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German Banks Recommend Creation of Crypto Based Digital Euro

German Banks Recommend Creation of Crypto-Based Digital Euro

German Banks Recommend Creation of Crypto Based Digital Euro

The Association of German Banks (Bankenverband), has voiced its opinion in a new research paper indicating the need for a “programmable digital euro”. The group, which consists of 11 member associations and over 200 commercial banks, pointed out the importance of virtual currency in the new age digitization of payment tools.

The paper noted how digital currencies such as Libra has garnered a considerable amount of attention as to how it might shape the digital fiscal landscape of the future. Nevertheless, Libra has also been a constant source of political and economic conflict. This led the Association of German Banks to dive into the endless possibilities of an innovative, but a mainly sustainable monetary system, with appropriate requirements to ensure the stability of the same.

The proposal of the digital euro is expected to function on a common pan-European payment platform. The paper also pointed out that the income tax law must elucidate whether the programmable digital money is a currency or an economic good.

In order to control the associated risks and to create a safe and trusted environment, the paper indicated the observance of apt regulatory standards. It stated:

“To create public trust in programmable digital money, compliance with the highest regulatory standards is essential. To ensure legal certainty, a legal classification of programmable digital money is necessary as well. All innovators must respect a uniform supervisory and regulatory framework. The issuance and custody of programmable digital money should also be possible under existing full banking licence rules.”

China’s central bank may launch its own digital currency in the next 18 months after strong endorsements of blockchain from the President himself, in an urge for it to be self-reliant and to have an edge on the rival countries. However, with Germany tagging along, it looks like China is not the only country in the race of a sovereign digital currency.

 

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De Vere:Threat of Labour Party Gaining Power Could Drive UK Wealthy to Crypto

UK, brit, Jeremy Corbyn, cryptocurrency, labour party, Britain

Nigel Green, founder and CEO of deVere Group, claims that wealthy Brits are considering cryptocurrency as a safe haven for their cash should Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn become UK’s Prime Minister.

With the resignation of Conservative Prime Minister Teresa May this week the fears of her party in tatters paving the way for a socialist government increase as each day passes, although a general election is still unlikely as the conservatives open the race for a new leader.

Green put these fears into the forefront of discussions about the future of the UK and Brexit when he expressed concerns about what would happen under a Corbyn led government:

“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.”

Even a general election as far off as 2022 could still drive Britain’s wealthy undercover in preparation for sweeping reforms targeting the rich proposed by a left-wing leadership, according to the deVere Group founder:

“As such, many of them aren’t waiting to find out how his anti-wealth rhetoric would play out, and more and more of them are seeking advice on established, legitimate overseas opportunities to create, build, and importantly, protect their wealth.”

Green sees cryptocurrency’s as a possible safe haven for these individuals and companies, particularly in light of recent moves by some countries to offer tax breaks such as exemption from capital gains on cryptocurrencies similar to ones recently legislated by Germany.

Countries such as Hong Kong and Switzerland don’t have capital gains tax, making them the potential targets for fund relocation. “In a broader sense, high-net-worth individuals are increasingly seeking exposure to the associated benefits of these digital assets as our recent global survey highlights,” added Green. Brexit remains the elephant in the room regarding the future of politics in the UK.

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Germany Looks to Pass New Blockchain Bond Regulation by Summer

Germany Looks to Pass New Blockchain Regulation by Summer

Germany plans to instate new blockchain regulation before the parliament’s summer recess, focusing on what is being called a ”digital value right”.

Such a digital value right would allow bonds, such as bearer bonds that are traditionally paper-backed, to be issued as virtual tokens on a blockchain. The process could take place through a similar scenario as the following: a real estate developer could offer investors tokens in exchange for their fiat capital, with bond buyers purchasing these digital rights which would offer them annual interest payments.

Thomas Heilmann, the ruling coalition government’s dedicated blockchain correspondent, has said it is ”of paramount importance that we bring blockchain technology forward for Germany, specifically in 2019″.

It has been reported that the proposed blockchain legislation has been gaining mainstream momentum and support, despite the German government’s established conservative approach towards Bitcoin and altcoins. Now it appears the parliament’s stance is beginning to shift in favor of evolving industry trends.

Opposition political party in Germany, the Free Democratic Party (FDP), fully supports the proposal and have pushed for it to be passed as quickly as possible.

“The federal government has finally woken up,” said Frank Schäffler, FDP’s blockchain expert, ”after the bond, the stock must also come to blockchain. Other countries are already ahead.”

 

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Germany Says Blockchain Can Support European Unity

Germany Says Blockchain Can Support European Unity

The German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAFM) has praised blockchain’s potential to ”support Europe’s unity at a fundamental level” by improving the union’s asylum protocol.

BAFM published findings of its study on 26 March in a white paper, detailing how blockchain could be used in the case of identifying refugees using the immutable technology.

Specifically, it is suggested that refugees arriving in the country without official identification could have their biometric data collected during their initial registration from their first point of entry country. The blockchain identity system would then store the data to be shared with multiple organizations as required, providing consistency and security throughout the process.

