Only 39 Percent Pass Malta’s Cryptocurrency Exam for Financial Services Practitioners

Only 39 Percent Pass Malta’s Cryptocurrency Exam for Financial Services Practitioners

The pass rate for the exam developed by the Maltese government for financial services practitioners seeking to obtain cryptocurrency agent certification is reportedly only 39 percent. The exam is part of the requirements mandated by the country’s newly established Virtual Financial Assets Act.

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

Low Pass Rate

Only 39 Percent Pass Malta’s Cryptocurrency Exam for Financial Services PractitionersUnder Malta’s Virtual Financial Assets (VFA) Act, practitioners who wish to act as agents in the field that includes cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs) must successfully complete a short training course and pass an exam.

Noting that the first exam took place in September, the Times of Malta reported on Thursday:

Nearly two-thirds of those applying for cryptocurrency agent certification failed the official assessment process despite last-second changes intended to boost the pass rate.

Only 39 Percent Pass Malta’s Cryptocurrency Exam for Financial Services PractitionersThe exam was set by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) and administered by the Institute of Financial Services Practitioners.

The news outlet quoted sources revealing that about 250 lawyers, accountants, and auditors took the exam, which consisted of a series of multiple choice questions. “Once the exam papers were graded, it became clear the pass rate was extremely low,” the publication conveyed, adding that “Even after the changes the pass rate was just 39 percent.”

License Required

According to the MFSA’s consultation document for VFA service providers, “any person who is providing a VFA service … shall within twelve months apply for a license with the competent authority in terms of Article 14 to the Act,” the CBS Group described.

Only 39 Percent Pass Malta’s Cryptocurrency Exam for Financial Services PractitionersThe MFSA wrote, “It has also become evident that certain industry players are not sufficiently prepared to register as VFA agents.” The regulator, therefore, proposes a number of additional rules for them to comply. They include increasing the initial and ongoing capital requirements as well as regulatory fees. In addition, the MFSA proposes “introducing a rigorous competence assessment” and “a mandatory requirement for Continuous Professional Education.”

The Times of Malta elaborated, “The VFA Act is one of three new laws forming part of the government’s ‘Blockchain Island’ strategy and which seek to regulate the blockchain and cryptocurrency sector,” adding that “It will enter into force in November.” Other than trading cryptocurrencies and issuing ICOs, the publication explained:

Companies looking to provide other virtual financial asset services, such as portfolio management or investment advice, also need an agent to apply for a licence.

What do you think of the low pass rate for the Maltese cryptocurrency agent certification exam? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and MFSA.


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Major [Shuttered] Indian Exchange Zebpay Moves to Malta after Central Bank Blockade

The harsh cryptocurrency regulatory climate in India has turned out to be a gift for the self-styled blockchain island of Malta as one of the cryptocurrency exchanges that recently shut down in the world’s second-most populous country has decided to move operations there. First reported by Quartz, Zebpay, one of the biggest exchanges in India, … Continued

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Zebpay Sets Up Operations Overseas After Suspending Exchange Activities In India

Zebpay Sets Up Operations Overseas After Suspending Exchange Activities in India

Zebpay is reportedly expanding its global presence after suspending cryptocurrency trading operations in India due to the banking ban imposed by the country’s central bank. According to information on its website, an entity has been set up to operate the Zebpay exchange in Malta to serve 20 countries.

Also read: 160 Crypto Exchanges Seek to Enter Japanese Market, Regulator Reveals

Malta-registered Exchange Serving 20 Countries

Cryptocurrency service provider Zebpay has posted information on its website regarding its overseas operations but has yet to make any announcements about them.

Zebpay Sets Up Operations Overseas After Suspending Exchange Activities in IndiaIndiabits, a community of blockchain enthusiasts, tweeted on Friday about Zebpay’s two overseas entities: one in Singapore and one in Malta. “Zebpay is going global,” the group wrote, adding that “Zebpay will provide cryptocurrency exchange and OTC services to 20 countries in Europe.”

