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Binance CEO Predicts 1,000 Times Swell in Crypto Market

As the crypto community discussed the future of the market this week, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao has disagreed with recent remarks by Vitalik Buterin, suggesting that the Ethereum founder’s comments about a squeeze on cryptocurrency growth are completely wrong.

Buterin has denied that he made exactly those comments, Tweeting, “I never said that there is no room for growth in the crypto ecosystem. I said there is no room for 1000x price increases.” Buterin has claimed that the crypto market has practically reached its ceiling.

Further explaining that a thousand-fold growth would equal to 70% of the world’s entire wealth seems to have done little to halt Zhao’s charge that cryptocurrencies will go mainstream over time, and thereby reach exactly that level of growth and possibly more.

Zhao maintains that Buterin’s mistake is to view such a huge level of growth in terms of the traditional financial market, in which such a market expansion would be totally unrealistic. He feels that cryptocurrency is capable of making such an impact once it becomes fully operational with an accompanying derivatives market in full sway. He argues:

“I will say ‘crypto will absolutely grow 1000x and more’! Just reaching USD market cap will give it close to 1000x, (that’s just one currency with severely restricted use case), and the derivatives market is so much bigger.”

It is the case now that more central banks are on board with, or if not, certainly examining, cryptocurrencies with more than just a passing glance, and as such, the industry is gaining respect. Blockchain technology is now becoming influential in banking and business at the highest level, having gained respect from some of the world’s major players such as IBM and Microsoft. As central banks begin to delve deeper into the space, it is highly likely that smaller banks will also begin to take an active interest.

The more positive the impact that cryptocurrency makes on the financial system, the more that regulation is likely become not only clearer but more accommodating as crypto becomes the normal way to conduct business.

This is more likely to be the scenario that Binance’s head envisages in making such predictions; thinking of the big picture rather than the status quo. A USD 200 trillion market would make cryptocurrency the main source of payment and would certainly make stock markets around the world look very different. Clearly, a scenario that Zhao sees as achievable.


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Binance to Focus on Africa Amid Inflation Crisis

Binance, often the top crypto exchange in the world with daily trading volume regularly exceeding USD 1 billion per day, says it is fully committed to Africa and will be investing heavily in crypto infrastructure across a continent struggling with an inflation crisis.

This declaration comes in a post from Benjamin Rameau, the Director of Binance Labs. He gives ten reasons why investing in African crypto infrastructure is a good idea, one of which is out of control fiat inflation across Africa. Out of the 20 countries with the highest fiat inflation according to the CIA World Factbook, 13 of them are in Africa. South Sudan has the worst inflation rate in Africa, over 100% per year, with Congo, Libya, Angola, Sudan, and Suriname having yearly fiat inflation in excess of 20%. Burundi, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Egypt, Malawi, Liberia, and Ghana, have yearly fiat inflation rates in excess of 10%.

This means a large swath of Africa is dealing with crippling inflation that is decimating life savings and damaging the economy. This makes the continent ripe to adopt crypto since Bitcoin’s supply is fixed, unlike fiat currencies which are printed at will by central banks. This means Bitcoin will hold its value long term, and it will allow Africans to have savings.

Additionally, a large fraction of Africans don’t have banks or access to the financial system. For example, in Sub-Saharan Africa, only 43% of those 15 or older have banks, versus 69% in the rest of the world. Cryptocurrency can provide the financial infrastructure that Africans desperately need but don’t have access to.

Further, cryptocurrencies are decentralized and easy to use across borders, unlike the current situation in Africa where there are 55 different countries, making cross-border financial transactions slow and confusing. Bitcoin and cryptocurrency can drastically increase the liquidity and speed of African finance.

In general, there is also a tremendous amount of governance problems in Africa, with many countries hostile towards each other. Blockchain can provide the framework for a streamlined African-wide government.

Binance affirms that they want to deploy their capital across Africa to invest in crypto and blockchain projects, and Benjamin Rameau thinks it will be an incredibly profitable investment since the lack of financial infrastructure has been holding back Africa’s economy and job growth. He thinks once Africa has a crypto backbone it will undergo an economic upswing equivalent to an industrial revolution, and Binance will be right in the middle of it.


