Tag Archive: Sci & Tech

Blockchain shares – who needs lawmakers?

The Swiss parliament will soon get to grips with merging the current financial system with new blockchain architecture. This is a bit like refitting your whole house to make sure the swanky new furniture and fittings blend in. Switzerland has deliberately chosen to not to tear the whole house down and build it again in a new style.

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Record number of new e-cars on Swiss roads

With 10,329 registrations so far this year, Switzerland and Liechtenstein have more new electric passenger cars than ever before. This is the first time the total hit the five-figure mark. The numbers reflect a 136.6% increase over last year’s fleet of new, completely electric passenger cars. What’s more, now e-cars represent 3.7% of all new cars in Switzerland and the principality next door, reported importer association Auto-Schweiz on Tuesday.

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Blockchain: your questions answered

Blockchain: the very name fascinates and bamboozles in equal measure. Although businesses based around the technology are popping up all over Switzerland, many still wonder what exactly it does and how it can improve their lives. The potential possibilities are myriad, yet many still appear tantalisingly out of reach.

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Using lake water to help reduce Switzerland’s carbon footprint

Swiss lakes offer huge potential as renewable energy sources that can be used to cool and heat buildings. Geneva is expanding a pioneering thermal exchange project to help meet its climate goals, while other regions are taking the plunge. After transport, the second and third biggest sources of national greenhouse gas emissions are Swiss industry (20% of total in 2017) and households (18%).

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Novartis and Microsoft to develop drugs using AI

Swiss pharmaceutical firm Novartis and computer giant Microsoft have signed a five-year partnership deal aimed at transforming the Basel-based pharma’s business - from finance to manufacturing - using artificial intelligence.

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Libra stablecoin project ‘no threat’ to financial system

Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency poses no threat to central banks or to financial law and order, the head of the Geneva-based Libra Association tells swissinfo.ch. Many regulators, politicians and central banks have reacted with alarm to the proposed new digital payments system.

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Swiss central bank asked to issue stock exchange digital currency

The Swiss stock exchange wants the country’s central bank to issue a form of cryptocurrency to settle payments on its new digital securities trading platform. If the Swiss National Bank (SNB) agrees, it would represent a departure from its cautious policy on digital currencies. Stock exchange operator SIX Group revealed at the Crypto Valley Association conference that traders on its forthcoming SDX platform would be able to swap cash for a new...

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‘Mature’ Swiss crypto industry demands banking access

Representatives from Switzerland’s growing cryptocurrency and blockchain sector say it has matured into a viable and respectable industry that demands to be taken seriously by banks. “The hype, nonsense and scams have gone away,” says Daniel Haudenschild, President of the Crypto Valley Association (CVA), referring to a “wild west” phase over the last two years that saw several flimsy and phony companies set up and go bust, burning millions in...

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Industry challenges blockchain during hackathon

More than 200 hackers from 19 countries converged on Switzerland at the weekend to take part in the Swiss Blockchain Hackathon. Participants were challenged to come up with blockchain innovations in a variety of sectors as diverse as finance, logistics and agriculture. Switzerland has hosted numerous hackathons over the past few years, designed to stimulate digital entrepreneurship using cutting-edge technologies. Several events have already spun...

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New Crypto Valley Association President seeks to heal divisions

The new President of the Crypto Valley Association has vowed to turn around the divided organization. Daniel Haudenschild was elected on Thursday evening together with a new board following months of unrest. Speaking to swissinfo.ch two days after his shock departure from Swisscom Blockchain, Haudenschild said his priorities are to heal divisions, build bridges between other blockchain groups in Switzerland and bring international business and...

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Blockchain start-up growth bucks Swiss trend

The number of blockchain companies in Switzerland grew 20% to reach 750 in the last three months of 2018. But the market capitalisation of such firms, measured by the dollar exchange rate of tokens in circulation, more than halved as crypto-assets nose-dived in value.

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Crypto bond catapults Swiss franc onto blockchain

A new bond has been launched in Switzerland to help investors and blockchain start-ups escape the volatility of cryptocurrencies. Issued by Swiss Crypto Tokens, the bond is a representation of the safe haven currency on the blockchain. The first 10 million units of the bond, each worth a franc and pegged to the Swiss currency, are sold out and will be issued on Thursday.

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Smart Valor tackles cryptocurrency volatility problem

Cryptoasset trading platform Smart Valor plans to launch a new cryptocurrency pegged to the Swiss franc. The CHFt coin will join a growing list of so-called ‘stable coins’ designed to dampen the huge price swings of cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, which limits their everyday use. Smart Valor said on Monday that it is in talks with Swiss banks and cryptocurrency exchanges to issue CHFt.

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Swiss investors launch $100m blockchain start-up factory

A consortium of Swiss investors has launched a private equity vehicle that aims to collect up to $100 million with the long-term goal of getting 1,000 blockchain companies off the ground internationally every year. The Swiss company Crypto Valley Venture Capital (CV VC) launched its initial “Genesis Hub” incubator in Zug, home to Switzerland’s Crypto Valley, on Thursday.

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Swiss work permit hassles putting off foreign workers

Switzerland has lost some of its appeal for foreign labour, according to a survey by an American multinational management consulting firm. Compared with 2014, Switzerland finished in eighth place – down three positions.

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‘New buyer found’ for ailing Monetas blockchain firm

Troubled Swiss blockchain payments firm Monetas has found a new mystery buyer to pull it out of the mire, swissinfo.ch has learned. The company has run into major problems in the last few months, including enforced bankruptcy proceedings and the acrimonious failure of a previous takeover. “We are in the process of completing the purchase formalities with a buyer of Monetas.

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Silent Circle founder joins metals-backed crypto coin project

Renowned cryptographer Philip Zimmermann, who moved his smartphone encryption firm Silent Circle to Switzerland four years ago, has signed up to the metals-backed crypto Tiberius Coin venture as chief science and security officer. Zimmermann, who was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame by the Internet Society in 2012, came to Switzerland to further develop his anti-snooping Blackphone away from invasive surveillance techniques in his native...

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Has Switzerland blown its crypto-opportunity?

Legendary United States crypto investor Tim Draper believes Switzerland has missed the boat in establishing itself as an attractive global hub for blockchain start-ups. Draper has invested in Tezos, which ran into a damaging governance row in Switzerland shortly after its initial coin offering (ICO) fundraiser.

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Swiss tech universities boost economy by CHF13 billion, report says

Switzerland’s federal technology institutes account for 100,000 jobs and CHF13 billion in added value to the economy, a new report calculates. This represents a fivefold return on investment, it claims. The institutes – notably the universities of EPFL in Lausanne and ETH in Zurich – have long been acknowledged as vital components of the Swiss image and economy; the reportexternal link by British consulting firm BiGGAR now tries to put a value on...

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Chinese bitcoin mining giant sets up Swiss hub

One of the world’s largest bitcoin miners is setting up a hub for European operations in Switzerland, a person familiar with company has confirmed to swissinfo.ch. The Chinese firm Bitmain Technologies is setting up in Zug just as the Chinese authorities move to shut down cryptocurrency miners.

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