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CVA in the News

Crypto Valley Association Announces Third Annual Crypto Valley Conference 2020

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Zug, Switzerland – 12 February, 2020 – The Crypto Valley Association (CVA), a leading global blockchain and cryptographic technology ecosystem, has announced that its annual Crypto Valley Conference will take place from 11th – 12th June 2020.

This year’s conference will be held in the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts’ new campus in Zug-Rotkreuz. Located in Switzerland’s tallest wooden building, the campus houses the School of Information Technology and the Institute of Financial Services.

Daniel Haudenschild, President of the Crypto Valley Association, said, “The CVA is excited to announce the third annual Crypto Valley Conference. By attracting more than 100 leaders in blockchain and crypto, the conference is a valuable platform for debate and discussion. Some topics we expect to be of particular interest this year include cryptoeconomics, regulation and governance, supply chain, IoT and shared data, smart contract security, micropayments, identity management, consensus protocols, and much more.” 

The CVA’s Crypto Valley Conference is synonymous with the Swiss blockchain ecosystem and will once again bring together the most impactful leaders and changemakers in the global blockchain and crypto industry. The two-day event will see more than 50 presentations from global industry leaders, covering topics such as technology, economics, finance, law, and regulation. Scholars, researchers, developers, CEO’s, CTO’s, lawyers, and government officials will gather to share successes, challenges, and ambitions for the future.

Prof. Dr. Alexander Denzler, head of the Blockchain Lab at Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, said, “The foundation of a sustainable blockchain ecosystem lies in cultivating a lasting culture of information-sharing and collaboration between academia, innovators, and regulators. The Crypto Valley Conference has become a staple event in the industry’s diary for its ability to foster this environment by bringing together the brightest and most influential people and ideas in the blockchain space.”

Jérôme Bailly, Executive Director of the Crypto Valley Association concluded, “The outcomes of events such as the Crypto Valley Conference are of immense value to the industry. We are proud to be building on the successes of our last two conferences and look forward to welcoming speakers and participants, both new and old.” 

Tickets and sponsorship applications for this year’s conference are now open. 

For more information visit https://www.cryptovalleyconference.com

Crypto Valley Association joins Global Digital Finance Partner Program

By | CVA in the News

Both entities agree on strategic collaboration to achieve mutual goals and the mission to accelerate the adoption of global best practices and sound governance policies in the digital ledger technology and assets sector.

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The Crypto Valley Association (CVA), a not-for-profit association established to support the development and dissemination of cryptographic technologies founded in 2017, announces its strategic partnership with Global Digital Finance (GDF), the not-for-profit industry members body driving standards and best practices to accelerate adoption of digital finance.

GDF works with industry participants, policy makers and regulators, and other industry bodies  across the world to develop a global framework of supranational best practices and Codes of Conduct for tokens, crypto and digital assets market participants. GDF engages policymakers, regulators and industry through regular outreach and provides a platform for transparent, inclusive and open-sourced global consultations.

GDF is delighted to partner with the Crypto Valley Association and join the CVA community, who plays a leading role in nurturing the crypto asset ecosystem in Switzerland, Europe and throughout the world. We look forward to working together to further build the community and amplify the progressive policy developments in Switzerland across our global community of market participants and regulator observers,” says Teana Baker-Tayler, Executive Director of Global Digital Finance.

“Digital assets are global, which challenges current jurisdictional governance models. GDF’s mission is to help create cross-border industry-led standards through convening the digital assets community, in collaboration with regulators and policymakers. Partnerships with high-calibre industry associations enable industry advocates to work together to support all of our members, connecting them with each other and with policymakers to enhance education, communication and hopefully over time, more informed governance policies which are ‘fit for purpose’,” adds Baker-Taylor.

“We are glad to have found a new partner in Global Digital Finance. Establishing standards and best practices in the digital asset space is necessary to build a successful foundation for a global, unified and efficient infrastructure. Simply applying “old world rules to an entirely new system” will not work and an entirely new, fresh approach to digital assets is needed. This is something we are driving and supporting with our expertise and SMEs. Collaboration in the distributed ledger space is essential for adoption and success. We are delighted to represent Switzerland on the international stage and broaden our community with valuable partnerships such as this one. We are looking forward to continuing co-creating the future,” commented Alexander Schell, Executive Director of the Crypto Valley Association.

