Category: Wallet

Posted on

Centralised and decentralised exchanges – what is the difference?

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Technology, Cryptocurrency Exchange, Tokens, Wallet, Market, Market Cap, Exchanges, DLT, FIAT

Centralised and decentralised exchanges – what is the difference?

In the world of cryptocurrency, there are two different and very distinct types of exchange, a centralised and a decentralised ones. But what is the difference between the two?

A cryptocurrency exchange is an online platform where digital currencies are traded or exchanged for other digital currencies or even fiat currencies. Both types of exchange are similar in the way that they both facilitate the buying and selling of cryptocurrencies but both suffer from different complications as well as enjoying different benefits.

What is a centralised exchange?

A centralised exchange is one of the most common types of crypto exchange and it allows the user to buy and sell cryptocurrencies with fiat currencies, as well as buying cryptocurrencies with other cryptocurrencies. The majority of these exchanges accepts payments via debit or credit card, as well as bank and wire transfer.

When we call it a centralised exchange, we mean that third parties assist with conducting the transactions that take place on it, whilst all daily operations are supervised by an organisation. They are similar in type to a traditional stock exchanges but deal with crypto and fiat rather than stocks.

Benefits of a centralised exchange include the simplicity of use as well as extreme accessibility. In case if something goes wrong on the exchange, the fact that it is operated by an organisation means that it takes all the responsibility. Another benefit is the high level of trading volume which means that these type of exchanges are not considered as volatile.

Disadvantages include the fact that they are susceptible to hackers because when crypto is bought on a centralised exchange, the users don’t actually own the coins and therefore are not in possession of the funds private keys. As in February of this year, there have been more than 30 crypto exchange hacks that have resulted in a loss of almost a million of Bitcoins.

What is a decentralised exchange?

A decentralised exchange doesn’t rely on a third party to hold the cryptocurrencies which makes it much quicker to conduct a transaction than on a centralised one. Those that opt for a decentralised exchange, trade their assets in a P2P manner automatically.

This type of exchange has seen a big increase in popularity over the last six months due to the fact that they are less susceptible to hackers. Another bonus is that these exchanges do not require any personal information to conduct a trade meaning data-hungry hackers are less likely to strike.

But of course, there are some limitations. For example, they tend to be more difficult and complicated to use than centralised exchanges, particularly for beginners. Decentralised exchanges also have a limited level of functionality when compared to their centralised counterparts, as well as a lower trading volume.

E&S Group is a leading corporate & 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.

Read More
Posted on

The End for Fiat Currencies is Coming

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, ICOs, Bitcoin, Tokenomics, Tokens, Wallet, FIAT

The End for Fiat Currencies is Coming

Cryptocurrency has always been a hard concept to sell to the executives of the finance world with many key figures having drastically varying opinions on its validity. But it seems that something has changed, a small shift has taken place, and whilst they may not be ready to welcome it with open arms, they are at least acknowledging that the future is for crypto.

A new report by Greenwich Associates has indicated that as much as 70% of finance executives believe that cryptocurrency is not going anywhere, anytime soon. These positive change in attitude is welcome news at a time when the crypto industry is passing through a crucial time.

Wary of cryptocurrencies

As recently as a year ago, it seemed almost impossible that any financial executives were ever likely to consider Bitcoin in a positive light. Coins have been shunned by experts for a long time but this did nothing to stop the meteoric rise and widespread adoption of BTC and other coins. The report shows that even if executives aren’t convinced about digital money per se, they are interested in the technology that underpins it – an important step towards creating a viable and working ecosystem.

It seems that rather than outright dismissing cryptocurrency, executives in the finance sector are interested in exploring the new opportunities that it presents, with some even going as far as saying that crypto “is here to stay”.

Still a number of concerns

A total of 141 executives took part in the Greenwich Report and whilst the sample size may be small, the way of thinking behind it cannot be ignored. There are still a number of concerns around regulation of the sector, particularly in the US where the government is yet to take a stand on matters one way or the other, but this is expected to change in due course.

Other key findings of the report include several predicted areas of key growth including ETFs and making cryptocurrencies more accessible to banking institutions. Whilst neither of these things are in place at the moment, they are expected to be introduced within the next 12 months.

