Why the Swiss job market is banking on blockchain

Posting date: 05 August 2020

Switzerland’s strong reputation as bankers, chocolatiers and watchmakers didn’t come about by chance. Their dominance in these markets is a result of a focus on exceptional service and high value products which has earnt them the second highest GDP per capita worldwide. Emerging industries such as blockchain are benefiting from Switzerland’s prominence in the global marketplace and are gaining noticeable momentum. This reputation has enabled the nation’s Crypto Valley to establish itself as blockchain hotspot, attracting 100 new businesses in 2019 and creating over 1,000 jobs. Here are four reasons why the Swiss job market is banking on blockchain.

 

Blockchain is the answer to our security issues

Bitcoin made its entrance in 2008 and questions began flying as to whether the digital currency could be trusted. Enter blockchain, which provided the security to users by recording chains of information about the transaction - but now fast forward to the year 2020 and a new security issue has emerged. Covid-19 has exposed a growing threat to data security, and yet again blockchain technology has stepped up to the mark and exposed a growing demand for blockchain developers and site reliability engineers among other IT professionals. This illustrates how the technology will help protect the global economy and may even be used to prevent crises in the future.

 

A growing digital token market

In 2017, a surge in initial coin offerings (ICOs) led to the hub of token-funded projects in Zug being named Switzerland’s Crypto Valley. An ICO is the most effective way for start-ups to generate investments and for this reason they’re commonly thought of as a source of crowdfunding.

While fintech start-ups and other new businesses rely on this method for raising capital, the smart contracts rely on blockchain technology to provide the digital tokens.

 

Despite the amount of published ICOs flattening after the peak in 2017, there remains a steady number of launches each year and Switzerland just misses out on a medal in the worldwide rankings for capital raised from ICOs, coming in fourth place with an impressive total of $2 billion. Technology professionals can expect their blockchain skills to remain in high demand as Initial Exchange Offerings (IEOs) and Security Token Offerings (STOs) steal a share of the digital token market.

 

A government who is backing blockchain

Switzerland’s National Council have held back from applying tax laws to digital tokens which is cause for celebration for the cryptocurrency market and in turn for blockchain technology. While the market remains in its infancy, the government will not apply capital gains tax legislation on any earnings and in doing so hopes to encourage more investments. Though this exemption can’t be expected to continue well into the future, it gives ample time for blockchain to put down roots in Swiss soil and establish a strong job market.

 

In addition, the National Council have announced a legislative package, passing several new laws that are designed to eliminate the legal obstacles that apply to blockchain and distributed ledger technology. This will attract more blockchain start-ups to Switzerland, and professionals with expertise in this field will reap the benefits as the nation asserts its dominance in the global blockchain market.

 

Working remotely

Shortly after the turn of the decade, workplaces around the world had to solve the puzzle of continuing business operations whilst observing social distancing. Thankfully, for companies in the blockchain space, working out the logistics was far easier compared to other industries and moving their teams online has revealed some added benefits such as increased productivity. Now the challenge lies with product managers, technical business analysts and their IT colleagues to master the art of maximising productivity when working from home.

 

Since the outbreak of coronavirus, Blockchain has proved itself to be an essential and resilient industry, and the Swiss job market’s confidence in the technology will continue to grow as our world continues on the path to digitalisation.

 

Apply for a role with Swisslinx today

Are you banking on blockchain? Our consultants at Swisslinx understand the importance of keeping a keen eye on technology drivers and trends such as blockchain. This deep understanding of the industry enables them to identify the top talent and place these candidates in organisations at every point of the scale – from boutique start-ups to global corporations. View our vacancies in financial services or explore our digital and technology jobs to start your application.

