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Europe: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 5th to 11th October 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

Watchdog to look into ICOs for appropriate regulation: The EU’s top securities watchdog has set up a new process for verifying ICOs in the region. The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) is following USA’s lead on this matter by individually examining each ICO based on its inner workings.

United Kingdom

Royal land registry plans bockchain for business: Partnering up with R3, Her Majesty’s Land Registry (HM Land Registry) is gearing up for the use of DLTs to increase ease of use and speed up its transactions and record keeping.

With holdings worth GBP 4 trillion, HM Land Registry represents 85% of England and Wales by area. Established in 1842, it handles GBP 1 trillion worth of mortgages in the UK.

The UK government is actively looking into blockchain solutions and recently has granted the national telecom regulatory body Ofcoma GBP 700,000 for research into blockchain for managing the country’s landline numbers.

France

700 French savers scammed in crypto exchange phone scam: As many as 700 French savers fell prey to a fraudulent cryptocurrency exchange scheme, according to Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF).

A whopping EUR 31 million was conned from the unsuspecting members of the public who knew nothing about the blockchain technology and its workings. While France remains open to cryptocurrency projects, incidents like these may force the government to take a tougher stance on the matter.

Norway

Norwegian financial regulator announces new crypto regulationsThe Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA) of Norway is enforcing new rules and regulations to ensure crypto exchanges operating within its territory are compliant with local money laundering rules.

The new rules apply to individuals and organizations that hold private keys on behalf of their customers. Private crypto investors who do their own trading or assist others without access to the keys do not come under the new regulations.

Startup offering token rewards for ocean cleanup: A Norwegian startup is using blockchain-based rewards to help people clean up beaches and ocean water. Wilhelm Myer, the CEO of Nordic Ocean Watch, is working on the idea to engage the public for removing plastic waste from the oceans and beaches with tokens allocated as reward for their efforts.

The first overseas collection point has been stationed in the Bali Island in Indonesia, in time for the Our Ocean Conference that will take place from 29-30 October 2018. Myer aims to increase awareness regarding this crucial struggle against water pollution on this forum and highlight the working model of his project.

Slovenia

Non-profit hub hopes to become leading platform for European blockchain stakeholders: The European Blockchain Hub has launched recently as a non-profit organization in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. The founders have partnered with 13 different organizations for promotion of blockchain industry. The partners come from a range of industries, such as research, education, regulation and includes some prominent names such the Blockchain Alliance Europe and the Slovenian government itself.

A spokesperson informed that the hub will promote “European values and principles of good corporate governance”, including support for blockchain adoption and startups.

The European Blockchain Hub will be headquartered in Slovenia’s biggest shopping district, BTC City. The district is the Silicon Valley of Slovenia, with large tech companies and even driverless cars.

Lithuania

FICS probe reveals Euro banks traded large sums of cryptos: Investigating financial activities that happened over a period of two years, Lithuania’s Financial Crime Investigation Services has revealed that major European banks have been facilitating crypto-fiat dealings.

With increased interests in crypto and fundraising from ICOs, the FCIS is concerned with money laundering being done under the garb of crypto transactions through e-wallets located overseas.

 

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Europe: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 28th September to 4th October 2018

Europe

Welcome to another weekly blockchain news roundup from around the world. Here we present to you all the latest Bitcoin news continent by continent and country by country.

United Kingdom

Minister says blockchain solution for Irish border possible: The UK government is currently embroiled in Brexit negotiations with the rest of Europe and finance minister Philip Hammond believes that he has found the answer to one of the most thorny issues of the divorce: the Irish border. Hammond believes that the answer is a blockchain solution for the cross-border trade concept.

Hammond made these remarks at his party’s conference in Birmingham this week. He said that blockchain could be the obvious solution to the problem despite having not much experience of the matter. The free passage between the two Irelands has been in place since 1923 and goods since 1993 but the issue has come into the limelight since the EU is not willing to allow the Britisher to leave and sever economic ties.

Italy

Italy set to become part of European blockchain partnership: Italy has announced that it is about to join the European Blockchain Partnership, a blockchain association that was formed to promote blockchain technology among member states.

Italy is set to become the 27th nation to become a part of the blockchain association since its conception in April this year. A funding of EUR 300 million has been approved for the next four years for the forum.

