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CVA in the News

Crypto Valley Association Welcomes ConsenSys as Strategic Partner

By | CVA in the News, Public Announcements

ConsenSys to chair new Enterprise Blockchain Working Group, join Regulatory and Policy Working Group

Zug, Switzerland – 25 April, 2018 – The Crypto Valley Association (CVA) is proud to announce that ConsenSys is joining the Association as a Strategic Partner.

Comprised of over 750 blockchain experts, entrepreneurs, computer scientists, designers, engineers, consultants, educators, and business leaders with delivery experience across six continents, ConsenSys is the world’s largest blockchain venture production studio. Its vision is to use blockchain technology to create a world in which distributed applications and the Ethereum world computer support a new class of frictionless, global commerce with inclusion for all.

Oliver Bussmann, President of the Crypto Valley Association, said: “We are delighted to welcome ConsenSys as a Strategic Partner. With its size and scope, ConsenSys occupies a special place in the blockchain community, both in terms of development of public blockchain on Ethereum as well as in the enterprise and government blockchain space. The company has an incredible depth of understanding and expertise not just in the technology, but also in the universe of blockchain use cases as well as the broader implications of decentralization. As a Strategic Partner, we believe ConsenSys will bring great value to our members and to the wider Crypto Valley ecosystem.”

Joseph Lubin, CEO of ConsenSys, said: “We are very excited to become a Strategic Partner of the CVA. ConsenSys has always had a special affinity for the Crypto Valley, which has been the home of the Ethereum Foundation since its founding in 2014. We have watched the Crypto Valley ecosystem grow to become one of the most important and respected pillars of the global blockchain community. The CVA has played a key role supporting this growth through its community building activities as well as thought leadership. We look forward to working closely with the CVA on its mission to promote a successful and sustainable blockchain industry in Switzerland as well as support the broader global crypto community.”

As a Strategic Partner, ConsenSys will chair the CVA’s new Enterprise Blockchain working group, which will serve as a forum for CVA enterprise, corporate and other members to share case studies of enterprise blockchain projects and examine current and future use cases.

Ken Timsit, Managing Director at ConsenSys, said: “Over the last 12 months, ConsenSys has been very active in Europe, where we now have four offices and subsidiaries, and over two dozen ongoing projects in eight countries. We are delighted to be supporting the CVA and look forward to working with peers as we examine the use of blockchain technology to reinvent industry value chains and create new business models.”

ConsenSys, which through The Brooklyn Project and other initiatives has been actively involved in the blockchain policy debate in the US and in Europe, will also be joining the CVA Regulatory and Policy Working Group.

 

Crypto Valley Association President Oliver Bussmann is available for interviews

ConsenSys CEO Joseph Lubin is available for interviews

About Crypto Valley Association:
Founded in January 2017, the Crypto Valley Association is a not-for-profit association 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.

Crypto Valley Conference 20-22 June:
The Crypto Valley Association (CVA), in cooperation with Lucerne School of Applied Sciences, will hold the Crypto Valley Conference in Theatre Casino in Zug, Switzerland, from 20-22 June 2018. The conference brings together leading researchers, developers, lawyers and innovators from across the globe to share and discuss state-of-the-art developments and advances in the blockchain technology ecosystem.

About ConsenSys:
ConsenSys is a venture production studio building decentralized products, platforms and infrastructure for blockchain ecosystems, focusing primarily on Ethereum. ConsenSys is interested in the identification, acquisition, and development of talent and projects on an ongoing basis, in addition to the development of internal projects and consulting work. ConsenSys is based in NYC, with offices in Paris, Dubai, London, Dublin, San Francisco, Toronto, Sydney, Manila, and other major cities around the globe.

Follow ConsenSys: GitHub, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, https://consensys.net/


Media Contact:

Liam Murphy
Account Supervisor // Wachsman
liam@wachsman.com
+353 87 119 2107

 

CVA Q1 2018 Newsletter – Playing by the rules

By | CVA in the News, Public Announcements

Better late than never, as the saying goes: on the evening of 23 April we released our Q1 2018 newsletter with a wrap up of our major activities during the first three months of the year. As CVA Board member René Hüsler wrote in the editorial, this quarter it was all about regulation:

“If there was one theme that dominated the crypto world in Q1 it was ICO regulation.

This was certainly the case in Switzerland, where in February FINMA released its ICO guidelines, garnering a great deal of interest both domestically and in the global blockchain community.

