Fintech Schweiz Digital Finance News – FintechNewsCH http://fintechnews.ch Tue, 18 Dec 2018 18:34:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The 5 Biggest All-Time Monthly Losses in Bitcoin and Ethereum http://fintechnews.ch/blockchain_bitcoin/bitcoin-and-ether-all-time-highest-biggest-losses/24430/ Tue, 18 Dec 2018 11:05:23 +0000 http://fintechnews.ch/?p=24430 Cryptocurrencies have an history of high volatility, driven by varied factors from global demand and usage and changes in software, to political changes and social and economical events, and have often

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Cryptocurrencies have an history of high volatility, driven by varied factors from global demand and usage and changes in software, to political changes and social and economical events, and have often been compared to history’s biggest bubbles, whether the Dutch Tulip mania in the 17th century, the Mississippi Bubble in the 18th century or the UK Canal and Railway mania in the 19th century. Perhaps the most popular comparison is the Dot-com bubble of 2000.

Since December 2017, the cryptocurrency market has followed a similar trajectory in what has been deemed the 2018 Cryptocurrency Crash. Cryptocurrencies dropped from an all-time high market capitalization of US$823 billion in early January 2018 to now US$112 billion, an 86% decline from the beginning of the year.

Total Crypto Market Capitalization, Coinmarketcap.com

Total Crypto Market Capitalization, Coinmarketcap.com

As the cryptocurrency market continues through one of its worst sell-off periods, we look at five of bitcoin’s and ether’s biggest monthly losses of all-time:

 

Bitcoin crashes

Bitcoin via MaxPixel.net

Bitcoin via MaxPixel.net

The Great Bitcoin Bubble of 2011

June 2011 was the peak of the Great Bitcoin Bubble of 2011. The price of bitcoin rose to hit an all-time high of US$31 before crashing down to US$10 and beginning a slow and steady decline that bottomed out at US$2 in November 2011, decreasing its value by over 90% over the following four months. Prices didn’t return to this peak again until 2013.

August 2011: -39%
September 2011: -37%
October 2011: -37%

The Late 2013 Crash

In December 2013, the price of bitcoin crashed to US$500 from a high of US$1,150 in late November. It eventually rebounded to US$1,000 before crashing again to the US$500 range then stabilizing to the US$650-US$800 range.

Adding to the long road to recovery after the collapse in December 2013 was the shutdown of Mt. Gox. The price of bitcoin grew steadily through January and February 2014 when suddenly fell nearly 50% from US$860 to US$440.

In early February 2014, one of the largest bitcoin exchanges, Mt. Gox, suspended withdrawals citing technical issues. By the end of the month, Mt. Gox had filed for bankruptcy protection in Japan amid reports that 744,000 bitcoins had been stolen.

February 2014: -36%

The 2018 Cryptocurrency Crash

Since January 2018, the cryptocurrency market has been undergoing the so-called the 2018 Cryptocurrency Crash, also referred to as the Great Crypto Crash, a massive sell-off period of most cryptocurrencies.

After an unprecedented boom in 2017, the price of bitcoin fell by 27% in January 2018, then 33% in March. Nearly all other cryptocurrencies also peaked from December 2017 through January 2018, and then followed bitcoin. The cryptocurrencies’ market capitalization lost at least US$342 billion in the first quarter of 2018, the largest loss in cryptocurrencies up to that date.

By September 2018, cryptocurrencies collapsed 80% from their peak in January 2018, making the 2018 Cryptocurrency Crash worse than the Dot-com bubble’s 78% collapse. By late November, bitcoin had fallen by over 80% from its peak, having lost almost one-third of its value in the previous week, and registered its biggest monthly decline in more than seven years.

November 2018: -37%
BTC/USD monthly performance, CoinDesk

BTC/USD monthly performance, CoinDesk

 

Ether crashes

Ethereum ETH Crypto Coin Stock Photo, by Crypto360, Flickr

Ethereum ETH Crypto Coin Stock Photo, by Crypto360, Flickr

The August 2015 Ether Crash

Following the launch of Ethereum’s first live release Ethereum Frontier in late July 2015, the price of ether, the cryptocurrency native to the decentralized platform, dropped significantly, registering a monthly loss of 56% in August 2015 and 45% in September.

Despite heavy sell offs initially on August 8, price settled around US$1 until January 2016 when market interest picked up, sending the price to an all-time high of US$14 in March 2016.

Ethereum crowdfunded its project in June 2014, raising about US$18 million worth of bitcoins in one of the world’s largest crowdfunding campaigns at the time. During the initial coin offering (ICO), an ether was priced roughly 30 cents per ETH.

