Key Highlights from the CV Summit Leadership Circles Day 1

CV Summit Leadership Circles 2021, Europe’s ultimate conference for blockchain leaders kicked off earlier today with electrifying energy by global MC and TEDx speaker Dan Ram as he joined Mathias Ruch, Co-founder of CV VC & Labs, in welcoming hundreds of blockchain leaders to the first major in-person business conference since the pandemic began. CV Summit Leadership Circles also greeted thousands of live stream attendees in Zug, the epicenter of Switzerland’s Crypto Valley.

Hosted by CV VC and CV Labs, who are amid the founding fathers of the Crypto Valley ecosystem, this year’s influential 3 day CV Summit is themed “Leadership” and explores how leadership energy and action are accelerating the global megatrend that is blockchain, across three core areas, Digital Assets & Investors, Culture and Enterprise.

The full event was live streamed and can be watched back here.

Setting the stage…

In today’s opening session, it was palpable that Switzerland is more than home to an illuminating crypto valley but that it is emerging as a flagship Blockchain Nation with the expertise and framework in place to inspire.

The day began with a very precise Swiss-toned welcome speech by Benedikt Wechsler, Consul General of Switzerland — inviting thought on the willingness to continue to build a blockchain framework that can be the best in the world. Switzerland’s guiding role on a global stage was demonstrated by Alexander E. Brunner, Autor of the Swiss Digital Asset and Wealth Management Report, who outlined why Switzerland’s role is pivotal and inspirational. Namely, he referenced the business certainty that the new Swiss DLT law brings.

First up, the enigmatic Niklas Nikolajsen, Founder & Chairman, Bitcoin Suisse. The inspirational leader spoke passionately on Pioneering the future of crypto and with a distinct reference on the need for FinTechs and regulators to work together to make the future as good as it was in the past.

Niklas Nikolajsen, Founder & Chairman of Bitcoin Suisse, on stage at CV Summit Leadership Circles

More than crypto…

As CV Summit kicked into panel sessions, we heard from the leaders gathered that they were not just here to talk about crypto, but Blockchain, which is more than just a technology that has created a new currency but an entire mindset that is set to change the world.

The first panel of the day — Digital Investments in a tech megatrend — Venture Capital in blockchain was moderated by Tracy Trachsler, Co-head of CV Labs, and examined the key drivers motivating VC activity in Blockchain.

This panel of inspirational global Venture Capitalists taught us many things, the key takeaways were:

  • VC’s invest in teams especially those who are quick and can pivot
  • Early-stage investment is not just about capital but participation, sometimes that is equity
  • What makes blockchain investing really attractive is that it is a technology that can solve even more than the problems in the banking system but real-world challenges
  • When assessing start-ups, most VC’s look to those who can solve real-world problems at a global level

Another illuminating consensus was that start-ups in the blockchain world don’t always need a VC, as many can raise capital via a token sale. However, the common agreement was that in the blockchain world, what start-ups need is distribution and partnership and this is what the new era of VC offers.

Thanks to the panel which included: Olaf Hannemann, CIO & Co-Founder of CV VC, Josef Holm, Partner & Founder at Draper Goren Holm, Cory Pugh, Chairman and CEO at BridgeTower Capital, Tim Grant, Head of Europe at Galaxy Digital and Alex von Frankenberg, Managing Director of the High-Tech Gründerfonds.

Panellists Tracy Trachsler, Olaf Hannemann, Josef Holm, Cory Pugh & Alex von Frankenberg on stage

Next up…

Luka Gubo, CEO of Equito showed attendees how to turn customers into investors — the future of financing SMEs in Europe

Just before breaking for much needed personal meetups (after more than a year of Zoom), we had a very balanced panel explore Security Tokens & How to Achieve Liquidity Through Secondary Markets, moderated by Roger Darin of Tokengate, panellists included Luka Gubo, CEO of Equito, Thomas Eichenberger, Board Member & Head of Business Units, Sygnum Bank, Dr. Guenther Dobrauz, Partner & Leader at PwC Legal Switzerland, Nathan Kaiser, General Counsel, SIX Digital Exchange, Kwon Park, CSO at Bittrex Global. Discussions centered on how to build standardization into all platforms so as to ensure ease of access for all investors. The agreement was made on the fact that everyone’s goal is to make tokens easy to access for everyone and the industry quest to operate broadly with regulated standardization.

