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Europe: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 24th to 30th June, 2019

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.

Europe

The United Kingdom

Phishers and scammers using better English to lure unwary victims: A fresh report by NakedSecurity reveals that cryptocurrency scammers are now using better English with perfect grammar to lure unwary victims in their scams.

It is normally expected that phishers are operating from other countries who do not speak English that well and thus the quality of the English can instantly be a benchmark for ascertaining the authenticity of the source but now phishers are learning and are starting to use perfect English for their emails and phone calls according to the NakedSecurity report.

Native English speakers for drafting scammy emails are probably now in demand.

Survey shows UK public’s attitude towards cryptocurrencies: A recent survey conducted by the English exchange CEX.io has outlined the attitude towards cryptocurrencies among the local populace. 

According to the survey, 1013 respondents with almost equal males and females had disparity when it came to age groups as 11% respondents were from 18-24 age group while 24% of the respondents were from 65+ group.

According to the survey, only 13% of the surveyed people owned any cryptocurrency. Interestingly enough, 15% of the people wanted to invest in bitcoin to support the ecosystem as to say.

About 18% of the respondents said that they enjoyed the crypto trading experience while 21% cited curiosity towards the new sector as the main driving force behind their investment.  When asked about the most appropriate usage of crypto, 14% of the respondents believed it to be investments, while very few of them considered charity, crowdfunding for a property, and retail to be the most appropriate use of cryptocurrency. Almost half (48%) of the respondents choosing ‘none of the above’.

The latest surveys report a steady increase in interest towards cryptocurrencies in the country.

London-based finance group advocates for crypto to FATF: One london-based digital finance group has apprised the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) regarding the compliance of the cryptocurrencies and their transactions towards the latest regulations enforced by the global Anti Money Laundering watchdog.

According to the group, much of the information regarding cryptocurrency transactions is already available despite it serving as the anti thesis of the original purpose of cryptocurrencies.

Switzerland

Crypto Industry demands operational banking services: Swiss crypto startups and institutions are demanding seamless financial services from banks after regularly running into issues due to the nature of their work.

According to a report by Swissinfo, more than 750-strong crypto and blockchain startup sector in the European country is being affected because they are unable to get enough funds from financial institutions like banks or investors.

Despite the crypto-friendly regulations in the country, Swiss blockchain industry is still struggling to provide the required finances, thus causing various issues and slowdowns of the progressive sector.

Germany

Parties to use blockchain for public services: German Christian political parties including Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU) and Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CSU) have expressed interest in using blockchain for the provision of public services in the country.

The parties aiming for the center-right vote are now looking to get tech savvy to attract the attentions of the voters. Other politicians have also spoke in favour of cryptocurrencies including Germany deputy parliamentary leader Nadine Schon who has called for the development of a national cryptocurrency.

Malta

Government to register rental contracts on the blockchain: The government of Malta has declared that all future contracts will be registered on a decentralized ledger to boost transparency.

According to a revelation by the Maltese prime minister, the project will enhance the security and safety of the tenants and the owners by protecting against record tampering and ensuring only authorized people can access records.

Malta is known for its pro blockchain and crypto policies and is now looking to mainstream the sector within the country to attract investment from all over the world.

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Europe: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 20th May to 26th May, 2019

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.

Europe

France

Bill allows cryptocurrency-pegged life insurance contracts: A recent bill approved in France will allow insurers to use the option of cryptocurrency payouts as life insurance. These insurance products were previously not allowed by the government but now that the sector is growing, the progress is back on track.

The bill was passed by the French deputies on Thursday and did not mention cryptocurrencies but rather left the limits of the agreement to the wisdom of the investors and institutions offering these services. With no new limitations left, users can now have a variety of options when it comes to life insurance contracts in the country.

United Kingdom

Expert says the rich might be forced to save in cryptocurrencies if Jeremy Corbyn came to power: Nigel Green, the CEO and founder of deVere group has claimed that wealthy Britons might look towards cryptocurrencies for stashing their wealth if the Labor party under Jeremy Corbyn ever came to power.

According to Green:

“High-net-worth individuals in Britain and wealthy international investors with UK assets and business know that they will be hit by Mr. Corbyn’s tax hikes on wealth, income, and inheritance.”

After the resignation of the current prime minister, another election could be on the cards and Corbyn’s tax reform might force rich people to stash their wealth either abroad or in cryptocurrencies.