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About Global Digital Finance (GDF)

GDF is an industry membership body that promotes the adoption of best practices for crypto and digital assets and digital finance technologies, through the development of conduct standards, in a shared engagement forum with market participants, policymakers and regulators. GDF is proud to include Circle, Coinbase, ConsenSys, DLA Piper, Diginex, Huobi, Hogan Lovells, and R3 as patron and founding members. 

Global Digital Finance endeavours to drive efficient, fair and transparent crypto asset markets by building a knowledge base and best practice for “Truly Digital” finance and the benefits tokens can bring all market participants. We promote an inclusive vision in which crypto assets and token markets can evolve and grow in complement within traditional financial services.

On 2 October 2019, the GDF community ratified three additional sets of Principles into the GDF Code of Conduct:

Part VI – Principles for Stablecoin Issuers

Part VII – Principles for Security Token Offerings & Secondary Market Trading Platforms

Part VIII -Principles for Know Your Customer (KYC) & Anti-Money Laundering (AML)

 


The 6th ICO/STO Report published by PwC Stratetgy& and CVA

By | Articles, CVA in the News

The 6th ICO/STO Report published by PwC Stratetgy& and CVA

This week saw the publication of the 6th ICO/STO report in collaboration with PwC and Strategy&.

The key takeaways are as follows:

DEVELOPMENT OF GLOBAL CRYPTO MARKETS

  • In first half of 2019, global crypto ecosystem experienced solid growth, resulting in year-to-date peak market capitalization of approximately USD 370 bn by end of June
  • In mid-2019, total funding volume of token offerings considerably dropped from ca. USD 1’322 mn in May1) to USD 151 mn in June; until end of Oct, development continued to stagnate with average monthly funding volume of USD 171 mn (to compare: Average from Jan–May 2019 was USD 653 mn)

ICO / STO / IEO FACTS & FIGURES

  • Throughout first ten months in 2019, more than 380 token offerings have been successfully completed, raising a total of ca. USD 4.1 bn
  • Bitfinex (USD 1 bn), Kinesis (USD 194 mn) and GCBIB (USD 143 mn) were largest completed token offerings in 2019, jointly accounting 32% of total raised funding volume year-to-date

GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE TOKEN OFFERINGS

  • Throughout 2018 and 2019 (until October), the USA, Singapore, Hong Kong and the UK are ranked as leading token offering hubs worldwide (in terms of funding volume and number of completed offerings)
  • Further countries with relatively smaller domestic financial markets, as for instance British Virgin Islands, Cayman Island, Estonia and Lithuania, continue to be attractive crypto offering locations

RISE OF SECURITY TOKENS

  • In second half 2019, STOs did not experience any significant growth (in terms of funding volume and # of completed offerings), but continued to strengthen their general scope / relevance in global crypto token offering sphere (amongst other through corporate directly-issued STOs, comparable to private placements)
  • A large number of tokenization companies have been created recently and demonstrate a strong, well-established tokenization ecosystem; yet, the underlying infrastructure still requires a comprehensive upgrading (e.g., token exchanges)

THE RELEVANCE OF IEOs

  • Despite overall stagnating development of crypto / token offerings throughout June until Oct 2019, relative share of completed IEOs (in terms of # of all completed offerings) increased considerably
  • This development indicates a progressive institutionalization and establishment of this new Blockchain-based crowdfunding instrument that has emerged over the past 12-18 months

Read the full report here.

Crypto Valley Association Unveils Asset Tokenization Paper at Launch Event for Western Chapter

By | CVA in the News

The association’s Asset Tokenization Paper defines best practice for the tokenization of assets in the Swiss blockchain ecosystem

The Crypto Valley Association (CVA), a leading global blockchain and cryptographic technology ecosystem, will release its Asset Tokenization Paper at the inaugural launch event for its Western Chapter today. The paper, which defines the tokenization process for Swiss companies, also addresses legal and technical questions relating to asset tokenization, and provides guidance to those engaging with security tokens. 

