Malta is one of the first jurisdictions to embrace cryptocurrencies, providing a competitive environment for companies in the space, similar to the island’s iGaming industry. The E&S Group has been among the first legal services firms aiding startups and those exploring cryptocurrencies and blockchain for the first time.
“We started way back when there was nothing of all this,” E&S Group Director Dr. Christian Ellul said, referring to the present vibrancy of the cryptocurrency sector. “It was an unregulated environment, so we tried to help clients fit within the client regulations which were there. For example, ICOs, we structured as what we called reward-based crowdfunding events, to make sure we were compliant. Of course, now we have specific legislation just for that, which makes it easier and gives comfort to people who are investing, and even clients who feel, okay, they’re really getting like the Rolls Royce of treatment here.”
The firm has released its own token for availing of its services. “The last year, we’ve really focused on crypto and blockchain advisory. We’ve started assisting ICOs, in all their legal documents, all their legal work, now exchanges, OTC and all that, so we’re very much embedded in it. So we said, okay, what better way to do it than also have our token? So we have an ESTS token that connects to our services. People come pay our services apart from the main Bitcoin and alts,” Ellul said.
Holding such offerings was good in terms of public relations, according to Ellul, but also it showed that “we went through the process ourselves. We’re not just advising clients about something we don’t know about. We actually did it ourselves, in private placements, so I think that gives us the edge compared to others, because we really know what we’re doing.”
It makes sense, according to Ellul, to also provide assistance to those in iGaming. “There’s a nice relationship between gaming and crypto. Malta has been very well positioned because Malta regulated gaming a long time ago, it being a high-risk industry, and therefore, it’s a natural continuation to now regulate crypto, which is also seen as a high-risk industry. So then I think Malta really could bridge that gap by being the first in gaming and also among the first in crypto and blockchain,” he said.
The link between gaming and cryptocurrencies is evident in E&S Group’s clients’ activities. Ellul explained, “I think blockchain is useable for everyone in the world, and including gaming, but gaming tends to lend itself to blockchain. We have ICOs that are funding, for example, a gaming company. We have other gaming companies that want to start using cryptocurrencies, and that’s basically sandbox allocation rules by the MGA [Malta Gaming Association] now, so they really do link in well.”
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CoinGeek’s Becky Liggero caught up with White Company CEO Elizabeth White, who’s spreading merchant adoption with her various products.
Elizabeth White, with her White Company, makes it easier for merchants to accept cryptocurrencies for payment, even if they don’t know anything about the technology. With her White Market luxury store, she’s made it possible to acquire an assortment of luxury items, “from Pamp Suisse gold to Lamborghinis, to trips around the world, so anything your heart desires that you would like to spend your cryptocurrency on, we can facilitate.”
The White Company is doing everything cryptocurrency-related, from mining to having a stablecoin, and recently, they have just launched a reloadable debit card called the White Card. “[W]hat is exciting is we’ll be the first reloadable cryptocurrency debit card that will accept Bitcoin SV, Bitcoin Cash [ABC], [BTC], Ethereum, and XLM,” White said.
She believes it is important to make blockchain technology as accessible as possible to foster adoption. This is why she prefers having users transact with email addresses, “compared to using an actual long blockchain hash or private keys, secure keys, storing them. And this will never move to masses till we actually are able to consolidate the process. So with our products, we have been able to transfer funds, quickly and easily, with three-second settlements, just with your e-mail address.”
Merchants can use White Label Solutions, which allows cryptocurrency payments to be settled in fiat, in the currency preferred by the seller. White said, “[T]hey can accept cryptocurrency, and the fees are much lower than, say, a Visa or a Mastercard. We’re actually only charging 0.1% for merchants to accept cryptocurrency and then convert directly into fiat and settle, where you have things with Visa and Mastercard that are 3%-7%, and if you’re a high-risk merchant, up to 11%… Merchants still accept that, but there are easier ways, and the future is to accept the cryptocurrency which allows them to give back to their employees, have better revenue and returns, and give back to their, maybe, stock owners or investors.”
Watch Elizabeth White’s presentation, Building a Two-Sided Network, at the CoinGeek Week Conference in London below.