Switzerland

Swiss Stock Exchange to develop Franc Stablecoin: Swiss stock exchange SIX is looking to introduce a stablecoin that is pegged to the national fiat currency i.e. Franc. The move could usher a new era in the country as far as the usage of stablecoins is concerned.

The exchange is looking to use the stablecoin on its official exchange platform the SDX. The timeline for the creation and deployment of the coin was, however, not announced by the company.

Russia

Central bank expecting crypto bill adoption this spring: The Central Bank of Russia is looking forward to implementing the new cryptocurrency regulation that it hopes will pass in spring this year according to reports from TASS.

The bill titled ‘On Digital Financial Assets’ (DFA) will be accepted and adopted during the spring session of 2019 and is rumoured to be overseen by President Vladimir Putin himself. Russian regulation in this sector have previously been hampered by an intervention by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) that obligated the country to influence the lawmakers to define the key terms in the legislation and not be completely reliant on the state bank alone.

Malta

Malta Chamber organizes brokerage event: Malta’s biggest blockchain conference Malta AI & Blockchain Summit is gearing up for a dazzling display during winter this year. The event is expected to host over 5500 delegates from the blockchain sector and notable speakers include Bobby Lee, Roger Ver, Brock Pierce and many others. Before the main event, a brokerage event, strictly B2B was organized by the Maltese Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Participants from over 15 countries took part in the competition and had over 160 B2B meetings.

Malta is one of the most progressive countries when it comes to blockchain and cryptocurrencies and is eager to maintain or even improve its status and attract investment from around the world.

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Europe: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 13 May to 19th May, 2019

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.

European Union

European Central Bank believes cryptocurrencies have no impact on real economy: The European Central Bank (ECB) believes that cryptocurrencies do not have a significant impact on the “real economy” and its implications according to the latest report compiled by the institution. 

The report goes on to claim that virtual currencies do not fulfil the requirements of money and will only matter if they become a credible source of cash and transactions in the world. 

France

Bank of France closely monitoring stablecoin developments: Bank of France governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau has said on record that the bank is interested in the latest stablecoin projects around the world according to a Bloomberg report. 

According to the governor, the bank is “observing with great interest” regarding the latest stablecoin ventures by entities around the world. In the US, USD Tether, Paxful, Gemini and now Facebook are some of the latest names to enter the stablecoin bandwagon. However, the stablecoins have the ability to challenge the authority of the state banks and thus they are maintaining a key interest in them. 

Investment Bank pushes for crypto-based business integration: Major French investment bank Société Générale S.A. (SocGen) is advocating for crypto-based integration in the European Union. For instance, the bank is working on increasing the efficiency and speed of transacting bonds. For this purpose the Ethereum blockchain was used rather than a specialized blockchain system. 

According to the bank:

“[…] issued EUR 100 million of covered bonds in the form of “security tokens” (home financing bonds or “OFH”) directly registered on the Ethereum blockchain. Tokens OFH was rated Aaa / AAA by Moody’s and Fitch and were fully subscribed by Société Générale.”

Germany

German Province to open blockchain institute for Internet of values: The government of German territory North Rhine-Westphalia has announced plans for the development of a European Blockchain Institute to research blockchain technology, and so-called “Internet of Values” (“Internet der Werte”). 

According to a press release by the government, the local Economics minister Andreas Pinkwart said:

“This technology can be safe, decentralized, affordable and when used properly, not too energy intensive”. 

Switzerland

Facebook registers secretive crypto company in Geneva: A new company named Libra networks was registered in Geneva, Switzerland on May 2 with Facebook’s parent company Facebook Holdings listed as its stockholder.

According to the report by Reuters that broke this story, the Swiss register notes that the new company will receive hardware and software related support from the parent company, i.e. Facebook Holdings which appears to show that the company is being developed by Facebook to get into the blockchain niche. It is yet unclear what exact purpose of the new company will be in the sector. 

Malta

Financial regulator releases Guide on crypto assets and scams: Malta’s financial regulator MFSA has released new guidelines on crypto assets in an effort to educate the public regarding them. The guidance outlines some of the more basic points of the industry including fake Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), crowdfunding ventures with higher gains, fake exchanges and fake e-wallet apps. 

While Malta has been acting progressively when it comes to cryptocurrencies and blockchain, the sudden influx of the industry into the island nation has invited scammers as well who can rob innocent people of their wealth. MFSA has already approved more than 14 licensed agents for cryptocurrency trading in the country. 

