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Europe: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 30 November – 6 December 2018

Europe

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

74% of British Startups Wary of GDPR Concerns: Almost three-quarters of British blockchain companies are worried because of GDPR regulations according to a recent survey by Digital Catapult Innovation Agency.

According to the study, the regulatory concerns pose a greater threat than even technical, business and legal issues. The GDRP was a comprehensive data legislation passed by the European Union earlier this year. Some of the measures are contradictory for blockchain companies because of the immutability of blockchain technology.

Malta

Government Halts Operation of Unlicensed Cryptocurrency Exchange: The Maltese government’s financial arm Malta Financial Service Authority (MFSA) has issued a cease and desist order against a cryptocurrency exchange operating in the country without a proper license.

According to the regulator’s official website, OriginalCrypto was an exchange operating illegally in the country and was therefore given the show cause notice.

Switzerland

Swiss Post and Telecom Company Announce Partnership to Develop Blockchain Infrastructure: National Postal Service of Switzerland has announced a partnership with Telecom company Swisscom for the launch of a 100% blockchain-based infrastructure that can be used by both companies. The new system is being developed on top of the Hyperledger Fabric 2.0 software.

This is the first-of-its-kind partnership in Switzerland between partnering government entities for a private blockchain project. Switzerland remains one of the most progressive countries when it comes to cryptocurrency adoption.

Swiss FINMA License Boost for Exchanges: Swiss Financial Supervisory Authority (FINMA) is working on a new framework that will essentially allow cryptocurrency exchanges to behave like banks in the country and allow them to hold up to CHF 100 million in deposits. The new option will be available under a banking license next year.

A proposed amendment in the Banking Act will pave the way for this move and will force other countries to do the same, especially the ones where cryptocurrency exchanges and banks are constantly at loggerheads with each other.

Estonia

Government to Amend AML Law to Include Cryptocurrencies: The government of Estonia has amended financial bills to include cryptocurrency related clauses according to local newspaper Airpaev.

The latest version of the AML and Terrorist Financing Prevention Act will see new changes within a week of passing. The move is in accordance with EU’s policies despite Estonia not being a regular member.

Russia

Gazprom Bank to Launch Crypto Service: Russian national bank Gazprombank, has announced that it is working on suggestions to provide cryptocurrency asset related services to millions of its clients.

While the Russian government is still overviewing cryptocurrency regulation in the country, the bank’s progressive mindset may point to bigger and better things in the future.

In other news, the Intellectual Property Court has successfully integrated a blockchain-based solution for storing copyright data according to news Agency TASS.

The immutable characteristic of blockchain has long been considered a perfect match for storing IP rights and this project is the first in Eastern Europe.

Belarus

Cryptocurrency Regulatory Legislation Completed in Belarus: A new document shows that the Eastern European country has finished with devising rules for the cryptocurrency market. The document was published by Belarus High-Technologies Park (HTP) and shows the regulatory future in the country.

The document is being hailed as the second stage of cryptocurrency regulation in the country as it contains details of regulations for coin-related activities, a sequel to the first policy which was signed last year, containing general operational guidelines for the industry.

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The post Europe: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 30 November – 6 December 2018 appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Estonia to Amend Recently Passed AML Law to Include Crypto Services

Estonia

A financial newspaper from Estonia, Äripäev reported that the local government is going to amend one of its recently passed financial bills to include crypto related clauses.

The new version of the Anti Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Prevention Act will be going through these changes in less than a week of its passing. The amendment is being done to comply with European Union’s Fourth Money Laundering Prevention Directive. The original bill had initially mentioned tighter rules for “alternative means of payment service provider”. The alteration in the bill would replace it with “virtual currency exchange service providers” and “virtual currency payment service providers.”

The move, in accordance to EU’s policies, has been introduced after Estonian Financial Supervision Authority (FI) said that cryptocurrencies and platforms offering crypto services give undesirable elements the opportunity to conduct money laundering easily.

