FINMA issues landmark Swiss license for crypto asset management

Switzerland’s financial services regulator has issued its first license for cryptocurrency asset management, after greenlighting an application from a domestic cryptocurrency investment fund.

The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority granted licensing approval to Crypto Fund, an investment fund based in Zug, Swissinfo reported. Originally launched in 2017, the fund becomes the first in Switzerland to receive recognition under the new licensing regime.

The move enables crypto fund to offer a wider range of products, which it is expected could help encourage institutional investors into the space. And with the licensing system now officially up and running, the issue confirms Switzerland’s bid to become a ‘Crypto Nation’—a stated aim of the Swiss market amidst growing competition from rival jurisdictions.

Jan Brzezek, CEO of Crypto Fund’s parent company Crypto Finance, welcomed the license, which is seen as a significant win for the company. Brzezek was quoted by the Swiss news outlet saying, “The importance of crypto assets is growing and our aim is to accelerate maturity in these markets. Regulatory recognition remains highly sought after by participants, as seen in recent press and company statements.”

According to local media reports, the success of Crypto Fund could be followed by several others, with a number of firms thought to be progressing applications for the same license. These include applications to offer banking services to the crypto sector, which would solve the current lack of banking provision, and dismantle a considerable barrier to expansion of Zug’s ‘Crypto Valley.’

With the current regulatory setup especially appealing to corporate operators and institutional investors in the sector, the region is already regarded as one of the foremost jurisdictions for blockchain and crypto startups.

The announcement follows on from similar approvals given to a blockchain firm under anti-money laundering laws, by the Financial Services Standards Association, which itself is authorized by FINMA to oversee anti-money laundering compliance.

Zug has also been participating in a number of blockchain trials, including a model for handling municipal votes through a distributed ledger platform.

With the first new license of its kind issued to Crypto Fund, it remains to be seen how many more companies will follow suit, as Switzerland continues to establish its reputation as the cryptocurrency jurisdiction of choice for serious cryptocurrency businesses.

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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Use Bitcoin BCH to buy automotive parts at Newparts

Newparts, an online automotive parts store, has extended its payment platform to accept cryptocurrency payments. On October 8, the company announced that it has started supporting Bitcoin Cash (BCH) payments as part of its bid to open its store “to customers around the world.”

Dano Ramovich, CEO of Newparts, accepting cryptocurrencies will help expand their operation to international markets. To enable crypto payments, the company has partnered up with e-commerce platform Shopping Cart Elite.

With the new payment system, Newparts hopes to have faster and affordable transactions, which, in turn, will attract new clients to its operations. Newparts has joined a list of many companies who have opened up their payment systems to allow cryptocurrency payments, especially Bitcoin BCH. Other cryptos accepted on the platform include BTC, BTC Gold, XRP, ETH, LTC and Zcoin.

Allowing crypto payments will also help Newparts customers save money. According to the auto parts retailer, customers will now pay small fees from each transaction, making it cheaper to buy any auto parts they need. Cryptocurrency holders around the globe now have an opportunity to access a wide range of auto parts.

In the last five years, cryptocurrencies have become the alternative money to make any transaction. People prefer using cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin BCH due to their cost-effectiveness, security, accessibility, and decentralized nature.

Bitcoin cash, in particular, has been enjoying an increase in popularity and adoption since it was created—essentially a rebirth of Bitcoin on the original chain—in 2017. Many companies have added support for payments in Bitcoin Cash compared to other cryptocurrencies. This is because the cryptocurrency offers reliable, faster and cheap transactions compared to traditional means of sending money. Data available on Coinline, a Bitcoin Cash merchant directory, showed that there are more than 210 points throughout the world are accepting Bitcoin BCH payments, with Australia having the highest concentration of merchants accepting bitcoin cash in the world.

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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UAE may soon allow companies to raise funds via ICOs

A new set of rules will soon allow domestic companies in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to raise funds via initial coin offerings (ICOs).

On Monday, Reuters quoted Obaid Saif al-Zaabi, head of the Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority (ESCA), saying that the board “has approved considering ICOs as securities.” If all goes to plan, a legal framework regulating ICO activities in UAE will be introduced in 2019.

