A clear perspective on the Crypto Valley

10.10.2018 15:27

Switzerland is one of the leading crypto hot spots of the world. But how many companies are active in this field? How much money have they attracted? Which are the companies with the most  employees in Switzerland? A new report compiled by Zug-based investors CV VC, in collaboration with consultancy PwC Strategy& Switzerland and technology provider inacta provides answers.

The number of companies in Switzerland and Liechtenstein working with blockchain technology is growing rapidly. As of September 30, 2018, a total of over 600 blockchain related companies in Switzerland and Liechtenstein were registered on CV Maps, an online directory of the blockchain industry created and maintained by CV VC. The number is nearly double that recorded in the spring of this year. Companies include blockchain start-ups in the narrow sense of the term, as well as service providers, such as specialized consultancies, law firms, blockchain organizations and academic institutions. According to CV Maps database, these companies employ around 3000 people in Switzerland.

In addition, CV VC has worked with PwC Strategy& Switzerland and the information management firm inacta to identify the top 50 Crypto Valley companies based on CV Maps data. Companies qualifying for this crypto super-league must meet three criteria: Firstly, blockchain technology has to be part of the company’s core business, secondly, it must employ more than one person in Switzerland or Liechtenstein, and lastly, it should make some contribution to the blockchain ecosystem and the wider Crypto Valley community. There are three additional criteria, at least one of which must be fulfilled: Funding in excess of US$10 million, a valuation of more than U$10 million or the provision of at least 10 full-time positions in Switzerland or Liechtenstein. Because of this criteria the Top 50 also include companies with small subsidiaries in Switzerland and headquarters and top management abroad.

CV VC's report sheds light on the various sub-sectors of the industry of the Top 50, their market capitalization and their headcount. Some highlights at a glance:

- The Top 50 alone counts 443 employees. Most companies employ many more people abroad. The report lists six companies with over 20 employees in Switzerland. Bitcoin Suisse (45 employees), Crypto Finance (40), Lykke (30), Modum (28), Deon Digital (25) and Bity (21). 

- The Top 50 companies together have a market capitalization of around US$ 44 billion, however the consolidated value of the sector overall can only be estimated, as many companies do not publish exact data. 

- Five Blockchain Unicorns are either based in or have originated from the Crypto Valley: Bitmain (design and manufacture of high performance computing chips and software. Chinese company with office in Zug); Cardano Foundation (cryptocurrency and technological platform, headquartered in Zug); Dfinity (computer network for hosting business applications at scale, Dfinity foundation is headquartered in Zug); Ethereum (decentralized platform for running smart contracts, Stiftung Ethereum is headquartered in Zug); and Xapo (secure bitcoin wallet, subsidiary in Zug).

- Crypto Valley contains a large subset of the blockchain industry, from health tech to data analytics to e-government. Two secondary areas feature in the top 50 list: the first is broker, trade & exchange and the second is platform & protocol. Each is represented by 11 companies. Other sub-sectors that include many companies are hardware & middleware as well as community, P2P & loyalty.

"The Top 50 report shows that Crypto Valley has retained its appeal as a location for blockchain companies from all sectors" said Ralf Glabischnig, founder and managing partner of information management firm inacta, which built the CV Maps database. 

Partnership with PwC
CV VC’s collaboration with PwC in developing the Top 50 report is part of a long-standing strategic partnership between the consulting firm and CV Labs, the CV VC’s co-working space in the center of Zug. 

Daniel Diemers, PwC Strategy& EMEA Blockchain Leader, said: "Crypto Valley has grown enormously in just three short years. Even two or three years ago, there were just 10 to 15 companies in the blockchain industry. PwC was quick to realize the potential of Blockchain and how it is important for companies to understand the technology and to get close to innovative startups in the field“. 


Picture Fotolia / Denisis Magilov

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