Estonia is a country known for being extremely crypto friendly, with a significant number of crypto platforms and services from around the world registering in its jurisdiction. It also recently dropped plans for a national cryptocurrency after European Union Bank’s president, Mario Draghi opposed the move.

The Estonian initiative to make regulations for cryptocurrencies is part of a global move by governments to control, or at least ensure, that decentralized digital currencies and asset providers are more diligent about who can use their services. This is largely due to concerns about terrorist and money laundering entities utilizing cryptos to avoid sanctions and restrictions.

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Europe: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 23-29 November 2018

Europe

Europe

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

Norway

Government Ends Mining Subsidy: The Scandinavian country has left the local crypto mining industry in shock after its government announced it will be ending all forms of utility subsidies to the energy-hungry farms. The removal of the subsidy means an increase of a whopping 35 times.

Following the ruling, the subsidies will be lifted from January next year, leaving little time for mining companies to prepare themselves to face the full brunt of their energy consumption. Understandably, the news has not gone down well with the local crypto mining industry.

Switzerland

Court Orders Closure of Mining Farm: The Cantonal Court of Zug ordered crypto mining firm Envion AG to shut down after it found the firm’s ICO to be unauthorized.

The dispute between its two partners saw them landing in court, battling out who was right. In the proceedings, the court found the platform in violations of rules and regulations and ordered it to shut down operations and the platform to be liquidated.

United Kingdom

FCA Adds to Suspicious Crypto Businesses List: Local British news outlet, Telegraph reported that UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), has nearly doubled its list of suspicious cryptocurrency based businesses, who might be operating without proper approval. FCA was forced to give out the information after The Telegraph used a Freedom of Information request. The number of investigations stands at 50, up from 25 in May this year.

The clampdown on cryptocurrency businesses is a double tactic, with UK’s government pondering over drafting regulations for the industry. Telegraph also reported that an accountant within FCA suggested that the high number of investigations could be a result of the recent falling prices of tokens in the market.

Ireland

Blockchain Revolution Stalled by Insufficient Human Resource: Ireland is one of the leading countries when it comes to promoting blockchain education. However, a survey by PR firm Wachsman indicates that nearly 75% of Irish people are not willing to go into the blockchain industry.

CEO David Wachsman said, People in Ireland don’t know yet how transformative a technology blockchain is and that it’s such a wide-ranging technology,” suggesting that people believe the risks involved are too great and outweigh the potential the technology has.

Belarus

Government Establishes Cryptocurrency Regulations in the Country: According to High Technology Park documents, a special economic zone in Belarus has established regulations for cryptocurrency operations in the country. The documents are 5 in number, covering topics such as ICOs, crypto exchanges, internal control roles and rules for crypto platform operators.

The set of these documents form “a complete legal regulation of cryptocurrency in Belarus” which is enforced in conjunction with the National Bank, Financial Monitoring Department, international experts, and other bodies.

Malta

Maltese Exchange to Partner with the English Premier League: Malta’s leading Bitcoin exchange OKEx announced it was partnering with England’s Premier League. Through this partnership, the platform aims to raise awareness about cryptocurrencies among football fans and increase OKEx’s profile.

The partnership will allow OKEx to advertise its platform at the biggest games between high profile football teams.

Russia

Significant Increase in the Sale of Second Hand Mining Rigs: As the crypto market tumbled, Russia has seen an increase in the sale of second-hand mining rigs. Youla, an online Russian marketplace, reported a 25% increase in the sale of used rigs during the Bitcoin price double-dip.

A large number of miners in Russia are amateur ones, having smaller mining rig setups connected to mining pools, collectively solving block equations and distributing the profits. With tumbling prices, small miners would have faced issues continuing operations that are energy intensive and are yielding little profits.

Russia, in another news, is partnering up with India for cooperation in different fields including blockchain development. The joint statement read “both sides agreed to explore joint working arrangements and pilot projects in healthcare, proposed setting up of a single-window clearance.”

