Bitcoin in Brief Wednesday: Zug Tests Blockchain to Decide on Fireworks and Digital IDs

Bitcoin in Brief Wednesday: Zug Tests Blockchain to Decide on Fireworks and IDs

The city of Zug, home of the Swiss Crypto Valley, will invite its residents to take part in an experimental blockchain-based vote. They are expected to share opinions on several questions of local importance, including the fireworks display during the annual Lakeside Festival and the use of digital IDs to borrow books and pay parking fees. This and other fintech and crypto-related stories from the Alpine nation and other corners of Europe are featured in today’s edition of Bitcoin in Brief.   

Also read: Bitcoin in Brief Tuesday: POT Saves World, Coinbase Pumps ETC, Binance Wants EUR

Zug Experiments with Blockchain-Based Vote

Bitcoin in Brief Wednesday: Zug Tests Blockchain to Decide on Fireworks and IDsAuthorities in the Swiss city of Zug plan to ask local residents to participate in a consultative blockchain-based vote this month utilizing the city’s electronic ID system. They will be able to vote via their smartphones by downloading and installing an app. The experimental vote will be held between June 25 and July 1. Citizens will be asked if they are in favor of setting alight fireworks during the annual Lakeside Festival, and whether they think digital IDs should be used to borrow books from the library, pay parking fees, and for identification on regular referendums.

According to Swissinfo, the results of the vote will be non-binding. Nevertheless, the initiative, which aims to test whether blockchain can be used on a broader scale, highlights again the positive attitude of Swiss authorities towards cryptocurrencies and the underlying technology. The canton of Zug, dubbed Switzerland’s Crypto Valley, has become home to many fintech startups and even established crypto companies like the Chinese giant Bitmain, which has opened an office there.

Bitcoin in Brief Wednesday: Zug Tests Blockchain to Decide on Fireworks and IDsFor some time now, Zug has been accepting cryptocurrency payments for municipal services, including company registrations using bitcoin and ether. The city introduced its eID system to provide citizens with digital access to council services. The pilot phase of the project started last fall. The system is based on blockchain technology.

New Swiss Body to Simplify Capital Markets

In another example of Switzerland’s serious approach to fintech innovations, leading representatives of the country’s financial, technological, academic and legal sectors have recently formed the new Capital Markets and Technology Association (CMTA) to facilitate the use of blockchain in financial markets. In a press release, they noted that “the blockchain technology has the potential to reduce the complexity of the capital markets system and lower the barrier of entry for startups.”

According to CMTA’s founders, the lack of legal certainty is slowing and can potentially compromise development in the field. They hope to facilitate access to funding for new businesses by defining a set of industry-supported open standards. These should ultimately contribute to value creation throughout the economy said Jacques Iffland, CMTA’s chair and partner at Lenz & Staehelin, the largest Swiss law firm.

Bitcoin in Brief Wednesday: Zug Tests Blockchain to Decide on Fireworks and IDs

Swissquote Bank Ltd, a leader in online banking, and Temenos, which specializes in banking software, are also behind the initiative. CMTA promises to work to create toolkits that can be used by new or established companies, businesses and startups to access funding and raise capital securely and efficiently, using new technologies and leveraging digitalization. The association is based in Geneva.

Irish Blockchain Startup Delivering Aid to Refugees Raises €1m

Bitcoin in Brief Wednesday: Zug Tests Blockchain to Decide on Fireworks and IDsAn Irish startup, using blockchain to facilitate the distribution of humanitarian aid, has raised an estimated €1 million from investors, according to industry sources quoted by The Irish Times. The Dublin-based Aid:tech is working in refugee camps, often in hotspots like the Middle East. On Wednesday, Enterprise Ireland and SGInnovate, the venture capital arm of the Singaporean development authority, announced simultaneous investments in the Irish company. This is the first time both state-backed organizations have allocated funds to support a blockchain business, the Irish daily notes. Amsterdam-based Blue Parasol Investments and Tin Fu Fund, a closed private equity fund managed by Shenzhen Capital Group, also took part in the funding round.

Aid:tech aims to increase transparency in the distribution of aid, welfare, remittances, donations, and healthcare services through digitizing their delivery using blockchain technology on its platform. According to the company, only a fraction of the estimated €306 billion (~$360 billion) transferred each year by non-governmental aid organizations is currently delivered via transparent systems which, the startup claims, are extremely expensive to administer. The blockchain technology employed by the Irish firm would allow all international aid to be accounted for, including the distribution of medicine, food and other essentials, the publication details.

