labor laws, low bureaucracy, a sophisticated, respected legal system, low corruption, availability of investment capital, low corporate and personal taxes, and high service levels.
Switzerland has a high quality educational system, with many top-ranked educational institutions. It spends more on R&D per capita and is among the countries which produce the most Nobel laureates per capita. Switzerland is ranked number 1 in the world for ease of attracting and retaining world-class talent. While Swiss compensation rates are high, this does not necessarily translate into higher labor costs because of the exceptionally high productivity levels. The Swiss work systematically and accurately, they are innovative, they are self-starters, and they are honest. In Switzerland, you get what you pay for. This is especially true for creative intellectual work such as software engineering.
High quality of life
Home to three of the world’s top ten quality of life cities, Switzerland is top-ranked for infrastructure, safety, health care, education, life expectancy, and work/life balance.