Blockchain startups are fueling growth of innovative companies in the small canton of Zug, Switzerland, dubbed the “Crypto Valley” (and yes, it’s written as “CryptoValley” in German, and not translated into “CryptoTal”). This approximately 20-mile valley between Zurich and Zug is home to the Ethereum Foundation and more than a dozen other blockchain technology companies. Crypto Valley has a long way to go before it catches up to blockchain investment levels seen in Silicon Valley or the other top investment countries of UK, Israel, Sweden, Germany and Argentina. What is driving Crypto Valley’s growth?
CoinDesk reports that the laissez-faire philosophy that makes Swiss banks so valuable is the same philosophy driving the development of Crypto Valley. Switzerland, with its deeply decentralized government, appears to be a fertile environment in which innovation can flourish. For instance, Zug’s local government is experimenting with permitting citizens to pay for government services up to 200 Swiss francs (just over USD 200) with bitcoin. Switzerland has a host of other advantages for blockchain innovation: a stable, neutral political system, low taxes (especially in Zug), a renowned culture of financial privacy, and an available talent pool. It will be interesting to watch whether and how the decentralized political and economic environment of Switzerland accelerates the decentralized promise of blockchain technology.