Dr. Mattia Rattaggi, board member & Regulatory Policy WG Liaison, said, “The CVA is extremely pleased to offer the Crypto Valley community this unique Asset Tokenization Paper, written by practitioners, for practitioners. We believe this paper will provide a useful guide to entrepreneurs seeking to carry out Security Token Offerings or trade security tokens in Switzerland, and will assist them in addressing questions from a legal and technological standpoint. This marks an important stepping stone for us as we work together to cement the Crypto Valley as an industry-leading ecosystem.”

The 52-page paper was led by Florian Ducommun, Chair of Asset Tokenization Task Force, and authored by a task force of attorneys, compliance specialists, and technology experts, from organizations including HDC, PwC, MME, SEBA, and Lykke. The group collaborated to produce a document which would increase understanding of the legal, regulatory and technical environment and ensure compliance with market standards using streamlined processes, with the overall aim of shaping a strong framework for blockchain technology in Switzerland.

The launch event for the CVA’s Western Chapter, at which the paper will be presented later today, will take place at the EPFL Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, located in the centre of Western Switzerland. The event will explore the topics of crypto finance, digital assets, and blockchain education, and will play host to representatives from PwC Switzerland, Kraken, SEBA Bank, University of Geneva, Swissquote, and more.

Commenting on the event, Jérôme Bailly, Chair of the CVA Western Chapter, said, Today’s launch of our Western Chapter marks a milestone in the continued maturation of the CVA and of the Swiss blockchain ecosystem. We are bridging the development gap taking place across Switzerland and expanding the reach of the CVA and its resources. As we look to reinforce Switzerland’s position as a leading crypto nation, the new Western Chapter of the association will play a vital role. The unveiling of the Asset Tokenization Paper cements this significant event and drives the CVA closer to its mission.”

This follows the recent announcement of a strategic partnership between CVA and Zürich Tourism, which aims to develop and promote emerging technologies in the city of Zürich and surrounding region.

Download the full document (52 pages)

CVA welcomes the Swiss Federal Council adoption yesterday of the dispatch on the framework conditions for DLT/blockchain

By | CVA in the News

The Swiss Federal Council adopted yesterday the dispatch on the framework conditions for DLT/blockchain that aims at increasing legal certainty, removing barriers for applications based on DLT and reducing the risk of abuse. The CVA welcomes this step.

The decision constitutes a very important development for the blockchain industry in Switzerland. It provides the country with a very advanced, fundamental and comprehensive legal framework for the DLT/blockchain industry, achieved by adapting existing laws to the extent that necessary instead of introducing a technology-bespoke law.

The CVA is also pleased to see that many of the comments it provided in the course of the consultation (for instance regarding the bankruptcy law) have been taken into account (along with various comments provided by other national trade associations). The first draft of the dispatch was first proposed in December 2018 and put in consultation until June 2019.

With this framework, Switzerland possesses the best conditions to further nurture its already leading, innovative and sustainable position for fintech and DLT companies. The Swiss Parliament will probably examine the proposal for the first time in early 2020.

The CVA wishes a swift political process and stays ready to assist it as needed and required.

domino.vote announces a Corporate Sponsorship Agreement with Crypto Valley Association (CVA)

By | Articles, CVA in the News

Nyon, Switzerland, 22.11.2019

domino.vote is proud to announce the Corporate Sponsorship Agreement with the Crypto Valley Association, one of the world’s leading blockchain and cryptographic technology ecosystems. The agreement establishes domino.vote as the CVA’s official online voting supplier from 2020. The CVA will use the domino.vote mobile application for different purposes, including statutory voting such as during the Annual General Meeting and within any relevant decision making process requiring member participation. domino.vote provides mobile online voting that is easy and intuitive, with higher security than current mobile banking apps.

About Crypto Valley Association
The Crypto Valley Association (CVA) is an independent, government-supported organization located in the Swiss Canton of Zug. Its focus is on developing and executing community-driven programs targeted at establishing and growing the ecosystem for blockchain and cryptographic technologies globally. Currently, the community consists of approximately 1,500 active and 7,000 passive members, 30% of which are international.