Under the proposed legal framework, companies in the country will be allowed to use ICOs as an alternative to traditional fundraising methods. Currently, firms are using initial public offering (IPOs), which involve selling shares in the company to the public.

The first draft of these new rules is already being set up. According to al-Zaabi, the security watchdog is also working with stock trading platforms in Abu Dhabi and Dubai to prepare them for the new digital transactions.

Lack of IPO activities in the past years has forced authorities in UAE to allow companies to raise their funds using ICOs. Low oil prices and unimpressive equities markets have been cited as the cause of the lack of IPO activities in UAE and its surrounding countries. In addition to new ICOs laws, the state is also planning to create rules that will help raise IPOs. The new IPO laws will encourage family owners to sell up to a 100% share of their firms.

If and when the new ICO regulations come into law, UAE will be among the few countries in the world to have brought in the regulatory framework for the cryptocurrency and blockchain sector. It joins Malta, which recently passed several bills providing a legal basis for blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and ICOs.

Other countries are also hard at work in regulating ICO activities. In September, the European Parliament agreed to draft a set of regulations that would make ICOs more accessible within the European Union (EU).

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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OTCXN hires Kingdom Trust as custodian

Trading platform OTC Exchange Network (OTCXN) announced its partnership with cryptocurrency custodian Kingdom Trust, in a press release.

Kingdom Trust will “serve as a neutral, third-party custodian of assets for trading entities and exchanges that use OTCXN technology to facilitate clearing and settlement of OTC block trades and cross-exchange trading,” according to the release.

OTCXN noted that the cryptocurrency custodian was the first regulated financial institution to provide custody of cryptocurrencies, of which it holds more than $12 billion.

Rosario Ingargiola, CEO and founder of OTCXN, said, “Kingdom Trust is one of only a few regulated U.S. entities that offers stand-alone custody services in both fiat and cryptocurrencies. They stand out for their integrity, experience, state-of-the-art infrastructure and client asset protection.”

Kingdom Trust CEO Matt Jennings said, “By partnering with OTCXN, Kingdom Trust will be able to offer its clients the best of both worlds, i.e., the ability to ‘trade hot, store cold.’ The OTCXN platform, its networks, and partners will offer the power of rapid liquidity to clients and markets where that has been in short supply.” The partnership, he added, would help eliminate counterparty and settlement risk.

OTCXN explained that “[t]rades on OTCXN execute as an atomic exchange of provable assets on the custodial blockchain ledgers in real-time, for instant clearing and settlement, with underlying assets held at the custodian, and crypto assets remaining in cold or deep storage.”

Among OTCXN’s others planned ventures is the launch of LiquiMatch, designed to allow clients of custodians on the network to access liquidity across OTCXN’s various platforms through a single account.

The company will also be servicing third-party credit and collateral providers, to aid them in the financing of traders’ long and short positions, offering margin loans and coin repurchase agreements, among other financial products.

Kingdom Trust is also partners with insurance market Lloyd’s of London, which provides insurance for cryptocurrencies held by Kingdom Trust in behalf of institutional investors.

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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Merchant-friendly GoByte Pay allows fee-less acceptance of BCH payments

Malaysia-based GoByte has launched its GoByte Pay mobile app that allows merchants to accept Bitcoin Cash (BCH) without incurring fees.

The app, available on both the iOS App Store and Google Play for Android, is also designed for customers paying with their digital wallets. It also facilitates transfers between a user’s wallets, and provides an easy-to-view transaction history.

Among security features are Touch ID and Face ID options, in addition to password-protected accounts.

The app also provides synchronized access between desktop and mobile versions; QR code payments; live conversion of various currencies and displaying of one’s current balance in U.S. dollars; a built-in address book; and push notifications.

In an email to CoinGeek, the GoByte team confirmed that Bitcoin BCH is one of the first crypto coins that will be integrated in the payment system.

GoByte CEO Hisyam Nasir said, “GoByte’s mission is to be the leader in making cryptocurrency payments easier for users and merchants around the world, through the GoByte Pay platform.”

