The number of blockchain-related firms in Switzerland and Liechtenstein has continued to rise according to a survey conducted by Switzerland-based crypto investment firm CV VC, Cointelegraph auf Deutsch reports on Jan. 24.
Per the report, crypto- and blockchain-related firms continue to crop up in the region despite the current bear market, which some have dubbed the “crypto winter.” CV VC states that at the end of December 2018, 750 companies using distributed ledger technology were located in Switzerland and Lichtenstein. This reportedly represents a 20 percent increase over the past year consisting of 121 new companies entering the space.
Among the new companies in the region are four so-called "unicorns" — startups valued at over $1 billion: Bitmain, Cardano, Dfinity Foundation, and Ethereum. The top-50 of “Crypto Valley“ make up about a fifth of the global crypto-market, according to CV VC.
While noting an increased number of companies in the region, the report states that the recent decline in cryptocurrency prices has cut the market value of the 50 largest blockchain companies in Switzerland and Liechtenstein from $44 billion to $20 billion in Q4 2018, a decrease of 55 percent.
The top 50 companies mentioned in the study purportedly employ around 480 people in the region. Overall, the sector employs around 3,300 people, most of them in Zug and Zurich.
The governments of Switzerland and Liechtenstein have been active in supporting the nascent blockchain and crypto industries. In early 2018, the Liechtensteinian Prime Minister Adrian Hasler announced the introduction of new legislation to regulate blockchain business models and underlying blockchain systems.
The bill was drafted so that business models based on blockchain technology could be integrated in a manner which provides legal and regulatory certainty for both businesses and customers.
While the Swiss Minister of Finance rejected the idea of blockchain-specific legislation in December 2018, he believes that existing laws can be tweaked in order to provide sufficient legal certainty for companies operating in the blockchain and crypto spheres. The government expects to propose changes to six laws, including the civil code and bankruptcy law, in 2019.
Additional reporting by Aaron Wood.