Fintechnews Switzerland

Fintechnews Switzerland

Fintech News Switzerland provides a source of timely, deep insights and the latest local and global news about Fintech. Launched in 2014, the Fintech News Network team works very hard to deliver fintech-centric content in various forms to an audience looking for updates on fintech events and webinars, stunning opinions from highly-reputable digital finance innovators, analysis on fintech applications from active insiders, breaking news on fintech topics and fintech market alerts.

Articles by Fintechnews Switzerland

Maerki Baumann Cooperates With Bitcoin Suisse

The Zurich-based private bank Maerki Baumann has entered into a cooperation with Bitcoin Suisse.
The collaboration will allow the private bank to utilize the proven crypto expertise of Bitcoin Suisse in managing its crypto investment solutions, and to expand its existing offering in the area of digital assets under the “ARCHIP” brand.
The cooperation is to be integrated into Maerki Baumann’s investment process via the “Joint Crypto Advisory Board”. Clients of Bitcoin Suisse will gain access to first-class private banking services for traditional assets. Maerki Baumann’s longstanding experience in serving clients with a crypto background makes the private bank Bitcoin Suisse’s preferred partner for traditional investments.
Bitcoin Suisse, Switzerland’s leading crypto financial services

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Robinhood to Acquire Bitstamp For $200 Million in Cash

Robinhood has entered into an agreement to acquire Bitstamp, a global cryptocurrency exchange. Bitstamp was founded in 2011 and has offices in Luxembourg, the UK, Slovenia, Singapore, and the US.
Acquiring a global exchange will significantly accelerate Robinhood Crypto’s expansion worldwide. Bitstamp holds over 50 active licenses and registrations globally and will bring in customers across the EU, UK, US and Asia to Robinhood.
This acquisition will introduce Robinhood’s first institutional business. Bitstamp has been trusted by its institutional clients for reliable trade execution, deep order books and industry-leading API connectivity. With Bitstamp’s other institutional offerings like white label solution Bitstamp-as-a-service, institutional lending, and staking, Robinhood will enter

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Schweizer Retailbanken im Krypto-Anlage-Fieber

Trotz breiter Skepsis, immer mehr Retailbanken bieten Kryptowährungen als vollwertige Anlageklasse an. Während einige Banken gezielt eigenes Know-how rund um Blockchain aufbauen, greifen die meisten auf Drittanbieter zurück. Dies zeigt eine neue Studie der Hochschule Luzern.
Nach Rekordwerten im Jahr 2021 und einem darauffolgenden Einbruch sind die Preise von Kryptowährungen in den letzten Monaten wieder deutlich gestiegen. Verschiedene Retailbanken haben sich entschlossen, ein Angebot an Kryptowährungen aufzubauen.
Gemäss einer Studie der Hochschule Luzern (HSLU) bieten 28 Prozent der Retailbanken Kryptowährungen als vollwertige Anlageklasse an oder beabsichtigen, dies künftig zu tun. Nach Jahren der Zurückhaltung sieht es danach aus, dass mindestens grössere Retailbanken in ihrer

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World Bank Issues Digital Bond in Switzerland on the Blockchain

The World Bank priced the first CHF digital bond by an international issuer, which will settle using Swiss Franc wholesale Central Bank Digital Currency (wCBDC) provided by the Swiss National Bank (SNB).
This 7-year CHF 200 million digital bond, the largest World Bank CHF bond issuance since 2009, uses Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) and advances the digitalization of capital markets while also supporting the financing of World Bank’s sustainable development activities.
The World Bank partnered with the SNB and SIX Digital Exchange (SDX) to further scale efforts in the use of DLT in capital markets. This partnership introduces the use of wCBDC by the SNB for initial settlement.
The coupon and redemption payments will be made using tokenized CHF on the SDX. The SDX connects to

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Swiss Fintech Awards 2024 Announce Top 10 Swiss Fintech Startups

A jury of 20 experts from the Swiss fintech space have reviewed over 60 applications (out of a total of 100 submissions) of fintech startups and have picked the five most promising companies in the categories “Early Stage Start-up of the Year” and “Growth Stage Start-up of the Year” for their 2024 edition.
Reducing Friction And Adding Value With AI And Blockchain Applications
While being diverse in its use cases, this year’s top 10 of the Swiss Fintech Awards showcases the vitality and maturity of the Swiss fintech landscape.
The ten nominated companies cover a vast range of innovative business models. Some aim at providing more and better investing opportunities to individual or business clients while others serve financial professionals and institutions with the help of technologies such

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Blackrock Launches Its First Tokenized Fund on Ethereum

BlackRock unveils its first tokenized fund issued on a public blockchain, the BlackRock USD Institutional Digital Liquidity Fund (“BUIDL”)
BUIDL will provide qualified investors with the opportunity to earn U.S. dollar yields by subscribing to the Fund through Securitize Markets, LLC.
Robert Mitchnick
“This is the latest progression of our digital assets strategy,”
said Robert Mitchnick, BlackRock’s Head of Digital Assets.
“We are focused on developing solutions in the digital assets space that help solve real problems for our clients, and we are excited to work with Securitize.”
Tokenization remains a key focus of BlackRock’s digital asset strategy. Through the tokenization of the Fund, BUIDL will offer investors important benefits by enabling the issuance and trading of ownership on a

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Luzerner KB steigt in den den Handel und die Verwahrung von Kryptowährungen ein

Die Luzerner Kantonalbank AG (LUKB) ermöglicht ihren Kundinnen und Kunden seit Anfang März 2024 den Handel und die Verwahrung von Kryptowährungen.
Das neue Angebot ist technisch nahtlos in das Kernbankensystem und das E-Banking (Mobile und Desktop) der LUKB integriert. Aktuell stehen drei Kryptowährungen zur Wahl: Bitcoin, Ethereum und USD Coin.
Die LUKB hat sich seit dem Jahr 2020 mit dem Thema Digital Assets bzw. Kryptowährungen befasst und nach intensiven Abklärungen des Marktes und der Kundenbedürfnisse einerseits interne Kompetenz und anderseits eine eigene Infrastruktur aufgebaut, die nahtlos in ihr Kernbankensystem eingebunden sowie im E-Banking und Mobile Banking der Bank integriert ist.
Das Produkt und die Infrastruktur wurden im Vorfeld über mehrere Monate und in verschiedenen

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SNB Study: Results of the Swiss Payment Methods Survey

In spring 2023, the Swiss National Bank conducted its second payment methods survey of companies in Switzerland. Around 1,750 companies, across all sizes, language regions and industries, participated in this survey on payment method topics. In-depth knowledge of these topics helps the SNB to fulfil its statutory tasks in relation to the supply and distribution of cash and to cashless payments.

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The Top Swiss Law Firms for Fintech and Blockchain Practice

Chambers and Partners, a legal research company, has released its Chambers Fintech 2024 guide, an annual report which recognizes the top fintech advisors and litigators worldwide.
In this year’s Swiss edition, Chambers and Partners ranked MME Legal | Tax | Compliance, MLL Legal, Baer and Karrer, and Lenz and Staehelin as the top Swiss law firms in the fintech legal category, recognizing them for their expertise, diligence and customer service.
MME is a law firm based in Zurich and Zug that’s widely regarded for its work in the fintech sector. The company offers legal, tax and compliance advice to financial institutions and startups involved in various areas including cryptocurrency, electronic payments and robo-advisory. But its main domain of expertise is blockchain and digital assets.

