Category: Cryptocurrency Exchange

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Virtual Currencies are increasing in value

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, ICOs, Smart Contracts, Cryptocurrency Exchange, Payments, Bitcoin, Regulation, Ethereum, Ripple, Market, Market Cap

Virtual Currencies are increasing in value

For the first time in two months, the value of Bitcoin has exceeded $8200 and it seems that slowly but surely the value of the world’s most popular cryptocurrency is regaining some of the strength that it had before the spectacular crash of January 2018.

In July, the value spiked rather suddenly and it value started to creep towards the price it reached two months ago at $7502. But what is causing its price to grow? Here are five reasons why?

Facebook and Google relax their rules

When news broke that both Google and Facebook had relaxed their rules around advertising cryptocurrencies and related products on their platforms. Coinbase, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world is now allowed to advertise its services on Facebook and Google has now listed the top cryptocurrencies in its exchange rate converted. This newly founded web visibility and a significant vote of confidence from the world’s largest tech giants has undoubtedly had a positive effect on the value of BTC.

The possibility of a BTC ETF

Another big vote of confidence for BTC was the announcement from the Chicago Board Options Exchange that they had sought approval for a Bitcoin ETF. This request from one of the most well-known exchanges comes at the same time as a number of similar requests from other leading big names. Whether or not the application will be approved, remains to be seen but in the meantime, this news is believed to have helped create the surge in value that we are seeing today.

Approval from big institutions

Some of the world’s leading banks such as JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs have started showing more and more interest in cryptocurrencies. At one time, leading figures in the industry were quick to criticise and dismiss the technology, but it appears that the tides have turned. The fact that such prominent names have shown interest in investing in and utilising the technology has been a big boost for the industry as a whole.

Regulatory changes

Following in the footsteps of Malta that recently introduced three new Acts that would support the growth and development of cryptocurrencies, ICOs and blockchain technology, more and more jurisdictions are considering changing their approach. The market has suffered from a lack of regulation or unclear laws which has lead to confusion, abuse, and crippling of cryptocurrencies value. Now the US Chamber of Commerce along with the SEC and CFTC are working on creating a better regulatory environment, crypto is set to thrive.

It’s summer!

The price of BTC seems to surge every summer and 2018 is no exception. Whilst the leap of 2017 was the largest so far, before that we saw considerable upswings during the summer season. So far, the level of growth in 2018 pales in comparison to previous years, we still have August to go and considering points 1-4, we could be in for a pleasant surprise.

If you have invested in Bitcoin or are considering doing so, contact one of our team today to ensure that you are making the best out of your investment and that you are in compliance with all applicable fiscal regulations.


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Changpeng Zhao explains the three keys to virtual currency success

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, ICOs, Technology, Trading, Cryptocurrency Exchange, Exchanges

Changpeng Zhao explains the three keys to virtual currency success

Just over one year ago, Changpeng Zhao founded a cryptocurrency exchange that just 365 days later would be the biggest crypto exchange in the world. Getting a coin listed on a leading exchange such as Binance is the holy grail of the crypto world, almost guaranteeing success in the market. But how do exchanges such as his decision which make the cut and which do not? Here are three things Zhao looks for before adding it to the platform.

A winning whitepaper

In order to fully understand a project, you need to look at the whitepaper in detail as well as understand it clearly. Zhao and his team will also put significant work into researching the community, the source code on GitHub, as well as reading community reviews.

A good team

Having a strong team is essential to the success of any project, but Zhao is also looking for a team that has history, ability, and experience within the sector. Whilst it can be difficult to predict what way a project will go, having a well-rounded idea of who is behind it can give a very good indication.

A good number of users

You are not going to get listed on Binance if only 10 people are using your product. What is the use in offering trading pairs if there is no volume or demand? Binance will actually check and monitor the number of users and whilst there is no set benchmark, if the project is a good one and a high number of people are involved, your chances of getting listed are high.

Changpeng also was quick to dispel rumours that he charges to list coins on the platform, stating:

“What we do is we don’t negotiate, and we don’t ask for a price. The project team, when they submit an application, they tell us what they want to pay. And you can say zero, which we will accept. And we have listed coins that have said zero. You have to have a good product, a good service. I think our service is ok. To be honest, it’s not perfect. I really want to improve it. But I think in the industry, we’re kind of good compared to others. But I think the other big thing is your ethical behaviour.”

As well as these three key things, Zhao is also careful to only back legitimate projects. Aware that there is a lot of underhand and dubious things going on in the cryptocurrency space, he wants to retain their position as the most ethical and powerful exchange out there. They are careful about who they partner with because whoever he supports, gets catapulted into a popularity of stratospheric proportions.


