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Europe: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 3rd to 9th August 2018

Europe

Welcome to our weekly roundup of all important blockchain and cryptocurrency news from around the world. Follow the latest developments in the cryptocurrency space continent by continent, country by country.

United Kingdom

Financial regulator remains committed on international regulatory network: The UK’s Financial regulator Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is keen on setting an international standard for crypto regulation as it has just announced the establishment of a Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN).

The latest efforts evident in the form of GFIN are an effort to create a global sandbox for collaboration between different fintech entities. There are 11 collaborators working under the umbrella of GFIN right now. The sandbox effort was in response to a host of inquiries from blockchain projects for a collaboration-based regulatory effort.

Mining company listed on London Stock Exchange now active: Cryptocurrency mining company Argo Mining, the first to be listed on the London Stock Exchange is now active according to the market index.

The company, which specializes in accessible crypto mining via subscription, had previously raised over GBP 25 million (about USD 32.5 million) through a traditional Initial Public Offering (IPO) held at the London Stock Exchange.

Over 156 million shares priced at GBP 0.16 each will now be available for trading in the LSE for the mining company, thus bringing a new era in the operations of the stock exchange.

According to Executive chairman Jonathon Bixby:

“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. We are delighted with the strong response from investors which will enable us to grow our business in multiple jurisdictions.”

Other mining companies also look to become a part of the LSE in the near future.

Germany

Biggest blockchain meet to run directly on Dapps: Germany’s biggest Ethereum startup ETHBerlin announced that the entire event will be run with the help of decentralized apps or Dapps.

The event will be held in the Factory Berlin in two venues simultaneously starting from September this year. The move to use Dapps for all purposes is a big initiative for the crypto community as Dapps are struggling to maintain their momentum in the crypto circles right now.

The Dapps include Ethereum-based video streaming app, decentralized hotel and apartment booking platform that accepts Ether, raffles, ticketing and event management is also expected to be covered by Ethereum Dapps as well. The ETHBerlin team says:

“ETHBerlin stands strong, we think that Dapps are the future, so we’ll do whatever it takes to push adoption, and inspire you to build more of them. There is room for all… As a responsible, global community, in constant evolution, as is our ecosystem, we need to understand that it is not enough to absorb these teachings and foundations and just replicate.”

While Ethereum blockchain is facing scalability issues, its use in organizing big events is one of the reasons why it is part of a wider future success story.

Second-largest German stock exchange continuing towards crypto: Boerse Stuttgart, the second largest stock exchange in Germany, has taken yet another step forward to host coin offerings in the future. The move came following its recent announcement of a new app called Bison that was developed in partnership with fintech company Sowa Labs.

The primary aim of these efforts is to create a platform from which tokens can be issued in the future. The CEO of Boerse Stuttgart Alexander Hoptner said:

“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.”

Russia

44% of Russians know about crypto: The Russian cryptocurrency revolution is showing remarkable growth as a recent survey of Russian citizens show 44% Russians admitting they know about Bitcoin while 13% went on to say they have a good understanding of them.

The survey done by a local Russian firm interestingly showed that 31% of the respondents who know about cryptocurrencies belonged to the middle class and lower middle-class households with incomes less than RUB 10,000 (USD 150) per family member. The higher group with RUB 25,000 mostly didn’t know about cryptocurrencies at all. Some 76% of the respondents said that they were in it to make profits.

Bitcoin remained the cryptocurrency of choice.

Ukraine

Ukraine conducts election trials on NEM blockchain: A Ukrainian election official has stated that the Election Commission is undertaking experiments on the NEM blockchain on a trial basis for the country’s future elections.

Oleksander Stelmakh, the head of the voter registry in the Central Election Commission of Ukraine, praised blockchains for their immutability and other benefits of decentralized data on social media. His communique also included news of the commission truing a series of trials to apply blockchain technology for electoral voting.

Netherlands

Half a million Dutch households hold crypto but central bank remains wary: The cryptocurrency revolution has a deep penetration in the Dutch market with over 500,000 Dutch households currently holding Bitcoin or other cryptocurrency despite skeptical behavior of the central bank.