On its website, under Terms of Use, Zebpay described a Malta-registered entity called Awlencan Innovations Malta Ltd. This company was established on Sept. 17. Zebpay wrote:

Awlencan Innovations Malta Limited (C-88318), a Maltese registered company with office address situated at: 48, Triq Stella Maris, Sliema, SLM 1765, Malta, which owns and operates the ‘Zebpay’ VFA [virtual financial assets] exchange platform in Malta.

Zebpay Sets Up Operations Overseas After Suspending Exchange Activities in IndiaThe page also provides a list of 20 countries which Zebpay offers its services to. They are Malta, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, and Sweden.

For know-your-customer (KYC) purposes, Zebpay explained that each client can only have one account. “Multiple accounts with same KYC documentation is not eligible for registration of additional accounts,” the firm added, noting:

Zebpay provides the platform to match the orders, and prices are therefore set by the market-forces of supply and demand.

Zebpay was one of India’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges. However, its exchange activities in India were shut down at the end of September due to the cryptocurrency banking ban imposed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The ban went into effect in July and a number of petitions have been filed against it. The country’s supreme court has been trying to hear them but the case keeps being postponed.

Growing Global Presence

Zebpay Sets Up Operations Overseas After Suspending Exchange Activities in IndiaOn its Global Legal page, under Terms of Use, Zebpay wrote, “Zebpay shall mean and include … Awlencan Innovations Pte. Ltd. incorporated in Singapore.”

Awlencan Innovations Pte. Ltd. is a Singapore-based blockchain technology company established in May, soon after the RBI issued its circular in April which banned financial institutions under its control from providing services to crypto businesses.

In addition, Awlencan Innovations India Ltd. was registered on Sept. 28, the day Zebpay suspended its exchange activities. According to reports, there are 3 directors listed for this company. One is Kailash Atmaram Singhal who is also listed as a director of Zeb It Service Ltd., which operated the Zebpay exchange in India.

What do you think of Zebpay setting up operations overseas after shutting down exchange activities in India? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Zebpay.


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The Daily: Fake Volume, Tether Troubles, Bitcoin’s “Inevitable” Mass Adoption

The Daily: Fake Volume, Tether Troubles, Bitcoin’s “Inevitable” Mass Adoption

Rumors, allegations, and assertions can all be found in today’s news roundup. Specifically, we have rumors of impending trouble with Tether, allegations of another Chinese exchange conjuring up fake volume, and assertions that Bitcoin and blockchain’s mass adoption is “inevitable”. We’ll reveal who made that bold claim, as well as substantiating the others, in this episode of The Daily.

Also read: A Guide to Building Your Own Crypto Mining Rig

Magical Chinese Trading Volume

The Daily: Fake Volume, Tether Troubles, Bitcoin’s “Inevitable” Mass Adoption
CER alleges several Chinese exchanges to be producing magical trading volume

Like a dog worrying a bone, Crypto Exchange Ranks (CER) has been toiling away at uncovering fake trading volume for months. Much of the suspicious activity it’s unearthed during the course of its meticulous and granular investigation has originated in the East. Its latest target is ZB.com, a Chinese exchange that appears in Coinmarketcap’s top five by reported volume, placing it above the likes of Bithumb and Bitfinex. CER is having none of that, and has torn ZB.com’s claim to shreds in its usual dogged manner.

“While analyzing ZB.com, we found definite patterns of unnatural and obviously artificial trade volume performance on 10 out of the top-20 most-traded exchange’s pairs,” reports CER. “Furthermore, we discovered that 4 dash pairs volume on this exchange totaled more than $288m, accounting for 24.58% of the exchange’s total 24h volume and for 80.56% of all dash traded on all exchanges. All of this directly points to the fact that trade volume manipulations are taking place on ZB.com.” The full report is pretty damning.

