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Weekly Bitcoin and Blockchain News Roundup: Europe, 12 to 18 March 2018

Europe

13 March 2018

The European Central Bank (ECB) executive board member Benoit Coeure and Bank of International Settlements Markets Committee chair Jacqueline Loh wrote that “Bitcoin has put the spotlight on an old failing of our current system: cross-border retail payments.”, urging current banking and financial systems to improve as the best way to “rise to the Bitcoin challenge”.

14 March 2018

Bloomberg reported that Allianz Global Investors, Europe’s biggest insurer’s investment arm, has dismissed Bitcoin as worthless. It does concede that blockchain technology harbours massive potential for investors.

 

Kranj, Slovenia

13 March 2018

The Slovenian city of Kranj have built what it claims to be the “first blockchain monument” in the world. Placed at a roundabout in the city center, it features the familiar Bitcoin logo which can be viewed overhead.

 

The Hague, Netherlands

13 March 2018

Dutch finance minister Wopke Hoekstra called upon the parliament to warn that current supervision and regulatory frameworks in the Netherlands were still insufficiently equipped. The minister revealed that he would actively work in a European context, but that the approach would require a European and international approach.

 

London, UK

14 March 2018

Coinbase UK received an e-money license from the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), effective from 21 March 2018. Essentially, Coinbase customers are now allowed to store their e-money on Coinbase UK accounts, enabling more payment options for them in the UK. The license, however, would not cover cryptocurrency activities.

 

Paris, France

15 March 2018

French regulators Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) published a blacklist of 15 crypto-related France-based companies soliciting investments from the public. These companies contravened the new “Sapin II” Law No. 2016-1691 of 9 December 2016 on “transparency, the fight against corruption and the modernization of economic life”.

16 March 2018

The same AMF will be working together with its government as France aims to create its first guidelines through which enterprises could legally raise venture capital through so-called initial coin offerings (ICOs). Among some of the proposals include a visa issued to companies wishing to conduct ICOs, giving them official government approval.

 

Vilnius, Lithuania

16 March 2018

The Bank of Lithuania put out a call for tender for a proposal for software developers from around the world to assist it with developing its LBChain blockchain platform. It aims to help businesses to trial and implement sophisticated financial tech innovations.

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