Business 10 December 2018Erik Gibbs
Zug, Switzerland is the fastest-growing tech destination in Europe
Zug, the Swiss city that has been dubbed “Crypto Valley” because of its growing cryptocurrency and blockchain innovation community, is now the fastest-growing tech hub in Europe. This is per StartupTicker, a news channel startup located in Switzerland that indicates that the city has seen an increase in tech events of 177% in the past year.
StartupTicker quoted information from the annual “State of European Tech” report that is published by tech investment company Atomico, a venture capital firm headquartered in London. Based on year-on-year growth, Zug leads the way for tech-related meetups, barely beating out Novosibirsk, Russia. Novosibirsk enjoyed a 173% increase.
Despite its stellar performance, Switzerland trails in general tech performance against other destinations across Europe. The UK leads the way as the go-to destination for non-European tech innovators. Next is Germany, followed by France. Switzerland sits in tenth place after the Netherlands, Ireland, Sweden and Belgium.
Switzerland is the home to some of the “most active” cryptocurrency investors. The country’s Zürcher Kantonalbank is second among Europe’s larger corporate investors following BNP Paribas out of France.
Zug has quickly risen as a favorite destination, in part, to crypto-friendly legislation in the country. Switzerland certainly doesn’t foster a “Wild West” environment as seen in other locations and regulators are moving quickly to introduce legal frameworks for crypto and blockchain innovation. Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel and recreate legislation from scratch, it is modifying its existing laws to accommodate the industries.
Switzerland is also moving forward with an initiative that will see the deployment of blockchain technology that could be used to store a wide range of data. The country’s postal service, Swiss Post, is collaborating with Swiss-owned telecommunications company Swisscom to introduce a blockchain infrastructure that is 100% Swiss owned and which allows for the retention of all data within the country.
The State of European Tech has been published by Atomico annually for the past four years. The report points out that Europe is still breaking records with tech development, asserting, “In another extraordinary year, investment in European tech reached a record $23 billion – up from $5 billion just five years ago. European founders created 17 billion-dollar companies. And in 2018, Europe produced three of the ten biggest venture backed public listings.”
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