Maltese Prime Minister: Global Bitcoin and Blockchain Adoption “Inevitable”

Maltese PM Joseph Muscat is known for his pro-crypto stance, having welcomed major players from the burgeoning cryptoconomy to his island state with open arms. In a recent address to the United Nations General Assembly, the Prime Minister preached ebulliently, espousing his belief that Bitcoin and blockchain will inevitably enjoy mass adoption. “I passionately believe [the] technology revolutionizes and improves systems,” said Muscat. “This is why in Malta, we have launched ourselves as the blockchain island…the first jurisdiction worldwide to regulate this new technology that previously existed in a legal vacuum. Blockchain makes cryptocurrencies [the] inevitable future of money.”

Tether’s Bank in Trouble?

The Daily: Fake Volume, Tether Troubles, Bitcoin’s “Inevitable” Mass AdoptionNoble, the Puerto Rico-based bank whose most famous crypto customer is Tether, could be in trouble. It has been reported that the bank has cash flow problems and, if it can’t find a backer, may be forced to wind up operations. Where this would leave Tether, and the customer assets it presumably has stored in the bank is unclear. The story, while unverified, comes from Modern Consensus, a site which broke the story of the Circle-Poloniex takeover weeks before anyone else, and thus has some credibility.

Modern Consensus also reports a figure at a “major trading crypto desk” as claiming that an entity has been trying to offload “tens of millions of tethers” but failed to find a buyer. While publicly all signs point to Tether losing its grip on the stablecoin market, it remains top dog in terms of trading. Despite several exchanges announcing that they are phasing out the controversial stablecoin, volume has remained steady at over $3 billion a day, 30x more than its closest competitor, Trueusd.

The Daily: Fake Volume, Tether Troubles, Bitcoin’s “Inevitable” Mass Adoption
Solid: the new web decentralization project from Tim Berners-Lee

The Web’s Creator Wants to Decentralize It

If decentralization is a meme, it’s one that’s spread so far and wide that even the web’s creator is jumping on the bandwagon. On Saturday, Tim Berners-Lee revealed Inrupt, a project he has been developing in stealth for the past nine months. It aims to remove power from the web monopolies by returning data to its owners and allowing them to assign it to platforms on a permissioned basis only. Solid is the name of the platform Berners-Lee is developing in which each user’s data is contained in a “pod”. He said defiantly: “We are not talking to Facebook and Google about whether or not to introduce a complete change where all their business models are completely upended overnight. We are not asking their permission.”

“It’s time to reset the balance of power on the web and reignite its true potential,” proclaims Inrupt.

What are your thoughts on today’s news tidbits as featured in The Daily? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, and Inrupt.


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Crypto giant Binance looks to the future with fiat trading and a decentralized exchange

Binance, the one-year-old startup that appeared from nowhere to become the world’s top crypto exchange, is making major moves as it enters the next phase of its business. That includes a plan to offer fiat-to-crypto trading in international markets and the release of a decentralized exchange to complement its current trading site.

The company routinely trades more than $1 billion in crypto volumes daily — even in this current bear market — but to date it has only allowed crypto-to-crypto trading. That’s primarily down to the need for regulation in order to offer fiat currency conversation, but that’s set to change.

Speaking at a Coindesk event in Singapore last week, CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao revealed plans to launch a slew of local exchanges offering fiat conversation in markets across the world and he provided further details in an interview with TechCrunch.

“Right now, we are centralized crypto-to-crypto,” Zhao told us. “We don’t offer fiat gateways and so we rely on others to do that. But through discussions with different regulators across the world, we now have those channels. We want to make it easier for fiat currency to get into the crypto world.”

There’s certainly a need for institutional money. Crypto prices are down as much as 55 percent on January’ highs, according to analysis from Bloomberg, so it figures that major players like Binance need the backing of big names and large amounts to reverse the trend. While many in the space say they are happy to see a low price since it drives out less sincere operators, dwindling interest in crypto isn’t ideal for those who get paid by facilitating trades.

