Expert Insight

Eight reasons why Liechtenstein has established itself as a blockchain hub

It might be the world’s sixth smallest country, but Liechtenstein is also a blockchain big hitter

1.A welcoming royal family

It was a chance encounter between Yanislav Malahov, CEO of æternity, and Prince Alois of Liechtenstein at a conference that attracted æternity to launch in the country. The royal family has repeatedly and publicly expressed its support for blockchain and crypto, with Prince Alois stating that cryptocurrencies are ‘something to look into more into the future.’ 

He also told CNBC: “Blockchain will change a lot of things. It could even make our state more efficient the way it is administered.”

If you still don’t believe how supportive the royal family are, look no further than the hundreds of people that flock to monthly blockchain meetups hosted in Liechtenstein’s capital, Vaduz.

2. Financial inclusivity

Family-run Bank Frick made headlines earlier this year when it became the first financial institution in Liechtenstein to offer cryptocurrency trading and storage facilities. In November, it went on to sponsor a blockchain research and certificate programme at Liechtenstein University.

While in Switzerland traditional financial institutions have restricted access to bank accounts for blockchain startups, their counterparts in Liechtenstein are encouraging cryptocurrency trading and investing.

3. Location, location, location

Nestled between Switzerland and Austria, Liechtenstein is extremely accessible. Talent is easily pooled from its surrounding neighbours with Germany, Italy and France all just a short drive away. As well as this, Liechtenstein ’s proximity to Switzerland’s blockchain hub Zug also provides for a great collaborative environment, and the two jurisdictions frequently support eachother on blockchain-related issues.

4. Small is beautiful

With a population of just 38,100, Liechtenstein is the sixth smallest country in the world. Its small size is actually a major advantage, as it allows the government to quickly and easily pass legislation that will benefit the indigenous blockchain industry.

5. Low crime rate

Liechtenstein boasts one of the world’s lowest crime rates. In fact, the last murder in the country was in 1997. This is hugely attractive to businesses seeking to establish operations in the region.

6. Low tax rates

Liechtenstein’s famously low tax rates have made it a popular destination for financial services and now blockchain projects.

 7. Outside the European Union

Liechtenstein is a member of the European Economic Area but not the European Union.

8. House of Blockchain

The House of Blockchain officially opened its doors in May 2018 in Vaduz. An initiative established by æternity and Nägele Rechtsanwälte Attorneys at Law, its overall aim is to create a co-working space for the development of blockchain projects.

Liechtenstein’s Prime Minister, Adrian Hasler, spoke highly of the country’s successful blockchain ecosystem at an opening event. There has been high demand for occupancy with over 15 projects already onboard.

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