Despite challenging circumstances because of COVID-19, H1 2020 was marked by further growth and funding in Crypto Valley (Switzerland and Liechtenstein) across all areas including protocols, financial services, and other applications.
As of August 2020, Crypto Valley was home to 919 active blockchain firms employing over 4,700 people. In the first half of the year, 31 companies disappeared or moved, whereas 51 new companies joined the sector, according to the CV VC Top 50 Report H1/2020.
This year, financial services continued to push ahead with a broader adoption of cryptocurrencies and distributed ledger technology (DLT) infrastructure. An increasing number of established firms are now considering blockchain technology, digital assets, and cryptocurrencies as essential to their activities.
2020 also saw the Bank for International Settlements’ Innovation Hub (BISIH) Swiss Centre, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) and the financial infrastructure operator SIX successfully completing a joint proof-of-concept experiment that integrates tokenized digital assets and central bank digital currency (CBDC).
Project Helvetia was the first wholesale CBDC experiment by the SNB and complements the planned launch of SIX Digital Exchange (SDX). SDX, Swiss’s highly anticipated blockchain-based trading platform, is expected to launch in Q1 2021.