CoinZoom secures license to start Australian operations

CoinZoom, a U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange, will soon start its operations in Australia after its subsidiary, CoinZoom Australia, received approval from the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC).

According to the announcement, CoinZoom Australia will be able to offer its services to people across Australia lawfully. The exchange will now be able to accept and exchange fiat and digital currencies including BTC, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ethereum, Ripple and other alt coins.

Under the license, CoinZoom Australia will provide its services to people in Australia and around the world.

CoinZoom CEO Todd Crosland stated that receiving the license will help actualize the company’s vision of providing global cryptocurrency traders with innovative trading technology. He added that the license was an essential step in the company’s goal to provide globally compliant digital currency trading.

With the license in place, CoinZoom is expected to launch Coin Zoom Australia next year, possibly in the first quarter of 2019. Customers wishing to use the exchange will be required to comply with Anti Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements in America and Australia.

The exchange will provide a simple and easy “one-stop user experience” to link their credit card, bank account, and cryptocurrency wallets. CoinZoom’s‎ trading platform also offers customers a pattern recognition system; CoinZoom Rewards debit card, and social trading capabilities.

CoinZoom has been offering crypto services to people in the United States for quite some time. It is registered as a money service business (MSB) with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) to operate in all 50 states.

AUSTRAC has been actively involved in trying to make sure businesses in the crypto space follow regulations during their operations. The authority has also grown its global network of financial intelligence. In November, the financial authority appointed the first ever AUSTRAC financial intelligence analyst to be posted in China. To facilitate its activities, AUSTRAC received additional funding of $5.2 million from the Australian government. In addition to helping grow its global imprint, the funding was aimed at assisting the authority to conduct a more profound analysis of risks, money laundering activities, threats, and terrorist activities in the country. 

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New crypto payments platform coming to Australia

Cryptocurrencies continue to grow as an alternative around the world and nowhere is this as evident as it is in Australia. The country is adopting crypto at a rate faster than most countries and residents have several options available to them to pay for virtually anything using digital currency. There is soon to be a new option added to the mix, thanks to a partnership between blockchain-based tech company Ivy and HiveEx.com, a crypto brokerage.

The two companies have teamed up to offer IvyPay, which will allow crypto owners to use their holdings to pay bills or to transfer funds directly to their bank accounts. The platform is designed to give crypto a huge boost as an alternative to fiat and fill a void that the companies feel has been keeping mainstream adoption from expanding more rapidly.

HiveEx co-founder Fred Schebesta explains, “Despite cryptocurrency being around for the past decade, it still has quite a while to go before it’s as widely used as fiat currencies, like the Australian dollar. We wanted to help build a platform to bridge the gap between fiat and crypto.”

A survey conducted by HiveEx showed that around 10% of Australians feel that the inability to transfer their assets to their bank accounts was a huge obstacle for adoption. Given that there are an estimated 2.58 million Australians with crypto holdings, there is a large market for a platform that can bridge that gap. Adds Schebesta, “We think that this will inevitably increase as there are more options to use it. We’ve seen the power of this technology and how it can become a better banking system, but without mass integration and acceptance by traditional financial institutions there are limited ways of using it.”

IvyPay will manage all transactions using the company’s own IvyKoin cryptocurrency. Each token will be imbedded with the necessary personal data in order to comply with Know-Your-Customer regulations around the globe.

HiveEx was founded by some of the same individuals that founded finder.com.au. According to a company statement, it has traded more than $15 million in the past three months and “operates everything from large OTC trading to bill payments.” Ivy builds blockchain-based technology for business transactions of both fiat and crypto.

The platform isn’t live yet, but is expected to be launched before the end of the year. If everything goes well, the platform will then be rolled out to other regions, including the U.S., Europe and parts of Asia.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Austrian government supports new cancer screening solution that uses AI and blockchain for 90% accuracy

The Austrian Government will support UK startup Lancor Scientific to open a cancer research laboratory in Graz, Styria, that aims to push for 90% accuracy for cancer screening.

The research facility will explore the market viability and roll-out of Lancor Scientific’s patented Tumour Trace OMIS (Opto-magnetic Imaging Spectroscopy) device and the utilisation of AI and blockchain technologies, with the aim of delivering accurate, low-cost and near real-time cancer screening at scale.

Last month, Google announced that its AI tool, called Lymph Node Assistant (LYNA), could detect late stage breast cancer at more than 90% accuracy. UK-based Lancor Scientific has developed a device that is able to early detect cervical cancer at 90% accuracy, and can further screen for multiple types of cancers.

