Wharton BDAP Director Professor Kevin Werbach designed an interactive and intensive course in Switzerland for the Wharton Executive MBA candidates during their Global Business Week. Wharton BDAP research fellow Bianca Kremer joined as Werbach’s Teaching Assistant. The course entitled Blockchain, Digital Assets, and Next-Generation Finance allowed students to experience Switzerland’s financial landscape and crypto ecosystem during May 1-5, 2022.
Crypto Valley, in the Swiss canton of Zug, is one of the most prominent hotbeds of blockchain activity, taking advantage of its proximity to the financial and financial regulatory centers in Zurich and Basel. The Crypto Valley region thus provided an ideal venue to experience both the bleeding edge of finance and the traditional institutions it could influence or disrupt.
The objective of this course was to examine emergent blockchain-based platforms and DeFi, both as innovations in finance and as innovations in management and governance. We investigated how government policy-makers and regulators are responding, as well as how these new ecosystems might challenge or integrate with traditional ones. Students enjoyed a varied perspective from different organizations and companies, including blockchain layer 1 protocols, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), Bitcoin Suisse, and many more. In addition to Zug, students spent time amid the banking giants in Zurich, and the central bankers’ central bank, the BIS (Bank of International Settlements) in Basel.