blockchain

Switzerland and Liechtenstein’s Crypto Valley Sees Thriving Blockchain Ecosystem

With 750 companies as of the end of December 2018, Switzerland and Liechtenstein’s Crypto Valley has grown significantly in the past year with 121 new companies being established or a growth of 20% in the number of crypto companies, according to The Crypto Valley’s Top 50 Q1 2019 report released in January.

The study, produced by investment company CV VC in collaboration with PwC Strategy & and IT partner inacta, provides an overview of the current state of Switzerland and Liechtenstein’s Crypto Valley, highlighting the rapid growth of the ecosystem despite the industry’s “crypto winter.”

“Crypto winter,” as 2018’s severe market reversal has been nicknamed, has affected the valuation of blockchain companies, which saw the market valuation of the 50 largest blockchain ventures in the region plunge from US$44 billion to US$20 billion in the fourth quarter of 2018.

According to Mathias Ruch, founder and CEO of CV VC, the new report clearly reflects the market correction that started in early 2018, which is significantly based on cryptocurrencies. However, findings also show that companies developing blockchain-based applications and infrastructure solutions have been able to keep up, while an impressive number of new startups with innovative use-cases have risen to the top.

Over half of blockchain companies (383) are based in the canton of Zug, but the research notes that Crypto Valley extends to many other Swiss cantons including Geneva, which is home to 42 blockchain companies and Ticino, 39. Switzerland’s neighboring microstate of Liechtenstein registers 38 crypto companies.

On average, the top 50 companies are valued at US$400 million each and there are four blockchain unicorns present in the region: Bitmain, Cardano, Dfinity, and Ethereum, according to the report.

The top 50 blockchain companies employ 480 people in Switzerland and Liechtenstein and more than 3,300 people in total. Besides the four unicorns, the top 50 crypto companies in Switzerland and Liechtenstein include Tezos, Xapo, Lisk, Ambrosus and Proxeus.

15 companies entered the top 50 in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to CV VC’s previous quarter report including HDAC, an Internet-of-Things (IoT) platform supported by Hyundai, ICON, a platform that allows various blockchains to interact with each other via smart contracts, and Santiment, a platform offering cryptocurrency data sets, real-time market signals and industry insights.  

Dr. Daniel Diemers, blockchain leader, EMEA at PwC Strategy, said:

“This high dynamic in the middle of the crypto winter is very positive. It shows that the appeal of Switzerland as one of the world’s most attractive locations for blockchain startups remains unbroken.”

Market capitalization for Crypto Valley’s Top 50 visualized, The Crypto Valley’s Top 50 Q1 2019

The report also points out 15 crypto startups to keep an eye on that have good chances to make it into the next top 50 list: ambrpay, Arca Trust, Blockimmo, Cosmos Network, Datum, Friendz, Grain, Metaco, Orion Vault, Pigzbe, PikcioChain, Qiibee, Request Network, Taurus Group and UTRUST.

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Blockchain Insurtech Startup PAL Network Inks Partnerships with Toyota Tsusho and Allianz Malaysia

From left to right: Kengo Kobata, Senior Associate of Toyota Tsusho; Hayashi Toshinori, Executive Vice President of Toyota Tsusho; Val Ji-Hsuan Yap, CEO & Founder of PAL Network; and Claire Toh, Business Development Lead of PAL Network, sign MoU on December 17, 2018.

PAL Network, an insurtech startup using blockchain technology to offer smart contract-based insurance products, has signed two memorandum of understanding (MoU) agreements with Toyota Tsusho Corporation and Allianz Malaysia to develop proofs-of-concept (PoCs), the startup said on Wednesday.

The partnership with Toyota Tsusho focuses on using PAL Network’s blockchain technologies to develop a PoC to facilitate underwriting and the creation of new insurance products on smart contracts customized for the group. These products will be targeted at the Southeast Asian region.

Similarly, the partnership with Allianz Malaysia seeks to use PAL Network’s blockchain technologies and implement PoC on new protection coverage with automated claims for the Malaysian market.

Singapore-based PAL Network has developed a dual-layered protocol for financial assets with a particular focus on insurance products. The startup aims to offer a blockchain-based ecosystem for insurance underwriting, distribution and claims process, where individuals and partners can design and customize new financial products powered by smart contracts. Through APIs, partners can easily cross-sell relevant insurance products at the point-of-demand.

Besides Toyota Tsusho and Allianz Malaysia, PAL Network has partnerships with insurance companies FWD and Ergo to explore use cases of its decentralized protocol. The company has also established collaborations with blockchain projects NEM, Qtum, Sentinel Protocol, MediBloc, Digix and traceto.io to offer CryptoProtect, a cybersecurity service to protect cryptocurrency assets and PAL Network’s first product line, and mainstream insurance products for the projects themselves along with their respective communities.

PAL Network raised 23,809 ETH (US$20 million) in an initial coin offering (ICO) in early 2018 and launched its mainnet in December. The company is now preparing to launch three new microinsurance products as well as B2B solutions to its partners and insurance providers such as Insurer’s Dashboard and Marketplace, allowing insurers to create personalized insurance products.

PAL Network was launched in 2017 by the team behind PolicyPal Singapore, an affiliated entity. PolicyPal Singapore is a digital direct insurance broker that provides an insurance application which uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to simplify and digitize insurance for end users. It serves over 50,000 individuals and was Singapore’s first graduate from the Monetary of Singapore’s (MAS) fintech regulatory sandbox.