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Dübendorf could become blockchain centre

The canton of Zurich is looking into establishing a centre for blockchain on the premises of the Dübendorf airfield. Banks, insurance companies and ETH Zurich would work there to develop the technology.
 The canton of Zurich is looking into establishing a centre for blockchain in Dübendorf.
The canton of Zurich is looking into establishing a centre for blockchain in Dübendorf.

Carmen Walker Späh, the economics minister for the canton of Zurich, was interviewed for a documentary film on the plans for the former military airfield in Dübendorf. “We plan to establish a blockchain research hub in the canton of Zurich. I hope this succeeds,” said Walker Späh. The proposal envisages bringing companies, banks and research institutes together in one location to work on blockchain technology.

The canton ordered a feasibility study for the project at the end of September, Eva May of the cantonal economic development agency told the Neue Zürcher Zeitung. The study, which is being conducted by the Zurich start-up Nexussquared, will examine the interest of potential partners and look at possible private-public partnerships. “The signs are very positive,” said May.

Daniel Gasteiger, co-founder of Nexussquared, speaks of 30 potential partners and hopes that companies such as Swisscom, the Zürcher Kantonalbank and the stock exchange operator SIX will participate as well as industry initiatives like Digital Switzerland. The participation of the Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich with its institutes for computational social science and distributed computing would be crucial.

A separate plan for a fintech centre in Dübendorf has already been under discussion since last year. Representatives from banks, universities and the Zurich Chamber of Commerce assembled a project group, out of which grew the association Swiss Fintech Innovations. This is also looking into moving to Dübendorf, reported the Neue Zürcher Zeitung.

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