|View this email online|
|Q3 2017 Newsletter, 30 September, 2017|
|News from the Valley|
|News from the Association|
|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
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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:
|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.|
|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).|
|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:
|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.
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