Despite having a population of just 40,000, Liechtenstein is working on something pretty big. Crown Prince Alois has been courting the crypto community and inviting them to establish their blockchain businesses in the alpine forests of Liechtenstein.
It may be smaller than Brooklyn, but Liechtenstein is working on something pretty big.
With a population of 40,000 and only a single hospital, Liechtenstein is smaller than small, but a low tax rate over the years has made it a hub for financial services – part of the reason it’s now home to more registered businesses than citizens.
Now nestled between the Swiss Alps and Austria, Liechtenstein’s Crown Prince Alois has been sending signals to the cryptocurrency community that his family’s principality of Liechtenstein is the place to bring their businesses.
In 2013 Yanislav Malahov was closely involved in the creation of Ethereum, the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency behind Bitcoin.
Where did he decide to base his new venture?
Malahov tells Forbes that Liechtenstein was the obvious choice.
A Royal invite
Malahov had a chance encounter with one of the Princes of Liechtenstein at a conference in 2016 who told him of the principality’s warmth to cryptocurrencies.
Fast-forward two years and, after meeting with local regulators and tax authorities, Malahov decided there was only one place to launch his new startup.
“They’re not putting any financial incentives in place, but they’re making it really easy to incorporate a cryptocurrency business,” he says.
“You can open a company without a bank account, just by using Bitcoin or Ethereum.”
Malahov remembers founding Aerternity with the equivalent of 50,000 Swiss francs in Ethereum.