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Monthly Archives

January 2018

CVA Western Switzerland “open for business”

By | CVA in the News

The Crypto Valley Association (CVA) is proud to announce that its Western Switzerland Chapter has now been constituted and begun its activities.

The Chapter will be organising two different events in the coming weeks. The first, Crypto – Disruptions & Opportunities will take place on January 31st in Geneva, and is hosted by the Swiss CFA Society. CVA President Oliver Bussmann will be present as the main speaker. The Chapter will also be hosting the first of its monthly Networking and Drinks meetups on February 6th in Geneva, with LoyaltyCoin and AlpineMining as speakers. Registration for both events is still open, please do not hesitate to join!

Fertile ground for Francophone crypto
The intention to launch this chapter came with the goal of expanding the Crypto Valley Association’s reach as an ecosystem hub to all of Switzerland. As Nicolas Schobinger, head of CVA Western Switzerland, said, “Although the term Crypto Valley currently stands for the corridor from Zurich to Zug, the name is a very strong brand that resonates across the world and is associated with Switzerland as a whole.” This reflects the words of Stefan Kyora, the Editor in Chief of startupticker.ch: “Switzerland has no start-up hub; it is a start-up hub.”

According to Schobinger, there is a growing francophone blockchain ecosystem outside of Swiss borders that is looking to expand, but faces hurdles among other things due to an unclear regulatory framework from the different countries. The members of these ecosystems, above all in France and Canada, have an eye on Western Switzerland, where they can find a French-speaking environment tailored to help and support startups in the crypto world.

The region from Lausanne to Geneva is already a very dynamic blockchain hub, with a lot to offer. As well as benefiting from Switzerland’s startup-friendly regulatory space, Geneva is a hub for both finance and international NGOs, while Lausanne is the home to EPFL and UNIL, two of the world’s premiere academic institutions. Furthermore, according to Startupticker.ch’s ‘Swiss Venture Capital Report 2017’, the cantons of Vaud and Geneva account for close to 65% of the total VC funds invested in Switzerland in 2016.

The goal for this expansion is therefore to help accelerate the development of the blockchain ecosystem in this particular region of Switzerland. The team hopes that this expansion will lead to an increase of new members (individual and corporate) in the region, and the development of a local networking and meetup platform.

Getting up to speed
Progress on the Western Switzerland Chapter has been rapid. The team led by Schobinger (who is also Chair of the Startup Onboarding Working Group) and Raya Mileva, has been working to publish specific guides for the region, to meet with local authorities in Geneva and Lausanne, and to launch the networking platform.

The team is currently looking for sponsors for the various events coming up. Please do not hesitate to contact the team if you have any contacts or interest in this initiative.

Contact:
Nicolas Schobinger – Team Leader Western Switzerland Chapter
e-mail: nschobinger@cryptovalley.swiss

Philippe Henderson – Media Contact Western Switzerland Chapter
e-mail: philippehenderson95@gmail.com
mobile: +41 70 650 17 06

Weekly Twitter Summary (2018-01-21 – 2018-01-27)

By | Public Announcements

Board Meeting Highlights – 25 January 2018

By | Board Updates

We discussed the Blockchain Taskforce event that took place on January 12th that Vasiliy attended and the framework that was proposed to cover all of the aspects seen to be…

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Crypto Valley Association Announces New Southern Alps Chapter

By | Public Announcements

It will grow and innovate blockchain and cryptographic technologies in Ticino, Switzerland, and Northern Italy 

Zug and Lugano, Switzerland, January 25, 2018 — Crypto Valley Association (CVA), the not-for-profit association supporting the development of blockchain and cryptographic related technologies and businesses in Switzerland, today announced the foundation of a new Southern Alps Chapter. Fostering the convergence of business, financial, technology and academic expertise, the Southern Alps Chapter will contribute to grow and innovate blockchain and cryptographic technologies in Southern Switzerland and Northern Italy, putting together talents, competencies, know-how and resources.

“The Crypto Valley Association encourages and disseminates innovation in the blockchain space throughout Switzerland, and ensures Switzerland’s active participation in global efforts to foster this technology. The newly established Southern Alps Chapter will focus on two highly promising regions for this technology, Southern Switzerland and Northern Italy. We are excited by this development and, after the recent opening of our Western Switzerland chapter, by the further expansion of the CVA in our home market,” said Oliver Bussmann, President of Crypto Valley Association.