Zhao said the plan is to open three fiat exchanges this year with a view to growing the number to 10 in 2019, with “ideally two per continent.” Part of the goal is to help larger, institutional investors bring money into the crypto ecosystem, a move that would help Binance and the rest of the industry, too.

“We want to” reach both retail and institutional investors he added. “Our target has always been more retail focused, but now institutions are coming into crypto and we are seeing that.”

Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao speaks at TechCrunch’s blockchain event in Zug in July 2018 [Image: Daniel Vaiman/Explore To Create]

Already, Binance has opened a joint venture in Lichtenstein, it has announced plans to offer fiat in Malta, and it is working on a launch Singapore. Currently in a limited beta, Zhao said the Singapore-based exchange should go live within the next month after stress testing on areas like KYC, trading flow and scalability is done.

While he didn’t specifically call out other markets that Binance is looking at, he did rule out launching in China, Japan and the U.S, which are three major markets for crypto despite respective legal roadblocks. China banned ICOs and exchanges some time ago, the U.S. has begun cracking down on crypto and Japan has tight licensing around exchanges which, for one thing, imposes regulations on what tokens can be listed on exchanges.

“Japan is progressive on crypto but their exchange regulation is too strict,” Zhao said. “It makes it very hard for exchanges.”

Indeed, it stands to reason that Binance — which once had an office in Tokyo before deciding against operating a local entity — would need to modify its token selection in line with Japanese laws were it to gain a license to operate in Japan. Either way, Zhao doesn’t seem key to reevaluate the country just yet.

Elsewhere, Zhao said he “respects” China’s decision to ban ICOs and exchanges, while he is happy to let others do the heavy lifting in the U.S.

“We are interested in the U.S. but that’s not a top priority and we will probably let the other guys go in first,” he told TechCrunch.

That’s hardly surprising since Binance is one of three exchanges mentioned by in a report by New York attorney general Barbara Underwood who believes they may have violated state trading law. Zhao declined to comment.

Binance — which has flocked to crypto-friendly nations like Malta and Bermuda — said it would open an office in Singapore should the proposed exchange rollout go successfully.

Beyond fiat, the company is also getting closer to launching a decentralized exchange (dex) which would allow buyers and sellers to trade tokens directly without the exchange acting as an intermediatory.

High-profile figures have criticized central exchanges. Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin went so far as to say that they should “burn in hell” for their position controlling asset selection, price and more. Binance seems to be making as much progress as anyone with its dex which, simply because of the company’s market position, could force others to follow suit.

The Binance dex would significantly alter the trading flow as it stands today, but Binance itself — which Zhao told Coindesk made a profit of $350 million over the past six months — would still draw revenue. That’s because the dex would operate on Binance’s own blockchain with the company operating a number of nodes itself. Zhao said that when its nodes are used in transactions, it would gain some of the network fee.

While, equally, the firm stands to profit from increased dex use because that could make Binance’s BNB token more valuable, Zhao argued.

The company recently released a very early demo of the dex — spoiler alert: it is underwhelming — but Zhao said a fully-working service should be available by the end of this year or early 2019 at the latest. The Binance CEO, who once build software for futures trading for Bloomberg, is leading the development of the project.

“Development is going well,” he added. “Our dex is very simple but it’s fast.”

Beyond its exchange business, Binance is also putting itself to work on growing the crypto industry. Earlier this year it announced an investment fund that it said is worth $1 billion and would invest directly into companies and new crypto investment funds, too. It also has aggressive plans to run early-stage accelerator programs across the world to help develop new businesses that support the crypto ecosystem.

Ellie Zhang, who runs the Binance Labs division that manages both projects, candidly told TechCrunch last month that real use cases for blockchain and crypto are crucial if Binance is to “thrive” as a business.

Note: The author owns a small amount of cryptocurrency. Enough to gain an understanding, not enough to change a life.