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Europe: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 16-22 November 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

Government Considering Crypto Ban Despite 3 Million Users: UK’s top financial regulator Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has cited integrity issues to consider placing a ban on cryptocurrency derivatives in the country despite the presence of millions of investors.

The comments were made by FCA’s executive director Christopher Woolard during an event in London on November 20, 2018. The idea of a ban was met with much criticism from the crypto sector.

Gibraltar Exchange Allocated Top Operating License: Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange (GBX) has been granted the top operating license by the country’s watchdog.

The level 3 certification was given after the exchange cleared all the 9-point guidelines formulated by the government in January this year.

Gibraltar is consistently rated as one of the most pro-crypto places in the continent with many blockchain startups mushrooming around the tiny autonomous region.

Norway

Government Pulls the Plug on Mining Subsidies: The Norwegian government has announced that it is ending subsidies on power for cryptocurrency mining companies. The decision comes after the electricity requirement rose dramatically in the country due to these mining operations.

Right now, the Norwegian data centers will remain on discount paying NOK 0.48 (0.056 USD) for one unit. For mining projects, the price may increase to a mammoth NOK 16.58 (1.94) per unit starting early next year.

Switzerland

Multi-Crypto ETF Listed on Stock Exchange: Swiss stock exchange SIX has now allowed the listing of the first multi-crypto ETF in the country after committing the move earlier this year. In addition to the first ETF of such nature, the exchange is also close to listing the first Exchange Traded Product (ETP) as well.

Switzerland’s cryptocurrency and blockchain projects are becoming one of the most progressive ones in the continent.

Railroad Workers to Replace Paper IDs with Blockchain-based Ones: The Swiss Federal Railway System (SBB) has announced that it is replacing paper processes for its employees with a blockchain-based one. 

The first Proof of Concept (PoC) was implemented successfully and the project eventually aims to create Digital EDs for all rail workers working at various construction sites across the European country.

Italy

Government Clamping Down on Unregistered Cryptocurrency Exchanges: The Italian regulator Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa (CONSOB), is working to tighten its grip on cryptocurrency trading in the country by pointing out and reprimanding exchanges and firms that are not complying with the issued regulations.

Three institutions have already received suspensions in the process and more are to follow with one of them banned for an indefinite period. The government is also working on a formal framework for the sector.

Spain

Organic Poultry Tracking System Launched: Retail giant Carrefour has announced the deployment of the first blockchain-based poultry tracking system in the country for organically raised birds.

Galician chickens are one of the most sought-after and exquisite chickens in the country but the current supply chain system leaves much wanting. The new DLT system based on IBM’s Hyperledger will allow for a more transparent system that will help track poultry and its originality.

Government Forcing Investors to Declare their Cryptocurrency Holdings: A new taxation law introduced by the government will reportedly require the 15,000 strong cryptocurrency investor community to reveal their holdings.

A strict penalty of 5,000 EUR has been placed on people filing inaccurate returns and asset declarations. The government has also opened investigations into banks and financial companies who are undertaking cryptocurrency transactions.

Estonia

900 Blockchain Companies Launched in 1 Year: Estonia has attracted investment into the blockchain sector from around the world following pro-crypto policy implementations by the government. In one year alone more than 900 new licenses have been granted to cryptocurrency companies by the authorities.

Poland

Poland Suspends Tax Collection for Cryptocurrencies: The Polish government has announced the temporary lifting of tax collection for digital currencies that was introduced in March this year.

The 18% and 32% tax imposed on cryptocurrencies was found to be hurting the sector and invoked a public response with more than 5,000 signatures asking for it to be pulled back. The government eventually bowed down to the pressure and suspended the tax system, albeit temporarily.

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Europe: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 2nd to 8th November 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

UK crypto scene unaffected by Brexit fears: Cryptocurrency traders are worried about the impending Brexit issues but according to crypto experts and exchanges, it could actually help the UK in the long run.

The main point of contention for the cryptocurrency community will be new regulations from the British government. This might actually help the investors in the country as EU regulations have been extremely tough for the cryptocurrency exchanges and now that the control over regulations will now be back with the British government who can pass crypto-friendly regulation.