A Dutch central bank spokesperson said that Bitcoin was still too volatile for savings and only the fiat value equivalent could be termed as real value and not the cryptocurrencies themselves. But despite these concerns, the central bank has no plans to impose a ban on Dutch cryptocurrency holders and traders.

 

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The post Europe: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 3rd to 9th August 2018 appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Europe: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 27th July to 2nd August 2018

Europe

Welcome to our weekly roundup of all important blockchain and cryptocurrency news from around the world. Follow the latest developments in the cryptocurrency space continent by continent, country by country.

France

Spike in French blockchain interest shows Macron future: French President Emmanuel Macron’s interest in blockchain and cryptosphere seems to have paid off as a sharp spike is being witnessed in the growth of blockchain technology innovations in France.

Under the previous president Francois Hollande’s tenure, whose popularity hit as low as 4% at one time, blockchain development was stagnant but under the young, energetic leadership of President Macron, the French blockchain economy is reaching new heights.

Macron has set his sights on helping France become a fintech trendsetter. The government is also mulling on legislation for ICOs and has heavily reduced cryptocurrency tax rates as well.

United Kingdom

Coinbase gets into primary banking with new support for pound: Coinbase, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, has made a change in its system that allows users to deposit and withdraw UK pound sterlings easily.

The previous system had been causing problems for users for having their UK bank linked to the exchange account. The new system will in effect be a first step towards converting the Coinbase account into an “effective primary bank account”. The exchange also used a digital gift card program recently that allowed European users to access cash in other ways than conventional fiat.

Pro football team paid in cryptocurrencies in Gibraltar: A professional football team Gibraltar United in Gibraltar, UK is paying its team in cryptocurrency as the island opens up to the idea of cryptocurrencies.

Gibraltar United’s owner Pablo Dana who is also an investor in the digital currency Quantacoin has said that he hopes it will encourage foreign players to easily set up banking and crypto accounts in Gibraltar and help stamp out corruption that is rampant in the game.

Gibraltar is aiming to lure new and old fintech companies in cryptosphere to its shores. Together with Switzerland and Malta, Gibraltar makes three most progressive places in Europe to adopt cryptocurrencies and blockchain platforms.

Denmark

Copenhagen blockchain school up and running in university: The blockchain school in Copenhagen, Denmark is marking its third year in offering latest blockchain courses for enthusiasts around the world.

The school was initially developed as a partnership between the University of Copenhagen, IT University of Copenhagen and Copenhagen Business School. It describes blockchain as “a revolutionary technology that has the potential to disrupt multiple industries”.

The primary focus of the blockchain schools has been “the design and implementation of blockchain-based systems require interdisciplinary knowledge as well as mindful consideration of broader economic and societal issues”.

The weeklong course was devised by the computer science department of the University of Copenhagen. Dr Omri Ross, Assistant Professor at the University is one of the main driving forces behind the Blockchain programs being offered in the university. Various partnerships in the program reflect the wide-scale application of the program including a recent segment by the World Wildlife Foundation.

Dr Ross explained: “While we do work on Ethereum-based Dapp development we are also collaborating with QTUM’s protocol (they are the second biggest blockchain in China) as well as the protocols of Ontology, Hyperledger, and Firmo.”

Liechtenstein

Fully European legislation compliant crypto exchange to open in Liechtenstein: The first fully compliant cryptocurrency exchange, Blocktrade.com, under latest guidelines from the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) is now open for registration in the small European nation of Liechtenstein.

The latest regulations were a string of stringent policies that were the cornerstone of of Anti Money Laundering (AML) and anti-corruption steps taken by the European parliament. The exchange is offering trading in Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin and Ripple for now.

CEO of Blocktrade.com Luka Gubo said, “This is an ideal way for regulators across Europe to recognize cryptocurrencies as a new asset class and put in a regulatory framework.”

Cryptocurrency exchanges across the continent are scrambling to become compliant under the latest rules and are currently under a grace period offered by the ESMA.

 

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The post Europe: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 27th July to 2nd August 2018 appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Europe: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 20th to 26th July 2018

Europe

Welcome to our weekly roundup of all important blockchain and cryptocurrency news from around the world. Follow the latest developments in the cryptocurrency space continent by continent, country by country.

Malta

Cryptocurrency rules not yet enforced in Malta: Malta’s new cryptocurrency regulatory framework is not in effect right now.

