Category: Bitcoin

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Lithuania is looking to regulate Token Generating Events

Categories ICOs, Law, Technology, Trading, Cryptocurrency Exchange, Bitcoin, Regulation

Lithuania is looking to regulate Token Generating Events

Last October Lithuanian authorities were invited to attend a seminar that was seeking to examine the threats and potential benefits of the ICO sector, particularly with regards to the country’s economy. Whilst reports from BitMEX last week found that ICOs had so far managed to break even in terms of profit and loss in 2018, trends have shown a bit of a slump in the popularity of the market. Alongside the falling value of Ether and Bitcoin, it seems that fewer ICO projects were launched in 2018 when compared to the first half of the year.

All things considered, it does seem that it is good news and a positive sign that the market managed to break even, despite poor conditions.

Fraught with bad press

This does not mean that ICOs are not without their lack of other issues. Their issuance is fraught with lack of regulation and bad press, and research conducted at the beginning of the year found that almost 80% of ICO projects that were launched in 2017 could be classified as “scams”.

As a result, Lithuanian authorities have come together to voice their concerns over the ICO market, something that is becoming commonplace in a number of jurisdictions. Politicians in the country, as well as a representative from the central bank, came to the conclusion that cryptocurrency and digital assets have created a substantial market in the country that yields a huge turnover.

“Virtual currency has huge cash flows, but (there are) worries about converting them into dollars and euros as quickly as possible, (and) leaving virtual currencies as quickly as possible.”

Creation of a regulatory body

Whilst there is a concern over the cryptocurrency cash flow and the lawless style of the ICO market, Lithuania has vowed to create its own regulatory body that will oversee the developing industry. The newly created body will be responsible for supervision and enforcement, but it will also be on the lookout for possible benefits that could emerge from blockchain and crypto.

This development will see the country follow in the footsteps of Malta which introduced its own blockchain, cryptocurrency and ICO legislation on the 1st of November 2018. To find out more about launching an ICO in Malta, please contact E&S Group by sending us an email on [email protected].

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Bitcoin turns 10 and crypto enthusiasts celebrate the occasion

Categories Cryptocurrency, Malta, E&S Group, Technology, Bitcoin, Binance

Bitcoin turns 10 and crypto enthusiasts celebrate the occasion

As Bitcoin turned 10 years old yesterday, many enthusiasts in the community celebrated 10 years of cryptocurrency itself as well. Despite the ICO and crypto market being in a bit of turmoil, for now, there is no doubt that digital assets and associated technologies have changed many aspects of business and the economy.

But it’s not just holders of coins and blockchain start-ups that are reaping the benefits of this new industry, cryptocurrency exchanges are leading the way when it comes to profits. Coinbase, the largest fiat-to-crypto exchange in the world is poised to bring in over $1.3billion in annual revenue, till the end of 2018.

Binance announces a big profit

Binance, the world’s biggest crypto exchange that announced its relocation to Malta this year, has recorded a profit of $200 million in January, putting itself in the same league profit-wise as Germany’s biggest financial institution, Deutsche Bank.

Bithumb and Upbit, two of South Korea’s largest exchanges have been raking in around $100 million a month during 2018, mainly from transaction and withdrawal fees. Furthermore, in January of this year, Jung Yoon-ho, a researcher in Yoojjin Investment, told local media sources that they generate around $2.5 million in revenue every day.

Whilst this is all good news, it may not last. Due to the current bear market and two security breaches of Bithumb in South Korea, experts estimate that the monthly revenue of big crypto exchanges could have dropped by around 30-40% in recent months.

For example, according to Bloomberg, the projected annual income of Coinbase is said to be nearer to $1.3 billion.

“The company’s $1.3 billion in sales for 2018 comes from the commissions on trades on its platform, as well as from gains and losses in its own crypto holdings. Because the firm looks at several internal measures of revenue, the exact figures can vary,” Julie Verhage at Bloomberg reported.

Most of this money has been generated through fees on buy and sell orders, as well as withdrawal requests.

Funding charitable initiatives

Binance also accounted that it would donate all of its listing fees to fund transparent initiatives that have been developed by reputable organisations such as the UN.

“If you look at the first few UN Sustainable Development Goals, such as poverty, hunger, health and even education, these are easily addressed or improved by charity initiatives. Yet, what we’re trying to do is a level deeper. I believe that by improving transparency in the charity sector, we will be able to address all 17 goals as a whole, at a more fundamental layer,” Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said.