Spain

Valencia port joins IBM blockchain shipping project: Spanish port Valencia has joined an IBM blockchain shipping project called TradeLens which is co-developed by IBM and shipping giant Maersk.

The platform was launched earlier this year and has now been adopted by over 12 companies around the world including the Port Authority of Rotterdam. The platform will be used to solve systemic issues in the supply chain systems and will reportedly reduce processes from two weeks to just 1-2 days.

BBVA bank announces $150 million syndicated loan through blockchain: Spanish banking giant BBVA has announced a syndicated loan recorded on the Ethereum blockchain with the help of two other loan partners.

The syndicated loan was organized for Red Electrica, the Spanish grid company, in partnership with Paribas bank, France and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial, Japan.

Switzerland

Market regulator recommends 800% risk coverage for crypto: The Swiss Financial Markets Supervisory Authority (FINMA) has reportedly asked banks to have as much as 800% risk coverage for cryptocurrency investments.

The move comes despite repeated pro-cryptocurrency and blockchain stances from the government. The requirement is sure to raise a few eyebrows as USD 6,500 (BTC 1) may force banks to cover for as much as USD 54,000 in fiat. An additional 4% investment cap was also placed on financial institutions.

Azerbaijan

Smart contract upgrade for transparent legal system: The Azerbaijani government has announced that it is using blockchain technology to improve its legal system including in the housing and utilities sectors.

According to local media reports, smart contracts will be used for this purpose. The Justice Ministry has planned a meeting later this week to discuss how the new technology can be implemented in the legal matters.

According to the Azerbaijan Internet Forum Osman Gunduz: “[the platform]will ensure transparency and will allow to suppress the cases of falsification in this area.”

Russia

Industrialist union launches arbitration committee for crypto disputes: The Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RUIE) has decided to form its own arbitration committee to look into crypto-related disputes occurring in the country.

The move comes after the lobby group ran out of patience because of lack of action from the government. The new committee has extended its scope to handle cryptocurrency related disputes as well as smart contracts and token sales. The RUIE has also called from expert advice from the sector.

Cryptocurrency cases and disputes have been jammed up in Russian courts and the Union has taken moves to take the matter into their own hands.

 

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Europe: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 26th October to 1st November 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.

The United Kingdom

Taskforce to come up with updates to crypto regulations: The UK taskforce formed for cryptocurrencies is now under focus again with the group tasked to propose changes in the cryptocurrency regulations.

In addition to revisiting regulation, the group is also charged with categorizing and defining different crypto assets for regulatory purposes. The Taskforce has already published a paper that compares cryptocoins to business-related investments but at the same time states that they carry inappropriate levels of risk. It also praised the ability of ICOs as a new investment option that promotes innovation and improves efficiency.

Business authority assails UK crypto regulation proposals: The latest regulation on cryptocurrency proposed the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) drew sharp criticism from local business federation the British Business Federation Authority (BBFA).

According to BBFA director Patrick Curry, the move could hurt UK’s standing as a fintech hub in the world.

He said, “It is a very blunt instrument approach and I haven’t seen this in other countries. The use of this technology is still a voyage of discovery and these technologies are being refined for different types of use. My concern is the law of unintended consequences.”

While the cryptocurrency scene is now under regulation, only common sense reform has been welcomed by traders and investors.

Spain

Crypto holders to declare assets under new law: Spanish cryptocurrency holders will have to reveal their balances to the government, according to a new law proposed by the Pedro Sanchez regime.

The law will require holders of cryptocurrencies to declare their holdings in tax returns in an effort to clamp down on tax evasion. The move reverses early decisions that were pro-crypto which were formulated by the previous government.

France

Business school’s tuition can be paid in Bitcoin: A Paris-based business school has announced that students will be able to pay their tuition fees in Bitcoin. The Financial Business School announced this move after its classes on blockchain and fintech were successful.

The programs have a 25% foreign enrollment and now the overseas students can pay in Bitcoin, thus making everything much easier for students. Five students have already paid their fees this way.

