Philippines Building Crypto Valley of Asia

Philippines Building Crypto Valley of Asia

The Philippines government is building Crypto Valley of Asia, a cryptocurrency and fintech hub similar to the one in the canton of Zug, Switzerland. The estate will be built at the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport in partnership with private property developer Northern Star Gaming & Resorts Inc. The zone is already set to accommodate 25 crypto firms that will operate within the area.

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

Building Crypto Valley of Asia

Philippines Building Crypto Valley of AsiaThe Philippines government-owned Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) has partnered with Northern Star Gaming & Resorts Inc. to develop a crypto and fintech hub called Crypto Valley of Asia (CVA).

This is “part of the government’s bid to foster a fintech ecosystem [to] attract international blockchain companies to set up shop in the country,” e27 reported Monday.

The publication elaborated:

The CVA will consist of a 25-shop housing development inside the cyberpark developed in compliance with the strict security requirements for licensed overseas virtual exchanges (OVEs) located in CEZA. It will include co-working and living spaces, business incubation and acceleration hubs as well as back offices of OVEs and service providers to the global crypto space.

Philippines Building Crypto Valley of AsiaCEZA administrator and CEO Raul L. Lambino commented in an official press statement that this infrastructure “will serve to attract more foreign investors and global fintech players to CEZA and the Philippines.” It will help the country “become one of the major offshoring destinations for fintech and blockchain related work.”

Recently, the authority announced that it has granted two licenses to cryptocurrency firms. Seventeen companies in the crypto space have already paid in full and the authority is expected to generate $68 million from licensing 25 crypto and fintech firms.

Generating Economic Boom

Philippines Building Crypto Valley of Asia“The goal is for the CVA to generate an economic boom that will allow more Filipinos to pursue careers in technology,” e27 conveyed, adding that third-party business providers (BPOs) will bring employment to the area.

Northern Star has committed to investing $100 million over the next 10 years and has already secured funds from several international and regional companies that will be located within the CVA, the news outlet noted. Chairman Enrique Gonzalez commented:

Crypto Valley of Asia and CEZA will put the Philippines on the global map of fintech and blockchain. Similar to other progressive jurisdictions such as Zug of Switzerland, we will create an environment that fosters innovation, entrepreneurship and critical skills development thru education and BPO training.

He reiterated, “with strong global partners that have confirmed entry into our master-planned development, we are confident in the continued momentum in positioning the Philippines as the leading destination for blockchain offshoring.”

What do you think of the Philippines building Crypto Valley of Asia? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Philippines Building Crypto Valley of Asia appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Swiss Banks Are Onboarding Crypto Clients and Assets

Another Swiss private bank has announced in a statement that it’s open to on-board cryptocurrencies. Maerki Baumann private bank in Zurich is open to accepting assets that were generated with cryptocurrencies, “under the condition that strict regulatory and legal requirements are fully complied with,” Managing Director Stephan Zwahlen told news.Bitcoin.com.

Also read: Many Swiss Bankers and Financial Regulators Quit to Join the Crypto Space

“Switzerland Knows How to Protect Assets”

Assets raised from cryptocurrency transactions are usually rejected by most Swiss banks, but there are a few exceptions. Maerki Baumann has reportedly followed Falcon and officially accepted handling such assets, but it does not offer asset management solutions in cryptocurrencies nor accounts in crypto, the Managing Director of the bank told news.Bitcoin.com. Funds raised from speculative crypto transactions, payments for services rendered, or from mining successes are increasingly growing, together with the popularity of cryptocurrencies. But these assets reportedly often meet rejection from Swiss banks. 

Vontobel, another Swiss private bank, together with Falcon, stands among the lenders that are agreeing to handle cryptocurrency-based investments on behalf of their clients.

The Swiss Contradiction

One of the contradictions about Switzerland which is aiming to become a “crypto nation” is that despite having hundreds of the most famous crypto companies worldwide based in Zug, hardly any of them have a Swiss bank account. The main reasons for that is the fear of black money that has tainted some of the major Swiss banks throughout history, Marc Bernegger, a Swiss Fintech and crypto entrepreneur, told news.Bitcoin.com in an interview in Zurich.

Bernegger has been a fintech entrepreneur for close to 20 years, and said he read Satoshi’s whitepaper in 2012. He then immediately felt that Bitcoin had a lot of potential. “I understood from day one the impact that the technology was going to have. Back in the old days, hardly anybody in the traditional financial services industry was even hearing about Bitcoin,” he said. 

Swiss Banks Are on-Boarding Crypto Clients and Assets
Marc Bernegger, Board Member at Crypto Finance AG

“Nowadays, when it comes to cryptocurrencies, there is an understanding of financial services that reminds [me of] the old banking privacy,” Bernegger said. “It isn’t about replicating that again, but I think Switzerland has a strong reputation and knowledge about protecting assets.”