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Liechtenstein Union Bank AG to Launch Fiat Backed Crypto

A bank in tiny Liechtenstein has announced its own security tokens and fiat backed cryptocurrency.

Liechtenstein Union Bank AG is to issue Union Bank Payment Coin (UBPC) and suggests that it is planning to become “full-service blockchain investment bank”.

The Liechtenstein government has a very pro stance on new technology and has suggested in the past that it wants to provide sensible but cohesive blockchain regulations in order to create a stable legal environment that will help further the country’s innovation within the sector.

Under pressure from other European nations to change the status quo in Liechtenstein following the global economic crisis, the county started to look at digital currency at about the same time that Bitcoin was beginning to become a byword in financial markets.

In the meantime, crypto-to-crypto trading hasn’t been regulated and exchanges are beginning to make a home in the country. Once the blockchain legislation goes through, further developments are predicted to be swift. Patrick Bont, the country’s top regulator explains:

“Because we are so small, blockchain companies can move a lot faster here than other countries… You can call us for a meeting on Monday morning and we can meet you for lunch on Tuesday or Wednesday. Very few other places can do that consistently.”

The Union bank has said that the launching of the new UBPC coin is a further step to becoming a blockchain-friendly nation and that the coin will be backed by major currencies such as the Swiss franc. The bank’s chairman Mohammad Hans Dastmaltchi was positive about the new release:

“Our goal is to become the world’s first blockchain investment bank and to provide tangible solutions which help drive efficiencies, reduce cost base and open up new revenue opportunities for our customers and intermediaries alike.”

Both Binance, new to the tiny principality, and Union Bank were highly complimentary about the government’s open stance on blockchain and cryptocurrency. Under the most recent guidelines from the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the first fully compliant cryptocurrency exchange is now open for registration.


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Binance Demos Decentralized Exchange

Changpeng Zhao has published a video showing a demo of the early stages of the Binance decentralized exchange (DEX), which will be hosted on the Binance Chain. Changpeng Zhao says “As you guys saw, that’s a very casual early demo for the Binance Chain, there’s still a ton of work to be done to turn it into a final product. The team is working on it very aggressively. Nevertheless, I think this is a major milestone for Binance chain”.

The video demo shows how a cryptocurrency based off the Binance Chain can easily be created from the command line, and by the time this technology is released perhaps, it will just be a click of a button to create a cryptocurrency. This looks like it’s even easier than creating a cryptocurrency with the Ethereum ERC-20 protocol, and Binance Chain has the potential to be better than Ethereum for creating new cryptocurrencies in the future.

Another major benefit of creating cryptocurrencies with Binance Chain rather than ERC-20 is the tokens can easily be listed on the Binance DEX, as the video demonstrates. Users can launch trading pairs for their newly created cryptocurrencies, or even for other cryptocurrencies. Since the Binance DEX will intrinsically be decentralized, users will have all the power instead of a central organization deciding which coins get listed.

Further, users will have full control of their cryptocurrency at all times, rather than the way it is now where they have to trust Binance and deposit cryptocurrency on the platform to be able to trade. Users can start trades, cancel trades, deposit, and withdraw at will, and there will be no centralized organization to stop them.

There are some decentralized exchanges based on Ethereum, like IDEX and 0x, but Binance DEX has the potential to be far more popular due to Binance’s well-respected and widely used brand, and the fact that it has tremendous amounts of money to make the perfect DEX.

When cryptocurrency and Bitcoin trading was effectively banned in China in September 2017, Binance left the country along with other top crypto exchanges Huobi and OKCoin. This is motivation for becoming decentralized, since once Binance is decentralized it can’t be stopped and will be available everywhere in the world regardless of government regulations.

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Binance CEO Speaks out on Blockchain’s Future and Why Dapps Are on the March

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao has expressed his feelings regarding the future of blockchain in a recent interview with Fortune, expressing hope for its future.

CZ, as he is affectionally referred to, indicated that blockchain predictions, similar to those about cryptocurrency, should be taken with a pinch of salt. He sees specialized ledgers will change the face of crypto space, taking over from large blockchains such as Ethereum. Somethin already noted by some investors due to its somewhat tardy transaction speed.

