Zug – This year’s Blockchain Summit – Crypto Valley saw a quick succession of highlights. Based around the theme of «Corporates vs. Startups», pioneers of blockchain technology met representatives of the «Old Economy» at the sold-out event in Zug’s Casino Theater. In his opening speech, Federal Councilor Schneider-Ammann made a plea not to restrict young companies’ flexibility through excessive regulation. Meanwhile the Blockchain Task Force published its keenly-anticipated White Paper, containing recommendations for open-minded and responsible regulation, along with the announcement of its own Initial Coin Offering (ICO).
“As the most competitive, innovative and liberal country in the world, Switzerland offers an optimal framework for business – even in the digital age”. So said Federal Councilor Johann N. Schneider-Ammann in his opening remarks to the Summit.
The Swiss Economy Minister believes that in order to succeed, the nation’s blockchain startup scene needs a liberal framework for experimentation. Representatives of the Swiss Blockchain Taskforce, a private sector initiative instigated by the industry, handed Mr. Schneider-Ammann its White Paper with proposals for the future regulation of Initial Token Offerings (ICO) and other issues surrounding the new technology.
“A sold-out venue with more than 700 participants, a line-up of over 60 speakers from all over the world and 30 up-and-coming blockchain startups made this an unforgettable event both for us and for the whole Crypto Valley community”, said Mathias Ruch, Founder of Lakeside Partners and Co-Initiator of the Blockchain Summit.
For the last few years, the existence of so-called Crypto Valley, clustered between Zug and Zurich, has had proved an unprecedented pull factor for blockchain startups from around the world. A prominent example is the Aragon Foundation – the Presenting Partner of this year’s Blockchain Summit and a pioneer in the field of decentralized governance solutions, which has just moved its HQ from Milan to Zug. At the Summit, Argon disclosed that it had relocated only a few days previously. “There are 13 of us, and although the team is fully remote, we want to embrace Zug’s local ecosystem”, Luis Iván Cuende, Aragon’s founder, said. “Now we are hiring locals to fill some positions”, Cuende said, a 22-year-old star in the blockchain community who figures in the “Forbes Top 30 under 30”.
The end of this summit also marks the start of another two rounds of the acclaimed Blockchain Competition organized by Lakeside Partners and inacta, the joint driving forces behind the Blockchain Summit.
This year, there are two main awards to win: “Blockchain for Finance” and “Blockchain for Real Estate”. Promising startups can turn their idea into cash and win $100’000 in each competition, plus a year’s worth of office space at the Crypto Valley Labs in Zug and a programme of professional coaching. Entrants are invited to submit applications in the specified format by June 30 2018. (Blockchain Summit/mc)