The authors of the white paper conclude that this new robust system could be the ”digital enabler of European federalism in the asylum context”, supporting ”Europe’s unity at a fundamental level”.

The proof of concept supporting the paper was undertaken by BAFM Fraunhofer FIT and an anonymous technology partner.

The white paper was authored by the Project Group Business & Information Systems Engineering of the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology FIT, edited by BAFM.

 

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Germany Asks Industries for Blockchain Development Recommendations

Germany Asks Industries for Blockchain Development Recommendations

Germany has recently consulted leading industrial groups and companies to become stakeholders in the country’s blockchain development projects.

Reuters reported that some industry groups and companies have been requested to submit recommendations regarding blockchain technology in the upcoming weeks. The names of these companies have not been revealed yet. Reuters maintained that although the government is seeking concrete results, it is still uncertain whether these recommendations will be translated into regulations or not.

Nearly 170 startups are currently dealing with cryptocurrencies or distributed ledger technology in Berlin. Startup leaders have repeatedly mentioned that due to the lack of a legal framework, they are facing “high entrance hurdles”.

In January, national media reported that Deutsche Börse, a major global securities marketplace in Germany, had made significant progress on its lending platform based on blockchain technology. Deutsche Börse is working in collaboration with HQLAx (blockchain liquidity management platform based in Luxembourg) for the said project.

In December 2018, Deutsche Bahn AG, Europe’s largest railway operator, decided to examine the possibility of integrating blockchain technology into its system. For the said project, Deutsche Bahn AG will collaborate with Unibright. In the same month, reports emerged of the development of a joint cryptocurrency exchange by Stuttgart Exchange Group and SolarisBank, Germany’s second-largest bank.

 

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Blockchain Defender Reports Distrust In Crypto Industry Is Still An Issue

Blockchain Defender Reports Distrust In Crypto Industry Is Still An Issue

A recent Blockchain Defender report claims that despite cryptocurrencies increasing market capitalization there is still a prevailing lack of public trust in the industry as a whole.

Despite the market cap hitting nearly $800 billion in January 2018, the report cited negative sentiments in many areas. The report essentially focused on market sentiments, trends, capitalization and comparisons with traditional exchanges in order to get an overall picture of how the industry is perceived.

To analyze market sentiment the report called upon search results in each country’s native language, finding that the most negative search results were found in the United States, followed by Germany, the United Arab Emirates and Japan. The actual sources of negative content were found to include social media platforms, blogs, crypto industry news websites, discussion forums, crypto review websites, and crypto company directories and websites.

The report also found that cryptocurrency exchanges had far less control over online sentiment than traditional exchanges. This was due to the level of ownership of the content with traditional exchanges own 34.38% of content compared to only 17.75% by cryptocurrency exchanges.

Blockchain Defender examined the data for a cryptocurrency which had been hacked last year with an examination of its popularity both before and after the hack and surmised that globally, the digital currency experienced an increase in negative content as a result of the hack and a drop in positive sentiments.

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Germany’s #2 Stock Exchange Launches Bison Crypto Trading App

Germanys No. 2 Stock Exchange Lunches Crypto Trading App, Bison

The second largest stock exchange in Germany has announced the official launch of its new cryptocurrency trading platform called Bison.

Börse Stuttgart Group enlisted developers from its digital ventures subsidiary FinTech Sowa Labs to create the exchange, citing its goal as an attempt to make cryptocurrency trading easy for investors that are used to traditional marketplaces.

In this initial launch, the smartphone application allows zero-fee trading of Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, and Ripple, offering a custodial service and escrow system from an additional subsidiary group, Blocknox.

Bison was first announced in May 2018. Its ambitious target launch date of fall 2018 was missed by months.

Users will need a German checking account to access Bison services, which for right now, will only be accessible from 6:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. CET. Stuttgart Börse shared ambitions of opening up access to European countries towards the end of the year.

Other major stock exchanges have also shared ambitions of launching simal platforms; both the Stock Exchange of Thailand and the New York Stock Exchange have plans in motion to develop their own products. The London  Stock Exchange Group is aiding Hong Kong officials to develop their own digit asset exchange.

 

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Belarus Turns up the Heat on Crypto as Business on Fire in Minsk

Belarus is alive and well in the world of cryptocurrency as high tech and crypto companies choose the former Soviet Republic as the new place to do business in the region.

The Belarus Hi-Tech park in Minsk is fast becoming a fintech center with 388 companies now registered as conducting business there. Much of the new interest in fintech in the country has been put down to Belarus President Lukashenko’s Decree №8 signed in December of 2017 called “On the Development of the Digital Economy” which has attracted new business to Belarus firmly set as its main aim.

Now that Belarus has legalized cryptocurrency trading for residents, many related businesses have been attracted to the park despite the majority of companies working in the IT and software sectors. Blockchain company Aetsoft, which provided services to ICOs and exchanges since 2014, is one of such businesses dealing with clients in the US, Germany, and Denmark. Another company, Biggico, whose international team has built an advertising platform for crypto projects, was established by Belarusian and Latvian entrepreneurs.