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Europe: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 29th April to 5 May, 2019

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.

European Union

New Anti Money Laundering Legislation (AML) for crypto assets: While the previous AML regulations have been heavily criticized by the crypto industry, a new round of legislation called AML 5 has recently been passed by the European Union that aims to rein in a range of companies and exchanges that seem to get away with some loopholes.

With the new regulations, the confidence among the public regarding regulations is at an all-time low and may result in EU losing crypto and blockchain businesses to other parts of the world with decreased adoption of the new asset.

The United Kingdom

London Stock Exchange boss believes blockchain can be used for issuance and settlement of securities: The CEO of the London Stock Exchange Nikhil Rathi has said that blockchain may effectively be used for the settlement and issuance of securities in the near future.

Calling it the Distributed Ledger Technology, Rathi believes that blockchain may eventually speed up the trading process and make it more transparent. The London Stock exchange has already invested in a company Nivaura that is working on blockchain-based automated settlements.

Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) adds 3 blockchain firms to regulatory sandbox: The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has added three new startups to its regulatory sandbox initiative. The new entrants include Diro Labs, Panel Partners, and Nuggets. The three companies will work within the framework of the new sandbox approach and help the government in preparation for a decentralized future.

While not all sandbox startups are related to blockchain, almost half of them are because of the popularity of the new tech.

Finland

Financial regulator to take on the crypto supervisory role: Top fintech regulator in Finland Financial Supervisory Authority (FIN-FSA) will now take a new role for registration and regulation of cryptocurrencies in the country. As part of new legislation concerning cryptocurrencies, the FIN-FSA gains this position based on the latest AML D5 regulations from the EU itself.

While the move is yet unclear in terms of how much power the new role will impart to the FIN-FSA, it is clear that Europe is in for a clash with cryptocurrencies in the near future as legislation gets tougher and forces the industry to move away from the union.

Russia

Government to test crypto to 4 Cities: Russia while shy of launching its own state cryptocurrency has announced tests of an innovative way of sending money within the country according to news outlet Cryptopolitan.

According to a new draft bill tabled by the government, the testing of various cryptocurrencies will be done by the government, businesses and other civil sectors in 4 major cities for this purpose. In addition to cryptocurrencies, other latest techs including artificial intelligence, neurotech, quantum tech, robotics, cybernetics, and amplified reality will also be included in the test phase for uplift purposes.

This approach may be similar to the sandbox approach being pursued by several countries including the United Kingdom.

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The post Europe: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 29th April to 5 May, 2019 appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Europe: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 15th to 21st April, 2019

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.

Russia

Russia Adopts Law to Divorce Runet from Internet: The Russian internet, Runet, will be cut off from the world courtesy the State Duma publishing law to transform the cyberspace into a “sovereign” area. This involves direction of local internet traffic through state-controlled routers to regulate website access, a system that is termed as Russia’s “Great Firewall”, which will inevitably affect online businesses including crypto platforms.

Romania

Romanian National Bank: Crypto Won’t Fulfill Basic Roles of Currency: An official of the Romanian National Bank, Daniel Daianu recently claimed that “cryptocurrencies won’t replace the currency issued by central banks.” He backed his statement by adding that blockchain and cryptocurrencies are not currencies, but financial assets, and thus these instruments can’t be seen as bank replacements. He also said that since any last-resort lender does not back crypto, it is still not mature to be used as a fiat currency.

The United Kingdom

Cambridge: Lack of Crypto Terminology Standard Impedes Global Regulatory Response: A study by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) has identified the lack of standardisation in crypto terminology as a key factor behind the delay of regulation in the jurisdictions which consequently hinders a coordinated global regulatory response. The report is the first comprehensive comparative study of crypto asset regulations for 23 jurisdictions. For instance, it points out the term “crypto asset” with no clear definition as all assets on the blockchain or distributed ledger technology use the same name.

UK’s Largest Corporate Travel Provider Adopts Bitcoin: Corporate Traveller, UK’s largest provider of corporate travel services, has partnered up with Bitcoin payment provider BitPay to allow Bitcoin payments on its website. With an annual revenue ranging from GBP 50,000 to GBP 2M, it certainly is one of the most significant collaborations for BitPay. Corporate Traveller insisted that Bitcoin’s volatility is not a risk and that all payments through BitPay would be directly settled in its bank account, offering the 1% fee settlement of BitPay, which would charge the customers less than any credit cards.

