Bře 25

Paris Blockchain Week Summit Shows French Regulatory Climate Beginning to Thaw

The Rundown

France isn’t at the forefront of blockchain adoption–at least, not yet. However, all that could be about to change. Paris Blockchain Week Summit from April 16-17, will be one of Europe’s largest events dedicated to blockchain professionals. It’s also the first of its kind to be held here, backed by the French Ministry of Economy and Finance.


Paris Blockchain Week Takes Place April 13-19

April 2019 won’t only be a good time to visit Paris in full bloom as the thousands of trees that line its famous boulevards burst into shades of pink and white. This year, PBW organizers are dedicating an entire week to furthering the blockchain scene in France.

Just a few weeks after the updated PACTE law to aid innovation in the country, the event will showcase the French regulatory framework, one that takes a lighter, more flexible approach to emerging tech.

Paris is one of the world’s most expensive cities currently. But it’s also now vying for its place as a blockchain hub. One of the goals of the PBW is to encourage international blockchain projects to put down roots here.

Throughout the week there will be a series of events. These include workshops, hackathons, keynotes, and of course, fancy cocktail parties to showcase the country’s fine champagne as well as burgeoning tech scene.

Some of the highlights of the week include a €10k prize for the first team to create an entire blockchain and UI on the Cosmos mainnet. There will also be a gathering of the world’s top French-speaking CEOs, entrepreneurs, and investors organized by FrenchFounders.

The flagship event of the week, however, is the Paris Blockchain Week Summit, which organizers expect to attract some 1,500 attendees.

What to Expect from the Paris Blockchain Week Summit

The Paris Blockchain Week Summit (PBWS) is a two-day long conference taking place at Station F. The event will gather some of the most influential thought-leaders, decision-makers, and movers and shakers in the blockchain space.

Among the speakers are Tezos co-Founder Arthur Breitman, MyEtherWallet’s CEO Kosala Hemachandra, and Ripple’s Global Head of Banking Marjan Delatinne. Ledger’s President Pascal Gauthier will, of course, be delivering a keynote as well, as will eToro’s CEO Yoni Assia.

President at France Blocktech Describes His Way to Success

Speakers on the main stage will discuss EU regulation, decentralized exchanges, stable coins, scalability issues, advances in consensus mechanisms, governance, PoW vs PoS, sharding, the integration of AI in distributed algorithms, and many other topics besides.

With Switzerland, Malta, and even Lichtenstein gathering all the attention, this is Paris’ chance to show the world that the country is open for blockchain business–and that France is a contender in the race.  

France is one of the few G20 countries to have drafted a framework for blockchain entrepreneurs over the last year. Its regulators are open-minded and advised by the likes of industry heavyweights Ledger and La French Tech. France is definitely beginning to show that the climate is thawing for blockchain businesses here.

Cryptocurrency Adoption in France

Some of the largest companies in the industry have come out of France. However, while Bitcoinist reported on the efforts of French protestors and street artist Pascal Boyart to spread the word on Bitcoin, France hasn’t been a major contender so far.

With the Paris Blockchain Week Summit backed by the Ministry of Economy and Finance, as well as the Secretary of State for Digital Affairs, it looks like while other G20 countries are falling behind, France is getting serious.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

Share
Bře 24

Bitcoin Price Analysis: Bears Look to Trap Bulls Into Weekly Close

Table of Contents

As the Bitcoin price weekly candle draws towards a close for the week we take a look at what the performance over the week looks like going into the final week of March.


Bitcoin price: 4-HOUR CHART

Looking at the4-hour chart, we can see that the bitcoin price has spent the last few days oscillating around the weekly opening price of $3965, with the bears continually attacking this level.

The MACD has broken through it zero line having turned bearish on the dump from the weekly highs at over $4056 all the way down to $3920, which along with a generally downward trending MACD implies that the bears are in control going into Sunday evening, however the bulls have proven to defend the weekly candle in the last two weeks of asking.

Should the bears want to define the weekly candle, the mid-week lows of $3920 will be the target, whereas the bulls will want to close above the weekly open of $3965.

1-DAY CHART

A look at the 1-Day Chart shows that bitcoin price is showing signs of struggle to complete the Adam and Eve and Inverse head and shoulders classical charting patterns, which would imply an upside target between $4800 and $5200.

Failed moves typically lead to fast moves, so if BTC cannot break back to test the $4,000 and loses the weekly lows, the 50 and 100 DMA at $3780 and $3730 respectively will be the first line of defense for the bulls. These levels have acted as support since Mid-February when they turned from resistance and into support.

WEEKLY CHART

With only a few hours remaining, the weekly chart shows that bitcoin price is still being capped by the center line of the Bollinger Bands, which is the 20 week moving average.

Should BTC manage to hold the mid $3900s, bitcoin will open the final week of March above the 20 WMA will be for the first time of 2019. It is clear to see that a more definitive move is on the brink of occurring with the pinch of the 200 WMA and the 20 WMA being clearly defined on the chart.

The weekly MACD will print a fifth green bar on the histogram and continues to trend upwards, but has some way to go before it crosses its zero line and is in bullish territory.