Malta

Parliamentary secretary says Malta wants to lead cryptocurrency race: Silvio Schembri, the Maltese parliamentary secretary has said during the recent Delta Summit 2018 that the country wants to be leading the cryptocurrency race in the world.

Malta is already one of the safest havens for the development of cryptocurrencies and other blockchain projects. The government is also working on a number of other proposals to promote the sector including the Malta Digital Innovation Bill, the Virtual Financial Assets Bill and Innovation Technological Arrangement Services Bill.

Switzerland

Gold-backed crypto launched in Switzerland: A Swiss asset management company has launched the first gold and precious metals price backed cryptocurrency called the Tiberius coin. The Zug-based Bullion Vault Limited announced this idea a while ago and reflects Venezuela’s crude oil reserves-backed Petro cryptocurrency.

So the answer, according to the Bullion Vault Limited, is that a mix of technology metals could be used including precious metals, minerals and electric vehicle metals like nickel and cobalt.

Austria

Government to use Ethereum for federal bond auction: The Austrian government is using the immutability of the Ethereum blockchain in a federal bond auction after successful trial results. The bonds include a 0.75% bond from 2018-2028 and a 0% bond from 2016-2023 totalling almost EUR 1.15 billion.

The move marks the first time Ethereum has been used and recognized by the government for financial transactions.

Ukraine

Government considering national crypto: The National Bank of Ukraine is considering developing a national cryptocurrency. Reports indicate that the cryptocurrency will be centrally controlled by the NBU and will be equal to the national Ukrainian cryptocurrency and will be called e-hryvnia.

There is not expected to be a hard limit for the e-hryvnia and is similar to the ones being developed by People’s Bank of China and Petro Cryptocurrency of Venezuela.

While the government plans to launch its own cryptocurrency, hodlers and traders of other cryptocurrencies are not being targeted right now. Rather, they may reportedly be given a tax-free decade by the government.

Russia

Nuclear authority to develop blockchain technology: Russian energy giant Rosatom has announced that it is planning to invest into cutting-edge technologies including Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain Technology. 

Rosatom is a government conglomerate of more than 360 entities including research centers and nuclear weapons. Evgeniy Abakumov, the head of the organization’s IT wing says that the new technologies will revolutionize the industry and reduce its wastes.

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Europe: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 21st to 27th September 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

Government remains undecided on crypto: The UK government is still undecided on the right path towards cryptocurrency regulation in the country and much remains ambiguous to this day. The government previously formed a task force from professionals across the spectrum to come up with cryptocurrency regulations in the country but so far, none have been agreed upon, thus creating a legal conundrum for cryptocurrency investors and enthusiasts in the country.

Lawmakers from across the aisle are calling on the government to pass laws regarding cryptocurrency to quell this confusion but the government is still in understanding phase.

France

Stock market regulator bans 21 illicit crypto and fintech websites: The French Stock Market regulator Autorite des Marches Financiers (AMF) has banned 21 websites relating to the cryptocurrency and fintech space. While the authority has maintained a blacklist for a while now, the recent addition was more wide-ranging than ever.

The move comes after the AMF was given additional authority by the government to regulate cryptocurrency and fintech related content online. The reasons given for the latest online purge include “unauthorized operations and atypical investments”. AMF has also been given additional powers to review initial coin offerings being tabled in the country.

Italy

Football champions announces fan token: Juventus football club, the current champion of Italian Serie A football league has announced the creation of a fan token named Juventus Official Fan Token. The club plans to have an ICO as early as 2019 to engage fans from around the world.

The move follows similar moves by other football clubs to get into the business of cryptocurrencies with Paris Saint-Germain stealing the headlines a few weeks back for the first ever fan token sale. Juventus based in Turin, Italy has followed suit. The club has a 60-million fanbase around the world and has star-studded players in Cristiano Ronaldo in the squad.

Switzerland

Startup seeking bank license in Switzerland: A new Swiss startup based in Switzerland has raised over CHF 100 million (USD 103 million) and has filed for a banking license with the Swiss government and aims to offer both crypto and fiat services and bring two financial communities together.