PR: Crypto Exchange Bleutrade Confirms Its Presence In Malta

Crypto Exchange Bleutrade Confirms Its Presence In Malta

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.

The company, founded in Brazil, emerged in 2014 in the digital currency market as an innovative Exchange, working with a platform focused to simplify trades among cryptocurrencies. It is also the first Exchange in Latin America and has announced the opening of an office in Malta which takes with it almost 300 thousand users.

“We have spent some time immersed in studies of national legislation, articulated partnerships were selected and established plus we have attended some events herewith the government. Now the Island of Malta will be the scene of a new beginning full of news, “said Marlos Jennis, responsible for Bleutrade’s International Relationships.

Access the site

According to Felipe Melo, CEO, this transition arises at a time when the Mediterranean region presents true forms of becoming one of the first centers of world reference for blockchain and cryptocurrencies companies: “We went through a few countries and chose Malta mainly for legal security, which will give us more freedom when starting new services, besides in the island we find human resources with great potential.”

Regulators, in general, have been cracking down on cryptocurrency exchanges since the beginning of 2017, leading to several difficulties in such operations. Following the release of the Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, announcing that Malta ‘aims to be the global trailblazers in the regulation of blockchain-based businesses and jurisdiction of quality and choice for world class fintech companies’, Bleutrade is committed to being a part of this progressive world that will enable the writing of new history for its users.

Bleutrade also plans to add fiat currency ,like Dollar and Euro, to its platform once it is installed in the Mediterranean. The exchange today does not work with the Real currency, but seems to have partnered with the new exchange BitRecife, placed in Brazil, in order to enable crypto transfers without mining fees.

Marcos Vinicius, Bleutrade’s Advisor, affirms that the scenario seeks to a friendly jurisdiction place for the cryptocurrency sector, the key point that led Bleutrade to extend to the island. As Malta presented itself a step ahead of the market trend, it attracted major exchanges from the market such as Binance, Okex and now Bleutrade.

Contat email Address
wanessarossiter@bleu.com.br

Supporting Link
https://bleutrade.com

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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Fmr. SpaceX Engineer Launches Institutional-Grade Cryptocurrency Exchange

As an engineer at SpaceX, Joshua Greenwald was charged with spearheading automation and propulsion on the aerospace startup’s Moonraker project. Now, he is directing his efforts toward a radically different industry, albeit one that also has lunar ambitions. Greenwald, who spent more than a decade as a trader prior to his stint at SpaceX, has … Continued

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Bittrex to Launch Crypto Exchange in Malta Next Month

Bittrex to Launch Crypto Exchange in Malta Next Month

US-based cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex is reportedly launching a crypto exchange in Malta at the beginning of next month. Bittrex says the new platform will allow them to list coins “a lot faster.” It will operate within the regulatory framework established by the European Union and the Maltese government.

Also read: 160 Crypto Exchanges Seek to Enter Japanese Market, Regulator Reveals

Bittrex Eyes Malta Launch in October

Bittrex to Launch Crypto Exchange in Malta Next MonthBittrex has confirmed that “it will open a branch in Malta on Oct. 1, as part of its global expansion plans,” the Investor reported on Friday, September 14. Bittrex’s co-founder and CEO, Bill Shihara, said at the Upbit Developer Conference on the South Korean Jeju Island:

We are now planning to launch Bittrex Malta…This will allow us to list tokens a lot faster.

Bittrex to Launch Crypto Exchange in Malta Next Month
Bill Shihara at the Upbit Developer Conference 2018.

The conference is organized by Dunamu Inc., the operator of one of South Korea’s largest crypto exchanges, the Kakao-backed Upbit. Bittrex has a partnership agreement with Upbit that “allows the two exchanges to share the same order book and coin listings, among others,” the news outlet conveyed.

Shihara explained that “the coin listing process will be much easier and faster in Malta,” the publication noted, adding that the exchange “will also not charge fees for listing.”

