Monthly Archives

May 2018

Addressing the identity management issue we’ve grown too accustomed to

By | Member News, Public Announcements

By Vasiliy Suvorov, Vice President of Technology Strategy at Luxoft, Vice President, Crypto Valley Association

Today’s identity management poses a problem. Highly centralized and siloed, it forces us to create new accounts, provide personal details, and generate login credentials each time we decide to consume services from a different provider. At the same time, we blindly trust each service provider to manage the provided data carefully, hoping hackers will not steal it. This forces companies to become identity and security experts in order to avoid any security breaches, taking on an unnecessary financial burden and deviating funds that could be used elsewhere.

We’ve just grown too accustomed to it – and that needs to change.

One way to tackle this issue would be to decentralize identity management, which gives identity ownership and control to individuals. A connected identity system would enable any person, organization, or thing (IoT) to have an identity relationship with another – without authorization from a third party.

The above presents the idea ofself-sovereign identity (SSI), where anyone can use these identities and the resulting relationships without an intervening authority.

Introducing the Sovrin Foundation, Crypto Valley Association and Luxoft

The Sovrin Foundationis a non-profit organization that launched and oversees a specialized global distributed ledger: a blockchain that enables SSI. It provides the basis for easier and more secure identity management and new, more democratic decentralized business models.

Similarly, the Crypto Valley Association (CVA)is an independent, government-supported group aimed at building a thriving blockchain ecosystem in Switzerland – a country known for its strong, direct democracy, personal privacy and innovation.

When we first learned about Sovrin’s technology and mission, it was clear Sovrin’s goals, Swiss values and the CVA’s objectives aligned fundamentally. Through our Technology Working Group, we reached out and started to explore ways to enable Sovrin’s blockchain in Switzerland and explore various use cases that would benefit CVA’s members and the overall Swiss ecosystem. As a result, we announced an official partnership in 2017.

Initially, the partnership focused on operating the first “validator node” – nodes that achieve consensus – of the Sovrin ledger in Switzerland. Two of the founding members of CVA, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HSLU),and Luxoft worked together to make it possible. The dedicated server running Sovrin’s node is hosted in an award-winning, minimum energy design data center facility of HSLU in Luzern, and is operated jointly by the experts of HSLU’s Department of Informatics and Luxoft. The teams are now exploring self-sovereign identity use cases and are working on onboarding new applications.

Blockchain for e-government…and beyond

Ever since the announcement of the partnership, the Swiss blockchain ecosystem has developed more rapidly than ever before. Governments across the federal, cantonal and city levels have expressed support and announced plans to make blockchain technology an integral part of Switzerland’s future. Projects on implementing electronic Identity, company registration and even eVoting on blockchain technology are well under way.

All these applications require a robust identity management foundation that is secure, scalable and futureproof – which blockchain can provide.

More and more frequent breaches of personal data are reported each day, even though the data is stored in supposedly “safe” central systems. And revelations on non-transparent and unexpected (and often not consented to) use of our online data accumulated by multiple centralized web businesses makes the need for SSI even more urgent. As we head into the future, I hope more will understand the identity management issue so teams can take on many more projects – in order to give the power of identity ownership back to the people.

Be sure to join us at the Crypto Valley Conference June 20-22 and learn how you can use decentralized identity management and other applications of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies to their full potential.



Crypto Valley Association Announces Strategic Partnership with Lakestar, Unlocking Technology Scaling Expertise For Members

By | CVA in the News, Public Announcements

Lakestar to chair new “Venture Building” Working Group

Zug, Switzerland – 14 May 2018 – The Crypto Valley Association (CVA), a leading global blockchain and cryptographic technology ecosystem, has announced that Lakestar, one of Europe’s foremost venture capital firms, is joining the CVA as a Strategic Partner.

Lakestar will chair the CVA’s new “Venture Building” working group – which shall consist of a team of experts drawn from the blockchain and broader technology sectors – and share its experience in identifying and scaling technology companies led by exceptional entrepreneurs. The Lakestar team has previously invested in category leaders such as Skype, Spotify, Facebook and airbnb. Since raising two funds with an aggregate volume of approx. EUR 500 million in 2013 and 2015, Lakestar has expanded and broadened its portfolio, with more recent investments in Harry’s, Opendoor, GoEuro, FiveAI, Revolut, and

Through its partnership with Lakestar, the CVA will greatly benefit in its work as an independent, nonprofit association building one of the world’s leading blockchain and cryptographic ecosystems. The CVA will gain valuable insight into how to identify, support, and effectively scale promising and innovative members of its startup community – drawing upon Lakestar’s experience in creating real world traction at scale by numerous companies in Switzerland, Europe, and internationally.