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In this interview with CoinGeek’s Becky Liggero, Bitstocks founder Michael Hudson explains what makes Bitcoin, Bitcoin.
Michael Hudson founded Bitstocks in 2014, when “Bitcoin was really Bitcoin.” In terms of its technical properties, such as ability to scale, Bitcoin Cash—now Bitcoin SV—continues functioning as an instant medium of exchange.
“So we’re now in a transition in our business where we are building an ecosystem. For us, if you’re building an ecosystem and you’re building a business, you want the most solid, robust foundations,” Hudson said. Bitstocks initially supported Bitcoin Cash as it has “the most solid and robust foundation for us to put our house, our ecosystem, our work on top of; however, Hudson announced at the recently held CoinGeek Week Conference that they will now use Bitcoin SV as the supporting cryptocurrency.
ICYMI: @btchudson has FINALLY revealed what we're building. This is Gravity, the Bitstocks Banking Ecosystem, underpinned by #BitcoinSV. Get a sneak peek at just some of the products coming in 2019. https://t.co/31aRPMHpjW pic.twitter.com/vRAT3QyZGn
— Bitstocks (@Bitstocks_) November 30, 2018
Practical application of the technology is most clear when this is embraced by merchants. “Merchants play a huge role, especially from a miner’s perspective as well. Miners are making huge amounts of financial investment which, over years, they need to get a return on investment,” according to Hudson. “In order for miners to feel truly secure and not flip-flop with their hash power, we need activity, we need genuine merchants. If there’s businesses built on top of this technology, then miners have the security to keep and continuing funding this initiative, funding this project.”
Hudson also pointed to initial coin offerings (ICOs), which he said were not bad in themselves. “ICOs gained a lot of traction in the space. There is some positive to ICOs. The negatives clearly are, you have a bunch of wasted energy, which is getting funded, to curate more inefficient wills than the original will. Bitcoin was the original will. So having projects being funded to create a more inefficient version is a complete, utter waste of time and resources. However, it has brought a lot of attention into the space,” he explained.
The important thing at present, he said, was to shift attention gained from ICOs, for real-world use. “What we need to ensure that we’re doing is that when this attention which is now being attracted to the space, the narrative and how they’re guiding that attention is done in a correct way. Education is there so people can now make real choices. We need to move from just speculation, and speculation is very fickle as well, especially with investors, to now real, genuine businesses,” he said.
Hudson also pointed to outlets such as CoinGeek as having “a very important role… in controlling this narrative and ensuring that the right education is being put out there, where people realize, ‘Hold on, maybe it’s not just all about this, this is real, this is not a fad, this isn’t just a way of making a quick buck. There’s real businesses being built on top of this stuff.’”
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The chief scientist at nChain, Dr. Wright expressed his theories on the philosophical and technical underpinnings of Bitcoin in conversation with Michael Hudson, founder and CEO at crypto advisory service Bitstocks, in the first episode of the Bitstocks podcast.
Dr. Wright and Hudson also discussed the universal importance of the numbers 3, 6 and 9 in Bitcoin protocols, as well as touching on the role of quantum mechanics and Wolfram 110 of cellular automation in shaping the Bitcoin network.
The discussion explores the philosophy behind bitcoin in technical detail, as well as Dr. Wright’s views on the role of Bitcoin in the wider economy. He suggested that in order to become a global commercial currency, Bitcoin would have to become a universal unit of measurement.
According to Dr. Wright, “If we want one system that can become a global commercial backbone, we need something that can be as universal as a metre. If you take a meter, it’s the same metre here as in France as it is in America. That’s really what we want for money, and a backbone to the economy.”
On ICOs and tokens, Dr. Wright drew parallels with collateralized debt obligations, and the negative impact of the so-called shadow banking industry, which proved damaging to the wider economy.
“Everyone jumping on board this idea of creating tokens and tokenizing things for the sake of it is a more democratised version of the shadow banking industry,” he said. “All the problems that allowed us to have the boom a bust in the housing market and the false economy, we’re now seeing pumped into tokens to make a quick buck.”