August 2015: -56%
September 2015: -45%

The 2018 Cryptocurrency Crash

During the 2018 Cryptocurrency Crash, the price of ether dropped nearly 90% from its all-time high of US$1,590 in January to about US$90 in December. Ether witnessed one of its biggest monthly losses in March 2018, falling 53% from US$850 to US$400.

February 2018: -23%
March 2018: -53%
November 2018: -43%
ETH/USD Kraken chart, Tradingview

ETH/USD Kraken chart, Tradingview

 

Featured image: Bitcoin with chart, by QuoteInspector.com, via Flickr.

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Swiss Blockchain Federation Welcomes Government’s Approach for Blockchain Regulation http://fintechnews.ch/blockchain_bitcoin/swiss-blockchain-federation-welcomes-governments-approach-for-blockchain-regulation/24398/ Tue, 18 Dec 2018 05:51:07 +0000 http://fintechnews.ch/?p=24398 The Swiss Blockchain Federation welcomes the report published by the Federal Blockchain/ICO Working Group and supports the path being taken by the Federal Council. The report picks up on several

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The Swiss Blockchain Federation welcomes the report published by the Federal Blockchain/ICO Working Group and supports the path being taken by the Federal Council.

The report picks up on several of the points raised in the white paper published by the Blockchain Taskforce (the predecessor to the Swiss Blockchain Federation) in early 2018. The Swiss Blockchain Federation is now calling for the report to be rapidly put into action with a binding agenda, so that blockchain companies can enjoy legal certainty in the near future. This is fundamental to further developing Switzerland as a blockchain location.

Blockchain Taskforce Organisation

Blockchain Taskforce Organisation

In recent years Switzerland has become one of the world’s leading locations for blockchain companies and business models. These companies need legal certainty. The publication of the report by the Federal Council marks an important step in this direction and provides a detailed survey of the legal challenges that these new business models create. The report does not call for a separate blockchain law, preferring to amend existing civil and financial market law. This reflects the objective of setting the framework conditions so that Switzerland can strengthen and extend its leading position in blockchain.

The fact that Switzerland is taking a pragmatic approach is to be welcomed.

For Heinz Tännler, President of the Swiss Blockchain Federation, things are clear:

“Legal implementation now needs to follow on quickly from this report. Switzerland needs this certainty as the basis for further development.” 

The 10-point program launched recently by the Swiss Blockchain Federation to strengthen blockchain technology in Switzerland also calls for a binding agenda from the regulator. This position paper spells out the social policy, regulatory and public interest issues that need to be settled if Switzerland is to be a successful blockchain location.

Several points in the federal report have been taken up from the white paper of the Blockchain Taskforce, out of which the Swiss Blockchain Federation emerged at the end of October 2018, such as a proposed change in civil law for transferring tokens. The Federal Council’s report also concurs with the analysis that it does not seem necessary to change anti-money laundering legislation at present, as the existing rules can also be applied to new business models.

 

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Switzerland wants to Improve Framework Conditions for Blockchain http://fintechnews.ch/blockchain_bitcoin/switzerland-wants-to-improve-framework-conditions-for-blockchain/24383/ Mon, 17 Dec 2018 03:39:00 +0000 http://fintechnews.ch/?p=24383 During its meeting on 7 December 2018, the Federal Council adopted a report on the legal framework for blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) in the financial sector. The report

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During its meeting on 7 December 2018, the Federal Council adopted a report on the legal framework for blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) in the financial sector.

The report shows that Switzerland’s legal framework is well suited to dealing with new technologies, including blockchain. Nevertheless, there is still a need for selective adjustments. The Federal Council also noted the analysis of an interdepartmental working group on the money laundering and terrorist financing risks posed by crypto assets.

It is predicted that distributed ledger technology and blockchain technology have considerable potential for innovation and enhanced efficiency both in the financial sector and in other sectors of the economy. The Federal Council wishes to exploit the opportunities offered by digitalisation for Switzerland. It wants to create the best possible framework conditions so that Switzerland can establish itself and evolve as a leading, innovative and sustainable location for fintech and blockchain companies. Moreover, it wants to consistently combat abuses and ensure the integrity and good reputation of Switzerland as a financial centre and business location.

ICO Design

image via Federal Council

The report provides an analysis of relevant framework conditions, clarifies the need for action and proposes concrete measures. It is based on the work of the blockchain/ICO working group, which was set up by the Federal Department of Finance (FDF) in January 2018 and which also consulted the fintech and financial sector as part of its work.

