Daily Archives: August 5, 2018

Daily Discussion, August 05, 2018

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Eleven Credit Suisse Staff Take Crypto Positions Elsewhere

Zurich’s branch of Credit Suisse has seen an exodus of staff, as they switch from banking to cryptocurrency over the past year.

The last to leave, Andrew Reel, has left the Swiss bank to become head of digital asset markets at Morgan Stanley also based in Zurich. But he’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to crypto defectors, with insider reports from the Swiss banking giant stating that 11 others have also departed on the digital career trail.

Three others have left CS bound for various positions at Crypto Finance, a Swiss company that aims to implement blockchain technology, and one to become head of trading. Two others have left the bank and set up Vision&, a self-described “Swiss-based, SRO-regulated asset manager facilitating access to innovative blockchain investment opportunities.” Since then, these two have reportedly launched the first actively managed blockchain investment product in Switzerland.

A crypto exchange in Zug, Switzerland’s Crypto Valley, called Lykke, has been the beneficiary of another Credit Suisse defector, which later saw the arrival of two further CS refugees. Two other companies have also snapped up leavers such as blockchain company Digital Asset and Schneider Digital Asset.

Apparently, all professionals in the Zurich banking market are well known to each other and it appears that they’ve all ended up at Credit Suisse at some time or another. One of the leavers commented:

“We all worked together on the trading floor…The community in Switzerland (and globally) was very compact a couple years ago. Our small blockchain cell of people entered the space rather early and shared knowledge.”

Reportedly its that fact the cryptocurrency and blockchain lend themselves to a better way of expressing the entrepreneurial spirit than banking. He added, “We found different ways to enter the crypto business but still keep close and exchange thoughts.”

Switzerland’s stock exchange, SIX, announced recently that it will open its doors to digital currencies. The new platform which is being built by SIX will offer integrated post-transaction services such as deal settlement and asset custody through DLT. SIX and regulated by Finma. The Swiss Central Bank, says that it plans to roll out its cryptocurrency service in the first half of 2019.

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UTRUST Just Made Charitable Donations a Whole Lot Easier as Crypto Flows to Charity

Blockchain-based payment platform, UTRUST and AidCoin will combine forces to enable charitable donations across the world in 23 different cryptocurrencies.

The project is being launched to simplify donations in multiple countries via the UTRUST interface. The new system is set to replace methods whereby a donor transferred and then converted funds into AidCoin tokens or through a donate button allowing donors to transfer UTK from their UTRUST wallet to the AIDChain wallets of various charities.

The new donation system called AIDPay is a widget which allows the donor to use any one of 23 supported cryptocurrencies to pay charities registered with AIDChain online using a fully trackable system including how the money is dispersed and what on.

There’s been a significant rise in the number of charities supported by cryptocurrency donations in the recent years. Some of these include Electronic Frontier Foundation, Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, WikiLeaks, Antiwar.com, Watsi, Water Project, Code to Inspire, BitGive and Epic Change.

In such a scenario, not even a single day passes without the release of another crypto-aid project or a way to make donations and fund utilization more transparent so that NGOs and private charities are more accountable.

Brian Armstrong, the CEO of digital currency service Coinbase, recently announce the launch of a project to help the homeless and other people out of poverty with a personal USD 1 million donation.  GiveCrypto is a global enterprise which will make cryptocurrency donations to worthy recipients, who will then be able to make personal choices in whether to keep their cryptocurrency donations or exchange them for fiat.

Madonna with her Raising Malawi project has built 14 schools in rural Malawi and in partnership with buildOn have educated community members about the importance of girls’ education in that country. Ripple too, was quick to support her project with a dollar for dollar match of donated funds.

Even English Heritage, a UK charity that provides the country with access to over 400 historical sites, buildings, monuments and places, has found a way of making the technology behind Bitcoin play its part in supporting that country’s historical heritage by partnering with charity platform Giftcoin.

UTRUST’s move is another link in the chain allowing cryptocurrency funds to continue flowing towards needy causes — a forgotten fact by dissenters who happily feed the FUD in these volatile times.

Francesco Nazari Fusetti, CEO and Founder of AidCoin commented:

“We’re excited to introduce an opportunity for crypto-holders to donate cryptocurrency straight from their Utrust wallets seamlessly, or when making a payment…This is, of course, a well-established practice in conventional banking and payments solutions, and yet until now, has been an unprecedented case in the crypto world.”

 

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Germany’s Second Largest Stock Exchange Takes yet Another Step down the Crypto Road

Germany’s second-largest stock exchange, Boerse Stuttgart has taken the step to host Crypto Trading and Coin Offerings.

This follows an earlier announcement that’s its new app, Bison, would be released by Fintech company Sowa Labs, a subsidiary of Boerse Stuggart Digital Ventures, later this year. Boerse Stuggart is Germany’s second-largest stock exchange after Boerse Frankfurt.

The aim now is to extend crypto activities to primary and secondary markets and create a platform from which tokens can be issued. The previously announced Bison trading app will be released in both German and English which will support multiple pairs including BTC, ETH, LTC, and XRP. The app is claimed to be the first that has the support of a major traditional stock exchange.