Bitcoin ETF

In particular, the possibility of a Bitcoin ETF will pay a huge part in the popularity of crypto both with members of the public and banks. So far the SEC has rejected all BTC ETF applications citing lack of regulation and market volatility as reasons behind its decision.

Another interesting development is the gradual increase in the offering of stablecoins. Financial execs have expressed a keen interest in this type of coins. The coins by Gemini and Paxos are a big step forward in this area, and such changes signal a greater industry shift and a sign of progress.

 

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

 

Read More
Posted on

China’s largest bank adopts the decentralised technology

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Bank, Technology, Wallet, DLT

China’s Largest Bank Adopts the Decentralized Technology

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) is the largest bank in China and a contender for one of the largest banks in the world. A colossal figure in the world of global banking, it is reported that they are moving towards blockchain technology adoption in their processes.

Chairman, Yi Huiman said in a statement that they would be focussing on innovations in blockchain, big data, AI, IoT, and cloud computing amongst others. The bank has over 5000 corporate clients and 530 million personal clients,  their aim is to work towards “intelligent banking” with “accelerated deployment in the field of financial technologies”.

The bank intends to focus on creating valid use cases for “smart banking” which will help increase levels of service in the financial ecosystem as well as securing financial data and the way it is shared with third parties.

A tough stance on crypto

China is known for its tough rules on cryptocurrencies, but it seems that they superpower is not afraid of blockchain and the possibilities it presents. Various government departments and institutions are working towards developing and applying blockchain technology throughout various sectors.

Earlier in September, the Beichuan Qiang Autonomous County of Sichuan Province and Beijing Sinfotek Group announced a collaboration that would create a new country for “forestry economic development and industrial poverty alleviation”.

A positive approach to blockchain

This news is a significant boost for the industry as China’s previously hesitant stance on the technology shows that as understanding is increased, adoption increases as well. Such a large financial institution adopting the technology means that many other banks are expected to follow suit in due course.

Whilst in-depth specifics about the project remain sparse, ICBC has the power to dramatically disrupt the financial world both in and outside of the digital currency space. If they were to fully adopt blockchain technology, it would signal a crucial shift towards long-term and mainstream integration of blockchain technology into everyday life.

 

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

 

Read More
Posted on

Why security tokens are set to dominate?

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, ICOs, Tokens, Wallet, Utility Tokens, Security Tokens

Why security tokens are set to dominate?

When it comes to ICOs, 2018 was off to a great start but the increase in regulatory attention has caused the industry to slow down over the last couple of months. This has resulted in many investors and issuers to reconsider their position and to opt for the issuance of compliant security tokens instead.

Back in 2017 when the ICO market really found its feet, issuers paid little to no attention to the regulatory status of their product, it had lasted until the SEC became aware of what was going on. From there, they and other national regulatory bodies started to issue stern warnings on compliance and the protection of investors.

The rise of the utility token

As ICO startups began to become aware that their product may be in breach of local securities laws. They began to insist that they were actually ‘utility tokens’ as a way of trying to circumvent the law. By creating elaborate token use cases, they hoped that their product would be distanced from regulatory scrutiny. This was then swiftly tackled by the Chairman of the SEC, Jay Clayton who stated in December 2017:

“Certain market professionals have attempted to highlight utility characteristics of their proposed initial coin offerings in an effort to claim that their proposed tokens or coins are not securities. Many of these assertions appear to elevate form over substance. Merely calling a token a “utility” token or structuring it to provide some utility does not prevent the token from being a security. Tokens and offerings that incorporate features and marketing efforts that emphasize the potential for profits based on the entrepreneurial or managerial efforts of others continue to contain the hallmarks of a security under U.S. law.” 

For ICOs that have since chosen to persevere with the utility route, the consequences of being found to have a token that can be retrospectively classified as a security by the SEC are severe. They include large fines, orders to return all funds raised, and finally, criminal prosecution.

Fully compliant platform

Due to this, many serious startups are looking to do things the proper way and are doing so through a fully compliant security token platform.

