Category: Smart Contracts

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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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Digital certificates on the DLT platform to be introduced in an Italian university

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Smart Contracts, University, Technology, Ethereum

Digital certificates on the DLT platform to be introduced in an Italian university

The University of Cagliari, Sardinia is set to join a range of other international universities that will be offering digital certificates over the blockchain. The system was introduced at the graduation session of Computer Science on the 20th of July and will be rolled out across other programmes later in the year.

The decision to switch to blockchain issuing was taken by the university following concerns around the manipulation or falsification of certificates. By using the Ethereum blockchain, the certificates become completely immutable and allow employers to hire students without any concerns over authenticity.

The Director of the University of Cagliari, Maria del Zompo said:

“We have decided to guarantee the authenticity of our graduates’ European certificates with this technology because we intend to equip them with a modern, simple and immediate tool that can be used anywhere in the world. A degree certificate, whether on paper or digital, is easily falsified or altered. Thanks to this technology, our students can guarantee the authenticity and integrity of their digital certificates to potential employers all over the world, in a simple and free manner. Our system does not require the availability of specific apps on smartphones, or access and registration to a specific site. It all takes place in a simple way and with free access tools.”

The new system will allocate one specific registration for each degree session that is unique to the student that takes it. The authenticity of it can be verified by anyone who has an internet connection and can follow the instructions provided on the website of the university. The project was developed in collaboration with FlossLab srl.

Computer Science professor, Gianni Fenu said:

“If the ‘computer signature’ of the document owned coincides with the registered one, integrity is guaranteed of the document The probability of obtaining a random coincidence is less than one divided by a number of 77 digits.”

Cagliari University joins a growing number of educational institutions across the world who have adopted similar systems. These include; Massachusetts Institute of Technology and The Indian Institute of Technology.

 

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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Three Generations of DLT Platforms

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Smart Contracts, Technology, Bitcoin

Three Generations of DLT Platforms

When we think back to the time that the internet first arrived, we can note its progress through several distinct stages. These included the launch of the first wide-area computer networks back in the 1960s, the first emails in the 1970s, the invention of the Ethernet cable a bit later on, and then the rollout of the world wide web in the 1990s. As we intrepidly followed each of these developments, the internet as we knew it changed dramatically. Each and every step was crucial to creating the pieces that would be fused together to create the internet that we use today.

Whilst blockchain technology is only a decade or so old, we can look back at its recent past and divide it into some distinct and pivotal stages. Of course, we are still in the infancy of the blockchain world and it is likely that as the years go by, it will evolve into something completely unrecognisable in terms of capacity, from what we know now. That said, we are still able to pinpoint three so-called “generations” of blockchain and they are as follows:

Bitcoin and Virtual Currencies

Whilst several individuals had come up with some of the ideas that would later develop into the blockchain, it was Satoshi Nakamoto that wrote them all down in the whitepaper for Bitcoin. Because of this, we can safely say that the true concept of blockchain began with BTC.

In the beginning, the blockchain laid the foundations for a shared public ledger that would support a digital currency network. Satoshi’s blockchain comprised of 1MB blocks of information attached to each BTC transaction and these blocks would all be linked together through a cryptographic verification process, creating a totally immutable chain. Even in its early stages, blockchain technologies basic premises are still in place today and Bitcoins blockchain is pretty much unchanged from when it was launched almost 10 years ago.

Smart Contracts

Over time, developers working on blockchains began to realise that this technology had so much more potential than just carrying out basic transactions. The founder of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin had the novel idea that things such as assets and trust agreements could be transferred onto the blockchain and managed automatically.

In “normal life” a contract is managed between two independent entities, often with the input or supervision of other entities as a part of the process. Smart contracts, on the other hand, are self-managing and self-executing which means they require no third party supervision at any time. Each step of the smart contract process is triggered by an event such as an expiration date or the achievement of a particular goal with no need for any human interference whatsoever.

Many analysts believe that we have not even begun to scratch the surface when it comes to the potential of smart contracts, but one thing is for sure; they are an important evolution in the blockchain world.

The Future

One of the big obstacles standing in the way of blockchain domination is scalability. Bitcoin is struggling big time with issues around transaction processing times and bottlenecking. Whilst many newer cryptocurrencies have tried to revise their own blockchains to avoid or anticipate these issues, there has not been a huge amount of success thus far. Going forward, one of the most important developments that we need to see is going to centre around scalability.

Asides from this crucial improvement, new applications and uses for blockchain are being discovered on a daily basis. It is hard to know exactly where these developments will take us but supporters of the tech are on the edge of their seats, anticipating the next move of the sector.

 

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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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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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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E&S Group – The First Firm to tokenise its services

Categories Blockchain, Malta, Smart Contracts, E&S Group, Technology, Tokens, Utility Tokens

E&S Group – The First Firm to tokenise its services

Malta’s leading multi-disciplinary firm situated in a picturesque village in St Julian’s has tokenised its services. E&S Group is the first-ever corporate and legal advisory firm to accept tokens instead of fiat currencies for its services.