Interested in ICOs Legislation in Malta? Contact us directly on +356 20103020 or by email at [email protected] to find out more.

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MFSA published the ‘Guidance note to the Financial Instrument Test.’

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, ICOs, Malta, E&S Group, Cryptocurrency Exchange, Tokens, Financial Instrument Test

MFSA published the ‘Guidance note to the Financial Instrument Test.’


On Tuesday 24th July, Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA), published the ‘Guidance note to the Financial Instrument Test’. This report discusses, what the Financial Instrument test entails, with step by step procedures as established by the authority. The Virtual Financial Assets (VFA) Agents need to follow these set of rules to identify which category the ICO in question fall under. The three categories as identified by the VFAA Act are 1) Virtual Tokens, 2) Virtual Financial Assets or 3) Financial Instrument. These rules can be accessed on the authority website which is drafted on an Excel sheet and PDF format.

These issues were further discussed in a conference MFSA organised in the wake of these regulations. The conference was held on Wednesday 25th July, discussing the Financial Instrument Test published by the authority. A lawyer specialising in ICOs from E&S Group attended the conference, to understand what is required by VFA Agents. The conference spoke about various ways on what is expected by the VFA Agent to adhere to when conducting these tests. When the tests are concluded the authority has to have a copy of the results established by the agent.

If you require further information regarding these regulations contact us by sending an email on [email protected] or by phone on +356 2010 3020. We make things happen!

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Malta – at the centre of the Distributed Ledger Technology

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, ICOs, Malta, Law, DLT Regulation, Smart Contracts, E&S Group, Technology, Cryptocurrency Exchange, Tokens, VFA Act

Malta – at the centre of the Distributed Ledger Technology

In the light of the new blockchain laws presented by the government of Malta, many fintech organisations praised the government’s progressive approach to these set regulations. The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprises and Industry organised an interesting and detailed conference titled; ‘Blockchain: The New Regulatory Framework.’ E&S Group employees attended this conference to understand more about the three laws soon to be in force.

The Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation, Hon. Silvio Schembri opened up the panel. He spoke about how Malta is becoming a Blockchain Island soon implementing laws that will ensure a safe crypto market on the island. Various influential people coming from various financial sectors spoke about the importance of blockchain technology. The discussion revolved around how the laws will help Malta in the sphere and being a trailblazer in the industry.

Many stakeholders coming from various industries in particular finance, legal, and IT attended the conference. Many interesting points came up during the discussions which brought about how private institutions are reacting to Malta’s DLT shift. In fact, some Maltese banks are welcoming ICOs as their clients. A bank, in particular, AgriBank has started to open up bank accounts to ICO clients. However, they have not started to accept cryptocurrency trading as it is still a bit of a grey area. Strict due diligence procedures also need to be followed by MLRO, making sure that all necessary AML procedures are in place. In addition, an MFSA representative spoke about the Financial Instrument test, VFA agents need to adhere to, presenting their final findings to the authority.

Since the industry is still in its initial stages, AML procedures need to be processed. In fact, the FIAU will have an important role to safeguard Malta’s reputation, seizing fraudulent companies from operating in Malta.


Are you looking for the best country to operate your ICO? Is Malta on your list and wish to know more what it offers? Check out the link here or send us an email on [email protected] or by calling us on +356 2010 3020. We make things happen!

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E&S Group participated in a conference organised by Malta Institute of Management.

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, ICOs, Malta, The Blockchain Island, Smart Contracts, E&S Group, Technology, Cryptocurrency Exchange, Tokenomics, Regulation, Tokens

E&S Group participated in a conference organised by Malta Institute of Management

On the 26th of June, the Malta Institute of Management (MIM), organised a day conference titled; “The MIM Cryptocurrency Considerations for Management Conference”. The conference invited Maltese stakeholders that have a keen interest and are contributing to the blockchain sphere. The main topics discussed focused on cryptocurrencies in relation to businesses, how to avoid fraudsters stealing your cryptos, why tokens need to be regulated, and the Malta Stock Exchange outlook towards ICOs.

During the event, a discussion was organised inviting influential stakeholders from the crypto and blockchain sphere in Malta. Tokenomics expert and E&S Group director, Karl Schranz took part in a panel discussion titled: “Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain”. They discussed if cryptocurrencies and blockchain should be regarded as one or two separate entities.