One of the most vocal proponents of Bitcoin—now reborn as Bitcoin SV—Dr. Craig Wright summed up by calling for greater cooperation between divergent factions in the bitcoin space, to fully leverage the global free trade benefits of Bitcoin.
He said, “What people need to start considering is not any nationalistic idea of borders, but to remember we’re all one people in one world. That means we should be willing to open up and trade with everyone. Bitcoin allows us to have that level of trade…with free trade, we choose.”
The Bitstocks podcast is available on YouTube from Bitstocks TV and Spotify.
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CoinGeek’s Becky Liggero spoke to BadChain founder Leo Leiman, who is ready to show off his blockchain-themed apparel in whatever conference he attends.
Leo Leiman, founder of BadChain, has attended numerous blockchain and cryptocurrency conferences in the last couple of years. By his count, he’s been to as many as 50 of them. The Malta Blockchain Summit in particular, he said, is “one of the best” he’s been to, with a great number of investors and foundations involved. “You can feel the money from the investor, because if you see someone in Russia who says he’s an investor, he has for example $100,000, but here it’s more true investors, and projects here [are] better than somewhere else,” he explained.
He said the very liberal attitude of Malta when it came to the blockchain industry made it a great venue for the summit. “It is like when Canada or the USA legalized marijuana. A lot of people go there… Here, it’s also, ‘Come here, it’s open, [to] companies for blockchain.”
Dressed up in Bitcoin-themed clothing, he is quick to offer his services. “I can make T-shirts for you, I can make rain coats, or like T-shirts with crypto,” he said, adding that he also designed rings embedded with the cryptocurrency one chooses.
The idea for such designs came from seeing the opportunities among those in the business. “A lot of guys in the industry are smart, and I think that they could be stylish also. And it was like how the idea was born. And I decided to do the merch. It was like this idea, I decided to do it one year ago, and I created a blockchain system for clothing also, just for fun,” he said.
Leiman sees his clothing brand also serving an educational purpose. “I have huge experience in this field, and I know how to make the young generation more happy because they can work everywhere… They can go to, for example, to Malta, and have good income. They can be in this industry, but they have to be smart a bit, smarter than others, but it is okay. It’s a really stylish industry. It is young, fresh,” he said.
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Steve Shadders, director of solutions and engineering at nChain, wants to make one thing clear: there will be no more split down the road for Bitcoin SV.
On the sidelines of the CoinGeek Week Conference in London, Shadders explained why the chances of a potential split down the road for Bitcoin SV “are pretty unlikely,” saying: “The reason for that is because everyone who has come along and followed the Bitcoin SV roadmap understands that part of that roadmap is locking down the protocol. And that is all we really actually had to fight about and the only reason why there was ever going to be a split.”
Sure, there will be disagreements, but people will deal with these “by building whatever it is that they want to build and compete”—and none of these will affect the base protocol, he stressed.
For nChain, the roadmap for the next couple of months will be “much bigger blocks,” with the Teranode project taking the original Satoshi Vision to the next level. Teranode is not a monolithic “one size fit all” implementation. Instead, the project separates four core functions into a modular microservices architecture approach—making a separate Business (RPC) Layer, Network (P2P) Layer, Process Layer and Storage Layer. It will also seek to solve a technical issue that arises with a massively scaled Bitcoin network with terabyte-size blocks: how to optimize the unspent transaction output (UTXO) database maintained by nodes to prevent double-spending of Bitcoins.
Shadders, however, pointed out that collusion double-spending is highly unlikely “because it’s not in the miners’ interest to undermine the value proposition of the very coin that they get paid in.” For other types of broadcast double-spends, Shadders said there simple mitigations—just make sure that the merchant knows about it.
“Right now merchants aren’t really doing that. They’re not going out and querying the miners and we don’t have an easy mechanism for them to do that but that’s one thing that we’re planning on, not just planning we’re in progress, building right now so a merchant will be able to query multiple miners and check on the status of their transaction. They will be able to check with the miners and find out what minimum fee is required to guarantee you’re going to mine this transaction,” he explained.
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The one good thing that has come out of the recent so-called BCH hash war is that the original Bitcoin is back—now in the form of Bitcoin SV (Satoshi Vision).