Nasir said development was still ongoing, noting, “We are developing a simple, powerful and adaptable platform which includes features that small and large businesses require to accept and process cryptocurrency payments.”

Brad Nickel, Adviser for GoByte, said in a blog post that the company will be implementing additional components, such as multi-currency compatibility, easy to implement shopping cart functions, and improving overall functionality of its apps already out on the market.

Developers of the app are working to improve integration with point-of-sale (POS) terminals, which would support random switching between addresses, audio-visual indication of payments made, and offline functionality.

GoByte has signed an agreement with retail management solutions firm iVend to have GoByte Pay installed in iVend’s POS systems located around the world.

The company also said it plans to issue cryptocurrency debit cards, ATMs, and POS terminals.

Apart from its mobile and desktop payment app, GoByte has a cryptocurrency GBX, said to be “an enhanced version” of Dash, as well as an online wallet.

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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Streamr partner with Daisy AI to enhance artificial intelligence machine learning

Crypto analytics firm CRYPTICS also becomes a vendor of Streamr Marketplace data

Zug, Switzerland — October 10, 2018 Streamr, the award-winning open-source, real-time data platform, has partnered with Japan-based Daisy AI, the AI platform using blockchain for deep learning. Daisy AI announces today that it will use Streamr as its official data provider to exclusively purchase data from the Streamr Marketplace. Recognizing the benefits of a decentralized marketplace model for transparent and secure information, Daisy AI is purchasing data for a wide range of purposes including forecasting stock and cryptocurrency prices, economy insights, footfall and traffic.

A project from leading AI research institution University of Tokyo, Daisy AI aims to tackle the issue of low accuracy in the field of prediction-making through the application of blockchain technology.  Through its collaboration with Daisy, Streamr’s comprehensive data set will help Daisy grow and develop an AI network of increased precision. In addition, through the use of cryptocurrency, data between Daisy AI platform and the Streamr Marketplace can be seamlessly transferred.

Shohei Ohsawa, CEO of Daisy, said: “Our partnership with Streamr represents a major step forward for our platform in improving the accuracy of AI. By leveraging data offered by the Streamr Marketplace, Daisy AI will be able to offer our users valuable information and make AI more accurate on major metrics like price and economic data. Our collaboration with Streamr, a company whose vision aligns perfectly with our mission to build a decentralized AI platform, marks a major milestone in using decentralized technology to enhance the forecasting of important and widely-used data.”

In addition, CRYPTICS has become a vendor on the Streamr Data Marketplace, selling its data to enhance global cryptocurrency market predictions. Based on artificial intelligence, CRYPTICS’  Marketplace feed will equip novice to expert investors with relevant information for decision making around mining and trading cryptocurrencies. Real-time sentiment data via the Marketplace, in tandem with news portals, will be integrated with the AI algorithm, updated every hour, to provide a four-hour forecast of cryptocurrency pairs. The service offering will include both free and paid for options for investors.

Henri Pihkala, CEO of Streamr, said: “Our partnerships with innovative projects such as Daisy AI and CRYPTICS are a great example of how AI technologies are being enhanced through new open data Marketplaces.  We laid out a vision well-over a year ago describing how we thought the new data economy would operate – not just decentralised but also fostering data innovation especially within AI. It’s amazing to see this vision starting to be realised.

Henri Pihkala, CEO of  Streamr, and Shohei Ohsawa, CEO of Daisy AI, are available for interview

About Streamr:

Streamr is an open-source platform for the free and fair exchange of the world’s real-time data based in Zug, Switzerland. Launched in Q2 of 2018, Streamr’s real-time data Marketplace will allow users to trade information over their P2P data network using the DATA token as a means of payment. Streamr’s October crowdfund campaign raised $30 million USD in just over 24 hours.

For more information, click here.

About Daisy AI:

Daisy is a decentralized platform for open-source, artificial intelligence. It uses various payments systems to create a better and more precise AI network. Daisy’s mission is to effectively connect distributed artificial intelligence with blockchain technology.

For more information, click here.

