How a Swiss law change is ushering blockchain and cryptocurrencies into a new era

Posting date: 08 October 2020

Switzerland has long been known as an innovator, even earning the title of the most innovative country in the world. The nation has a proud history of adopting new technologies and registering patents, with an entrepreneurial, forward-thinking spirit that permeates businesses all over the country. This has just been taken one step further thanks to the parliamentary passing of new finance and corporate law amendments which officially recognise the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry.


What are blockchain and cryptocurrency?

Blockchain has been a major buzzword in Switzerland – and around the world – in recent years, for many reasons. As a technology that enables the existence of cryptocurrency, blockchain provides data security solutions, allowing users to make and confirm transactions without needing a central clearing authority. It has a range of applications within different industries, particularly within banking and finance where it has enormous potential for fund transfers and settling trades.


A cryptocurrency, meanwhile, is a digital medium of monetary exchange, using encryption techniques to control the creation and transfer of funds. When most people think of cryptocurrency they’ll think of Bitcoin, which is the name of the market-leading cryptocurrency for which blockchain technology was invented. Cryptocurrency hasn’t always had the most positive public image and has in the past been associated with money laundering and crime, with different countries taking different approaches to the regulation of cryptocurrencies. Switzerland, however, has always been one of the world’s most crypto-friendly nations, with a strong cryptocurrency network in Zug and around 900 blockchain companies calling Switzerland home.


What do the new Swiss laws mean?

In early September, Swiss Senate parliamentarians passed a set of financial and corporate law reforms, which included the “Blockchain Act”. The Act was unopposed in the House of Representatives which suggests it will likely come into effect as law in early 2021. The ground-breaking law will bring blockchain and cryptocurrency into the mainstream, removing obstacles for applications and creating more legal security and abuse prevention. It will set standards for crypto exchanges, facilitating providers who only serve institutional and professional customers and creating a new framework to limit the risk of distributed ledger technology (DLT) abuse. All of this could potentially create a platform for a decentralised finance landscape, providing plenty of new job opportunities in both the technology and financial services sectors.


Switzerland boasts a range of crypto banks, alpine cryptocurrency vaults, different blockchains, digital currency projects and digital stock exchanges, making it perfectly positioned to embrace new blockchain and cryptocurrency laws. If and when the laws are passed, there will be “an established legal basis for exchanging digital-only securities and for reclaiming digital assets from bankrupt companies”, according to Swissinfo, something which Swiss banks will be paying close attention to. After the somewhat chaotic 2017-2018 phase of blockchain start-up crowd funding, more regulations and security will be a welcome change, and banks would be smart to consider how they could incorporate blockchain and cryptocurrency in a bid to remain competitive. We’ve already seen Credit Suisse and UBS begin to test the potential of DLT trading, while Julius Bär has established a partnership with crypto bank SEBA, and a handful of private banks are already offering cryptocurrency services to some clients. As the laws look set to usher in a new era for crypto and blockchain, we can expect to see similar moves being made throughout the banking world.


Keep informed with Swisslinx

At Swisslinx, our company’s roots lie within technology, which means we have a vested interested in keeping ahead of the latest market tends. We have a special interest in fintech and disruptive technologies and organisations, as well as the more established financial institutions in Switzerland and around the world. This makes us ideally positioned to support both candidates and clients in the markets of technology and financial services. Contact us to see how we can work together, or follow our blog to stay up to date with the latest industry news.

How to maintain company culture while working remotely

Remote working has become a way of life for many employees. Businesses throughout the world have to adapt and become more agile, with many taking on a hybrid work model. While there’s likely to still be organisations that want employees to get back into the offices permanently, there’s now a much greater demand for remote working and flexibility. There’s certainly a widespread acceptance that remote working is the future. And as organizations have taken to the post-pandemic world, maintaining company culture has become all the more important. Since employees don’t need to be physically in an office to work, companies will need to pay extra attention to their culture and ensure their teams are happy and fulfilled. Reinforce company values With remote teams, it’s even more important for managers and leaders to acknowledge the values of a company. This is particularly crucial when onboarding new hires remotely. For example, the way problems are solved within the business in a remote environment need to be reinforced to employees, as well as how core decisions will continue to be made. All of this should reflect aspects of the company culture. When leaders relay information about the company’s policies and practices, it reminds employees that culture and structure still exists. Due to remote working, the boundaries of culture can be difficult to define – so companies must focus on establishing expectations and promoting a strong work ethic to help maintain culture. Establish trust One of the best ways to maintain company culture while working remotely is to build trust and transparency throughout the organisation. Thanks to digital tools, it’s never been easier to stay connected with people and build relationships. With a remote team, managers need to show confidence in their team and maintain the trust that was built back in the office. For example, leaders and managers should be always open to collaboration and sharing solutions to problems. That way, everyone will feel connected and part of a team, which can remove any feelings of isolation that can come from working from home. Create a sense of accountability In the remote working world, it’s important to empower your team members to be proactive and take initiative. When managing a remote team, you need to avoid simply delegating tasks but instead create a workflow for your team that allows them to take a lead on projects. This creates an environment of accountability which helps maintain the culture you may have had back in the office. Personal responsibility is an important part of many businesses, so translating this into a remote environment is an excellent way of maintaining culture. Set new targets Companies must set all employees new objectives as priorities change. In a remote environment, there are likely to be some significant changes to company goals. Setting monthly and weekly targets is a great way to foster company-wide motivation and it creates a strong work ethic across teams. As in the office, employees will be driven to achieve company goals if they understand what they are. That’s why setting a vision for the work is essential and understanding how people are feeling with regards to meeting their targets in the new normal. Also, leaders should continually share what the company has achieved through communication tools, as well as business goals, all of which cultivate a sense of company culture. Swisslinx can drive your recruitment forward At Swisslinx, we have an excellent track record of providing the best recruitment solutions to companies in a range of sectors, from financial services and digital to healthcare and life sciences. As a leading recruitment agency in Swisslinx, we have access to an array of talent to help your business grow and develop. We pride ourselves on building effective relationships with clients and candidates. Contact us today if you would like to find out more about how we can help your recruitment. Also, please keep reading our insights page for more interesting articles.

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Why internal mobility is crucial for engaging and retaining talent

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