The topics which came out from this discussion were notably about the new laws that Malta will pass in the coming weeks, cementing its way to become “The Blockchain Island”.

If you require further information regarding Malta’s laws in DLT, ICOs and Blockchain technology, contact us by sending us an email on [email protected] or by telephone on +356 2010 3020

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CryptoSouk has launched its Pre-Token Sale – Your Gateway to the Crypto World.

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, ICOs, Malta, The Blockchain Island, E&S Group, Technology, Trading, Cryptocurrency Exchange, New ICO - Crypto Souk

CryptoSouk has launched its Pre-Token Sale – Your Gateway to the Crypto World.



CryptoSouk is dedicated to making digital currency trading accessible, fast and totally secure. Their CryptoSouk platform aims to make digital currency trading accessible to everyone and for traders of every skill level. CryptoSouk will execute quick trading, fair pricing, world-class customer service, endless improvement and limitless creativity. CryptoSouk are in their initial stages to provide their token sale to their clients, launching their token called, Souk.

E&S Group is pleased to be advising and supporting this innovative project, assisting traders to collect their digital assets through the CryptoSouk platform. To learn more about CryptoSouk, please visit their website:


Planning an ICO or simply want more information on ICOs, Blockchain or Crypto? Click here to read more about ICOs or contact us on [email protected].


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How digital exchanges work

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Technology, Cryptocurrency Exchange, Market, Market Cap, Exchanges

How digital exchanges work

It seems that everyone is using cryptocurrency exchanges, but if you are someone that is new to the whole concept, you might be a little confused. In this guide, will give you a full, clear, and succinct explanation of what cryptocurrency exchanges are and how they work.

Put simply, a cryptocurrency exchange allows the exchange of one cryptocurrency for another, the exchange of a cryptocurrency into fiat currency or vice versa, or the buying and selling of cryptocurrency.

A cryptocurrency exchange will typically set the rate of each currency – both coins and tokens and the rate will usually depend on the actions of the buyers or sellers as well as various other factors that can impact the price.

Different cryptocurrency exchanges will have different options; some are made for traders whereas some are made for prompt crypto-fiat exchange, others are made for regular traders where you can buy crypto and sell them for a lower fee than on a typical crypto to fiat exchange. Most trading platforms also charge an additional fee depending on the amount of money that you are withdrawing from the account.

A cryptocurrency exchange works in much the same way as a regular stock exchange but the difference is that on a stock exchange, a trader will buy and sell assets whereas, on a crypto exchange, a trader will use crypto pairs to profit from their volatile value rates.

What are cryptocurrency pairs?

A cryptocurrency pair allows you to gain profit from the changing rate of the currency as is the main business for crypto traders.

When considering a trading pair, the order of the currencies in that pair is always relevant.  For example, if you think that ETH will increase in value against the USD, then you should buy the ETH/USD pair, ensuring that ETH is in the first place, with USD second. If you believe that ETH will fall against USD then you should pick a USD/ETH pair.

Some of the most popular exchanges actually avoid using fiat money altogether and only offer pairs in cryptocurrency. The most popular of the crypto-crypto pairs are BTC/LTC or LTC/BTC as well as ETH/BTC and BTC/ETH.

Why do some cryptocurrency exchanges have different prices?

This is because exchanges are completely independent of each other meaning that prices will vary depending on the buy and sell activity of each one.

Each exchange will calculate the price of Bitcoin depending on the volume of its own trades as well as the rate of supply and demand from customers. This means that the bigger the exchange, the more market-relevant the price that you are able to benefit from.

When it comes to BTC, there is no such thing as a stable or fair price for BTC or any other coin- it is always decided by the market at the exact moment. Many news portals and sites such as Google will use the aggregate price of BTC and other cryptocurrencies. Some portals such as Cointelegraph will use its own price index for crypto coins which is calculated as the average price of each coin based on the prices over 27 of the leading exchanges.

Is it possible to profit from price differences across different exchanges?

In a nutshell, yes it is but it would only be a small profit and may not even cover the exchange fees.

If you compare the price of BTC across five exchanges at the same time on any given day, the chances are that you will only see a price difference of around one or two percent. This difference may go up to even 5% on an active trading day that experiences high volumes- usually, the volume goes up a lot each time that the prices dramatically rise or fall.

If you are planning to sell your Bitcoins on one exchange for a higher price and then buy them back on another at a cheaper price just be sure that the fees do not surpass the difference in value. More often than not, it is not worth it.

So where do I start trading?

You will need to get your hands on some cryptocurrencies first.