However, the Swiss entrepreneur noted that one of the issues in Switzerland is that, officially, there are hardly any banks doing crypto. “Everyone goes to Bank Frick, a tiny bank in Liechtenstein, one hour away from Zurich,” Bernegger explained, but this is slowly changing, he observed. Bernegger, who is also a board member at Crypto Finance Group, is part of a task force led by Switzerland’s Finance Minister, Ueli Maurer, and Economy and Education Minister, Johann Schneider-Ammann, including federal and local officials, as well as members of various startups and legal representatives. “The initiative is aiming to create a more crypto friendly environment for companies,” Bernegger explained, “the names of the banks [involved] are not public but there are a few major [Swiss] banks and several other Swiss banks which will soon on-board crypto clients,” he revealed. “I personally think that six months from now, it will be quite common to open accounts as a corporate client doing crypto business in Switzerland.”

Finance Minister Invites Banking Association and National Bank to Discuss

“Federal Councillor Ueli Maurer recently took the initiative to invite the Swiss Banking Association (SBA), the Swiss National Bank (SNB), and the Finma Banking Supervisory Authority for a round table to discuss the issue of the banking accounts of crypto companies. As a result of this round table, SBA has formed a working group to tackle the issue and is in the lead,” Peter Minder, the head of communication of the Swiss Federal Department of Finance, told news.Bitcoin.com in an email.

Swissquote Group, the Swiss online bank, reported a profit of 25.7 million CHF (~$26.1million USD) from the first half of this year, which represents an increase of 44 percent over the same period of the previous year since it started accepting crypto, news.Bitcoin.com reported earlier this month. From a turnover perspective, Swissquote is reportedly one of the Swiss companies with the highest revenue out of all crypto businesses in Switzerland.

Hypothekarbank Lenzburg, a Swiss legacy bank, also opened the door to crypto and blockchain firms in June of this year. Its CEO Marianne Wildi, who trained as a computer programmer, argued that Switzerland should adopt a crypto Swiss franc. The bank also evaluated potential compliance risks before deciding to open up to blockchain and crypto firms, and also informed Finma of its decision.

Swiss Crypto Companies Target Banking Licenses

Swiss crypto companies are also actively trying to acquire banking licenses with Finma, the nation’s financial market supervisory authority, and may soon operate just like banks. It’s a matter of time, some say.

The main problem for Finma is that many of the cryptocurrency tokens are considered securities, and in order to handle securities as a broker in Switzerland, a company needs to get a broker’s licence, which seemingly no one in Switzerland within the crypto industry has at this stage. “Finma differentiates payment tokens, utility tokens, and asset-backed tokens. The payment and utility tokens aren’t considered securities,” Yassine Ben Hamida, a former Swiss banker now fully involved in crypto projects, told news.Bitcoin.com during a phone interview in Switzerland. “The problem is that you need to have a broker/dealer’s license in order to handle the tokens that are considered securities,” he confirmed.

Swiss Banks Are on-Boarding Crypto Clients and Assets

Crypto Broker, which belongs to Crypto Finance AG, was not granted the security dealer’s license from Finma, as the company isn’t trading security tokens at the moment, its CEO said in an email. However the company is in the process of obtaining the license, it was confirmed to news.Bitcoin.com.

Crypto Fund, an asset manager also part of Crypto Finance Group, is the first company in Switzerland which is able to distribute foreign funds to “qualified investors” or so-called high net worth individuals. But they aren’t the only ones, sources involved in the Swiss crypto world say, for there are allegedly many Swiss independent companies that have launched certificates in order to invest in crypto. “This is one of our first milestones, because we are now ultimately moving to become a fully licensed Asset Manager and Broker. Crypto Finance Group is aiming at becoming the most advanced and secure investment and technology provider globally,” Mark Bernegger, who also serves as a board member at Crypto Finance Group, told news.Bitcoin.com in a statement.

Custody: How Crypto Assets Can Be Kept in Banks

Mainstream media recently reported that Goldman Sachs is considering a plan to offer custody for crypto funds, without citing any solid source. Japan’s Nomura, Bank of New York Mellon, JP Morgan Chase, and Northern Trust are all reportedly thought to be working on or exploring custody offerings. In Switzerland, there aren’t any banks at the moment offering deposit services of those securities. However, this is a market that will develop quickly, according to a former UBS executive and also a former Julius Baer executive in Switzerland.

Gazprombank Switzerland Ltd., a state-owned Russian bank, and third largest in the country by assets, is also looking into cryptocurrency asset custody service and working with auditors and with Finma, according to sources close to the matter. However, the bank couldn’t make any official statement on the topic at this stage, a spokeswoman told news.Bitcoin.com.

What do you think of Swiss crypto companies aiming to operate just like banks? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Crypto Finance Group and Business Insider.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Swiss Banks Are Onboarding Crypto Clients and Assets appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Roger Ver Sent Governor of Jeju Island $100 in Bitcoin Cash, Did it Violate Local Policy?

