Switzerland appears to be doing the opposite of what many other developed nations around the world are doing with regards to cryptocurrency. Swiss authorities are embracing the cryptocurrency culture at every level, as evidenced by numerous upcoming ICOs. Those in the digital currency world affectionately call the Swiss version of Silicon Valley “Crypto Valley”. Now the country is aiming to firm up its leadership position in all cryptos.
What Government Officials Are Saying
The Economics Minister for Switzerland spoke a while back at a crypto finance conference that brought together institutional investors. During the conference, he said the country intends to become a crypto nation. His only condition was that the momentum that had gripped Crypto Valley should continue.
Switzerland is already a favorite domicile for many global companies. This is because its regulatory environment is quite friendly and transparent. Consequently, it has created the perfect conditions that blockchain startups need in order to thrive. For a while, the country’s reputation was damaged as a haven for tax evasion. Now, the authorities are working hard to drop that reputation while also creating the right environment for a digital revolution.
The Minister for Economics in the US created an ICO working group, similar to the task force set up by the US SEC. This working group will be tasked with studying the role that regulation can play in ICOs. The Finance Minister recently commented on ICOs, saying they were not as disciplined as the authorities would like them to be. Switzerland aims to create a flourishing ICO market. However, they want to do this without compromising the integrity and standards expected of the financial markets.
Industry participants are split about this move by Swiss authorities. Some say that the regulatory environment is not broken and therefore does not need to be fixed. Some in the industry have suggested that self-policing would be a more appropriate move. However, it is not likely that the Swiss will let that happen.
According to recent reports, Swiss-based ICOs attracted about $550 million in funding between January and October 2017. This is quite impressive, especially since the US managed to attract $580 million for ICO funding in the same period. All ICOs globally managed to raise $4 billion in 2017.
Why Is Switzerland so Appealing?
There are various reasons why the Swiss are so appealing to ICOs and blockchain startups. For one, they have a wealth of tech talent. Besides this, various ICOs have enjoyed a lot of success. For instance, a recent Swiss-Israeli startup once managed to raise more than $157 million in an ICO. One of the biggest competitors for Switzerland may be Gibraltar, which recently allowed an ICO to be listed on the stock exchange.
What do you think about the decision by Swiss authorities to create an ICO haven? Leave us your thoughts in the comments section.