At the CVA, one of our main responsibilities is to represent our members and the nascent blockchain industry in Switzerland in the regulatory and policy debate, and so it’s no wonder that we have been very active in the ICO area too.

As you can read below, in January, we released our ICO Code of Conduct. We also partnered with FINMA to organize and carry out a series of roundtables in Zug, Geneva and Lugano to explain the guidelines to the public, and collect feedback.

We are involved in the policy discussion in other ways too. We take part in the Swiss government‘s Fintech Roundtables. We are also a member of the Swiss Finance Ministry’s Blockchain Task Force. Participation in these and other forums allows us to add our perspectives and insights as we work to educate policy makers and support regulation that both protects consumers and fosters innovation.

Both of these goals are extremely important to our community.

We believe for example that the ICO will over time go mainstream to become an innovative and important way for companies to raise capital. Regulation will of course play a central role in this development.

Nor is it just ICOs. Our long-term goal at the CVA is to support a sustainable and successful blockchain industry in Switzerland, one that creates jobs and contributes to economic growth. Clearly legal and regulatory issues will play an important role in the broader industry too. (To get a flavor of what that means, just consider the thorny issues around how blockchain technology can be reconciled with GDPR in Europe.)

We will therefore continue to take part in the regulatory and policy discussion on all levels, and do our best shape the debate to the benefit of our members, our growing industry but also the users and consumers of this new technology we are building.

We encourage all members to stay on top of the issues, and where possible, join the debate too.

You can read the full newsletter here.

Extra seats added for FINMA ICO roundtable in Zug! Last chance to apply

By | CVA in the News

FINMA will hold a series of general roundtable discussions (in English) to present its recently published ICO Guidelines in Zug, Geneva and Lugano. Amongst others FINMA will present its assessment of ICOs under its guidelines, the categorisation of tokens and how ICOs are potentially impacted by financial market regulation.

Due to high demand from members the Zug, Burgbachsaal event capacity has been increased by 50 seats. To accomodate this the new closing date for the Zug, Burgbachsaal event registration is now Monday 12th March 2018 at 11.00. 

Also a limited number of seats are still available for the Lugano, USI University event taking place on 10th April. Registration for the Lugano, USI University event will remain open until Friday 30th March at 11.00.

Registrations will be handled on a first-come, first-served basis. Participation is free of charge. Question Submission has already closed. Thank you to those who submitted questions.

***** NEW EXTENDED CAPACITY *****

Zug: 14th March 2018, 09.00-11.00, Burgbachsaal (Dorfstrasse 12, 6300 Zug), link to registration

***** LIMITED SEATS REMAINING *****

Lugano: 10th April 2018, 14.00-16.00, USI University (Via Buffi 13, 6900 Lugano), 13.00-15.00, link to registration.

***** SOLD OUT *****

Geneva: 21st March 2018, 10.00-12.00, Impact Hub Geneva (Rue Fendt 1, 1201 Geneva).

FINMA roundtable: presentation of the ICO guidelines

By | CVA in the News

FINMA will hold a series of general roundtable discussions (in English) to present its recently published ICO Guidelines in Zug, Geneva and Lugano.

Amongst others FINMA will present its assessment of ICOs under its guidelines, the categorisation of tokens and how ICOs are potentially impacted by financial market regulation.

The attendees who have questions to Finma about the ICO Guidelines, if any, are kindly requested to send such questions ultimately by 6th March via the Question Submission Form link.

The closing date for registration is 6th March 2018. Please note that the number of places is limited. Registrations will be handled on a first-come, first-served basis. Participation is free of charge.

Zug: 14th March 2018, 09.00-11.00, Burgbachsaal (Dorfstrasse 12, 6300 Zug), link to registration

Lugano: 10th April 2018, 14.00-16.00, USI University (Via Buffi 13, 6900 Lugano), link to registration.

Geneva: 21st March 2018, 10.00-12.00, Impact Hub Geneva (Rue Fendt 1, 1201 Geneva), link to registration.

CVA Western Switzerland “open for business”

By | CVA in the News

The Crypto Valley Association (CVA) is proud to announce that its Western Switzerland Chapter has now been constituted and begun its activities.

The Chapter will be organising two different events in the coming weeks. The first, Crypto – Disruptions & Opportunities will take place on January 31st in Geneva, and is hosted by the Swiss CFA Society. CVA President Oliver Bussmann will be present as the main speaker. The Chapter will also be hosting the first of its monthly Networking and Drinks meetups on February 6th in Geneva, with LoyaltyCoin and AlpineMining as speakers. Registration for both events is still open, please do not hesitate to join!