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Bank Frick vergibt Stipendium für Blockchain-Studium

Das Bank-Frick-Stipendium in Höhe von 9800 Franken für den Zertifikatsstudiengang Blockchain und FinTech 2024 geht an Sven Lagger. Der Masterstudent hat durch sein fundiertes Verständnis der vernetzten Blockchain-Technologie überzeugt.
Die Bank Frick hat zum wiederholten Mal ein Stipendium in Höhe von 9800 Franken für den zertifizierten Studiengang Blockchain und Fintech an der Universität Liechtenstein vergeben. Träger des Bank-Frick-Stipendiums ist gemäss einer Medienmitteilung der Masterstudent Sven Lagger aus dem österreichischen Göfis.
Dem Stipendiaten kamen im Bewerbungsverfahren seine soliden Vorkenntnisse im Bereich von Blockchain-Technologien zugute. Lagger studiert Master of Science in Wirtschaftsinformatik an der Universität Liechtenstein und konnte durch seine bisher erworbenen

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BIS, Swiss National Bank and World Bank Launch Token Project Promissa

Today, many international financial institutions (including multilateral development banks) are partly funded by financial instruments known as promissory notes, most of which are still paper-based.
While the current system provides the operational controls for member nations to make subscription and contribution payments to institutions like the World Bank, the custody of outstanding promissory notes can be digitised to address operational challenges and enhance efficiency.
Project Promissa is a joint experiment of the BIS Innovation Hub Swiss Centre, the Swiss National Bank and the World Bank that aims to build a proof of concept (PoC) of a platform for digital “tokenised” promissory notes. The International Monetary Fund is participating in the project as an observer.
Using distributed

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New SNB Study Reveals Critical Role of Card Schemes and Banks in the Contactless Payment Usage

Financial intermediaries, including card schemes and issuing banks, are playing a critical role in the use and promotion of new payment methods in Switzerland. A 2023 research by the Swiss National Bank (SNB) revealed that the rules and standards set by these intermediaries are impacting usage and frequency of contactless payments.
The findings, shared in a new report titled “Consumer adoption and use of financial technology: “tap and go” payments”, are based on an analysis of anonymized, transaction-level data for more than 400,000 payment cards and almost 18,000 merchants in Switzerland between 2019 and 2021. The study looked at data retrieved during four different periods, comparing contactless payment usage in 2019 (Base period), during the weeks immediately before the onset of

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Swiss-Backed CBDC Project Explored Feasibility of Cash-Like, Anonymous Digital Currency

Project Tourbillon, an initiative led by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) Innovation Hub Swiss Centre and supported by the Swiss National Bank (SNB), explored the feasibility of a retail central bank digital currency (CBDC), finding that it is possible to implement a CBDC design that provides anonymity to the payer and which is scalable and secure.
In a new report released in November 2023, BIS shares details of the project, outlining findings of their efforts.
Project Tourbillon, which had been running since at least late-2022, saw the development and testing of two CBDC prototypes based on the eCash design by American computer scientist, cryptographer and inventor David Chaum.
These prototypes were designed to address three features simultaneously: privacy, by enabling payer

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Miles & More and qiibee Transform Loyalty Rewards with Blockchain

Miles & More, the loyalty program of the Lufthansa Group, has partnered with blockchain-based B2B marketplace qiibee to allow small and mid-size enterprises (SMEs) to join the program easily.
The key highlight of this collaboration is the integration of blockchain technology, which simplifies the onboarding process for SMEs while ensuring the secure and efficient management of loyalty rewards.
qiibee’s blockchain-based marketplace offers instant, cost-effective transactions and guarantees full data privacy control. Through this integration, Miles & More members gain access to a broader and more diverse network of partners, including regional businesses.
The partnership also aims to enhance connectivity between enterprises and customers, with plans to onboard more partners and launch a

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Robinhood Crypto Trading App Arrives in EU, Offers Bitcoin Rewards

Robinhood is set to make a significant stride in the European Union by launching the Robinhood Crypto app for all eligible customers in the region. The company claims that the app is the only custodial crypto platform in the EU where customers can earn a portion of their trading volume back every month in Bitcoin (BTC).
In an effort to drive new users, Robinhood Crypto is offering a unique opportunity for both new and existing customers. New customers are eligible to earn up to one Bitcoin when they open a Robinhood Crypto account and trade a minimum amount of €10 in crypto. Similarly, existing customers can earn up to one Bitcoin for every referred friend who successfully opens an account and trades a minimum €10 worth of crypto.
Johann Kerbrat
Johann Kerbrat, the General Manager of

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Societe Generale Issues Digital Green Bond on Public Blockchain

End of November Societe Generale issued its first digital green bond as a Security Token directly registered by SG-FORGE on the Ethereum public blockchain with increased transparency and traceability on ESG data. 
Security tokens have been fully subscribed AXA Investment Managers and Generali Investments, through a private placement.

This transaction is the first digital green bond issued by Societe Generale to leverage blockchain’s differentiating functionalities. This digital format enables increased transparency and traceability as well as improved fluidity and speed in transactions and settlements.
This operation is structured as a EUR 10m senior preferred unsecured bond with a maturity of 3 years. An amount equivalent to the net proceeds of this bond will be exclusively used to

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After Zug and Zermatt, Now You Can Pay Taxes Also in Lugano with Bitcoins

The Swiss city of Lugano announced that it has broadened its payment options by including cryptocurrencies for the payment of tax invoices and all other community fees.
Lugano will accept Bitcoin (BTC) and Tether (USDT) as a means of payment through a simple and fully automated process.
The new payment option introduced by the City of Lugano marks a modern shift in how people handle city-related expenses. Citizens and companies alike may now use Bitcoin (BTC) and Tether (USDT) to pay any invoice issued by Lugano, including tax invoices. While cryptocurrency payments in Lugano were reserved for transactions made on the City’s online portal, Lugano is now extending this possibility to all its invoices, regardless of the nature of the service or the amount invoiced.
Lugano is taking a big

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Swiss National Bank Launches Wholesale Central Bank Digital Currency Project

On 1 December 2023, the Swiss National Bank – together with five Swiss and one German commercial bank – started a pilot project with central bank digital currency for financial institutions (wholesale central bank digital currency) on the regulated platform of SIX Digital Exchange (SDX).
With this pilot, called Helvetia Phase III, the SNB will for the first time issue real wholesale CBDC in Swiss francs on a financial market infrastructure based on distributed ledger technology (DLT). The SNB is thus moving its work from test environments into production and is making wholesale CBDC available for the settlement of real bond transactions. The banks involved will carry out the transactions on the DLT platform as intermediaries for issuers and investors. The tokenised bonds will be settled

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BitMEX Engages Zühlke to Transition Security Operations

Crypto Derivates Platform BitMEX recently collaborated with Zühlke to enhance their application security program. This partnership focused on refining BitMEX’s security operations and prioritizing new application functionalities, with a particular emphasis on integrating DevSecOps processes across their development pipeline.
The initiative was driven by the need to adapt to the changing security landscape and the fast pace of software development. BitMEX, known for its stringent security measures and having never lost cryptocurrency assets, recognized the necessity of updating their security testing methods.
Zühlke’s role was significant in helping BitMEX transition from ad-hoc security testing to a systematic DevSecOps model within 12 months. They assisted in implementing integrated

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Eine digitale Schweizer Franken Anleihe für den Kanton Basel Stadt

Der Kanton Basel-Stadt begibt als Pionier mit Unterstützung der Basler Kantonalbank (BKB) eine der ersten digitalen Schweizer-Franken-Anleihen.

Die BKB arbeitet im Pilotprojekt «Helvetia III» der Schweizerischen Nationalbank (SNB) mit der SIX Digital Exchange (SDX) und fünf weiteren Geschäftsbanken zusammen. Die auf der Distributed-Ledger-Technologie (DLT) basierende Infrastruktur der SDX ermöglicht die Emission und den Handel von tokenisierten Wertschriften.
Im Rahmen dieses Pilotprojekts gibt die SNB erstmals digitales Zentralbankgeld für Finanzinstitute (sog. wholesale Central Bank Digital Currency, wCBDC) auf dieser Infrastruktur aus. Dabei handelt es sich um eines der weltweit ersten Pilotprojekte zur Abwicklung realer Transaktionen in digitalem Zentralbankgeld.
Die digitale

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Reports Look at FTX’s 2021 Pitch Deck, Highlighting its Successful Fundraising Strategy

Earlier this month, Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of defunct cryptocurrency exchange FTX, was found guilty for his role in the collapse of the company. The disgraced founder, who once ran one of the world’s biggest crypto exchanges, is now facing a maximum sentence of 115 years in prison.
A New York jury found Bankman-Fried guilty on all seven charges against him, convicting Bankman-Fried of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud against FTX customers and against lenders of its sister hedge fund Alameda Research.
The verdict, delivered on November 02, concludes a stunning fall from grace for the former billionaire, once known as the “crypto king”.
Bankman-Fried was arrested in December 2022 after his crypto exchange FTX went belly up. The spectacular collapse was caused by a spike