Over the last year, the volume of the cryptocurrency market has grown exponentially to a value of around $20 billion, around half less than this time last year. The value of Bitcoin, the most popular cryptocurrency in the world, dropped from $8billion to around $3.5 billion at the time of writing. But with a $10 billion daily trading volume on the exchange market, there is still money to be made.

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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NEO Connect, Canada’s first Bitcoin fund is launched to accredited investors

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, ICOs, Technology, Bitcoin, NEO

NEO Connect, Canada’s first Bitcoin fund is launched to accredited investors

Whilst the idea of a Bitcoin ETF may be a way away for US investors, across the border in Canada, it is already becoming a reality.

First Block Capital, the countries first fully-regulated cryptocurrency investment firm has broken new ground as it becomes the only open-ended Bitcoin fund that has been approved by Canadian regulators. The FBC Bitcoin Trust has become the first fund that will allow accredited investors to hold Bitcoin investment in registered accounts such as retirement savings plans and tax-free savings accounts.

This fund will allow HNWIs to invest in a seamless manner in Bitcoin through their investment advisors. These investments will be traded on the asset management platform NEO Connect and it is expected that traders will be allowed to execute moves with the same ease as with an ETF.

Founder and CEO of First Block Capital said:

“The longer redemption time frame was a feature that we felt really hurt the fund and the reason why we didn’t reach hundreds of millions [in assets] coming out of the gate. … Investors wanted more liquidity in this sector and we are pleased to now be able to offer advisers daily trading capabilities for those discretionary accounts.”

NEO Connect services more than $600 million in assets and as a platform, they have pushed many regulatory boundaries to create an “ever-expanding spectrum of new and innovative asset classes” with the aim of drawing a healthy client base over 46 funds.

First Block’s new fund will initially manage $20 million giving it a big start in the industry. CEO Sean Clark believes that in the face of sub-$200 billion market capitalisation, the current situation is a much-needed correction.

“The price spike in December was from a lot of speculation and the market getting ahead of itself. Now that it has settled down, now is the time to enter the market.”

Clark believes that the decision of Goldman Sachs’ to postpone their Bitcoin trading desk was down to nothing more than a change of focus.

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

 

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Artists bringing virtual currencies to life

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, ICOs, Technology, Bitcoin, Tokens, Market, Art

Artists bringing Virtual Currencies to life

Many artists globally, are starting to look at cryptocurrency as inspiration for their work, hoping that it will help increase the popularity of the industry.

Crypto – Art

‘Stealing the Contents of This Wallet Is a Crime’ by Kevin Abosch’s is a well-known example of Crypto – Art. The leader piece was part of ‘I AM A COIN’, the project during which Abosch created 10 million ERC-20 ‘IAMA’ coins.

Many of his and similar pieces sold out quickly and at high prices. Robert Indiana, the artist who created ‘LOVE cryptograffiti’, recently sold one of his serigraphs. His revolutionary art was bought by crypto-connoisseur Mike Novogratz at an auction for $8,000.

Meanwhile, another cryptograffiti was sold at a separate auction for the value of $33,000, and was named the ‘Terrible Store of Value’. This work was intended as a response to JP Morgan’s Jamie Dimon statement ‘Bitcoin is a terrible store of value’ in January 2014.

Later on, several auctions were organised during HODL in May 2018, where a painting by Terry Cook was sold as well. Terry, a well-known UK-based painter works only with cryptocurrency symbols. He believes that it is ‘natural that art and blockchain technology intersect’.

Cryptocurrency Graffiti

Whilst some art pieces connected to cryptocurrency are being sold at high prices, a lot of artists choose to show their talent for free. Last February an Instagram user posted a work of graffiti showing Bitcoin bringing power to the people. This work was also seen as a threat to the existing banking system.

At this moment, it seems that this art is getting its own admirers as well. Pascal ‘PBOY’ Boyart has received more than $1,000 in digital currency from fans after painting QR codes on his street murals. This code invited admirers to send him BTC. Currently, Boyart is part of an upcoming artists’ celebration paying homage to Bitcoins’ 10th birthday.

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’.

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A Second Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference in Malta

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Malta, Bitcoin, Anti Money Laundering, Conference, DLT, Smile-Expo

A Second Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference in Malta

On October 23, Smile-Expo will conduct the second Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference in Malta. This meeting of top industry experts will become the 50th-anniversary event of the Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference series.

Malta was chosen as the country to organise such event, not by chance. Throughout the year, the island kept on hosting various conferences, summits and blockchain related events. One of the most DLT-friendly countries took the lead in a number of blockchain community members and visiting experts. The government drafted and will soon enact positive and encouraging ICO regulations, innovative bills with guidelines for the industry, and companies moving their businesses to the island – this is definitely a sign of successful technological development.