For now, it is expected that the issuance of security tokens will be limited to wholesale and accredited investors as the compliance costs that are associated with extending the offer to retail investors are too high for many to bear. To offer securities to accredited investors is much cheaper, as well as being exempted from many registration requirements laid out in the US Securities Act.

Furthermore, the benefits to issuers of Security Tokens are vast. They include:

  • Investors having a right to the share of profits;
  • Investors having the right to vote;
  • Investors having the right to liquidation proceeds;
  • A 24/7 365 marketplace — online exchanges providing around-the-clock liquidity;
  • Fractional ownership — attracting a deeper pool of investors in secondary markets;
  • Faster transactions — settlements in seconds instead of days;
  • Lower cost of liquidity — fewer middlemen equating to lower fees and operating costs;
  • Dynamic updates — Security Tokens are update-able and smart;
  • The potential to tokenize multiple organizational assets — offer a range of tokens to better align with investor strategies. For example, growth, stable return, conservative or aggressive.

Whilst it is unlikely that Security Tokens will replace listed equity markets anytime soon, they are likely to become an option for issuers who are looking for a greater level of international exposure in an ever-growing market.

 

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

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

Read More
Posted on

British Government testing DLT for securing digital evidence

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Technology, Tokens, Wallet, DLT

British Government testing DLT for securing digital evidence

The UK Government is currently exploring ways that distributed ledger technology (DLT) could be used to secure identity information, digital evidence, and other pieces of sensitive data.

In a blog post published on the 23rd of August, it came to light that Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal Service (HMCTS) and the Open Innovation team at the Cabinet Office recently held a meeting where the possibility of using DLT was discussed.

Head of the Digital Architecture and Cyber Security team at HMCTs as well as the author of the bloc, stated that the Service is exploring new ways of applying emerging technologies to the aforementioned traditional services.

In attendance at the meeting was Dr Sadek Ferdous, a Technology Policy Fellow and Research Associate at Imperial College, who presented his work on both public and private DLT systems. He also explained the various challenges that presented themselves such as ensuring the provenance of digital evidence, as well as the importance of an audit trail.

“It provides a chronological record of system activities which capture how digital evidence has been created/accessed/modified by which entity, from what location, in such a way to enable the reconstruction and examination of the sequence of events, and actions leading to the current state of the digital evidence.”

Blockchain and DLT are being widely adopted in the UK and the government is looking to position the country as a global leader within the crypto community. Just last month, the Big Innovation Centre, DAG Global, and Deep Knowledge Analytics conducted extensive research that demonstrated the UK has become one of the leading crypto-jurisdictions in the world.

UK Minister Eddie Hughes has publicly encouraged the government to show leadership by making blockchain technology policy a priority.

“The state should focus its attention on using blockchain to enable social freedom, to increase efficiency, and to rebuild societal trust. The state should not be allowed to use such technology to intrude into the lives of individuals—but rather the technology should be used to empower individuals in their necessary engagements with the state.”

 

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

Read More
Posted on

Associated Press teams up with a blockchain-based journalist firm

Categories Blockchain, Technology, Trading, Payments, Tokens, Wallet, DLT, Journalism

Associated Press teams up with a blockchain-based journalist firm

The news agency, the Associated Press has started a licensing partnership with a blockchain based start-up called Civil. The news came in an announcement made on the 28th of August and AP will be one of the first, and certainly, the biggest media company exploring the benefits of blockchain in the world of journalism.

The idea behind the project is to explore various ways of securing intellectual property rights, ethical journalism, and content usage using the power of blockchain. An integral part of the project will include AP delivering its content such as international and national news to Civil, who will then allow other news agencies to access it via the blockchain platform. Any newsroom that wishes to access the AP content platform, will be licensed directly by AP themselves.

AP will own CVL tokens which will then be used as an incentive device to help keep up levels of accuracy and objectivity in newsrooms. SVP at AP, Jim Kennedy stated:

“AP has been pushing into new digital territory for more than two decades, and Civil is opening up another new space with interesting technology to explore and a commitment to good journalism. We’re eager to help cultivate the space and demonstrate our value to a new set of digital publishers.”