The three cryptocurrency-centric bills were passed by the country’s parliament in June, thus setting out a number of progressive changes to the country’s cryptocurrency scene. However, the Malta Financial Services Authority has said that none of these laws are in force as of now.

The reason given is because the government is working on the development of Virtual Assets Financial Framework that will which will enable the regulation to be enforced.

It is, however, unclear when the framework will be ready for implementation.

UK

Surrey police first to confiscate and sell BTC in the UK: UK’s Surrey county police has reportedly completed the liquidation of more than BTC 296 confiscated earlier this year from money laundering suspects, according to Forbes.

Latvian national Seregjs Teresko was the first to be arrested and deported for money laundering in the country and the BTC were recovered from him. He is currently serving nine years in prison for his crimes.

However, the sale was poorly timed as at that time, the Bitcoin were valued at USD 1.5 million but since then, the currency appreciated a lot. The local AML court declared the sale legal and the police department was allowed to keep 18.8% of the funds for its operational fund while a budget bonus was also announced for the local police totaling around USD 385,000.

A spokesperson for the police said:

“Our responsibility was to ask the courts for permission to act, within the existing legal frameworks, and once given that permission, to take action… We wouldn’t speculate by holding onto any asset or property (whether Bitcoin, jewelry, vehicle or otherwise) that was seized under Proceeds of Crime Act in the hope of it changing in value.”

Germany

German Bundesliga joins English Premier League in opening doors for crypto: According to latest reports from Germany, the popular football league Bundesliga has joined the English Premier league in welcoming cryptocurrency and blockchain.

The German club Hamburg SV based in Hamburg city has signed a partnership with fintech company NAGA for the 2018/2019 season. NAGA was founded in the same city back in 2015 and continues to post impressive gains while complying with local laws.

NAGA executive director Benjamin Bilski said regarding the partnership:

“Our values and entrepreneurial attitudes are a perfect match, especially as HSV is open to new technologies, which is exactly what NAGA stands for. Because we are very familiar with statistics and technology, sophisticated and constantly new applications play a big role in our success.”

The move follows the EPL team Wolverhampton that made a local cryptocurrency exchange CoinDeal its main sponsor in a first in the continent.

Ethereum co-founder labels Berlin most important city in blockchain development: News from Germany show that Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin has said that “Berlin is the most important city in the Blockchain cosmos”.

Lubin made these comments to a local German News outlet. He said:

“Berlin has the infrastructure, Berlin has the talent, the really good programmers are here… the government needs to set up more programs to promote blockchain.”

While Lubin acknowledged that Blockchain and cryptocurrency in general was in its initial stages of development, he is pinning hopes on the popularity of cryptocurrencies to bring the world’s attention to the genre.

Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan to apply blockchain technology: Azerbaijan is the host to the first big cryptocurrency conference in the country hosted in Baku. The conference will host ICOs, exchanges and blockchain companies from around the world according to latest reports from the EuroAsian country.

While the country presented a largely conservative stance on cryptocurrencies in the past, it is slowly but surely opening up to the idea of cryptocurrencies.

Nidjat Imanov, deputy-director of the Department of Tax Policy and Strategic Studies at the Ministry of Taxes stated regarding cryptocurrency taxation:

“Incomes from operations with cryptocurrencies will be taxed. Formally, this means – corporate profit tax for legal entities and personal income tax for individuals… If someone bought cryptocurrency and then sold it at a higher price, that amount must be reported as income and subjected to taxation.”

Ukraine

Cryptocurrency regulations proposed in Ukraine after growing popularity: The Ukrainian National Securities and Exchange Commission (NSMCS) has said in a statement that the regulatory body Financial Stability Council (FSC) is considering cryptocurrency legislation in the country after increasing appeal for cryptocurrency and blockchain investment.

As of right now, the Ukrainian government hasn’t proposed legalization of cryptocurrencies in the country despite increasing levels of activity in the country but legislation talks are underway for the future.

The head of the NSMCS has suggested to move forward to recognize cryptocurrencies as tokens or financial instruments before finalizing on regulation to give the government a legal footing on the matter.

