Swiss Crypto Valley Leadership Steps Down After Governance Review

Swiss Crypto Valley Association
Coinbase

In a joint statement sent to CVA members, the board’s president Oliver Bussmann and three other members – vice-president Vasiliy Suvorov, the board’s secretary and treasurer René Hüssler, and Nicolas Schobinger – announced they will not be standing for re-election next month, Swissinfo reported. All of them have been in the governing body since the establishment of the association in January of last year. The statement reads: “After a rewarding two years, we feel it is best that the Association’s next phase of development is led with a renewed perspective. Having that in mind, we have made a decision several weeks ago not to seek re-election for our seats in the upcoming board elections scheduled for January 2019.”

Bussmann, vice-president Vasiliy Suvorov, René Hüssler, who holds the positions of secretary and treasurer, and board member Nicolas Schobinger announced on Friday that they would step down at the next annual general meeting at the end of January.
“We have been with the Association as board members since January 2017 and, after a rewarding two years feel it is best that the Association’s next phase of development is led with a renewed perspective. Having that in mind, we have made a decision several weeks ago not to seek re-election for our seats in the upcoming board elections scheduled for January 2019,” the four said in a joint statementexternal link send out to CVA members.

Since it was formed last year, the CVAexternal link has served as an international beacon for the growing Swiss blockchain industry in canton Zug and other parts of Switzerland. It promotes this blockchain industry globally, draws up self-regulating codes of conduct, liaises with the Zug cantonal authorities and lobbies federal ministers and regulators on behalf of its 1,000+ members.

But swissinfo.ch has heard anecdotal evidence of concerns that have been bubbling for some time in Crypto Valley about the future direction of the blockchain industry in Switzerland. This largely boils down to finding the right balance between promoting the potential social impact of blockchain and its commercial exploitation.

Rumblings of discontent
The CVA boardexternal link was recently expanded to seven members by adding María Gomez and Jenna Zenk in September. The addition of two women was specifically designed to enhance diversity at the CVA after the board had been accused of being an “old boy’s club”.

The other member of the CVA board, Soren Fog, raised the issue of governance during June’s AGM. He complained of a “conflict of interest in the leadership” and called on members to challenge this “in a sober and detailed way”. He also called for a code of conduct to address the issues of corporate governance, leadership accountability and for an independent audit.

Fog did not at the time go into specifics of what he saw as going wrong within the CVA and he was unavailable for comment on Friday. It is also unclear how many members share his view.

Weeks after the AGM, the CVA enlisted lawyer Hans Kuhn, a former general counsel at the Swiss National Bank, to conduct a review of the association’s articles. Speaking to swissinfo.ch, Kuhn played down the significance of his report, saying it was merely routine paperwork updating mundane processes.