SEBA Crypto AG is creating an environment for both fiat and cryptocurrency banking. While Switzerland itself is very progressive in cryptocurrency-related ventures, the concept still hasn’t been tried in the country. Other banks are moving in this direction and that is why SEBA Crypto AG is aiming to get in first.

Banks looking to remedy anti-crypto bias: The Banks Association of Switzerland (SBA) is working to curb efforts that are hampering the growth of cryptocurrency-related companies because of an anti-crypto bias in the banking circles.

The SBA has released new guidelines for create more cooperative environment for crypto-related sectors. The guidelines were released after the government intervened in the manner and asked the banks to soften their stance.

Cyprus

University of Nicosia focusing on blockchain technology: The University of Nicosia in the capital of Cyprus is focusing on the vital nature of blockchain technology, according to Nick Assimenos from the University of Nicosia, who met with Bitcoin News at Blockchain Live 2018.

The premier Cypriot university is working on providing education for implementation of blockchain technology in vital developmental areas including Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR/AR) and forecasting. Assimenos believes that its focus will encourage more and more people to get into the blockchain space in the near future.

 

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Europe Cryptocurrency News Roundup 14-20 September 2018

Welcome to another weekly blockchain and cryptocurrency news roundup from around the world. Here we present to you all the latest Bitcoin news continent by continent and country by country. In this article, we cover Europe.

United Kingdom

Government raises concerns about protecting investors in the bear market: A parliamentarian questioned the government’s ability to help the country’s blockchain industry in the current and future bearish scenarios.

The question raised by Lord Taylor of Warwick received a response from Lord Bates, the Minister of International Development Department who stated that the government hasn’t made a formal assessment of the situation yet, and it continues to monitor the whole situation.

Treasury wants “Wild West” cryptocurrency market regulated: In a recent report by the United Kingdom Treasury Committee, the cryptocurrency market needs to be regulated which it referred to as the “Wild West”.

The committee is made up of MPs who oversee the branch and have begun to urge the lawmakers to address numerous risks outlined in their report. The government’s response is awaited.

France

Country to celebrate 10 years of Bitcoin with art exhibition: The French artists in celebration of the dawn of the new cryptocurrency age have come together to have a crypto-themed art exhibition in the country.

The focus of the exhibition will be on how Bitcoin is changing the relationship between the artist and the audience. All showcased pieces of art can be purchased through top cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Monero.

European Union

Terrorism is funded by cash, not Bitcoin: EU Police: A detailed report by the Europol or the European Police has clarified that the primary source of funding for terrorist activities is conventional banking channels and cash, not cryptocurrencies.

The reason behind the use of cash was given that it is a tried and tested form of funding. Alternative currencies like Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies log a lot of public transactions and are of little interest to terrorist cells operating in the country. Europol is based in Hague and supports the 28-nation coalition in its struggle against terrorism, cybercrime and other organized criminal activities.

Switzerland

Switzerland, Israel working on blockchain regulatory processes: The government of Israel and Switzerland are working to implement blockchain regulation in their countries in a deal that will open up the access of Swiss banks to Israel.

During a recent trip to Israel, Switzerland’s Minister of Finance Ueli Maurer met with the Israeli authorities and discussed terms for entering the Israeli market with high ranking officials. Switzerland’s quest for access to the Middle Eastern country’s markets will likely propel its blockchain industry further.

Ukraine

Government to introduce Crypto Tax Bill: The Ukrainian government is looking to pass a cryptocurrency regulation bill in the country that will tax both operations and assets in the country.

According to a draft law shared by the parliament channel, a 5% tax is being proposed on individuals and legal entities that are operating with cryptocurrencies and tokens. Businesses can face as much as 18% taxation as that is the standard rate in Eastern Europe.

Russia

Lobbyists push a new Crypto Regulation Bill: A lobby group in Russia is working to push an alternative cryptocurrency regulation bill in the country which will fight with the government’s own Digital Financial Bill for adoption by the parliament.

The Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP) are trying to give a special status to cryptocurrencies and the regulation itself is being solely entrusted to the central bank. It is yet unclear whether any recommendations of this new bill will actually be adopted by the parliament.

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Europe: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 7th to 13th September 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 Commission believes crypto has a future: The Vice President of the European Commission has said that cryptocurrencies will definitely have a place in the future at the second Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) press conference.