“Blockchain is driving a number of applications for the broader benefit and advance of communities, citizens and businesses. Our goal is to facilitate the cross-sector applicability of blockchain systems, bringing clarity and confidence around this technology”, continued Gianni Minetti, chair of the Southern Alps Chapter.

Blockchain can add value to multiple domains such as finance and banking, energy and utilities, Smart Cities, healthcare and education, manufacturing. As a smart combination of mature technological concepts, including peer-to-peer networks, distributed consensus algorithms, validity rules, ledger technologies and cryptography, blockchain can be successfully applied in any business where stakeholders’ relations are based on trust and may be entirely disintermediated.

Crypto Valley Association’s Southern Alps Chapter will support the aggregation and dissemination of know-how, and will provide a natural riverbed for various contributions to discuss and grow blockchain and cryptographic technologies in academic and business communities. Among its first tasks, the Chapter will make CVA’s Code of Conduct for Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) available to start-ups and growing companies in the region, promoting it as a framework for organizations issuing, selling and transferring tokens to raise capital. The Code will guide ICOs on proper conduct taking into account all moral, legal, tax and security obligations, and has been warmly welcomed by regulators and businesses.

In order to grow blockchain systems, the Chapter will promote events for private and public organizations willing to explore this technology, also engaging industry associations, financial institutions, research institutes and local government representatives.

Crypto Valley Association’s Southern Alps Chapter will be publicly presented on February 8th 2018 in Lugano, Switzerland. Crypto specialists, industry experts, influencers, investors and mentors are invited to join to learn more about its objectives and short-term plans, as well as opportunities to contribute.

 

For more information on Crypto Valley Association, visit https://cryptovalley.swiss 

About Crypto Valley Association:

Founded in January 2017, Crypto Valley Association is a not-for-profit association established to support the development and dissemination of cryptographic technologies, blockchain, and other distributed ledger technologies by supporting startups and other companies in Zug, Switzerland and internationally. Crypto Valley’s mission is to shape an open, free, and prosperous economy spanning multiple sectors.

Board members of the Crypto Valley Association are:

Oliver Bussmann, Founder & Managing Partner Bussmann Advisory; Vasily Suvorov, Vice President Technology Strategy Luxoft; Professor René Huesler, Director of the Lucerne School of Information Technology, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts; Sam Chadwick, Director Financial & Risk Innovation Thomson Reuters; Søren Fog, CEO iProtus. 

 

Media Contact for the Southern Alps Chapter:
Silvia Vergani, B-Story
e-mail: silvia.vergani@b-story.eu
mobile phone: +39 349 7668102

 

The Crypto Valley Association partners with the Sovrin Foundation to find new ways to help manage digital identities

By | Public Announcements

The Crypto Valley Association (CVA) today announced a partnership with the Sovrin Foundation, an international non-profit that governs the world’s first open public self-sovereign identity (SSI) network, to explore new ways to help business and people manage and store personal identity data on their own devices, and provide it efficiently to those who need to validate it, without relying on a central repository of identity data.

The CVA will become the first Sovrin “steward” operating in Switzerland. A steward is a trusted organization who meets the security and privacy requirements defined in the Sovrin Trust Framework for operating a Sovrin validator node (the nodes that achieve global consensus) of the Sovrin Public Distributed Ledger for Self-Sovereign Identity.

Two of the founding members of CVA – Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HSLU) and Luxoft, a global IT service provider – have joined together to make this possible. In particular, the dedicated server running Sovrin’s node is hosted in the HLSU’s award winning Data Centre facility in Lucerne and is operated jointly by the experts of HSLU’s Department of Informatics and Luxoft.

The teams will also work with other members of the CVA and members of the general public to explore Self Sovereign Identity use cases and onboard new applications.

“Today’s identity management is highly centralized and siloed, forcing us to create new accounts, provide personal details and login credentials each time we decide to consume services from a different provider,” said Vasiliy Suvorov, Vice President of the CVA. “At the same time, we trust each of the service providers to manage the provided data carefully, hoping it will not be stolen by hackers. This forces companies to become identity and security experts in order to avoid any security breaches, applying an unnecessary financial burden and deviating funds that could be used elsewhere.”