Panellists Roger Darin, Luka Gubo, Thomas Eichenberger, Dr. Guenther Dobrauz, Nathan Kaiser & Kwon Park on stage


As with all great leaders, embracing new frontiers is part of what makes them inspirational.

In the first panel discussion of the second half of the afternoon, the topicDeFi, What will it Take to Elevate the Industry to the Next Level”? was thoroughly explored.

Moderated by Nicolo Stewen, Head of Product, AAVE, panellists concluded that due to the speed that DeFi is evolving, that self-regulation may help whilst the sector builds a global compliance network. The resurgence of this new billion-dollar class was likened to the environment in 2014 with the earlier protocols and the lack of regulatory frameworks. All agreed that DeFi is at the cutting edge of FinTech and that we should be open to it and embrace its nuances.

Panellist’s included; Vladimir Demin, VRM Chairman, Black Ocean shareholder, Anders Christensen, CMO, AllianceBlock, Mark Berger, President, Occam Association, Matt Dixon, Founder and CEO, Evai Ratings & Research and finally Luka Müller, Founding Partner, MME.

One of Forbes, 30 under 30, — Hany Rashwan, Co-Founder & CEO of 21 Sharesthen took to the stage and inspired with how 21 Shares built a fully regulated digital asset ecosystem for institutional investors

Having listed the world’s first crypto ETPs, 21 Shares has 15 products now listed and Hany credits Switzerland as a great enabler, saying “We found in Switzerland a community of like-minded peers”

Rolling to the much-anticipated panel discussion titled How can the Crypto and Traditional worlds blend successfully? the essence of Switzerland’s position as an eco-system that is forging ahead in marrying both worlds well came to the fore.

Katie Richards, CEO at Cyber Capital moderated this panel with precision and effectiveness. She embarked on inviting the panellists to highlight the core factors to the successful bridging of both the traditional and crypto worlds.

Key takeaways included:

  • A strong view that blending is already happening
  • Traditionalists are joining the crypto world
  • Focus and a bridge to the traditional influencers is required
  • If you think it’s easy, you should not start
  • Success is about collaboration

Panellists were: Jörg Bode, CEO, GenTwo Digital AG, Mark Dambacher, CEO at InCore Bank, Alastair McAlpine, Market Technology Sales Europe, Nasdaq, Hany Rashwan, Co-Founder & CEO, 21 Shares & Jan Brzezek, CEO and Founder, Crypto Finance AG

Dan Ram — MC of the CV Summit Leadership Circles — on stage

Prior to the final panel discussion of the day, which centered on Actively Managed Crypto Asset Investments, Ali Mizani Oskui, CEO FiCAS entertained with a true pioneers view of what comes next. He believes that in time, humans might even be able to digitize themselves. Such is the possibility of blockchain as a key driver of the future.

Leaders speaking on this panel concurred that the key to driving the asset class forward is in providing institutional format research that will enable institutional investors to make considered decisions.

Much discussion was given to the real appetite and intent but, there was a strong sense that trust across the whole value chain needs to be worked upon.

All were in agreement that blockchain is more than crypto and that crypto is more than Bitcoin. This is only the beginning!

Moderated by Dr. Mattia L. Rattaggi, Chairman, FiCAS AG, guest included: Ali Mizani Oskui, CEO and CIO, FiCAS AG, Adrian Schatzmann, CEO, Asset Management Association Switzerland, Guido Bühler, CEO, SEBA Bank, Peter Habermacher, CEO & Co-founder, Aaro Capital, and Domino Burki, Managing Partner, Dulac Capital (treasurer of Cardano).

Final remarks…

The evening concluded with a formidable presentation by Dr. Stephan A. Zwahlen, CEO at Maerki Baumann on Digital Assets — Disruption Potential and Opportunities.

Maerki Baumann was one of the earliest banks to get involved in blockchain. Stephan noted that technology such as blockchain and AI have the capacity to replace both financial models and institutions. He told delegates that crypto is only the first asset class to emerge and that the establishment of other classes will drive ahead, calling on delegates ‘let’s all approach the challenge together”

The CV Summit Leadership Circles (August 30 — September 1st, 2021) is a series of high-level blockchain events designed to showcase the Swiss Blockchain Ecosystem as one of the leading Blockchain innovation and investment hubs in the world.

This unique event series gathers investors, corporates, and high-profile individuals in one place in order to examine how the present and future applications of blockchain technology can help optimize and evolve our businesses, revolutionize healthcare, modernize governmental institutions, support art and culture, and improve our daily lives as a whole.

Written by
CV Labs