Vladis Dombrovokis said in his speech:

“We also had a good exchange of views on crypto-assets. We see that crypto-assets are here to stay. Despite the recent turbulence, this market continues to grow… In particular, initial coin offerings, or ICOs, we see they have the potential to emerge as a viable form of alternative financing. Already last year, ICOs helped raise over USD 6 billion in funding and this year this figure will be substantially bigger.”

He also pointed out the main issues posed by digital currencies including legislation and regulation.

Ireland

Women blockchain forum launched to advance awareness: Blockchain Women Ireland (BWI) was launched in the Republic of Ireland to raise further awareness of the blockchain sector and get more and more women involved in it.

The forum will also promote blockchain and cryptocurrencies as a potential career for Irish women and keep them apprised of the useful educational opportunities in the country.

UK

Financial regulator calls for balanced crypto approach: UK’s Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) top executive has called for a “balanced approach” towards cryptocurrencies in a speech last Tuesday.

He made these comments in the FCA’s Annual Public Meeting and said that it was “keen to see the potential of the underlying technology”. He also said that FCA is not ruling out cryptoassets for itself.

France

Football club to launch own crypto: French football champions Paris Saint-Germain has announced that the club will undergo an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) to incentivize supporters over a blockchain.

The club has announced a partnership with top blockchain company Socios.com for this purpose. The partnership is similar to the one already existing within in the fanbase of famed clubs like Real Madrid and Barcelona. It will give way to a crowd management concept for the football club.

Iceland

Financial watchdog announces registration of first crypto exchange: Iceland’s top financial regulator Financial Supervisory Authority (FME) has announced the registration of the first cryptocurrency exchange in the country.

The move comes after years of attempts by cryptocurrency exchanges to get in the tiny Scandinavian country. The exchange allowed is called Skiptimynt and will allow two trading pairs for now including Krona/BTC and Krona/Aurora.

The country is already a cryptocurrency mining haven because of its cold climate but cryptocurrency trading and exchanges have had difficulties getting into the market before.

Russia

Central bank announces successful ICO experiment: The deputy director of the Bank of Russia (BoR) has said that the trial experiment of an ICO was a technical success, paving way for further research and new projects.

According to local news outlet TASS, Ivan Semagin, the deputy director in question broke this news in an Easter Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Russia. While everything was technically all right, he did mention that the experiment showed several legal issues with the ICO that the government needs to look into.

BoR is rapidly experimenting with blockchain and cryptocurrencies and has developed a regulatory platform in April this year already for local businesses. Russia is also experimenting with a blockchain-based voting system.

 

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Europe: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 24th to 30th 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.

European Union

Crypto to come under focus in Vienna EU Moot: The European Union is now ready to take on certain issues in cryptocurrencies like money laundering and tax evasion in the next round of talks to be held in the Austrian capital of Vienna on 7 September.

While it was acknowledged on previous occasions that cryptocurrencies have the power to present great benefits to the public and governments alike, concerns remain. Blockchain technology was also singled out for praise for use in transparency advocacy.

The next round of talks will determine the future course of action of legislation in the Union.

Germany

Government working to create crypto-friendly system: The German government is deliberating on how to withdraw from the US financial system that has unfairly rendered countries like Turkey and Iran incapacitated in making transactions with other countries due to sanctions placed on them. A crypto-friendly economy is seen as a precursor by Germany for breaking free from the monetary stronghold of the US in the current fiat market.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said:

“For that reason it’s essential that we strengthen European autonomy by establishing payment channels that are independent of the US, creating a European Monetary Fund and building up an independent Swift system.”

Countries like Russia and even Western US allies that are disgruntled due to the attitude of the US government are also considering an alternative system that will challenge the SWIFT system dominated by the US. This news is optimistic for the future development of cryptocurrencies.

CryptoKitties to help German museum explain blockchain: CryptoKitties has proven to be a good initiative to promote awareness in blockchain and cryptocurrency sectors in the country and is now working in Germany for their next exhibit in a museum. Here visitors will experience the game to learn about different types of crypto technologies.

According do Dapper Labs, the owner of CryptoKitties, the exhibit in the museum will show the working of blockchain technology in real time.

