Category: Wallet

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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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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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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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Interest from Blackrock makes the price of BTC jump

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Technology, Trading, Bitcoin, Tokens, Wallet

Interest from Blackrock makes the price of BTC jump

Blackrock Inc. is the world’s largest asset manager and ETF provider. When news broke that it was exploring the possibility to legally partake in the cryptocurrency market, the price of a single BTC jumped by $270. Blackrock controls a portfolio worth an incredible $6 trillion, and their interest in taking advantage of the growing market is making quite a stir.

But Blackrock has not always been so open to the concept of cryptocurrency, having previously doubted its potential and reliability. Then, this morning an insider leaked information to the media stating that the largest ETF provider in the world has created a working group comprising of members from a range of different divisions. The source also stated that the team will be investigating cryptocurrencies in detail with the idea of determining whether Blackrock should be involved.

Back in October 2017, the Global Head of iShares and Index Investments at Blackrock said:

“I don’t quite get the point of a bitcoin ETF in any case, because we’re talking about…trading products that are difficult to access. If bitcoin is ever successful – and again not my thing but – I wouldn’t recommend it. But if it were [successful], why would you need an ETF to access it?”

This was followed by comments earlier this year by Isabelle Mateos y Lago, the Chief Multi-Asset Strategist and Managing director who said she believes that “Bitcoin is not an investable asset”.

A reason for their change of heart could be due in part to the fact that they have lost several of their key team members to the cryptocurrency market for the last 12 months. Senior Portfolio manager, Vishal Karir who oversaw $1.5 billion of assets left Blackrock for a cryptocurrency platform earlier this year. This was followed by the exodus of Adam Grimsley and Michael Wong- two fixed income managers- who quit to launch their own crypto-fund.

 

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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First two-way decentralised currency ATM installed in Malta

Categories Blockchain, Malta, The Blockchain Island, Bitcoin, Tokens, Wallet, Utility Tokens, Security Tokens

First two-way decentralised currency ATM installed in Malta

Each day, a new development seems to just further cement Malta’s position as the ‘Blockchain Island’.

In an announcement by, Moon Zebra, an ATM firm that allows its users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies using fiat currency, installed the new machine at their Malta office. Through moon Zebra’s collaboration with local Bitcoin maximalist and the co-founder for Bitcoin Club Malta, Leon Siegmund the purpose of the ATM is to promote a greater public interest in crypto amongst the general public.

Siegmund stated:

“When I moved to Malta two years ago, there was not much happening regarding Bitcoin and decentralised ledger technology. But within just 2 years, and thanks to the collaborative effort of many individuals, something very special has happened…and after much blood, sweat and tears, we are happy to launch.”

The new cryptocurrency ATM will give users the ability to buy, sell, deposit, and withdraw cryptocurrency in the same way that a traditional ATM works. Customers can deposit fiat currency into the ATM, enter their wallets public key and have the cryptocurrency of their choice sent instantly.

“Users can also convert crypto back into fiat with the two-way ATM. It also gives people the ability to bypass exchanges and – on some levels- crypto ATMs could solve the issue of exchanges being centralised.”

At first, the ATM will only support Bitcoin and fiat currencies, but in the future, other cryptocurrencies will become available.

The concept of cryptocurrency ATMs is not exclusive to Malta as other sites have been popping up over the USA and Europe during the last few months. It is, however, the first of its type in Malta and it is hoped it is a sign of greater public acceptance and adoption of cryptocurrencies.

If you are looking to set up a cryptocurrency business in Malta, our team of professionals at E&S are on hand to assist you. Visit our ICO Legal Services we offer, or contact us by sending us an email  at [email protected]

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Internet browser Opera pilots a built-in digital wallet

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Technology, Tokens, Wallet

Internet browser Opera pilots a built-in digital wallet

In an effort to appeal to cryptocurrency enthusiasts, internet browser Opera is testing a built-in cryptocurrency wallet in a beta version of its Android browser. The wallet will initially provide support to Ethereum with other coins likely to be added in the future. Investors in Ether that are using Opera would be able to easily access their tokens, via the application if the feature is to go live.

This news comes several months after the hype surrounding cryptocurrency has plateaued and it is clear that this is an attempt to draw the interests of investors to the little-known browser. In the past, Opera had indicated awareness of the cryptocurrency market as well as the influx of scams and it responded by introducing anti-crypto jacking software into its browsers.

At the time of writing, this announcement makes Opera the first mainstream internet browser to add a built-in cryptocurrency wallet. The unveiled plans show that you can either import your existing wallet or create a completely new one, as well as sending or receiving money directly into the browser. It can also be used when making online purchases where the merchant is supporting cryptocurrency transactions.

If you wish to test out the private beta version, you can sign up through Opera’s website, or alternatively, you can wait for the fully tested version to hit the market. This news is a positive step forward and may encourage other browsers to consider implementing cryptocurrency friendly technology into their software.

 

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

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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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ICOs raise more money in the first 6 months of 2018

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

ICOs raise more money in the first 6 months of 2018

During the first half of 2018, ICOs have attracted almost double the number of funds that were raised throughout the whole of 2017.  In a new report, researches have highlighted that despite an increase in backing, over 1/3 of the projects closed successfully. The study states that the US remains the most popular destination for ICOs whilst Switzerland has firmly established itself as a European hub for industry regulation.

Capital that is raised via ICOs has topped an impressive $13,7 billion USD in the first five months of 2018 alone. This is twice the total for the whole of 2017 and the data is the result of a report that was authored by the Swiss Crypto Valley Association and Strategy& which is the consulting division of PwC. The aim of the study is to offer an accurate and comprehensive overview of ICO activity across the world, as well as to explore key changes in the space over the last 18 months.

