We know the words finance, and banking can be scary, but we must remember that DeFi is here to save you from the stress of dealing with banks. DeFi or Decentralized Finance, is a new approach to financial services. Defi offers peer-to-peer payments that can provide all the same services as a regular bank, but is much more decentralized through blockchain technology and smart contracts. It allows you to sidestep the traditional middleman like banks or brokers, creating space for greater security, lower costs, more services, and the ability to earn a higher income through your crypto holdings. Now that we learned a little about defi and what defi companies would be involved in, let's look into some defi-focused companies found in Switzerland.
Our defi picks
Sygnum, Switzerland's first full-fledged crypto bank, empowers its clients to invest in the digital asset economy with complete trust.
WHat you’ll Learn
Bitcoin Suisse is a crypto-based financial service to help clients buy, sell and trade crypto while implementing radical new additions like Bitcoin Lightning while making advancements in becoming Europe's number one crypto payment processor.
WHat you’ll Learn
Key Information,The Basics, What About Bitcoin Lightning, DDT Score
Web3 Foundation is ready to hold out a helping hand and nurture and support web3 based research and projects to reach they're of making an accessible, fair, and decentralized internet for everyone.
WHat you’ll Learn
Featured Company One
Sygnum bank, with its regulated banking services, makes the universe of digital assets bankable, convenient, and trusted. They are known for their Digital CHF, a pegged settlement token, or stable coin, with a complete digital asset banking suite. For every Digital CHF minted in its customer account, Sygnum holds the equivalent amount of CHF as collateral. The DCHF acts as a bridge between other digital assets and fiat currencies (legal tender currency like CHF or USD), increasing transaction ease and efficiency and eliminating intermediaries. It also reduces complexity, cost, and time, while diminishing counterparty risk. The settlement framework and technology developed for Sygnum can be replicated with other major currencies.
Employees in Swizterland
Sygnum is one of Switzerland's first, fully-fledged crypto banks founded by an experienced group of banking, investment, technology, and regulatory experts. It's an independently controlled, scalable, and future-proof digital asset banking solution. Having developed secure infrastructure, operations, and future services to meet a diverse range of clients.
Their services include brokerage (trade digital assets 24/7), tokenization (create added value for issuers and investors), B2B banking services (regulate digital asset banking service to your business), asset management (diversify your investment portfolio), accounts, custody & staking (Store digital assets in a trusted environment) and lending (increase your liquidity).
Their clients, and maybe one day even you, would deposit money to securely buy, trade, and hold an expanding range of digital assets integrated into one account. These include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple's XRP protocol tokens and a Digital CHF token for instant settlements, and soon a diverse range of asset tokens.
Sygnum also raises money for series B funding (second round of funding for companies who have reached a set of milestones), accelerating the expansion of web 3.0 offerings and new global markets. So far, we can see that Sygnum has much to offer you in terms of banking opportunities, but they have also dived into the world of art and NFTs. So let's see what they managed to cook up there.
We are all familiar with Picasso, the Spanish artist with the bizarre abstract painting who made notable strides in Cubism. But did you know Sygnum bank and Artemundi, an art investment pioneer, partnered together and are marking the first time the ownership rights to a Picasso, or any artworks, are being broadcasted onto the blockchain by a regulated bank? Created in 1964 and valued at 4 million CHF, Picasso's Fillette au béret has been tokenized and broadcasted onto the public blockchain by a regulated bank.
So far, it sounds pretty cool, but it does get better. As it's on the public blockchain, investors can purchase and trade "shares" in the artwork with Art Security Tokens (ASTs), and all token holders have their ownership recognized under Swiss law, opening up the art market to a broad range of investors. Tokens are to be available for subscription to professional and institutional investors.