About CRYPTICS:

Cryptics is the world’s first public crypto analytics based on AI. Our mission is to give any person, whether it’s an investor, an expert or a novice market participant, an ability to find key information based on which it will be easier to take the most relevant decision regarding mining, buying or selling the cryptocurrency and creating portfolios of cryptocurrencies. We also offer an infrastructure for creating funds for successful traders, no matter how small they are. Finally, Cryptics will relate to the academic community to stimulate scientific research in the field of AI, as well as contribute to the further development of the blockchain technology and community.

For more information, click here.

Media Contact:

Kerry Close
Account Supervisor // Wachsman
kerry@wachsman.com // (917) 900-7195

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Roger Ver planning Bitcoin.com crypto exchange

Early Bitcoin Cash (BCH) user and investor Roger Ver has declared his plan to set up his own cryptocurrency exchange, according to Bloomberg.

The exchange will be available through Bitcoin.com, of which Ver is CEO, “so we’ll have thousands or tens of thousands of new users every single day,” he said. The website already offers his wallet app.

At this stage, Ver is still deciding whether to get a partner to create the exchange with, or to “build one internally.” The advantage of developing the platform on his own, according to him, was “we can do it really, really cheap, and we get exactly what we want.” He admitted, however, that “we don’t have the security of a battle-tested exchange that’s been around for a while.”

Hacks of cryptocurrency exchanges around the world continue to be a problem, resulting sometimes in millions of dollars worth of cryptocurrency being stolen. Just last month, Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Zaif was hacked, resulting in about $60 million stolen. At present, the exchange is not accepting new accounts.

In South Korea last June, two high-profile hacks of exchanges occurred, with about $40 million being lost from Coinrail, and about $30 million from Bithumb.

The problem has been somewhat offset with the introduction of insurance of cryptocurrency assets on exchanges, but this has yet to be commonplace, and many exchanges still need to find a way to be less vulnerable.

Ver said that Bitcoin BCH will be the base currency for the Bitcoin.com exchange. Already, some exchanges already use BCH as a base currency. Coinex launched late last year, and Voltaire.cash launched in September, offering BCH users more direct trades.

Ver, along with Bitcoin.com, has been one of the biggest proponents of BCH, citing its much lower transactions fees and faster transaction times compared to BTC. Bitcoin.com co-founder Emil Oldenburg made news last December when he said that he had sold all his “good as useless” BTC, trading them for BCH.

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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Coming soon: 51% attack announced to show blockchain vulnerabilities

Usually, a 51% attack is designed to steal money. It allows the scammer to temporarily gain control of a blockchain and proceed to enter double spends on the network as a means to surreptitiously fill the hacker’s own wallet. While that may usually be the reason, an upcoming attack doesn’t want money. Additionally, while announcing 51% attacks are obviously counterproductive to the end cause, the perpetrator of the upcoming attack was all too happy to announce the event.

The attack is going to be led by someone going by the name of “piracy1,” according to the announcement. It will be conducted at 4 a.m. Eastern U.S. time on October 13, and is designed to only show how easy it is for someone to perform an attack. It will be performed against the Einsteinium (EMC2) cryptocurrency and will “demonstrate how easy these attacks are for anyone to do.” It will also “generally teach people about the nuts and bolts of these attacks and potential mitigations.”

51% attacks have been a popular subject this year among developers who stress how dangerous the attacks can be. Already there have been a number of attacks, including two against the cryptocurrency Verge and one against BTC Gold—all within a three-month window.

Attacking EMC2 won’t have any dire ramifications on the Einsteinium blockchain, or cryptocurrency in general. EMC2 is almost worthless, having dropped 97% of its value in the past year. However, it makes for the perfect target, as those cryptocurrencies with extremely low hashrates are easier to pick through.

In fact, piracy1 is more than likely going to have to dig into his own pockets to perform the attack due to the extremely low value of the cryptocurrency. He even indicated in his announcement that he was “putting in $50” of his own money, and is willing to accept donations from others for the attack.

Most developers and blockchain experts already understand the dangers of a 51% attack, especially among those digital assets outside of the top ten list. However, this is the first time that someone has announced that he will be conducting such an attack, and the whole world is invited to watch. It will be livestreamed on Twitch.

