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A new blockchain-focused nonprofit organization has launched in Switzerland with the aim of promoting and researching the tech.

Dubbed the Crypto Valley Association – after the region which has become a growing hub for digital currency and blockchain startups in the country – the group's objectives are to pursue public policy outreach, organize events and developer hackathons, and conduct relevant research into the tech.

Backing the association are the City of Zug – which has expressed openness to public services utilizing bitcoin in the past – as well as Thomson Reuters, UBS, Lucerne University and PwC. Others involved in the effort include Bacademy, Canton Zug and Consensus, as well as Luxoft, Lykke Corp, Iprotus GmbH, Inacta AG, and more.

Oliver Bussman, the former UBS and SAP CIO who is serving as president of the group, said in a statement:

“With the founding of Crypto Valley Association, we are promoting more than a region: we have founded a global association as a base for the sector’s most innovative and forward thinking companies, further strengthening Switzerland’s position as a leading centre of innovation in this sector.”

The news is the latest indication that Switzerland will continue to serve as a hub for work around the tech.

For example, Crypto Valley isn’t the only organization dedicated to blockchain work: A consortium of Swiss businesses, launched last September, has been working on applications related to ethereum. Further, major companies like rail operator SBB have explored offering kinds of bitcoin services to consumers.

And early last month, senior officials in Switzerland floated a proposal to create a so-called regulatory 'sandbox', or a flexible environment in which companies can test new kinds of financial products.

The country's welcoming regulatory environment have also been an incentive for startups like bitcoin storage firm Xapo and digital currency exchange ShapeShift to move to the region in recent years.

Image Credit: RossHelen / Shutterstock.com

Switzerland

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