Roger Ver, a prominent cryptocurrency investor who has backed some of the largest companies in the global crypto sector such as Blockchain, Zcash, BitPay, and Kraken, recently sent the governor of Jeju Island of South Korea $100 worth of bitcoin cash at a public event. Humorous Kim Yeong-Ran Rule Banter Over the weekend, Ver visited

The post Roger Ver Sent Governor of Jeju Island $100 in Bitcoin Cash, Did it Violate Local Policy? appeared first on CCN

FINMA Seeks to Stem Exodus of Swiss Cryptocurrency Firms

FINMA Seeks to Stem Exodus of Swiss Cryptocurrency Firms

The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) has met with representatives of the country’s banking sector in the hopes of stemming a nascent exodus among cryptocurrency companies from Switzerland. The companies’ departures have been attributed to two Swiss banks’ decisions to no longer provide financial services to businesses dealing with virtual currencies.

Also Read: India Exchange Unocoin Suspends Withdrawals Following Central Bank Demands

FINMA Acts to Prevent Crypto Exodus

FINMA Seeks to Stem Exodus of Swiss Cryptocurrency FirmsSwitzerland’s financial regulators are taking steps intended to stem the perceived exodus of cryptocurrency companies from the nation, recently holding discussions with the Swiss National Bank and bankers’ association on how to increase the accessibility of financial services to cryptocurrency ventures.

As it stands, many analysts have predicted that many companies operating with virtual currencies will continue to leave Switzerland in favor of jurisdictions whose financial institutions are more amenable to crypto companies, including Liechtenstein, Gibraltar and the Cayman Islands.

Officials Seek to Preserve Swiss Crypto Industry

Despite cryptocurrency-related activities comprising a small portion of Switzerland’s financial industries, Swiss officials are viewing the country’s virtual currency as a valuable asset that should be preserved.

The finance director of Zug – a Swiss canton has been dubbed “Crypto Valley” following the establishment of between 200 and 300 virtual currency companies in the jurisdiction during recent years – Heinz Taennler, has warned that the crypto exodus may continue should the government fail to take action to guarantee the provision of financial services firms operating with virtual currencies.

“All their banking relationships are going to Liechtenstein,” Mr. Taennler stated. “There are hundreds of jobs that have been created, and every job is important.”

Virtual Currency Firms Appeal to Central Bank

According to Thomas Moser, an alternate member of the governing board of the Swiss National Bank, several cryptocurrency companies appealed to the country’s central bank regarding concerns pertaining to the provision of financial services to the sector.

Mr. Moser stated that “They raised concerns about problems with opening bank accounts, which was a worry for them, and asked for help. I said this was not something the [Swiss National Bank] dealt with, but they should speak with FINMA.”

“We would not want to close the door on the opportunities that such innovation (cryptocurrencies) might bring,” Moser added.

Do you think that Swiss crypto firms will continue to seek alternative jurisdictions? Join the discussion in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock


Want a comprehensive list of the top 500 cryptocurrencies and see their prices and overall market valuation? Check out Satoshi Pulse for all that hot market action!

The post FINMA Seeks to Stem Exodus of Swiss Cryptocurrency Firms appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Switzerland Tries to Stem Exodus of Cryptocurrency Firms

Regulators in Switzerland are trying to stem the exodus of cryptocurrency firms after two banks in the country’s small but flourishing virtual currency industry shut down recently. Industry insiders are worried that the exits could kick-start a trend that will cause Switzerland to lose its edge as a cryptocurrency haven, according to Reuters. Some customers are flocking

The post Switzerland Tries to Stem Exodus of Cryptocurrency Firms appeared first on CCN

Ethereum Founder Vitalik Buterin Hopes Centralized Exchanges ‘Burn in Hell’

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has stated that he would like to see centralized cryptocurrency exchanges “burn in hell as much as possible”, while conceding that such a time may yet be a while off. He made the remarks while speaking at the TC Sessions Blockchain 2018 event on July 6 in Zug, Switzerland. Responding to

The post Ethereum Founder Vitalik Buterin Hopes Centralized Exchanges ‘Burn in Hell’ appeared first on CCN

Switzerland Considers Granting Crypto Businesses Access to Banking Services

Switzerland Considers Granting Crypto Businesses Access to Banking Services

Crypto companies based in Switzerland may receive access to regular banking services as early as this year. Political will and economic wisdom seem to be in place as some government officials and bankers are already working to resolve a serious issue. Swiss banks have been refusing accounts to firms from the growing crypto industry.

Also read: Swiss Crypto Company Acquires License to Distribute Funds to Investors

Banks Expected to Offer Services by the End of the Year

Switzerland Considers Granting Crypto Businesses Access to Banking ServicesIn terms of crypto development, Switzerland is now standing at a crossroad. With very few exceptions, most of its banks have been refusing banking services to a growing number of startups residing in the country’s Crypto Valley and this is beginning to suffocate growth in the fintech sector.