Bittrex to Launch Crypto Exchange in Malta Next MonthBittrex has already established a subsidiary in Malta as well as an affiliated company, Bittrex International, to manage all of its overseas operations.

Citing that “Bittrex Malta is designed to operate within the regulatory framework established by the European Union and Maltese government,” the exchange wrote:

Every digital asset listed on Bittrex Malta will be available for our international network of partner exchanges to launch (consistent with their local laws).

Bittrex’s Overseas Expansion

The CEO explained that “Working with the government in the US to stay compliant is hard. So it would be very difficult for us to open offices around the world in different countries,” elaborating:

We actually like this partnership model… If we can find great partners like Dunamu, then they can handle a lot of work with local regulations and banks. All we need to do is just help them make their exchanges better.

Bittrex to Launch Crypto Exchange in Malta Next MonthThe news outlet noted that Shihara expressed “great satisfaction with the tie-up,” adding that “he seeks to renew the partnership every year, without plans to open a separate Bittrex branch in Korea.”

Bittrex started offering US dollar trading in May but currently has no plans to add other fiat currencies, the publication described. “But we do plan to continue listing more digital currencies that trade against the US dollar.” According to Coinmarketcap, Bittrex now lists 287 coins while Upbit has 273 coins listed.

What do you think of Bittrex opening an exchange in Malta? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, the Investor, Upbit, and Bittrex.


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It’s the end of crypto as we know it and I feel fine

Watching the current price madness is scary. Bitcoin is falling and rising in $500 increments with regularity and Ethereum and its attendant ICOs are in a seeming freefall with a few “dead cat bounces” to keep things lively. What this signals is not that crypto is dead, however. It signals that the early, elated period of trading whose milestones including the launch of Coinbase and the growth of a vibrant (if often shady) professional ecosystem is over.

Crypto still runs on hype. Gemini announcing a stablecoin, the World Economic Forum saying something hopeful, someone else saying something less hopeful – all of these things and more are helping define the current market. However, something else is happening behind the scenes that is far more important.

As I’ve written before, the socialization and general acceptance of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial pursuits is a very recent thing. In the old days – circa 2000 – building your own business was considered somehow sordid. Chancers who gave it a go were considered get-rich-quick schemers and worth of little more than derision.

As the dot-com market exploded, however, building your own business wasn’t so wacky. But to do it required the imprimaturs and resources of major corporations – Microsoft, Sun, HP, Sybase, etc. – or a connection to academia – Google, Netscape, Yahoo, etc. You didn’t just quit school, buy a laptop, and start Snapchat.

It took a full decade of steady change to make the revolutionary thought that school wasn’t so great and that money was available for all good ideas to take hold. And take hold it did. We owe the success of TechCrunch and Disrupt to that idea and I’ve always said that TC was career pornography for the cubicle dweller, a guilty pleasure for folks who knew there was something better out there and, with the right prodding, they knew they could achieve it.

So in looking at the crypto markets currently we must look at the dot-com markets circa 1999. Massive infrastructure changes, some brought about by Y2K, had computerized nearly every industry. GenXers born in the late 70s and early 80s were in the marketplace of ideas with an understanding of the Internet the oldsters at the helm of media, research, and banking didn’t have. It was a massive wealth transfer from the middle managers who pushed paper since 1950 to the dot-com CEOs who pushed bits with native ease.

Fast forward to today and we see much of the same thing. Blockchain natives boast about having been interest in bitcoin since 2014. Oldsters at banks realize they should get in on things sooner than later and price manipulation is rampant simply because it is easy. The projects we see now are the Kozmo.com of the blockchain era, pie-in-the-sky dream projects that are sucking up millions in funding and will produce little in real terms. But for every hundred Kozmos there is one Amazon .

And that’s what you have to look for.

Will nearly every ICO launched in the last few years fail? Yes. Does it matter?

Not much.

