When it comes to the world of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, Zug, Switzerland is the place to be. According to CoinDesk’s Crypto Hubs rubric, Zug scored highest overall for opportunity measures due to its thriving per-capita crypto-related companies and events. Additionally, Zug had the highest ranking in the two heaviest weighted criteria: overall regulatory structure and quality of life. Even across the board, Zug had no glaring weaknesses. This success can be attributed to the proactive approach taken by the Swiss government, which worked tirelessly to brand the region as “Crypto Valley” to rival Silicon Valley.
One reason for Zug’s success in the crypto world is its regulatory framework. In contrast to the United States, where regulatory limbo has soured crypto companies on making a home, Switzerland has clear guidelines in place and makes it easy for startups to get off the ground. The government even allowed citizens to pay their taxes with bitcoin as a way to experiment with the use of cryptocurrency. Additionally, the emergence of local “crypto banks” like SEBA and Sygnum, which provide basic services like coin storage and deposit insurance, has made it easier for startups to operate in a crypto-friendly environment.
Zug’s success can also be attributed to its low taxes and thriving fintech industry, which attracts talent from all over the world, making it an ideal place to legally park your company. However, it’s important to note that Zug, despite being called “Crypto Valley,” is not exactly a bustling metropolis. The population is less than 30,000, and as one former member of Zurich’s parliament bluntly put it, “It’s boring.” This is why the idea of Zug as a crypto “hub” also factors in the larger cities of Zurich, Bern, and Geneva.
Overall, while Zug may not have all the developer or coding talent one might expect, it serves as a prime location for companies looking for a crypto-friendly environment with clear regulations and low taxes. The thriving fintech industry and strong blockchain center at Zurich University are also major draws for businesses in this field. As Zurich’s former mayor once said, “We always said we have to face it because these things are coming if we want or not.” And in Zug, they have certainly embraced the future and made themselves a force to be reckoned with in the crypto world.