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With its crypto-friendly regulations and a strong culture of innovation, Switzerland has established itself as a leading player in the blockchain and crypto industry and has given rise to numerous projects over the years.
Notable is Lugano’s Plan B, where an entire city has integrated Bitcoin into daily life. In addition, the country is home to the Crypto Valley, often viewed as the Silicon Valley for blockchain technologies. The year 2024 holds great promise for developments in this sector. This article explores some of the most exciting projects on the horizon.
1. Established Swiss Banks Enter World of Cryptocurrencies
Regional Swiss banks such as Zuger Kantonalbank, Luzerner Kantonalbank, and St. Galler Kantonalbank as well as the national bank Post Finance have been launching digital assets. Some of them have chosen Swiss crypto banks such as Sygnum or SEBA as partners to delve deeper into the world of cryptocurrencies. They provide the necessary technology and platform, while the traditional banks contribute their regulatory processes.
In doing so, they are responding to changes in the financial industry while ensuring the highest level of security for their customers. Only thanks to the precise regulation implemented by the Swiss government, those actions are now possible. While Zuger Kantonalbank and St. Galler Kantonalbank have already taken the necessary steps, Luzerner Kantonalbank and Post Finance will also offer the opportunity to buy, trade, and custody digital assets in the coming year.
2. CBDC Pilot Project for Digital Swiss Franc
The Swiss National Bank (SNB) has recently launched a pilot project for the introduction of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) for the digital Swiss franc, which will conclude in June 2024. The project focuses on wholesale transactions between SNB and six participating banks by using distributed ledger technology (DLT).
The introduction of a CBDC promises to further enhance the efficiency and transparency of the financial system while addressing potential risks to be eliminated when the pilot phase is over. The high standards of security and regulation maintained by the Swiss National Bank will thus become the norm for digital currencies as well.
3. Making Bitcoin Investment Accessible
21Shares plans to expand opportunities for investing in Bitcoin (BTC). The Swiss-based company partners with ARK Invest to create a regulated spot Bitcoin ETF for the United States, responding to a steadily growing demand over the years. Investors would no longer need to buy, hold, and sell Bitcoin directly; instead, they would acquire shares in the ETF.
This move would significantly improve accessibility for the vast US market and promote institutional acceptance of the cryptocurrency. The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is expected to make a legal decision about the ETF in January 2024.
4. Swiss Companies Leading in Bitcoin Adoption
Internationally renowned Swiss-based companies like Relai, Pocket, Bitbox, and Peach play a crucial role in promoting Bitcoin adoption. They offer innovative, accessible, and secure solutions for buying, storing, and trading Bitcoin. Technologies that are continually evolving and will remain relevant in the coming year.
Peach is among a series of fintech startups that have established themselves in the Swiss canton of Neuchâtel. Similar to well-known cities like Zug and Zurich, this idyllic location in western Switzerland has grown into a global crypto hub that attracts numerous young entrepreneurs.
5. Blockchain Studies at Swiss Universities Growing
The University of Lucerne offers programs in blockchain and has established itself as an important educational partner in the Crypto Valley with the “Blockchain Zug – Joint Research Initiative” project. The canton is funding research with 40 million Swiss francs, aiming to make Zug a leading research center for blockchain.
Furthermore, the University of Zurich hosts the Blockchain Research Center, considered one of the best in blockchain research globally. The center collaborates with famous Swiss-based Crypto Foundations such as the Ethereum and Cardano Foundation. With the optimal training of new professionals, Switzerland ensures a steady supply of skilled individuals to the industry.
The Best of Tradition and Modernity
Switzerland continues to be a pioneer in the industry, setting examples in terms of integrating cryptocurrencies and developing innovative solutions while preserving traditional values the country is globally known for, like security and integrity.
In 2024, we look forward to seeing how these promising projects may evolve and create new opportunities in the world of blockchain.
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