The CVA will provide Lakestar with greater access to its ecosystem and startup community, including a deeper understanding of the problems which innovators within the blockchain sector are attempting to solve.

Oliver Bussmann, President of the CVA, commented: “We are proud to welcome Lakestar as a Strategic Partner to our Association. Their experience of investing in and assisting technology entrepreneurs effectively scale and internationalise will provide unique insight to support the work of the CVA and our members.”

Nicolas Brand, Partner at Lakestar, said: “The world is going through a digital revolution and blockchain technology is at the forefront of this change, challenging the model of the internet itself. We see great synergy between our proven track record of building global, digital leaders and the work of the CVA’s blockchain-focused teams. We look forward to working with the CVA and its members in supporting some of Crypto Valley’s most exciting projects.”

“The CVA has grown significantly in the past year. By expanding our network to include the expertise of companies such as Lakestar, which boasts an exceptional client portfolio, we will further strengthen our foundation and enhance our service offering to our members,” Bussmann concluded.

For more information visit


About Crypto Valley Association:

Founded in January 2017, Crypto Valley Association is a non-profit association, with over 600 members, 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.

About Lakestar:

Lakestar is one of Europe’s leading venture capital firms investing in technology companies led by exceptional entrepreneurs. Early investments included Skype, Spotify, Facebook and airbnb. Since raising two funds with an aggregate volume of approx. EUR 500m in 2013 and 2015, Lakestar has expanded and broadened its portfolio, with more recent investments in Harry’s, Opendoor,, GoEuro, FiveAI and Revolut.

Lakestar is on the ground in Berlin, London and Zurich and helps companies to identify new markets and expand into them rapidly, with a focus on the US and Europe. We advise and support portfolio companies in business development, recruitment, technology and marketing. Our investments range from early stage companies to those in their growth stage.

Media Contact:

Liam Murphy

Account Supervisor // Wachsman // +353 87 119 2107

Blockchain and Indoor Farming can Help Feed Nine Billion People

By | Member News, Public Announcements

By Erhan Cakmak, CEO and co-founder, Pavo

By 2050, the world’s population will exceed 9 billion people, some 20 percent higher than today. Most of this population increase will occur in rapidly-urbanizing developing countries. About 70 percent of the world’s population will be urban by 2050, compared to roughly half today. To feed this larger, more urban, and richer population, food production must increase by 70 percent. Annual cereal production will need to rise 50% to support population growth, despite the fact that yield growth has been steadily declining. Blockchain-enabled applications will play an important role in addressing this challenge.

This has important implications for Turkey’s agriculture industry; the majority of Turkish people still work, one way or another, in agriculture. Like the United States and Canada, Turkey, thanks to its fertile soil, favorable climate and plentiful rainfall, is food self-sufficient. Some 36 percent of the country is arable land, and Turkey is the world’s biggest producer of hazelnuts, figs, apricots and raisins and the fourth largest producer of fresh vegetables and grapes. The Turkish government has set a goal for 2023 of USD 40 billion in annual agriculture exports. The country has a significant role to play in addressing coming global food and caloric demand challenges, and technology can help.

Food supply chains are inefficient and suffer from quality control problems, especially in developing nations. One of the clearest real-world applications of blockchain technology is to add greater visibility and efficiency across supply chains. Although agriculture is a $5.5 trillion-dollar global business, employing over a billion people, it remains highly inefficient. For many smallholder farmers in developing countries, affordable access to capital remains a huge challenge.

Blockchain solutions can solve these financing difficulties. As it stands, farmers often wait weeks or months for payment after delivery, forcing them to deal with large incumbents with greater bargaining power. This directly translates to lower income for farmers, as they do not receive their fair share despite being the most important part of the chain.

Further, as the world urbanizes and becomes more conscious of the carbon footprint of transporting goods over long distances, indoor farming is playing an increasing role. Blockchain solutions and smart contracts allow for careful management of water and energy. Automated data collection and analysis creates the ability to better manage crop inputs, like water and energy, and corresponding automation of indoor farming operations. For example, a farmer using indoor hydroponics and a closed loop system may be able to reduce water usage by up to 90 percent. Increasingly, global food demands will be met by crops grown indoors, in environments more efficient and more controlled than the outdoors. By moving plants indoors, traditional dependence on the weather can be eliminated. With sensor arrays, plants can “communicate” precisely what they need 24/7.

