Switzerland, Zurich in particular, is a home to many of the digital currency industry’s leading startups and organizations including Xapo, Ethereum, Metaco, and Lykke.
As a leading global city and one of the world’s largest financial centers, Zurich has been providing a favorable entrepreneurial environment for fintech startups, through effective financial regulatory frameworks and policies.
In June, Swiss Parliament announced the official deregulation of blockchain startups, submitting a motion which exempts cryptocurrencies from its existing regulatory framework for financial institutions and companies.
The motion, which is expected to be processed by the fall of 2016, will offer blockchain and bitcoin startups freedom to launch various products, services, and operations, without having to deal with tight regulations and policies.
The practicality of the city’s regulations have led to the increase in the population of blockchain and fintech-focused startups, expanding the market for local investors and venture capital firms.
According to a recent study released by Fintech Switzerland, Zurich has produced nearly 66% of the country’s top fintech startups, with large venture capital-backed startups including bitcoin wallet and vault storage provider Xapo leading the Swiss cryptocurrency / blockchain industry.
Amongst Switzerland’s top 30 fintech startups, Fintech Switzerland’s study reveals that 5 companies are focused on bringing bitcoin and the blockchain technology to mainstream users. Some Swiss startups including iProtus and Monetas have demonstrated unique implementations of the blockchain technology in various industries and markets, such as the health care, automotive, marketing, and financial industries.
Monetas for instance, won the Swisscom Startup Challenge 2015 and secured a US$7 million funding round from notable investors, which valuates the company at around US$90 million.
With UK blockchain and bitcoin startups pondering serious move from London to Berlin due to the Brexit and the United States’ strict regulations for digital currency startups, Switzerland and Zurich could become the leading center for blockchain startups and financial technologies.