Category: ICOs

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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.

 

Are you looking for ICO Legal Advice? Click this link to know more.

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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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Paris welcomed a Fintech conference organised by Smile expo in the wake of new decentralised technologies

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, ICOs, Malta, E&S Group, Technology, Tokenomics, Tokens, Wallet

Paris welcomed a Fintech conference organised by Smile expo in the wake of new decentralised technologies

 

A few days after France welcomed their World Cup heroes flooding the streets of Paris with loud cheers and enthusiasm, Smile expo organised their ‘Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference’ in Paris. The event was held on the 18th July discussing various topics in relation to Fintech, blockchain and crypto sector. One of E&S Group representatives attended the conference which welcomed many foreign entrepreneurs from the blockchain industry.

The Smile expo is a Russian company which organises events in different cities around the world. Most of these conferences are B2B events combing exhibitions and conferences with regards to Fintech, Blockchain and Bitcoin titled events. The last event that Smile expo organised was the Blockchain and Bitcoin conference which took place in Paris, France. During the event, many key speakers participated in discussions and speeches at the conference. The discussions which were brought up were about new fintech technologies in the market, what is the French position regarding blockchain and crypto-assets and ICOs, GDPR and Blockchain and if they can work hand in hand, and Blockchain and the enterprises, to name a few.

If you would like legal assistance in building up your ICO venture, contact E&S Group today. Our legal and accounts team will assist and advise you from concept stage through your actual offering. Send us an email on [email protected] or by telephone 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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A new study showing DLT companies falling short of the mark

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, ICOs, Technology, Tokens

A new study showing DLT companies falling short of the mark

The University of Pennsylvania in collaboration with Law professor David Hoffman and other leading academic figures have published an in-depth study and analysis of ICOs. With a particular focus on ICOs that promise concepts such as autonomous governance and the philosophy that “code is law”, the results have been disappointing, to say the least.

The results entitled “Coin Operated Capitalism” detail the author’s survey and study of the top ICOs of 2017 and whether they lived up to the promises that were included in their whitepapers. They also took a careful look at whether the whitepapers matched the technology’s codebase and in almost all cases, the study finds a huge gulf between claim and reality.

“The automated mechanisms found in code—known as ‘smart contracts’—are not the only way entrepreneurs can deliver on their promises,” Wishnick explained.

Failure to match promises

Results showed that only 20% of the 50 contracts surveyed actually matched their promises to code 100% of the time. Almost 60% made at least one government promise that was not present in the code, and another 20% had two or more failures.

“Surprisingly, in a community known for espousing a techno-libertarian belief in the power of ‘trustless trust’ built with carefully designed code, a significant fraction of issuers retained centralized control through previously undisclosed code permitting modification of the entities’ governing structures,” the working paper explains.

Creative development

In the conclusion of the paper, the authors state that the informal nature of smart-contract production can lead to risks but it can also result in creativity. It seems that developers of smart contracts are much more creative than a group of lawyers who usually reuse language from contract to contract without much thought. However, the study does state that the community is full of passion and energy but it also points out that the creation of smart contracts and the promises made must be carefully evaluated and fully scrutinised.

“Beyond the production of smart contracts and blockchain code, our study also highlights the importance of the ecosystem through which crypto code is vetted, audited, and made legible to the outside world,” the paper concludes.

Engaging a professional team

There are several reasons for this sort of result. Because the industry is still in its infancy, it could be attributed to a lack of experience and understanding. It could also be said that some do not yet fully understand the potential of the projects that they create and that such errors are nothing more than a mistake. There could also be problems regarding how the whitepaper is authored, such as a lack of understanding from the person writing it. To avoid such issues, when writing a whitepaper and planning the tokenomics of your ICO, you should always work in conjunction with a team of professionals.

At E&S Group we have expert legal minds, corporate services experts, leaders in the ICO and crypto industry and guide you through the process of setting up your ICO through the tailor-made ICO Legal Service. To avoid situations like these unfortunate ICOs, contact us on [email protected] or by telephone on: +356 2010 3020

 

 

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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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Why are white papers important for DLT companies?

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, ICOs, Smart Contracts, Technology, Tokens, Utility Tokens, Security Tokens, White Paper

Why are white papers important for DLT companies?

White papers have always been a very effective way of marketing and promoting virtual currencies. Back in 2008 when Bitcoin first launched, it was marketed through its own white paper that was said to be penned by Satoshi Nakamoto. Since those early days, almost every project on the market has been introduced via a comprehensive white paper, and now, in some jurisdictions such as Malta, this is actually a legal requirement.

Now, when the developer of an ICO is considering marketing, they have much more advanced methods at their disposal such as webinars, social media, and animated presentations. This does not mean, however, that the importance of a white paper should be discarded.

The purpose of a white paper

A white paper is a definitive guide to a project that gives the investor all of the information they will need to make a decision whether to invest or not. The main aim is to present a problem that exists within a particular sector, and then explain how the developer and the project will solve it.

The paper will also incorporate the philosophy of the company including its rationale for why it is needed a well as clearly illustrating how the model will make money.

A white paper needs to share the following information about the business:

  • The long-term goals of the company and the vision of the project
  • A problem that exists within a particular sector or market
  • A solution to the problem
  • Information on the founders, ambassadors, advisors and anyone else involved in the project
  • Information about the business
  • Technical information about how the problem can be solved
  • The tokenomics of the ICO itself

Why is a white paper important?

The truth is that very few companies will be able to hold a successful ICO without a good white paper to present with it. This paper needs to explain the scope of the project in detail but also in a way that is accessible and understandable. By creating a document that can be freely distributed, it can reach those that may not have access to a webinar or conference.

A serious investor is not going to waste time and money investing in a project that lacks the basic information on its technology. The same idea applies in presenting information to the developers and the founders of the project.

If there is no white paper, or the white paper is badly written or missing key information, most will assume that the ICO is not legitimate and it will raise a number of red flags.

How to create your own white paper

But writing a good white paper is not easy as the author has to strike a careful balance between legal compliance, being technical but accessible, and providing all of the information required in a way that is easy to read and interesting. In most cases, it is not something that a developer can write in a couple of days- it requires the input of a professional.

At E&S Group we are able analysed your white paper with the appropriate format and technical details needed.  Our team of lawyers, marketing experts, writers, and ICO specialists are on hand to ensure that your white paper ticks all of the right boxes and will be of interest to all of the right people. Send 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.

E&S GROUP IS PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THAT ITS CLIENT CRYPTOSOUK HAS LAUNCHED ITS PRE-TOKEN SALE.

 

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: https://cryptosouk.io/en/ico

 

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 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’.

For more information click the link.

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