Blockchain solutions and the “Internet of Things” (IoT) will save time and money for farmers, and increase yields. Despite a common belief that farmers are slow to adapt, they have always been eager adopters of technologies that make sense and deliver genuine value. Data democratization of the food chain will increase efficiencies, reduce waste, and increasingly transfer remuneration to the stakeholders delivering the greatest value.

Blockchain solutions allow to build a new model of trust in agricultural supply chains. Under the old Information Technology paradigm, agricultural, environmental, and regulatory data is stored on centralized computer servers, and managed by administrators trusted to maintain data integrity, security and access authorization.

This centralized data administration is a source of risk – crop safety and quality data can easily be corrupted. Data can be lost due to failed or absent backups. Centralized administrators may act on their own agendas, with their own interests in mind, impacting decisions related to data access and security.

Applying blockchain technology to crop data ensures that information about our food and its sources is incorruptible. Blockchain and IoT technology simplifies data management throughout the complex system of farmers, brokers, distributors, processors, retailers, regulators, and consumers. Information on the food we eat becomes simplified and transparent. Consumers can enjoy greater trust in the food they put on their table and regulatory agencies gain greater confidence in the data reported to them.

Blockchain redefines trust across the agriculture spectrum with arm’s length cryptographic security, eliminating any potential pursuits of self-interest on the part of data administrators or other actors.

Blockchain enables real-time payments, concurrent with delivery, and better visibility to buyers, leveling the playing field for farmers. Farmers get paid sooner, and increased competition for their crops raises the prices they receive while simultaneously helping consumers to pay lower prices for food through a much more transparent, secure and environmentally sustainable supply chain.


Weekly Twitter Summary (2018-05-06 – 2018-05-12)

By | Public Announcements

Canton Zug

By | Sponsor Profile

The Canton of Zug is a perfect location for start-ups and innovative ideas. The unique “Spirit of Zug” is based on exemplary customer proximity, solution-oriented pragmatism, short distances, and professionalism. It is this very spirit helps the existing companies in the Kanton of Zug tremendously.

The Canton of Zug is uniquely suited to both, business and living. Its economic success is based on a distinctive long-term development strategy, that provides excellent conditions to all members of society. It has a dense network of services, suppliers and private support organizations and a unique mix of local and international companies. Further, the Canton makes ample investment in education and culture, and provides attractive tax levels for legal entities and individuals. The availability of both, efficient infrastructure and beautiful living environment, makes the Canton of Zug optimal overall solution.

Pioneering role for the Zug business location

The digital transformation of Zug not only concerns businesses but is also actively promoted by the government and educational institutions. As early as the summer of 2015, the City of Zug decided that fees of up to 200 Swiss francs charged by the residents’ registration office could be paid with Bitcoins as part of a pilot project. In addition, the Commercial Register of the Canton of Zug accepts its fees to be paid in Bitcoin or Ether. It also accepts the formation of companies with Bitcoin or Ether to be provided as contribution in kind. Most recently, in late 2017 the City of Zug issued the first blockchain based digital identities.

Zug – a role model for success in FinTech

The Swiss Federal Council has recognized the importance of the FinTech sector for Switzerland’s continued success as a financial center in the future. As a result, it agreed to a modification to the Bank Ordinance on August 1, 2017 allowing FinTech companies up to a certain size to develop and test out their business models without becoming immediately subject to the regulations of the financial sector. After a visit to the Crypto Valley, the Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Johann Schneider-Ammann admitted that there was a backlog at the federal level. Based on the expertise and knowledge in Zug they were keen to amend the situation quickly and to listen to the requirements of the many innovative companies.

Greater Zurich Area

By | Sponsor Profile

Greater Zurich is home to the highest concentration of technological excellence in the most stable environment in Europe. For years, both Switzerland and Greater Zurich have occupied top positions in renowned worldwide rankings in terms of attracting talent, innovative strength, competitiveness and quality of life.

GZA (Greater Zurich Area Ltd) is the best-connected Swiss business concierge for companies looking to grow internationally. As the official investment promotion agency of the Greater Zurich Area, GZA acts as an intermediary, door opener and facilitator by guiding companies through the ecosystem of Greater Zurich and networks them with the relevant companies, research institutes, incubators, authorities, specialized service providers, associations and platforms. This creates added-value for the companies’ strategic expansion.