The Associated Press is one of the world’s largest and most respected news agencies and was founded in New York City, back in 1846. The agency operates approximately 263 news bureaus in 106 countries across the world. Civil, are a startup that develops technology to keep track of ownership and content rights in the journalism sector.

Back in July, Adblock Plus announced the launch of a blockchain-based browser extension called Trusted News that would flag ‘fake news’ whilst highlighting trusted sources and stories.

E&S Group is a leading corporate & 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.

 

Read More
Posted on

Why the SEC was right to reject nine BTC ETFs

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Smart Contracts, Technology, Tokens, Wallet, Security Tokens, Ethereum, Securities

Why the SEC was right to reject nine BTC ETFs

When news broke that the US SEC had rejected a total of nine separate applications for Bitcoin Exchange-traded fund (ETFs), a key player in the industry feared the worst for not just the markets, but the future of the technology as well. But this may not actually be the bad news that everyone first thought it would be and this is why.

Whilst the cryptocurrency industry is pretty keen to launch exchange-traded funds (ETFs), regulatory bodies such as the SEC do not share their enthusiasm. For many, a crypto-ETF is seen as the next big milestone in the mainstream adoption of crypto and virtual assets.

Over the last few years, the US Securities and Exchange Commission has received a number of ETF proposals from companies and individuals such as the Winklevoss twins, none of which have passed its stringent sets of criteria. It seems that they are not convinced that the world of cryptocurrencies is ready for ETFs just yet.

Back in 2013, the Winklevoss twins were the first to file a Bitcoin-based ETF proposal and the agency mulled over its decision before rejecting the proposal around four years later. Then, in June, the twins filed another proposal which was swiftly rejected by the agency. Following the most recent round of rejections, the SEC has promised to review its decision but it seems unlikely that they are set to rule in favour of BTC ETFs any time soon.

The main reason for all of these rejections has been cited as the risk of market manipulation and the fact that the regulated market is not big enough to warrant such a decision. The issue of market manipulation remains as one of the biggest concerns in the crypto world. As a very small number of people own a very large amount of cryptocurrency (known as whales) this means that technically, prices can be artificially increased or decreased to suit the agenda of a few. The fact of the matter is that most creators of cryptocurrency retain large amounts of the coin, for example, Satoshi Nakamoto has 5.88% of all BTC, Ripple owns 60% of the XRP supply and the majority of ICO companies retain around 25% of all their tokens.

Couple this with the paranoia around regulation and lack of protection for investors and stakeholders and it is not hard to see why the SEC is wary.

The only way that cryptocurrencies are going to be able to enter such a regulated market is through widespread regulation on a global scale. Until this happens, Bitcoin and any other cryptocurrency can say goodbye to any kind of regulated ETF.

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

Read More
Posted on

Indiegogo lists its very first security token 

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, ICOs, Wallet, Security Tokens, Ethereum, Securities

Indiegogo lists its very first security token

One of the world’s leading crowdfunding sites, Indiegogo has announced it is expanding its ICO listing service to include what will be the world’s first security ICO token.

The first token of this type to be made accessible through the Indiegogo platform was created by the St Regis Aspen Resort, a super-luxury resort, located in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. The offering which has been limited to accredited investors will allow them to purchase the Aspen Coin which represents a share of the single-asset real estate investment trust that was created to hold the $18 million of stock that is made available through the site.

“Security token offerings are the investment tool of the future, a mechanism designed to store wealth by utilizing income-producing digital assets,” said Stephane de Baets, founder and president of Elevated Returns, the asset management firm that owns the resort. “By allowing access to investing in traditional assets like real estate, we are creating a new opportunity for investors to explore an ownership stake in something previously only accessible to private investors and high net worth individuals. Indiegogo is a well known and trusted name in alternative funding and cryptocurrency, making them an incredible partner for us to leverage their influence, experience and global audience.”

Investors that meet the qualifying criteria are able to contribute to the ICO via means of USD, BTC or ETH. The Aspen Token is based on the ERC-20 platform, meaning they can be held in any Ethereum wallet in the world, but due to securities regulations in the US, they can only be traded on an SEC-approved trading system. In this case, that would be Templum Markets LLC, the broker who is overseeing the ICO with Indiegogo.