Government-Backed Platform to Promote Ireland as a Blockchain Hub

In an attempt to highlight Ireland’s capabilities in the blockchain ecosystem, authorities in Dublin have launched a new government-backed platform. Blockchain Ireland, founded in partnership with a young company called Consensys, aims to create conditions for greater cooperation between startups working in the sector, both on national and international level. The platform was launched by the Irish Blockchain Expert Group and backed by Enterprise Ireland, the Irish Department of Finance, leading members of the country’s blockchain industry and representatives from a number of academic institutions.

Bitcoin in Brief Wednesday: Zug Tests Blockchain to Decide on Fireworks and IDs

The online platform is a source of useful information about the Irish blockchain ecosystem. It will be used to promote the country as a blockchain hub by highlighting the Irish technology sector and business environment which turn Ireland into an ideal location for blockchain-enabled business, Silicon Republic reports. The services it will be offering include providing information on setting up a new company and support for blockchain projects in Ireland. Its activities, however, will stretch beyond Irish borders. Blockchain Ireland will be working to develop the European and international blockchain ecosystem as well.

What are your thoughts on today’s topics in Bitcoin in Brief? Let us know in the comments below.


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PR: Ubcoin Market Receives Investment from Singapore-Based Amereus Group for the Expansion into the Asian Market

Ubcoin Market Receives Investment from Singapore-Based Amereus Group for the Expansion

This is a paid press release, which contains forward looking statements, and should be treated as advertising or promotional material. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support this product/service. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the press release.

A Singapore-based VC fund specializing in groundbreaking tech projects has become an investor in Ubank’s blockchain ecosystem for selling and buying real goods with cryptocurrency

Ubank, the leading mobile payments app in the Eastern Europe, announced that it has secured an undisclosed amount of funding from the Singapore-based VC fund Amereus Group for the further development of its peer-to-peer blockchain platform Ubcoin Market that would allow its users to acquire cryptocurrency in exchange for real goods and its promotion in the booming Asian market.

Amereus Group is an investment fund supporting innovative tech-enabled businesses in fintech, blockchain, IoT, e-commerce, cloud services, biomedicine, mobile Internet, EdTech, VR, and AR. The fund’s portfolio includes biotech companies Cleabridge Health and Liquidia, a crowdinvesting platform Capbridge, an online aggregator of logistic carriers for international cargo Deliver, and other projects.

“We are excited to announce our decision to support the development of Ubcoin Market and its expansion into the Asian market. Ubcoin Market will become an integral part of Ubank, an app that has been successfully operating in the Eastern Europe for more than 5 years now and that is pre-installed on all Fly and Samsung smartphones, which is particularly impressive considering that only 9% of all ICO projects have a working business and/or product prior to the start of their crowdfunding campaign,“ comments Rim Hosup, Director at Amereus Group. “Apart from that, Ubank has ensured that their blockchain product meets all KYC and AML requirements and has conducted due diligence and all the other procedures proving the stability, transparency, and legality of the company and its structure. It is another very important point that sets Ubcoin Market apart from the majority of ICO projects and that has naturally influenced our decision”.

Ubcoin Market utilizes blockchain technologies to create an easy-to-use tool that would solve problems of people wishing to enter the world of crypto investments in a hassle-free manner as well as of experienced blockchain market participants in need of a convenient method of spending their crypto wealth. The project is planning to start its expansion into the Asian market during the 2nd and 3d quarters of 2019. Ubcoin Market is going to conduct a detailed preparatory research of separate national markets in order to adjust their product development strategy for local cultures, and Ubcoin Market’s partnership with the Singapore-based Amereus Group will be highly valuable in that respect.

“Asia is the most promising market for the development of our business — we believe that it is in these countries that our product will be most popular. That’s why we are thrilled to become partners with the investment fund Amereus Group that is willing to provide a financial support as well as a deep insight into different national markets of the continent,” says Felix Khachatryan, CEO and one of the co-founders of Ubank and Ubcoin Market.

Amereus Group is the third major investment fund that has supported Ubank: in 2013, Ubank received an $8 million investment from Runa Capital and, in April 2018, an undisclosed amount of funding from Inventure Partners.