The analyses show that there is no need for fundamental adjustments to the Swiss legal framework, but that there is still a need for specific adjustments. The Federal Council has instructed the FDF and the Federal Department of Justice and Police (FDJP) to draw up a consultation draft in the first quarter of 2019 in a bid to:

  • in civil law, increase legal certainty for the transfer of rights by means of digital registers,
  • in insolvency law, further, clarify the segregation of cryptobased assets in the event of bankruptcy and examine the segregation of data with no asset value,
  • in financial market law, devise a new and flexible authorization category for blockchain-based financial market infrastructures,
  • in banking law, reconcile the bank insolvency law provisions with the adjustments in general insolvency law, and
  • in anti-money laundering law, more explicitly anchor the current practice of making decentralised trading platforms subject to the Anti-Money Laundering Act.

On 7 December 2018, the Federal Council also took note of a report by the interdepartmental coordinating group on combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism (CGMF) on the money laundering and terrorist financing risks posed by crypto assets and crowdfunding. The analysis shows that cryptobased assets pose a threat in the area of money laundering and terrorist financing.

Due to the small number of cases, however, the real risk in Switzerland cannot be estimated conclusively. Nevertheless, Switzerland has a comprehensive regulatory system in place, which is why further improvements need to be addressed with internationally coordinated measures. The Federal Council has also instructed the FDF to examine whether anti-money laundering law should be adapted with regard to certain forms of crowdfunding.

 

Featured image credit: Unsplash

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Tokenized Equity: A Revolution For Traditional And New Capital Markets http://fintechnews.ch/blockchain_bitcoin/tokenized-equity-a-revolution-for-traditional-and-new-capital-markets/24371/ Fri, 14 Dec 2018 08:48:39 +0000 http://fintechnews.ch/?p=24371 Swiss Startup Alethena is the first company to successfully tokenize its entire share capital on the Ethereum blockchain. The company’s shareholders will thus be holding tokenized shares endowed with claimable

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Swiss Startup Alethena is the first company to successfully tokenize its entire share capital on the Ethereum blockchain. The company’s shareholders will thus be holding tokenized shares endowed with claimable rights, i.e. dividend and voting rights.

While the trend towards increasing regulation and, as a result, a decreasing number of IPOs and listed stocks on global exchanges remains unchanged, in the recent past, many startup projects have successfully funded themselves by issuing tokens on the blockchain.

However, ever since the bursting of the Bitcoin Bubble in early 2018, the number of successful coin or token offerings has shrunken drastically. Apart from the stark price decreases, one of the main drivers for this development is reflected in the fact that an investment in said coins and tokens, in most cases, simply represents a donation (void of any legal claims for a potential investor). Furthermore, once invested, an investor cannot rely on any kind of fundamental data with respect to the development of the price.

tokenized equity

tokenized equity

Project financing for startups has become increasingly complicated, insofar as that many companies seek funding by privately issuing equity for professional investors while publicly offering coins or tokens to the community, thus creating a dual funding structure with differing stakeholders, in particular with respect to associated legal rights. Alethena, a provider specialised on the provision of due diligence services in the cryptocurrency industry, has found itself in a similar situation in early 2018.

Having tried to seek funding by issuing a security token, the company was not able to successfully complete the round, given, due to the legal situation at the time, that it could not guarantee any form of claimable rights to professional investors.

Solving the aforementioned problem not only mandated a reasonable technical implementation but also demanded a reinterpretation of the legal position (see von der Crone, H., C., Kessler, F., J., Angstmann, L., 2018, Token in der Blockchain – privatrechtliche Aspekte der Distributed Ledger Technologie, SJZ 114/2018, p. 337). In a collective effort, together with Prof. Dr. Hans Caspar von der Crone and Christian Meisser’s law firm Lexr, a legal solution was developed which allows for the issuing of traditional registered shares as a standard ERC20 token on the Ethereum blockchain. In the process, for each share issued as an uncertified security, a given shareholder, instead of obtaining an entry on his bank deposit, receives a token on a so-called wallet.

To mitigate common risks with respect to ease of use, Alethena has implemented several technical features into its smart contract. Most noteworthy, a mechanism, allowing for a reclaim of shares in case of a loss of the associated private key, the password for the wallet (the substitute for the bank deposit). The legal implementation in the bylaws of the private limited company has been approved by both the cantonal as well as the national commercial register (EHRA). Lastly, to efficiently manage the company’s register of shareholders and capitalization table, a cooperation with startup Ledgy was initiated. This has led to the development of a solution, which allows for the monitoring of token transactions (and thus also share transactions) to subsequent holders.

