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.
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.”
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.