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DZ BANK startet eigene Crypto Verwahrung

Deutschland’s DZ BANK hat eine neue Plattform für die Abwicklung und Verwahrung digitaler Finanzinstrumente in Betrieb genommen.
Damit gehört das genossenschaftliche Institut zu den ersten Kreditinstituten, die auf Basis der Blockchain-Technologie ein solches Angebot für institutionelle Kunden auf den Weg gebracht haben. Die DZ BANK ist mit einem Volumen von über 300 Mrd. EUR nach BNP Paribas und State Street die drittgrößte Verwahrstelle in Deutschland, unter den deutschen Verwahrstellen ist sie die größte.
Holger Meffert
„Wir gehen davon aus, dass innerhalb der nächsten zehn Jahre wesentliche Anteile des Kapitalmarktgeschäfts über Distributed Ledger Technologie (DLT) basierte Infrastrukturen abgewickelt werden. Auf mittelfristige Sicht sehen wir die DLT als komplementäre Technologie zu

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Swiss National Bank Launches Pilot Project With CBDC for Financial Institutions

On 1 December 2023, the Swiss National Bank – together with six commercial banks – will start a pilot project with central bank digital currency for financial institutions (wholesale CBDC) on the regulated platform of SIX Digital Exchange (SDX).
With this pilot, called Helvetia Phase III, the SNB will for the first time issue real wholesale CBDC in Swiss francs on a financial market infrastructure based on distributed ledger technology (DLT). The SNB is thus moving its work from test environments into production and is making wholesale CBDC available for the settlement of real bond transactions. The banks involved will carry out the transactions on the DLT platform as intermediaries for issuers and investors. The tokenised bonds will be settled against wholesale CBDC on a

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Hypi Lenzburg startet mit neuem Angebot für Digitale Assets und Krypto-Banking

Bei der Hypothekarbank Lenzburg können ab sofort digitale Assets auf einer öffentlichen Blockchain sicher verwahrt werden. Einen ersten Anwendungsfall realisiert die Bank mit der RealUnit Schweiz AG.
Die Hypothekarbank Lenzburg hat ihre Organisationsstruktur und das Kernbankensystem Finstar so erweitert, dass sie nun Dienstleistungen für digitale Assets anbieten kann. Den Anfang macht sie mit dem Verwahrungsangebot für digitale Registerwertrechte ausgewählter Partnerfirmen, die auf der Ethereum-Blockchain emittiert wurden. Solche Token können ab sofort bei der Bank sicher aufbewahrt werden. Mit dem neuen Angebot erweitert die Bank ihr Tätigkeitsfeld und etabliert den neuen Geschäftsbereich Krypto-Banking.
Reto Huenerwadel
«Wir haben in den vergangenen Monaten intensiv daran gearbeitet und

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Eurex Expands Its Crypto Derivatives Suite With Options on FTSE Bitcoin Index Futures

Eurex was the first exchange in Europe to offer Bitcoin index futures in April 2023. After this successful implementation, Eurex now expands the trusted path to crypto with the launch of Options on FTSE Bitcoin Index Futures. This is another major milestone in Eurex’s ambition to offer secure access to cryptocurrencies in a regulated market environment.
Regulated access to cryptocurrencies
The cryptocurrency market has undergone a volatile period in the past year. This has highlighted the need of a credible, safe, and regulated marketplace supporting the trading and risk management of digital assets. Institutional investors have shown broad interest for this new offering, based on a robust underlying index from our established index partner FTSE Russell, which is supported by Eurex

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Zuger Kantonalbank Launches Crypto Asset Trading and Storage

The first cantonal bank to offer clients straightforward trading and secure storage of the most common cryptocurrencies. The offering complements its existing investment services and is delivered within a fully regulated banking environment.
As of today, Zuger Kantonalbank clients are able to invest in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, Litecoin, Polygon and Uniswap. The digital assets can be bought, traded and stored simply and conveniently via the bank’s e-banking or mobile banking services, and are traded in US dollars. Trading takes place from Monday to Friday, between 1.30 a.m. and 10.00 p.m. Naturally, the offering is available to new clients as well.
Hanspeter Rhyner
“For some time now, we’ve seen that the growing demand for cryptocurrencies is no longer coming from

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UBS Asset Management Launches First Blockchain-Native Tokenized VCC Fund Pilot in Singapore

UBS Asset Management has launched its first live pilot of a tokenized Variable Capital Company (VCC) fund. The fund is part of a wider VCC umbrella designed to bring various “real world assets” on-chain as part of Project Guardian, a collaborative industry initiative led by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
Thomas Kaegi
Thomas Kaegi, Head UBS Asset Management, Singapore & Southeast Asia, said:
“This is a key milestone in understanding the tokenization of funds, building on UBS’s expertise in tokenizing bonds and structured products. Through this exploratory initiative, we will work with traditional financial institutions and fintech providers to help understand how to improve market liquidity and market access for clients.”
Utilizing the firm’s in-house tokenization service, UBS

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New Study Sheds Light on Crypto’s Super-Rich

Over the past decade, the rise of cryptocurrency has created a new class of millionaires and billionaires. The early adopters, investors, business founders, and more broadly, those who bought in early and held onto their investments, became extremely rich, accumulating massive wealth as prices soared.
A new report by wealth and investment migration specialists Henley and Partners, released on September 05, 2023, shares insights into the state of crypto wealth, providing exclusive statistics on crypto and bitcoin millionaires, centi-millionaires, and billionaires.
According to the report, the total market value of crypto stood at around US$1.2 trillion in July 2023. The market had about 425 million users with around 0.02% of these crypto users, or 88,200 crypto investors, being crypto

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Funding Overview Blockchain Germany 2023

The CV VC German Blockchain Report 2023 highlights Germany’s remarkable achievements in the blockchain sector, unveiling a 3% increase in blockchain funding and an all-time high share of global funding.
Covering data from Q3 2022 to Q2 2023, the report reveals that the German blockchain sector experienced an impressive 3% year-over-year increase in funding, totaling $355 million across 34 deals. In contrast, all continents saw YoY funding declines, with a 62% decline in funding and a 44% decrease in venture deals compared to the preceding four-quarter period.
The long-term trend of blockchain venture funding exhibited an upward trajectory: The German Blockchain Report 2023 presents its findings against the backdrop of a thorough and astute assessment of both sector-agnostic and blockchain

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33% Coupon on Helveteq’s First Multi Barrier Reverse Convertible on Crypto

Helveteq launched in Switzerland the their first Multi Barrier Reverse Convertible with three crypto currencies as underlying.
The product is admitted for broad distribution in Switzerland and offers investors to benefit from elevated volatility in the crypto currencies Bitcoin, Ripple and Solana.
Multi Barrier Reverse Convertibles are popular on baskets of equities. The products pay a fixed coupon while the redemption of the nominal value is dependent upon the performance of the underlyings relative to a barrier level. Helveteq’s product team, which has been securitizing traditional securities as well as digital assets for clients, thereby allows investors to benefit from higher return expectations (and higher risks) in the crypto markets. The first Helveteq product has an indicative

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Switzerland Sees Blossoming Digital Asset Custody Ecosystem: Study

Switzerland has established itself as a global leader in the custody of digital assets, a position the country has gained thanks to a conducive regulatory framework that’s encouraging innovation and diversity, a new report by industry trade group Home of Blockchain.swiss says.
The Swiss Digital Asset Custody Report 2023, released in June, provides an overview of the digital asset custody landscape in Switzerland, focusing on the services offered by various providers, their licensing status, and the types of storage they use.
In particular, the report highlights the innovation and diversity of the Swiss digital asset custody ecosystem, which includes various business models and providers ranging from technology companies to universal banks.
According to the report, Switzerland is currently

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Banks Team up with Fintech Companies to Enhance Payment Offerings

Banks from around the world are teaming up with fintech companies to expand their payment offerings in a bid to enhance customer experience and respond to rising competition, a new analysis by FXC Intelligence, a financial data company specializing in international payments, payment cards, cryptocurrency and e-commerce industries, shows.
A new report released on June 16, 2023 looks at bank-fintech partnerships announced in Q2 2023, highlighting trends that emerged in the last quarter.
According to the report, banks are actively pursuing partnership opportunities with digital players as they seek to stay relevant.
In Q2 2023, several partnerships were announced, focusing on helping banks to either launch new payment products, improve their cross-border payment offerings or prepare for a