Russia

Russian cryptocurrency experts see 10 times cut in wages despite high demand: A recent documentation by the government of Russia shows the cryptocurrency sphere has seen a big cut in wages of the crypto employees despite the sector being in high demand.

A study by hh.ru shows that security analysts, project managers and legal experts got RUB 100,000, a cut of 40% from last year alone. PR specialists also faced a cut of nearly 50% during the same period as well.

 

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The post Europe: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 20th to 26th July 2018 appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Europe: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 5th to 12th July 2018

Europe

Welcome to our weekly roundup of all important blockchain and cryptocurrency news from around the world. Follow the latest developments in the cryptocurrency space continent by continent, country by country.

Germany

TokenPay announces 9.9% WEG Bank stake for Litecoin Foundation: TokenPay, the company that purchased a significant stake in the German WEG bank, has announced that it will be gifting all of its 9.9% stake to the Litecoin Foundation.

In return, the Litecoin Foundation agreed that it would help TokenPay in the provision of cheap technology and marketing expertise for TokenPay’s native blockchain initiatives and the TPAY cryptocurrency.

Charlie Lee, the founder of Litecoin said:

“This partnership is a huge win-win for both Litecoin and TokenPay. I’m looking forward to integrating Litecoin with the WEG Bank AG and all the various services it has to offer, to make it simple for anyone to buy and use Litecoin. I’m also excited about Litecoin’s support in TokenPay’s eFin decentralized exchange.”

France

Regulators taking next step towards easing of ICOs: French regulators are now finally in a place to move forward with cryptocurrency regulation, according to a report from the Autorité des Marchés Financier (AMF).

According to AMF’s report, ICOs are also on the agenda for further regulatory framework. Robert Ophele, the president of AMF said recently:

“…[we] continue to reflect on changes in the regulatory framework in the face of new offers, in particular, the Initial Coin Offerings (ICO), and to promote at European level the French regulator’s approach to innovation.”

The question of regulation of ICOs has long since hampered the development of the cryptocurrency scene in the country.

United Kingdom

Premier league team signs sponsorship deal with CoinDeal: Newly-promoted English Premier League side Wolverhampton Wanderers has signed a deal with cryptocurrency exchange platform CoinDeal.

The English club became the first official club in the big leagues of the world to sign a sponsorship with a cryptocurrency exchange. The new jerseys will sport the CoinDeal logo on their sleeves.

UK government testing platform for tokenization of assets: In a progressive move, the UK government has announced a new prospect of tokenizing assets of companies based on blockchain technology.

The tokenization of assets is based on an open-minded Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulatory sandbox that has entered its fourth round with over 29 firms competing. Two blockchain projects from the sandbox are also in talks with the London Stock Exchange for adoption of their applications.

Malta

Malta home to first “convertible” ICO and new blockchain degree: Malta is now home to the world’s first Initial Convertible Coin Offering (ICCO) that the company Palladium has launched in partnership with popular cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex.

An ICCO is a different concept from the mainstream ICO as it will allow the investors to convert their coins into shares of the company in the future. Palladium is offering a three-year wait before conversion right now.

Crypto-friendly Malta is also offering a blockchain degree as part of civil servant training starting from this year.

Bulgaria

Bulgaria’s Bitcoin stash almost as big as Nakamoto’s: The Bulgarian government reportedly seized BTC 213, 519 during a raid on organized crime. If the government has held on to the Bitcoins, then it is now officially the most valuable stash of cryptocurrencies in the world, worth over USD 1.4 billion right now.

Nakamoto mined BTC 1.1 million using his own computer as it was particularly easy back then since he was virtually the only one on the network. This is now worth around USD 6.9 million.

Switzerland

Stock exchange launches crypto platform: Swiss stock exchange SIX has announced that it is opening doors to cryptocurrencies in the country according to latest reports from The Financial Times.

The new platform will offer integrated post-transaction services, deal settlement and asset custody through the use of Distributed Ledger Technology. SIX’s chief said:

“For us, it is abundantly clear that much of what is going on in the digital space is here to stay and will define the future of our industry. The financial industry now needs to bridge the gap between traditional financial services and digital communities.”

Switzerland is one of the most crypto-friendly countries in the world and the government is even considering shifting to e-franc, a state cryptocurrency.