Bitcoin SV is the only cryptocurrency with a blockchain that massively scales; it’s the only one that has utility value and the one that can do it all. At the CoinGeek Week Conference, taking place at The Mermaid at Puddle Dock in London, CoinGeek founder Calvin Ayre explains how BSV is set to take over and replace other non-scaling platforms, and then also grow utility value.
“I believe firmly that the business models of all the alternative coins, the ICOs and the digital gold and whatnot are actually not real business models and that they actually, it’s a bit of an illusion or a mirage that is being sold to people, and people who don’t understand how this stuff works are being sold a bill of goods. I think one positive outcome of the hash war is the fact that people were forced to focus on the technical choices in front of them, and I think a lot of people got educated on what the differences are,” he said. “The only one that’s got a sustainable business model, that can have growth and take enterprise investment is Bitcoin SV, which is the original Bitcoin. It’s the original economic model.”
The CoinGeek Week Conference is the perfect place to hear from thought leaders about the implications of the world’s first Bitcoin Hash War fought according to Nakamoto Consensus. The three-day conference, with a special invitation-only Miners Day kicking off the week’s events, is important for anyone already involved in crypto, as well as those looking to get started. As the only cryptocurrency that is being developed to truly serve as a digital currency, Bitcoin—now in Bitcoin SV—has the most potential to make a difference in the retail industry.
Ayre said, “This is about learning, but it’s also about planning. We’re getting a lot of thought leaders together here to plan how to move ahead to actually finally show what the power of the economic model is in Bitcoin. Because now the people that were kneecapping the business model aren’t here anymore so from that perspective, there’s a lot of euphoria about the opportunities and a lot of planning going around it, but it’s also a celebration of sorts. I mean, it’s the 10-year anniversary now of the birth of the original Bitcoin and it’s also ironically the rebirth birthday, so instead of having two birthdays like what we thought we had with BCH and BTC, we’re back to having one. And that one birthday is the birth of Bitcoin because Bitcoin SV is Bitcoin.”
There’s still time to secure your seat to the last day of CoinGeek Week, where a major announcement is about to be made. Don’t be stuck on the sidelines watching as history is made at CoinGeek Week Day 3, buy your tickets to the conference via Eventbrite today.
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CoinGeek Week, one of the most important cryptocurrency conferences of the fall, is taking place November 28-30, with a special, invitation-only Miners Day event on November 27. On hand are a number of experts in the crypto community, all of whom are sharing their knowledge and vision for the future of cryptocurrencies. As attendees begin to show up in London for the conference, the BCH Boys are on hand to provide coverage of the event. The BCH proponents sat down with Ryan X. Charles ahead of the conference to get his insight on a number of issues, including mining and scaling, among others.
Charles also points out how on-chain scaling is possible and how Bitcoin SV has already been able to produce results that show how easy it easy. The interview is available on YouTube and is an excellent glimpse into what is going on with BCH and Bitcoin SV.
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The BCH Boys have added another video to their repertoire, this one with an interview with Dr. Craig Wright ahead of the much-anticipated CoinGeek Week conference in London. The three sat down to talk about the “permissionless” state of Bitcoin and the scalability issue that has been so prominent in the Bitcoin BCH ecosystem lately, among other important topics that are shaping the future of global cryptocurrency adoption.
Check out the entire interview with Dr. Wright below. Also, take a look at the BCH Boys’ YouTube page, where the BCH proponents offer a myriad of interviews, discussions and instructional material to help everyone better understand why BCH is such an important and integral part of the cryptocurrency ecosystem.
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On Day 1 of CoinGeek Week, the BCH Boys sat down with the Tokenized team, who have made tokenization on the Bitcoin chain a reality. Discussed are the possibilities for practical application of blockchain technology, and of Bitcoin specifically, as envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto. It isn’t enough to talk of smart contracts and tokens; more important is focusing in how these tools could provide utility, in terms of cost, without depending on any specific economic player.
The Tokenized team provides their perspective on what makes Bitcoin SV “pure Bitcoin,” and how stability of protocol is necessary for the technology to be of benefit to communities. Watch their interview with the BCH Boys below.
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