First up, you will need to start your own account at a cryptocurrency exchange. Then you will need to transfer an initial amount of money into the account but be aware that many exchanges do not accept USD or EUR as a domestic currency.

Instead you will need to buy cryptocurrency and then transfer it to the address that your exchange provides you. You may find a few platforms that accept fiat currency or credit cards but these are not particularly common.

If you don’t have enough money to make the trades that you want to make, you can borrow from the exchange. This is known as margin trading but be sure to know what you are doing and don’t get yourself into a situation that you cannot afford!


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Digital Currency prices go through the roof following announcement from IBM

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Technology, Cryptocurrency Exchange, Bitcoin, Tokens, Wallet, Ethereum, Market, Market Cap

Digital Currency prices go through the roof following announcement from IBM

IBM has just announced a new partnership with a fintech start-up called Stronghold in an aim to become more involved in the world of cryptocurrency.

Whilst the tech giant actively involves itself in blockchain technology, until now they have not shown a particular interest in cryptocurrency. In conjunction with Stronghold, they aim to explore the possibility of using Stablecoin which would be pegged to the US Dollar so it would be able to mitigate volatility.

According to the official press release, the cryptocurrency will be called Stronghold USD and will be backed by the US Dollar. The reserves will be held by a blockchain focussed asset manager, Prime Trust.

IBM will then experiment with virtual currencies to explore the potential of the technology as well as seeing how it could be used to help banks and other financial entities, without taking too much of a risk.

Whilst Stablecoin is supposed to be immutable to the volatility that other cryptocurrencies experience, there is a bit of controversy around the way that it is tethered. There are some that believe it was used to manipulate the price of Bitcoin during its bull run towards the end of 2017.

The news of IBM’s foray into the crypto world may have been responsible for an enormous spike in the value of BTC- as much as $20 billion in 24 hours. A single BTC skyrocketed to over $7000 with around 9% gains on a day to day basis. At the time of writing, Ethereum, the world’s second largest coin had reached an important hurdle of $500 per Ether. Ripple has also seen increases of around 6.5% and is trading at $0.5100.


To learn more about ICO Legal Services in Malta please follow this link.

Contact us directly on +356 20103020 or by email at [email protected] to find out more.

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How does a P2P decentralised exchange work?

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Technology, Cryptocurrency Exchange

How does a P2P decentralised exchange work?

A Peer-to-Peer decentralised exchange works completely dependent on the software that powers it. All aspects of the exchange are operated and maintained via this platform and there is no additional requirement for a third party to facilitate trade or establish trust. All transactions operating in a decentralised manner are verified by cryptography, thus removing the need for a third-party intermediary.

A cryptocurrency exchange is a marketplace where both buyers and sellers are able to conduct transactions. For example, someone selling Bitcoin is able to use the address of the exchange to deposit their Bitcoins and they are also able to use this balance to sell their Bitcoins for other cryptocurrencies or fiat currencies. Someone looking to buy anything on the exchange would deposit their money onto the exchange and then use it to purchase coins from sellers. This way a direct merchant-customer relationship is established without the need for a government authority or centralised bank to facilitate any step of the process, meaning a significant reduction in fees. The lack of need for an intermediary also means that the processing time is significantly less and for these reasons, decentralised exchanges are increasing in popularity with more and more people and institutions as well as some governments, exploring this new and interesting concept.

Evolution of P2P exchanges

Unfortunately, at the present time, not that many physical stores or outlets accept cryptocurrencies as a legal form of payment for their services. Due to this, online exchanges have been the primary source of transactions in the cryptocurrency sector. These exchanges act as a platform for people to make a connection between crypto and real-world economies.

Prevention of fraud

When you make a transaction with fiat currency, these are refundable and reversible. This is not the case for cryptocurrencies and in cases where an individual buys a crypto coin such as Bitcoin in exchange for fiat currency, they could ask their bank for a refund. This would result in the seller receiving absolutely nothing and for this reason, cryptocurrency exchanges employ different methods to avoid this type of fraud. For example, Coinffeine, a very well-known decentralised P2P Bitcoin exchange, requires the two involved parties to make a deposit before the trade is initiated. This deposit is held in the same way as a security deposit, ensuring that no scam will take place. Once the transaction has been initiated, processed and logged onto the blockchain without any issues, the deposit is returned back to the payer. Another startup also known as LocalBitcoins even allows the two parties to meet in person. Whilst, of course, there are geographical constraints, the option is still there for those that wish to avail themselves of it.