Such startups as EOS, DFINITY and Tezos, reportedly described by some in the industry as “Ethereum Killers” are reputed to offer the same functionality but with greater efficiency, somewhat posing a threat to Ethereum’s dominance as a go-to cryptocurrency.

The Binance boss feels that such specialized blockchains could replace Ethereum over time with more specific tailor-made usage. He suggested that decentralized applications (Dapps) are the next big thing and that he enjoyed the opportunity to work with some these new decentralized projects seeing it as very much the future direction of the crypto industry.

Of course, he isn’t the first to have suggested this. According to Zerion founder, Evgeny Yuttaev, cryptocurrencies are still more speculative than used for practical utilitarian purposes, suggesting there is a lack of use cases for digital currencies in 2108.

He suggests that most ICOs seem to be in search of the next Bitcoin or Ethereum in search of massive profits, but what is really needed is projects which can change peoples lives, and for this to happen, Dapps need to become mainstream. Currently, there are 1,565 Dapps built on the Ethereum blockchain alone, unsurprising given Ethereum’s historical place in the development of blockchain solutions.

Such a view is in contrast with those of Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin who feels that Dapps which pose a challenge to Ethereum consistently fail, although such a view is hardly surprising given where the network originated from – a smart contract exploit.


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Geographical Minnows in the Hunt for New Crypto Business

Many small countries with flexible regulatory guidelines towards cryptocurrencies and friendly banking rules are pulling some companies away from some of the more established “havens” such as Switzerland.

Many in the industry have recently expressed concerns that Switzerland may be losing its “crypto-haven” tag,  primarily because of current banking regulations in the alpine country. Thomas Moser, a board member of the Swiss National Bank, told Reuters recently that some fintech companies still had trouble opening accounts:

“They raised concerns about problems with opening bank accounts, which was a worry for them, and asked for help… I said this was not something the SNB dealt with, but they should speak with FINMA.”

This sounds like a less than genuine approach by the central bank as FINMA, the Swiss cryptocurrency-friendly regulatory body, continually has to deal with SWB’s continued concerns about money laundering.

Recent countries in the hunt for business are Liechtenstein and Gibraltar; elsewhere, the Cayman Islands and Bermuda are fast becoming start-up favorites, the latter recently when Bermuda shorts-wearing Changpeng Chao, CEO of Binance, announced he would open up compliance operations there and invest USD 15 million in the island.

Just in the last week, Bermuda’s Prime Minister David Burt, who also doubles as Minister of Finance, announced that 20 fintech companies had incorporated in Bermuda and another 21 were waiting in reserve. The list of 20 included Binance, Unikrn, iCash, Hub Culture, DES Digital Currency Exchange and Omega One with both Arbitrade Ltd and Arbitrade Mining (Bermuda) Ltd listed.

Bermuda has not only captured the world’s largest crypto company in Binance but, through its prime minister, has also expressed the desire “to position Bermuda as the incubator for this industry”, as Burt recently said at a New York blockchain conference.

The Rock of Gibraltar seems an unlikely place for a financial hub but nonetheless, it is, like Bermuda, fast becoming one, as it continues to lure new and existing fintech companies to its shores. Its second ‘Gibfin’ blockchain forum is on its way in September 2018, demonstrating the country’s serious intent when it comes to encouraging fintech companies to do business there.

Gibraltar is also about to finalize its cryptocurrency legislation which would allow companies to trade in digital currencies. Currently, 35 companies have applied for a government license.

Tiny Liechtenstein isn’t to be left behind either. The country’s proposed new Blockchain Law would take Liechtenstein down the “haven” route offering “crypto companies regulatory and legal predictability as well as enabling the country access to traditional fiat-based banking services”.

The law, originally scheduled for legislation on 10 July, is still on hold as the industry awaits further announcements later in the year.

Despite the obvious competition from these geographical minnows, Switzerland forges ahead regardless to become Europe’s cryptocurrency capital. Recent moves towards allowing cryptocurrency trading on its new SIX Digital Exchange is a clear notice of intent.