Doing Blockchain and cryptocurrency business in Greater Zurich

A deep-seated culture of data protection, confidentiality and legal certainty lays the ground for the world’s best ecosystem for cryptocurrency technologies – the Crypto Valley in the Greater Zurich Area.

The Greater Zurich Area offers the ideal blend of location advantages in the field of cryptocurrency; High level of legal certainty, the world’s most stringent data protection laws, pro-business philosophy and secure and reliable technical infrastructure. Above all, the decentralized, stable, predictable, highly responsive and technology-friendly Swiss political system lays the ground for business success. And most importantly: Highly qualified talents from the fields of computer science, engineering and mathematics are available in Greater Zurich for the development and implementation of innovative cryptocurrency ideas.

Impressive ecosystem of innovative crypto companies

In the rapidly changing crypto environment, the so-called Crypto Valley in the Greater Zurich Area has emerged in recent years. The Crypto Valley hosts many of the world leading blockchain and crypto startups, innovation labs, specialized service providers, incubators and accelerators – and thus creates a strong international community and unique ecosystem. The establishment of the Etherum project in Zug in 2014 laid the foundation for an unprecedented development in the Crypto Valley: Multiple high-profile  projects like Xapo, Monetas, Lykke, SingularDTV, Lisk followed because of the bundled competencies in the region. Out of these activities, the Crypto Valley Association evolved as a central network to coordinate, accelerate, and scale the further development of Crypto Valley into the world’s best ecosystem for crypto technologies. The network now consists of 100+ companies from the Crypto & Blockchain sector.

Cooperative regulatory environment

In general, Swiss regulators and authorities are positive and show a high acceptance of crypto and blockchain technology. Finma, the Swiss financial market regulator, for example encourages self-regulation rather than onerous top-down regulation and works closely with the community to develop the regulatory framework. Also thanks to this open and cooperative approach the Crypto Valley became Europe’s leading funding hub and one of the best places to conduct an ICO (Initial Coin Offering). Setting up the legal entity of a cryptocurrency business in Switzerland does create a sustainable, sound and stable starting point for the company. ICOs have typically been done by establishing a foundation. This, however, needs to be examined on a case-by-case basis.

Finding the best talent for your cryptocurrency business

The world-leading institutions and universities in the Greater Zurich Area are devoting themselves more and more to issues of blockchain and crypto, such as the Professorship of Computational Social Science (COSS) at ETH Zurich. With its yearly “Blockchain and IoT Summer School”, the ETH also brings together students from the fields of computer science, engineering and mathematics, academic researchers, and security experts from industry with an interest in cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. Overall offers the Greater Zurich Area a strong and varied pool of talent, also thanks to its deeply rooted finance and ICT clusters. A good opportunity to meet those talents in the Greater Zurich Area are the many events of the crypto & blockchain community: The Crypto Finance Conference, Finance 2.0 series, Blockchain Summit, ICO Summit, HackZurich, d10e conference or IFZ fintech & blockchain events are just a few of them.

Crypto Valley Design Competition

By | Public Announcements

Crypto Valley Design Competition

With the Crypto Valley Conference coming soon, we are looking to create a a couple of unique and exclusive designs that can be used for t-shirts, hoodies and other merchandise.

While the team has their own ideas on the designs, which range from outrageous to really quite boring, we thought it would be nice to open up the opportunity to both members and non-members, with the prize being tickets to the upcoming conference, for those that might want to win the chance to attend but otherwise could not.  (And if the winner has already bought their ticket, we’ll refund the cost).

Feel free to feature HODLing, mooning, lambos, unicorns, ICOs or any other buzzwords you want!

Deadline and Prizes

On June 1st, we’ll be selecting our favourite 3 and each of the winners will get a free ticket to the Crypto Valley Conference on June 20-22 in Zug worth CHF 1,300 each and a T-shirt with their design on it.

Submit Now

Submission Process and Rules

  • You can upload a maximum of 10 submissions.  If you submit more than 10, we will delete subsequent submissions.
  • Designs must be in EPS or PNG format.  Other files types will be deleted.
  • Include your name as part of the filename, so we know who submitted it.
  • If you are not a Crypto Valley member, after you have submitted, send us a message via Contact Us so we have your contact details.