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Bitcoin Crosses US$30K Mark Following Slew of Spot ETF Announcements

The price of bitcoin crossed the US$30,000 mark last week, driven by investors’ excitement about the prospects of high-profile investment firms jumping deeper into digital assets by launching spot crypto exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, rose 15% following news that big name issuers were looking to launch spot bitcoin ETFs. Bitcoin surpassed the US$31,000/BTC mark on June 23, 2023, its highest level over the past 18 months. The crypto has surged by more than 80% since the beginning of the year.
image via Unsplash
The frenzy was fueled by the news that BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager with roughly US$9 trillion, filed on June 15 for a spot bitcoin ETF. The iShared Bitcoin Trust would track the cryptocurrency’s

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Mastercard Accelerates Go-To-Market Opportunities for Blockchain Innovation

Expanded Mastercard Engage partner network will help scale digital assets and blockchain technology, and meet continued ecosystem demand
As Mastercard’s continues to embrace new and emerging payments technology such as crypto, Mastercard is introducing a new track as part of its global Engage partner network to allow businesses to quickly launch and scale products that power the Web3 economy.
Mastercard Engage makes it simple for partners to collaborate with Mastercard and accelerate time to market for product innovation through access to the company’s global network, expertise, technology, and resources. Last year alone, more than 150 Engage partners helped their customers deploy innovative solutions on more than 500 million accounts using Mastercard products and services.
The expanded

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Bank of China and UBS Issue First Fully Digital Tokenized Structured Notes in Hong Kong

BOCI (Bank of China) has successfully issued CNH 200 million fully digital structured notes, making it the first Chinese financial institution to issue a tokenized security in Hong Kong. The product was originated by UBS and placed to its clients in Asia Pacific, marking a long-term collaboration between BOCI and UBS in the space of digital structured notes.
UBS had issued a USD 50 million tokenized fixed rate note in December 2022 under English and Swiss law, digitized on a permissioned blockchain.
By issuing these digital securities, both BOCI and UBS have taken new steps in terms of applicable law and blockchain types. This transaction marks the first product of its kind in Asia Pacific constituted under Hong Kong and Swiss law and tokenized on the main Ethereum blockchain, successfully

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Blockchain Zug Initiative sichert sich vom Kanton 40 Millionen CHF

Der Zuger Regierungsrat will sich während fünf Jahren mit total 39,35 Millionen an den Aufbaukosten der «Blockchain Zug – Joint Research Initiative», einem gemeinsamen innovativen Projekt der Universität Luzern und der Hochschule Luzern, beteiligen. Dadurch wird das Crypto-Valley international zum Zentrum für die Blockchain-Forschung.
Der Regierungsrat beantragt dem Kantonsrat die Gründung eines Zuger Instituts an der Universität Luzern mit neun Lehrstühlen und eine Verstärkung der bisherigen Forschungsaktivitäten an der Hochschule Luzern. Zudem wird eine Kooperations- und Kommunikationsplattform, ein sogenannter Hub, geschaffen.
Zug als führendes Zentrum für Blockchain-Technologie
Taennler-Heinz
Mit der vom Kanton unterstützten Initiative soll Zug zu einem weltweit führenden Zentrum für

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Illicit Crypto Volume Reaches All-Time High Despite Markets Slump

In spite of a market downturn and a prolonged “crypto winter”, the volume of illicit cryptocurrency transactions continued to rise in 2022, reaching an all-time high of US$20.6 billion, new data released by blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis show.
Total cryptocurrency value received by illicit addresses, 2017-2022, Source: The 2023 Crypto Crime Report, Chainalysis
The sum represents a 13.8% increase from the previous all-time high of US$18.1 billion recorded in 2021, and comes despite a market slump that saw total capitalization plummeting by more than 60%. Total market capitalization started off the year 2022 at US$2.2 trillion to hit an annual low of US$810 million in December.
The price of bitcoin fell by more than 75% in 2021, dropping from an all-time high of US$64,000 in

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Formula 1 Sponsorship Deals with Blockchain Companies Shrink Amid Crypto Scandals and Bear Market

After a buoyant year 2022, sponsorship deals with blockchain and cryptocurrency companies for the Formula One (F1) race are shrinking this year on the back of high-profile collapses and turbulent markets.
A Bloomberg analysis found that while all teams had at least one crypto-native sponsors in 2022, that proportion declined to 70% this year, as of June. The trend suggests that F1 may be re-evaluating its ties with the crypto industry amid the FTX scandal and a prolonged “crypto winter”.
Mercedes-AMG signed in 2021 a sponsorship agreement with now bankrupt FTX but the deal was suspended last year when the exchange shut down. Mercedes team principal Torger Christian Wolff said in a statement that the collapse of FTX has left Mercedes in “utter disbelief” and that the sector needs to be

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30 Must-Attend Sessions at Money20/20 Europe 2023

Money20/20, one of the world’s largest fintech event series, is coming back on June 06-08 at the RAI Amsterdam Convention Centre in Amsterdam for its annual European edition.
This year’s event is expected to host over 300 industry-leading speakers, including visionary executives from global banks like HSBC, Barclays, and J.P. Morgan; trailblazing fintech companies like GoCardless, Stripe, and Plum; as well as representatives from national and supranational European governments.
This diverse roster of speakers will be dissecting the myriad of challenges faced by players in the industry, tackling topics such as the impact of the cryptocurrency crackdown, the new frontiers of generative artificial intelligence (AI), forthcoming European regulations, and ways to navigate the economic

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Swiss Banks Unlikely to Migrate to Blockchain, DLT Systems, Says SNB Advisor

While some banks have started experimenting with blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT), widespread migration to these systems are unlikely to occur due to a number of roadblocks, including regulatory and compliance challenges, the high costs of the endeavor, as well as uncertainties about the long-term benefits and potential disruption of the technology on existing business models, Benjamin Müller, an advisor on banking operations for the Swiss National Bank (SNB), said during an industry event last month.
At the Digital Monetary Institute symposium, held on May 10 and 11 in London, Müller took part in a panel discussion that brought together top executives representing Banque de France, Goldman Sachs, Clifford Change and SNB. The panel discussed asset tokenization, the

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Kanton Zug Increases Maximum Tax Payment Amount With Cryptos to CHF 1.5 Million

The Canton of Zug is increasing the transaction limit for tax payments with the cryptocurrencies Bitcoin and Ether from CHF 100,000 to CHF 1.5 million with immediate effect. This measure will facilitate access to digital means of payment and meet the increasing needs of Zug’s population and companies.
Heinz Tännler
“We are proud that the Canton of Zug has been a pioneer in the use of cryptocurrencies for years. With the increase in the transaction limit, we are setting another example of the acceptance and spread of this innovative payment method,”
says Finance Director Heinz Tännler.
Since the introduction of crypto payment options, tax payments with a total volume of around CHF 2 million have been settled in Bitcoin and Ether in around 150 transactions in the canton of Zug. Due to the

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The Top 50 Crypto VC’s in 2023

The USA is dominant in the cryptocurrency venture capital (VC) game, representing more than 71% of the total amount of capital under management from the top 50 crypto-focused VC funds, a new report by Coinstack Partners, a boutique investment bank for crypto and Web 3.0 companies, shows.
Global crypto VC by city – Top 50 firms, Source: The Crypto VC List 2023, Coinstack, March 2023
The report, which looks at VC funding activity in the crypto space, reveals that US crypto funds are now managing more than US$42.4 billion worth of assets of the total US$59.6 billion under management from the top 50 crypto-focused VC funds. The figure makes the US the biggest VC investor in the crypto space, well ahead of other prominent locations such Hong Kong, the UK and Singapore.
Looking at the world’s

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Frankfurt University Forms Master in Blockchain & Digital Assets