Advantages of P2P exchange

Whilst a single point of control does offer quicker trading solutions, it also means that there are often fees to pay for the convenience. There is also the issue of attack or failure of this central point which would result in the working and trading of the entire network. By removing the need for a single point of authority, a decentralised P2P exchange can provide high resistance to transaction censorship. Even if a part of the network is required to shut down its operations, the rest of the network can function without it. This means that there is no point of control that can be pressurised resulting in the shut down of the whole network.


If you have any questions in relation to ICOs, please contact us on [email protected]

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How DLT can provide a good global payments solution

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, ICOs, Technology, Cryptocurrency Exchange, Tokens, Utility Tokens, Security Tokens

How DLT can provide a good global payments solution

The debate continues to rage regarding the potential benefits of blockchain technology and their role in improving the world of international payments.

At the moment, this is a business where many different parties need to reach a consensus in order to route payments, execute currency conversions, and manage liquidity in different jurisdictions. All of these are subject to volatility, change, and regulatory constraints.

The complexity of existing payment networks

One of the big issues that blockchain is capable of solving is the actual complexity of the payments network due to the inherent fragmentation of the financial industry itself. This makes it very impractical for individual banks or financial institutions to deal directly with any other banks in the world.

For example, when a bank receives instructions to make a payment from a client, it needs to first find a correspondent bank that is willing to accept the clients’ funds before terminating the payment locally at the receiving bank. In order to do this, the correspondent bank needs to have a nostro or vostro account with the receiving bank that has enough pre-funded liquidity to complete the payment on the client’s behalf.

The receiving bank has absolutely no way of verifying the incoming transfer from the correspondent bank, rather they correspond to the client that set the moment. That is why a SWIFT message is required from the sender so that the receiving bank is able to understand the purpose of the incoming funds and carry out any AML or due diligence on the payment.

Each party that is involved in this process has a different ledger which means they do not share one, single version of the truth. The communication between these parties is slow and error-prone and can often rely on manual interventions by staff in the bank. In addition to this, someone needs to perform a currency conversion and all parties are responsible for managing liquidity levels at nostro/vostro accounts.

The idea behind blockchain is that it aims to offer the single version of the truth which is missing from the current banking system.

Smart contracts and blockchain

A smart contract-enables blockchain to provide a single ledger and transactional engine where balances can be both maintained and transacted upon this means that payments can exist as a single, common digital object that makes reconciliation totally redundant.

Through the use of smart contracts, all involved parties cannot only register their tokenised payments and funds, but they are able to lay down the rules applying to every step of the payment process. This will significantly eliminate errors and misunderstandings, whilst increasing transparency and audibility. Everything exists on the same ledger with the same smart contracts and there is no risk of tampering or fraud.

Most of these decentralised solutions that are being proposed focus on improving the payment process through digitisation and creating single, digital representations of payments that can enforce transactions on proprietary ledgers. This is a significant improvement on the standard message-driven payment processes we use at the moment.

The problem is that an issue arises when we try to scale such systems, especially when large payments are issued by corporate clients.

Overnight, fast payments have a reliance on pre-funded nostro accounts so everyone knows that the correspondent bank has the funds to terminate the payment. Whilst these accounts then need to be rebalanced over the course of the day, large sums of money need to be moved through the central bank. Once again, this is a cumbersome, slow and error-prone process, especially when compared with real-time transactions that blockchain claims it can deliver.

Digitally native tokens

The idea of having digitally native tokens that can function as a store of value within the ledger where the payments, commercial bank balances and nostro balances are stored is a revolutionary solution. These tokens can then be used to exchange liquidity between liquidity providers and markets within seconds.

This means that it is possible to also implement token based secondary markets for liquidity exchange which then enables liquidity providers to trade with each other much easier and quicker. By using tokens and smart contracts, users can even post unused liquidity in certain jurisdictions as collateral to borrow liquidity in places where it is needed.

These tokens will need to be universal and able to support the liquidity of today’s currency markets which amount to around $7 trillion per day.

The Utility Settlement Coin project comprised of Santander, BS, Deutsche Bank, Bank of New York Mellon and others, are working on an initiative where a tokenised, digital central bank currency will be created to help overcome issues within the process.

These initiatives show a positive approach to the idea and also aim to improve liquidity management for commercial banks and market makers. As the ideas continue to develop and flourish, many believe that they will become a leading enabler of the decentralised, tokenised economy that much of the world is talking about.


E&S Group is a leading law firm offering various services with regards to ICOs. Feel free to contact us directly on +356 20103020 or by email at [email protected] to find out how E&S can help you in ‘making things happen’.

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