Ubcoin Market is open to collaboration with other investment funds and pools focused on the ICO market and encourages them to contact the project now, at the stage of its token sale, when the project’s partners are guaranteed especially favourable terms.

About Ubcoin Market
Ubcoin Market is a blockchain project developing a smart ecosystem for easily investing and exiting cryptocurrency by buying and selling goods and services. Ubcoin Market was founded by the same team that founded Ubank, the leading mobile payments app in Eastern Europe that, as of today, has 2.5 million active users , more than 16 million downloads around the world, and has been pre-installed by Samsung and Fly. To learn more about the vision and the structure of the project visit its website and read is whitepaper.

Contact Email Address
elena@lavender-pr.com
Supporting Link
https://ubcoin.io

This is a paid press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

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Iran Continues to Develop State Cryptocurrency Despite Central Bank Ban

Iran Continues to Develop State Cryptocurrency Despite Central Bank Ban

Iran has been developing its own cryptocurrency, a project which has yielded an experimental local crypto, despite the country’s central bank banning banks from dealing with cryptocurrencies. Iran’s Information and Communications Technology Minister has shed light on the project, commented on its alleged use to evade sanctions, and clarified the central bank’s action.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Iran’s Crypto Project

Iran Continues to Develop State Cryptocurrency Despite Central Bank Ban
Mohammad Javad Azari-Jahromi.

Iran’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Minister, Mohammad Javad Azari-Jahromi, revealed on Saturday that “Iran has developed an experimental local cryptocurrency,” Reuters reported him saying. “Last week, at a joint meeting to review the progress of the (local cryptocurrency) project, it was announced that the experimental model was ready.”

His statement follows the ban by the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), prohibiting banks and financial institutions from dealing with cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. The minister clarified that the ban will not affect Iran’s cryptocurrency efforts. The news outlet conveyed:

Iran cryptocurrency project [is] on track despite cenbank ban.

Iran Continues to Develop State Cryptocurrency Despite Central Bank Ban
Iran’s central bank.

Azari-Jahromi is the country’s youngest minister and is known as an innovator. He tweeted in February that Post Bank of Iran, a subsidiary of his ministry that has 400 branches and 14,500 offices across the country, had been working with local experts on an experimental cryptocurrency model that would be presented to the country’s banks for review and approval.

The research department of the ICT Ministry and the monetary and financial research institute of the central bank have been collaborating in order to examine and create the legal framework for fintech, Eranico publication reported Azari-Jahromi explaining. He further noted, “To date the results of this cooperation is good and the pilot sample is being implemented,” adding that “The virtual national currency would be backed up.”

Significant Impact

The ICT Mister was quoted by the news outlet:

I believe that cryptocurrencies can have a significant impact on the country’s financial exchange model…However, first of all, research needs to be done in order to introduce this technology to the authorities.

Iran Continues to Develop State Cryptocurrency Despite Central Bank BanHe also commented on foreign media’s reporting of Iran developing national cryptocurrency to circumvent sanctions. Citing “Decentralization and lack of supervision of any financial regulatory institution on virtual currencies, including the characteristics of digital currency,” he said, “All cryptocurrencies have the ability to circumvent sanctions because they are not under the supervision of the US financial regulator.”

The central bank’s ban comes at a tenuous time for the Iranian economy. Between now and May 12, both the EU and the US are expected to decide on a new round of economic sanctions targeting Tehran. This could restore the harsh international controls on Iran that were lifted in the 2015 nuclear treaty between Iran and six major powers, including the US.

Central Bank’s Ban

Referring to the ban by the central bank, Azari-Jahromi said, “the ban on trading virtual currencies and bitcoin by the central bank as the financial and currency regulator of the country is due to preventing foreign currency from exiting in the current state of the country.”

IRNA news agency further quoted him emphasizing:

The central bank’s (ban) does not mean the prohibition or restriction of the use of the digital currency in domestic development.

What do you think of Iran developing its own crypto despite the ban on banks by the central bank? Let us know in the comments section below.


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PR: Keynote Lights up New York with Security Token Conference

Keynote Lights up New York with Security Token Conference

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With a new focus on security tokens and financial regulation, Blockchain entrepreneurs and enthusiasts are introduced to the World Blockchain Forum in New York. Early bird ticket release ends May 7th.