Upload your designs to:

The Small Print


The Crypto Valley Design Competition (the “Contest”) begins May 10, 2018 at 12:00:00 p.m. Central European Time (“CET”) and ends May 31, 2018, 12:00:00 p.m. Central European Time (“CET”). Information on how to enter and prizes form part of these rules. This is a skill-based contest and chance plays no part in the determination of winners.

Who may enter

Contest is open to members and non-members of the Crypto Valley Association (CVA) but only to individuals who have reached the age of majority in their jurisdiction of residence at the time of entry and who do NOT reside in Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan or Syria.


By entering the Contest, all entrants grant an irrevocable, perpetual, worldwide non-exclusive license to the CVA, to reproduce, distribute, display and create derivative works of the entries (along with a name credit) in connection with the Contest and promotion of the Contest, in any media now or hereafter known, for no additional compensation, including, but not limited to: online highlighting entries or winners of the Contest and use of the entries on merchandise. Entrants consent to the CVA doing or omitting to do any act that would otherwise infringe the entrant’s “moral rights” in their entries. The CVA will not be required to pay any additional consideration or seek any additional approval in connection with such use as authorized by the License.

Limitation of liability

By entering this Contest, all entrants agree to release, discharge, and hold harmless the CVA and its partners, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising agencies, agents and their employees, officers, directors, and representatives from any claims, losses, and damages arising out of their participation in this Contest or any Contest-related activities and the acceptance and use, misuse, or possession of any prize awarded hereunder.

The CVA assumes no responsibility for any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, or delay in operation or transmission; communications line failure; theft or destruction of or unauthorized access to Contest entries or entry forms; or alteration of entries or entry forms. The CVA is not responsible for any problems with or technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, computer online systems, servers or providers, computer equipment, software, failure of any entry to be received on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or at any website, human errors of any kind, or any combination thereof, including any injury or damage to entrants’ or any other persons’ computers related to or resulting from participation, uploading or downloading of any materials related to in this Contest.

In the case of entrants who are Australian or UK residents, the preceding two clauses do not operate in respect of any implied condition or warranty the exclusion of which from these rules would contravene any Australian or UK statute or cause any part of these rules to be void.


THIS CONTEST IS VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Entrants agree that this Contest shall be subject to and governed by the laws of Switzerland. To the extent permitted by law, the right to litigate, to seek injunctive relief or to make any other recourse to judicial or any other procedure in case of disputes or claims resulting from or in connection with this Contest are hereby excluded and any entrant expressly waives any and all such rights. Certain restrictions may apply. Entries are void if CVA determines the entry to not be an original, or if the entries are incomplete, inaccessible or blocked, corrupted, damaged, irregular, altered, counterfeit, produced in error or obtained through fraud or theft.

CVA reserves the right to verify the validity and originality of any entry and/or entrant (including an entrant’s identity and address) and to disqualify any entrant who submits an entry that is not in accordance with these rules or who tampers with the entry process. Failure by CVA to enforce any of its rights at any stage does not constitute a waiver of those rights.

Right to cancel or suspend contest

If for any reason the Contest is not capable of running as planned, due to infection by computer virus, bugs, worms, trojan horses, denial of service attacks, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes beyond the control of CVA that corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of this Contest, CVA reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual(s) who tamper with the entry process, and/or to cancel, terminate, modify, or suspend the Contest. If CVA elects to cancel or terminate the Contest, CVA will not retain any rights in the submitted photographs, and will return the fees submitted with each entry.

Data privacy

Entrants agree that personal data, especially name and address, may be processed, shared, and otherwise used for the purposes and within the context of the Contest. The data may also be used by CVA in order to verify the entrant’s identity, postal address, and telephone number or to otherwise verify the entrant’s eligibility to participate in the Contest. Entrants have the right to access, review, rectify, or cancel any personal data held by CVA by writing to CVA.

#234 Charles Hoskinson: Cardano – A Third Generation Smart Contract Blockchain

By | Syndicated Content

We are joined by Charles Hoskinson, the CEO of IOHK, who walked us through the plans and motivations for Cardano, a third generation blockchain system with an internal cryptocurrency called Ada. We talked extensively about the decentralized governance challenges of blockchains and how Cardano seeks to address them. We also covered Ouroboros, Cardano’s Proof of Stake algorithm, as well as the plans to apply the K framework in smart contract execution.

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