Tag: investment

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Blockchain Fuels Crypto Valley Zug
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Salesforce is all in on Fintech

Blockchain Fuels Crypto Valley Zug

By Susan P. Altman

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.

Salesforce is all in on Fintech

By Cameron Abbott and Simon Ly

Salesforce wants to get in on the Fintech act, recently announcing the public launch of “Financial Services Cloud”. This is a service that allows financial advisors to be more productive with relevant client information.

The service aims to better position advisors in “managing client life goals, household relationships and client profiles from a connected platform”. Financial Services Cloud has a variety of features including portfolio management, prospecting and data management whilst also assisting with compliance with new and proposed regulatory changes. These features leverage areas which Salesforce is historically strong in, namely automation and analytics.

While start-ups abound, Salesforce clearly wants to bring its pedigree to the table to work with large established market participants. This new offering is certainly likely to be sold strongly to Salesforce’s existing customers, including Goldman Sachs, Deutsch Bank and Merrill Lynch.

With Financial Services Cloud, it will be interesting to see if this takes over from in-person meetings that customers may have with their advisors, which can be both clunky and time consuming. Salesforce seeks to provide some real data-driven insight into investment decisions that will give customers more of an understanding of their personal wealth whilst increasing the oversight on wealth advisors.

You can find out more from Simon Mulcahy (General Manager of Financial Services, Salesforce) here.

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