Continuing a remarkable year delivering record-breaking events in Miami and Dubai, the Keynote team have set their sights on the Big Apple to host the first WBF: Security Tokens & ICOs. Shifting from the previous theme ‘ICOs and Investments’, this World Blockchain Forum will introduce New York to fintech industry leaders, inspiring speakers, experts and innovators from around the globe, opening up dialogue that explores security tokens in blockchain.

Held at Manhattan’s Metropolitan West, the two day event will feature Keynote’s new ‘ICO Pitch Panels’ where ICOs will use a discussion panel platform to showcase their product moderated by an industry leader. Attendees will also experience a comprehensive introduction from those knowledgeable in not only blockchain and financial regulation, but also Wall Street backgrounds, offering invaluable insight into the future of security tokens.

In a saturated environment of blockchain events, Keynote’s reputation for producing the finest and most valuable crypto conferences continues to grow, and so the limited exhibitor places are expected to get snapped up fast as past events have sold out weeks prior to their launch. For latest sponsorship and exhibiting availability please contact Tom Lunn at tom@keynote.ae

WBF New York speakers include:
Bruce Fenton – Founder & CEO, Chainstone Labs
Dr. Moe Levin – Founder, Keynote
Trevor Koverko – CEO, Polymath
Harry Yeh – Managing Director, Binary Financial
Gabriel Abed – Chairman, Bitt
Veronica McGregor – Partner, Goodwin
Esteban Van Goor – Managing Partner, Megalodon Capital
Oliver Gale – Executive Director, Bitt
Paul Puey – CEO, Edge
Jason King – Co-founder, Academy
Tracy Leparulo – CMO, Polymath
Steve Dakh – Ethereum, Aeternity, Kryptokit

“Though bitcoin and blockchain technology is rapidly becoming more understood, security tokens remain a black-box to most people. Which is strange, because as far as I can tell, the only real way to unlock the next trillion dollars of value in the ecosystem is by digitizing the traditional financial world through security tokens.” said Moe Levin, Founder and CEO of Keynote. “Showcasing the best and brightest in the industry has been the aim of Keynote since 2012, and we’re excited to be bringing the 8th edition of the World Blockchain Forum to New York City.”

For a full list of speakers visit: newyork.keynote.ae/speakers/
All tickets can be purchased at: newyork.keynote.ae/tickets/

About Keynote
Keynote was launched in 2012 by blockchain strategist Moe Levin. Further information and details about Keynote and their events can be found at keynote.ae

For media inquiries, please contact Amandah Hendricks, Keynote’s Chief of Communications at amandah@keynote.ae

Supporting Link
https://newyork.keynote.ae
Contact Email Address
amandah@keynote.ae

This is a paid press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

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Philippines Welcomes Crypto Economic Zone

After hemming and hawing in its strange relationship with cryptocurrencies and the businesses they imply, the Philippine government decided to make room for a set aside economic zone. The scheme is offered in hopes of generating more tax income, employment for its people, and perhaps a dedicated crypto university.

Also read: Telegram Urges Paper Airplane Protest, Pussy Riot Activist Arrested

Philippines Allows Crypto Companies to Operate Economic Zone

Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) spokesman Raul Lambinos told Reuters, “We are about to licence 10 platforms for cryptocurrency exchange. They are Japanese, Hong Kong, Malaysians, Koreans. They can go into cryptocurrency mining, initial coin offerings, or they can go into exchange.” Exchanges providing onramps to the nation’s fiat money, on the other hand, are encouraged to launch offshore to avoid running afoul of Philippine law.

Raul Lambino

Such zones offer advantageous tax regimes in the hope of creating more employment for Filipinos. Early this year, the country legalized such zones for crypto, which appears to be more welcoming to digital assets than other countries in the region.

Local authorities estimate over two years crypto companies will invest more than $1 million, with ten percent of that going toward building a tax base. Ambitious plans also include a possible blockchain-based financial technology university to help feed workers to surrounding businesses in the zone.

A Strange Relationship with Crypto

The government appears to be responding to popular sentiment regarding cryptocurrency, as it has not been very supportive of late: its Philippine National Police arrested bitcoiners, accusing them of running a Ponzi scheme, and the country’s Securities and Exchange Commission came down against cloud mining, asserting such contracts are too close to securities.  

