An exciting year is coming to an end. No doubt, 2020 was an extraordinary year in so many ways. There were unforeseen challenges, and many businesses experienced hardship. But there were also positive developments, which often went unnoticed besides all the negative news. Let’s recap.

The year started with an event that many in Liechtenstein’s blockchain ecosystem had been looking forward to: On the 01st of January, the Liechtenstein Blockchain Act came into force. It was a long-awaited and broadly hyped piece of legislation that many thought would significantly move forward Liechtenstein’s blockchain and crypto scene. It did, and it also didn’t.

It did because many businesses had already moved to Liechtenstein in the past two years in anticipation of the new law which would provide legal certainty for Liechtenstein-based blockchain businesses. But the Blockchain Act also didn’t meet all the expectations, at least not yet, because 2020 was not the year in which businesses were looking to relocate to another country. Instead, it was a year in which many businesses, in particular startups, were struggling to survive.

And many did survive. According to the Top Report by Crypto Valley Venture Capital (CVVC), the crypto valley, which includes Liechtenstein and neighboring Switzerland, has grown in size during the first half of 2020, despite the COVID crisis. A key reason was that cryptocurrency prices had recovered relatively quickly, which stabilized many crypto businesses’ financing base.

A turning point for digitalization

Digital business models, in general, felt tailwind this year. The COVID-crisis has accelerated digitalization in many ways, as businesses, governments, and private households were forced to adopt digital technologies to reduce human contact. Trends like home office, e-commerce, or online meetings have significantly increased the demand for digital solutions – and that trend won’t end once the pandemic is over.

As Liechtenstein has already started to push digital infrastructure – the country has the fastest internet speed in the world – and digital-friendly legislation, it is now well-positioned to capitalize on the trend towards more digitalization. The government has also announced to invest more in digital stability and cyber-security.

A digital boom in 2021?

To sum up 2020: It was a challenging year, but it was also a year that has put many things in motion and has accelerated trends that would otherwise have taken many years to manifest themselves. History will likely look back at 2020 as a turning point for digitalization. That has implications in particular for Liechtenstein’s growing digital ecosystem.

If the vaccine enables us to turn around the pandemic in 2021, businesses can get back to work, global supply chains recover, and consumers start spending again with confidence. Every crisis ends at some point, and afterward the economy will recover. Those businesses that have persevered during the crisis and created the foundation for future growth are set to benefit from the future economic growth. That’s in particular also a chance for Liechtenstein, which can then reap the fruits of the past years’ investments in its digital ecosystem.

But that’s 2021, which still about two weeks out. For now, it’s time to celebrate, calm down, relax, and spend time with our families. This year’s Christmas celebration will be different, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be good. We want to say thank you to all of our readers and supporters for your loyalty in 2020, and we are looking forward to keep delivering many more insights and news into Liechtenstein’s digital scene over the next years.

We wish you a Merry Christmas, a relaxed holiday season, and a great start into the coming year.

Best wishes,

Your ICO.li Team

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