Luckily, far-sighted policy makers and seasoned financiers have already pulled their sleeves up and are working to break the deadlock. One of them is Heinz Tännler, the finance director of the canton of Zug, home of the Swiss Crypto Valley. Speaking to the Financial Times, Tännler said he expected Swiss politicians and regulators to remove the obstacles in the coming months, which would allow crypto companies based in the country to operate with banks just like any other business. He added:

We hope to clarify relationships by the end of the year at the latest. Time is pressing – other jurisdictions such as Malta and Singapore are very active and making a lot of effort to attract these companies. The lack of access to bank services is a significant competitive disadvantage.

According to Mr. Tännler, the country’s central bank, financial supervisor and federal government “are willing to help.” He also stressed that “We have to push certain national institutions to resolve this problem quickly and effectively, but that now seems to be going well.”

Traditional financial institutions are increasingly under pressure to offer crypto startups regular services like bank accounts. According to Swissinfo, the bottleneck has become acute since the ICO craze brought $1.46 billion to Switzerland last year. A recent report by the Crypto Valley Association revealed that token sales through May this year have attracted nearly double the funds raised in 2017.

Mounting Pressure to Break the Deadlock

Switzerland Considers Granting Crypto Businesses Access to Banking ServicesRepresentatives of the industry have warned that if crypto businesses are not provided with access to banking services they may start looking for better conditions elsewhere.

“Starving startups of bank accounts is akin to killing the goose that laid the golden egg,” said blockchain and cryptocurrency expert Guido Schmitz-Krummacher, former director of the Tezos foundation and advisor to projects like Cardano. He believes that the failure to provide a reliable environment for startups will harm the reputation of the Crypto Valley in Zug.

“I am already seeing projects choose Singapore, Malta and Gibraltar because they can’t get a bank account in Switzerland. They will be followed by projects already established in Switzerland unless the banks and politicians address this topic.” The lack of access to normal banking services is worrying, according to Alain Kunz, chief executive of Coinlab Capital, a startup offering blockchain asset management services. “You can do a lot with crypto but you can’t pay rents and salaries,” he told the FT.

Switzerland Considers Granting Crypto Businesses Access to Banking Services

Some Swiss politicians and bankers have already heard these worries. In January, economy minister Johann Schneider-Ammann shared a vision of Switzerland becoming a “Crypto Nation.” His colleague, finance minister Ueli Maurer went a step further by forming a working group with representatives of the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA), the financial regulator and the central bank in an attempt to find a solution. The SBA has also set up a taskforce and is planning to establish a set of standards for ICO startups in order to simplify the process of opening bank accounts.

“Both we as an association and the banks have an interest in business relations in this growth area. Banks see the potential that the blockchain technology offers for their industry and Switzerland as a financial and technology hub,” the SBA said in a written statement quoted by Swissinfo. Welcoming its actions, the Crypto Valley Association (CVA) said it anticipated “a progressive broadening of offerings by a number of Swiss banks.”

Switzerland Considers Granting Crypto Businesses Access to Banking ServicesVery few legacy institutions in Switzerland have so far declared readiness to offer services to the 200 Zug-based blockchain and crypto firms. Among them are Neuchâtel Cantonal Bank and Neue Helvetische Bank. They were joined recently by Hypothekarbank Lenzburg, which announced this month it was accepting cryptocurrency related businesses as account holders. In the meantime, some Swiss startups have opened bank accounts in neighboring Liechtenstein using the services of local banks such as Frick and Alpinum. Others have decided to enter the sector of traditional financial services through partnerships.

Do you expect Swiss banks to offer crypto companies unrestricted access to banking services? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Make sure you do not miss any important Bitcoin-related news! Follow our news feed any which way you prefer; via Twitter, Facebook, Telegram, RSS or email (scroll down to the bottom of this page to subscribe). We’ve got daily, weekly and quarterly summaries in newsletter form. Bitcoin never sleeps. Neither do we.

The post Switzerland Considers Granting Crypto Businesses Access to Banking Services appeared first on Bitcoin News.

The Daily: Complicated Crypto Purchasing Puts Off US Investors, Analysis Confirms – ICOs Spike

The Daily: Complicated Crypto Purchasing Puts off US Investors, Analysis Confirms - ICOs Spike

Some potential investors find the process of acquiring cryptocurrencies rather complicated, according to a new survey conducted among US residents. Despite that finding, and other obstacles, another study confirms the recently reported increase in capital raised through coin offerings this year. Also in today’s Bitcoin in Brief, the Swiss city of Zug concludes successfully its experimental vote on blockchain.  

Also read: Coinbase Custody Opens, Hitbtc Hits Back at McAfee, BTCC Relaunches

Purchasing Process Deemed a Hurdle for New Crypto Investors

The complicated process of purchasing cryptocurrencies is the biggest obstacle for new investors entering the crypto space, according to a recently released study. The authors polled 1,000 US residents to profile crypto holders and better understand how they are using their digital coins. The poll also attempted to gauge the cultural perceptions surrounding cryptocurrency ownership.

