A major state-owned telecommunications provider in Switzerland has joined the open-source Hyperledger blockchain project.
Swisscom AG announced yesterday that it was joining the Linux Foundation-led effort. At the same time, the company disclosed several blockchain-related projects it has undertaken since internal research began last year.
Specific initiatives include a consumer loyalty concept developed with an unnamed bank and a platform for over-the-counter trading, the latter of which is being pursued in partnership with the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, among other parties.
David Watrin, who leads Swisscom’s internal blockchain efforts, said in a statement:
“Hyperledger is setting out on the promising and proven path that has already been taken with Linux: standardisation, broad-based support, open exchange of information.”
Switzerland has become a focal point of sorts in Europe for the tech. Home to a growing number of bitcoin and blockchain startups, the country has seen significant developments on both the public and private sector front. One of the more notable developments in recent months was the decision by Swiss railway operator SBB to offer bitcoin sales through its network of ticket kiosks.
The sentiment that Switzerland could serve as a hub for blockchain innovation was echoed by Swisscom representatives.
“Switzerland can use blockchain technology to drive the digital economy and assume a pioneering role,” said Johannes Höhener, who leads the telecom’s fintech projects. “We want to provide support as a catalyst with expertise, experience and implementation skills.”