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Q3 2017 Newsletter, 30 September, 2017
News from the Valley
  • Message from the Board: Crypto Valley Association in orbit
  • Well rounded: CVA releases token launch statement
  • Well behaved: CVA announces ICO Code of Conduct project
  • VIP Valley: Swiss Economy Minister tours Crypto Valley
  • Cream of the crop: Blockchain conference to set new standards
  • White coats: Crypto Valley Labs opens
  • Who is who: Zug offers blockchain-based digital identity
  • Top of the world: ICO Summit attracts global crypto crowd
  • Pilgrimage: Crypto Explorers leads 30+ delegation to Zug
  • Talk of the Valley: Crypto Valley in the media
  • In the Forum: What you missed at the last meetups
  • See and be seen: Upcoming events in and around the Valley
News from the Association
  • Place to be: CVA membership rises dramatically
  • En français: CVA opens new chapter in Western Switzerland
  • Had your say: CVA carries out member survey
  • At work: Updates from the Working Groups
  • Get together: Interim General Assembly to be held October 13

News from the Valley  

 
Message from the Board
Crypto Valley Association in orbit

Dear Members and Friends of the CVA,

If the second quarter of 2017 was when we launched, the third quarter was when the CVA reached orbit. Not only has our membership increased almost thirtyfold since March, we also started expanding with our new chapter in Western Switzerland.

Judging by activity and media interest, Crypto Valley and the CVA have become firmly established names in the global blockchain community too. Such visibility is great for us – it is part of our mission to promote our ecosystem.

But visibility is a means, not an end. So while, as you can read below, Crypto Valley has gained a reputation as a great place to launch a token, our ambition for the ecosystem is about more than just being a hot spot for raising capital. We want to become a location known for generating great ideas, building superior technology, and creating good jobs as well. 

With the Swiss Economy Minister, who visited us in August, promoting a similar vision, and such initiatives as next year’s Crypto Valley Conference, or the new Crypto Valley Labs, we think the signs are in our favor in this respect.

This impression is strengthened when we consider such exciting developments as blockchain-based digital identity becoming a reality in Zug, or the success of Swiss-based projects like Melonport or Ambrosus, or note that Swisscom, the country’s largest telco, has started its own blockchain business (and joined our Association). With all this going for it, we think it safe to say that our Valley has and will continue to play an important role in the development of blockchain technology and its broader application.

That’s the kind of visibility we are striving for.

Vasiliy Suvorov, Vice President, Crypto Valley Association


Well rounded
CVA releases token launch statement
This has been the year of ICOs: as of this writing some two billion US dollars have been raised in 2017. But it’s also been the year of increased regulatory scrutiny, including ICO bans in China and Korea, and actions by the SEC and the Swiss FINMA, among others. As we wrote in a statement at the end of August, and reiterated at the end of September, we believe that token launches are an exciting, innovative and ultimately sound approach to raising investment capital – but it is also clearly in the interest of the community that they be regulated. 

Well behaved
CVA announces ICO Code of Conduct project
In our token launch statement and accompanying press release, we also announced a project to develop an ICO Code of Conduct. The Code, which is being written under the aegis of the CVA Regulatory and Policy Working Group and an expert panel, is meant to address the moral, legal and risk aspects and obligations for companies and investors when it comes to ICOs. The project kicked off in mid September. We will keep you updated on progress. 

VIP Valley
Swiss Economy Minister tours Crypto Valley
On 17 August the Swiss Minister for the Economy, Johann Schneider-Ammann (pictured above), visited Crypto Valley to learn more about our growing ecosystem. During a three-hour session the Minister was introduced to blockchain technology and met prominent start-ups in the area. The visit ended with a round-table discussion centered on the possibilities of the Crypto Valley and the potential to attract and retain foreign talent and jobs. Read more on our blog.

Cream of the crop
Blockchain conference to set new standards
The CVA is sponsoring what promises to be one of the most important new blockchain conferences globally. Scheduled for next June, the Crypto Valley Conference brings together the world’s leading academics, start-ups and established companies to share and discuss state-of-the-art developments in the blockchain technology ecosystem. The event is sponsored by IEEE Switzerland, the leading body for the certification of research excellence, and so is the first of its kind in the blockchain community. The conference is looking for additional sponsors. Any organization that is interested should visit the website. 

 
White coats
Crypto Valley Labs opens
Crypto Valley not only has an important new conference to its name, but now has its own co-working and development space. Crypto Valley Labs, launched by CVA members Lakeside Partners and MME Legal, together with Blockhaus, provides startups with a physical place to work from in Zug and so supports the local economy. Teams operating from the Labs will be able to take advantage of a range of services including marketing, legal and development support, in addition to using shared desks and office space.

Who is who
Zug offers blockchain-based digital identity
Zug is not only a major blockchain center because of its ability to lure blockchain projects, but also because of its pioneering role in using the technology. The first municipality in the world to accept Bitcoin for government services, in September it rolled out a blockchain-based digital identity platform. As Bitcoin Magazine among others reported, the Ethereum-based application is a joint effort of the Institute for Financial Services Zug (IFZ) of the Lucerne University, Zug-based ConsenSys, and the Zürich-based ti&m.