Senator Leila M. de Lima

And, as we wrote recently, opposition “leader senator Leila M. de Lima thinks that the legislative chamber needs to prioritize Senate Bill 1694, a proposal she filed a month ago. The recent Ordonio Ponzi scheme has compelled her to call upon her colleagues.’I hope that this occurrence will push my esteemed colleagues in the Senate to take my proposed bill seriously and help pass it into law soon.’”

Slightly before that, the SEC “revealed to the public that it plans to enforce securities regulations against cloud mining operations. According to the SEC’s statement, the regulatory agency believes these types of contracts should be defined as ‘securities,’” News.Bitcoin.com reported.

Acceptance, however, of an economic zone for crypto is a positive first start for the industry, and might signal a slight change of heart on the government’s end.

Do you think this initiative will be imitated by other governments in the region? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Hong Kong and Singapore Emerge as New Meccas for Token Sales

Hong Kong and Singapore Emerge as New Meccas for Token Sales

Two countries have recently emerged as the new Meccas for token sales following bans in China and South Korea. The number of initial coin offerings in Singapore and Hong Kong has skyrocketed in recent months, as companies seek a favorable environment to raise funds outside their home countries.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

New Meccas for ICOs

Hong Kong and Singapore Emerge as New Meccas for Token Sales
Singapore.

With some countries cracking down on token sales, Hong Kong and Singapore have attracted companies seeking to raise funds through initial coin offerings (ICOs).

According to Fintech businesses, lawyers, and industry groups, the number of companies launching ICOs in Singapore and Hong Kong “has skyrocketed in recent months,” South China Morning Post reported on Monday. The news outlet then quoted Anson Zeall, chairman of the Association of Cryptocurrency Enterprises and Startups Singapore, noting:

We cannot say Singapore has become an ICO hub yet, as more work needs to be done, but yes, there has been a lot of activity since September last year.

Hong Kong and Singapore Emerge as New Meccas for Token Sales
Hong Kong.

He and others believe that this is partly due to China’s crackdown on ICOs. “In September, Beijing defined an ICO as an illegal fundraising tool after concerns over financial scams and money laundering. Dozens of ICO platforms in the country have since shut down,” the publication recalled.

While China cracked down on cryptocurrencies and ICOs, Hong Kong remains open to them and has seen significant growth in the number of token sales.

Neither Hong Kong nor Singapore currently has specific rules for ICOs. Lawyers and ICO issuers in both cities reiterated to the news outlet that raising funds through digital tokens remains loosely regulated there.

ICOs Moved Out of China

Hong Kong and Singapore Emerge as New Meccas for Token SalesWhen China mandated domestic ICO issuers to refund investors and stop any new fundraising activities, many of them moved abroad.

Daisy Wu is among those whose companies have turned to Singapore shortly after Beijing’s ban. “We wanted to avoid legal risks,” she was quoted. Her company, the Beijing-based Xender, is now trying to raise US$10 million through an ICO for a file-sharing service, the news outlet detailed. Wu confirmed:

Many Chinese companies have gone to Singapore for ICOs…We all want to play it safe.

Ben Yates, a lawyer with RPC specializing in fintech and cyber law, said that he has seen significant growth in ICO-related inquiries since September, elaborating:

It is very likely that the surge in the number of ICO inquiries we have received in the past few months is at least partly a consequence of the restrictions in mainland China…The obvious next step for many Chinese ICO issuers to take is to cross the border. You can still speak Chinese, but you can operate in a more favourable regulatory environment.

Korean Fever & Bithumb’s ICO

Hong Kong and Singapore Emerge as New Meccas for Token SalesSouth Korea also banned ICOs in September of last year, forcing local issuers to look elsewhere. They have also reportedly poured into Hong Kong and Singapore recently.

“Some argue that there is no legal basis for an ICO ban in Korea, but the authorities say that current laws alone are sufficient,” Money Today Network noted.

Earlier this month, news.Bitcoin.com reported that corporations in South Korea are attempting to bypass regulations using subsidiaries overseas to launch their ICOs.

Last week, local media reported that Bithumb, one of South Korea’s largest crypto exchanges, is planning to launch a “Bithumb Coin” ICO through a Singaporean corporation. Another South Korean startup, Zikto, is also reportedly preparing an ICO in Singapore.

What do you think of Hong Kong and Singapore as the hubs for ICOs? Let us know in the comments section below.