The market is currently eating its young. Early investors made (and probably lost) millions on early ICOs but the resulting noise has created an environment where the best and brightest technical minds are faced with not only creating a technical product but also maintaining a monetary system. There is no need for a smart founder to have to worry about token price but here we are. Most technical CEOs step aside or call for outside help after their IPO, a fact that points to the complexity of managing shareholder expectations. But what happens when your shareholders are 16-year-olds with a lot of Ethereum in a Discord channel? What happens when little Malta becomes the de facto launching spot for token sales and you’re based in Nebraska? What happens when the SEC, FINRA, and Attorneys General from here to Beijing start investigating your hobby?

Basically your hobby stops becoming a hobby. Crypto and blockchain has weaponized nerds in an unprecedented way. In the past if you were a Linux developer or knew a few things about hardware you could build a business and make a little money. Now you can build an empire and make a lot of money.

Crypto is falling because the people in it for the short term are leaving. Long term players – the Amazons of the space – have yet to be identified. Ultimately we are going to face a compression in the ICO and, for a while, it’s going to be a lot harder to build an ICO. But give it a few years – once the various financial authorities get around to reading the Satoshi white paper – and you’ll see a sea change. Coverage will change. Services will change. And the way you raise money will change.

VC used to be about a team and a dream. Now it’s about a team, $1 million in monthly revenue, and a dream. The risk takers are gone. The dentists from Omaha who once visited accelerator demo days and wrote $25,000 checks for new apps are too shy to leave their offices. The flashy VCs from Sand Hill have to keep Uber and Airbnb’s plates spinning until they can cash out. VC is dead for the small entrepreneur.

Which is why the ICO is so important and this is why the ICO is such a mess right now. Because everybody sees the value but nobody – not the SEC, not the investors, not the founders – can understand how to do it right. There is no SAFE note for crypto. There are no serious accelerators. And all of the big names in crypto are either goldbugs, weirdos, or Redditors. No one has tamed the Wild West.

They will.

And when they do expect a whole new crop of Amazons, Ubers, and Oracles. Because the technology changes quickly when there’s money, talent, and a way to marry the two in which everyone wins.

New Security Tokens Trading Platform: Binance and Malta Stock Exchange Sign MOU

Security Tokens Trading Platform

The subsidiary of the Malta Stock Exchange, MSX PLC, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with crypto exchange Binance. The pair will launch a new Security Tokens Trading Platform.

According to a press release from today, the new trading platform will benefit from the two bodies in two ways:

From the Malta Stock Exchange’s “26-year track record of operating as a regulated stock exchange”  From the international reach of Binance’s business model. Security Tokens Trading Platform

And it’s precisely this business model that makes Binance the biggest crypto exchange in the world.

...

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The Daily: Malta Sees No Issue With Unlicensed Crypto Firms, Valletta Mansion on Sale for Crypto

The Daily: Malta Sees No Issue With Unlicensed Crypto Firms, Valletta Mansion on Sale for Crypto

Malta is not worried about crypto companies operating while their applications for licenses are still pending as the loophole does not mean they are free from obligations under the current regulations, officials from the island nation commented. Also in The Daily, a €3 million palazzo in Valletta has been put up for sale and the owner takes only cryptocurrency, a project aims to turn a Great Barrier Reef island into a crypto micro-economy, and a hotel in Perth cuts third parties out of the booking process using cryptocurrency.

Also read: Revolut to Launch in North America, US Startup Presents Telegram Alternative

Malta Taking Calculated Risk by Fast-Tracking Approvals for Crypto Firms

The Daily: Malta Sees No Issue With Unlicensed Crypto Firms, Valletta Mansion on Sale for CryptoMalta, which is working hard to create one of the most crypto-friendly climates in Europe, has given fintech companies moving to the island a whole year to become fully licensed under the recently adopted legislation. Nevertheless, a high-ranking official in Valletta has denied claims that the loophole would open the door for crypto firms to abuse the regulatory framework.