 

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Europe: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 22nd to 28th June 2018

Europe

Welcome to our weekly roundup of all important blockchain and cryptocurrency news from around the world. Follow the latest developments in the cryptocurrency space continent by continent, country by country.

France

Government wants alleged $4 billion Bitcoin fraudster on new charges: The French government is looking to indict alleged Bitcoin fraudster Alexander Vinnik. The cyber criminal was arrested in Greece last year but is now awaiting extradition to Russia.

Vinnik was the head of cryptocurrency exchange BTC-e and is accused to have been involved in defrauding over 100 people in six French cities. Previously, only US and Russia has laid claims over the alleged fraudulent entrepreneur.

A final decision regarding his extradition is in the hands of Greek justice minister Nikos Paraskevopoulos.

Poland

Bitcoin association sues banks over unofficial crypto ban: The Polish Bitcoin Association, a leading cryptocurrency advocating group, has said that closure of bank accounts linked to crypto firms is illegal and has challenged the decision, according to Finance Magnates.

The union has taken its complaints to local competition organization the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (OCCP) over the closure of accounts linked to crypto firms. There has been no word from the banks yet but their move is similar to other banks around the world including ones in India and Chile.

United Kingdom

Corporate reporting must consider blockchain’s disruptive potential: According to a new report released by the UK Financial Reporting Council, the potential impact of blockchain technology is huge and all those involved in different industries need to consider the tech’s disruptive nature.

The main subject of the report is blockchain’s challenges and how it will be successful in the future. The report overall praises technology, but also exercises caution.

Bank of England to use DLT for resettlement system: The Central Bank of England has announced that it is building a Real Time Gross Settlement System through blockchain DLT.

The bank’s governor Mark Carney made this announcement in the iconic Mansion House on 22 June 2018. He commented that private businesses and platforms need to be able to work with the bank’s own system because of the high volume of funds moving between banks all the time.

“Our new, hard infrastructure will be future-proofed to your imaginations, opening up a range of potential innovations in wholesale markets, and corporate banking and retail services,” said Carney.

Previously, a proof-of-concept feature was rejected by the bank in the discussed system but now an improved DLT interface could work in the future.

Malta

Malta to enact 3 new blockchain bills: The Maltese parliament is on the way of passing three important cryptocurrency and blockchain bills in the country according to latest reports from the Mediterranean country.

Cryptocurrencies and blockchain projects are increasingly popular in the country already and the new bills are aimed at increasing the lure of the country as a blockchain capital of the continent alongside Switzerland.

Switzerland

Working group aiming to establish crypto-friendly banking ecosystem: Zug’s financial director has said that the Swiss Bankers Association should make it easier for blockchain companies to bank.

Director Heinz Tannlerand and financial director of Zurich Ernst Stocker are both advocating for ease of access for blockchain companies to banking circles. They believe that it is crucial to do so or else they will be forced to move to other countries.

Tannlerand said, “It must not be that Switzerland loses an innovative industry because it makes payment transactions impossible.”

Banks have largely complied with these demands and opened accounts of crypto companies.

Ukraine

No plans for Bitcoin mining legislation: The Ukrainian government has said that it has no plans right now to regulate cryptocurrency mining in the country. The State Service for Special Communication and Information Protection of Ukraine clarified the status of cryptocurrency mining in the country.

Ukraine is leading cryptocurrency development in the industry but it is also creating a lot of problems for the country especially regarding mining that is seen as using up a country’s valuable resources.

Lithuania

Lithuania undergoing crypto boom: The cryptocurrency space in the small European nation is booming because of the government’s liberal stance and increased ICO interest from other parts of the world.

Lithuania with a population of 2.8 million is becoming a crypto hub, especially for ICOs and blockchain projects. Up to 10% of all global ICO investments are being attracted by Lithuania and blockchain startups are thriving due to its relaxed cryptocurrency laws.

 

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Europe: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 8th to 14th June 2018

Europe

Welcome to our weekly roundup of all important blockchain and cryptocurrency news from around the world. Follow the latest developments in the cryptocurrency space continent by continent, country by country.

Germany

Financial regulator believes blockchain could be revolutionary: A regulator from German Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) has said that blockchain technology is “revolutionary” and is capable of turning the financial sector “upside down”.