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IvyKoin (IVY) Token Generation Event Completed

IvyKoin

Today, ivykoin (IVY) reached a new milestone as it announced the completion of its Token Generating Event (TGE) of the ivykoin token (IVY) and confirmed the allocation of tokens to the wallets of those involved in the sale back in February.

A total of 1,610,924,200 ERC-20 tokens were generated and distributed, with 54% of these making up the circulating supply. ‘ivy’ is a blockchain-based technology for FIAT & cryptocurrency business transactions which require extensive verification in the international monetary system. The ivy network utilizes ivykoin™(IVY) tokens which carry KYC & KYT data points critical for Financial ...

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Blind Denial of Cryptocurrencies Leads Nowhere, Bank of Lithuania Says

Blind Denial of Cryptocurrencies Leads Nowhere, Bank of Lithuania Says

The central bank of Lithuania has started discussions on regulations with crypto businesses and commercial banks. The reluctance to understand the world of cryptocurrencies leads nowhere, its fintech coordinator said during a meeting in Vilnius. Lithuanian projects have attracted 10% of ICO investments last year, the local community claims. Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin enjoy a growing popularity in the Baltic state.

Also read: Latvia Recognizes Cryptocurrencies in Order to Tax Them

Sitting at One Table

Despite the risks, “the blind denial, the reluctance to understand and work with the cryptocurrency world, leads us nowhere,” a high-ranking official of the Bank of Lithuania said this week. The central bank of the tech-savvy nation has started a dialogue with representatives of the crypto sector and the country’s commercial banks to discuss possible regulations. The decision comes after consultations with other financial authorities, including the Ministry of Finance and the Financial Crimes Investigation Service (FCIS).

Blind Denial of Cryptocurrencies Leads Nowhere, Bank of Lithuania Says“We sat at one table – the banks, the ICO companies, the FCIS, and other stakeholders,” said Ekaterina Govina, the central bank’s fintech coordinator, quoted by Obzor. “It is important that banks discuss this [matter] with entities behind initial coin offerings and companies that exchange cryptocurrencies. We have established a dialogue. Let’s see where it’s going to take us,” Govina stated during a conference at the Vilnius University.

The Bank of Lithuania has so far maintained a conservative approach towards ICOs. It has also insisted that traditional financial services should be clearly separated from activities related to “virtual currencies”. The central bank, however, has not relinquished its ambition to turn Lithuania into a fintech center in Northern Europe. It plans to accomplish the goal through accelerating the issuance of inexpensive licenses for crypto businesses and accepting applications in foreign languages such as English.

Banks Don’t Get It

Companies and startups working with cryptocurrencies face various issues, when they need banking services, according to Vitautas Kasheta, head of the Lithuanian association of the crypto economy participants. “Commercial banks don’t understand the nature of cryptocurrency. That’s why they think this is a risky business and demand additional guarantees. They often refuse to set up accounts for [crypto] companies,” he explained.

“The dialogue is necessary. We are interested in having it with everybody, so that we better understand each other’s business models,” said Mantas Zalatorius, president of the Association of Lithuanian Banks. At the same time, consumer protection, money laundering prevention and anti-terrorism financing measures are the main priorities, he insisted. Commercial banks would only provide services to companies that prove the origin of their capital, and not all of them can, Zalatorius added.

Lithuanians Accept It

Cryptocurrency has seen a growing popularity in the small Baltic country. Lithuanian media have published over 1,400 crypto-related articles in the first three months of 2018, compared to just 22 publications in the same period of last year, according to the Mediaskopas monitoring agency.

Blind Denial of Cryptocurrencies Leads Nowhere, Bank of Lithuania Says“Lithuania is shining brightly on the world ICO map,” says Egle Nyameikshtite, head of the Vilnius Blockchain Center. According to statistical data presented during the conference, Lithuanian-based projects have attracted 10% of ICO investments last year. “Only Americans and Chinese are ahead of us,” she claims.

Cryptos are also entering everyday life of Lithuanians as a means of payment. The local United Colors of Benetton franchisee has recently announced it is accepting cryptocurrency payments. The stores of the global fashion brand in Vilnius now take bitcoin, etherium, dash, NEM, and steem through a partnership with the payments provider Coppay.

Do you agree that more central banks should try to understand cryptocurrencies before they attempt to regulate them? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


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