Fertile ground for Francophone crypto
The intention to launch this chapter came with the goal of expanding the Crypto Valley Association’s reach as an ecosystem hub to all of Switzerland. As Nicolas Schobinger, head of CVA Western Switzerland, said, “Although the term Crypto Valley currently stands for the corridor from Zurich to Zug, the name is a very strong brand that resonates across the world and is associated with Switzerland as a whole.” This reflects the words of Stefan Kyora, the Editor in Chief of startupticker.ch: “Switzerland has no start-up hub; it is a start-up hub.”

According to Schobinger, there is a growing francophone blockchain ecosystem outside of Swiss borders that is looking to expand, but faces hurdles among other things due to an unclear regulatory framework from the different countries. The members of these ecosystems, above all in France and Canada, have an eye on Western Switzerland, where they can find a French-speaking environment tailored to help and support startups in the crypto world.

The region from Lausanne to Geneva is already a very dynamic blockchain hub, with a lot to offer. As well as benefiting from Switzerland’s startup-friendly regulatory space, Geneva is a hub for both finance and international NGOs, while Lausanne is the home to EPFL and UNIL, two of the world’s premiere academic institutions. Furthermore, according to Startupticker.ch’s ‘Swiss Venture Capital Report 2017’, the cantons of Vaud and Geneva account for close to 65% of the total VC funds invested in Switzerland in 2016.

The goal for this expansion is therefore to help accelerate the development of the blockchain ecosystem in this particular region of Switzerland. The team hopes that this expansion will lead to an increase of new members (individual and corporate) in the region, and the development of a local networking and meetup platform.

Getting up to speed
Progress on the Western Switzerland Chapter has been rapid. The team led by Schobinger (who is also Chair of the Startup Onboarding Working Group) and Raya Mileva, has been working to publish specific guides for the region, to meet with local authorities in Geneva and Lausanne, and to launch the networking platform.

The team is currently looking for sponsors for the various events coming up. Please do not hesitate to contact the team if you have any contacts or interest in this initiative.

Contact:
Nicolas Schobinger – Team Leader Western Switzerland Chapter
e-mail: nschobinger@cryptovalley.swiss

Philippe Henderson – Media Contact Western Switzerland Chapter
e-mail: philippehenderson95@gmail.com
mobile: +41 70 650 17 06

ICO Central: Why Switzerland Will Remain Crypto Valley

By | CVA in the News

Despite recent news regarding FINMA’s scrutiny of ICO activities in Switzerland, many factors indicate that Switzerland is poised to remain a main hub for startups who wish fund their projects this way.

There is strong evidence that Switzerland’s crypto/blockchain community is helping shape a more mature approach to the new and innovative economic models developing through token sales. Last month’s ICO Summit in Zurich served as a microcosm of this outlook.

In an opinion piece for CoinDesk, Ian Simpson of CVA founding member Lakeside Partners offers perspective on why Switzerland still holds top place for blockchain startups – and what this means for the future.

Read the full article here.

Leading Blockchain Law Firm MME Introduces New Legal Framework to Shape the Future of Tokenized Assets

By | CVA in the News

Crypto Valley Association member introduces concept of Blockchain Crypto Property (BCP) to provide classification and risk-assessment of crypto assets

Zug, Switzerland, October 2, 2017Crypto Valley Association (CVA), the Swiss-based not-for-profit association supporting the development of blockchain and cryptographic related technologies and businesses, today distributed a paper on behalf of MME and Blockhaus, proposing a new method for token classification. Both MME, the leading Swiss consultancy firm for law, tax and compliance in Blockchain applications and Blockhaus, a developer of decentralized investment banking platform applications for tokenized ecosystems, are active members of the CVA. The framework was developed specifically for utilization for regulatory and critical risk-assessment purposes.

The paper, entitled “Conceptual Framework for Legal & Risk Assessment of Blockchain Crypto Property,” introduces the concept of Blockchain Crypto Property or BCP. BCP is defined as digital information that contains all elements of a property right that is registered on a blockchain or in an alternative digital ledger, which can be transferred via protocol, that may carry out additional functions governed by a Smart Control System, following coded or manual input.