In July, the parliament in Valletta approved three bills designed to regulate the sector and enable the establishment of crypto companies in Malta. Many notable players in the industry, including Binance, Okex, ZB.com, and Bitbay, have either opened offices there or have serious plans for when they set foot on the island. Crypto and blockchain businesses have a full 12 months to apply for a license under the new Maltese regulations.

However, the CEO of the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA), Joseph Cuschieri, says the clauses that allow unlicensed companies to carry on their activities until they are fully regulated, will not give them free rein to exploit the legal vacuum, Malta Today reports. Cuschieri stressed that crypto firms setting up businesses in the country before securing a license are nevertheless obliged to abide by the local legal provisions.

The Daily: Malta Sees No Issue With Unlicensed Crypto Firms, Valletta Mansion on Sale for Crypto

In a separate statement, Malta’s Prime Minister acknowledged that his government hopes the booming blockchain industry will diversify his nation’s economy. “We’re taking a calculated risk… [by cutting] layers of bureaucracy and offering fast-track approvals for digital players to set up shop on the island,” Joseph Muscat admitted in an interview, according to a report by the Sydney Morning Herald.

€3 Million Valletta Mansion on Sale for BTC

The Daily: Malta Sees No Issue With Unlicensed Crypto Firms, Valletta Mansion on Sale for CryptoA historic building in the center of Malta’s capital, 860 square meter palazzo worth an estimated €3 million, has been offered on the property market with a crypto price tag. The mansion, which can easily be turned into a hotel or used for offices, can only be purchased with cryptocurrency. The owner selling the property for bitcoin core (BTC) believes there are many affluent individuals in the crypto business community who view Malta as the most attractive place for investment. Quoted by Coinrivet, he says investing in real estate in Valletta is a smart move for anyone looking to establish themselves in the country which is promoting itself as the “Blockchain Island”. The mansion has been put up for sale through a project called Cryptohomes. The team behind it intends to list more properties priced in cryptocurrency in the future.

Tropical Destination to Be Revived as Crypto Micro-Economy

The Daily: Malta Sees No Issue With Unlicensed Crypto Firms, Valletta Mansion on Sale for CryptoThe Great Keppel Island off the coast of Central Queensland, once a popular tourist spot situated at the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, is now at the heart of a project involving some serious crypto investments. An Australian consortium intends to revive it as a high-tech holiday destination that will offer quality accommodation in a new resort with luxury villas, a golf course, and a marina. The large crypto-backed property deal should also grow into a cryptocurrency micro-economy, claim the people behind it quoted by The Age. The developers from Tower Holdings, owned by Sydney businessman Terry Agnew, hope to fund it through a coin sale, more precisely a Security Token Offering (STO). According to the Australian publication, the $300 million project may become the most significant investment along the Great Barrier Reef for years.

Perth Hotel Accepts Cryptocurrency After Relaunch

The Daily: Malta Sees No Issue With Unlicensed Crypto Firms, Valletta Mansion on Sale for CryptoThe owner of a renovated hotel in the Scottish city of Perth has announced that The Lovat will be accepting crypto payments from its guests. Alfredo Alongi believes cryptocurrency can benefit the hospitality industry by removing third parties from the booking process. His hotel is partnering with Incognito, a coin developed by a University of Strathclyde graduate, the Herald Scotland reports. “Cryptocurrency has the potential to boost direct bookings as the transaction exists purely between the customer and the service provider – there’s no middle man and no additional fees for either party,” explains Alongi who is working to revive the business. The Lovat was closed down by its previous owners in January.

What are your thoughts on today’s news tidbits? Tell us in the comments section below.


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Uzbekistan is Licensing Crypto Exchanges, Mining Centers, and ICOs

The Korean Blockchain Business Association (KOBEA) and the government of Uzbekistan have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to establish the country’s first government-licensed crypto exchange. The National Agency of Project Management (NAPM) under the president of the Republic of Uzbekistan settled a direct partnership with KOBEA to facilitate the growth of the country’s cryptocurrency

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