The intention for Boerse Stuttgart is to keep everything under one roof where hosted ICO coins can be traded alongside leading cryptocurrencies such as BTC and ETH. Chief Executive Officer of Boerse Stuttgart, Alexander Höptner, explained:

“At the trading venue tokens issued via our ICO platform can be traded on the secondary market. This is an important success factor for ICOs. At the same time, we are responding to demand from both retail and institutional investors for a regulated and reliable environment for trading cryptocurrencies.”

Höptner said that this will give the exchange the opportunity to offer “central services along the value chain for digital assets, all under one roof.”

Boerse Stuttgart’s Subsidiary Sowa Labs conducted a survey of 1,019 German crypto traders earlier this year asking for their opinion on virtual currencies. Of the respondents, 81% were male, 19% were female, and 54% were 35 years old or younger. Of these, 16.9% owned a single cryptocurrency, whilst 18.2% confessed to owning several. More than 80% of respondents opened their first trading account from 2017 onward.

Dr. Ulli Spankowski, Sowa Lab’s managing director, commented that in Germany up until now the fast trading of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ether had been “anything but easy.”

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First Crypto Company Listed on the London Stock Exchange is Now Active

Crypto mining firm, UK-based Argo Mining — first cryptocurrency company to be listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) is now active.

Argo, which provides “accessible” crypto mining via a subscription service has raised £25 million (about $32.5 million) through an Initial Public Offering (IPO) on the LSE, exceeding its fundraising target by £5 million (about $6.5 million).

Company documents have stated that the newcomer began its life on the LSE with roughly 156 million shares priced at 16p, bringing Argo’s evaluation to £47 million pounds (about $61.2 million). Its website offers three packages covering three levels of mining power provisions, which has all been sold out. The company supports BTG, ETH, ZEC, and ETC.

London-headquartered firm Argo works on a subscription-based model, with its cryptocurrency mining operations based in Quebec, Canada, active since last year. This has become a popular location for mining farms due to optimal climate and energy cost conditions. Argo has plans to expand operations to Iceland and China, both of which benefit from cheap electricity costs and a cold climate.

Executive Chairman Jonathan Bixby stated that:

“Argo’s admission to the London main market is a major step in the company’s development and will put us in a strong position to execute our long-term growth strategy” adding, “We are delighted with the strong response from investors which will enable us to grow our business in multiple jurisdictions.”

Bixby suggests that he would like to see the company become the “the Amazon Web Services of crypto.” Argo had released its crypto mining subscription service in June after gaining the necessary approval to list on the stock exchange in May.

The Chairman referred to the fact that industrial-scale elites have 90% of the crypto mining sector covered due to its technical requirements, adding “It is incredibly expensive to buy, up front, the hardware you need at $5,000 a machine.”

Bitcoin News reported yesterday that Canaan Creative applied for an IPO earlier this year in Hong Kong with the hope of raining in a significant starter fund. At present, Canaan needs to keep one eye on its competitor Bitmain which at present has a huge 70% of the global Bitcoin mining device market.

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Half a Million Dutch Households Own Crypto but Central Bank Still Wary

A Dutch Central Bank spokesperson still maintains that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are too volatile for savings and their value can only be expressed in fiat terms.

In a recent CB publication on fintech, bank divisional director Petra Hielkema expressed these sentiments, also adding that there are still risks associated with buying cryptocurrencies in her view. Despite these concerns, the Dutch Central Bank has no plans to impose a cryptocurrency ban.

“If something wants to be treated as money, you have to be able to spend, save and calculate with it… However, things are not often bought with cryptocurrencies, it is too volatile for savings and its value is expressed in real money”, she said.

Clearly, such views are not shared by those that do save, spend and calculate with currencies such as Bitcoin on a daily basis. In Holland, the current figure is estimated to be about half a million households where a form of cryptocurrency is invested in or used.

She continued, clearly following the trend by banks to separate cryptocurrency from the technology behind it:

“So we do not consider it to be money as such… Nevertheless, the central bank does consider the technology behind bitcoins – blockchain – to be extremely interesting. We have been experimenting with the technology for the past three years and have developed four prototypes.”

Dutch finance minister Wopke Hoekstra wants to see European intervention in order to combat risk such as a ban on risky financial products and limiting the use of credit cards so that cryptocurrency can’t be purchased with them.

In contrast, the Dutch government’s CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis (CPB) has released a report claiming that cryptocurrencies present a low risk to financial stability in the country. The report, published on 29 May, was initiated in order to establish if cryptocurrencies posed any kind of economic risk in the light of its increasing use and popularity in Holland.

Because Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies reached the news often in 2017, approximately 60% of the households in the Netherlands who invest in cryptocurrencies started doing so in 2017. In the first three quarters of 2017, there were approximately 44,000 transactions in Bitcoin from the Netherlands on a trading platform called BTC Direct, according to Statistica.

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Daily Discussion, August 04, 2018

Please utilize this sticky thread for all general Bitcoin discussions! If you see posts on the front page or /r/Bitcoin/new which are better suited for this daily discussion thread, please help out by directing the OP to this thread instead. Thank you!

Daily threads are fast paced! If you don’t get an answer to your question, you can try phrasing it differently or commenting again tomorrow.

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