The art market has been known to be a harsh and cutthroat place, often requiring technical knowledge, personal connections, and millions of dollars. Making it an exclusive, and non-inclusive environment. Tokenization creates a digital representation of financial and tangible assets on the blockchain, allowing fractional ownership, lowering financial barriers, and democratizing access to art history pieces. The tokenization eliminates the need for intermediaries, reduces transactional costs, and brings much-needed industry transparency. So for all you out there wishing you could have some kind of access or ownership to these million dollars pieces of art, and participate more in the art market, here is your chance. The art world is finally opening up to be more inclusive.
What a world we live in. With a bank entirely focused on crypto. Think back to 25 years ago when cell phones were only starting to become popular, and now we have minicomputers in our pockets, banks that are entirely focused on crypto, and a new and fair internet on the horizon. We move from simple white screens with text, to crazy animations and interactive buttons. But let's dive into Sygnum and see how well they could accommodate the world of defi and design.
Sygnum uses this minimalistic website approach with mainly white and grays and one pop of color. This unique pink carries through the website and creates a significant association with the Sygnum name. All great choices so far. With things like finance, you wouldn't want to be overpowered by visuals and effects, especially when looking into an entirely new way of banking. While Sygnum kept it simple, they added elements of animation to make it more intruiging.
The whole home page is kept short, and to the point, but shows all the essential information, news, and available careers. The tagline however, could use some improvement.
The onboard process is where improvement should be focused. The way it's presented with a slightly blurry image, no clear understanding of what precisely the steps are, or what's required of you, and questions like "are you a person from the US" but no explanation of why that matters, leads to making you feel a little uneasy and confused. How long is this onboard process? What do I get out of it afterwards? Is there a fee to sign up? A minimum I need to put into the bank? Do I need legal documents? Is it secure? Why would it matter if I from the US? You're left with so many questions and uncertainty. Luckily all of these have easy fixes. A quick explanation of the onboarding process would go a long way. Provide temporary redirects or more popups to explain the significance of each question when it's uncertain. We can leave all these choices up to the designer.
Provide better imagery that's more on brand when clicking onboard. It feels so disconnected, which is a shame and makes things seem scarier then intended, especially when you don't know anything about crypto finance. One of the critical things we must remember is that web3 is so new to so many people, and even though cryptocurrency has been around for a few years, many of us don't know anything beyond its name. So when things start evolving, we also have to be transparent with the steps, costs, process, etc… when it comes to finance and new topics like web3, we will have to be even more transparent. Onboard through education.
Sometimes Sygnum does a good job avoiding heavy terminology, but other times you sit there dumbfounded, racking your brain to understand what it all means. Mixing the technical terms with financial terms could leave anyone confused. We are going to assume that most people at least understand the financial terms, but they would still sometimes have to read between the lines to get the main points across. Sygnum talks a lot about tokenization but doesn't really explain its meaning. Simple one-sentence explanations could remove so much confusion. They do a great job of breaking down the information, categorizing what they offer, and explaining if you can look past some complicated wording. They also use some fun puns like 'Sygnature,' which continues to promote their branding.
In conclusion, Sygnum holds on strong to its simplicity and branding, even across social media platforms. The simplicity is more inviting and less stressful, which is perfect when discussing defi, which is still pretty new, and you don't want it to be overbearing. Yet the comfort of the simplicity is quickly ripped away when you try to navigate the stormy waters of the complicated wording and quite scary (and complex) onboarding process. Once again, it's important to remember that we are all still babies when it comes to web3. Still, we want to make a safe and nurturing space for everyone to grow and expand their knowledge, and there's so much opportunity to initiate improvements.
Featured Company TWO
Crypto, Defi, ATM, Broker & OTC
Employees in Swizterland
Bitcoin Suisse being one of the first crypto-focused companies in Switzerland, hasn't slacked off. They're working hard to reach their goal of being the biggest crypto payment processor in all of Europe and keeping their reputation as number one. How are they doing this? You may ask. Well, let us tell you. Bitcoin Suisse has become Switzerland's first crypto payment processor to offer Bitcoin Lightning. You must be wondering what that is; if you continue to our' What About Bitcoin Lightning?' section, you'll learn all you need to know.