The regulator made these remarks at an event last week in Berlin. While being openly skeptical regarding the price of Bitcoin and the ICO boom, believed that distributed applications based on blockchain “could actually be revolutionary”.

He said, “These apps are not only safe from failures of individual computers or providers, they also promote the development of a ”blockchain economy.”

Germany is one of the most crypto-friendly countries in the EU and the regulator’s language shows this.

Government says Bitcoin not a threat to financial stability: According to CoinTelegraph, the German central government has said that cryptocurrencies do not pose a fundamental threat to financial stability.

It gave this position based on the volume of cryptocurrencies which, when compared to the size of the German economy, is quite low. It said careful monitoring would only be needed to make sure investors were protected. The view is also shared by the G20 union of which Germany is a prominent force.

Volkswagen using IOTA tech for autonomous cars: German automaker Volkswagen has indicated that it is using IOTA technology to develop its new range of autonomous vehicles, showing off a proof-of-concept vehicle at the Cebit Expo, Germany.

Using the IOTA ledger, Volkswagen can wirelessly send updates to each individual car in a transparent, incorruptible manner. This method allows secure updates that are tamper-proof and increase trust and capability. IOTA will be further used to configure car sales, provide statistics and adjust policies.

United Kingdom

Cloud mining firm the first crypto Listing on London Stock Exchange: Cloud mining company Argo is set to become the first company from the blockchain space to get registered on the London Stock Exchange, according to latest news coming from the company’s official channels.

London is one of the biggest hubs for development of financial technology and that has attracted Argo, a mining company to go public in the city’s stock exchange.

According to co-founder Jonathon Bixby: “A London stock market listing will provide Argo with the profile, credibility, and access to global capital to drive our growth and help us establish a leadership position in the long term.”

Financial watchdog advises on “good practice” for crypto financial scams: UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has advised banks to increase protection for users and implement “good approaches” to clients who are offer crypto-related services.

The advisory letter highlights the surge in use of cryptocurrencies in criminal activities but also the fact that many non-criminal activities are also associated with cryptocurrencies and the banks must give the legal clients a chance.

Switzerland

500,000 Swiss vote for Bitcoin-like financial system: Switzerland underwent a vote on the “Sovereign Money Initiative” that would have seen cryptocurrencies and ICOs being legalized in the country, with more than 500,000 Swiss voting in favor of this move.

The overall vote was lost as those in favor represented less than 25% of the total votes cast. The federal government is also looking to launch its own cryptocurrency called e-Franc.

Blockchain center Zug to pioneer blockchain voting: Switzerland’s progressive blockchain center Zug is working to conduct a first blockchain voting measure.

Zug is one of the most pro-crypto places in the country and even on the continent, as the city was the first one in the entire world to accept Bitcoin as payment for municipal services. It has also established “Crypto Valley”, an association promoting cryptocurrencies and blockchain development.

Estonia

Small company looking to raise $180 million from token sale: Blockchain-friendly nation Estonia’s startup SAFT project has registered for a USD 180 million worth obscure token sale.

The project made its way to the US and the notice was published through US SEC’s EDGAR document system last week. There is little overall information available regarding the company.

Ireland

Ireland looking to become blockchain center for excellence: The Irish government has announced major plans to promote the pro-IT country as a pro-blockchain country for the future, according to The Irish Times.

The new initiative is called The Blockchain Expert Group and is an Irish forum that has been set up to involve companies working in the blockchain space and convince them to set up shop in the republic.

More than 40% of Ireland-based companies have already embraced blockchain technology and the country leads in IT and innovation sectors. It can become a natural leader in blockchain technology development.

Montenegro

Homes worth BTC 420 sold via cryptocurrencies: Montenegro is becoming the latest country to embrace Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in the real estate sector with the small European nation responsible for USD 3.2 million worth of real estate purchases in Bitcoin alone.

According to the Notary Office and Astra Montenegro Investment Association (AMIA), more than BTC 420 have been spent in the real estate sector. Most of the money was spent on luxury homes near the Adriatic Sea where property is extremely expensive.