Crypto ads down 11% after regulations: Crypto adverts in the country have faced an 11% drop after latest regulations were enforced by the government. Financial watchdog Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) enforced these regulations after French authorities agreed to legalize cryptocurrencies as derivatives and are thus barred from online advertisement.

While cryptocurrency circles were relieved by a tax rate cut from 45% to 19% earlier this year, the advertising sector has been affected due to the latest regulations.

Germany

Financial regulator aims to regulate crypto but faces hurdles: Top German financial regulator BaFin is trying to regulate cryptocurrencies in the country but it is facing certain challenges in the process.

While the overall attitude has been welcoming towards cryptocurrencies, regulators are now trying to protect investors after a USD 100 million mining project called Envion failed to deliver. When BaFin introduced new regulations, a Berlin court ruled that cryptocurrencies and ICOs may not be seen as accounting units and canceled them. Still, the regulator is trying to enforce common sense regulations for the decentralized space.

Helix Hufeld, the head of BaFin said, “We don’t want to stifle innovation, but at the same time we have to defend ourselves against risks.”

Ukraine

State policy launched to legalize crypto: The Ukrainian Ministry of Economic Development and Trade has launched a state policy to legalize cryptocurrencies. While the government has so far refrained from getting involved, the new policy is expected to help with further growth of the sector.

Ukraine is also looking to define key legal terms in the virtual assets industry and ICOs overall. Regulations are expected to be built on these definitions.

 

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Europe: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 19th to 25th 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.

United Kingdom

UK MP joins advisory board of crypto exchange: A UK MP from the Conservative Party has joined the advisory board of a new cryptocurrency exchange project IronX. He is hired in the capacity of government relations department of the new project including regulation and oversight.

IronX is a new exchange launched by IronFX and EmurgoHK who were behind the development of the Cardano platform. Other UK MPs have also come strongly in favor of cryptocurrencies including Matt Hancock who delivered a speech in favor of the blockchain technology’s monumental impact.

Big bank to leverage DLT loans: UK High Street bank Natwest has announced DLT-based loans for the syndicated market as early as next month.

According to the bank, the blockchain technology will be a cost-effective way of streamlining communication between lenders in the loan market. Syndicated loans around the world are worth USD 3.5 trillion.

Gibraltar

Advisory group launched for blockchain courses: A local advisory group has been formed by the government of Gibraltar to formulate effective blockchain courses in the country.

The group named New Technologies in Education (NTIE) will be a joint initiative between the University of Gibraltar and the local government. The NTIE will focus on training human resource for the blockchain future.

Switzerland

Swiss bank adds ICO to its crypto trading facility: Swiss bank Swissquote is now offering financial and trading services for ICO-related clients.

The bank became the first bank in the world to offer five cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ether, Ripple and Litecoin. The new announcement will mean that now clients can take part in ICOs through the bank which is a major step forward for regulating and accepting ICOs in the current legal and banking framework.

Russia

Ex-economics minister says crypto right model for supply of money: Russian trader Herman Gref has come out and spoken in favor of cryptocurrencies, especially their supply structure.

Gref was the formerly the Russian economics minister between 2000 and 2007 and has also served as the chairman of the board of largest bank in the country.

However, Gref has also voiced a careful approach towards cryptocurrencies and said that it will take time in their adoption.

Netherlands

Rotterdam port partners with Samsung for blockchain shipping: The largest port of Europe which is based in Rotterdam has inked a deal with tech giant Samsung to introduce blockchain shipping in the country.

The collaboration has been made between IT and Tech wing of Samsung and Dutch bank ABN-AMRO. The trial is currently being limited to the containers coming from Asia to the Dutch port only.

Armenia

New crypto farm receives visit from Prime Minister: A newly-opened mining farm in the country was visited by the Prime Minister in a rare gesture of solidarity by the government to the mining community.

Armenian conglomerate Multi Group that installed the mining farm welcomed the Prime Minister and the leader of opposition to the farm. The project is being presented as a success of the cryptocurrency circles.