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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Bitcoin Unlimited testnet sees transaction level comparable to Visa’s network

Many like to argue against blockchains and cryptocurrencies, stating that the networks aren’t capable of handling the transaction loads necessary to be considered a true form of cryptocurrency. In making their argument, they often refer to the speed of the Visa network, pointing out that Visa processes around 24,000 transactions per second (tps). The problem with this comparison is that it is completely wrong.

Visa doesn’t process 24,000 tps, or even 56 tps. The higher numbers that have been represented are only theoretical figures—in real-world applications, the Visa network only processes around 1,700 tps.

1,700 tps is still a substantial number by any standards and is more than what most blockchains can handle. Some blockchains, like NEO and EOS, attempt to skew the numbers in an effort to make their networks appear stronger than they really are, but what they boast of with their speeds is gained at a cost of decentralization.

By today’s standards, network speed and decentralization are proportional—the higher the speed, the lower the decentralization. However, improving technology is allowing better speeds, or scaling, without risking decentralization.

To that end, Bitcoin BCH is leading the way. A recent Twitter post by Reina Nakamoto highlighted the fact that Bitcoin Unlimited was able to process 166,302 tps using a block of almost 32 megabytes (MB). She was responding to a post by Andrew Stone, who first tweeted about that 166,302 transactions were completed on a block of 31,999,125 bytes, or just under 32MB. The processing took place on a testnet, but it is still a step in the right direction.

Given the number of retail transactions currently seen on the Bitcoin BCH blockchain, it is more than capable of handling the load. As the September stress test showed the network is capable of easily handling blocks of up to 10MB and even as large as 21MB.

At this juncture, with cryptocurrency constantly receiving more support across the globe, it would make sense that all implementations of the network focus on scaling to continue to drive the capabilities and set the foundation for what will invariably be a massive adoption of Bitcoin BCH as the world’s leading peer-to-peer currency.

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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Healid’s Bert Kastel seeks to fulfill blockchain’s promise—to advance humanity

CoinGeek’s Becky Liggero recently interviewed Healid founder Bert Kastel, who has helped spread the message of blockchain through organizing conferences such as the Transform Africa summit.

Bert Kastel has been a notable presence in the cryptocurrency community, working to exploit whatever beneficial uses the technology has. The company he founded, Healid, aims to maintain a large gene database powered on the blockchain, intended to best determine treatments for all manners of illness. The ambitious venture is just one of many that preoccupy Kastel. He also played a big part in organizing the blockchain conference in the Transform Africa Summit, held in Kigali, Rwanda.

Of the conference, he said, “It’s definitely a virtual enterprise, and of several organizations together. One is K Lab which is an incubator here in Kigali, and the other one, the Transform Africa team, which is organized by Smart Africa, and then our team that is also spread out in several continents, several individuals but we coordinated. We got the locals to develop most of the hands-on logistics and we put together the contents and got most of the speakers and all of this, and tried to pull it together so that there’s some energy injected into this conference by future technologies.”

Kastel describes Healid as ‘crypto-economic genomics.’ A mouthful even for a cutting-edge industry such as blockchain, but it is such high-mindedness that has guided him in looking at firms and organizations who could realize the potential blockchain has, in its various applications.

“I believe that technology drives human advancement, and I want to just identify technologies, and facilitate them if they advance humanity. So no borders, not a specific country or specific continent, but wherever humans get empowered and can fulfill their dreams. And that is very close to the blockchain world, at least the premises and the promises of blockchain, so that’s why it came very natural to me,” Kastel said.

If you’re interested in helping the growth of merchant adoption of Bitcoin BCH, join the bComm Association, an industry group that intends to be the focal point for miners, merchants, exchanges, developers and members of the BCH community. Developers and merchants of the Bitcoin BCH community will also be on hand for the first CoinGeek Week happening in London in November. Members of bComm Association can avail CoinGeek Week tickets at discounted prices. To purchase tickets or learn more about CoinGeek Week Conference, visit the official website here.

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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