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Top 50 Swiss Crypto Firms Worth $44B in ‘Crypto Valley’

The top 50 cryptocurrency and blockchain-related companies in Switzerland’s version of Silicon Valley are now worth $44B combined, underscoring the steady growth of the Swiss crypto industry. Included among the top 50 are five “unicorns,” or startups with a market valuation of more than $1B, according to a new report by Zug-based investors CV Venture Capital. Cryptocurrency firms employ about 3K people throughout the small country.

Top 50 Swiss Crypto Firms Now Worth $44B

The number of companies working either with digital coins or the blockchain in “Crypto Valley,” the heartland of cryptocurrency activity near the Swiss municipality of Zug, has almost doubled to 600 over last year. The figures, contained in an online directory by CV, include companies operating in neighboring Liechtenstein. About 350 entities were featured in the directory when the CV Maps database was first launched in April 2017.

Of the top 50 companies listed, five are unicorns that are either based in Crypto Valley or originated from the area. They include the world’s biggest bitcoin miner, Bitmain, as well as other leading cryptocurrency businesses such as Cardano, Dfinity, Ethereum and Xapo, CV said. Bitmain’s revenue soared 1,700% to $2.5B in 2017, from just $137M two years earlier. Its full-year net profit rocketed to $1.2B.

More than 440 people, most of them expatriates, work for Zug’s top crypto firms. All of the region’s companies appear to be well-funded, boasting a combined market value of more than $44B. Capital levels often run “into the tens or hundreds of millions of dollars” for several companies, a feature that distinguishes them from startups in other parts of the world. Crypto Valley has retained its appeal as a location for blockchain companies from all sectors,” said Ralf Glabischnig, founder and managing partner of technology firm Inacta, which built the database.

Progressive Paradise

Switzerland has taken a progressive stance towards cryptocurrency, legalizing its use and formalizing crypto transactions in a range of contexts. But some crypto project teams still find it difficult to open bank accounts and some crypto-focused bankers and investors have highlighted the need for greater regulatory clarity. Nonetheless, the country sees virtual money and blockchain technology as strategic innovations in global finance and is intent on maintaining the growth of the industry, while expanding the number of jobs it has to offer in the field. The country’s tax regulator considers cryptocurrencies to be assets, subject to wealth taxes that must be declared in annual tax returns.

Crypto Super-League

First, blockchain technology must be part of a company’s core business. Second, qualifying firms should employ more than one person in Switzerland or Liechtenstein. Finally, companies hoping to make the cut should make some contribution to the blockchain ecosystem and the wider Crypto Valley community. Additional requirements include ticking one of the following three boxes: funding in excess of $10M, a valuation of more than $10M or the provision of at least 10 full-time positions in Switzerland or Liechtenstein.

First, blockchain technology must be part of a company’s core business. Second, qualifying firms should employ more than one person in Switzerland or Liechtenstein. Finally, companies hoping to make the cut should make some contribution to the blockchain ecosystem and the wider Crypto Valley community. Additional requirements include ticking one of the following three boxes: funding in excess of $10M, a valuation of more than $10M or the provision of at least 10 full-time positions in Switzerland or Liechtenstein.

From health tech to data analytics and the e-government sphere, several industries are running businesses based on cryptocurrencies and the blockchain in Crypto Valley. Two secondary segments feature in the top 50 list: brokerages, trade and exchange, as well as platform and protocol. Each sector is represented by 11 companies. Other areas covered include the hardware and middleware industries, as well as services related to community, P2P and loyalty.

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