The number of blockchain-related companies in Switzerland and Liechtenstein has doubled in the last year, according to a new study published by CV VC.
The Zug-based firm, in partnership with Strategy& (PwC’s global consulting arm) and Inacta, compiled information about the top 50 blockchain and digital asset companies between the two countries. The report also highlights blockchain activity in Zug, Switzerland’s Crypto Valley — a moniker it’s earned for its resemblance to the United States’ own Silicon Valley. While Crypto Valley originated in Zug, it has since expanded to include much of the surrounding territories, including the whole of Switzerland and neighboring Lichtenstein.
And that moniker seems more relevant now than ever.
The report reveals that there are over 600 blockchain-related companies in Switzerland and Liechtenstein, and that over 3,000 individuals are employed by them. The top 50 listed ventures covered by the report sport a combined market cap of roughly $44 billion, and five startups are valued at over $1 billion each.
To earn a coveted spot in the report, companies were required to meet specific guidelines, the first being that blockchain technology must be part of their core business. The second was that a venture must employ at least one person either in Switzerland or Liechtenstein, while the third was that it must somehow contribute to the growth and expansion of Crypto Valley.
In addition, the companies in question had to meet one of the following three criteria: 1) they must have garnered over $10 million USD in funding, 2) they must be valued at over $10 million or 3) they must possess a minimum of 10 full-time positions in either Switzerland or Liechtenstein.
A key takeaway: the report found that the heft of surveyed companies focus on either brokerage, custody and exchange, or developing cryptocurrency platforms and protocols.
The report also threw five of these 50 companies into the spotlight. These unicorns, according to the report, have accrued the highest valuations out of their peers through a combination of on-chain assets, revenue stream and capital funding. Among other sources, the firm pooled data from CoinMarketCap, Crunchbase, Desk Research, ICObench and LinkedIn.
Coming out on top, Ethereum is listed as the most valuable of these. While the smart contract platform was not founded in Switzerland, the Ethereum Foundation resides there with $18.4 million in venture funding behind it, a figure that doesn’t come close to touching ether’s market capitalization of $23 billion.
Mining monolith Bitmain also makes an appearance on this golden list. Some $450 million in capital raised, the report has the company’s total valuation at $12 billion. Bitmain has come under scrutiny recently for its forthcoming IPO, as questions of its holdings in bitcoin cash and investor relationships have begun to surface.
At third, blockchain-powered cloud computing platform Dfinity has raised a hefty $195 million in private funding, a healthy backing that has the platform valued at $2 billion.
Behind Dfinity is public blockchain and cryptocurrency project Cardano, with $63 million in funding. Its cryptocurrency, ADA, has a market capitalization of $2.1 billion.
Finally, wallet and custody service Xapo has a total funding of $40 million and a valuation of $1 billion.
Switzerland and Liechtenstein both have billed themselves as blockchain/crypto-friendly countries. As the report elucidates, either country’s embrace of the industry has paid off, as crypto companies are embracing them in turn to operate in a friendly regulatory environment.
As countries wrestle with how to fit the burgeoning blockchain industry into their current frameworks, some, like Malta, have joined Crypto Valley in opening their borders to the technology and its entrepreneurs. Others, like the U.S., have been slower to define regulatory guidelines, leaving a flurry of court cases and legal actions to construct a rough understanding of how the technology could fit into regulations going forward.