Sunday, March 24, 2019

Swiss City Zug Named as Fastest Growing European Tech Hub

Zug, a Swiss city popularly referred to as the home to blockchain and crypto development hub, ‘Crypto Valley’ has been named as the fastest growing tech hub in the whole of Europe, as reported by the local news channel, StartupTicker.

Zug Tops the List

According to a report from global technology investment firm Atomico, the Swiss city is the first in terms of yearly growth of attendance on tech meeting with a 177% increase in comparison with last year. Other cities ranked include Novosibirsk, Russia with a 173% growth, Ghent, Belgium with a 165% growth, The Hague, Netherlands with 121%, Katowice, Poland with 101%, Dortmund, Germany with 100%, Newcastle, United Kingdom with 88%, Sofia, Bulgaria with 77%, Essen, Germany with 75%, and Cardiff, United Kingdom with 74%.

StartupTicker further reported that in general, the Swiss nation performed poorly in comparison with other European countries as tech destinations. The U.K. was the preferred spot for foreign travellers into their tech ecosystem, followed by Germany and France. Switzerland came in ranked number 10 behind countries like the Netherlands, Ireland, Sweden and Belgium. Switzerland also didn’t make the list of countries where U.S. software engineers would like to work in Europe.

The report also recognized robust Swiss investments in tech, and Zürcher Kantonalbank was ranked second behind France’s BNP Paribas as the most active European corporate investor. Earlier this week, it was reported that the country’s national postal service Swiss Post and state-owned telecoms provider Swisscom stated that they were jointly working on a “100 percent Swiss” blockchain structure. The aim is to drive Swiss to the very top in technology and providing a service that preserves all data in Switzerland and can also meet the security requirements of the banks.

Swiss Cryptocurrency Bank

The country is quite friendly to technology innovation and was ranked as the most blockchain-friendly European Union country. The country’s Minister of Finance, Ueli Maurer, however, has stated that instead of creating a legal framework for crypto, they would yank on some existing laws to make room for cryptocurrency and the blockchain technology.

Zug’s Test of Blockchain Based Voting

Worthy of note is the fact that in the middle of this year, the blockchain-friendly city organized a voting trial on the blockchain. The city is fondly referred to as ‘Cryptovalley’, because of its mass use of cryptocurrencies in everyday life in the city. Zug also accepts bitcoin as a payment method for certain civic services, except for taxes. The blockchain voting in Zug implemented the use of the town’s electronic eID system, one that is based on the blockchain. The system was employed to ascertain the identities of users so they can engage in payment of taxes, business registrations and a lot of other services from their mobiles.

The process of the voting started with a confirmation of user’s eIDs through the voting app and submission of votes to the totalization centre. The voting was, however, sent to different centres in Zug to facilitate an immutable and traceable voting registry. The head of communications in Zug, Dieter Müller, stated that the voting exercise was a success, but the number of votes sent should have been more. Only 72 voters out of a total 240 registered voters voted through the blockchain based voting.

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