According to the compiled data, almost 40 percent of millennials have confirmed owning cryptocurrency, 48 percent of males and 26 percent among females. At the same time, 24 percent of polled Generation X Americans and 15 percent of Baby Boomers also admitted owning bitcoin or any of its alternatives.

The Daily: Complicated Crypto Purchasing Puts off US Investors, Analysis Confirms - ICOs Spike

The survey, conducted by Creditcoin, made other interesting findings regarding a possible connection between cryptocurrencies and personal relationships. Three-quarters of the questioned stated they would be more likely to date someone who is knowledgeable about cryptocurrency. Many of them, however, remain reserved about dating someone who is obsessed with cryptos. The majority said they would date a divorced person rather than someone who keeps all their savings in cryptocurrency.

Nevertheless, over half of the respondents believe they would have about 10 percent of their savings in cryptocurrency in the next decade. When asked what they would do if given $10,000, almost 40 percent said they would buy cryptocurrency than invest in a down payment on a house, 33 percent, or a car – 28 percent.

Investors Still Bullish on ICOs, Despite Issues

Despite regulatory pressures and other issues like bad publicity due to fraudulent or unsuccessful projects, Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) have raised $11.8 billion through May 2018, according to a new analysis released by The Wall Street Journal. The estimate covers nearly 900 token sales listed on ICObench.com. The authors point out that this year’s total is more than double the amount collected by coin offerings for the whole 2017, ~$5.5 billion.

The Daily: Complicated Crypto Purchasing Puts off US Investors, Analysis Confirms - ICOs SpikeThe researchers claim that the problems around ICOs have not deterred big tech-oriented investors. Some of the notable token sales this year include the coin offering conducted by the company operating the popular messaging service Telegram, which raised $1.7 billion USD,

and that of Block.one, which attracted an estimated $4 billion for its EOS network in June.

The study found that the number of ICOs has increased as well, with around 490 token sales raising an average of $24 million in the first five months of 2018, compared to $14 million collected on average by 300 startups in the last five months of 2017.

According to another report, authored by the Swiss Crypto Valley Association (CVA) and PwC’s consulting division, Strategy&, the capital raised through ICOs has reached $13.7 billion USD in the first five months of this year. Both studies conclude that the US remains a major destination for initial coin offerings, while countries like Switzerland are catching up.

Zug Concludes ‘Successful’ Test Blockchain Vote

Authorities in the city of Zug, home of the Swiss Crypto Valley, announced that the country’s first experimental municipal blockchain-based vote has been conducted successfully. The trial started on June 25 and was completed on July 2. Voters were able to participate via an app they had to download and install on their mobile devices. The small scale consultative vote also utilized the city’s eID system introduced in November.

The Daily: Complicated Crypto Purchasing Puts off US Investors, Analysis Confirms - ICOs SpikeThe residents of Zug were asked if they were in favor of setting alight fireworks during the annual Lakeside Festival, and whether they thought digital IDs should be used to borrow books, pay parking fees, and for identification on regular referendums. The city has been issuing its residents with digital identity documents since the winter, and is currently examining various possible applications for the blockchain technology.

What sets the Zug referendum apart is that the voting did not take place via a single central server, but was distributed using blockchain across many computers, Swissinfo reports. “The premiere was a success”, Dieter Müller, Head of Communications for the city, told the Swiss News Agency. He added that the technical details of the test will be evaluated over the coming months to estimate the level of protection of privacy and voting secrecy. Authorities will also focus on ensuring that voting results are verifiable and immutable.

Israeli Startup Launches Vegancoin

While establishing a chain of vegan restaurants in the US, American entrepreneur Isaac Thomas and his Israeli partners, Nati Giat, Shenor Shapira, and Yossi Raybi, realized that the millions of vegans and vegetarians around the world need more than that. Their Tel Aviv based company, Vegannation, is now building a global vegan-friendly decentralized community platform.

The Daily: Complicated Crypto Purchasing Puts off US Investors, Analysis Confirms - ICOs Spike

The idea behind the project is to create an ecosystem where vegans can find food products, other vegan commerce and share content like recipes, news and blogs in one place, The Jerusalem Post reports. The platform will have its own crypto, Vegancoin, and joining members will be provided with a Vegannation digital wallet. According to the entrepreneurs, all affiliated businesses are “vegan and cruelty-free.”

“We are moving toward a world where people can see everything and can be responsible for the way they consume. So bringing cryptocurrency to the vegan community brings it full circle,” said Vegannation CEO and co-founder Isaac Thomas. In his words, veganism, cryptocurrency and blockchain go hand in hand toward a world of transparency and awareness.

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


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Bitcoin News is growing fast. To reach our global audience, send us a news tip or submit a press release. Let’s work together to help inform the citizens of Earth (and beyond) about this new, important and amazing information network that is Bitcoin.

The post The Daily: Complicated Crypto Purchasing Puts Off US Investors, Analysis Confirms – ICOs Spike appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Switzerland’s First Trial Municipal Vote Using Blockchain is a Success!