Russia

Government website involved in crypto jacking: Earlier reports of the government websites being involved in crypto jacking have been proven true as the Khabarovsk county in Russia was recently hacked as part of a covert attempt to mine cryptocurrencies. The malware had been active for just ten days before it was detected and eventually removed, according to local news source Gubernia.com.

 

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The post Europe: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 8th to 14th June 2018 appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Europe: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 25th to 31st May 2018

Europe

Welcome to our weekly roundup of all important blockchain and cryptocurrency news from around the world. Follow the latest developments in the cryptocurrency space continent by continent, country by country.

Russia

Central bank says crypto no threat to global financial stability: The Russian Central Bank has said in a statement that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin do not pose much of a threat to the current world economy.

The report cited lower cryptocurrency trading volumes of late as one of the major reasons. The report comes after other central banks are either warning against cryptocurrency or exercising restraint.

Russia is relying heavily on mining and using and other activities to become the hotbed of cryptocurrency happenings in the world. However, the government is often accused of using the new currencies to disrupt the dollar standard.

Netherlands

Low risk to financial stability regarding Bitcoin: The Dutch government’s economic watchdog CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis has said that cryptocurrencies pose a low risk to financial stability in the country.

The report was initiated to get a measure of how much impact the cryptocurrencies could have in the future because of their increasing popularity in the country. It recorded healthy numbers and found out that there were 44,000 Bitcoin transactions from one exchange platform alone.

The report concludes that cryptocurrencies pose a low risk to the overall financial system right now because of relatively lower levels of capitalization and non-association of banks. It said they are more like assets as people tend to hold on to them and not spend them. In the end, the report suggested common sense regulation for cryptocurrencies.

United Kingdom

Major banks have negative effect on crypto: Most cryptocurrency exchanges and fintech companies believe that major banks are having a negative effect on the crypto industry in the capital city of London.

London is widely seen as an economic hub in the world but the slow adoption and response of cryptocurrencies are seen as major impediments towards adoption of the new fintech revolution started by cryptocurrencies. Many crypto startups believe that locations like Tokyo, Chicago and New York are being preferred over conventionally important destinations like London.

FCA launches investigation against 24 unauthorized crypto businesses: The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is launching an inquiry against 24 unauthorized cryptocurrency startups in the country, according to The Financial Times.

While it is too early to call them scams, the FCA is only looking at determining whether the businesses require FCA authorization and regulation to continue operations. The UK was ranked 4th out of 48 crypto nations in friendly attitude towards cryptocurrencies and the government is increasingly cautious regarding implementing regulations.

Germany

Seized crypto auctioned by prosecutors: German prosecutors are auctioning off millions of dollars in cryptocurrencies seized in recent raids in fear of a latest Bitcoin price tank.

The sale involves a whopping BTC 1,312, BCH 1,399, BTG 1,312 and ETH 220, and is the biggest public sale of recovered cryptocurrencies recovered by any government. The money was confiscated during an investigation into an online platform LuL.to.

Half of German millenials willing to invest in crypto: According to latest reports in Cointelegraph, nearly half of all millennials in Germany are ready to invest in cryptocurrencies. Anonymity and security were seen as important factors while investing in cryptocurrencies.

It was most popular among people in the age bracket 18-34 commonly referred to as millennials, with as much as 46% saying they were considering investing in cryptocurrencies while 6% had already done so. Some 14% of the millennials aimed to invest within the next twelve months.

Czech Republic

Natural gas company to accept Bitcoin: The largest natural gas company in Czech Republic has announced that it will accept payment in cryptocurrencies according to its top executive Pavel Janececk.

The company, Pražská Plynárenská, has more than 420,000 customers across the tiny European nation and turns out record profits in tens of millions of dollars. Customers will have the option to pay their gas bills in Bitcoin starting this June.

Prague subways to have Bitcoin ATMs: Prague’s sprawling subway routes will see the installation of new Bitcoin ATMs, according to latest reports coming from Czech Republic.

General Bytes, one of the biggest Bitcoin ATM operators in the world, will install these ATMs and they will accept all popular cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin and Litecoin. Customers will also be able to purchase cryptocurrencies like Litecoin, Dash and Monero.

