Zurich is full of financial traditionalists – the city headquarters a third of Switzerland’s banks. Alongside well-established legal and health services, it hosts a wide population of tech-minded individuals, including 150 blockchain-related companies.

Switzerland’s “Crypto Valley” is centered on Zug, a tiny, semi-infamous tax haven hamlet known for harboring embargo-breaking oil trader Marc Rich in the 1980s, tax shells in the 1990s and tech companies in the age of bitcoin.

Zug and its Silicon Valley-esque moniker are 30 minutes’ drive south of Zurich. But if a new partnership between Zug’s crypto lobbyists and Zurich’s tourism czars pans out, the Crypto Valley could soon expand northwards.

The growth is because of Crypto Valley Association (CVA) which has been fostering growth of the Swiss crypto space. The organization, an association of fintech ventures and individuals, has lobbied Swiss regulators for years – putting forward 14 different draft laws.

CVA Executive Director Alexander Schell said:

“We’re not just waiting for things to happen. We’re actively involved in proposing regulation.”

CVA has now partnered with Zurich Tourism, the region’s marketing wing, to bring blockchain awareness, tourism and business to Zurich. The pair even signed a memorandum of understanding “to grow the Swiss blockchain ecosystem.”

“We’re trying to establish an ecosystem of law firms, banks, startups, and other players who might be interested in this space”, Schell said. “We can make the best circumstances for them and the best prerequisites for businesses to be successful.”

Zurich Tourism will focus on bringing in cyber newcomers with internationally minded conferences and events.

Through hosting conferences for international audiences and reaching out to existing businesses in the tech-minded city, Vanessa Reis, Relationship Manager of Zurich Tourism, said that the relationship will find success.

“From our side, we can support CVA in sponsorship, in event planning, searching and attracting international guests, because this is where we have the network.”

Swiss University Fights Fake Diplomas With Blockchain Technology

The University of St. Gallen in Switzerland is setting its sights on blockchain technology to fight fake diplomas, a type of fraud that has been on the rise globally in recent years.

Degree certification

According to a CNN Money Switzerland interview from Sept. 19, the University of St. Gallen has announced that it is introducing a blockchain-based pilot project to verify the authenticity of its degrees in a matter of seconds rather than several days. The university’s CIO Harald Rotter said:

“I saw that it could be necessary and it could be a valid use case to transfer or to make easier to validate our diplomas based on a digital process on blockchain.”

The University of St. Gallen has chosen to partner with Swiss blockchain startup BlockFactory and will use its certification solution to create immutable diplomas that are registered on the Ethereum blockchain.

Malaysia and Canada also battling fake degrees

Cointelegraph previously reported that the Malaysian Ministry of Education is also trying to tackle the increasing cases of fake educational degrees in its country. Malaysia introduced E-Skrol, an application built on the NEM blockchain to deal with the issue of certificate fraud through the use of blockchain technology.

In June, Cointelegraph reported that a Canadian tech institute also plans to issue blockchain-based diplomas to its next graduating class. More than 4,800 graduating students of the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology will receive its first blockchain-based degrees along with their traditional parchments in 2019.

Similarly,the University of Bahrain announced that it was partnering with the startup Learning Machine to provide its blockchain diplomas at the beginning of 2019.

coindesk.com

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