The currently implemented solution, both from a technical and legal viewpoint, is a basic version that can be applied, almost without limit, to any kind of uncertified securities and allows for future expansion to cover additional features. The target group encompasses not only startups but also non-listed companies which are interested in enabling fast tradability of their shares. Hence, also small to medium enterprises are able to raise capital in the market, make employee shares tradable and therefore unlock the liquidity premium or outsource certain projects and profit-centers into independent private limited companies.

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A Blockchain Charity Foundation in Liechtenstein http://fintechnews.ch/liechtenstein/a-blockchain-charity-foundation-in-liechtenstein/24362/ Fri, 14 Dec 2018 07:08:40 +0000 http://fintechnews.ch/?p=24362 æternity, a Liechtenstein based blockchain platform has announced the launch of two foundations, in Liechtenstein and Bulgaria, that will provide grants and educational support to innovative blockchain projects. The Bulgarian

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æternity, a Liechtenstein based blockchain platform has announced the launch of two foundations, in Liechtenstein and Bulgaria, that will provide grants and educational support to innovative blockchain projects.

The Bulgarian foundation will focus on supporting projects throughout the Balkans, while the Liechtenstein-based foundation will have an international focus. Welcoming applications from individuals, teams, and non-commercial projects, the foundations aim to boost the vibrant blockchain ecosystem by offering financial assistance to leading research and development efforts.

Based in Liechtenstein, the æternity Crypto Foundation will primarily focus on supporting research and development efforts in blockchain technology, cryptography, and mathematics. To this end, it will commence by providing grants up to one million CHF, paid in cryptocurrency, to innovative projects that are viewed as having significant potential to further explore and proliferate the benefits of blockchain. The Foundation also aims to further vitalize the overall blockchain ecosystem, lending resources to developing innovative ideas for decentralized applications, as well as promoting art and culture initiatives in the space. The grant program will expand on an ongoing basis in tandem with progress on the project’s core and applications development.

Peter Schnürer, æternity Crypto Foundation Board Member, a prominent figure in Liechtenstein blockchain space, and part of the expert group that architected the Liechtenstein Legal Blockchain Act, said:

Peter Schnürer

Peter Schnürer

“The Foundation will offer research support, the driving force behind advancements in the industry, as well as assisting smart, unconventional thinkers as they explore this technology and we encourage all blockchain innovators to submit an application. It will also help startups expand the potential of their creative work in a collaborative, dynamic environment. We are committed to driving blockchain innovation by supporting a broad spectrum of the blockchain ecosystem and look forward to a variety of applications from disruptive projects in the space.”

Meanwhile, the æternity Foundation Bulgaria will work to implement partnerships with universities and other educational institutions in Bulgaria and in the Balkan region. The Foundation will offer scholarships to provide blockchain enthusiasts the opportunity to secure a recognized qualification related to the technology and embark on a career in the space. This level of collaboration will educate professionals outside the technology sector about the benefits and potential of blockchain, thereby driving continued growth in the industry. In addition, the Foundation will encourage the growth of the local blockchain ecosystem by showcasing the work conducted in the Balkans region with the global community.

Featured image credit: Edited from Pixabay and Pexels

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Schweizer Immobilien auf der Blockchain http://fintechnews.ch/blockchain_bitcoin/schweizer-immobilien-auf-der-blockchain/24344/ Fri, 14 Dec 2018 05:26:18 +0000 http://fintechnews.ch/?p=24344 Eine Innovation aus dem «Crypto Valley» in Zug lässt aufhorchen: blockimmo behauptet die erste auf Blockchain-Technologie basierende Immobilientransaktionsplattform zu haben. Über Crowd Sales macht sie gemeinsame Immobilien-Investitionen möglich und senkt

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Eine Innovation aus dem «Crypto Valley» in Zug lässt aufhorchen: blockimmo behauptet die erste auf Blockchain-Technologie basierende Immobilientransaktionsplattform zu haben.

Über Crowd Sales macht sie gemeinsame Immobilien-Investitionen möglich und senkt so die Eintrittshürden in diese attraktive Anlageklasse deutlich. Die Plattform ist einfach zum bedienen und bietet maximalen Anlegerschutz.

Seit Dezember 2018 ist die Immobilientransaktionsplattform blockimmo online. Anleger können bereits mit kleinen Beträgen ab rund CHF 1’000 in Liegenschaften investieren. Auf der anderen Seite können Immobilieneigentümer beim Verkauf ihrer Immobilien Bestpreise erzielen.