We know that many critical revolutionary companies have made a home for themselves in Switzerland. Bitcoin Suisse, a household name, is one of Switzerland's first companies involving crypto.
You might be wondering who is Bitcoin Suisse and what do they do? Maybe you have even heard of them as they have continued to impress and spread themselves worldwide; they are already the leader in the European payments and transactional service industry.
As their client, you would be provided with tools and help in buying, selling, and earning crypto assets and provide integrated access to decentralized assets and developments in the crypto space. To make it even better, they also offer the best market value prices across popular cryptocurrency exchanges worldwide and let you trade crypto for fiat currencies (things like EU, CHF, or USD). Providing a service for major proof-of-stake blockchains that lets clients earn crypto staking rewards without a required technical setup.
Bitcoin Suisse has become Switzerland's first crypto payment processor to offer Bitcoin Lightning.
Bitcoin Lightning is a decentralized network based on Bitcoin's second layer. All these blockchain terms can get confusing, so let's break it down even further. Bitcoins' second layer is a secondary protocol built on top of an existing blockchain system to solve speed and cost issues by taking a load off of layer 1 (the main layer).
Bitcoin Lightning uses a smart contract functionality, a program stored in the blockchain that runs as long as certain conditions are met without an intermediary's involvement or time loss. It creates a secure network that allows small value, lightning-fast transactions, with instant settlements to take place quickly and removes high blockchain fees.
These new game-changing implementations put Bitcoin Suisse in the lead of being the first mover in the crypto space.
Bitcoin Suisse is the first crypto-based company in all of Switzerland. But can their design choices live up to the many futuristic strides they've made? Being a financial-based company, the choice of simplicity was a good one. You don't want to be overwhelmed with learning about and possibly opening up financial accounts, especially with newer topics such as web3. The use of the red and white colors creates an association with Switzerland, which brings you back to the company's roots.
There's room for some content rearrangement to draw us in with all their impressive attributes, like moving up sections on the company key numbers to draw attention and show off exactly how remarkable they are. The staking calculator provided to consumers or clients, shows anyone interested how much they could earn by signing up, or investing with Bitcoin Suisse. A compelling element to draw people's attention and curiosity, as we all love the thought of making money without really having to do anything.
There's a friendly promotional voice talking up the company and its features, making it inviting, light, and happy. Having company news present up front on the home page, is an excellent addition to keep customers up to date with current changes, big news, etc., making sure you're involved and can follow the progression of the company. Also, adding quotes from the founders of either Bitcoin Suisse or other blockchain-related companies shows its desirability.
They do a great job of breaking down the onboarding process. Making things like any fees clear, and breaking down why they are an excellent company to trust—answering the most commonly asked questions—showing active crypto stats, and offering real-time data and videos about Bitcoin Suisse to pull you in. They make all the information easy to digest.
Unfortunately, it can get a little lost behind all the vocabulary. For those of you who understand, fantastic, but from a newbie onboarding perspective, they must navigate through this jungle of complicated wording. Many people are still learning about space, and offering easy to digest content, would ultimately reduce confusion, uncertainty, and surprise. All the information, while short, can be overwhelming, but you'd rather be over-informed when it comes to your finances.
Overall, Bitcoin Suisse does an excellent job of breaking down the information into smaller sections, providing the process of what's needed and expected when you sign up, and creating trust and security with their end consumers. Pushing the Swiss name and colors offers many benefits, one of which being, an underlying trust between money + Swiss banks. The simplicity allows it to be focused on the information. What could be improved, is the visibility of Bitcoin Suisse's team, and Founder. He has a unique look, and large mustache that's very memorable - remember, creating a human point of contact in user's minds, opens up a wide range of opportunity for remarketing. There's also room to rearrange the information to use flashy statistics already present on the site. Overall, the showcasing of information is concise but uses a lot of technical jargon, which should be improved to make the process more inclusive to all of the web3 newbies out there.