Austrian government supports new cancer screening solution that uses AI and blockchain for 90% accuracy

Lancor Scientific’s device detects the change of electromagnetism within tissue on quantum levels. It has already conducted successful trials with the NHS in the UK, improving upon the current accuracy of 60% – 70% for cervical cancer screening tests by pathologists.

The new laboratory will open in partnership with the Technical University of Graz, the Medical University of Graz and the Sigmund Freud University Vienna, to lead trials on cancer screening at a global level. Lancor Scientific will receive grants over the first five years from the Austrian Government for facilities including office, research equipment, access to academic expertise and clinical trials management.

The device will go to market in 2019 and a minimum of 10,000 devices will be produced in the next five years.

According to the World Economic Forum, 10% of global GDP will be processed using blockchain technology by 2025. Bitcoin Austria has been unprecedented, becoming the first association to promote cryptocurrencies at national level in 2011.

This year, Austria’s Ministry of Economy committed to a “9 point plan” to support blockchain technology. It includes the creation of the Austria Blockchain Cluster (ABC) cluster and aims to provide sandboxes that will enable startups to test nascent blockchain technologies, protecting entrepreneurs from regulatory and tax implications.

The Austrian Minister of Economic Affairs, Margarete Schramböck, said:

“Blockchain is definitely one of the new important technologies. In addition to Artificial Intelligence and Speech Recognition, it is one of the big issues we want to highlight in the coming period of the EU Presidency. ”

Friedrich Schmidl, Life Sciences Director at the Austrian Business Agency said that the agency was glad to support on a governmental level Lancor Scientific’s “innovative technology as quantum spectroscopy combined with blockchain technology and artificial intelligence paired in one medical device.” The Austrian Business Agency is owned by the Republic of Austria and operated by the Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs.

“Lancor Scientific is a company with a clear vision to face the burden of cancer and provides a cutting-edge technological device for cancer screening,” said Schmidl.

Cancer screening involves various tests for the early detection of abnormal cells in different parts of the body. Finding cancer early improves the chances for successful treatment and saves lives.

Lancor Scientific’s Tumour Trace device is currently CE marked for cervical cancer, which it screens at 90% accuracy, compared to the current accuracy of 60% – 70% for Pap tests. It has conducted trials at Southend University Hospital NHS, and using AI, the new laboratory will remove the biological ‘noise’ (i.e. mucus) from samples, pushing for even further accuracy.

The device weighs a portable 5kg and is designed for ease of operation. The cost of a Pap test is approximately £30 plus lab processing costs. Lancor Scientific will be able to do the same in near real-time (less than two minutes) at £5-10 per test. This low operational cost and device portability makes it a feasible option for the developing world.

Lancor Scientific is creating a blockchain based registry to securely host patient data. Its ERC20 “Medici” token validates the OMIS device and automatically records screening results on the blockchain, via smart contracts. The creation of a cancer research lab in Graz will not only bring scientific benefits to Lancor Scientific but will add to its reputational capital.

Aamir Butt, CEO of Lancor Scientific, commented:

“Finding cancer early is key to saving lives. Lancor Scientific has dedicated itself to making accurate and cost effective cancer detection technology available globally. The vote of confidence from the Austrian government as well the partnership with experts at Graz Technical University allows us to continue that journey and provide a minimum of 10,000 devices within the next five years free of capital charge, with the capability of conducting 500,000 cancer tests per day. This is what we mean by making cancer screening available for everyone, everywhere.”

This year has seen national governments exploring the benefits of blockchain technology. Graz is the capital of Styria and the second largest city in Austria. The region has a virtually unparalleled commitment to research and development.

Dr Johann Harer, the chief executive of the Human.technology Styria cluster, said:

“With 5.2% of its GDP for research and development, Styria is the No. 1 region in Europe in this area. This is all thanks to an excellent scientific and industrial environment and the close collaboration between companies, universities, research institutes and political decision makers. In particular, life sciences (MedTech, pharma & biotech) have been a key strength in the Styrian economy for many years.”

The Human.technology Styria Cluster (HTS) ensures that synergies are well-used in life sciences and that companies benefit both from one another and from their partnerships with science. It is an association of more than 110 economic and scientific members.

“As business angels, network experts and strategic thinkers, we work to enrich the business of our strategic partners,” continued Dr Johann Harer. “HTS is supporting Lancor Scientific and its cutting-edge technology, not only financially – we provide a well-positioned and well-established economic and political network to extend and develop their vision on Cancer Screening for everyone everywhere.”