About domino.vote
domino.vote is a blockchain based voting app offering full supervision to voters directly from their smartphone and the first solution enabling voting rights to any standard token holder. Furthermore, domino.vote matches the highest requirements in voting platforms in terms of security, data confidentiality and the integrity of the results. Professionals and private organizations are domino.vote’s primary customer targets.

Ray Chow-Toun, Founder of domino.vote said: The shoemaker’s children in the blockchain ecosystem do not go barefoot. Henceforth blockchain based voting is a natural evolution in the decision making process at the Crypto Valley Association and we are proud to supply thedomino.vote leading edge solution to our peers.

Alexander Schell, Executive Director of the Crypto Valley Association added: domino.vote is an important new strategic partner for the CVA. In order to make our internal voting infrastructure and mechanisms more transparent, we are partnering with domino.vote to leverage blockchain technology into the governance of the association. We want to demonstrate, in collaboration with our members and partners, the broad application of distributed-ledger technology. domino.vote is a perfect example of this symbiosis.

For more information, contact domino.vote at info@domino.vote.

Economic Framework of Digital Currencies

By | Articles, CVA in the News

Regulatory Working Group (RWG)
Task Force: “Central Banks, Digital Currencies and Monetary Policy – CBDC & MP”
Athanasios Ladopoulos, Task Force Leader.

“This paper is part of a series of papers on central banks, digital currencies and monetary policy. We kick off our journey by examining the economic framework of crypto currencies and briefly addressing relevant issues, opportunities and threats, as well as shedding light on how Central Banks, Retail Banks, Governments and their constituents could be affected. While cryptocurrencies are becoming the evolutionary step of paper money, digital currencies have been in use for some time now, for example in interbank lending and electronic accounts for major financial institutions. However, when it comes to retail banking and more specific the public, digital currencies are destined to change the way we interact with money…”

Read more: Download the full document.

Audit guidance on cryptocurrencies

By | Articles, CVA in the News

In September 2019, the Commission for Auditing of EXPERTsuisse ‒ the professional association of Swiss certified experts on auditing, taxes and fiduciary ‒ published a Q&A guidance on the audit of cryptocurrencies.

 

It was developed by auditors of six major audit firms with specific knowledge and experience in cryptocurrencies and distributed ledger technology. The guidance is based on an exemplary case and focuses on Bitcoin due to numerous possible conditions and circumstances depending on the token, its origin and how the companies handle their holdings. It covers the consideration of the internal control system and procedures to obtain audit evidence about the relevant assertions in the financial statements.

The Q&A stresses the importance of an effective internal control system pertaining the handling of the private keys. The whole life cycle is comprised in order ensure the entity’s exclusive control over the private keys in case of the entity managing its own wallets. The controls should inhibit unauthorized access to the private keys as well as to recovery seeds. Adequate measures can include e.g. an entitlement management with multisignature solutions for the authorization of transactions and the consideration of necessary redundancies. Companies with cryptocurrency holdings ought to regard not only operative controls but also accounting-related controls during the year and in the process of financial statement preparation, like the process of tracking transactions accurately and completely together with a proper valuation. In the Q&A several aspects and control designs are presented for controls related to cryptocurrency holdings. Audit clients should be aware that an inadequate internal control system in this context might result in higher audit fees due to additional audit procedures and increased risk or even a disclaimer of opinion.

Within the audit an entity will have to demonstrate existence of its cryptocurrency holdings. This relates particularly to the control over private keys. Two ways of providing evidence are micro transactions and sign message. The suitability and execution of these procedures depend on the circumstances and timing of the audit. The Q&A elaborates on the necessary steps and considerations of the procedures.

For the auditor it is important to take the degree of reliance of different sources into account when verifying transactions or determining balances of public key addresses on the blockchain. The information can be accessed directly or via providers. Even though the Bitcoin blockchain is public, query errors or incorrect displays might lead the inconclusive or insufficient evidence.

The sort and extent of audit procedures depend on numerous aspects and will vary from client to client. Relevant factors are the type of token being held, their origin, underlying DLT characteristics, whether the company manages the private keys on its own or uses external storage services, the effectiveness of the internal control system and processes as well as the timing of the audit, just to mention a few. The auditor has to choose his or her audit approach for each client respectively, but the recently issued Q&A provides orientation on an exemplary base case which can be adapted accordingly and helps to foster crypto activities in Switzerland.

