When Switzerland is calling… We had the pleasure to attend and speak at the incredibly well curated and organised Crypto Finance Conference, the most prestigious and private crypto finance and blockchain conference for investors, which took place in January 2020 in St. Moritz. The name of the conference did not do justice to the content, knowledge transfer and thought-leading presentations that we witnessed. The discussions would have been just as good a fit in a conference devoted to innovation, entrepreneurship, future of finance or digitisation. Three days dedicated to discussions and networking The quality of engagement from world-renowned authorities and experts was quite remarkable. No one could have imagined two years ago, for example, that a US SEC Commissioner – in this case Ms Hester M. Peirce – would contribute to and welcome an open dialogue on crypto currencies and their future potential in the world of finance, and also acknowledge the thin line between supervision on the one hand and over-regulation that stymies innovation on the other. It was also interesting to hear a senior representative of our very own Swiss National Bank, Dr Thomas Moser, comment on crypto currencies not just being a fad but looking like they are here to stay in one form or another. We were equally impressed by the way in which entrepreneurs in this sector, such as twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, co-founders of Gemini Crypto Exchange (the regulated cryptocurrency exchange), or Arthur Hayes, CEO of BitMEX Bitcoin Mercantile Exchange, describe bitcoin as “Gold 2.0”. They firmly believe that we are seeing a significant technological transformation occurring in finance, though one that is still at an early evolving stage. “Challenges of Banking in the World of Blockchain and Crypto” Our own panel discussion focused on the challenges of banking in the world of blockchain and crypto, and on how, in particular, it has caught the imagination of a young set of entrepreneurs – both in Switzerland and beyond. We are embracing innovation in finance driven by our own client demand and regulatory compliant blockchain banking requests (article on finews.com). Disruption is here to stay Hearing the Corporate President and Chief Strategy Officer of Samsung Electronics, Mr Young Sohn, tell us he firmly believes in innovation or obsolescence reinforces our own strategy of looking to the future. With 24% of the global mobile market and having “a fruit company as their biggest customer”, who are we to question their innovation strategy! The Chairman of the CFTC, Mr J. Christopher “Chris” Giancarlo, also powerfully pointed out: “We sent a man to the moon. We can send the dollar to cyberspace”, also announcing his new digital US Dollar project. We were equally impressed to hear Chinese finance scholars reiterate their President’s mission statement that a blockchain strategy is central to the national interest and to modernising governance via the creation of a central bank-controlled digital renminbi. Maerki Baumann has gone DLT Our conclusion: We are excited to witness at first hand the adoption and institutionalisation of a new technology that has implications beyond finance, and will be active in helping our clients to assess this innovative technology and hence to profit from it.