Frankfurt School of Finance Center and its Blockchain center designed a new four semester long post-experience master program (MSc) last year. The Frankfurt School’s goal is to provide the expert knowledge necessary to students looking to shape and lead blockchain innovation around the globe and in all industries.
Technical and economical understanding on the topics of blockchain, digital assets (including Bitcoin and Ethereum), DeFi, Web3, tokenization, smart contracts, NFTs, financial technology, metaverse, digital euro, CBDCs, legal frameworks and entrepreneurship are part of the curriculum that is taught in seven block weeks and further deepened during the students’ master thesis. Application deadline is autumn 2023, and lectures will commence in October 2023.
During the study program,

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User Authentication Enters New Era, Enabled by Biometrics, Blockchain, AI

Technological advancements, including biometrics, blockchain, encryption and artificial intelligence (AI), are fueling the advent of more efficient and secure authentication mechanisms.
New methods and trends including passworldless authentication are already seeing significant traction from customers, which perceive them as not only more convenient than traditional authentication methods but also more reliable, a study by Entrust, an authentication specialist, found.
The Future of Identity Report, released in March, shares findings of a global survey of 1,450 consumers across 12 countries, aiming to shed light on the identity market and identify emerging trends.
While passwords have traditionally been the most popular means of primary authentication, results from the study show that they

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Ondato Rolls Out Its Know Your Business Solution in Poland

London-based regtech firm Ondato has launched an expanded Know Your Business (KYB) solution to give local and international organisations operating in Poland automated tools for fully compliant business customer onboarding.
The extended coverage provides complete data about Polish entities, including the latest sanctions lists.
This enables online banks, Electronic Money Institutions (EMIs), credit institutions, cryptocurrency marketplaces, gambling services companies, legal and audit advisors, and more to verify the legal status and compliance of customers in Poland
Unlike KYC, which addresses consumer onboarding, KYB processes analyse business customers’ data and information to prevent sanctions breaking, fraud, money laundering, and terrorist financing.
They make it harder for

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SweePay and SMART VALOR Brings Crypto to Masses at National Railways, Retailers

The Swiss crypto exchange SMART VALOR and the financial intermediary SweePay has partnered to ensure that the purchase of cryptocurrencies at Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) ticket machines is simple, smooth and secure.
Since 2016, it has been possible to buy crypto at the 1,500 (expected number of ticket machines as of 2023) ticket machines of the SBB.
At the SBB ticket machines, users will receive their Bitcoin in a secure paper wallet when they buy the crypto. They will need to enter the desired amount (between CHF 20 and CHF 500), input their mobile phone number and confirm the TAN sent to the machine. The machine then prints out the paper wallet with the crypto amount purchased.
Additionally, SMART VALOR and SweePay have also enabled the purchase of crypto at Valora Holding’s sales

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Swiss Central Bank Payment Vision Outlining Focus on DLT, Tokenization and Instant Payments

The Swiss National Bank (SNB) has shared how it intends to “future-proof” the domestic payment ecosystem, outlining its ambition to leverage technologies and processes including tokenization and distributed ledger technology (DLT) to establish an “efficient, reliable and secure ecosystem” that’s geared towards “the future of cashless payments in Switzerland,” SNB governing board member, Andréa Maechler, said during an event on March 30, 2023.
The payment system is undergoing a profound transformation, driven by ongoing digitalization and the increasing use of new technologies, Maechler told the audience in her speech at the semi-annual Money Market event. These are enabling new forms of money and are fundamentally changing the way people make payments.
Thomas Moser and Andréa Maechler at

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The Top 3 European Wealthtech Trends

By 2030, affluent clients with assets of EUR 100,000 and up will have access to a highly diversified range of alternative assets comprising private debt, venture capital (VC), real assets, and more. They will benefit from highly personalized financial plans and advice, enabled by automation technology and data analytics. Additionally, advanced digital platforms and features like portfolio aggregation will provide them with a more frictionless experience.
These are the three main trends outlined in Wealthtech Radar 2023, a paper produced by German wealthtech software provider Fincite. The paper, which draws on insights from more than 20 experts organizations such as InVenture Capital, the University of Munich, the Frankfurt School Blockchain Center, Sprengnetter Gruppe and Morningstar,

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Incore Bank Signs Maerki Baumann as First Client For SDX Ethereum Staking

InCore Bank can now offer Ethereum staking capabilities that are fully compliant with Know-Your-Client (KYC) and Anti-Money-Laundering (AML) regulations to their clients.
In this collaboration, InCore Bank provides crypto brokerage, banking operations and custody services, while SDX Web3 provides crypto custody and non-custodial-staking services.
The Zurich-based private bank Maerki Baumann launched its crypto strategy in 2019. Apart from corporate accounts for companies focusing on blockchain technology and crypto applications, it offers services in crypto trading and custody in collaboration with InCore Bank. Maerki Baumann will continue to expand its crypto offering by making the new Ethereum staking services available to its private and corporate tech banking clients.
Mark Dambacher

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Postfinance Partners With Sygnum Bank to Offer Cryptocurrencies

PostFinance partners with Sygnum, the world’s first digital asset bank, to offer its customers a range of regulated digital asset banking services via Sygnum’s B2B banking platform.

PostFinance’s partnership with Sygnum Bank enables the launch and ongoing expansion of regulated, bank-grade digital asset products and services for its customers
PostFinance’s customers will be able to buy, store and sell leading cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum
Sygnum’s B2B offering empowers partner banks with a fast, cost-efficient market entry with innovative, regulated and compliant products

PostFinance has analyzed its customers’ investment needs and uncovered a strong demand for digital investment services. By leveraging Sygnum’s B2B banking platform, PostFinance will seamlessly integrate

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UBS Completes Cross-Border Intraday Trade On Broadridge’s Blockchain-Powered Platform

Global financial technology company Broadridge Financial Solutions announced that UBS and a global Asian bank have successfully executed a cross-border intraday repo transaction on its blockchain-enabled platform.
This intraday trade marks the launch of the next phase in the rollout of Broadridge’s Distributed Ledger Repo (DLR) platform.
This platform provides a utility where market participants can agree, execute, and settle repo transactions, providing flexible settlement cycles based on counterparts’ needs.
The DLT Repo platform significantly increases settlement velocity and collateral mobility, thus making intraday possible. The platform also reduces the operating cost and risk of all repo activity, including well as overnight and term repos.
Beatriz Martin
“Intraday repo is a

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With SIC5 Around the Corner, Experts Weigh in on Possible Impact of Instant Payments in Switzerland

Instant payments are scheduled for rollout in Switzerland in the summer 2024, opening up new opportunities in payment transactions, digital commerce and customer experiences. But the new standard will also put pressure on banks’ lucrative card businesses and will cost financial institutions a stiff amount in implementation, industry experts warn.
Starting August 2024, all banks operating in Switzerland and processing over 500,000 payments per year will be required to implement the new standard and be able to receive instant payments, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) has mandated. In an initial phase, these real-time transfers will be capped at CHF 20,000.
The second phase will require all participants in the Swiss Interbank Clearing (SIC) network to be able to receive and execute real-time

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CV Labs Selects 9 Startups for the Fifth Batch of Its Blockchain Accelerator

CV Labs, the international ecosystem builder of blockchain venture capital firm CV VC, announced the fifth batch of its global blockchain business accelerator.
Nine startups were selected from over sixty countries for the Batch_05 based on the impact and utility that their solution will bring.
The CV Labs Accelerator provides each participant up to US$135,000 capital, access to other capital avenues, one-on-one mentorship, and customised growth hacks for blockchain entrepreneurs.
Participants will also benefit from the infrastructure of the broader Crypto Valley ecosystem which is counted as the most mature blockchain hub globally with over 1000 entities operating within the most favorably regulated system. Many of them are located in CV Labs’ hi-spec office space.
The accelerator will

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8 Hot DeFi Startups in Europe to Watch in 2023

Despite slumping markets, the decentralized finance (DeFi) industry continued to grow last year, driven by sustained funding activity and increased user adoption.
In 2022, DeFi users growth averaged 44% quarter-over-quarter (QoQ), according to a report by crypto fund HashKey Capital. In Q3 2022, the industry reached a milestone, surpassing the five million DeFi wallet threshold.
This growth came amid sustained support from investors in the cryptocurrency sector. In 2022, DeFi companies raised a total of US$2.71 billion in funding, almost triple the US$930 million raised in 2021 and over 41 times the US$65 million raised in 2020, data from crypto data aggregator CoinGecko show.
As interest in and usage of DeFi continue to grow, a number of young ventures are rising to fame on the back of

