Category: Tokens

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New technology is set to revamp 4500-year-old board game

Categories Blockchain, Technology, Tokens, Utility Tokens

New technology is set to revamp 4500-year-old board game

“Go” is one of the oldest board games in the world. An abstract strategy game for two players, the aim is to occupy more territory than the opponent in the shortest amount of time, and as of 2015, there are over 40 million Go players in the world.

Whilst the rules seem easy, the game itself is extremely complex in the same way that Chess is, but Go has a much larger board with a lot of additional room for play and as such it is a lot more difficult.

A blockchain version

The current world champion of Go is a South Korean called Lee Sedol who became the fifth youngest national to become a professional at the age of 12. Now, he is widely considered to be one of the best and most skilled players in the world and he has turned his attention to creating a blockchain version of his beloved game.

In 2016, Sedol lost to AlphaGo a Google AI which was able to beat not just him, but French Go player Fan Hui. Now, two years later, Sedol has announced that he will be launching a blockchain version of the game which will be known as “GoBlock” and will be created with the assistance of the Korea-basd The Blockchain Inc.

The Blockchain Inc was designed to assist users in navigating the world of cryptocurrency, and it also manages CoinUs which is a website due to release a wallet and a device that will facilitate offline digital asset storage.

A global league

Once GoBlock is launched, players based in China, Japan, and South Korea will be able to partake in a global, professional league, but this is not all that Sedol has planned. He has also spoken about his desire to create an awards system that will benefit everyone from viewers to players and advertisers. The platform is anticipated to include both amateur and professional leagues, as well as providing training for beginners.

“I was drawn to the blockchain technology due to decentralization and transparency features. If blockchain technology and the token economy are applied to Go game, it will be able to expand the game’s ecosystem and bring about unforeseen changes to the game’s ecosystem,” said Sedol.

GoBlock will be built on the Ethereum network and tokens will be issued to support leagues, game players, and even match records. After a few years of uncertainty, it seems that blockchain has finally managed to make a dent in the gaming industry with games such as CryptoZombies and CryptoKitties making some serious waves.

 

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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Is Amazon about to launch virtual payments?

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Technology, Payments, Bitcoin, Tokens, Wallet, Utility Tokens, Security Tokens, Ethereum, Ripple

Is Amazon about to launch virtual payments?

Rumours have been swirling for months that e-commerce giant, Amazon is set to launch its cryptocurrency payments. Earlier in the year they purchased a range of crypto-themed domain names such as amazoncryptocurrency.com and amazonbitcoin.com which just fuelled the reports further.

Now reports from an anonymous software engineer have been circulating on Reddit stating that Amazon has been talking about accepting Bitcoin payments and that the only reason they haven’t done it yet is due to issues surrounding refunds and volatility.

There have also been talks of them offering blockchain solutions through their AWS Blockchain Templates which can be used to launch an Ethereum of Hyperledger Fabric network in a matter of moments. It has also been speculated that they are creating their own cryptocurrency. In fact, they created one back in 2013 called Amazon Coin but it never took off due to the fact it was not based on any blockchain technology and could only be used on the Amazon platform.

Whilst the tech and e-commerce giants have not revealed anything about accepting crypto or developing blockchain tech over the previous months, they have made some interesting moves during the last few weeks. An Amazon subsidiary “Amazon Technologies Inc” recently issued a patent for a data streaming marketplace which allows clients to view crypto transaction data as it happens. It is designed to function like a crypto stock trading portal with real-time updates.

The patent states:

“A group of electronic or internet retailers who accept Bitcoin transactions may have a shipping address that may correlate with the Bitcoin address. The electronic retailers may combine the shipping address with the Bitcoin transaction data to create correlated data and republish the combined data as a combined data stream.”

Whether they will do something more concrete to move forward in the space remains to be seen but what we do know is that they are interested in dallying with the technology and its implications. The fact that crypto and bitcoin has even been recognised by Amazon is a big step forward and a vote of confidence for 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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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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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 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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