Bastiaan Don

Bastiaan Don

«Ich bin sehr stolz, mit blockimmo ein sicheres Blockchain-Produkt sowohl für private Konsumenten als auch für professionelle Investoren auf den Markt zu bringen»,

sagt Bastiaan Don, Managing Director von blockimmo, der die Plattform aus der Taufe gehoben hat.

Vorteile für Anleger

Den Anlegern garantiert blockimmo ein einfaches Investment in einen lukrativen und exklusiven Markt. Zur Grundausstattung beim Blockchain Investing gehört ein Wallet: Bei blockimmo nimmt der Anleger über sein eigenes Wallet an einem Crowd Sale für eine Liegenschaft teil. Zurzeit unterstützt blockimmo MetaMask sowie die zwei bekannten Hardware-Wallet-Hersteller Ledger und Trezor. Der Anleger kann selbst bestimmen, wie viel er in ein Objekt investieren will. Den Fortschritt des Crowd Sales kann er anschliessend live mitverfolgen. Direkt im Anschluss an die Verkaufsmodalitäten erhält der Anleger seine Anteile in Form von Tokens in sein Wallet. Die Tokens repräsentieren seinen Anteil an den zugrunde liegenden Immobilien.

Nach dem erfolgreichen Kauf profitieren Anleger von den regelmässigen Erträgen der Immobilien und deren Wertsteigerung.

«Einen Mindesteinsatz gibt es auf unserer Plattform nicht, ein Investment ist jedoch ab rund CHF 1’000 sinnvoll»,

empfiehlt Bastiaan Don. Zudem können Anleger ihre Investments jederzeit und ohne Vermittler veräussern – entweder über Peer-to-Peer (via Bulletin Board) auf der blockimmo-Plattform oder direkt an einer regulierten Börse.

Neben einer hohen Liquidität bietet diese auf Blockchain basierende Technologie auch eine hohe Flexibilität für die Anleger – ein weiterer Vorteil gegenüber bestehenden Immobilien-Transaktionsplattformen in der «herkömmlichen Welt». Dort müssen die Miteigentümer einer Immobilie in der Regel im Grundbuch eingetragen werden. Zudem haben die weiteren Miteigentümer ein gesetzliches Vorverkaufsrecht, das das Konfliktpotenzial stark erhöhen kann – ganz abgesehen von der hohen rechtlichen Komplexität und dem fehlenden Anlegerschutz.

EU-Expansion bereits im Auge

blockimmo dagegen bietet höchstmöglichen Anlegerschutz. Erstens werden die Rechte an den Liegenschaften bei blockimmo durch Tokens repräsentiert. Zweitens werden die den Investments zugrunde liegenden Immobilien in einem Anlagefonds in Liechtenstein aufgelegt. Jede Immobilie ist mit einem eigenen, geschlossenen Teilfonds besichert. Drittens gibt es pro Immobilie eine einzige, unverwechselbare Token-Kategorie. Die verschiedenen Liegenschaften des blockimmo-Ökosystems werden so nicht miteinander vermischt.

Marcel Hostettler

Marcel Hostettler

«Es war ein anspruchsvolles und herausforderndes Projekt. Trotzdem ist es uns gelungen, höchsten Anlegerschutz zu bieten und dennoch eine einfache und benutzerfreundliche Struktur zu schaffen»,

sagt Marcel Hostettler, Rechtsanwalt und Partner bei der Anwaltskanzlei MME, der zuvor bei der FINMA tätig war. Er lobt die Partnerschaft zwischen Bastiaan Don und seinen Entwicklern sowie der Bank Frick.

Um grösstmögliche Sicherheit für Anleger wie auch für Verkäufer zu gewährleisten, wurde blockimmo darüber hinaus vor dem «go live» von den IT-Security-Firmen New Alchemy, Hosho sowie vom Public Bug Bounty Program via HackerOne auf Herz und Nieren geprüft.

Bei all seinen Angeboten hält sich blockimmo an bestehende Regulierungsvorgaben. blockimmo startet zunächst mit Gewerbeliegenschaften in der Schweiz. Erste Investitionsmöglichkeiten sind auf der Plattform für Q1 2019 geplant. Später folgen Grundstücke, Projekte sowie Wohnliegenschaften.

«In naher Zukunft planen wir zudem die Expansion in den EU-Raum, erste Anfragen dazu haben wir bereits erhalten» ergänzt Bastiaan Don.

