Swiss Economics Minister Visits Zug Valley To Learn About Blockchain Technology

Last week, Switzerland-based blockchain association Crypto Valley Association announced that, during an educational visit to Zug (also known as Crypto Valley), Federal Councilor and Head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research Johann Schneider-Ammann affirmed that he would petition the Swiss Federal Council to allocate 150 million Swiss Francs to local startups.

Even as Schneider-Ammann acknowledged that he may face an uphill battle to free up the funds, he said, "This is the future [and] I don’t want us to be stuck in bureaucracy anymore." He met with representatives from various companies based in the Swiss valley, including event organizer Lakeside Partners, Validity Labs, Melonport, Etherisc, and digitalswitzerland.

The nearly four hour meeting began with an introduction from Matthias Michel, of the canton of Zug, and an overview of blockchain technology by CTO of Validity Labs, Dr. Sebastian Bürgel. Following Bürgel, Managing Partner of Lakeside Partners Matthias Ruch gave a presentation on how to establish startups. Melonport CEO Mona El Isa and Stephan Karpischek, co-founder of Etherisc, also spoke at the meeting.

The event concluded with a roundtable conversation between Schneider-Ammann and various speakers discussing the promotion of the blockchain ecosystem in Zug, as well as challenges for creating jobs and retaining and attracting foreign talent.

Should he gain the Swiss Federal Council's approval, Schneider-Ammann’s pledge to bring funding to blockchain startups will serve to further galvanize the industry, and continue to attract innovators to Crypto Valley.