Spain

Catalonia independence fund Exceeds BTC 80,000 in donations: A Catalonia independence fund that was set up after exiled leader Carles Puigdemnot’s earlier plea has raised an astonishing BTC 80,000 (USD 500 million) and the movement is reportedly gaining a lot of ground.

While the number is difficult to confirm right now, if correct, this signals widespread support for the Catalan independence struggle from people in crypto circles. Barcelona, the Catalan capital, is now a battleground for the movement which has largely seen peaceful manifestations.

 

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Europe: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 12-18 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.

Germany

Court Rules That Cryptocurrency Trading Requires No License: A German court in Berlin announced that trading digital assets in the country requires no license. The judgement was made earlier this week on October 16 and was widely welcomed by the crypto community.

The move comes amid confusion among several European authorities on how to deal with cryptocurrencies and Germany’s progressive approach may influence them to loosen their stance.

United Kingdom

Environmental Foundation Using Blockchain to Foil “Greenwashing” Claims by Companies: A new blockchain tool is being utilized by a UK foundation to foil attempts of greenwashing by companies in the country. Greenwashing is typically termed as fraudulent claims of high sustainability ethics that are raising eyebrows of the environmental organizations.

Greenwashing is a common tactic being used by oil companies and other carbon emitting businesses through a mixture of phony ads and propaganda. The UK-based Responsible Finance and Investment Foundation (RFI) will use the blockchain system to investigate the claims of these companies.

Expert Expects 2 Years for Appropriate Crypto Regulation: A UK legal expert has come out and said that solidifying regulations in the United Kingdom may take up to two years to accomplish. 

James Kaufmann, the legal director at Reynolds Porter Chamberlain (RPC), a reputed professional and legal services company believes that the two-year estimate is a best-case scenario and it may even drag on longer than that.

The UK government has assembled a cryptocurrency task force to come up with regulations and they are giving a late 2019 timeframe at the moment.

Malta

Two-thirds Fail in Cryptocurrency License Exam Despite Attempts to Ease the Process: Almost two-thirds of applicants appearing in cryptocurrency agent certification exam have failed the test despite last minute changes made to ease the process by the examiners.

The Virtual Financial Assets Act from November last year mandated an exam and a training course for all those who want to work as cryptocurrency agents in the country. The agents can offer a wide range of services including ICO liaison with the government, cryptocurrency vendors and much more.

However, the poor performance at the test has raised eyebrows regarding the ability of the enthusiasts to be in compliance with the law. The testing institute, however, has declined to comment on the matter.

Spain

Nostrum Coffee Chain to Accept Cryptocurrencies: Spain’s Nostrum coffee chain has announced a partnership with Cyclebit payment gateway to start cryptocurrency acceptance across the chain.

Nostrum has started dealing in Bitcoin and has 130 shops across the country.

Russia

Church Turns to Mining, Illegally: A church is Siberia has been brought to court for draining too much power from the local grid to mine cryptocurrencies.

While cryptocurrency mining itself is not illegal, the church used its depreciated power rates to mine cryptocurrencies and even raised extra funds for the purpose.

Netherlands

Government Promoting Blockchain Economy: The Dutch government is leading in blockchain innovation in Europe especially with projects that directly benefit the public. The country is rapidly breaking down barriers on both cryptocurrency and blockchain adoption.

According to Emanuele Francioni, the tech-lead of Dusk Foundation, a nonprofit organization said:

“The Netherlands hosts one of the most passionate blockchain scenes in the world,” he suggests, adding that, “Most of the early experimentation by the government was done with multinationals through consortia, often in the permissioned [private] space…we are starting to see the first permissionless [public] initiatives getting more public traction, which is a very exciting area that should get a lot more attention.”

The number of cryptocurrency investors is also increasing in the country as the number has increased four times since last year despite massive Bitcoin price tanks in recent times.

Ukraine

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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, 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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The post Europe: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 21st to 27th September 2018 appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.