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Gibraltar Pro Football Team Paid in Crypto as “The Rock” Pushes Fintech Forward

Gibraltar is living up to its growing reputation as a European driving force in cryptocurrency adoption as a premier league football team shows a willingness to be paid in digital currency.

Gibraltar United’s owner Pablo Dana, who is an investor in the digital currency Quantacoin, hopes that the move will encourage foreign players who will easily be able to set up banking in Gibraltar, and suggests that it could also go some way to stamping out corruption in the game.

Dana is impressed with Gibraltar’s forward-thinking approach to cryptocurrency within its push to promote fintech on the island. He commented:

“It was the first [place that] regulated betting companies 20 years back when everyone was seeing them as horrible…They put compliance and anti-money laundering regulations and created a platform – they have the intelligence to do the same with cryptocurrencies.”

Introducing crypto payments for footballers would essentially be via the blockchain and free from taxes and charges, ending illegal payments to clubs or middlemen. In January, an amateur Turkish side, Harunustaspor, became the world’s first football team to complete a transfer using just cryptocurrency.

There are numerous advantages to integrating cryptocurrencies into sporting salary schemes, apart from reducing the frequency of cash-under-the-table deals as Italian-born Dana alludes to. Consequently, the London Football Exchange (LFE) is looking into token-based schemes. Head of partnerships for the LFE wants to create just such a community in order to “enable clubs to have a direct connection with fans in a frictionless marketplace”.

As a result, the LSE has announced agreements with two teams, Italian team Bari and Madrid based Alcobendas, whereby fans can buy into the clubs using cryptocurrency to gain some equity, as well as a say in the clubs’ future.

Gibraltar aims to lure new and existing fintech companies to its shores, following in the footsteps of other European countries such as Malta and Switzerland, both of which have seen the arrival of major cryptocurrency players Binance and Bitmain in recent months. A subsidiary of the Gibraltar Stock Exchange (GSX) is aiming to become one of the first licensed and regulated crypto exchanges operated by an EU stock exchange.


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Malta Pioneers the Future of Blockchain, Introduces First Ever Decentralized Bank Backed by Binance

The Mediterranean island of Malta is set to become a key component of blockchain and cryptocurrency innovation and evolution. There are plans for the world’s first decentralized bank to be built regulation-ready, in the future blockchain hub of the world.

A Decentralized Bank

In a Bloomberg report on July 12th, cryptocurrency exchange giant Binance and its CEO Changpeng Zhao were said to be backing the world’s first decentralized bank named the ‘Founders Bank’.

A unique characteristic of the bank will see that it owned in parts; Founders Bank will be issuing a “legally-binding equity token” offering through a blockchain-based equity fundraising platform called Neufund.

According to comments made by Binance on Bloomberg, Binance has taken a five percent stake alongside other anchor investors at a 133 million-euro ($155 million) pre-money valuation.

However, the Maltese prime minister Joseph Muscat remains sanguine in the face of these hurdles, saying in a recent speech describing the countries future, “The concept sounds confusing right now, but I have no doubt that it will form the base of a new economy in the future. Just as we attribute value to pieces of paper, so too will future generations attribute value to electronic storage systems.”

The equity-token sale would be a collaboration with a major European stock exchange and conducted under German regulations, though the exchange at present has not been named.

Motions in Malta

In March of this year, Binance announced plans to move its operations to Malta; this came after rigorous reviews of several other potential locations and conclusively, the European island proved itself worthy of the largest crypto exchange in the world.

On July 4th, Malta passed three bills into law that legalized cryptocurrency businesses, making it the first ‘legal certainty’ country for the industry. The island has been especially bullish on crypto for quite some time; proposals for new rules regarding cryptocurrency investments were made in late 2017 and by March 2018 the three recently passed bills were entered into debate.

Bullish Lawmakers

Cointelegraph spoke to Simon Chembri, (13th July), a partner at Ganado Advocates — a leading law firm in Malta which was a critical component during the drafting of the new legislation. He comments, “The purpose was to make Malta a blockchain hub, attracting a number of investments in the country.”

