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.

We support and connect startups and established enterprises through policy recommendations, projects across verticals, initiating and enabling research, and organizing conferences, hackathons, and other industry events.

With active connections to similar hubs around the world, we also ensure Crypto Valley’s participation in the global efforts to foster blockchain and cryptographic technology innovation.

Our Values

Our Story

The creation of Crypto Valley was inspired by the enormous advantages of global industry clusters — a friendly regulatory environment, network effects, economies of scale, attracting the world’s best talent, building deep pools of capital and a rich ecosystem of resources and know-how for startup companies, nurturing an entrepreneurial culture, infectious energy, and strong trust relationships that make the impossible possible.

Crypto Valley was initiated by Johann Gevers after identifying Switzerland with its decentralized, citizen-controlled political system, its centuries-old culture of individual rights, innovation, and entrepreneurship, its neutrality, stability, and business-friendly environment, and its world-class infrastructure and educational institutions as the ideal environment for building the new generation of decentralized technologies. Gevers moved his cryptofinance startup Monetas to Zug, Switzerland in July 2013, defined the vision for Crypto Valley as a global hub for crypto technologies modeled on the success of Silicon Valley, and started building the Crypto Valley ecosystem in Zug, Switzerland by developing supportive relationships with the authorities, attracting leading crypto startups, helping them setup their operations, developing an ecosystem of expert professional service providers, driving the development of a friendly regulatory environment, and promoting Crypto Valley in the industry and the media.

Through the broad support of numerous individuals, startups, corporates, service providers, industry associations, educational institutions, governments, and regulators — especially the early pioneers Monetas, Ethereum, Bitcoin Suisse, MME Legal, the Digital Finance Compliance Association, the Bitcoin Association of Switzerland, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, the canton and city of Zug, the Greater Zürich Area, Switzerland Global Enterprise, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (Finma), and the Swiss Federal Government — Crypto Valley has grown into one of the world’s leading ecosystems for crypto, blockchain, and distributed ledger technologies, with dozens of companies in this space now calling Crypto Valley home and thriving in its vibrant community.

In January 2017 the Crypto Valley Association was established as a professional organization to coordinate, accelerate, and scale the further development of Crypto Valley into the world’s best ecosystem for crypto technologies and businesses. The founding members included Bitcoin Suisse, Bussmann Advisory, iprotus, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Luxoft, Monetas, and Thomson Reuters.

2013

Bitcoin Suisse is founded in Zug and Monetas relocates from Vancouver. The Bitcoin Association Switzerland is founded.

2014

MME starts building a specialism in the field of cryptofinance.
The vision emerges between Ethereum, Monetas, MME and the Zug Economic Development office for a crypto-technology cluster based in Zug, modeled on Silicon Valley.
Ethereum incorporates in Zug shortly after and launches first Ether token crowd sale. Bity is approved as the first-ever cryptofinance member of a Swiss self-regulating organization (SRO), enabling it to legally operate cryptocurrency brokerage services in Switzerland. Bitcoin Suisse starts deploying Bitcoin ATMs in Switzerland. Bitcoin Suisse is approved as a cryptofinance member of a Swiss self-regulating organization (SRO), enabling it to legally operate cryptocurrency brokerage services in Switzerland. The Ethereum Foundation forms and launches its token sale with the approval of the Swiss financial market regulator, generating over 18 million dollars. SweePay incorporates in Zug and Bity (former SBEX) starts deploying Bitcoin ATMs in Switzerland.

2015

ShapeShift incorporates in Zug, Switzerland. Xapo moves its global headquarters to Zug. The Swiss Federal Council issues a report stating that bitcoins are regarded as a virtual currency and that no new regulations are needed. The Digital Finance Compliance Association (DFCA) is established to drive the development of a friendly regulatory framework for cryptofinance in Switzerland. Founding members include Bitcoin Suisse, Ethereum, and Bity. Akasha International incorporates in Zug. The Swiss financial market regulator (FINMA) announces that bitcoins will be treated as a foreign currency, which means that no new regulations are needed, and that bitcoin transactions will be exempt from sales taxes.

2016

Following efforts by DFCA to promote technology neutrality, FINMA announces an updated anti-money laundering policy under which bitcoin transactions are classified as money transmission, but with an important exemption for transactions that are strictly bilateral (person-to-person) and that financial institutions can accept electronic methods in place of paper documents for opening accounts. The Zug tax authority issues guidelines for the accounting and tax treatment of bitcoin transactions. Crypto Valley Forum is established to facilitate ecosystem networking events. ConsenSys incorporates in Zug. The City of Zug becomes the first government in the world to officially accept bitcoin payments for government services, attracting global media attention. Blockchain Source incorporates in Zug. Arthur Breitman presents Tezos, a third-generation blockchain. After months of lobbying by the DFCA and Xapo, Swiss regulators officially agree that the third-party storage of crypto assets is not a form of deposit taking, and therefore does not fall under banking regulations and does not require a banking license. This enables Xapo to legally operate its global bitcoin vault business from Switzerland. The trademark "Crypto Valley" is approved by the Swiss Institute for Intellectual Property and entered into the registry of trademarks. The Swiss Federal Council announces a fintech license with reduced regulatory requirements for fintech startups to encourage innovation in the fintech space. Swiss national rail operator SBB starts offering bitcoin purchases at all their ticket machines nationwide, enabling users to conveniently purchase bitcoin everywhere in Switzerland. Ernst & Young Switzerland announces full bitcoin acceptance and integration, and the development of blockchain and smart contract applications.

2017

The Crypto Valley Association is officially formed, led by five board members that represent a cross-section of organizations deeply involved in the international crypto/blockchain community. Tezos incorporates in Zug, Switzerland. The Association announces multiple working groups designed to support the growth of the ecosystem. The Association makes its first statement on Token Launches.