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Shift Crypto und Pocket Bitcoin verkünden langfristige Partnerschaft

Shift Crypto, der Schweizer Hardware-Wallet-Hersteller, geht eine Partnerschaft mit Pocket Bitcoin ein.
Pocket Bitcoin ist ein Schweizer Bitcoin-Broker, der die einfachste Möglichkeit bietet, Bitcoin direkt auf die eigene Wallet zu stacken. Beide Unternehmen haben ihren Sitz in der Schweiz und verfolgen das gemeinsame Ziel, den Zugang zu und die Verwahrung von Bitcoin einfacher und sicherer zu machen.
Die Unternehmen arbeiten zusammen, um eine günstigere, noch einfachere und sicherere Möglichkeit zu bieten, regelmäßig Bitcoin zu kaufen. Pocket Bitcoin bietet bereits einen einfachen DCA-Service an. Die Hardware-Wallet BitBox02 ermöglicht es Nutzern, Bitcoin sicher aufzubewahren und einfach zu transferieren. Ihr Code ist vollständig quelloffen, einschließlich der dazugehörigen BitBoxApp, die

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Schweizer Bitcoin Startup Relai schliesst $4.5M Finanzierungsrunde ab

Relai, die Schweizer Bitcoin-App, gibt eine Investitionsrunde in Höhe von 4,5 Millionen US-Dollar bekannt, die von ego death capital angeführt wird. Weitere Investoren sind Timechain, Cabrit Capital und Lightning Ventures. An der Investitionsrunde beteiligten sich auch der Hauptinvestor von Relai, Redalpine, und der Seed-Stage-Investor Fulgur Ventures, die beide erneut investierten.
In Juni 2021 hatte Relai deren Series A (2.5Mio CHF) abgeschlossen und letzten Mai auch via Crowdfunding von der Community weitere 2.1Mio CHF beschafft.
Julian Liniger
“Der aktuelle Bärenmarkt ist der perfekte Zeitpunkt, um sich auf das Wesentliche zu konzentrieren: ein erstklassiges Produkt zu entwickeln, ein nahtloses Benutzererlebnis zu bieten und Menschen über Bitcoin als die beste Spar-Technologie, die je

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Crypto Money Laundering Reaches New Heights; Totaled US$23.8B in 2022

In 2022, cryptocurrency money laundering reached a new record, with illicit addresses sending US$23.8 billion worth of crypto, a figure which represents a 68% year-on-year (YoY) increase, new data from Chainalysis, an American blockchain analysis firm, show.
Total cryptocurrency laundered by year, 2015-2022 Source: Chainalysis, Jan 2023
Just under half of the funds sent from these addresses traveled directly to centralized exchanges, making these services the biggest recipients of illicit crypto, the report says.
Mainstream centralized crypto exchanges are critical services for money laundering, helping criminals turn their crypto into cash. This is despite being among the most heavily regulated crypto services, and being required to have compliance measures in place to report illegal

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ABN AMRO Issues Digital Bond on Stellar Blockchain

ABN Amro became the first bank in the Netherlands to register a digital bond on the public blockchain, using Fireblocks. The digital bond was issued to a select group of investors to raise funds on behalf of APOC, an ABN Amro commercial client in the aerospace industry.

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Switzerland’s Premier Crypto Conference Returns With a Two-Day Format in Zurich & Davos

Wrapped around the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF), the CryptoSummit.ch will kick off on Monday, 16th January 2023 at the Hyatt Circle Conference Centre at Zurich airport. The second day of the event is set to take place on Friday, 20th January 2023 in Davos.

The theme of CryptoSummit.ch 2023
The theme of the CryptoSummit.ch 2023 is regaining trust in crypto and advancing technology.
It is set to open with the keynote from Charles Hoskinson, the Founder of Cardano Foundation, followed by a broad series of topics throughout the day, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum evolution, layer 2 scaling solutions, Defi, Web 3 and applications in the banking industry. Investors may be interested in topics like the crypto market outlook in 2023, the best investment strategies in a bear

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Year End Message to Our Readers – Offline From 23rd December to 2nd January

Fintech News Switzerland would like to take this opportunity to wish all our readers a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.
We will be taking a break from the 23rd December 2022 to the 2nd January 2023.
Until then, you can access some of our year-end articles that may be of interest to you. We look forward to seeing you all again on the 3rd January 2023!
Crypto Winter Wipes Out 72,000 Bitcoin Millionaires in 2022

BIS: New Global Bank Standards for Cryptoassets

IFZ Insurtech Study: European Insurtech Industry Increased 20% This Year

The Swiss Fintech Worldcup Football Team 2022

Swiss Universal Banks Top Digital Performance Ranking Ahead of Neobanks and Challengers

The post Year End Message to Our Readers – Offline From 23rd December to 2nd January appeared first on Fintech

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UBS Issues USD 50 Million Tokenized Debt Securities for Asia Pacific

UBS has closed the first tokenized debt transaction for Asia Pacific investors, underlining its commitment to expand regional investment opportunities. UBS AG London branch issued USD 50 million in digital fixed rate security tokens (‘digital securities’) using blockchain technology to a series of high net worth and global family and institutional wealth investors across Hong Kong and Singapore.

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Governments, International Bodies Ramp up Crypto Tax Regulations

Over the past year, governments and regulatory bodies from around the world have increased their focus on the taxation of the cryptocurrency industry, a trend that comes on the back of increasing investment, adoption and innovation in the space despite collapsing prices and high profile business failures, a new report by consulting firm PwC says.
PwC’s 2022 Global Crypto Tax Report, released earlier this month, looks at the state of crypto taxation globally, exploring emerging trends and key developments that have occurred over the past year.
According to the report, 2022 has been marked by increasing tax regulation targeting the crypto sector, a trend that was prompted by major steps being taken by governments and international bodies like the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and

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New Swiss Fintech Startup Map Design for 2023

Together with their partners Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Swisscom and Clarafinds, eForesight has revised the Swiss Fintech Map and expanded the database as well as deleted some old and inactive players.
The main business area categories contain now 130 Swiss Investment Management Fintechs, 106 Banking Infrastructure Fintechs, 48 Deposit&Lending Fintechs and 55 Payment Fintechs. On top of that, the fintechs in the main categories on the map were sorted into technology clusters such as Big Data (84), Process Digitization (135) and DLD Blockchain (102).
The map was also cleaned up, which means inactive Swiss Fintechs were deleted from the map. This means for 2023 the new count starts now with 339 Swiss Fintechs, about 32 Fintechs less than the previous months.

 
Check

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The State of the German Blockchain Ecosystem

Despite a global venture capital (VC) pullback, shrinking valuations and public market turmoil, Germany’s blockchain VC funding market remained stable this year, with companies in the space securing a total of US$218 million across 20 deals year-to-date (YTD), just US$37 million short of 2021’s US$255 million, a new report by CV VC, a Swiss VC and private equity firm specialized in cryptocurrency and blockchain solutions, shows.

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A.P. Moller – Maersk and IBM to Discontinue Blockchain Trade Platform Tradelens

A.P. Moller – Maersk  and IBM announced the decision to withdraw the TradeLens offerings and discontinue the platform.
Starting immediately, the TradeLens team is taking action to withdraw the offerings and discontinue the platform, and the intent is that the platform will go offline by end of quarter one, 2023. During this process all parties involved will ensure that customers are attended to without disruptions to their businesses.
Maersk will continue its efforts to digitise the supply chain and increase industry innovation through other solutions to reduce trade friction and promote more global trade.

“We are deeply grateful for the relentless efforts of our committed industry members and many tech talents, who together have worked diligently to advance the digitalisation of the

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Crypto Winter Wipes Out 72,000 Bitcoin Millionaires in 2022

Crypto comparison website Bitstacker conducted a study which found that there was a 70% drop in Bitcoin millionaires in November 2022 when compared to January 2022 due to the ongoing ‘crypto winter’.
72,000 Bitcoin holders were no longer millionaires due to the drop in BTC prices from US$46,208 at the start of 2022 to US$15,759 at the time of the study in November.