Italy

Shares in Italian football club bought with crypto: Italian football club Rimini in the Serie C division has sold a portion of the ownership of the club for cryptocurrency.

This first-of-its-kind acquisition in the country was made by Heritage Sports Holdings (HSH), a sports investment company based in the United Arab Emirates and the cryptocurrency used was Quantocoin, a Gibraltar-based cryptocurrency.

Russia

Government to use Ethereum blockchain for market allocation of farmers: The Russian government has announced that the country is looking to develop a system that uses the Ethereum blockchain to simplify the process of allocating commercial plots for farmers.

The system is designed to allocate over 1,500 trading spots with over 20,000 farmers scrambling for them. Farmers from Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan all are vying for a place in the weekend market in the nation’s capital.

Malta

Pro-Bitcoin Malta prime minister targeted by crypto fraudsters: Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, who has a very pro-Bitcoin stance, was the subject of a recent Instagram scam.

His name was used to open a fake Instagram account in an attempt to promote a Bitcoin investment scheme. The fraudulent account quickly gained 1,300 followers and promoted a Ponzi scheme that preyed on unwary investors. But, when pointed out, the account was swiftly deleted by the scammers.

The Mediterranean island is working to bring cryptocurrency and blockchain projects from around the world to its shores. The island is becoming more and more suitable for cryptocurrency investment in the continent and the world. It has been continuously ranked as one of the best in crypto-friendly attitudes.

 

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Europe Cryptocurrency News Roundup 17-24 August 2018

Welcome to another weekly blockchain news roundup from around the world. Here we present to you all the latest Bitcoin news, continent by continent and country by country. Up next is Europe.

Germany

Germany Aiming to Withdraw from US Financial System: Germany, Europe’s biggest economy has called for an independent payment system that will be free from US intervention, a piece of news that can be considered positive for cryptocurrencies in the future.

The move comes follows the widely criticized decision of the United States to unilaterally impose sanctions on Turkey and Iran over bilateral tussles. The German government is no all-weather friend of the US and since then it has said:

“For that reason it’s essential that we strengthen European autonomy by establishing payment channels that are independent of the US, creating a European Monetary Fund and building up an independent Swift system.”

The Swift system is the current world standard for money transfer and it is heavily influenced by the US.

Russia

Government Announces Blockchain-based Voting System: Russia is at the forefront of blockchain innovation in the world and is showing its prowess by announcing a new blockchain-based voting system. 

A non-profit association of independent observers known as National Public Monitoring is reported stating that a pilot project is in the works,  according to Russian news outlet Tass. The project has received an endorsement from the all-Russia congress of public observers,  who have submitted recommendations in this regard to the government.

No further technical details were disclosed at this point.

United Kingdom

Cryptocurrencies to Benefit UK in Post-Brexit Scenario: While the Brexit is seen as a negative move in almost all aspects, cryptocurrencies will actually benefit from it, according to a Britain-based CEO. 

Danial Daychopan of crypto startup Plutus said that the Pound’s and Euro’s interdependence and issues mean that decentralized cryptocurrencies are set to offer a variable and more stable alternative in the future in a post-Brexit United Kingdom.

EU has also called for tougher regulation on cryptocurrencies, something UK won’t be bound to follow after Brexit occurs.

France

$2.3 Million Bitcoin-Euro Conversion Deal Hits Snag: A sizeable Bitcoin sale in France went sour when a seller of EUR 2 million worth of Bitcoin was given counterfeit 500 EUR notes during the transaction. The notes were poorly photocopied fake currency and didn’t look real.

A visiting South Korean businessman was approached by a Serbian who said that he aimed to invest a sizeable sum in cryptocurrencies. The deal was set for 2 million in Euro notes in exchange for bitcoin but the buyer gave counterfeit currency instead.

Liechtenstein

Union Bank to Launch Fiat-backed Cryptocurrency: A union bank in Liechtenstein has announced that it will be launching its own security tokens and fiat backed cryptocurrency.

The Liechtenstein Union Bank AG is going to issue a Union Bank Payment Coin (UBPC) and hopes to become a full blockchain investment bank in the future. Liechtenstein government has a very pro-crypto stance and it is allowing new companies and technologies to emerge from the country.