“A way to tackle this issue would be by decentralizing identity management, creating something like an Internet for identity, in which ownership of identity is pushed to individuals, allowing them to control their identities themselves,” said Dr. Phil Windley, Sovrin Foundation Chair. “An Internet-like identity system would allow any person, organization, or thing (IoT) to have an identity relationship with any other; and to do this without the need for permission from someone else.”

Dr. Windley continued, “Because anyone can use these identities and the resulting relationships without an intervening authority, they’re called ’self-sovereign.’ The Sovrin Foundation has built a system that promotes self-sovereign identity, providing the basis for an easier and more secure identity management.”

Procivis, a Zurich-based e-government specialist that counts the Canton of Schaffhausen among its clients, is already exploring how SSI can work. The company is currently looking into implementing emerging Blockchain ID protocols for their eID+ platform and the forthcoming VALID project and is now working with Sovrin. For this reason, Procivis has established a partnership with the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts and the Crypto Valley Association.

About the Sovrin Foundation
The international, non-profit Sovrin Foundation is led by a constitutional Trust Framework that ensures its independence from government or industry influence and codifies its dedication to providing self-sovereign digital identity for all. The Sovrin network is operated by independent stewards and uses the power of a hybrid distributed ledger as a fast, private and secure framework for providing every person, organization, and connected device a permanent identity with which to transact online and operate securely in everyday life. Learn more about the Trust Framework underlying the Sovrin network here.

About the Crypto Valley Association

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. For more information visit the website.

Weekly Twitter Summary (2018-01-14 – 2018-01-20)

By | Public Announcements

Crypto Valley Association Collaborates With PwC strategy& on ICO Report

By | Public Announcements

Report offers unique and strategic perspective on global ICO activity

Zug, Switzerland, January 18, 2018 — Strategy&, PwC’s strategy and consulting division, in collaboration with the Crypto Valley Association (CVA), a not-for-profit established to foster the growth of the blockchain ecosystem in Switzerland, have launched the first of what will be a quarterly report on Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). The report offers a comprehensive overview of ICO activity globally and in Crypto Valley; offers insight into emerging regulatory developments; and takes a look at what the future holds for this space.   

“The Crypto Valley Association is delighted to collaborate with PwC on this ICO report. The blockchain and ICO space is constantly changing, and it was crying out for a high quality publication like this. This report has something for everyone, from C-Suite executives to budding entrepreneurs to even the passive but interested observer,” said the President of the Crypto Valley Association, Oliver Bussmann.

The report highlights the continued growth and increasing popularity of ICOs globally in 2017, with over 430 ICOs being conducted last year compared with just 2 only four years ago in 2013. Switzerland, has Singapore, and Hong Kong have emerged as a leading hub as leading hubs for ICOs due to its their rapidly growing ecosystems centered around blockchain and cryptocurrencies. The report also highlights regulatory developments regarding ICOs globally, including China’s ban on the capital raising mechanism and the release of national ICO guidelines or regulations in a number of European countries.

“The main purpose of this quarterly strategic perspective on global ICO activity will be to track the changes and developments in the industry as it undergoes continuous expansion and substantive change. ICOs are disrupting traditional funding models and it is imperative that we anticipate developments as best we can ahead of time,” said Daniel Diemers, Fintech Leader Switzerland, Head of Blockchain EMEA at PwC Strategy&.

The report highlights how Zug, Switzerland, better known as Crypto Valley, has emerged as a hotbed for blockchain-based companies and advisory services, with many successful ICOs having been launched there over the past year. These developments have been helped thanks to the Swiss regulatory framework, which has to-date played an active role in supporting companies working with blockchain technologies. Switzerland’s tax system is also very attractive for financial service firms, of which there are many among the blockchain start-up community in the country.

“This publication is an important step towards taking ICOs mainstream. By being better informed, we can ensure that regulation helps rather than hinders this extraordinary new industry. ICOs are here to stay and need to be understood from a global perspective, something this report provides,” concluded Bussmann.

The full PwC strategy&  and Crypto Valley Association report can be viewed here.

 

Future Hack Davos/WEF sustainable development hackathon offering up to $500,000 in prize money

By | Member News

We have just received word that there are still places in the Future Hack sustainable development hackathon running from January 21 to 25 in Davos/Klosters. The first ever hackathon to take place around Davos during the World Economic Forum, it offers up to $500,000 in prize money as well as a chance to contribute to solving pressing problems around the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Details and registration available here: https://futurehack.io.