London Stock Exchange Lists Blockchain ‘Token’ Shares in a First for the City: LSE has made history by being the first Stock Exchange to issue shares using blockchain tokens. The move will accelerate the involvement of cryptocurrency by proxy into regulated financial markets. The transaction involved the fintech company 2030 on LSE selling GBP 3 million (USD 3.9 million) worth of the tokenised shares using Blockchain.

France

France Will Push EU to Adopt New Crypto Regulatory Framework: After taking the lead in publishing their new crypto regulatory legislation, France is now pushing the rest of the EU to follow her lead. The new laws are aimed to bring the Finance Ministry, exchanges, and traders on the same page, and look to improve transparency through the certification allotment, which will allow cryptocurrency startups to get an official state recognition.

French Journalist Sets Up Notre Dame Bitcoin Fund: In response to the inferno that engulfed the magnificent Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral, French blockchain journalist Grégory Raymond has launched Bitcoin-based fundraising for the reconstruction of the famous landmark. Raymond is the editor of Brief.me, a well-known Bitcoin advocate, author of the #21 Million podcast, as well as the founder of the Facebook group “The Bitcoin Club”. Raymond tweeted out a Bitcoin address under the hashtag #bitcoinforNotreDame, which has already received a lot of traction.

Lithuania

Lithuania to Announce Tough New Crypto Laws: Lithuania is about to implement stringent cryptocurrency regulations which are dreaded to be even more prohibitive than Europe’s Anti-Money Laundering Directives, consequently putting pressure on the cryptocurrency space. Lithuania’s central bank has already prohibited financial market participants from crypto-related activities and services. Now the new rules require more rigorous registration processes for the companies opening operations in Lithuania including comprehensive know your customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering steps. In addition, large transfers will also need to be reported to the country’s Financial Crime Investigation Service (FCIS).

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The post Europe: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 15th to 21st April, 2019 appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Europe: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 3rd to 9th March, 2019

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.

Switzerland

First Real Estate Deal on Blockchain Recorded in Switzerland: Switzerland completed its first ever blockchain-backed real estate transaction. Blockimmo Ltd collaborated with Swiss Crypto Tokens Ltd and Elea Labs Ltd to achieve this feat.

The said deal consisted of a restaurant and 18 apartments and is estimated to be worth CHF 3 million (USD 2.98 million). Ethereum (ETH) blockchain was used in order to tokenize the property. To account for the price fluctuations, the CryptoFranc (XCHF) was used, which is pegged to the Swiss franc.

Russia

Russian Railways Plans to Integrate Blockchain Technology Into Its System: Russia is planning to integrate blockchain technology into its railway system. The system will be used to determine exempts in the railway transport system, states Rambler News Service (RNS).

The Russian Railways and Russian National Pension Fund will sign a contract to provide travel discounts and bring transparency to the railway transport system monitoring.

Anton Drozdov, head of the Pension Fund, hoped that the deal will be finalized by the end of the on-going year. He believed that blockchain will help eliminate fraud and forgery in the use of discounted transport services.

Crypto Plans for Offshore Development Revealed by Russian Deputy Minister: Ships and digital assets will be affected by a new package of measures for the improvement of Russian offshore companies, stated Ilya Torosov, Russian deputy minister of economic development. Local news outlet TASS reported the news.

Last year, the Ministry of Economic Development developed the Special Administrative Regions (SAR) as part of its “Russian offshore companies” project. Now, it is planning to facilitate digital assets and other business in general by introducing tax exemptions.

France

Anonymous Digital Currencies Must Be Banned, Suggests Eric Woerth: A ban on anonymous cryptocurrencies (privacy coins) is suggested by Eric Woerth (head of the Finance Committee of France’s National Assembly). He stated his opinion in a recent report on blockchain technology and digital assets.

The virtual currencies which ensure “greater anonymity to users” must be banned, noted Woerth in a forward to the report. Along with that, he also discussed crypto-related problems such as money laundering, fraud, energy consumption, and tax evasion

Malta

Banks in Malta Hesitant to Entertain Crypto Businesses: Banks in Malta are not facilitating cryptocurrency businesses, reported Times of Malta. Various startups are facing problems with account opening in local banks. According to banks, blockchain sector is outside their risk appetite.

Time of Malta collected the said information from Malta-based blockchain related businesses in the pervious week. Banks are awaiting more lucidity from Malta’s Financial Service Authority (MFSA) regarding the status of cryptocurrencies, noted the report.