The Q&A is available for members of EXPERTsuisse at https://www.expertsuisse.ch/q-and-a in German, French and English.

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Author: Heiko Petry (Board Member Working Group Tax / Accounting / Structuring and Audit Senior Audit KPMG AG)

Crypto Valley Association signs MoU to join IDAXA

By | CVA in the News

The Crypto Valley Association (CVA) of Switzerland is the seventh national trade association to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the International Digital Asset Exchange Association (IDAXA) with the goal to provide a unified voice for the Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) industry. 

The Swiss join six existing IDAXA signatories including Blockchain Australia (formerly known as the Australian Digital Commerce Association), Singapore Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Industry Association (ACCESS), Japan Blockchain Association (JBA), Korean Blockchain Association (KBCA), Hong Kong Blockchain Association (HKBA) and the Taiwan Parliamentary Coalition for Blockchain & Industry Self-Regulatory Organization. 

The Crypto Valley Association (CVA) is an independent, government-supported organization located in the Swiss Canton of Zug. Its focus is on developing and executing community-driven programs targeted at establishing and growing the ecosystem for blockchain and cryptographic technologies. Currently, the community consists of approximately 1,500 active and 7,000 passive members, 30% of which are international.

“IDAXA plays a key leadership role in representing the voice of the DLT community towards regulators and allowing both small and big FinTech firms to participate in developing industry standards,” said Chris Gschwend, Head of CVA’s VASP/AML Task Force. CVA’s Executive Director, Alexander Shell, added: “We look forward to connecting our members to the wider crypto community through joint collaboration on a number of topics.”

Taking place at the CVA offices in Zug, Switzerland, the MoU signatories were Ronald M. Tucker, founder and President of Blockchain Australia, Anson Zeall, founder and chair of ACCESS Singapore, Dr Mattia Rattaggi, CVA Board Member, and Alexander Schell, Executive Director of CVA. 

Ronald M. Tucker, convenor of the V20 and founder of Blockchain Australia, said “we are delighted to welcome Switzerland’s peak body to IDAXA. This is an important moment for European representation in the global crypto alignment and it further reinforces our ability to better foster relations amongst governments and VASPs globally to help ensure better economic outcomes in the digital asset economy.”

IDAXA was established by way of an MoU signing at the V20 Summit, which was held in parallel to the G20 Leaders Summit in Osaka, Japan, where VASPs convened along with policy makers and regulators to develop a clear roadmap toward compliance with a new set of recommendations from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). Under the revised FATF Guidelines, VASPs offering services such as custody solutions and exchange or trading platforms will be required to implement AML due diligence measures, among other requirements.

 

     

CVA and Zurich Tourism Establish Official Partnership

By | CVA in the News

Both parties affirm their mutual interest in acknowledging, developing and promoting the fields of distributed ledger and related technologies to create business activity in Zurich and Switzerland, thus promoting the country as a global blockchain destination.

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It has been agreed under a Memorandum of Understanding that a synergy between the two entities will enable the creation of a larger and broader Swiss blockchain ecosystem, attracting not only businesses related to the field but also visitors who will benefit from the valuable experiences created by mutual events and activities. 

A partnership between the Crypto Valley Association and Zürich Tourism is absolutely beneficial to promote Zurich as a main hub for Economy and Innovation. The aim of Zürich Tourism Congress Bureau is to attract international guests to Zurich for business events. With no doubt, the collaboration with the Crypto Valley Association plays an important role to reach our goals. “, commented Vanessa Reis, Relationship Manager of Zurich Tourism.

With Zurich being a global center for banking and finance, each organization has for goal to uphold and advocate the reputation of the city and its surroundings as being an economic destination of choice for anything blockchain-related.

“We are more than delighted to announce our partnership with Zurich Tourism. In order to attract international businesses, it is important to join forces when it comes to promoting Switzerland as a tech hub. Instead of scattering resources, we need to collaborate and support each other to reach this goal. As a result, Switzerland as a whole becomes an even more attractive place for doing business” said Alexander Schell, Executive Director of the Crypto Valley Association.