All grants received by the Austrian Government will not affect current Lancor Scientific intellectual property (IP) rights and for any research conducted within Austria, the IP will stay in Lancor Scientific’s hands.

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Australia Post partners with crypto exchanges for KYC checks

Australia Post is working with cryptocurrency exchanges to speed up KYC checks through a new proprietary digital ID service, slashing the time it takes for users to verify their new accounts.

The company, which operates Australia’s domestic ‘snail mail’ network, allows users to verify their identity at crypto platforms in minutes, rather than the days it currently takes for exchanges to manually verify user documentation.

As part of anti-money laundering and know your customer requirements, exchanges are currently required to verify the identity of their users, including requesting specific proof of ID documents. The Australia Post service allows for compliant verification, but in a process that takes minutes, rather than days. Customers can then reuse their verified ID across multiple platforms without the need for double verification.

Dubbed Digital iD, the service solves a key problem for cryptocurrency exchanges in Australia by removing these difficulties in the onboarding process. By registering one time with the service, users are then able to use Digital iD on any platform, avoiding duplicating the verification process and significantly streamlining the account creation process.

Josh Lehman, of crypto platform Digital Surge, said the Digital iD platform was already delivering benefits for their customers, and their business.

Lehman told industry publication Micky, “Digital iD allows us to verify the identity of a prospective Bitcoin buyer in minutes, instead of the days it takes other exchanges. For the first time, an Australian can log on to a computer, punch in their driver’s licence or passport details, and be buying Bitcoin within minutes. We wanted to create an exchange that is safe, simple and quick to use, and Digital iD has enabled us to do that.”

Digital iD General Manager Cameron Gough told the news outlet the technology gives consumers more control over the information they share, saying, “Digital iD, gives people more control over the personal data they share with organisations. For example, most people hand over their driver’s licence to prove they can legally go to a bar, but all that is needed is a name and birth date – not that information plus your full residential address.”

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Australia Securities Investments Commission pulls the plug on ICO

Global Tech Exchange, a blockchain project out of Brisbane, Australia, has found the guillotine of Australia’s financial regulators. According to an announcement on its website yesterday, the company was ordered to be shut down by the Australia Securities Investments Commission (ASIC).

Global Tech had been looking to attract up to $50 million through an initial coin offering (ICO), which will now be buried. According to the company, the ICO is in violation of securities laws, according to the ASIC, and that it “has issued full refunds to all investors” that have already sent it money. Any investor who has not received a refund should contact the company through its email address, support@gttrade.io. The exact amount it may have attracted is not known.

The ICO began on September 12, according to ICO Bench, a site that tracks ICOS. The company was looking to raise anywhere from $10 million to $50 million through the offering, which would have ended on December 10. Global Tech first came to the public eye this past August after receiving an endorsement by Michael Clarke, a popular cricket player. According to the company’s announcement of the ICO closure, it added that Clarke is no longer involved with the company.

Since this past April, the ASIC has ordered five ICOs to shut down – six with the Global Tech ICO. Some of the closures were only meant to be temporary, as the commission gave certain companies the opportunity to comply with regulations, while others were ordered to exit the blockchain space completely. As far as the Global Tech ban, the company said in its announcement, “Global Tech would like to inform you that it wishes to comply with all of ASIC’s requirements and requests, to the best of it’s [sic] ability,” meaning that it might try to resurrect the ICO at some point.

It would appear that Global Tech was prepared for the shutdown. In a notice on the ASIC website, the commission states, “ASIC has received an application to deregister the Company under s601AA. ASIC may deregister the Company when two months have passed since publication of this notice.”

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Aussie state considers blockchain tech for land registry

A land registration agency in Australia is considering blockchain for recording property transactions, in the latest example of the technology being deploying in public administration.

New South Wales Land Registry Services, which operates title to land and is responsible for recording property transactions in the state, said it was launching a new proof-of-concept trial, local news outlet CIO  reported. Providing the trial proves successful, the agency would then look to deploy the technology within New South Wales, as part of ongoing efforts to digitize public records at state government level.

The use case is yet another example of government and public sector agencies harnessing the power of blockchain technology to improve existing systems at a local level.

The agency announced it would partner with Swedish firm ChromaWay, which will help in running the initial trial. The results are expected early in 2019.