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Bitpanda Receives Full Crypto Custody and Trading License in Germany

Austrian crypto platform Bitpanda has received a full operating license from the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority or BaFin for the custody and proprietary trading of crypto assets.
Bitpanda claims to be the first European retail investment platform to obtain the license which was introduced by BaFin in 2020, allowing it to actively market and offer services in the German market.
Founded in 2014, Bitpanda now has nearly four million investors on its platform.

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Total Funding to Portuguese Fintech Companies Surpasses EUR 1B Mark

In 2022, the Portuguese fintech ecosystem entered a new stage of development, marked by greater maturity of the sector, continued innovation through partnerships and a dynamic venture capital (VC) market, a new report by industry trade group Portugal Fintech, in collaboration with KPMG, Visa and law firm Morais Leitao, claims.
The Portugal Fintech Report 2022, released in October, shows a resilient fintech industry that has continued to grow, innovate and attract investors’ interest in 2022, despite falling tech stocks and concerns about an economic downturn.
This year, total funding to Portuguese fintech companies to date surpassed the EUR 1 billion mark, with blockchain and cryptocurrency, lending and credit, and regtech and cybersecurity attracting the most funding. These segments

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BlackRock’s Fintech Bets Span Lending, Wealthtech, Crypto and More

BlackRock, one of the world’s largest asset managers, has been actively investing in the fintech industry over the past decade, participating in large rounds of financing across a broad range of segments, from payments and lending, to wealthtech and cryptocurrency, a new analysis by fintech-focused research firm WhiteSight shows.

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Swissquote Clients Can Now Invest in Dubai Financial Market’s Securities

Online trading platform Swissquote is now connected to the Dubai Financial Market (DFM), allowing clients to invest in and trade DFM-listed securities.
The platform is connected to the DFM through GTN Middle East and BHM Capital Financial Services’ direct market access route, and is expected to boost DFM-listed securities’ accessibility to investors outside the UAE.
Swissquote is a provider of online financial services granting its clients access to trade a range of asset classes including stocks, ETFs, funds, bonds, derivatives and more.

The company launched a cryptocurrency exchange called SQX earlier this month and previously partnered with Postfinance to launch digital banking app Yuh in mid-2021.

“Given our local and international client base, providing direct access to the growing

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neon’s Crowdfunding Campaign Reaches CHF 5 Million on Its First Day

Swiss neobank neon’s crowdfunding campaign reached CHF 5 million of its CHF 10 million target with more than 2,000 investors participating on the first day of the campaign.
The campaign, which runs from October 25 to 31, is offering two to 250 non-voting shares priced at CHF 200.00 per share. The company aims to sell a total of 50,000 shares.
According to the campaign page, neon’s recent milestones include hitting 130,000 users, generating CHF 3.5 million in revenue year to date, and launching new card and community features.

The company says that it expects to reach CHF 6 million in sales by the end of the year, and that it plans to move into stock and cryptocurrency trading next.
neon shared that it also raised CHF 2.5 million in funding from institutional investors in September.
The

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N26 Launches New Cryptocurrency Trading Feature With Bitpanda

German neobank N26 has launched its cryptocurrency product in Austria to enable customers to buy and sell 194 cryptocurrencies in their app.
The N26 Crypto feature will be made available progressively to eligible customers in Austria over the coming weeks, as well as in other key markets over the next six months.
The launch addresses strong local demand, where internal research showed that 40% of N26 users are either actively trading, or have expressed interest in investing in cryptocurrencies.

N26 Crypto is offered in partnership with Austrian cryptocurrency platform Bitpanda, which manages the execution of trades and custody of coins.
N26 Metal customers will be able to make transactions with a 1% transaction fee applied for trading Bitcoin and 2% for all other available

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Wealth Managers Reluctant to Invest in Crypto

Wealth managers around the world are still reluctant to invest in cryptocurrency on behalf of their clients amid concerns over the lack of regulation, the lack of education as well as high volatility, a new study by American asset management company Mercer found.

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Relai Partners Checkout.com to Enable Instant Bitcoin Purchases

Swiss Bitcoin investment app Relai has partnered with global payments provider Checkout.com to enable its users to buy the cryptocurrency via Visa, Mastercard and Apple Pay in real time through its self-custodial wallet.
The partnership with Checkout.com is expected to allow users to have constant access to instant liquidity while also ensuring that they have full say over what happens to their assets.
Founded in 2020, Relai currently serves over 40 countries in Europe, has over 100,000 app downloads, 30,000 active users, and CHF 6 million in monthly volume.

The startup last raised a CHF 2.5 million Series A round in mid-2021 and recently made the TOP 100 Swiss Startup Awards 2022.
Checkout.com is a London-based payments solutions provider with a US$40 billion valuation. The company

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Swissquote Dives Into Cryptocurrency Trading With the Launch of SQX

Online trading platform Swissquote has launched a cryptocurrency exchange called SQX that aims to provide a more competitive and secure trading environment.
Unlike other crypto exchanges, SQX says that it prides itself on being a centralised trading platform as it believes that currency markets function on the back of long-standing bilateral relationships.
As such, Swissquote added that SQX’s new central order book, which sources and aggregates liquidity from different liquidity hubs, will allow it to source the best liquidity conditions from decentralised crypto markets — resulting in more competitive bid and ask prices.

The Bancor Network Token (BNT) will be available on SQX in the initial phase and other cryptocurrencies available at Swissquote will be added gradually. Clients will

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University of Zurich and ETH Zurich Among World’s Best Universities for Blockchain Education

The University of Zurich and ETH Zurich ranked third and 27th respectively on CoinDesk’s latest annual best universities for blockchain rankings.
The rankings were made from a shortlist of 240 institutions around the world, calculated based on their scholarly, industrial and pedagogical impact on blockchain.

Metrics that were taken into account included the institutions’ blockchain research publications, courses, degrees, conferences, clubs and industry partnerships or grants.

The rankings also took into account the institutions’ reputations, where their graduates get jobs, and other measurements from publicly available sources.
The University of Zurich moved up the rankings this year from fourth to third place, while ETH Zurich dropped from 10th place to 27th place.
The École

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Portofino Technologies Raises US$50M to Scale Its HFT Crypto Infrastructure

Digital asset trading technology provider Portofino Technologies has raised over US$50 million in equity funding from Valar Ventures, Global Founders Capital and Coatue to scale its technology across the full crypto infrastructure value chain.
The company, founded by former Citadel Securities executives Leonard Lancia and Alex Casimo, builds high-frequency trading (HFT) grade technology for institutions and Web3 projects that require digital asset liquidity.
Portofino says that it has traded billions of dollars across centralized and decentralized cryptocurrency venues and hired a team of 35 HFT specialists globally in the past year.

Leonard Lancia, CEO and Founder at Portofino said:
“This is only the start for Portofino. In Web3, every action is a transaction and we’re building the

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Press Communication in the Metaverse: Rent a PR Cooperates With Zreality

Access to the metaverse is complex and expensive, which is why it is so far used almost exclusively by large companies. The Zurich and Verbier-based PR agency Rent a PR, which has been providing on-demand public relations and communications consulting for five years and has been accepting Bitcoin payments since 2019, is setting another milestone with cooperation and press conferences in the metaverse.

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Financial Crimes in the Metaverse

Business executives are bullish on the prospect of the metaverse, predicting sizeable commercial opportunities in taking part in immersive virtual environments. But despite the high level of interest, industry stakeholders are also growing increasingly concerned over the possible risks brought about the concept.

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Hackers Tap Cross-Chain Bridges Vulnerabilities; Whopping US$2B Worth of Crypto Stolen

Hackers and cybercriminals are exploiting vulnerabilities found in cross-chain bridge protocols to siphon billions of dollars worth of cryptocurrencies out of wallets and smart contracts, a new report by blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis claims.
A total of 13 separate cross-chain bridge hacks have been recorded so far, netting criminals about US$2 billion, according to the firm. Most of these attacks took place this year, showing that the trend is proliferating and becoming a top security risk in the crypto industry.
Attacks on bridges account for 69% of total funds stolen in 2022 so far, totaling around U$1.4 billion, estimates Chainalysis. The biggest single event was the US$615 million haul snatched from the Ronin bridge in March 2022. Ronin is an Ethereum sidechain developed for

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Global Blockchain Funding Dip; Mega-Rounds Shrink

After a record year 2021, the venture capital (VC) market for blockchain investment is slowing down significantly in 2022 amid uncertain macroeconomic conditions and financial markets turmoil. In Q2 2022, VC investors scaled back cryptocurrency investments due to macroeconomic pressures, concerns about valuations and market volatility.

