London and Berlin receive plenty of coverage as Fintech centres, but Zurich is not far behind. Its already firmly established as a tech centre. According to a recent google blog,
Zurich, already the largest Google development centre outside of the U.S. and housing teams working on Google Search, Maps, Calendar, YouTube and Gmail, will now be the European centre for our exploration of research and implementation of machine learning.”
Given its financial services and banking routes, it’s no surprise that Switzerland is also making waves in financial innovation too. In particular, the small town of Zug – near Zurich – has established itself at the forefront of crypto currency innovation. Nicknamed Crypto Valley, its rapidly becoming a global centre for cryptocurrencies. Its home of the Ethereum project – a decentralized blockchain app platform that enables code executable smart contract agreements across parties (see here for a good overview of smart contracts). In late February this year it announced the launch of the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance (EEA) featuring a roster of blue chip launch partners including Microsoft, Intel, JPMorgan, BBVA, Credit Suisse and UBS. The purpose of the EEA is to build and promote Ethereum-based technology best practices, standards, and a reference architecture. The launch of the EEA is a massive endorsement of Ethereum technology. EEA aims to augment Ethereum to achieve enterprise-grade technology and will for example develop standards and governance for the interoperability of blockchains architectures that span both permissioned (private) and public Ethereum networks – read more on the EAA here.
We recently spoke to David Keast from Corniche Growth Advisors based in Montreux, Switzerland describe the Swiss fintech scene in this short audio snippet.