Canton bucks the national trend

Over the country as a whole, fewer firms were set up over the course of 2018, but in the canton of Zug the number of new companies registered here was higher than average.

According to statistics compiled by the Institute for Recently Set-Up Companies (IFJ), 2,578 of them were set up in Zug last year, representing an increase of 16 per cent on the previous year. While different figures were produced by the online company, and the canton’s own sources, both confirmed an increase of 16 per cent.

In fact according to other information emanating from IFJ, only in the canton of Glarus and in the half-canton of Appenzell-Ausserrhoden was the growth-rate higher than in Zug, albeit with just three-figure numbers of companies. While, as mentioned, the number of new firms registered in Zug last year amounted to 2,578, “only” 1,921 were registered in Lucerne, 1,218 in Schwyz, 243 in Nidwalden, 200 in Obwalden and114 in Uri, meaning 6,274 new companies were set up in Central Switzerland as a whole, up by 323 on the previous year.

It will not be surprising to hear that many of the new firms set up in Zug operate in the blockchain technology sector, many of them having been enticed from all over the world by the reputation of Crypto Valley, with IJF concluding that good climate there continues. Then, those operating in the area of eco-systems, too, also account for a number of new firms.

While these trends sound good for Zug, the growth in the number of firms over the course of 2017 amounted to an increase 20 per cent, so with16 per cent for 2018, it is slowing down. “One cannot assume, however, that as many firms as the previous year will be set up in any one year,” said Simon May, the managing director of IJF.

For his part, Michele Blasucci, the founder and CEO of, said that the further development of Crypto Valley was dependent on the Swiss regulators. If legal framework conditions were set out soon, especially in relation to Initial Coin Offerings and crypto-currencies, as has been the case in Liechtenstein, Luxemburg and Malta, then the boom could continue.*

Not that Zug is the only centre for such companies in Switzerland, a new 3000 square-metre blockchain hub called Trust Square has recently been opened in Zurich, with the Ticino also endeavouring to lure companies operating in the blockchain sector.

*This article relates to one published on Saturday 5 January, though in a front-page article published in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung of Saturday 15 December, it was mentioned that Ueli Maurer, who heads the Federal Department of Finance, had said that, “unlike Liechtenstein, Luxemburg and Malta, Switzerland was not looking to introduce any blockchain-specific legislation, though any malpractices would be rigorously pursued.”

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