 

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The post Europe: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 25th to 31st May 2018 appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Europe: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 18th to 24th May 2018

Europe

Welcome to our weekly roundup of all important blockchain and cryptocurrency news from around the world. Follow the latest developments in the cryptocurrency space continent by continent, country by country.

European Union

EU privacy laws shut down PICOPs amid radical changes adopted by other companies: The new stringent Global Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by the EU is causing problems to many blockchain startups operating in the 28-member economic union with the Parity ICO Passport Services (PICOPS) startup shut down following its failure to comply with the new rules. GDPR’s right to delete data was cited as the breaking point for PICOPS as the conflict arose with blockchain’s immutability.

PICOPS in a statement said: “Because of this, the significant resources required to make PICOPS GDPR-compliant, and the fact that PICOPS is not part of our core technology stack, we have decided to discontinue the service despite overwhelming market needs and demand.”

Other blockchain companies are also rapidly making changes to their platform with LocalBitcoins’s latest changes in terms of services to come into effect after 25 May 2018.

Small business focus by EU blockchain committee: EU parliament members voted to recommend blockchain payment systems to small businesses throughout the continent, according to Coindesk.

While the committee fell short of recommending cryptocurrencies, it did suggest non-monetary uses including specifying data controls, and supply chain management, that will make small businesses operations cost-effective.

Eva Kaili, a committee member said: “Today the Industry Committee voted univocally in favor of a forward-looking technology that we expect to change the quality of our life, empower SMEs and improve business models in most industrial sectors… and we aspire to make EU the global leader in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

England

London mosque starts accepting ETH donations: A London mosque belonging to Turkish Cypriot Muslims have announced the acceptance of donations in ETH, according to London’s Hackney Gazette. The leaders made the decision to accept cryptocurrency for Zakat, a mandatory part of Muslim faith that requires 2.5% of followers’ wealth to be donated to charity.

The mosque is expecting more than EUR 10,000 in donations throughout the current Ramazan month.

Cryptoassets task force makes positive start: The UK government’s task force on cryptocurrencies met for the very first time on 21 May as part of the country’s efforts to regulate cryptocurrencies. The task force includes members from the national bank, financial watchdog Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and UK Treasury.

The task force’s overall initial attitude seems tolerant as the members acknowledged the use of cryptocurrencies and their utility while at the same time focusing on the issues they bring. UK is currently a sizeable force in the blockchain community.

Spain

Government opens legal doors for crypto investment: The Spanish National Securities Market Commission or Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores (CNMV) has recently announced that investment funds could now invest and trade in Bitcoin in the country. The move opens more Blockchain companies to move to Spain and the statement was within the Q&A document for fintech companies previously and the CNMV said:

“This type of funds would have a legal place in Law 22/2014, which regulates, in addition to venture capital entities, other collective investment entities of closed type and their management entities.”

But, the CNMV will have to comply with European standards and since there are none, the investment companies can have a benefit in the country as they will have legal cover.

Poland

Government suspends crypto tax collection following popular demand: The Polish government has softened its stance on cryptocurrencies by suspending tax collection on cryptocurrencies, according to Cointelegraph.

The Eastern European nation had just recently heavily taxed the cryptocurrency earnings in the country but following public outcry, the government was forced to make changes to the cryptocurrency regulation.

Switzerland

Switzerland ranked as most crypto-friendly European nation: Switzerland has once again come on top of the rankings in the most crypto-friendly countries in Europe, according to a recent study based on Europe. Gibraltar and Malta also ranked favorably.

A total of 48 European countries and territories were examined in the study for the regulations in place for ICOs, cryptocurrencies as payment services and crypto taxation approach. Switzerland came out on top in all countries. Gibraltar came in second followed by Malta.

Government mulling over e-Franc crypto: Swiss government is following up on its pro-blockchain status by considering the establishment of a cryptocurrency named e-franc, according to a report by the Reuters. A study has been requested by the government and the currency will just use blockchain technology for transparency and record-keeping.

Norway

Norway joins central bank queue on crypto: The Norwegian government is looking to launch its own state cryptocurrency, according to latest reports by CoinTelegraph. An official document has been released by the government and shows that the Norwegian government is keeping up with the current trends of central banks looking into state-backed national cryptocurrencies.

 

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The post Europe: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 18th to 24th May 2018 appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.