At present, property transactions are recorded manually by hand, in a labor-intensive process that authorities are keen to digitize. However, before a blockchain platform could be used in its place, regulators are required to give the all clear.

If the system is eventually rolled out to land transactions in NSW, it will replace paper records of property transactions as the definitive ledger of reference for land registration in the state.

A spokesperson for ChromaWay said the security and immutability of blockchain made it a perfect fit for the land registration use case, explaining: “It will provide a more complete and comprehensive view of land rights, restrictions, and responsibilities, which will streamline decision-making for government and land sector actors, provide increased information transparency, and reduce data duplication.”

Authorities in New South Wales are no strangers to experiments with blockchain, and this week’s announcement follows the launch of several similar programs in recent months.

In the last few weeks, it has been announced that New South Wales will be digitizing driving license records on a blockchain platform, replacing the current licensing process for all new and renewing drivers in the Aussie state. Now, with the addition of the land registration use case, the authorities in New South Wales are continuing to demonstrate the possibilities with blockchain technology.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Aussie agency completes blockchain test, processes 30,000 transactions in 1 second

Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization) has successfully completed a test of its blockchain and the results are promising. The test, which was conducted on Amazon’s cloud computing network, was able to process 30,000 transactions in one second.

The blockchain, the Red Belly Blockchain, was created in a partnership between CSIRO, and the Concurrent System Research Group at the University of Sydney. The test utilized Amazon’s Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud platform and was conducted using 1,000 virtual machines in 14 geographic regions of the 18 serviced by AWS.

CSIRO confirmed the results in an announcement on Tuesday, explaining that “a benchmark was set by sending 30,000 transactions per second from different geographic regions, demonstrating an average transaction latency of three seconds with 1,000 replicas.”

The nodes involved were located in North America, South America, Sydney and Europe.

The premise of the test was to highlight Red Belly’s scalability while maintaining the core features of security and speed. The blockchain works on a unique consensus mechanism that is able to perform and scale without needing to rely on a proof of work protocol, which is what is seen most often by blockchains such as BTC and Ethereum.

A senior researcher with CSIRO, Dr. Vincent Gramoli, stated, “Real-world applications of blockchain have been struggling to get off the ground due to issues with energy consumption and complexities induced by the proof of work.” He further explained, “The deployment of Red Belly Blockchain on AWS shows the unique scalability and strength of the next generation ledger technology in a global context.”

AWS has already seen its platform used to run two other experiments between July 2017 and this past May. The earlier test revealed throughput of 660,000 transactions per second across 300 machines, but was limited to a single geographic area.

CSIRO is partnered with tech giant IBM in a data consortium that is currently designed a blockchain platform that would be capable of being deployed on a large scale and across multiple industries. The platform, the Australian National Blockchain, is powered by smart contracts.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Aussie financial regulator tightens reins on ICO projects

Australia’s financial regulator is taking a hardline stance to protect initial coin offering (ICO) investors.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is tightening its reins and has plans to shut down ICOs that are “misleading or deceptive.” The ASIC has been working towards protecting investors in the highly unregulated ICO market. To date, the Aussie regulator has successfully shut down five ICO projects from raising capital because they lacked protective measures for investors. These ICOs are currently on hold status until they’ve restructured and are able to meet ASIC’s requirements.

In a statement, ASIC Commissioner John Price said, “If you raise money from the public, you have important legal obligations. It is the legal substance of your offer – not what it is called – that matters. You should not simply assume that using an ICO structure allows you to ignore key protections there for the investing public and you should always ensure disclosure about your offer is complete and accurate.”

The commission has identified “consistent problems” with token-generated events: the use of misleading or deceptive statements in sales and marketing materials; operating an illegal unregistered managed investment scheme (MIS); and not holding an Australian financial services license.

ASIC has already pointed out several issues of concerns in ICOs in the past and issued a guideline in 2017 to ensure investors security. The guideline also reminded ICO projects of their responsibilities before they issue tokens, as well as warned investors in the country against getting involved in “highly speculative investments” like ICOs.

According to ASIC Commissioner John Price, part of the problem was the fact that some ICOs assumed that the fundraising structure excluded them from being regulated and complying with existing consumer protection laws.

ASIC is focused on consumer protection in both the crypto and non-crypto space. The corporate regulator published a review on Tuesday where it disclosed that big banks took more than five years to repay customers for misconduct such as administrative errors. The report also disclosed that these banks fail to investigate and report on their mistakes and misconduct to the regulatory body.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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