Norway

Mining Farm Could Be Closed by Government Due to Bomb Threat over Noise: In a bizarre event, a cryptocurrency mining farm based in Norway may be closed down after receiving a bomb threat due to its excessive noise generation.

According to a neighbouring resident:

“The sound of the factory comes 24 hours-a-day, 365-days-a-year. Our summer has been ruined.”

Thing went out of hand when another person threatened to blow up the Kryptovault mining facility. Cryptocurrency mining farm has taken the threat seriously and may wind up operations in the area.

Sports

Football Clubs Signing Contracts with Cryptocurrency Platforms: More and more football clubs are now being sponsored by cryptocurrency exchanges in Europe. Recently, ex-premier league champion club Leicester City has announced a deal with FansUnite, a Canadian startup.

CEO Darius Eghdami said:

“Leicester City FC is one of the premier brands in all of football, being one of just six clubs to hoist the Premier League Trophy since its inception in 1992. They are at the forefront of incorporating new technology to help improve player performance and fan engagement.”

Wolverhampton Wanderers, a new English Premier league team became the first football club to have a cryptocurrency exchange logo displayed on its shirt.

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Europe: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 10th to 16th 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

Cryptocurrencies have the same status as pets, cars and other movable property: The French State Council has recently designated cryptocurrencies as movable properties, bringing them at par with movable properties like cars, jewelry, furniture and gold. This step has reduced the taxation on cryptocurrencies from 45% to 19%, thus making it easier for new coin companies and exchanges to shift to the country.

But mining even now is considered as an enterprise and liable for 45% tax. The move is understandably taken to discourage resource-extensive mining operations. The overall move is part of President Emmanuel Macron’s move to bring innovative industries back to France.

Germany

Ripple in talks with banks in Germany: Popular cryptocurrency XRP’s parent company Ripple is in talks with representatives of a few big banks in Germany to talk about possible adoption. Ripple has already made inroads with other technologies like xRapid and xCurrent that have been adopted by hundreds of banks around the world.

Marjan Delatinne, the head of banking in Ripple said that the company was in talks with many German banks in Berlin and elsewhere. Delatinne herself switched from SWIFT banking to the blockchain driven company back in 2017.

XRP continues to be one of the top cryptocurrencies in the world despite a substantial decrease in price in the last four months.

United Kingdom

30% UK firms hit by cryptojacking malware: Over 30% of UK businesses were hit by a cryptocurrency mining malware last month. Over 60% of the companies also said that they found malware in their computers at some time in the past, mostly in the last six months alone.

Most of the malware found is designed to channel the computing power of an affected computer for cryptocurrency mining initiatives which is illegal. Kaspersky Labs, a prominent antivirus company said that new malware has been reported in other countries as well that can control workstations and servers for cryptojacking purposes.

Hungary

Government working on crypto regulatory framework: The Hungarian government is working on a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies in the country to encourage cryptocurrency adoption and blockchain research.

The country doesn’t recognize cryptocurrencies but increasing public interest and regional outlook are forcing the government to look into cryptocurrencies. A Hungarian ministry spokesperson said:

“Hungary is currently looking into regulating crypto instruments, and the central bank, the tax authority, the finance ministry and other authorities have set up a joint workgroup to evaluate legal, economic, law enforcement, money laundering and other aspects of cryptocurrencies with an eye to introducing more detailed regulation.”

Spain

Political coalition calling for regulatory body to explore crypto: Spanish coalition party Unidos Podemos is calling for the implementation of blockchain and crypto regulation in the country.

The coalition was formed from various left-wing parties including Podemos, United Left, Equo and smaller parties. It underlined the importance of blockchain in the future and its widespread application in public administration in the country as well as means to complement industrial potential.

Malta

ICOs make gains in Malta in 2018: Malta, one of the top crypto havens in Europe, is seeing big gains in ICO businesses according to latest research from Crypto Fund Research.

Malta raised almost USD 180 million in ICO funds in the last quarter, which clearly shows that it is leading the way along with Switzerland and Gibraltar. Continent-wise, Europe is second overall with USD 1.12 billion behind North America’s USD 4.98 billion.

 

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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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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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