“Information on a blockchain is unlike any other previous incarnation of digital information. Blockchain Crypto Property shares many of the characteristics attributed to physical and other tangible properties as we understand them in the law, and yet BCPs are expanded with purely digital characteristics as well. These are groundbreaking concepts that require further examination and novel classification. Our paper examines the legal and risk characteristics of this completely new kind of property. A common understanding of the underlying nature of different kinds of cryptographic tokens would allow policymakers to construct thoughtful and enforceable legal and regulatory frameworks. Moreover, an agreed-upon framework could also provide investors and issuers with standard tools to evaluate, mitigate, and communicate risks in token design and launches,” said Dr. Luka Müller, Partner at MME.

The MME and Blockhaus paper contains a functional approach in defining the three main categories of BCPs: tokens without a counterparty, tokens that have a counterparty, and a completely new asset-class, tokenized co-ownership. The “without counterparty” classification is represented by native currency tokens, infrastructure tokens, and application tokens that do not grant holders any rights and have no underlying assets; tokens like Ethereum and Bitcoin fall into this class. The second classification, or “counterparty class,” refers to tokens which include any form of a relative right, such as the right to receive an asset or financial payment, either against the token generator or a third-party. The final classification, the “co-ownership class,” denotes tokens with smart contracts that are programmed or registered on the blockchain, allowing individuals to participate and co-own a technical platform or a form of intellectual property.

The main purpose of functional categorization is to grant a structured approach for legal, regulatory and tax assessment purposes. In addition, the BCP concept provides tools that will enable interested parties to make clear and well-founded analyses of tokens from legal and risk perspectives, in turn making it easier to identify frauds and uncover potential flaws. Consequently, the ability to categorize assets and assess risks is of huge value not only to regulators but to investors and token issuers.

In addition to the three BCP classes, MME has devised risk cases in order for regulators and potential investors to assess the risks associated with tokenized assets. These fall under four categories: functionality and protocol-related risks, such as network attacks and faults; storage and access of private key-related risks, like hacked wallets and exchanges; market-related and counterparty risks, such as insider trading and liquidity risks; and regulation and money laundering-related risks.

“The issue of the legal and regulatory status of cryptocurrencies is currently the most pressing concern in our community. Crypto Valley Association has called on regulators to devise clear, comprehensive, and flexible regulation on tokenized assets that protects investors but also supports innovation. We believe that MME’s BCP concept is an important contribution to this debate. It can be of immense use to both regulators seeking to understand cryptocurrencies and investors looking to evaluate their risks,” said Oliver Bussmann, President at Crypto Valley Association.

With offices in Zurich and Zug, MME is a leading consultancy firm in law, tax, and compliance. MME advises and represents companies and private clients in commercial, corporate and private business matters. Prominent in the blockchain legal space, MME has assisted many crypto organizations set up in Switzerland.

“We are now entering a new age of the tokenized ecosystem. In order to understand the opportunities associated with tokenized assets, while also recognizing the risks, we require a clear conceptual framework to open the doors of the tokenized economy for mainstream adoption. The BCP concept we are proposing should serve as a method of structured discussion between all participants of the blockchain community,” said Dr. Müller.

Headquartered in the Swiss canton of Zug, Crypto Valley Association is the independent, government-supported association established to take full advantage of Switzerland’s strengths to build the world’s leading blockchain and cryptographic ecosystem, working with government to foster the development of pioneering digital technologies in Switzerland and internationally. To date, four of the five largest token sales recorded have been completed by companies based here in Switzerland, attracting a combined investment in bitcoin and ether of over $600 million USD.

“Conceptual Framework for Legal & Risk Assessment of Blockchain Crypto Property” can be accessed here. The paper was written by, Dr. Luka Müller, Stephan D. Meyer and supported by Christine Gschwend and Peter Henschel.

An in-depth interview with Luka Müller on the BCP concept is available on the Crypto Valley Association blog.

 

CVA Board Member Soren Fog Speaks at Russian Blockchain Conference

By | CVA in the News

On September 1st, Soren Fog – a member of the CVA board and founder of blockchain startup iProtus – travelled to Tatarstan to speak at the “Blockchain: the New Oil of Russia” conference.

Mr Fog’s speech concentrated on the experience of working with the local Crypto Valley community, organising the local meetups through the Crypto Valley Forum and helping set up the Crypto Valley Association.

He also committed himself to pursuing cooperation between Swiss and Russian organisations to pilot blockchain projects in a number of areas.

Read the press release here.