Blockchain Hub Switzerland
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT (R&D)
Computer science skills form the basis for blockchain inno-
vations. According to the Times Higher Education ranking list
2019, the Department of Computer Science at ETH Zurich ranks
second worldwide in the computer science field. A number of
labs at the ETH Zurich and Lausanne and at the University of
Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland (HES-SO) deal
with blockchain issues. The Crypto Valley Academy has been
offering a Blockchain Executive Program for Business Leaders
since 2019.
The city of Zug was the first state authority in the world to
accept blockchain as an official means of payment in 2016.
In the meantime, Zug has also developed a “digital identity”
(E-ID) based on blockchain. In cooperation with the Lucerne
University of Applied Sciences and Arts, this was used to test a
vote in the summer of 2018. The Lucerne University of Applied
Sciences and Arts also allows invoices to be paid in the crypto-
currency Bitcoin.
Other regions in Switzerland to launch blockchain pilot projects
with university support include the city and canton of Schaff-
hausen, which offer an E-ID with a blockchain interface. The
Ticino city of Chiasso also accepts tax payments in Bitcoin.
The first university blockchain professorship was created in
2018 at the Center for Innovative Finance at the University of
Basel in cooperation with Credit Suisse Asset Management. It
also stores course certificates on the Ethereum blockchain.
The Blockchain Center of the University of Zurich (UZH) inves-
tigates blockchain topics from a multidisciplinary perspective,
with 22 professors from the fields of computer science, law,
economics and finance. It has numerous partnerships with
companies from the private sector, such as the AXA insurance
group.
At the University of St.Gallen, the Institute for Supply Chain
Management (ISCM) conducts research on blockchain applica-
tions in the food and pharmaceutical industries. A consortium
has teamed up with project partners such as Vifor Pharma,
SAP and the startup Modum.io. The project is supported by the
Swiss Innovation Promotion Agency Innosuisse.
Since 2018, the Blockchain Hub Trust Square in the center
of Zurich has been offering the world’s largest infrastructure
for blockchain innovators of its kind. More than 300 jobs are
available to 40 local companies and partners. The latter include
universities in Zurich, Basel, Rapperswil and Lucerne as well as
PwC, the business consulting firm.
Since September 2017, the national telecommunications
company Swisscom has been positioning itself as an innova-
tion partner for corporate customers with regard to blockchain
issues. Swisscom Blockchain AG offers consulting, develop-
ment and blockchain infrastructure. Its target group includes
companies from the areas of finance and trade, life sciences or
the public sector.
One driver of the scene is the Zug blockchain investor Crypto
Valley Venture Capital (CV VC), formerly Lakeside Partners.
CV VC focuses on blockchain companies in all development
phases, operates an incubator, a coworking space, organises the
CV Summit and a startup competition.
The Fusion startup incubator in Geneva has been operating a
blockchain lab since early 2018; it focuses on financial solutions
and public administration applications. At the initiative of the
incubator, the Swiss Blockchain Association was also founded
as an association whose goal is to be a promoter of the block-
chain economy throughout Switzerland.
Established Swiss companies such as Kühne+Nagel and
SwissRe are developing innovative blockchain-based business
models in areas such as insurance, energy supply, logistics and
the supply chain.
Swiss blockchain events are developing into key industry meet-
ings for scientists and practitioners from all over the world:
Crypto Finance Conference (CFC), St Moritz, Tokyo, New York
Blockchain Economic Forum, Davos
Cryptomountain, Davos
CV Summit, Zug
Blockchain Leadership Summit, Basel
Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Switzerland, Geneva
Infrachain (for use in public
administration and infrastructure operators)
Energy Blockchain Hack (for blockchain
solutions in the energy sector)
ETHEREUM: A SUCCESS STORY
The Ethereum Foundation was founded by Blockchain guru Vitalik Buterin in
Zug in 2013 and has been based there ever since. It operates a blockchain
with the crypto currency Ether, which is used as a means of payment for
transactions in its network and is now the second most significant cryptocur-
rency after Bitcoin. This system has proven to be particularly suitable for Ini-
tial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and is used by around three quarters of ICOs world-
wide.
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