BITCOIN SENTIMENT

Looking at sentiment in the Bitcoin market, we can see that the Bitcoin September Futures contract at Bitmex is currently trading around $40 below the spot price, meaning that the expectation of the market is that BTC prices will be lower moving forwards.

This of course presents an opportunity for the bulls who believe the opposite to be true. So they’ll be able to pick up bitcoin at a discounted rate. But this would be against market expectation and the discount is to be expected in a bear market environment.

The Long/Short ratio at Bitfinex has crept higher in contrast to the futures movement, and is now up at 1.18, which has room to manoeuvre higher towards where it usually tops out around 1.5 if there is a break to the upside.

The longs and shorts total open interest at Bitfinex is down to 44k BTC – down from nearly double that in Dec-2019. This implies that there are speculators awaiting the bigger move to commence before taking on any risk in the market, which further supports the idea the next move will be a sharp one.

Overall, bitcoin price remains locked in a bear market and is grinding on upwards in an encouraging fashion. But the bulls must take control of the market in the final week of March as the 20 week moving average continues to suppress the price.

Trade Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC) and other cryptocurrencies on online Bitcoin forex broker platform evolve.markets

To get receive updates for the writer you can follow on Twitter (@filbfilb) and TradingView.

The views and opinions of the writer should not be misconstrued as financial advice.  For disclosure, the writer holds Bitcoin at the time of writing.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Tradingview.com

Share
Bře 23

Vietnam Reportedly Launching First Fully-Authorized Cryptocurrency Exchange

Vietnam’s largest distribution company, Linh Thanh Group, is apparently partnering with Switzerland-based blockchain company KRONN Ventures to establish the first fully-authorized cryptocurrency exchange in the Southeast Asian country. 


The information comes from a press release, which states that the two companies have signed a memorandum of understanding and have received a license to establish a cryptocurrency exchange in Vietnam.

This news comes after the Zug-based KRONN Ventures AG brought together financial committees from Vietnam, Philippines, Cambodia, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka to form a consortium in late last year. The consortium was formed to construct an international wiring system powered by blockchain technology.

The aforementioned press release claims that the Linh Thanh Group and KRONN Ventures are building “a world-class cryptocurrency exchange” — which may have merit, given Zug’s standing as a leading cryptocurrency and blockchain hotspot in the world. KRONN has also worked with London’s King’s College on an artificial intelligence research facility.

“The industry expectation is that by combining Linh Thanh Group’s massive distribution network, which is the largest in Vietnam, with the world-class technology of KRONN Ventures, the impact will be widely felt not only in Vietnam but also in other surrounding Asian countries,” states the press release — though we’re not confident the press release is capable of speaking for the entire blockchain and cryptocurrency industry.

The move from Linh Thanh Group and KRONN Ventures is one likely driven by the desire of developing countries in Asia to not fall behind once the cryptocurrency market finishes correcting and commences on another positive trajectory — which is more likely to happen than not, given the behind-the-scenes development taking place on an industry level while coin prices fall and worthless tokens find themselves removed from the market. It is also a move that hopes to reverse the worrying trend in the region of regulators casting unfavorable eyes on the industry.

What do you think about Linh Thanh Group and KRONN Ventures teaming up to launch Vietnam’s first authorized cryptocurrency exchange? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Pexels.

Share
Bře 22

China’s Orwellian Cashless Payments Show Why Bitcoin Is Freedom

Table of Contents

Like a scene from an Orwellian nightmare, authorities in Shenzhen China show where the future of centralized cashless payments is headed. And it isn’t pretty.


Centralized Cashless Payments in China

China is known for its high rate of technology adoption. Of the 2 billion or so smartphones around the world, two-thirds of them are in China.

Unlike most users in the West, Chinese smartphones are particularly popular for making instant cashless payments. Just about everyone accepts mobile payments, from small street vendors to homeless people.

Up until now, Chinese using WeChat Pay to make a purchase was completely at their will. But the Shenzhen traffic police are about to instantly extract fines from people’s WeChat accounts if they’re caught jaywalking.

Better than that? They’re using facial recognition technology to catch offenders and remove the fines automatically, no questions asked.

Facial Recognition to ‘Name and Shame’ Is Not Enough

In Shenzhen, pedestrians who violate road rules are already named and shamed on giant LED screens. Traffic police use CCTV cameras backed by AI to single out jaywalkers. Their faces are also registered on a government website.

china wechat jaywalking shenzen

AI-enabled cameras are nothing new in China’s most progressive city. The technology was put in place in April 2018 and since then, almost 14,000 jaywalkers have had their faces plastered across the screen at a busy junction in the Futian district.

The Chinese authorities, it seems, really don’t want you crossing the road outside of a designated pedestrian area.

According to Wang Jun, Director of Marketing Solutions at AI firm Intellifusion, quoted in South China Morning Post, however, naming and shaming is not enough.

Jaywalking has always been an issue in China and can hardly be resolved just by imposing fines or taking photos of the offenders… But a combination of technology and psychology… can greatly reduce instances of jaywalking and will prevent repeat offenses.