Das Grundbuch im 21. Jahrhundert

Um dem Blockchain-basierten Grundbuch auf breiter Front weiter Antrieb zu verleihen und dereinst das heutige System der Grundbesitzverwaltung zu transformieren, hilft blockimmo zudem öffentlichen Stellen wie Katasterämtern dabei, Blockchain-Luft zu schnuppern. So pflegt blockimmo bereits politische Kontakte, um ihnen die technischen und finanziellen Vorteile aufzuzeigen und ihnen darzulegen, wie der Übergang in die Blockchain-Welt vollzogen werden kann.

 

 

 

Featured image credit: Unsplash

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Europe’s 1st Blockchain Bank http://fintechnews.ch/blockchain_bitcoin/europes-1st-blockchain-bank/24333/ Thu, 13 Dec 2018 06:16:45 +0000 http://fintechnews.ch/?p=24333 No bank has done this before claims Bitwala: Starting today, Germany’s cryptocurrency flagship company Bitwala is offering Europe’s first banking solution for early adopters and mainstream users of cryptocurrencies such

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No bank has done this before claims Bitwala: Starting today, Germany’s cryptocurrency flagship company Bitwala is offering Europe’s first banking solution for early adopters and mainstream users of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.

It is the first time ever, that users can manage both Bitcoin and Euro deposits in one place with the safety and convenience of a German bank account. Bitwala is now starting to onboard 40,000 customers who previously preregistered to open a German current account with a built-in Bitcoin wallet.

Jörg von Minckwitz

Jörg von Minckwitz

“This is a major moment for the banking and cryptocurrency industries. Money has always changed with time. As digitization spreads, the world is now entering a hybrid future where Blockchain-borne and state-backed currencies complement each other”,

said Jörg von Minckwitz, President and co-founder of Bitwala.

“Bitwala’s 30-strong team did a stellar job in developing a service within the confines of banking regulation as a bridge between the traditional and crypto economies. Over 40,000 customers, and counting, already signed up for the new Bitwala account.”

Europe’s first! Bitwala Blockchain Banking

Bitwala is now the easiest and safest way to manage cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin can be traded with just a few clicks drawing from the liquidity in the current account. At the same time, Bitwala’s blockchain banking solution is fully compliant with the regulators. As with any bank account in Germany, Euro deposits of up to 100,000 Euro will be protected by law. The accounts will be hosted by solarisBank, the Berlin-based tech- platform with a banking license and therefore supervised by BaFin and Bundesbank, Germany’s banking authorities.

Thanks to video verification, opening a Bitwala account takes just a few minutes. Customers will need to provide an ID and answer a few questions with the operator. This is a mandatory requirement for opening bank accounts known as Know Your Customer, or KYC.

New users along with the 40,000 pre-registered customers will be onboarded one after the other based on their waitlist place.

 

Featured image credit: Bitwala

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Global Thought Leaders and Blockchain Industry Experts Meet in St. Moritz http://fintechnews.ch/blockchain_bitcoin/crypto-finance-conference-st-moritz/24323/ Thu, 13 Dec 2018 03:28:54 +0000 http://fintechnews.ch/?p=24323 One year ago the first Crypto Finance Conference (CFC) in St. Moritz made an international impression with an outstanding speaker line-up and the “Switzerland will be Crypto Nation” statement by

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One year ago the first Crypto Finance Conference (CFC) in St. Moritz made an international impression with an outstanding speaker line-up and the “Switzerland will be Crypto Nation” statement by Federal Councillor Johann Schneider-Ammann.

Now, one year later, the exclusive conference is back in St. Moritz with another stellar speaker line-up and agenda. From January 16 to 18, 2019, only one week before the World Economic Forum in Davos, the CFC brings together the leading investors, experts and innovators of the blockchain space at the Suvretta House in St. Moritz.

As the industry is starting to grow up, the potential mass adoption of the technology becomes a more and more important topic, which will require a lot of work on a political level. Top speakers with political background include:

Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg

Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg

Former member of the German Bundestag, former Federal Minister for Economics and Technology and former Minister of Defense. Zu Guttenberg is the chairman and founder of Spitzberg Partners, an advisory and investment firm based in New York, USA. The company also invests venture capital in innovative blockchain and AI startups.

Philipp Roesler

Philipp Roesler

Former German politician, who was the Federal Minister of Economics and Technology and Vice-Chancellor of Germany. Until recently he served as a member of the managing board of the World Economic Forum. In late 2017 he was appointed chief executive officer of the New York-based Hainan Cihang Charity Foundation.

