Crypto Valley Association, a Swiss-based not-for-profit association supporting the development of blockchain and cryptographic related technologies and businesses, launched today. The first members include ConsenSys, UBS, PwC, Thomson Reuters, Luxoft, Canton of Zug, and Lucerne University; former UBS Group CIO Oliver Bussmann will be the group's president.
Switzerland has established itself as one of the world's leading countries for digital innovation. Home to hundreds of multinational enterprises, technology companies, and financial institutions, the country boasts world-leading infrastructure, a sophisticated workforce, and one of the world's most decentralized, stable and neutral political systems, said a statement.
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.
The association will support startups and established enterprises through policy recommendations, initiating and enabling research projects, and organizing conferences, hackathons, and other industry events.
Crypto Valley Association is led by Bussmann, founder and managing partner of Bussmann Advisory; Vasily Suvorov, vice president technology strategy Luxoft; and professor René Huesler, director of the Lucerne School of Information Technology, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts.
Bussmann, president of Crypto Valley, said: "Blockchain and cryptographic related technologies and businesses are the wave of the future. With the founding of Crypto Valley Association, we are promoting more than a region: we have founded a global association as a base for the sector's most innovative and forward thinking companies, further strengthening Switzerland's position as a leading centre of innovation in this sector."
Crypto Valley Association is drawing venture capital, private equity, media, established IT firms, universities, and young startups. Founding members include: PwC, Luxoft, UBS, ConsenSys, Thomson Reuters, Lucerne University, Lykke Corp, Monetas AG, iprotus GmbH, Inacta AG, bacademy, Canton Zug, Lakeside Business Center AG, Lakeside Partners AG, Leon Partners and the City of Zug.
Manoj Kashyap, global fintech leader for PwC: "Emerging technology such as Blockchain and Crypto-technologies are at the heart of the digital transformation of Financial Services. PwC have explicitly made digital one of our key priorities and support a number of initiatives around the world to foster innovation. By supporting and being part of the Crypto Valley in Switzerland, we engage with a rapidly growing ecosystem and contribute our expertise and perspectives on how to leverage technology for positive change in society."
Joseph Lubin, founder of ConsenSys, said: "As the largest blockchain startup, ConsenSys is proud to support and be part of the Crypto Valley Association in Switzerland. Through this initiative, we look forward to opportunities to collaborate with likeminded organizations that understand the power of blockchain to reshape our world for the better, and are committed to accelerating the adoption of decentralized technologies in use cases that range from government, to enterprise, to humanitarian impact."
Veronica Lange, head of innovation at UBS said: "Blockchain technology could transform the financial industry and help to create new and improved financial services for clients. Collaboration on innovation is core to our strategy and especially needed for blockchain. UBS strongly supports activities to build out the FinTech ecosystem in Switzerland, and is pleased to join the Crypto Valley Association to drive further collaboration on blockchain technology in the region."
Vasily Suvorov, vice president technology strategy, Luxoft, said: "We see Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies at the core of Digital Transformation. Many of our clients across key verticals are embarking on pilot projects and are considering decentralized, breakthrough business models. The Crypto Valley Association is a valuable ecosystem for the exchange of ideas, and as a technology partner, Luxoft will benefit from constant involvement in diverse technical, business, legal, and academic communities. We are committed to further strengthening and expanding the Crypto Valley Association's core mission through our technical and thought leadership contributions."
David Craig, president financial & risk business, Thomson Reuters, said: "Thomson Reuters Labs around the world collaborate with customers to solve big problems and rapidly prototype and validate solutions across technologies. We have been particularly impressed with the calibre of individuals in the Zug ecosystem, with participants bringing novel ideas and engaging in more detailed discussions than in other forums. The formation of Crypto Valley Association has already achieved engagement from a cross-section of organizations including the local government, startups, venture capital and larger corporations. This gives us access to a pipeline of interesting startups, talent and an opportunity to participate directly in initiatives driving the technology evolution and adoption."