The MPhil in Financial Technology class of 2021 along with the Algorand-UCT Financial Innovation Hub travelled to Zug and Zurich in Switzerland to learn more about disruptive blockchain and fintech technologies. Also known as “Crypto Valley'', Zug is home to the world’s leading blockchain companies and foundations. Recent reports estimate that there are 960 crypto and blockchain startups in Switzerland, making it the most ideal location to learn from the world's greatest.
The group was hosted by companies such as Flovtec, Vereign AG, Cardano Foundation, Algotrader and Bitcoin Suisse. During the sessions with these companies, the students were given an opportunity to hear from founders and senior executives about the growing blockchain ecosystem in Switzerland.
The group also participated in a bilateral workshop hosted by the University of Zurich Blockchain Centre. This workshop had presenters from both the University of Cape Town and the UZH Blockchain centre. Titose Chembezi and Francisco Rutayebesibwa presented the Nautilus Wallet. PhD Candidate Julian Kanjere presented FoodPrint, a blockchain startup he established during his MPhil in Financial Technology. Takunda Chirema from the Algorand-UCT Financial Innovation hub also had the opportunity to present Axone, an NFT startup he developed.
From some of the students:
"The FinTech study tour to Switzerland was a peek into what is happening on the global scene with blockchain technology. Seeing crypto ATMs, bitcoin cards and even crypto asset service provider ads on airport billboards gave a strong sense of the art of the possible when regulators, innovators and citizens find common ground and adopt this emerging technology. The highlight for me was spending a day in Zug (also known as Crypto Valley) where the drive and passion for innovation from each blockchain startup we engaged with was palpable and infectious!" – Julian Kanjere
“The study tour was amazing – definitely opened my eyes to opportunities and new ways of thinking. All the speakers we visited were so interactive and happy to answer all our questions. Switzerland was beautiful and I loved exploring the city on our days off” – RachelSwallow