Co-founder of Indiegogo, Slava Rubin said:

“We have always strived to foster innovation and provide our users access to some of the most novel and interesting products and ideas from around the world. With the blockchain revolution fully underway, we are excited about the world-changing impact and potential of security tokens. Our goal is to provide an access point to our growing network of millions of customers and the opportunity to own a fragmented interest in the St. Regis Aspen Resort.”

The Indiegogo platform was originally launched back in December 2017 with the first project listing of Fan-Controlled Football League reaching its $5 million target in a very short time. But, despite lots of interest from companies wanting to list ICOs on the platform, Indiegogo declined to list any during the first two quarters of 2018.

 

Are you looking for ICO Legal Advice in Malta? Click this link to know more, or send us an email on [email protected]

Read More
Posted on

Another digital exchange announces it is heading to Malta

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, ICOs, Malta, The Blockchain Island, Technology, Trading, Tokens, Wallet, DLT

Another digital exchange announces it is heading to Malta

In another boost to Malta’s bid to become the ‘blockchain island’, another well-known cryptocurrency exchange is heading to Maltese shores. ZB.com has just made public its intentions to relocate its centre of operations to Malta, following in the footsteps of industry leaders such as Binance and Bitbay.

Co-founder of ZB.com, Jimmy Zhao said:

“Malta is perhaps the world’s most progressive and forward-thinking nation in DLT, crypto and FinTech, and we are very excited to be part of the Blockchain Island.  We are confident we will be able to announce our live operations soon.” He added, “You quickly realize Malta’s commitment to building and supporting the crypto ecosystem.”

Malta’s Parliamentary Secretary for Digital Economy and Innovation, Silvio Schembri said that the recent news is just another example of why Malta is quickly cementing its position as the global hub for blockchain and cryptocurrency service providers. In a tweet regarding the news, Schembri said:

“More blockchain business to Malta. Welcome to the #blockchainIsland… Looking forward for your investment of over 20M in the first 3 years and employing over 150 people.”

Whilst many countries have been reluctant to develop regulations or legislation in favour of the booming industry, Malta has been at the forefront of efforts to create a legal framework that both protects and supports stakeholders. The EU country recently passed three bills including the Virtual Financial Assets Act that is due to be implemented into law by October 1st 2010. This makes them the first country in the world to create such laws and has been a highly attractive incentive for a range of businesses operating in the global market.

ZB.com is a crypto to crypto exchange and it now joins other big names such as OKEx, Binance, Bitay, and DQR in making Malta, the blockchain island, home.

 

If you would like to learn more about Malta’s progressive stance on ICOs and blockchain and what E&S Group are doing please follow this link.

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

Read More
Posted on

She (256) will help women enter the world of virtual currencies

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, ICOs, Technology, Payments, Tokens, Wallet, Utility Tokens, Security Tokens, Woman

She (256) will help women enter the world of virtual currencies

She(256) is a new scheme that is focussed on helping to encourage women to enter the cryptocurrency job market. The aim of the programme is to enable female students to benefit from the guidance of crypto OG, as well as to provide invaluable technical and business experience.

A University of California and Berkeley-led initiative, She(256) will present a chance for students and early-career young adults to learn from each other through serving as guides and allies.

The world of cryptocurrency, particularly when it comes to those being employed within it, is a somewhat male-dominated industry. Each woman that takes part in the programme will be assigned with a well-known and knowledgeable crypto expert as a mentor who will guide them through making their way into the sector.

Jill Carson tweeted about the project:

“Dear men of crypto, I would love to see many of you sign up to be She(256) mentors too! Many of you have been the most important mentors and influences in my career. It matters more than you know when you support your female colleagues,” 

Finding direction and career opportunities within the space can be daunting for many, especially when such a gender disparity exists. Through the use of mentors, young, professional women can identify areas of interest and seek out new career opportunities that they may not have been able to observe before.

Guidelines of the programme include connecting with the mentor via phone or in person 1-3 times a month, as well as maintaining regular contact via email. She(65) will also organise meet-ups and networking events where they can meet other like-minded individuals within the field. Mentorships run officially for a period of a year, but communication is encouraged even after the official programme has finished.

 

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.

Read More