Trial Municipal Vote using blockchain

Yesterday saw a successful day in Zug — Switzerland’s “Crypto Valley”, as the city completed its first trial municipal vote using blockchain. The success was first reported by the Swiss News Agency.

Trial Municipal Vote Using Blockchain

The vote was held using a trial digital ID system; city authorities used this system since 2017 to issue digital identities to residents. Blockchain technology for governance has been a consideration in many jurisdictions for some time now.

A mobile app was used to place votes and also allowed for residents with digital IDs to give opinions ...

Get latest cryptocurrency news on bitcoin, ethereum, initial coin offerings, ICOs, ethereum and all other cryptocurrencies. Learn How to trade on cryptocurrency exchanges.

All content provided by Crypto Currency News is subject to our Terms Of Use and Disclaimer.

Switzerland: Blockchain will “Penetrate Our Entire Economy”

Blockchain in Switzerland

Blockchain in Switzerland: It seems that blockchain technology is expected to infiltrate Switzerland’s economy even more-so. Already, the Alpine nation has been known as quite the hot-spot for all things cryptocurrency. But this time it seems that the technology behind blockchain specifically, allows for a real push in technological advancement for the nation.

Johann N. Schneider-Ammann on Blockchain in Switzerland

At the Crypto Valley Conference in Bern, Swiss Federal Councillor Johann N. Schneider-Ammann, stated:

“Hardly anyone still doubts that blockchain will penetrate our entire economy.”

A transcript from the event was published ...

Get latest cryptocurrency news on bitcoin, ethereum, initial coin offerings, ICOs, ethereum and all other cryptocurrencies. Learn How to trade on cryptocurrency exchanges.

All content provided by Crypto Currency News is subject to our Terms Of Use and Disclaimer.

Swiss Crypto Company Acquires License to Distribute Funds to Investors

Swiss Crypto Company Acquires License to Distribute Funds to Investors

Crypto Fund AG has been granted a license to distribute funds on behalf of “qualified investors” in Switzerland. The permission has been issued by the country’s financial market regulator, FINMA. The firm also seeks approval for another crypto-related service.

Also read: Zug Tests Blockchain to Decide on Fireworks and Digital IDs

First Point of Contact for Crypto Assets

Swiss Crypto Company Acquires License to Distribute Funds to InvestorsCrypto Fund AG, a Zug-based subsidiary of the Swiss Crypto Finance Group (CFG), has received a license to distribute collective investment schemes to qualified investors, Reuters reported. According to an announcement by CFG, this is the first time a crypto business is granted such permission by the authorities in Switzerland.

The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) confirmed the decision. However, the financial watchdog did not specify if this was in fact the first license of this kind.

According to another important clarification in the report, the permission does not mean the firm is allowed to operate as an asset manager for crypto funds. Nevertheless, the acquired license is a deliberate step, as confirmed by the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Jan Brzezek:

Getting the FINMA license is a big step in the right direction to establish us as the first point of contact for crypto assets.

Crypto Fund AG is also seeking another permission from financial regulators in Switzerland. This one would allow it to create a passive investment vehicle tracking a bench marked index of up to 10 of the most liquid cryptocurrency assets and digital tokens on the market. The index is calculated and maintained by Swiss bourse SIX.

Crypto-Friendly Nation with Positive Attitude

Getting the FINMA license is a big step in the right direction to establish us as the first point of contact for crypto assets.In recent years, Switzerland has established itself as a crypto-friendly jurisdiction. The country has its “Crypto Valley” in the canton of Zug, where Crypto Fund AG is registered. Many other crypto and blockchain businesses are either headquartered or represented there, including companies like the Chinese mining giant Bitmain. The Alpine nation has been considering the possibility to issue a state-backed cryptocurrency, although its central bank has admitted through an official that private digital currencies are better than any state-issued coin.

Businesses from the traditional financial sector have also benefited from the positive regulatory attitude of Swiss authorities. Hypothekarbank Lenzburg, a legacy financial institution, recently announced it was offering bank accounts to crypto companies, as news.Bitcoin.com reported. The bank’s management expressed desire to work with the young crypto sector, speaking of that as a “matter of credibility.”

Getting the FINMA license is a big step in the right direction to establish us as the first point of contact for crypto assets.But not only the private fintech industry and financial sector are interested in cryptocurrencies and the underlying distributed ledger technology. The fully state-owned Swiss Federal Railways, for example, has been selling bitcoin to its passengers for almost two years at over 1,000 ticket vending machines.

And the city of Zug, home of the Crypto Valley, is accepting payments in bitcoin and ether for municipal services, including company registrations. Authorities there are also planning to conduct a blockchain-based vote on questions of local importance.

Do you think Swiss regulators will issue more licenses for crypto-related financial services in the near future? Tell us in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Financial Club, National Police of Ukraine.