Eva Kaili

Eva Kaili

Member of the European Parliament since 2014. In her capacity as the Chair of the European Parliament’s Science and Technology Options Assessment body (STOA) she has been working intensively on promoting innovation as a driving force of the establishment of the European Digital Single Market. She has been particularly active in the fields of blockchain technology, m/eHealth, big data, fintech, AI and cybersecurity. She will be joining the CFC as a speaker for the second time.

Brian Forde

Former Senior Advisor for Mobile and Data Innovation at the White House, where he wrote the first paper on Bitcoin to inform the president of this new technology. He is also known as former “Crypto Candidate” for US Congress, CA-45. He is a Senior Lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management and co-founded the Digital Currency Initiative, an academic research group on cryptocurrencies at the world-renown MIT Media Lab. He will be joining the CFC for the second time.

Besides the delegation with a political background, the CFC welcomes a great selection of international industry representatives with a technical and entrepreneurial background:

● Charles Hoskinson, CEO of IOHK and Co-Founder of Ethereum
● Maja Vujinovic, CEO of OGroup and member of the board of CoinDesk
● Helen Hai, Head of the Binance Blockchain Charity Foundation and Ambassador of the
United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
● Bill Tai, Chairman and CEO of ACTAI Global and Venture Capitalist
● Jane Lippencott, Business Development at CoinFi and Origin X Capital
● Andy Bromberg, Co-Founder and President of Coinlist
● Flore-Anne Messy, Head of the Insurance and Private Pensions and Financial Market Division at OECD
● Ted Rogers, President of Xapo
● Loretta Joseph, Director of Paradym Global
● Bob McElrath, Blockchain Architect, Fidelity Digital Assets

Nicolo Stoehr

Nicolo Stoehr

“A lot has happened since our first conference and it is very interesting to see how the industry is slowly starting to grow up. For our first anniversary conference here in St. Moritz, we have so many speaker inquiries that we could fill another 3 days with great content.

We bring together the right people from different backgrounds, who are all committed to do serious business in this emerging industry. I’m proud that we can organize an important event like this here in the Swiss mountains and contribute to the image of Switzerland as a global hub for blockchain developments.”

says Nicolo Stoehr, CEO of the Crypto Finance Conference.

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Blockchain Germany Ecosystem Study: Rapidly Growing Blockchain Startup Scene http://fintechnews.ch/fintechgermany/blockchain-germany-ecosystem-study-rapidly-growing-blockchain-startup-scene/24285/ Wed, 12 Dec 2018 06:38:26 +0000 http://fintechnews.ch/?p=24285 Germany is witnessing a rapidly growing blockchain startup ecosystem, with 34 new ventures being incorporated in 2017 and already 32 new companies this year, according to a new report by

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Germany is witnessing a rapidly growing blockchain startup ecosystem, with 34 new ventures being incorporated in 2017 and already 32 new companies this year, according to a new report by BTC-ECHO and BlockState.

Founding year, The German Blockchain Ecosystem – Study 2018

Founding year, The German Blockchain Ecosystem – Study 2018

The German Blockchain Ecosystem – Study 2018, which comprises a research of 180 different companies and a survey of representatives of more than 100 German blockchain startups, found that nearly 50% of German blockchain startups are based in Berlin (89), followed by Munich (23), Frankfurt am Main (14) and Hamburg (10).

Cities where the companies are located, The German Blockchain Ecosystem – Study 2018

Cities where the companies are located, The German Blockchain Ecosystem – Study 2018

In Germany, Berlin in particular has emerged as a major center for blockchain development and a serious contender for the crown of Europe’s crypto capital. Jasmine Zhang, Berlin-based CEO of Longhash Germany, a blockchain accelerator, told DW at the Longhash Crypto Festival Berlin last month:

“Berlin is really attractive with a low cost of living and so many co-working spaces and also really good projects that can attract people to come here. Especially with Brexit, Germany is now attracting a lot of talent and funding from everywhere.”

According to Zhang, the diverse range of talent coming into Berlin has allowed for the emergence of a rich blockchain ecosystem and engendered a “very open ecosystem” during crypto and blockchain meetups during which people showcase a desire to “work together and partner with each other.”

She noted the increasing number of German developers and startups working on new applications of blockchain looking to work with big businesses and government agencies. “You actually see more of a willingness to work with government and authorities,” Zhang said.

One such example is IOTA, a distributed ledger for the Internet-of-Things (IoT) overseen by the IOTA Foundation in Berlin. IOTA has signed partnerships with notable players including Bosch, Volkswagen and Fujitsu. In July, it announced that it had been selected by the European Commission under the Smart Cities and Communities call. IOTA’s MIOTA token has a market capitalization of US$687.90 million.