The United Kingdom

Majority of the UK Consumers Do Not Know About Cryptocurrencies: Majority of UK consumers (73%) are unable to define what a digital asset is or are ignorant about it, noted the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Moreover, those having sufficient knowledge about cryptocurrencies are men (aged between 20-44). As per the survey, only 3% of polled (2,132) British consumers ever bought digital currency. Half of them spent less than GBP 200 (USD 263) from their disposable income. However, Bitcoin (BTC) stood out as the most well-known cryptocurrency followed by Ethereum (ETH).

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The post Europe: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 3rd to 9th March, 2019 appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Europe: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 23rd February to 2nd March 2019

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.

Russia

President Vladimir Putin Sets July 1 Deadline for Crypto Regulations: The President of Russia Vladimir Putin has instructed the Federal Assembly to set a deadline of 1 July to come up with the regulatory framework for digital asset regulation in the country. The move comes after months of indecisive attitude of the local financial watchdogs when it comes to cryptocurrency regulation.

Until now, only a working draft has been prepared with several shortcomings that have been criticized by many leading cryptopreneurs and enthusiasts.

Malta

IMF Suggest That Malta’s Current AML and CFT Regulations Are Insufficient: The international monetary watchdog International Monetary Fund (IMF) has recently stated that there are some shortcomings when it comes to Malta’s Financing of Terrorism (CFT) and Anti Money Laundering (AML) regulations. The Times of Malta reported the news after IMF released a comprehensive report on the country’s regulatory and supervisory framework including an assessment of its financial system.

The IMF recommended a multi-faceted approach for these deficiencies in the CFT/AML regulations. Screenings of beneficiary owner information and monitoring of risk-sensitive accounts including digital assets like cryptocurrencies should be among the top priorities of the government according to the IMF.

Malta has some of the most progressive laws when it comes to cryptocurrencies but due to the transnational nature of these new assets, contemporary financial authorities are wary of the threat it brings.

Germany

Derivatives Exchange Considering Crypto Futures Contracts: German derivatives market Eurex has been rumoured to soon start new futures contracts according to local news. The exchange is supposedly considering Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple for these said contracts.

While no official comments have been made by the exchange itself regarding the bold move, news outlets reported that the exchange’s management is working behind the scenes with marketing experts and others regarding these futures contracts.

Ukraine

Government Completes Pilot for e-Hyrvnia Currency: The government of Ukraine with the help of the country’s Central bank has announced the successful culmination of a pilot program for a national digital currency project.

The news was broken by the Head of Payments Network of the National Bank of Ukraine Aleksandr Yablunivsky. The pilot project itself was launched in December 2018. However, Yablunivsky rejected the notion that the new currency was a cryptocurrency. He claims it is just a project to reduce the reliance on cash in the local market.

European Union

Regulatory Head Seeks More Control of the Cryptocurrency Markets: Steven Maijoor, the current head of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has said that he supports further regulation of cryptocurrency assets in the Union.

According to Maijoor:

“Where crypto assets do not qualify as financial instruments, we are concerned that the absence of applicable financial rules leaves consumers exposed to substantial risks,”

It is yet unclear what Maijoor is proposing as part of a further regulatory package. The EU currently has one of the toughest cryptocurrency regulation in the world and it is believed that the central working committee will propose further tightening of regulations like Anti Money Laundering to include cryptocurrency transactions from one asset to another and not just crypto-fiat transactions. Cryptocurrencies have overall become a major headache for European countries who are torn between supporting the new asset class and ensuring governments’ control over it.

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The post Europe: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 23rd February to 2nd March 2019 appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Europe: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 9th to 15th February 2019

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.

European Union

EU Parliament Member Praises EU Stance on Crypto: A member of the EU Parliament has spoken in favour of the EU’s stance on cryptocurrencies. Eva Kaili, a member of the legislative body spoke out in favour of the supposedly progressive stance adopted by the Union.

Speaking at an event organized by Ripple in London, Kaili said that blockchain’s disruptive behaviour was now being acknowledged by many EU member states. Kaili has long been a cryptocurrency advocate in the parliament which has certain legislative powers in the Union.

United Kingdom

Think Tank to Study Impact of Crypto on Economic Institutions: A UK-based think tank, Institute of Decentralized Economics (IDE) has said that it will study the impact of cryptocurrencies on the conventional economic institutions like banks and regulators.