Make sure you do not miss any important Bitcoin-related news! Follow our news feed any which way you prefer; via Twitter, Facebook, Telegram, RSS or email (scroll down to the bottom of this page to subscribe). We’ve got daily, weekly and quarterly summaries in newsletter form. Bitcoin never sleeps. Neither do we.

The post Swiss Crypto Company Acquires License to Distribute Funds to Investors appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Bitcoin News is growing fast. To reach our global audience, send us a news tip or submit a press release. Let’s work together to help inform the citizens of Earth (and beyond) about this new, important and amazing information network that is Bitcoin.

The post Bitcoin in Brief Wednesday: Zug Tests Blockchain to Decide on Fireworks and Digital IDs appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Switzerland’s ‘Crypto Valley’ Set To Test Blockchain Voting

Residents of the Swiss city, Zug, will use the city’s eID system to vote using their smartphones this month as part of a blockchain based voting test, according to the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation. From June 25 to July 1, residents will download an app to register to vote. The city, home to what’s known as … Continued

The post Switzerland’s ‘Crypto Valley’ Set To Test Blockchain Voting appeared first on CCN

Switzerland Shows the Way: Bank First to Offer Crypto Business Accounts

Switzerland Shows the Way: Bank First to Offer Crypto Business Accounts

Switzerland’s legacy bank, Hypothekarbank Lenzburg, announced this week it was accepting cryptocurrency related businesses as account holders, something many legacy financial institutions outright refuse. Long viewed as a progressive society way ahead of its time, the Swiss are once again leading, … this time it’s doing so in the crypto revolution.

Also read: Fidelity Investments Hints at Entering Cryptocurrency Exchange Space

150 Year Old Bank in Switzerland Opens to Crypto Businesses

Switzerland’s mortgage bank Hypothekarbank Lenzburg CEO Marianne Wildi explained, “As a bank that sets itself up technologically and pursues a cooperative strategy in the field of fintech, it is also a matter of credibility to work together with the young sector of crypto and blockchain companies in Switzerland.” Its earliest iteration can be traced back 150 years, and has since morphed into a mortgage, retail, and a private banking services provider, acting locally while being publicly listed.

Switzerland Shows the Way: Bank First to Offer Crypto Business Accounts
Hypothekarbank Lenzburg CEO Marianne Wildi

The Swiss were among the earliest to really see crypto’s potential, becoming a mecca for those interested in the technology and incubating startups along the way. As a rival to the US’s Silicon Valley, an area in Zug has been deemed Crypto Valley for its broad enthusiasm of the phenomenon. Even so, in announcing its new policy Hypothekarbank Lenzburg is the country’s first bank to welcome crypto businesses.

Regional media quoted Ms. Wildi as explaining how much thought went into changing their policy, suggesting guidance came from the country’s relatively permissive regulator, the Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA). In perhaps in an effort to assuage board members’ fears, she also was sure to the extensive vetting that goes into accepting crypto businesses as clients.

Could be a Trend

Prior to Hypothekarbank going all in, the financial community dabbled along the edges of crypto-related business support. Falcon Private Bank, for example, made headlines last year by vaguely interacting with “crypto asset management.” Bank Frick of Liechtenstein continues to offer to its customers cold storage and top coin access such as bitcoin cash, bitcoin core, litecoin, ether, and ripple.Switzerland Shows the Way: Bank First to Offer Crypto Business Accounts

Ms. Wildi elaborated on just how their new police would shake out, more or less handing over the task to contractor Geissbühler, Weber & Partner AG. “They already have a lot of cryptographic know-how and analyze customer inquiries about the legal consequences and backgrounds,” she assured. “After due diligence they give us a recommendation, and the decision then follows. It’s true that the customer review process is more involved in such relationships, but it does not make any difference to other customer relationships insofar as compliance processes have to work flawlessly anyway.”

Do you think more countries will follow Switzerland’s lead? Let us know in the comments. 


Images via the Pixabay.


Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi’s Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

The post Switzerland Shows the Way: Bank First to Offer Crypto Business Accounts appeared first on Bitcoin News.

PR: Particl Releases Their Privacy Focused Decentralized Marketplace

Particl Releases Their Privacy Focused Decentralized Marketplace

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.

Zug, Switzerland – Particl, an open-source project building privacy focused decentralized applications, has released the Alpha MVP version of their Particl Marketplace – a disruptive way to buy and sell goods online. Released May 31st, 2018, the marketplace is a new featured application within the project’s flagship application, Particl Desktop.

Particl’s decentralized marketplace is private by design and is a highly scalable and secure solution for e-commerce. Built to be a trustless solution – in a sea of online shopping sites with go-between intermediaries and fees – that has privacy at its core instead of as an after thought.

The Alpha release of Particl Marketplace is a minimal viable product (MVP) that showcases simple steps for shoppers and vendors to transact in a truly peer-to-peer (P2P) setting without any third-party interaction. Even the Particl escrow solution is only between a buyer and seller, which is controlled by a multi-signature contract instead of a moderator like competing decentralized marketplaces.

