What's next for blockchain and the CVA in Switzerland? dGen Co-Founder, Jake Stott, spoke with CVA Board Member, Emi Lorincz, to find out.
Read more from Emi Lorincz and about the state of blockchain in Switzerland in our Blockchain in Europe 2020 Review.
Switzerland is a country of banking, fabulous mountains, fresh air and clear lakes — but also one of the top nations for cryptocurrency and blockchain related projects.
What has happened in the past decade to put Switzerland in such a favourable position, and what role does the Crypto Valley Association play in this? dGen Co-Founder, Jake Stott, talked with newly elected board member, Emi Lorincz, to find out.
Emi has been part of the CVA since 2017 as a member, and lately as the Chair of the Western Chapter. In April 2020, she was appointed to the board.
Jake: Emi, tell us, did you take the red pill or the blue pill?
This is a great kick-off question! I did take the blue pill first, — like many others — and that “gateway” led me to see the astounding value bitcoin has; I understood its scarcity and turned me into a “red piller” by now.
For those who are not familiar with the meaning of blue and red pill here: people driven by the money they will make by investing in cryptocurrencies take the “blue pill”, and people driven by how the world will change, are interested in the technological advances and reforming the status quo take the “red pill”.
Jake: You lived in many places — what brought you to the Crypto Valley?
Courage brought me to Switzerland. I left London and the commodities industry in 2016 to move to Zurich and worked as a product manager for Credit Suisse in the payments segment.
‘What’s kept me in Switzerland is the continuous opportunity to work in the world of crypto, which is the most creative, intriguing and fast-paced industry I have ever found myself in’.
Jake: You were recently elected as board member for the Crypto Valley Association. What is the association about?
The CVA is an independent, government-supported, non-profit organization. Our mission is to build the world’s leading ecosystem for blockchain and cryptographic technologies. We have been developing and executing a community-driven program targeted at establishing and growing the ecosystem in Switzerland and globally.
This manifests in supporting the understanding of cryptography, cryptocurrencies, supporting start-ups and established businesses, creating policy recommendations, initiating research projects and hosting virtual events.
Jake: What are some of your goals and plans for the organisation over the next year?
I like to say that we are in the phase of “CVA 4.0” — as we are in the 4th year since the association was founded and have evolved since 2017.
‘Every year we have new dynamics, new talent joining us and are constantly evolving to respond to the community’s needs’.
This year’s focus lies on accelerating our global outreach through our virtual series while further strengthening our Working Groups, the Chapter in Romandy and rolling out education initiatives with our strategic partners.
We will further grow our global network of professionals, start-ups, corporations, and investors that share the same belief. We aim to create value, foster synergies for our members and to be the go-to-place for new people in the field who want to learn about DeFi, cryptocurrencies and blockchain.
You can get a lot out of the CVA if you are willing to put in some time and effort.
Jake: What is the current state of the Swiss blockchain ecosystem and which are the up & coming companies that you would like to shout out?
It’s encouraging to see that despite the current macro crisis (or maybe because of it) many Swiss projects are closing investment rounds and have some of the most successful months behind them. While I prefer not to drop names, I am thinking of crypto finance players, brokers and prime brokers.
‘Some of the long-standing, legacy colleagues from traditional finance are becoming lead investors in these companies. This sets a strong groundwork and signals major capital inflow for blockchain-based finance’.
Meanwhile, many platforms are evolving by adding lending, staking and even precious metal trading services.
Jake: What are you focusing on these days besides the CVA?
I have been learning a lot about custody infrastructures, hardware security modules and the security landscape across Europe, as I focus on digital assets’ security for the enterprise clients at Ledger.
During my time away from the screen I try to go hiking often. Last weekend I climbed the Jura above Neuchatel. I also bought a stand-up-paddle board for exploring the local lakes this summer.
Jake: Thank you, Emi. Finally, how can people be part of the Crypto Valley Association and get in touch with you?
It’s easy to become a member through cryptovalley.swiss. I am glad to connect through Linkedin — my dm’s are open.
As a closing thought for anyone interested in joining the space… I often say that reading Satoshi’s whitepaper and buying a small amount of bitcoin is a good way to start your crypto-journey. An even better way is to be inspired by the people around you. The CVA is here to encourage you to fall down the rabbit hole and find yourself in a more decentralised world.
About Emi Lorincz
Emi is an economist, having worked in financial services and commodity trading in Budapest, Dusseldorf, Rome, London and now Zurich, she is bringing a wealth of work experience from the traditional markets and the field of cryptocurrencies. She enjoys combining these two worlds to help companies benefit from both.
Dedicated to increasing the understanding and usage of cryptocurrencies, Emi is engaged in rolling-out the enterprise-grade solution of the tech company Ledger while newly serving on the board of the Crypto Valley Association and on the council of the Bancor Foundation.