The blockchain industry in Liechtenstein and Switzerland has grown over the last years. The total number of businesses has doubled within less than two years, and the top-50 firms now have a combined market cap of $44bn.
Liechtenstein and Switzerland have successfully built up their reputation as global blockchain pioneers. Liechtenstein’s capital city Vaduz and the “Crypto Valley” in and around the Swiss city of Zug have attracted an abundance of blockchain companies.
100% growth within less than two years
According to a study by Crypto Valley Venture Capital (CVVC), there are currently more than 600 blockchain firms in Switzerland and Liechtenstein combined. About 500 of those companies are registered in Switzerland, while 100 have set up shop in Liechtenstein.
What’s even more interesting than the industry’s size, is its rapid growth over the last two years. In early 2017, there were about 300 blockchain companies in CVVC’s register. Thus, the number has doubled within less than two years.
Daniel Diemers, Blockchain Leader at PwC, says, “The Crypto Valley has seen rapid growth. Two or three years ago, there were only 10-15 businesses active in the domestic blockchain industry.”
Top-50 firms have a combined market cap of $44bn
CVVC and PwC also have looked at the top-50 blockchain firms in Switzerland and Liechtenstein.
In order to be in the top-50, businesses had to meet certain criteria: a major focus on blockchain technology, employees in either Switzerland or Liechtenstein and a high relevance within the blockchain community.
Quantitative criteria included at least $10m in funding, a valuation of at least $10m and 10 full-time employees in either Switzerland or Liechtenstein.
The study’s key findings:
- The top-50 firms have a combined market capitalization of $44bn.
- They employ 443 employees in Switzerland and Liechtenstein.
- They are exceptionally well funded.
- Brokerage, trade and exchange as well as platform and protocols are a particular focus amongst the top-50
The blockchain ecosystem
Besides the big guys, an abundance of blockchain startups, consultants, lawyers, and other service providers can be found in both, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.
Crypto Valley Labs is a coworking space in the city of Zug. There are more than 100 tenants in the building, most are active in the blockchain industry: The Crypto Valley Association, blockchain startups, crypto hedge funds, research institutions, and more.
The place is getting crowded. Crypto Valley Labs has grown so fast, that the company has added two more floors to provide more office space.
Mathias Ruch, CEO of CVVC, explains that besides startups, established companies have entered the blockchain space. Many of these businesses open branches in the Crypto Valley, to be at the pulse of what’s happening in Europe’s blockchain industry.
Switzerland or Liechtenstein?
Switzerland and Liechtenstein enjoy a friendly relationship. Both countries share the same currency, speak the same language (more or less) and agreed on a Customs and Currency Treaty.
But there is fierce competition.
Both governments try to attract more businesses with blockchain-friendly regulations. Liechtenstein will introduce the Blockchain Act in early 2019. Switzerland has announced a comprehensive blockchain-strategy.
Billionaire Bitcoin investor Tim Draper commented last year, “Governments have to compete for us. Switzerland is losing its position. I would choose Liechtenstein […and others] for my ICO.”
He is right. Governments have to compete for the best businesses and the brightest talents. Liechtenstein and Switzerland have noticed.
Liechtenstein’s Blockchain Act will be a major step forward and could lead to companies moving over from Switzerland.
But we’ll see what Switzerland can come up with to keep them.
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