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Meta: Digital Collectibles to Showcase NFTs on Instagram

Starting this week on Instagram, Meta is testing digital collectibles with select US creators and collectors to share NFTs that they have created or bought. Meta/Instagram started with the international expansion to 100 countries in Africa, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, and the Americas.

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Blackrock Ties up With Coinbase to Offer Its Clients Crypto Trading and Custody

Asset manager BlackRock has selected cryptocurrency exchange platform Coinbase to provide the institutional clients of Aladdin®, BlackRock’s end-to-end investment management platform, direct access to crypto starting with bitcoin.
Coinbase Prime will provide crypto trading, custody, prime brokerage, and reporting capabilities to Aladdin’s institutional client base who are also clients of Coinbase.

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Swiss Blockchain-Insurtech Jarowa Raises CHF 12.4 Million Series A for Europe Expansion

JAROWA is a Swiss digital marketplace and transaction platform for insurance companies, property managers, and leasing companies to manage their trusted service providers and digital orders more efficiently. JAROWA has successfully closed its Series A funding round, led by Eos Venture Partners, a strategic venture capital fund focused on InsurTech. The proceeds will be used to further expand JAROWA’s offering throughout Europe.

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A Look at Switzerland’s Booming Digital Asset Ecosystem

In recent years, Switzerland’s blockchain and digital asset ecosystem has matured rapidly and grown into one of the world’s leading blockchain hubs, a position that’s asserted by its expanding workforce and a rising number of foreign companies setting up operations locally.

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Swiss and Singapore Regulators Unveil Inaugural Point Zero Forum

The Swiss Secretariat for International Finance (SIF) and Elevandi announced the programme and speaker line-up for the inaugural Point Zero Forum, taking place on 21-23 June in Zurich, Switzerland. Elevandi is a Company Limited by Guarantee (GLC) created by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to manage the Singapore Fintech Festival (SFF).

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Social Media Financial Scams Balloon

Around the world, fraudsters are turning to social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to reach billions of potential victims. As losses continue to pile up, regulators are voicing their concerns, with one going as far as suing a social media giant for not taking sufficient steps to tackle the rampant issue.

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Global Blockchain Sector Surged in 2021

2021 was a blockbuster year for the global blockchain sector, which saw funding activity surge, trading volumes balloon and further growth in key segments including custodians, exchanges, decentralized finance (DeFi), as well as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and the metaverse, a new report by Swiss blockchain-focused investment company CV VC, in collaboration with PwC Switzerland, says.

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Top 20+ Upcoming Fintech Events to Attend in Europe

Technological advances and evolving customer expectations are changing the financial landscape, stimulating fintech development and innovation. To keep up with the burgeoning fintech industry, top-quality fintech events are being organized on a regular basis to educate attendees on the latest trends and enable professionals to build meaningful connections.

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Swiss Blockchain Startup Wecan Chooses France for Its Expansion

Wecan Group SA, a Swiss Blockchain software provider used  Swiss private banks, is favoring an expansion in France for its internationalization. Behind this choice: an investment from Michel Reybier, owner of La Réserve hotels, and a selection in the Swave program, an initiative of the French government to attract the most promising fintechs in France.

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Google Cloud Meets Digital Assets and Crypto Payments

Blockchain technology is yielding tremendous innovation and value creation for consumers and businesses around the world. As the technology becomes more mainstream, companies need scalable, secure, and sustainable infrastructure on which to grow their businesses and support their networks. Google Cloud believes it can play an important role in this evolution.
Building on their existing work with blockchain developers, exchanges, and other companies in this space, Google Cloud announced a new dedicated Digital Assets Team within Google Cloud to support our customers’ needs in building, transacting, storing value, and deploying new products on blockchain-based platforms. This new team will enable our customers to accelerate their efforts in this emerging space and help underpin the

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The Top 8 Crypto Custodians

As investors increasingly incorporate digital assets into their portfolios, the crypto custody landscape continues to grow and mature. As of late-2021, around US$230 billion worth of digital assets, or about 9% of the total US$2.5 trillion cryptocurrency market, were being stored on the technology solutions of eight crypto custodians, separate research by The Block Research and Blockdata found.

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BBVA Switzerland Adds Ether to Its Crypto Trading Service

BBVA Switzerland, the Swiss franchise of Spanish multinational financial institution BBVA, has expanded its cryptocurrency custody and trading service with the addition of Ether to its investment portfolio.
Its private banking clients and new gen customers will now have access to both Bitcoin and Ether, a statement from the company said.

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German Regulator BaFin Grants Third Crypto Custody License to Tangany

Tangany has received a license from the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) as the third regulated service provider for the custody of digital assets in the country to provide crypto custody business. Furthermore, Tangany plans to apply for further licenses in Germany and Europe in the future and has already received preliminary permission from BaFin to manage registers of crypto securities.

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Coinbase to Invest US$500 Million Into Crypto Assets

American cryptocurrency exchange platform Coinbase announced that it has committed to invest US$500 million of its cash and cash equivalents into a diverse portfolio of crypto assets. Coinbase added that going forward, it will also allocate 10% of quarterly net income into this same portfolio.

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MoneyLion to Offer Crypto Investment Ahead of SPAC Merger

US-based neobank MoneyLion announced the launch of its new cryptocurrency capabilities, enabling customers to buy and sell digital currencies within its app. MoneyLion said that eligible customers will initially be able to buy and sell Bitcoin and Ethereum, as well as round-up their debit card purchases in Bitcoin.

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Blockchain-Based Invoice Factoring Firm Hiveterminal Expands to DACH Region

Blockchain-based invoice factoring platform Hiveterminal announced that it has expanded to the DACH region as part of its Europe growth plans. Hiveterminal aims to start cultivating relationships with Swiss-based small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) who need fast and continuous access to liquidity without going through the hassle of applying for bank financing.

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Facebook Pay To Be Available to Online Retailers Starting With Shopify

With digital payments picking up pace across the globe, social media giant Facebook is extending its payment services to online retailers. Shopify has become the first e-commerce platform to sign up for Facebook Pay. This will allow Shopify merchants to offer Facebook Pay as a payment option during checkout, eliminating the need to re-enter payment information for every transaction.

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56 Fintech Billionaires Worth a Combined US$327B in 2021

There are 56 fintech billionaires around the world who combine a total net worth of US$327.7 billion, data curated by Finextra based on Forbes’ 2021 World’s Billionaires list show. These represent some of the world’s biggest and most successful fintech companies in the world including Ant Group, PayPal, Stripe and Klarna.

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PayPal Allows American Customers to Use Cryptocurrencies for Purchases

PayPal announced the launch of Checkout with Crypto, where US customers will be able to choose to check out with crypto seamlessly. Building on the ability to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrency with PayPal, customers using Checkout with Crypto can check out safely and easily, converting cryptocurrency holdings to fiat currency, with certainty of value and no additional transaction fees.

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Austrian Crypto Broker Bitpanda Secures Unicorn Status With $170 Million Funding

Bitpanda, an Austrian digital investment platform dealing with cryptocurrency, announced that it has closed it Series B funding round with an investment of $170 million and attained unicorn status with a valuation of $1.2 billion.
The funding round was led by Valar Ventures with participation from partners of DST Global. Bitpanda had also previously secured $52 million during its Series A from Valar Ventures.
The Series B was signed last week and is currently in the necessary approval process of the Austrian Financial Market Authority (FMA).
Bitpanda said in a blog post that it would be using the new funding to expand its team which currently has 350 staff members to around 600.
The company has already expanded into France, Spain, Turkey, Italy and Poland in 2020 and will enter additional

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Switzerland’s Blockchain Fintech Industry in 2021

Switzerland is home to 130 startups that are applying blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) to finance use cases, new data from Swisscom show. Most of these companies (48%) operate in the banking infrastructure vertical, followed by investment management (24%), and payments (21%).

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