Other companies now operating out of Belarus, currently developing cloud-based crypto mining facilities include Pm Pool and Smartpool. Another company, Aiscom offers cryptocurrency payment solutions to exchanges, wallet providers and ICO projects.

The country has no intention of being left behind in the region. As reported by local news outlet Korea JoongAng Daily, the deputy foreign minister and ambassador of Belarus Andrei Dapkiunas told reporters that the European nation is open to investment into Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies; this includes blockchain, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotics and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Belarus recently expressed interest in strengthening economic and business ties during a recent working visit to Seoul, particularity in the fields of fintech and blockchain technology. Diplomats from Belarus are keen to extend the cooperation between the two counties to promote new projects in the country.

Although the Hi-Tech park currently lacks cryptocurrency exchanges, what has been called “the first Belarusian cryptocurrency exchange” launched by crypto platform Crexby, is ironically based in New York City rather than its natural home of Minsk. The platform was started by Belarusian immigrants living in the US.

The main reason behind a lack of exchanges operating out of Belarus has been put down to the government’s lukewarm attitude toward digital currency, combined with local financial institutions’ reluctance to support cryptocurrency transactions and work with exchanges. More government clarity regarding cryptocurrency has been called for by both cryptocurrency exchanges and companies selling related products.

 

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German Central Bank Hails “Success” of Two Blockchain Trials

Germany’s central bank, Deutsche Bundesbank, has successfully completed two blockchain trials during its collaboration with Deutsche Börse, owner of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

The two blockchain prototypes were designed to test the technology’s potential in securities settlements, transactions, and payments, as well as bond repayments.

A joint press release on Thursday reveals that these aims were ”successfully” achieved, with the prototypes facilitating “productive operation of a realistic financial market infrastructure”.

Developed on Hyperledger Fabric and created by Digital Asset, the prototypes come from a joint blockchain research project dubbed BLOCKBASTER. The collaboration came together with the goal of developing a blockchain framework to transfer and settle securities and fiat currency.

The press release pointed to the recent upgrades on both Hyperledger Fabric and Digital Assets, saying they may well benefit the performance or the prototypes further if they are updated.

Berthold Kracke, CEO of Clearstream Banking and head of Clearstream Global Operations at Deutsche Börse Group, praised the tests for proving that blockchain can be the basis for financial settlement applications, as well as potentially for other financial infrastructures.

Burkhard Balz, member of the executive board at Deutsche Bundesbank, said that the positive results have encouraged them to continue experimenting with relevant blockchain use cases and pursue the implementation of the two prototypes further, citing that in particular, he sees a future use for them in processing ”high-volume applications”.

Blaz noted that permissioned blockchains have proven to serve the needs of the financial sector well, while Kracke finished, ”We are very happy with the results of the project… we were able to tailor the product to the needs of the industry.”

Deutsche Bundesbank is not the only central bank conducting blockchain tests, with the likes of Canada and South Africa already hosting similar trials.

 

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LocalBitcoins Takes off in Argentina and Venezuela as Inflation Rockets

October 2018 has seen record Bitcoin trading volumes on peer-to-peer platform LocalBitcoins in Argentina and Venezuela.

Given the economic crisis in both of these South American countries, BTC has fast become a financial refuge for many nationals, with the governments of both Mauricio Macri and Nicolás Maduro struggling to save their economies from going under from highly unsustainable inflationary situations.

Such is Bitcoin’s current impact on both of these nations at present, blockchain voting project Democracy Earth developer Santiago Siri, has suggested that the Argentinian Central Bank should place up to one percent of its national reserves in Bitcoin.  BTC has become a veritable safe haven with ATMs now becoming widespread to cater for demand, and significantly more merchants across the country accepting Bitcoin as payment

Argentina, which is now on the IMF help list of struggling economies needing financial aid, has seen LocalBitcoins recently post a record trading volume of almost $9 million BTC on its platform as the peso continues its nosedive against the US dollar.  Since April, the number of bitcoins transacted using LocalBitcoins increased from 13 to 33, 153% in just a few months.

The inflation rate in Venezuela under Maduro is almost impossible to keep up with, such is its persistent decline. The Petro, brought in as a panacea to trade embargoes and sanctions and a plummeting bolivar, is still heralded by Maduro’s government, but referred to by many others as simply non-existent, despite shop fronts sporting “we accept Petro” signs.

The IMF is now predicting an inflation rate of 10 million percent by 2019, which would put the country in the same league as Germany in 1923 before the rise of Nation Socialism and Hitler’s rise to power in the 1930s. Germans at this time shopped with wheelbarrows filled with Deutschmarks. Maduro’s citizens have been making their own shopping bags out of bolivars in order to transport larger denominations of the same currency.

In this climate, Bitcoin has become the only safe currency, albeit secured largely underground with overseas dollars, and has seen accelerated activity in past weeks due to the government’s switch from the Bolivar Fuerte (VEF) to the Sovereign Bolivar (VES). P2P trading on LocalBitcoins has skyrocketed as a result, with total BTC trading volume for October 2018 standing at almost 900 million bolivars (approximately $14.4 million).

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