Category Archives: Denmark

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Danish Hockey Stadium Renamed “Bitcoin Arena” by Billionaire Sponsor

The Rungsted Seier Capital ice rink in Denmark has been officially renamed the Bitcoin Arena in a move by co-owner Lars Seier Christensen and billionaire sponsor Niklas Nikolajsen.

“We have had a good year, and you would be of no worth if you cannot look beyond your nose tip and see how to contribute a little,” said Bitcoin investor Niklas Nikolajsen, translated from Danish.

The club, Rungsted Seier Capital, in Horsholm, 25 kilometers north of Copenhagen, were playing their home games at the Saxo Bank Arena last year prior to the new changes which were introduced at the end of 2017.

The club’s star player, Nikolaj Rosenthal, is now paid his salary in Bitcoin; as of December 2017, he became the world’s first sports personality to be paid in digital currency. The club made the announcement at the end of last year:

“Top Rungsted player Nikolaj Rosenthal will pioneer the switch from traditional salary payments in Danish Kroner to become the first professional sports athlete to be paid fully and exclusively in Bitcoin, paving the way for others in- and outside of the world of professional sports to do the same.”

A collaboration with Bitcoin Suisse AG, a Swiss-based financial service provider specializing in crypto assets, extends to other initiatives with Rungsted Seier Capital, with five different competitions launched enabling fans to win prizes of 0.1 BTC. The stadium will now display a new center logo, “a massive 9-meter diameter ice-covered gold and silver Bitcoin”, Bitcoin Suisse confirmed.

Payment terminals in the stadium now enable payment in Bitcoin and other virtual currencies, and the season’s ice hockey pucks have been redesigned as Bitcoins.

Denmark has long been thought of as Bitcoin-friendly. It is easy to buy and sell Bitcoin in Denmark thanks to the numerous Bitcoin exchanges that operate freely in the country. Danish government legislators have indicated that their goal is to make all retail transactions digital and remove paper money by 2030.

 

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Danske Bank Advises Investors to Refrain From Crypto

Danske Bank has released a statement on their website setting out its policy of “a negative position towards cryptocurrencies”. It is advising its customers to refrain from such investments.

The global Nordic bank, which serves over five million customers in northern Europe, is the biggest bank in Denmark. It made headlines earlier this week by banning cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin across all its platforms. The bank is currently phasing out all existing financial instruments, including derivatives, which previously gave clients access to cryptocurrency.

The ban is not absolute, however. Customers are still permitted to deposit funds from cryptocurrency, provided they comply with anti-money laundering regulations. Credit card holders can also continue trading cryptocurrency.

Lack of traditional financial features

In its statement, Danske Bank lists out several reasons for the policy, noting that cryptocurrencies are not backed by any central bank. This means that investors and consumers do not benefit from the protection typically offered by traditional investments.

The bank also expressed concern with the extreme volatility of cryptocurrency and their “non-transparent” price formation. It believes this limits the insight to market development and pricing factors.

Danske Bank criticized the “the lack of transparency and regulatory control have made cryptocurrencies a target for criminal purposes”, referring to past occasions of cryptocurrency involvement in facilitating “criminal transactions like money laundering or extortion”.

Hardline Nordic stance

The statement reflects the current hostility of several prominent Nordic and Scandinavian banks towards cryptocurrency. Nordea Bank banned employees from trading in Bitcoin assets last month, prompting the European Banking Federation – which has not clarified its policy on the issue – to say that “This could very well be a first” time it had heard of a bank banning Bitcoin investments.

Banks operating in northern Europe currently view external and decentralized fintech innovations as a threat to their current model of financial services. A consortium of Nordic banks, including Danske Bank, is currently exploring the idea of a “pan-Nordic” payment system that would create a global territory for domestic and international payments in multiple currencies.

 

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