An Overview of Switzerland’s thriving technology market

Switzerland has long been a world leader in innovation and technology. Ranked as the most innovative country in the world by the Global Innovation Index, the country remains at the forefront of science and technological research. Switzerland has always been quick to utilize new technologies to create robust innovation across a range of industries, from the financial services to healthcare and life sciences.   Over the years, Switzerland has gained a reputation for being the centre for research around artificial intelligence. Indeed, the country currently holds the most AI patents in the European health care industry. And as Switzerland continue to invest in new technologies, we can expect smarter applications to appear across all industries. With all this in mind, let’s take a look at Switzerland’s thriving technology market in more detail.   Switzerland’s tech hubs In Switzerland, fintech is a key driver of innovation throughout the country, paving the way for several tech hubs. For example, the Swiss city of Zug, not too far from Zurich, is home to bitcoin and blockchain start-ups. Blockchain technology is used in a wide range of industries, including insurance and logistics. The city has become so synonymous with the tech movement that it earned the nickname “Crypto Valley” – and it’s the fastest growing technology hub in Europe. In a 2018 report, it was shown that the city grew by 177% in the number of tech-related events. Since then, Crypto Valley has continued to thrive, even in the face of uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic. With its ever-expanding pool of developers and software companies, Switzerland has become a tech hub paradise. Other cities like Lausanne have very successful technology companies, with a focus on AI, health tech and energy.   Tech start-ups Since 1996, the number of start-ups in Switzerland has increased by 700%, with Zurich taking up most of the share. It’s important to know that Switzerland is one of the most expensive places to start a business, due to high living costs. Despite this, Switzerland has still managed to become one of the go-to countries for starting a technology company. Some of the most notable tech start-ups in recent years include Bestmile, a software company that provides autonomous vehicles, and they have offices in San Francisco and London. In 2019, it was named one of the top five best Swiss start-ups in an annual competition. Further afield in the Swiss start-up world is Flyability. Founded in 2014, the company build drones that can be used indoors to check for security and safety and dangerous spaces. The company raised 16m in total to build the drones, which promise to provide fully autonomous inspection. Flyability is focused on reducing risk for workers in confined spaces, and for the environment itself.   Key trends Several key technology trends are making waves in Switzerland. Wearable technology, for example, is having a huge impact on the Swiss insurance industry. It has the potential to help companies better understand their customers with the use of data, and as a result, manage risk and improve processes. Other trends like big data and robotics are big players and have been gaining momentum in recent years, especially in the Swiss healthcare sector. These technologies have the potential to tackle a variety of challenges in healthcare, as outlined in the digital opportunity report by the University of St. Gellen. More data and optimisation can lead to better decision-making in healthcare and create more trust for patients. There’s no doubt Switzerland has developed into an innovative hub for all kinds of technology, all of which continue to fuel the economy at a rapid rate.   Are you looking for your next opportunity in technology? At Swisslinx, we have a deep understanding of the digital and technology industry. It’s a sector that continues to evolve, with innovations coming out daily. Our team of consultants are always up to date with the latest trends in the tech market, and they use their knowledge to support candidates. If you’re looking to land your next role in technology, take a look at our job page for more information.

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What you need to know about starting a job during a pandemic

Even in normal circumstances, starting a new job can be a daunting experience. It’s a learning curve that requires patience, adaptability, and social awareness. However, beginning a new role during a pandemic is even more challenging, as you’ll be navigating a huge change while working remotely. Professionals across all industries need to be prepared for the unexpected, as well as the onboarding process and meeting colleagues virtually.   The pandemic has proven to be a stressful time for many businesses, so it’s important anyone starting a new role can manage their own time and work efficiently. Despite the pandemic, many companies across Switzerland and further afield are still hiring. Looking ahead, the Swiss labour market is on the road to recovery after a sharp decline when COVID-19 initially broke out – which is good news if you’re looking to progress your career and land your next role. Here’s how to ensure you make an excellent start to your new role during a difficult time.   Communication is key Communication is the backbone of any business. It’s essential for achieving productivity and maintaining good relationships. However, starting a job in a pandemic means that consistent and quality communication is all the more important. Since you’ll most likely be learning your new role virtually, you must understand the preferred method of communication. Whether your company uses Microsoft Teams, Slack, or Zoom, you’ll need to ensure open lines of communication at all times while you learn the basics of your new role. COVID-19 has forced many businesses to change the way they work, with employees now expected to be more autonomous and flexible. When you’re virtual, you’ll need to make a conscious effort to connect with your co-workers and build relationships across the business. The pandemic has pushed us to embrace remote work and communication is fundamental for success.   Embrace the culture Businesses of all sizes have been forced to adapt their operations during the pandemic, and this includes workplace culture. Now more than ever, employers will want new hires to quickly learn the culture and align themselves with the company’s mission. In the COVID era of remote working, navigating company culture can be difficult due to the lack of in-person conversations. However, it’s important to recognise that culture isn’t bound to a location. Culture is all about how you connect with your co-workers. That’s why during the onboarding process, you will need to listen actively and engage thoroughly during remote calls. Since you likely won’t be in the office often, it can be harder to present yourself as a team player. But with the right transferrable skills and emotional intelligence, you’ll be able to enter a new role and build great relationships from day one.   Organisation must be a priority  Even in regular circumstances, time management is critical for productivity. But with the pandemic disrupting schedules, the ability to keep organised and track your progress couldn’t be more important. This means that when starting a new role you need to first understand what’s expected of you and make a plan that includes key dates and deadlines, with digital tools to help you stay on task. Because everything has changed so much in the COVID world, you will have to be more proactive and willing to share ideas with more experienced members of your team. As the situation evolves, you’ll need to organise your time accordingly and work in a way that gives you the flexibility to prepare for challenging situations. Starting a new job is never easy – but staying organised can make the transition that much easier.   Get in touch with our team of recruitment specialists There’s no question that starting a job in a pandemic is a real challenge for anyone. With the right leadership, co-workers, and tools at your disposal, you can thrive in an unprecedented time. The team here at Swisslinx is dedicated to providing quality career advice to help with your job search. We keep up with the latest trends in recruitment markets, from financial to digital and technology. Contact us to speak with a team member or start your job search now.

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