Did you know that you can buy bitcoin at every teller machine of the National Railway in Switzerland – the land of milk, chocolate, nice nature, clocks, pocket knives, and exclusive handmade watches and bankers? But now Switzerland may be on the verge of becoming something more – a crypto paradise.
ZUG – the crypto imperium of Switzerland
ZUG is also known as the Crypto Valley while Switzerland has been called a crypto nation. Long before Bitcoin was a gleam in Satoshi Nakamoto’s eye, the city of Zug knew how to attract money. With a 14 % corporate tax rate, one of the lowest in the world, it became home to nearly 30.000 companies. Almost as many as there are people in the town. Now, Zug is home more than 400 crypto enterprises all happily ensconced in what has become known as Switzerland’s crypto valley. And a gorgeous valley it is – with a large lake set against the backdrop of Switzerland’s ever snowy Alpine peaks.
Dolfi Mueller is the so-called crypto mayor of Zug. He has preceded a policy of accepting bitcoin to pay for some city services. „Everybody in the world was interested in what was happening in Zug because we have been the first. We didn’t know anything about Bitcoin and Blockchain, and so we invited a student who explained to us the difference between these things“.
They started to accept bitcoin 2 years ago, and to this day they have about 50-55 bitcoin payments.
Crypto referendum? No problem!
From June – 25 to July 1 – 2018, Zug helps Switzerland’s first blockchain – based municipal referendum. The vote, which was non-binding, used the city’s new digital ID system. According to a Mr. Dolfi, Zug is a good place for starting an experiment with digital ID based on the blockchain. They have a party at the lakeside of Zug with great firework every year in the summertime. Deputies ask the citizens if they want to have a firework again because the referendum is something holy in Switzerland. Despite the „crypto mayor‘s“ lack of personal enthusiasm – get with the program fella – Zug’s experiments with crypto are breaking new ground.
City services aren’t the only things you can buy with bitcoin here. There is a saloon with Ferrari or a Maserati, shops with wines, etc. Paying with crypto is as easy as scanning a QR code.
Lucerne – the second most important crypto city of Switzerland
The city of Lucerne has a prestigious university which is offering cryptocurrency and blockchain courses. The Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts accepts bitcoin and altcoin payments for everything. The University has several programs which are focused on blockchain technology and distributed ledger. They are offering small, 2 days long, courses, and also longer programs which last 4 months. The program gets students a really deep inside view of blockchain activities. Right now the University is starting the bachelor program courses which are dedicated to blockchain and distributed ledger. Interesting fact: The university president name is Dr. Markus Hodel (HODL – In case you don’t know what hodl means, check our article „bitcoin for dummies“).
Trust square, Zürich – home of a private Lichtenstein bank and largest blockchain hub in SUI
Trust Square is a technology hub specialized in the blockchain. The history behind this is that several blockchain entrepreneurs wanted to have a community. Trust Square has 40 blockchain companies from different backgrounds. The community wants to focus more on cooperation with universities and corporates. All floors of Trust square are full of all sorts of blockchain startups.
FINMA, the financial regulator, is trying to move the whole crypto asset business into a more regulated security token. FINMA categorizes tokens based on the underlying economic function:
- Payment tokens
- Utility tokens
- Asset tokens
But what really drives this whole process is that every ICO can send the description of its project to FINMA and within 4-8 weeks receive a clear statement whether regulatory provisions are applicable. As a result, in 2017, $1,5 billion were raised by ICOs in SUI – the second largest amount after the US.
Switzerland is the example for all countries. This country is a crypto nation on a very early stage, and they have everything to really become a big hub for the crypto offering.