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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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The post Europe: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 5th to 12th July 2018 appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Europe: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 27th March to 5th April 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

Effects of EU regulation on the market: During the Easter winter break, the EU mostly remained silent on new cryptocurrency regulation. However, the aftershocks of the recent Brussels announcement in EU securities watchdog European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) and its new set of rules designed to stop leverage limits for cryptocurrencies were evident as Bitcoin price stumbled to a several-month low of around USD 6,500. It is feared that the leverage limit for Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies is there to stay and will be adopted by other countries and financial unions as well.

Lichtenstein

Friendly regulation: Lichtenstein’s government has announced that it is going to be taking a “light-handed approach” towards cryptocurrency regulation in a bid to attract more blockchain businesses in the small European nation. Lichtenstein’s stance on cryptocurrencies is directly in line with its recent low-taxation policy to attract businesses from around the world. Elaborating on the loose regulations, it won’t be necessary to open a bank account to start a blockchain business and the entire process can be handled in either Bitcoin or Ethereum as the central bank of Liechtenstein has started accepting cryptocurrencies directly. In the words of blockchain entrepreneur Yanislav Malahov: “They’re making it really easy to incorporate a cryptocurrency business.”.

Lichtenstein aims to become a global hub in blockchain-related businesses and increase Europe’s appeal around the world as the centre of excellence in blockchain.

France

Vague cryptocurrency policyFrench minister for finance and economics Bruno Le Maire briefed the French news website Numerama regarding the future cryptocurrency policy of the European nation aimed at inviting blockchain businesses from around the world.

The op-ed is a message to the French people that blockchain technology is the future and an agent of change in the world, both disruptive and beneficial. According to him, “[cryptocurrency and blockchain] could upset daily practices in the banking and insurance sectors, financial markets, but also patents and certified acts… Let’s not be mere spectators: become actors in this revolution.”.

All in all, the future policy of France would be “benevolent, yet cautious” thus offering little concrete meaning for blockchain businesses who might be inclined to invest in France. There is a need for further clarification from the French ministry regarding the vague contents of this op-ed by Le Marie.

Germany

Deliberating on future of crypto regulation: Germany and France’s tussle on regional influence and dominance may take its toll on cryptocurrencies as well since both offered differing opinions at the recent G20 meeting. While France is sending out mixed signals with lenient ICO rules, Germany is focused on making a unified European Union stance on cryptocurrencies and wants France to come onboard. It is expected that regulatory conventions in both of these countries will directly affect the concerted effort by the EU to arrive at a unified cryptocurrency and blockchain policy.

Deutsche Bank calling for crackdown on cryptocurrencies: In the absence of a robust policy towards cryptocurrencies, Phillippe Vollot, the global head of Deutsche Bank, was of the opinion that cryptocurrencies are not subject to regulation and controls by the German government and it is, therefore, the duty of the government to crackdown on illegal unregulated crypto trade. He is advocating strict control using modern technologies including bots to help control suspicious transactions.

German national tourist board now accepting payment in cryptocurrencies: German National Tourist Board based in Frankfurt has now started accepting payment in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin for its services.

Spain

Cryptocurrency cyber criminals arrested: A notorious cyber criminal gang involved in heists of over USD 1.2 billion worth of funds was arrested in Alicante, Spain. The gang comprised of Ukrainians and Russians who robbed over 100 financial institutions around the world and covered their tracks by converting the stolen wealth to cryptocurrency.

According to Spanish newspaper El Mundo: “The alleged mastermind is a 34-year-old Ukrainian man whom officials identified as “Denis K,” who wanted to create a money-laundering cryptocurrency for the Russian mafia.”

Spain’s rise in cryptocurrency circles gone under the radar? Spain is at the forefront of cryptocurrency innovation and global shift towards cryptocurrencies. The Spanish government has set up two major industrial blockchain consortiums that are aimed at making Spain the frontrunner in the new technology. It is also planning to use blockchain in an attempt to counter money laundering.

Russia

Putin promises obligatory cryptocurrency regulations: The Russian government is working on a new cryptocurrency regulation called Digital Assets Regulation Bill which has been in deliberation since last year. Newly re-elected president Vladimir Putin has signalled that cryptocurrency regulation in the country should become a law as early as 1 July of this year, putting pressure on regulators to come up with a workable plan.

GazpromBank to test cryptocurrency service: Russia’s Gazprom Bank will test cryptocurrency-based payments according to deputy chairman Alexander Sobol. There are no details whether Gazprombank will itself invest in cryptocurrencies or not.

Ukraine

“Wild East of cryptocurrencies”: While Ukraine’s tech scene is improving and has a lot of potential, it is being brought harm because of raids of crypto-operations and unclear status of cryptocurrencies. The Kiev-based government is being labelled “paranoid” for not controlling cryptocurrency and constantly blames it for allowing illegal armed groups to function. But, the country is also at the forefront of cryptocurrency revolution with hundreds of legitimate startups that are suffering from overbearing government oversight.

 

The post Europe: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 27th March to 5th April 2018 appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.