Whilst this year has seen a bearish trend overtake the crypto markets, the numbers in the Global ICO report tells a different story. Head of Blockchain EMEA at PwC, Daniel Diemers stated that the report “highlights the continued growth and popularity of ICOs globally in 2018 with over 537 ICOs conducted in the first five months of this year, raising a combined total of $13.7 billion USD- more than all ICOs which took place before 2018 combined”.

He continued:

“After all the hype of 2017, this year has seen the ICO sector becoming more mature and established, with an improved focus on best business and legal practice, investor relations and fundraising. Hybrid models of combined Venture Capital and ICO financing are increasingly bringing together the best of what both have to offer so that the soundness of a business is validated while it realizes its market potential by receiving crowd support.”

The report also states that over 30% of all ICOs fail due to being delayed or losing momentum during the token sale process.

Following in the ICO shaped footsteps of the US and Switzerland is the UK which raised over $500 million for 48 ICOs in 2018. Then there are the smaller jurisdictions such as Gibraltar, Liechtenstein and Malta, with the latter recently enacting a new law that will encourage and regulate the ICO sector.

 

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

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Crypto firm ‘Blockchain’ has a new product for its investors

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, ICOs, Wallet

Crypto firm ‘Blockchain’ has a new product for its investors

With a lot of interest in pensions, hedge funds, mutual funds, and endowments in the crypto sphere, the cryptocurrency wallet company ‘Blockchain’ has announced a new product that will specifically target individual investors.

The platform will be known as Blockchain Principal Strategies and it will offer institutions and family offices services such as customised access to markets as well as research.

As well as these services, an over-the-counter trading desk will be offered to all investors and it will function as a ‘matchmaker and direct counterparty to clients, executing trades and managing associated risk’. The firm’s clients will also be able to avail themselves of managed investment offerings which will include exclusive access to vetted and verified token offerings.

Clients will also be able to make direct equity investments in startups that show promise.

Institutional Sales and Strategy head at Blockchain, Breanne Madigan said:

“…we will also offer educational and networking opportunities with hopes of creating a broader, well-informed community around digital currencies moving forward,”

Drawing on industry momentum

This new project which is aimed at institutional investors draws on the momentum that has been growing steadily in the last few months. According to research that has been conducted by Willis Towers Watson, it appears that mutual funds, insurance funds, foundations, and pension funds inter alia, contribute approximately $131 trillion of the world’s wealth.

It is hoped that including large investors in the crypto market will help to give the industry a much-needed boost when it comes to legitimisation.

Ari Paul, the Chief Investment Officer of BlockTower Capital told CNBC that: “Even a small dollar amount is legitimizing. If that happens, every family office says, ‘Oh, Yale’s in. That gives us the excuse.’”

Whilst the amount of interest in cryptocurrencies from institutional investors is increasing, it could be argued that they are a little under-allocated, particularly when it comes to BTC. A scholarly research paper that was written last year by an assistant professor at the John Hopkins University Carey Business School and several other stakeholders, stated that BTC was unlike any other asset classes and it was a great way for investors to diversify their portfolios of investments.

A higher Sharpe ratio

The paper also highlighted the fact that whilst BTC has a high price volatility, those institutional investors that choose to invest in it stand to enjoy a higher Sharpe ratio than any other traditional asset class.

“We argue that the institutional investor should seriously consider cryptocurrencies for inclusion into their portfolios at the 1-2% allocation range … Although this market is relatively small, with less than $300 billion in market capitalization and has many other weaknesses that investors must take into full account, we believe in the long run that the early institutional adopters will benefit,” the paper added.

 

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

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Ledger Wallet could be set to offer Tron support

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Technology, Payments, Tokens, Wallet

Ledger Wallet could be set to offer Tron support

Ledger, the world’s leading hardware wallet provider is rumoured to be planning to support Tron (TRX) across all of its cryptocurrency wallet platforms.

The news came after a response from Ledger to a question posed on their Twitter platform. When asked if plans were in the works, their social media spokesperson invited the team of developers from Tron to contact them and work with their team to iron out the technical issues relating to Tron’s blockchain.

At the moment, there are a few small issues with the blockchain that have made it difficult for Ledger to include TRX in its list of supported currencies. It is still unknown whether Tron has replied to Ledger’s invitation but it is clear that the two companies are both eager to collaborate for the future of the currency.

Monero working to integrate

Earlier this month, Monero was in talks with Ledger to incorporate it onto the wallet platform but as of yet, developers have been unable to create a stable support mechanism within the Ledger system.

To assist with this process, Roccardo Spagni, the man behind Monero made several tweaks to its blockchain’s core software to enable it to have a smoother transition when it is finally implemented.

It seems likely that the pressures of the cryptocurrency community will continue to push the Tron Foundation to work on other similar solutions but this will have to wait until TRX manages to weather the storm that came as a result of its MainNet transition.

There are other collaborations already in the works- Ledger is working with VeChain, Teos, IOTA, Zclassic, Cardano, Decred and many others. PIVX seems to be ready for use on Ledger any day now, but it does beg the question as to why Zcoin has not been integrated, whereas Zcalssic has.

The Zerocoin protocol was created by PIVX around 12 months ago and it became the first cryptocurrency to operate on a model that doesn’t require mining. Integrating PIVX into Ledger was completed in October. Whilst integrating TRX may not be too much of a complex job, the fact that it is relatively young on the market could be what holds things back.

 

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

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