As a Maltese firm, E&S Group has been involved in cryptocurrency hence offering Legal guidance to upcoming ICOs through its tailor-made ICO Legal Service. So far, the tokenised firm has advised over 70 ICOs from concept stage up to their actual offering.

How does it work?

Early this year, E&S Group has launched its token – ESTS. By means of Proof-of-Work, ESTS works on the Ethereum blockchain platform. In doing so, clients will pay for their services by acquiring the ESTS tokens through the platform.

Why E&S Group?

Since Malta has now become the first country to pass three progressive laws regulating cryptocurrencies, many blockchain based companies have made the move to operate on the island. E&S Group has already assisted a number of ICOs willing to open up their projects on the island.

Dr Christian Ellul, E&S Group director stated that: “Here at E&S Group, we have been involved in the blockchain and crypto world for over a year now. We are happy to learn that the Maltese authorities are supporting this by setting up the Malta Digital Innovation Authority. The intention is to present Malta as a hub to promote this technology which is very feasible, especially with the introduction of the required legislation to smooth the way forward.”  

At E&S Group, no ICO will be left disappointed. The legal team have a keen understanding of the ICO and Cryptocurrency industry, helping you to set up your ICO and perform successfully. Some of the key ICO services provided are: analysing of white paper in accordance with the Maltese Law, assisting with the design of tokens and drafting the token offer agreement.

Visit this link to know more about our ICO Legal services. E&S Group will help you make things happen!

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HTC created a ‘World’s First Decentralised Phone’

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, ICOs, Smart Contracts, Technology, Tokens, Wallet

HTC created a ‘World’s First Decentralised Phone’

HTC, one of the world’s leading smartphone manufacturers have recently announced a round of redundancies but have stated that this will not affect the manufacture of the HTC Exodus- the world’s first native blockchain phone.

The Taiwan-based tech giant announced that they would be letting go around 1500 employees, a total of around 25% of its global workforce. This move to streamline and consolidate its operations is reportedly not going to have any impact on the development or release date of the new Exodus handset.

A company spokesperson stated:

“Today’s reduction in manufacturing workforce announced by HTC is a decisive step in the realignment of resources across the organization and will allow more flexible operations management. The Company will offer full assistance to those employees affected by the plan, which will be completed by the end of September. HTC continues to review its operations to ensure production resources align with key strategic initiatives so that the Company can more effectively compete in its target markets while maintaining its innovative edge.”

The first smartphone to provide blockchain support

The firm announced the development of the HTC Exodus earlier this year which will see it become the first smartphone to provide native support for blockchain applications. The development of the phone is being led by the Chief Decentralised Officer, Phil Chen who is otherwise known for the creation of the HTC virtual reality headset, Vive.

The Exodus has been specially designed to support decentralised applications as well as featuring a cryptocurrency wallet that is both native to the device and universal in terms of the coins it will accept.

At one point in time, HTC was responsible for producing one in 10 mobile devices that were sold around the world. Unfortunately, the company soon lost ground to Apple and Samsung and this decline has become even more drastic over the last 18 months. In April 2018 the firm noted a decrease in revenue of 55.5%.

The recent round of redundancies comes after last years $1.1 billion deal with Alphabet which saw it move 2000 of its engineers and team members to Google.

The crypto startup, Sirin Labs has also announced its intention to launch a blockchain-powered smartphone. Called the “Finney” after the early Bitcoin user Hal Finney, the device is priced at $1000 and is reportedly ready to ship a little later this year.

 

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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Blockchain paves the smart road forward for B2B e-commerce

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, GDPR, Smart Contracts, Technology, Financial Institutions

Blockchain paves the smart road forward for B2B e-commerce

By now, the chances are that you know what blockchain is and that it is set to have a dramatic input on many areas of our lives. One such area is the world of B2B e-commerce.

At its most basic level, blockchain technology is a distributed ledger that is shared across a P2P networking. This network contains and stores the records of secure transactions which makes them accessible and visible to multiple participants. These records keep track of entire transaction histories and they are able to be individually verified via means of sophisticated cryptography.

By using what is known as a cryptographic signature, the blockchain is immune to fraud which makes blockchain based transfers amongst the most secure and safe of all online transactions. This security is a big selling point and it is beginning to pique the interest of a huge number of financial institutions and authorities who are beginning to explore the possibilities that blockchain and cryptocurrency have.

Back in November 2017, a lifetime ago in terms of crypto, Visa Inc announced that they intended to pilot a blockchain-based B2B payments system called B2B Connect. This system was designed to increase the security, speed, and efficiency of B2B transactions.

But the potential applications of blockchain go far beyond just Bitcoin and financial transactions. For B2B businesses, blockchain is able to handle a myriad of different tasks such as the transfer of financial securities, mobile minutes, energy credits, and even air miles. The technology even has the ability to reduce traditional fictitious elements of making high-value, high-volume orders that involved multiple layers of suppliers, vendors, and distributors. This is also not forgetting the use of smart contracts which can facilitate the reduction of inefficiencies at almost all stages of a deal-making process.