The new initiative is being backed by fintech startup Sweetbridge and it will explore new potentials of autonomous systems and find real applications to promote. Once the understanding is better, IDE will recommend the right policies to the government.

High School Wins Position in Barclays Blockchain Competition: Blockchain enthusiasts from a London-based high school have claimed the third position in a local hackathon organized by the Barclays Bank and startup Clearmatics.

The prize was won by teenagers from Bedford who were up against much more experienced computer scientists and programmers.

Spain

Central Bank Warns Citizens Against Using Cryptocurrencies: The Central Bank of Spain Banco de Espana has warned citizens against using cryptocurrencies citing a number of issues according to a blog post on its official website.

The post stresses that cryptocurrencies are “unregulated assets” and do not have a deposit guarantee fund which the government promises in every fiat deposit. It also points to the issue of cryptocurrencies not being a legal tender and thus users will have difficulties in buying/selling goods through it as the buyer will have no guarantee of the money.

While Spain does have some progressive regulations for crypto, the overall market penetration is still low because of uncertainty and the central bank’s constant warnings.

Russia

Cargo Shipper to Use Blockchain for Port Logistics: Russian cargo company Baltika has announced that it is working on a new blockchain-based solution for improving and immuting the port logistics in the country.

According to a post in the local daily Morvesti, the company has inked a deal with Iconic, a blockchain company based in Moscow. The new system will store all information related to shipping and port operations on the blockchain and help improve efficiencies and streamline the company.

Miners Concerned Over Russian Internet Shutdown: The Russian cryptocurrency mining community is concerned about government’s plans to shut down the internet for a little while before April 1. 

The planned shutdown is happening because a new digital doctrine is being implemented by the Russian government, one that involves the Russian internet working on its own. To check this, the government needs to shut it down for a while. The crypto community feels threatened because so much of what they do is online and it might cause unprecedented problems.

Luxembourg

Blockchain Framework Bill Passed by Parliament: The Luxembourg parliament has passed a new law that will facilitate the uses of blockchain technology in financial services and other industries.

While the top regulator in the country has issued warnings against cryptocurrency projects like in the country before, the overall attitude is now looking quite positive for the industry.

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Europe: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 2-8 February 2019

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

FCA Gives Go Ahead to London Firm for Contracts For Difference: United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has given go-ahead to B2C2 OTC Ltd, a London based firm, to give its customers Contracts For Difference (CFD) based on cryptocurrency. CFDs are a financial instrument that allows traders to predict price fluctuations to profit from the rise and fall of value. CFDs are offered in BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC, and XRP.

DOVU, another London based crypto startup, has teamed up with London rail service provider Go-Ahead to offer commuters the chance to earn crypto as they travel. Travelers can earn by sharing their travel data and shifting their mode of transport to a more public one.

Belgium

SWIFT Announces Foray into Blockchain: SWIFT, the international financial transaction organization based in Belgium has announced the launch of blockchain technology based gateway to note and transmit transactional information to members. The tech is still a proof of concept that is being developed with the help of blockchain software company, R3.

Isle of Man

Government Working for Infrastructure of Crypto Sector: Authorities in the Isle of Man have set up an office that will help in developing adequate regulatory infrastructure for blockchain technology. In addition to the office, a sandbox is also introduced for organizations to test their blockchain platforms.

Switzerland

Stock Exchange to Use Blockchain Tech for Digital Exchange: Swiss stock exchange, SIX, will be using blockchain technology in its upcoming digital trading platform, SDX. The largest stock exchange in the country, it expects the decentralized ledger technology-based platform to be launched in the first quarter of the year. The exchange officials expect the new platform to outperform traditional services by 2029.

Meanwhile, this year’s Swiss Venture Capital Report has shown that in the last year, a record number of venture capital investments were made in Swiss blockchain startups. According to the report, in 2018, nearly USD 1.25 billion of funds were backed by VCs. The majority of the backing was done in Zug, Switzerland’s crypto valley.

Russia

Bank Head Says Crypto Mining is Counterfeiting: The head of the second largest bank in Russia, VTB has said that crypto mining is equivalent to counterfeiting. According to the executive, “A person who is mining [cryptocurrencies] is similar to someone who is printing money”. He believes that there will be a very niche market for cryptos in the coming future.