The guests participating in this event will have an opportunity to meet with 50 experts from top world corporations. Speakers will pay to such topics as blockchain in education, AML policy, and cryptocurrency trading. Apart from discussing the financial sphere, professionals will turn to the innovative usages of DLT. Invited speakers will share knowledge about DLT integration into transportation, gaming industry, real estate sector, the healthcare sphere, and AI. Crypto specialists will provide the existing use cases and will emphasize the advantages of the technology’s innovative implementation.

There are 5-panel discussions scheduled:

  • Blockchain and IoT.
  • The World Gets Tokenized.
  • Tales and Adventures of Blockchain Hacking.
  • ICO’s: Opportunity or Threat?
  • Legal and Regulatory Challenges in Blockchain.

E&S Group provides a range of services including ICO Legal Services, Corporate Services, iGaming, International Tax Planning, Financial Planning, Tokenomics, and take part at the event. If you are attending the Conference and you would like to meet our representative there, please contact us by sending an email on [email protected].

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A Better Bet for Merchants: Altcoins or Bitcoins?

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, E&S Group, Bitcoin, Exchanges

A Better Bet for Merchants: Altcoins or Bitcoins?

There are lots of reasons why a merchant might be rather hesitant to accept cryptocurrency payments. One such reason is the fact that coins tend to become popular for a short time before fading away to obscurity within a couple of weeks. This means that what might be popular and widely used today, is unlikely to be being used in a month or two. Another main issue is volatility with even the largest and most well-known coins experiencing wildly fluctuating values on a day to day basis. By using coins that may disappear, or that may change in value from one moment to the next, merchants are taking a huge risk.

Despite this, a report from Coin Telegraph stated that 75% of US consumers would like to have the option to pay for products and services using cryptocurrency. This means that whilst businesses are not keen, public demand will force them to adopt cryptocurrencies at some point in the future. The biggest question that needs to be settled however is that of how to incorporate digital currency into traditional payment systems. In this article, we will take a look at whether Bitcoin or Altcoin is more suited to this role.

Bitcoin

As the main cryptocurrency in the market, BTC enjoys the largest market cap and the most well-known name. It is so popular that it is already being used by around 4000 shops around the world. Bitcoin is a good choice for those merchants that want a coin with a solid reputation, years of operation, and a large pool of active users. With around 28 million BTC wallets in existence, which is a very large number of users, it makes BTC by far the most dominant coin.

Altcoin

An altcoin is basically any cryptocurrency that is not Bitcoin. These can include Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, Dash, Monero, etc. Whilst Bitcoin is volatile with long transaction times and fees, most altcoins provide a much faster and cheaper alternative. For example, the average BTC transaction is around $0.72 per transaction, whereas Dogecoin or Bitcoin Cash are just a fraction of a cent for each transaction. Confirmation times are also far quicker with Altcoins and for this reason, it is a more practical and efficient approach for merchants and users.

So which one should merchants opt for? The answer is both, because in a market where popularity and prices wane, consumers should have the option to pay in a currency that they choose. The businesses that will survive well into the 4th industrial revolution, are the ones that are able to offer optimum flexibility to their clients, especially when it comes to making cheap and quick digital payments.

E&S Group can help you every step of the way of launching the cryptocurrency-related enterprise from marketing to tokenomics. Contact us on [email protected]

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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]

 

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Forbes quotes Muscat’s Bitcoin Prediction

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Malta, The Blockchain Island, DLT Regulation, E&S Group, Bitcoin, Tokenomics, Regulation

Forbes quotes Muscat’s Bitcoin Prediction

The Prime Minister of Malta Joseph Muscat has recently gained the fame as one of the most often quoted politicians in the European space due to his statements on the development of the digital industry and its regulation.   He has already announced his positive attitude towards bitcoin and blockchain from the point of their ability to eliminate third party service providers, giving users more freedom over information and money.

Forbes writes about the “Massive Bitcoin Prediction” according to the statement of Malta Prime Minister Joseph Muscat in an address to the United Nations General Assembly, where he has expressed his belief that blockchain technology is the tool that will help digital currencies “inevitably” gain mass adoption and become the future of money.

“I passionately believe technology revolutionizes and improves systems,” said Muscat. “This is why in Malta, we have launched ourselves as the blockchain island.”

“By being the first jurisdiction worldwide to regulate this new technology that previously existed in a legal vacuum. Blockchain makes cryptocurrencies inevitable future of money. More transparent, it helps filter good business from bad business.”