Future releases of the Particl Marketplace will transition from testnet to mainnet as features such as Governance, more cryptocurrencies, ratings, reviews and Ring Confidential Transactions (RingCT) get designed into the platform. PART, the native privacy coin of Particl, is the only coin built on Bitcoin’s latest codebase (0.16) to use Confidential Transactions to obfuscate transaction amounts.

The team’s implementation of RingCT is currently being reviewed thanks to a grant to the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). Ultimately, all transactions running through the Particl privacy platform, including the Particl Marketplace, will leverage RingCT to provide the highest level of privacy to both shoppers and vendors.

Also expected in a future Beta release of Particl Marketplace is a Governance system that gives full, decentralized control to the users of the platform. Not yet implemented, this is one of the main differences between Alpha and Beta. While neither the Particl team nor the Particl Foundation currently has any control to remove listings or vendors on the marketplace, the testing environment allows a reboot option if necessary. Once on mainnet, a decentralized, self-governing mechanism will be in place to allow users to report, vote on and kick off any bad actors abusing the Particl Marketplace.

About Particl
Particl is a decentralized platform with a native suite of tools to enhance and protect your online privacy. Still less than one year old, Particl has added a number of firsts to the protocol’s basecode (Bitcoin 0.16). These include Confidential Transactions, Ring Confidential Transactions and PoS Cold Staking where all coins are safely stored offline while dedicated online staking nodes – which hold no PART – work on their behalf within a multi-signature contract. Particl Marketplace is the project’s MVP and is private by design.

Contact Email Address
paul@particl.io
Supporting Link
https://particl.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.

The post PR: Particl Releases Their Privacy Focused Decentralized Marketplace appeared first on Bitcoin News.

PR: Patientory Stiftung Joins the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance

Patientory Stiftung Joins the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance

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.

Zug, Switzerland – Patientory Stiftung, a Swiss-based global nonprofit healthcare organization founded to educate and connect adopters of PTOY blockchain, a HIPAA-compliant blockchain that securely stores and manages health information in real time, today announced that it has joined the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA), the world’s largest open source blockchain initiative.

As a member of the EEA, Patientory Stiftung will collaborate with industry leaders in pursuit of ethereum-based enterprise technology best practices, open standards, and open-source reference architectures. Patientory Stiftung brings these industry leaders together at its Inaugural Blockchain in Healthcare Summit – North America on May 31, 2018. At that time it will also launch and make available the private, permissioned blockchain testnet network, PTOYNet.

“Patientory Stiftung foresees an exciting future for blockchain in the healthcare industry and is thrilled to merge the benefits of the EEA and its other members with what will happen next,” said Mohsen Shafaei, Managing Director of the Patientory Stiftung. “The EEA’s resources will play an integral role in making our vision a reality and we look forward to learning about Ethereum and leveraging its technology to benefit everyone.”

With more than 500 member companies, the EEA membership base represents a wide variety of business sectors from every region of the world, including technology, banking, government, healthcare, energy, pharmaceuticals, marketing, and insurance. The EEA’s industry-focused, member-driven working groups are each tasked with creating and delivering specific advancements to the development and use of ethereum-based technologies.

About The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance
The EEA is an industry-supported, not-for-profit established to build, promote, and broadly support Ethereum-based technology best practices, open standards, and open-source reference architectures. The EEA is helping to evolve Ethereum into an enterprise-grade technology, providing research and development in a range of areas, including privacy, confidentiality, scalability, and security. The EEA is also investigating hybrid architectures that span both permissioned and public Ethereum networks as well as industry-specific application layer working groups.

EEA will collectively develop open industry standards and facilitate collaboration with its member base and is open to any members of the Ethereum community who wish to participate. This open-source framework will enable the mass adoption at a depth and breadth otherwise unachievable in individual corporate silos and provide insight into the future of scalability, privacy, and confidentiality of the public Ethereum permissionless network. For additional information about joining EEA, please reach out to membership@entethalliance.org or visit www.entethalliance.org.

About Patientory Stiftung
The Patientory Stiftung, a global nonprofit healthcare blockchain organization connects healthcare industry adopters of the PTOY blockchain. The PTOY blockchain securely stores and manages health information in real time, and such storage and management is facilitated by a blockchain based token (called “PTOY”). The Patientory Stiftung facilitates the development of standards that are essential to the implementation and adoption of the PTOY platform and token in securely protecting and managing healthcare information. Such standards are necessary for interoperability and auditability and for transparency purposes. These activities will help ensure the safety, reliability and usability of the use of the PTOY platform by its members and the general public, a prerequisite to the wide acceptance of the PTOY platform as a viable means of transacting business by the public and the acceptance of the industry as a whole. To learn more, visit www.ptoy.org.

Contact Email Address
nk@kasakmedia.com
Supporting Link
https://ptoy.org/inaugural2018/

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.

The post PR: Patientory Stiftung Joins the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance appeared first on Bitcoin News.