During the DigitalSwitzerland challenge, taking place today (April 9th) in Zurich, Blockchain firm Proxeus, along with IBM and other partners, will complete the legal registeration of a company, from start to finish, in just 3 hours. This is in contrast to the typical 4 to 6 weeks which is currently the norm. The process will be accomplished by leveraging a digitized workflows and smart contracts.
Proxeus has partnered with Canton Zug, the home of Switzerland’s Crypto Valley; Grunder Rechtsanwälte; IBM Switzerland; Kaiser Odermatt & Partner; Swisscom; VermögensZentrum; and Zwicky Windlin & Partner to prove that the entire process for registering a Swiss startup in the commercial register can be completed in a fraction of the previous time required. Proxeus calls the accomplishment a record-setting achievement in Switzerland.
“From our perspective as Swiss notaries, the process will speed-up the registration from a pushcart to a rocket, facilitate the drafting of legal documents and it will consolidate the various parties in a most effective way.” Philippe J.A. Kaiser, Partner at Kaiser Odermatt & Partner, Diego Benz, Partner at Zwicky Windlin & Partner, and Rahel Merenda Partner at Grunder Rechtsanwälte.
DigitalSwitzerland challenge is a joint initiative from leading Swiss businesses that seeks to drive the digitization process across the country. According to Proxeus, Switzerland was identified by the WEF ranking of 138 countries’ efficiency and speed in starting a business as ranked 54th and 56th in time and number of steps respectively. Of course, this is due to entrenched bureaucracy and paper processes.
“Defending the competitive advantage of Switzerland heavily depends on its power to innovate and build up its startup ecosystem,” says Ulrich Schimpel, CTO Europe Team & IBM Research, Cognitive Industry Solutions. “It’s a matter of tomorrow’s success in eliminating any unnecessary complexity for our budding entrepreneurs. Our business ecosystem is rapidly evolving through open dialogue and collaboration among business partners and government entities – an ideal territory for embracing a digital transformation, which includes advancing and applying blockchain technology. This a major reason why IBM has decided to play a key role in this challenge. In the big scheme of things, reducing the complexity and duration of all administrative interactions throughout the entire corporate life-cycle has the potential to strengthen Switzerland’s position as a world-leading business location.”
“The existing system was slow and inefficient. We have proposed a solution that allowed us to radically speed up the registration process by creating a parallel blockchain track, while still producing all the paperwork necessary to document and formally incorporate the company.”
By shifting the entire registration process encompassing the entrepreneur, lawyer, bank, notary and commercial register to a digital workflow and Hyperledger Blockchain and a utilizing smart contract, the steps may be processed instantly.
Proxeus adds that while reducing the time to register a business is an important first step down the path of digitizing all multi-partner processes throughout the full corporate lifecycle by means of blockchain, the most interesting impact is the shifting to smart contracts.
“This is what Proxeus has been working towards,” said Verdon. “What we demonstrated today is that without any legislative change, traditional paper-driven, highly iterative processes can be transferred to the blockchain securely and effectively, increasing efficiency and dramatically lowering costs. But incorporating a company is only the first step: by tokenizing company shares and connecting them with crypto-identities, we will be able to automate entire areas of corporate law and financing.”
Proxeus states its team analyzed 477 successful ICOs in the past year and they have determined that 68% of these Blockchain based projects could be fully replicated, or replicated in part, by the Proxeus platform.