Which is simple enough, however he also gave bullish comments on the legitimization of distributed ledger technology (DLT), blockchains, ICOs, crypto assets etc. by the Malta Digital Innovation Authority, saying, “It gives the opportunity for DLT frameworks at the outset to come over to Malta and voluntary, — if they want — register, or have their DLT framework licensed or certified by this new authority…”

Later adding in regards to a national cryptocurrency, “At this stage, there is nothing set as an agenda by the Maltese government. But we are aware that other countries are considering this and have already taken steps. And we would not be surprised if that would be the next step.”

Ranked third most ‘crypto-friendly’ nation by a BlockShow Europe study earlier this year, it would be no surprise to see Malta reach and hold the top spot should the study be conducted again after the Founders Bank is launched.

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Binance Announces Plans to Create First Decentralized Tokenized Bank in Malta

Binance in Malta is backing plans to create a blockchain-based bank with tokenized ownership, according to Crowdfund Insider.

The world’s second largest crypto exchange had already announced its move to Malta in March and has set up a bank account on the island, thus demonstrating that Malta is moving ahead with industry-friendly regulations to facilitate its plans to become a major cryptocurrency hub.

The blockchain-based financial institution which will be known as the “Founders Bank” will become the world’s first decentralized, community-owned bank, and participants will be issued with “legally binding equity tokens” in return for their investment.

The blockchain-based equity fundraising platform Neufund will issue the tokens. The German-based company which has a base in Malta but retains its HQ in Germany, is said to have raised USD 11 million from well-known investors in 2017. Binance and Neufund are also reported to be partnering with one of Europe’s main stock exchanges later this year, although no names have been thrown into the hat as yet.

Binance Tweeted on its plans for the new bank:

“Founders Bank will become the first stable high-tech banking solution, not only focused on founders but also owned by them, bridging the gap between traditional financial world and innovative crypto companies.”

The bank’s first step will be to seek a licence from Maltese regulators. Malta has already approved three DLT and crypto-related bills which pave the way for new businesses to the island. Silvio Schembri, Junior Minister for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation within the Office of the Prime Minister of Malta, stated that the island “is honoured to be chosen as the location of the first global community-owned bank”. He added:

“We welcome Founders Bank with the utmost excitement and hope that their Fintech solutions will attract even more world-class companies to our Blockchain Island.”

Schembri is known for being the leading advocate on Malta for pursuing an innovation economy build on blockchain and Fintech development.

Binance also recently opened a new crypto-fiat trading platform in Uganda, which supports the Ugandan shilling, alongside major cryptocurrencies.


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Coinbase Maintains Optimism Despite Recent Popularity Slide

Crypto exchange giant Coinbase is reported to have recorded a decline in popularity over the past month, according to Ethereum World News.

The downturn in business correlates to a decline in app downloads since the recent fall in the global cryptocurrency market, where prices have suffered a 70% drop over the past six months.

The result is that short-term speculators are looking elsewhere for business and app downloaders have bypassed the Coinbase app, which at its peak was a go-to item in Apple and Google Play apps stores. According to Quartz, Coinbase app downloads have reached their lowest level in the US since last April when Bitcoin was selling at USD 1,250. At one point last year, Coinbase was one of Apple’s most downloaded apps.

Other statistics indicate that the Coinbase online platform has experienced a similar downturn with monthly visits to the site dropping from 126 million in January to 28 million in June with its other platform GDAX losing a further 5% than the parent company.

Despite Coinbase’s recent declining fortunes, the company is continuing its expansion, bringing new products to the market and recently opening an office in Portland, Oregon which has plans to hire over 100 employees.

Coinbase is an “open financial system that is not controlled by a central power”, maintains Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong who clearly remains upbeat and optimistic. His recent Tweet explained that he sees such slides as simply part of the overall crypto landscape:

“The crypto industry is like no other I’ve seen – lots of up and down cycles (reaching a new plateau each time). There have been 3 or 4 of these now. It can be scary the first time you see it, but to us who have been in the industry for many years, it feels like old news.”

However, another exchange giant, Binance, has seen its fortunes turn out to be quite a different story, with its user base going from strength to strength, experiencing a massive five times expansion since the beginning of the year, and is predicted to bring in USD 1 billion by December.


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