Financial technology or FinTech and especially ‘cryptocurrency has been growing significantly in the last few years. For example, discussions around Bitcoin, a digital currency that uses decentralized cryptocurrency, are growing globally with Bitcoin ATM machines popping up throughout Europe, but the first was debuted in Switzerland.
The country has become a hot spot in cryptocurrency, with one location rising to the top worldwide – Zug, a.k.a. “Crypto Valley,” in Switzerland. Here are a few of the many of Swiss cryptocurrency companies that are impacting the market:
- Xapo is taking Bitcoin digital currency to the next level with three layers of security protection and providing peace of mind for its customers. The company is putting its money where its mouth is by giving 100% insurance for all Bitcoin funds that are kept in its virtual vault.
- Shapeshift offers instant Bitcoin and altcoin conversion with the maximum level of consumer protection and efficiency through an easy-to-use app.
- Ecurex is a professional trading engine, with advanced financial instruments and information services, ensuring speed of operations, reliability and convenience.
- Ethereum is an online web tool that helps companies develop their own cryptocurrency that can be traded for goods and services.
- Monetas is an app that helps consumers buying goods and services through digital transactions made through its app.
- Swiss Bitcoin Exchange is a Swiss marketplace where Bitcoin digital currency can be exchanged and traded.
“It is only natural for Switzerland to be the epicenter for the growing Fintech market, due to our awards in innovation and software engineering, and leadership in financial services, especially in the field of wealth management,” said Sandra Tobler, Trade Commissioner, Switzerland Global Enterprise.
“We see tremendous growth opportunity, as the global market continues to transition to digital transactions and currency. More and more banks are investing in cryptocurrency projects, as they see potential opportunity for internal transactions to be more transparent and cost efficient.”
One of the reasons why cryptocurrency has taken off in Switzerland is that the country is fundamentally decentralized. There are seven federal councils with equal power and most politics happens at the local level.
“This welcoming environment opens discussions with startups and local tax offices, so that a fair outcome can be negotiated,” said Luzius Meisser, president of Bitcoin Association Switzerland “Companies have a higher standard of living and the government has a long tradition of respecting privacy, which is of the essence when it comes to finance.”
A culture of growth is fostered within Switzerland, as it has one of the most liberal economies in the world. It is characterized by a large proportion of small and medium enterprises (close to 600,000) which employ approximately two third of the Swiss labor force.
Setting up a company in Switzerland is a fairly easy process compared to other countries. Thanks to the dynamism and flexibility of its economy, among other factors, Switzerland managed to position itself as one of the preferred business locations in Europe.
“Switzerland offers very flexible labor laws and supportive regulators for business matters. The labor costs are internationally competitive for the quality of personnel you can find, taking into account end-to-end costs (e.g. after social security deduction and taxes),” said Sandra Tobler.
She continued: “Switzerland is very attractive as a business location for international, high skilled labor and has a top education system, which makes it easy to find the skilled and committed labor that many international companies value. Despite being a rather small market, Switzerland has strong connections internationally as companies worldwide see its value in being a hub for their European operations.”
FinTech and cryptocurrency are changing and evolving constantly, but one thing remains constant – growth. This growth is magnified based on the strength of the Swiss ecosystem to help impact this growing industry. The ripples resulting from this small country on the global market cannot be measured.