According to the BTC-ECHO and BlockState study, the majority of Germany’s blockchain startups are active in the finance and crypto industry (41), followed by entertainment (13), identity (11), IoT (10), and public infrastructure (10). 67% of these startups claim they are already generating revenue.

Indutries in which the companies are active, The German Blockchain Ecosystem – Study 2018

Industries in which the companies are active, The German Blockchain Ecosystem – Study 2018

86 are financed through an initial coin offering (ICO) and 63 received private funding. Among those that raised funding through ICOs, most raised between EUR 10 and 20 million (10), followed by EUR 1 to 5 million (9), EUR 5 to 10 million and then less than EUR 1 million (both 7).

Type of financing and ICO amounts

Raised amount by ICOs and Type of financing, The German Blockchain Ecosystem – Study 2018

Germany’s burgeoning blockchain sector has seen several notable developments in the past months. In November the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) unveiled plans to fight tax evasion schemes using blockchain technology, reports business news outlet WirtschaftsWoche. That same month, German cryptocurrency exchange Bitcoin Group SE announced that it has successfully acquired investment bank Tremmel Wertpapierhandelsbank GmbH. With the acquisition, Bitcoin Group SE has absorbed Tremmel’s Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) license, allowing the company to develop and sell cryptocurrency-based investment contracts.

A recent survey by the German Federal Association for Information Technology, Telecommunications and New Media (Bitkom) has found that over one third of big businesses consider blockchain as revolutionary as the Internet.

 

Featured image: Bundestag, Germany, Pixabay.

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Ein 10Millionen Euro Insurtech Capital Fonds für Europa http://fintechnews.ch/insurtech/ein-10millionen-euro-insurtech-capital-fonds-fur-europa/24297/ Wed, 12 Dec 2018 06:05:48 +0000 http://fintechnews.ch/?p=24297 Odysseus Alternative Ventures (OAV), der Private Equity- und Venture-Capital-Bereich der Reech Corporations Group, gibt eine Partnerschaft mit der APICIL Group, dem viertgrössten französischen Anbieter von Lösungen im Bereich Sozialschutz, bekannt,

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Odysseus Alternative Ventures (OAV), der Private Equity- und Venture-Capital-Bereich der Reech Corporations Group, gibt eine Partnerschaft mit der APICIL Group, dem viertgrössten französischen Anbieter von Lösungen im Bereich Sozialschutz, bekannt, um Insurtech Capital I, seinen ersten Insurtech-Fonds, aufzulegen.

Der Fonds, der mit 10 Mio. Euro an Mittelzusagen ausgestattet ist, wird in eine Vielzahl von französischen und europäischen Startups investieren, die neue Technologien, neue Geschäftsmodelle und neue Formen der Bereitstellung für den Versicherungssektor entwickeln wollen.

Der Fonds zielt auf Investitionen in innovative Unternehmen der Versicherungsbranche ab, die sich in der Anfangsphase befinden (Seed und Serie A), und nutzt die OAV firmeneigene halbautomatische Sourcingplattform, um vielversprechende Kandidaten für Investitionen zu identifizieren und zu filtern. Die Datenbank von OAV umfasst aktuell mehrere tausend Unternehmen, von denen die meisten Lösungen für spezifische Probleme entwickeln, die sich im Zuge der Digitalisierung der Aktivitäten und der Identifizierung künftiger Wachstumsbereiche im Versicherungssektor ergeben.

Das Ziel des Insurtech Capital Fonds ist es, auch mit anderen europäischen Versicherungsunternehmen in Deutschland, der Schweiz, den Niederlanden und Grossbritannien zusammenzuarbeiten, die ein ähnliches Engagement in diesem schnell wachsenden Teilbereich der Versicherungsbranche anstreben

Minh Q. Tran, CEO von OAV, sagte:

Minh Q. Tran

Minh Q. Tran

„Wir sind fest davon überzeugt, dass unser einzigartiger Investmentansatz ein attraktiver Weg ist, um Investoren Zugang zu den überdurchschnittlichen Renditen zu ermöglichen, die Investoren zugänglich sind, die die zukünftigen Disruptoren in einer Reihe von Finanz- und Technologieunternehmen erfolgreich identifizieren können. Wir begrüssen APICIL als strategischen Partner in diesem Fonds, der wirklich ein innovatives VC-as-a-Service Konzept für die Versicherungsbranche ist.”

 

 

 

Featured image credit: Edited from Unsplash

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