Switzerland has established a working group tasked with investigating the possibility of regulating blockchain technology and initial coin offerings (ICOs) in the country, as per a report by Reuters. The working group will be required to present a report to the government by the end of 2018.
While regulations continue to be top of mind for financial institutions, banks have another main concern: the innovations and progress being made by fintechs, according to a survey released by EY. Financial institutions need to be more aware of the effect fintechs—which provide “simpler, more convenient, more transparent” services, are having on the industry, EY stated in its Global Banking Outlook survey for 2018. In its Global Banking Outlook 2018 survey, EY assessed 221 financial institutions across 29 markets. According to the results, banks argue that innovation, not just regulation, is behind the wheel of progress.
Ravi Menon, who is the chief of the Singapore's de facto central bank, expressed hope on Monday that technologies underpinning cryptocurrencies and the blockchain would survive a crash in the former, news agency Reuters reported. The Managing Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said at a UBS Wealth Insights event that he hoped an eventual crash in cryptocurrencies will not undermine the much deeper, and more meaningful technology associated with them.
Ripple, a blockchain company and rival to bitcoin, on Thursday announced a tie-up with Dallas-based money transfer giant MoneyGram. The move is significant because the arrangement involves the use of XRP, Ripple’s digital currency, which has recently soared in value but also faced questions about its practical uses.
Chinese bitcoin mining giant Bitmain Technologies is expanding to Switzerland in a move that will be key to widening its reach, the group told a Swiss newspaper. Local Swiss publication Handelszeitung reported that the subsidiary, Bitmain Switzerland, was registered in Zug last month, to Bitmain co-founder Jihan Wu, Ti Liu (a Chinese national residing in Birrwil), and Christian Johannes Meisser (a Swiss national residing in Klosters-Serneus), according to commercial registry filings.
As an epicentre of blockchain, the revolutionary technology behind Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, Zug is cutting edge. The town is home to early innovators like the cryptocurrency exchange Bitcoin Suisse, which among other things runs Bitcoin ATMs in most Swiss cities and the Zug government itself, which caused a media stir when it became the first in the world to accept Bitcoin as payment for government services.
Bitcoin has started the year with another drop in its price. It’s the first time since 2015 that the cryptocurrency has started a calendar year with a fall in value. The virtual coin traded at $13,624.56 in the U.S. on Monday, down 4.8 percent from Friday. This is a fall from the final day of trading of 2017 when the price was at $14,156. The disheartening start to the year is in direct contrast to the January of 2017 when the cryptocurrency began its year of huge gains. On the first day of trading in January bitcoin rose 3.6 percent holding a value of approximately $998.
To the surprise of many, 2017 was the year cryptocurrencies catapulted into mainstream consciousness. Bitcoin’s value grew by more than 1,000% in 2017, but that wasn’t enough to even place it among the 10 best-performing cryptoassets of the year. At its highest point Sunday, Ripple XRP skyrocketed 36,000% to become the world’s best-performing digital asset. The cryptocurrency charted an impressive path in the final three weeks of the year, gaining more than 800% when comparing the closing price between Dec. 7 and 31.
As we promised in one of our latest blog posts, Eidoo is going to launch a tool called the ICO Engine to offer the chance for companies to organize token sales on our mobile app available both on Android and IOS in a safe and easy way. Initial Coin Offerings are very popular right now, so we decided to prioritize the development of this new tool to exploit the growing success of this mean by which funds are raised.
A London-startup headed by a Credit Suisse veteran is launching a new debit card that it claims will allow people to spend cryptocurrencies across the UK. The London Block Exchange (LBX) launched on Tuesday. It plans to launch a sterling-to-cryptocurrency exchange and a prepaid Visa debit card, dubbed "Dragoncard," that will allow people to convert bitcoin, ethereum, ripple, litecoin and monero to sterling and spend it across the UK. The startup plans to add more cryptocurrencies in future.
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