Zug, 17.05.2024

Blockchain research in Zug: many opportunities are opening up here

Zug is already one of the most important locations for the blockchain industry worldwide. Now the canton wants to make a name for itself internationally in blockchain research. And it is doing so with the "Blockchain Zug - Joint Research Initiative".

The canton is paying a total of almost CHF 40 million over five years to establish an institute in Zug. This is a joint project between the University of Lucerne and Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HSLU). As the referendum deadline has now expired, those responsible can get started, as was announced last week.

Even if many of us don't understand anything about blockchain: the technology will become increasingly popular and has enormous potential, because it enables secure, non-manipulable transactions on the internet. Experts agree that this means changes for the economy, and also for society.

Zug is paying the cantonal contributions to the set-up costs entirely from the revenue from the OECD ‘minimum tax’. This is a clever approach. After all, with the new global minimum tax that was introduced on 1 January, the cantons must consider how they invest in location and competitive advantages, and proximity to a research institute can make all the difference here. And all the more so in a place that has already become known as ‘Crypto Valley’.

The canton is also sending out a signal: Innovation is important to us. Research in the blockchain sector is still young. Thanks to the generous funding from the Canton of Zug, scientific work can be pursued much more broadly and in greater depth. The nine professorships that are being created will, for example, focus on the impact on health or public law, i.e. far beyond the technological aspects.

The canton of Zug has plenty of money, that is well known. So it’s absolutely right to use some of it in this area, because pioneering work can be done here that opens up many opportunities.

It will be interesting to see where the new Zug institute will be set up. According to Finance Director Heinz Tännler, the question of location has not yet been finalised, but it’s quite possible that Rotkreuz will win the race. This is due to its proximity to the Department of Computer Science and the Institute for Financial Services at the HSLU. This would also be another important step for the municipality of Risch.

Commentary from Rahel Hug, editor-in-chief of the Zuger Zeitung newspaper