Featured Company Three
Web3 Foundation seeks to fund the development and research into building an accessible foundation for the decentralized web, to allow everyone to regain control of their data, while securely exchanging information and completing global digital transactions. Something we can all agree would be beneficial, enabling us to take back control of our data and security.
Web3, Funding, Cryptography, Platform and Protocol
Employees in Swizterland
Do you have a web3 based project in mind? Well, Web3 Foundation might just be your number one fan. Their passion is delivering, and helping to create a decentralized and fair internet where the users control their own data, identity, and destiny. So far, it's clear they have some pretty good morals and goals. Firmly believing that everyone should own their data, global digital transactions should be secure and online exchanges of information should be decentralized.
They are ready to reach out a helping hand and help fund any research, development teams, and open-source projects that are trying to build the foundation of the decentralized web—supporting the teams with advocacy, research, and collaborations. They seek to nurture and support cutting-edge applications for decentralized web software protocols.
Their flagship protocols are Polkadot and Kusama. Polkadot is a scalable, sharded chain and the first protocol that provides a secure environment for cross-chain composability (any decentralized holding a user has, that can be used as collateral for getting involved with Dapps). Kusama is a scalable development network built on nearly the same codebase as Polkadot. It's designed for teams who want to move fast and innovate. Web3 Foundation wants to help others realize their web3 dreams and bring the idea of a decentralized internet to life.
Web3 Foundation takes a different approach to a landing page than most, with just one large quote in black and white. This could probably be seen in two ways, strange, or not very useful/intriguing. They take an exciting approach to showcasing the web3 layers tech stack, which is valuable for everyone, whether you know about web3 or not. You can click on each box where a general overview of that layer is shown, and then the word, is described in a light grey underneath. It's easily missed and still utilizes a lot of technical terminology. Our approach should be to reduce the technical jargon, providing a space with videos and terms to help the web3 babies understand.
The second is that it's talking about different layers. Yet, nothing distinguishes one layer from the last in terms of design and color. More hierarchy could create more of a divide and showcase visually and clearly that you are in a different layer of the blockchain now.
Moving this technology stack to be more web3 novice-friendly would be an excellent way for people to learn and understand exactly what they're getting into. It's clear the concept is there, but the execution, in a way, needs to be 'baby-proofed'.
There are a million videos on web3, but they have chosen trusted ones to try to share and spread the movement of web3. The addition of videos on what web3 is allows people to educate themselves more on their website and gain a better understanding from a suggested source.
To a certain extent, their website kind of lacks character. It feels very black and white (which is quite literally is). You can feel there is a set amount of branding across some of the pages, but in others, the typography is the only thing pulling it together. They have animations on some hidden pages, but utilizing it more on the primary traffic areas would improve conversion, and average engagement time.
The news section on the company is great, so you can be kept up to date and feel more involved. Although it seems extremely out of date, as the last post was made in 2020. Web3 Foundation invests in crypto-based companies, and it was only after some digging, that a long, boring-looking list of the companies was found, some of which were ranked. Showcasing these companies more front and center on the website could be highly beneficial to motivate and boost image. It shows the value of what Web3 Foundation does, as well as promotes the companies they have helped fund. Web3 Foundation has some remarkable aspects, great ideas, and projects they're funding. Still, they aren't taking advantage of so many opportunities they have to show themselves off, promote and create traction for the companies they are investing in, and educate others on web3 projects. It's clear they're a very involved and fascinating company with many assets; they just need to grab more opportunities at their disposal.
Our meetups will present some of the finding of the reports and will facilitate some rich breakout discussions on the Web3 topics that emerge. There will be a ton of networking, collaboration and community building happening at DDT Spark so - don't miss it!