Registration of Company On Blockchain in less than 2 hours

Blockchain workflow engine and generator Proxeus, technology company IBM Switzerland and further partners, amongst our law firm represented by myself, have shown how to register a Swiss startup entirely on Blockchain in a “fraction” of the time traditionally required as part of their entry in the digitalSwitzerland challenge. The idea for Blockchain company registration came after Switzerland was ranked 54th and 56th respectively for the time and number of steps to start a business in a World Economic Forum (WEF) ranking of 138 countries, due to an excess in both the number of players involved and the physical paperwork required.

Our entry for the digitalSwitzerland challenge shows how the normal process with the “entrepreneur, lawyer, bank, notary and commercial register” can be turned into a digital workflow. This is achieved by using the IT systems in the bank and commercial registry already in existence with the Hyperledger Blockchain and a smart contract, meaning that “key steps can be processed instantly,” resulting in a “record setting achievement” of time for registration. The Hyperledger Blockchain has recently been used for a medical records Blockchain pilot program and SWIFT’s Blockchain pilot for bank-to-bank transfers.

Antoine Verdon, cofounder of Proxeus, said that the company joined the challenge – which aims to implement “innovative concepts and crazy ideas” in Switzerland – because it “offered a perfect proof of concept for Proxeus:” “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 [B]lockchain track, while still producing all the paperwork necessary to document and formally incorporate the company.”

Proxeus and IBM also worked with Canton Zug, Swisscom, VermögensZentrum, and notary firms Grunder Rechtsanwälte, Kaiser Odermatt & Partner and us, Zwicky Windlin & Partner on the digitalSwitzerland challenge. The three notaries involved in the project commented that from their perspective: “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.”

CTO Europe Team & IBM Research, Cognitive Industry Solutions Ulrich Schimpel said that the “major reason” that IBM participated in this challenge was to “embrac[e] a digital transformation” because: “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.”

According to Verdon, this successful test has also shown the possibilities for the future impact of smart contracts for businesses: “This is what Proxeus has been working towards. What we demonstrated today is that without any legislative change, traditional paper-driven, highly iterative processes can be transferred to the [B]lockchain 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.”

During our demonstration at the digitalSwitzerland challenge, the jury selected a firm name out of four suggestions and initiated the process of incorporation of a Swiss LTD. Drakkensberg AG, the very first Swiss company incorporated on a Blockchain, was successfully registered with the competent Commercial Register in Zug (Crypto Valley) within less than 2 hours.

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