“Emissions trading systems can be taken to the next level. We can help verify that humanitarian assistance is reaching its intended destination. We can make sure that nobody is deprived of their legitimate property because of compromised data.”

E&S has already written about the progressive attitude of the Maltese authorities towards blockchain and the interpreters operating within this space, coming up with the regulation on the 1st of November.

Operating in Malta, E&S Group adheres to the Maltese laws with regards to ICOs, cryptocurrency exchanges and tokenomics. If you require further information contact us by sending an email on [email protected]. We make things happen!

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The Chinese paradox: virtual currencies vs ledger technologies

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, ICOs, Law, Bitcoin, Regulation

The Chinese paradox: virtual currencies vs ledger technologies

The Chinese government has increased its pressure on those engaging with cryptocurrency related activity within the country.

Whilst it is clear that Beijing supports blockchain, the technology that underpins crypto, it is also trying to limit speculation in digital currencies, almost one year since they banned ICOs.

Blockchain technology works by creating a permanent and secure record of transactions between two individuals. By facilitating this direct link between parties, it is possible to eliminate the need for third-party intermediaries such as banks. Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency that used blockchain technology, and since then hundreds of other crypto coins have been launched into the market. Last year, prices of Bitcoin reached record highs as investors speculated that blockchain was set to change the world as the internet did. Whilst it is being used around the world by companies, individuals, and governments, it is still yet to fully prove itself on a larger scale.

Banned the sale of cryptocurrencies

China was once the world leader when it came to Bitcoin trading and it is still responsible for the majority of the world’s BTC mining output. But, due to increased regulatory scrutiny as well as the value of Bitcoin climbing quickly, the country’s bank and other financial authorities banned the sales of new cryptocurrencies through ICOs as well as Bitcoin-Yuan trading.

Around the same time, investors in Japan, South Korea, and the US became extremely interested Bitcoin which resulted in an all-time high value of $19,000 by the end of December. Then on August 24th 2018, five Chinese government bodies; People’s Bank of China, the Banking Regulatory Commission, the Central Cyberspace Affairs Commission, the Ministry of Public Security and the State Administration for Market Regulation published a warning about the risks of fundraising via ICOs.

Prohibition of cryptocurrency transactions

Then, tech giant Tencent announced that they would prohibit any cryptocurrency related transactions made through WeChat pay as well as blocking some accounts associated with ICOs and crypto trading. Also in August, the business district of Beijing, the Chaoyang District placed a ban on all hotels, offices, and shopping areas holding any cryptocurrency related events. A special economic development zone in Guangzhou swiftly followed suit.

Whilst it is clear that the Chinese government wants to maintain a level of financial stability and regulation, this has not stopped several local governments investing heavily in blockchain projects. It seems that whilst blockchain is actively encouraging, cryptocurrency will remain outlawed.

 

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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Why is data the new currency?

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, GDPR, Technology, Payments, Bitcoin, Data Protection, Ethereum

Why is data the new currency?

The EU GDPR came into force at the end of May 2018, and since then our data has become a currency. We now have the ability to earn money from our own data and this has to lead many to call it the “new oil”.

Before the GDPR, companies such as Facebook and Google-owned all of our data, so essentially they owned our currency. Now, this is no longer the case. The concept of Vendor Relationship Management has been around for some time, fuelled by the ambitions of those at places such as Harvard who believe that the internet giants use of our own private data is wrong.

All of our data has value and as the customer and owner of it, we should receive its value. Whether you are browsing for new clothes, a holiday, or cinema tickets, you should be able to publicise this fact and wait for the offers to come to you.

Killi is a new application owned by Freckle IoT which allows this to happen. Since its launch, big names such as Staceys, McDonald’s, and GM have already signed up and are paying money to people for the things that they sell them. Whilst Killi has its limitations, it is most definitely a step in the right direction.

Issues such as connecting to other sites through APIs that can be changed without warning can be overcome, and whilst it may not be paying out big bucks at the moment, this is just the beginning. The idea needs appropriate scale, and like the fax machine, it is useless if there is only one other person with the app. Whilst Killi has 70,000 subscribers and counting, it needs a lot more users before it will have any real value.

This is great news for those that were shaken by the Cambridge Analytica scandal or the fact that all internet companies have been shamelessly harvesting our user data without telling us.

What is really interesting about this concept, however, is the fact that it all takes place on the IoT via a blockchain platform. This is a great example of a real-world use case for both bits of tech and shows how easy it is to disappear this technology into everyday life. What’s more is, this is a great example of a company doing something sensible about the privacy issue rather than just writing an angry article or vowing to delete Facebook.

 

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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