 
Top of the world  
ICO Summit attracts global crypto crowd  
The ICO Summit held on September 15 in Zurich, organized by CVA member and Smart Valor CEO Olga Feldmeier, was meant to attract movers and shakers to Crypto Valley to share the “inside view of recent dynamics and their vision of cryptofinance of tomorrow.” The sold-out event accomplished that and more. Luminaries like William Mougayar (pictured above), Charles Hoskinson, Jamie Burke, Richard Kastelein and a host of others talked ICOs, the democratization of venture capital, and much else. Certainly one of the highlights of the year in terms of blockchain events in Switzerland. More on our blog.  

 
Pilgrimage
Crypto Explorers leads 30+ delegation to Zug
You know your location has become important in the world when people start making pilgrimages to it. In August Crypto Valley joined the list of must see spots when it played host for three days to over 30 crypto enthusiasts from the US – members of the newly formed US-based group Crypto Explorers. Crypto Explorers is the brainchild of Jeremy Epstein, CEO of Never Stop Marketing, who originally wanted to visit Zug on his own, but found so much interest among colleagues in the States that the trip soon became a mini-movement. You can read about their experiences in Zug here. For those who would like to greet the explorers in person, they will be returning to Crypto Valley in the second half of October.

Talk of the Valley
Crypto Valley in the media

The Crypto Valley has experienced a dramatic rise in interest from journalists, reflecting the growing visibility of both the Crypto Valley ecosystem and the Association. Below are a few samples of the different kinds of mainstream and other media coverage our Valley has received over the last few months:


 
In the Forum  
What you missed at the last meetups  

In the third quarter the Crypto Valley Forum continued to grow, and now counts well over 1,000 members. Highlights included: 

  • June 6: Presentations by aeternity and FLUON.
  • June 19: Panel discussion “Tokenizing - US & Swiss legal perspectives of Token Generating Events (TGE)”, covered on our blog.
  • July 4: Presentation by Starbase.
  • August 14: Special event “The Blockchain Alliance for the Supply Chain” by Sweetbridge.
  • September 26: Presentation by Swarm City, real life example of the features Ethereum promises, covered on our blog.
 

 
See and be seen  
Upcoming events in and around the Valley  

Life in the Valley should continue to be exciting with these upcoming events:

 

 
News from the Association

 
Place to be
CVA membership rises dramatically
When we launched in March we had some 12 founding members. As of the end of September we have over 325. That’s a significant increase. What we find interesting however is not just the number but the breadth of activities of new members. These span a wide range of sectors from the expected blockchain, financial services and Fintech companies to new members from the fields of government, artificial intelligence, big data, law, insurance, human resources, telecommunications and entertainment.

En français
CVA opens new chapter in Western Switzerland

The CVA is expanding, having opened our first regional chapter in the French-speaking part of Switzerland –  a big thanks to member Leoni Runge for her efforts in getting this chapter off the ground.

We can now also announce that Nicolas Schobinger, currently Chair of the CVA Startup Onboarding Working Group, will also be assuming the new role of Head of the CVA Western Region. He will be responsible for coordinating all activities of the CVA in the French part of Switzerland. This is part of the CVA’s ongoing mission to support the Swiss blockchain and cryptographic technologies community. Besides his role at the CVA, Nicolas is Chairman of digitaliKa AG, a strategy consultancy in the area of digital transformation, as well as Co-founder and Managing Director of FGI Fintech Growth Investment GmbH.


 
Had your say  
CVA carries out member survey  
As a member-driven organization, we’re keen to know what members think. Over the summer, we carried out our first member survey via an online form. Results will be presented at the Annual General Assembly in October (see below).  

 
At work  
Updates from the Working Groups  

During the quarter the all-volunteer Working Groups took up their tasks in earnest. Here are some of the highlights:

  • The Startup Onboarding Working Group has launched its onboarding service and published a detailed overview of the advantages of Crypto Valley. The group has been receiving a steady flow of inquiries from companies and projects looking to relocate to the region. 
  • The Investments Working Group has published contact forms for startups looking for funding and investors looking for projects, and has also seen strong interest in more information on both the project and investor sides.
  • The Technology Working Group has begun organizing the Crypto Valley Conference on Blockchain Technology. Scheduled for next summer, this IEEE-certified conference is shaping up to be one of the world’s most significant academic and business-oriented blockchain conferences.
  • The Communications Working Group worked behind-the-scenes to set up the CVA’s communications processes and governance. It also prepared all the CVA press releases and statements, as well as started up the news channel and blog. Several volunteers have recently joined as contributors (writers, editors). The CVA communications channels are open to all members. For more information, contact the Working Group at comms@cryptovalley.swiss.
  • The Events Working Group was busy as always organizing the Crypto Valley Forum and other Crypto Valley events. 
  • The Policy and Regulation Working Group took up its mandate to join in the policy debate around blockchain and cryptographic technologies. In September it also began work on developing the CVA ICO Code of Conduct.
 

 
Get together  
Interim General Assembly to be held October 13  

The CVA has grown rapidly since we held our first General Assembly last June. This is of course a welcome sign, but it also poses challenges. 

For that reason we have decided to hold an Interim General Assembly on October 13 to review the year and discuss plans for the future. 

Invitations, including a call for agenda items, will be sent to members in the first week of October. The General Assembly is open to all paying members of the CVA. We look forward to seeing you there.

 

 

We hope you enjoyed your reading. For questions and comments, don't hesitate to get in touch.

With best regards,


The Crypto Valley Association Board
info@cryptovalley.swiss

 

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