Editorials

No end to blockchain

23.02.2018 13:44

The hype surrounding the cryptocurrencies is slowly ebbing away. What remains is a technology that fascinates regulators, founders, entrepreneurs and scientists alike.

Dear reader

Blockchain technology continues to be a much debated topic. At the end of last week, FINMA published guidelines for the implementation of Initial Coin Offerings (ICO), with the aim of creating transparency in view of the high demand. The reactions have been mostly positive, as a glance at some selected publications shows.

The momentum continues not only at the regulatory level, but also at the entrepreneurial: in Zug, the second Blockchain Competition, Europe’s largest blockchain start-up contest, was launched. And also in Zug, the first blockchain co-working space opened its doors on Tuesday. The tenants include ETH Zurich, which the day before took stock of its international Blockchain & IoT school.

In a 48-hour hackathon 180 students from all over the world participated and developed solutions in the fields of energy, sustainability, supply chain management and recycling. It shows that blockchain technology is more than just a platform for speculative crypto currencies; it is a basic technology with disruptive potential in a wide range of sectors.

Several competitions and funding programmes announced their finalists this week: the WA de Vigier Award, Startfeld Diamant, ZKB Pionierpreis Technopark Zurich and the F10 incubator.

SIX Swiss Exchange is aiming at the global fintech ecosystem with the F10. Nevertheless, there are no fewer than eight Swiss start-ups among the 15 finalists. The innovative strength of the location is also shown by Switzerland’s success rate in the EU’s Eurostars-2 programme: 27 of the 102 selected projects involve Swiss high-tech companies. Ten are start-ups and their R&D projects will receive a total of EUR18.5 million.

Looking ahead, the 10 start-ups that are flying to Silicon Valley with the venturelab initiative will appear in Zurich next Wednesday. And on the same day, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences in Zug will present the results of the highly acclaimed IFZ FinTech Study.

Have a good weekend

Jost Dubacher
Editor, Startupticker.ch

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