Stats released by the World Economic forum have estimated that blockchain technology could account for around 10% of the global GDP by as soon as 2027- bearing that in mind, why should you invest in blockchain and how can you get it working for you?

Most B2B merchants carry out their transactions via cheque, wire transfer, or automated clearing house systems which are known for being slow, costly and subject to fraud and human error. A survey carried out in 2017 by the AFP showed a huge increase in B2B payment fraud since 2015. In fact, over 75% of companies said they suffered check fraud in 2016 alone, an increase of 4% from the previous year and 74% said they had fallen victim to a business email compromise scam.

The average organisation loses around 5% of its annual revenue to fraud and this amounts to trillions and trillions of dollars lost, every year. But how to protect yourself? This is where crypto and blockchain come in.

Smart Contracts

A Smart Contract has huge potential when it comes to B2B businesses. These contracts take the form of lines of code that create a digital agreement between two or more parties. These contracts are self-executing and do not require a third party to oversee any stage of the process.

Transparent Fees

For businesses that take credit card payments, the process can be costly, laborious and involve up to four parties. A simple purchase can involve the merchant, the credit card company, the cardholder’s bank, and the individual cardholder. Having these many people involved results in delays, a slow process and fees that are incurred by at least two out of the four parties. If you can eliminate these, through the use of a direct P2P transaction, then fewer parties are involved and fewer institutions need to be paid.

International Business

If your company is involved in cross-border business then you will know that foreign transaction fees can be immeasurable, particularly for large or frequent transactions. DHL Logistics conducted a survey recently where they found that such fees would reach a total of $1.2 trillion in the next five years. A traditional wire transfer costs anywhere between $22 and $50 and that is not including any applicable currency exchange fees. Bitcoin on the other hand and Coinbase charge a flat rate of 1% to convert BTC into a local fiat currency.

Secure Supply Chain

When it comes to conducting businesses across borders, there are lots of opportunities for friction to occur. Relying on the timely communication of information between third, fourth, and even fifth parties can seriously complicate transactions that in turn leads to delays in supplier payments and reconciliations.

According to IBM, using blockchain technology allows for a much faster and auditable B2B interaction between all stakeholders. It is assumed that blockchain technology even has the power to replace paper-based and manual purchase orders as well as other trade documents- with smart contracts. By providing real-time visibility into the supply chain and trading data can result in much smarter decisions regarding inventory, procurement, investments, and even the financial position of the company.

That said, blockchain doesn’t necessarily hold the key to solving all of the B2B transaction world’s problems. There are many obstacles in the way such as the current regulatory environment, lack of legal framework, and even the lack of its synergy with the recently enforced EU GDPR. Whilst there is a lot of investment and consideration needed to overcome these, many believe that it could be the most important technologies to shape the infrastructure of the next generation of financial instruments.

 

To know more about ICO legislation in Malta please follow this link.

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

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How can women better Bitcoin

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Smart Contracts, Technology, Bitcoin, Tokens, Woman

How can women better Bitcoin?

Over the next two years, a large amount of capital could come flowing into the cryptocurrency ecosystem.  According to research from the London Block Exchange, whilst traditionally women have steered clear of the sector, we are now beginning to see a bigger interest from female investors.

Women in crypto

Women represent a huge chunk of the market, yet so far, they have only made up a small fraction of cryptocurrency investors at around 8.5% of the market share. The sentiment amongst women is changing, however, and over the last 6 months, the number of women that are considering investing in Bitcoin has doubled to 13%. These statistics are even more encouraging when we look at the numbers of millennial women that are considering investing – an impressive one in five.

The impact that these numbers could have on the industry is huge. By the year 2020, it is expected that women will hold around $70 trillion of private wealth and these numbers are expected to increase as more women take leading positions in the working world.

It is highly likely that this will lead to a change in the way in which cryptocurrencies behave. Studies have repeatedly shown that women are a lot more strategic when it comes to their investment methods. On the other hand, men tend to be more likely to take a risk and take a gambling approach to trading. A big pool of long-term investors such as women could help to significantly stabilise the Bitcoin market.

Make their presence known

As women represent around 50% of the global population, it is important that they start to make their presence known in the cryptocurrency market. It is only through mainstream adoption that the market will grow and we need women to ensure this is achieved. But women can contribute far more than just capital, their skills are needed in the fields of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency as well.

A company called Localcoin has created a series of initiatives that are geared towards encouraging women to get involved in cryptocurrency and blockchain markets. For example, Women in Crypto is a Toronto based conference that works towards attracting women and educating them to take part in this technological revolution. With a panel of established female stakeholders, it aims to create an open and friendly environment for beginners to get to grips with Bitcoin and the tech behind it. We need to see more of these events globally, and locally to encourage more and more women to involve themselves in this sector.

 

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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