Cryptos may be subjected to different views, but the Russian education board, Rosobrnadzor, is taking advantage of the technology behind them. Rosobrnadzor will be implementing the technology for its Unified State Exam, the only form of testing for school completion and preliminaries for universities.

Portugal

Bank Completes Transaction Using Blockchain: Portuguese bank, Banco Best, has successfully completed an end to end transaction with the global investment bank, Credit Suisse using blockchain. Every stage of the transaction was made possible through the use of a specialized blockchain based platform, FundsDLT.

Italy

Government Close to Defining Cryptocurrency Legislation: The Italian authorities have come a little closer to clearly defining blockchain technology based cryptocurrency through a new legislation. The Italian parliament passed the bill that specifies terms and their meanings for distributed ledger technology such as blockchain.

Lichtenstein

Fund Manager Gets Backing from UAE: A cryptocurrency fund manager in the tiny country of Lichtenstein has received backing from a Dubai royalty. The special interest by the Arab Sheikh is due to the fact that even in the slump of crypto market, the fund manager invested more than USD 1 million and managed to make a decent profit.

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Europe: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 19 to 25 January 2019

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

Hampshire Resident Arrested for IOTA Fraud: A Hampshire resident has been arrested for alleged defrauding of USD 11.4 million worth of IOTA. By offering what seemed genuine IOTA support, the unnamed 36-year-old was able to create passwords and access 85 wallets of IOTA holders. He was arrested by the UK’s South East Regional Organised Crime Unit (SEROCU).

The London Stock Exchange (LSE) is contemplating stepping into the blockchain sector. Yet, unlike other exchanges that are looking into using the technology to speed up its operations, LSE is actually selling the technology to other exchanges. The exchange has signed a deal with Hong Kong-based fintech ATOM Group to offer its Millennium Exchange matching engine for its crypto exchange, AXX Digital.

Romania

Government Amends Tax Laws: The Romanian authorities have amended its tax laws to bring the crypto income of its residents under “income from other sources” and included a 10% tax. According to the new amendment, only yearly gains of about USD 150 and above from cryptos will be taxed. Romania joins a number of European countries that have altered their laws in order to accommodate crypto gains into the tax net.

Switzerland

Bank Suggests Bitcoin Must Change Proof of Work: The Bank for International Settlements, a Swiss banking organization, has claimed that Bitcoin must change its current Proof of Work system as the increasing energy requirements would make the largest cryptocurrency infeasible for miners to even record a transaction in the future.

The organization further suggested that a sort of institutionalization should also be implemented for other consensus options. This has been met with sarcasm around the crypto community, as the reward block falling to zero would only increase the value of Bitcoin and concept of institutionalization means centralization, something Bitcoin is against.

Spain

Port Authority Joins IBM Shipping Project: Spain’s Port Authority of the Bay of Algeciras (APBA) becomes the latest port to join TradeLens, a blockchain platform designed to reduce paperwork and bring efficiencies to the port logistics sector. The platform is a collaboration of IBM and shipping giant Maersk.

On dry land, Spanish automobile company SEAT announced it was joining a team of blockchain operators on the Alastaria system. The company is developing its own supply chain tracking system and teaming with more than 70 companies in Alastaria, where it gains access to a network of resources from other members.

Netherlands

Dutch Government Recommends Stopping Anonymous Trading: The Dutch authorities have made recommendations to stop anonymous trading of cryptocurrencies in the country. The proposed law will see all exchanges applying for licenses to operate. The proposal comes from financial regulators, the Netherlands Authority for Financial Markets (AFM) and their central bank,  De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB).

Germany

SAP Launches Blockchain Tracing and Tracking: German software company SAP has said it has successfully launched a blockchain tracing and tracking system for healthcare medication. The system is said to monitor and authenticate pharma products from production to sellers.

Sweden

Swede Handed $1 Million Tax Bill: A Swede has just been handed a USD 1 million tax bill by the government on account for his crypto trading. The taxpayer claims the taxation is illogical and in error since the staggering bill is about 300% of what he actually profited.

Russia

Economist Stands by Claims of Government Buying Bitcoin: Heavily criticized for his statements on Russia’s plans for investing USD 10 billion in Bitcoin to bypass U.S. economic sanctions, the claimant,  economist Vladislav Ginko still insists this be true. He has made other claims in the past that are still to come true and are a bit stretching on reality, such as Bitcoin achieving USD 2 million valuation in the previous year.

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The post Europe: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 19 to 25 January 2019 appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.