So, the Chinese traffic police will soon use a combination of facial recognition technology and instant fines by text.

Despite the margin for error (last year, a facial recognition system mistook a face on a bus for a jaywalker), the new system is moving ahead.

Push vs Pull Payments: Centralization vs Decentralization

Since the naming and shaming campaign began, the number of repeat offenders has reduced. Although Wang believes the only incentive strong enough to stop jaywalking completely is to hit people directly in their pockets.

wechat china

Intellifusion is currently in talks with popular Chinese social media platforms WeChat and Weibo. Not only will the jaywalker be notified by text, but their account will be debited some 20 minutes later. Their credit rating will also be affected if they pass a certain limit and violate the rules too many times.

If it sounds like a scene from an Orwellian society, that’s because this is exactly what this is. Big Brother China is showing the world where the future of centralized cashless payments is headed. And it isn’t pretty.

By going ahead and taking funds from violators’ accounts, they impose a ‘pull payment’ strategy, whereby the supplier simply takes the money from the account.

Now, contrast this to a decentralized financial system like Bitcoin, in which account holders send the funds (with their private key) and payments are ‘pushed’ onto the network.

China Has Control Over Your Financial Sovereignty

It’s been clear to the Chinese people for some time now that the authorities are watching them. But with this new initiative, the government will have access to pull payments from its citizens’ accounts, effectively controlling their financial sovereignty.

It’s not only Shenzhen that’s doing it, either. The Chinese are getting trigger-happy with facial recognition technology, with similar projects in Shanghai and Beijing.

What do you think about China’s automatic fines for jaywalking? Share your thoughts below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

Share
Bře 21

Switzerland Moves Forward to Fit Cryptocurrency Into Traditional Regulations

 The Federal Assembly of Switzerland has voted in favor of putting cryptocurrency on equal footing as traditional assets.


A Hesitant Vote

99 members of the National Council, Switzerland’s lower house of the Federal Assembly, have supported a motion to put forward proposed regulations by liberal public representative Giovanni Merlini. 83 people voted against, while 10 refrained from voting at all.

The proposed regulations will now have to be considered by the Council of States, which is the Federal Assembly’s upper house. Switzerland’s Federal Assembly is the country’s legislative authority.

Per the proposed regulations, the existing legislation of both administrative and judicial authorities should be adapted and applied to cryptocurrencies as well.

While making his proposition, Merlini argued that:

Cryptocurrencies could be issued to anyone with a decentralized, cryptographic-based peer-to-peer data network. A large part of the cryptocurrencies is completely anonymous, which favored extortion and money laundering.

It’s worth noting that this narrative has little support given Europol’s assessment from late 2018. Reads Europol’s Internet Organized Crime Threat Assessment:

The use of cryptocurrencies by terrorist groups has only involved low-level transactions — their main funding still stems from conventional banking and money remittance services.

Surprising Move?

Merlini’s arguments, as well as the proposed regulations, seem somewhat surprising given the country’s pro-cryptocurrency stance. The country classifies virtual currencies as assets and it has fairly relaxed regulatory burdens and low entry barriers.

In December, the country’s finance minister Ueli Maurer said that instead of coming up with new cryptocurrency-specific regulations, the Federal Assembly will be adapting existing ones to fit the needs of the industry.

Following the motion’s approval, however, Maurer, stated that the proposal has gone further than the scope of the planned regulations.

Former UBS Bankers Raise Funds for Innovative Bank in Zug

Arguments have also been made against the motion, as it had failed to clarify how and if there are measures to be taken to mitigate any risks.

Additional doubts have been raised whether cryptocurrency trading platforms “should be equated with the financial intermediaries and subjected to Switzerland’s Financial market Supervisory Authority (FINMA).

Switzerland’s progress in terms of cryptocurrency adoption, on the other hand, can’t be unnoticed. Earlier this week, Bitcoinist reported that the country’s biggest online retailer started accepting bitcoin for payments on their platform.

What do you think of the latest move by Switzerland to approve regulatory changes proposed by Merlini? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

Share
Bře 20

Blockstream’s New Green Wallet Is ‘Probably the Most Secure’ On the Market

Bitcoin HODLers rejoice. Now there’s an even safer, easier way to store your private keys–the all-new Blockstream Green Wallet for iOS and Android.


Blockstream Releases Green Wallet

Rebranded from the GreenAddress Bitcoin mobile wallet, this all-new version promises to offer a more seamless UX and heightened security. It’s arguably one of the safest, sleekest, and most convenient mobile wallets for storing and tracking Bitcoin transactions.

Like its predecessor, this wallet uses 2-of-2 multisig by default. Perhaps one of it’s most impressive features, though, is that the Blockstream Green keeps one key on your device and the other on the company’s servers.

This means that if you lose your mobile device or it gets stolen, no one can get their hands on your funds.

There’s also a host of 2FA methods available within the app from Google Authenticator to email, phone call, or SMS, depending on your preference.

According to the company post, there are “too many features” to mention. However, it reassures current users that:

We’ve retained the same multisig security that our existing users know and love, while packing in a whole host of advanced features that should get our power users excited.

Support for Trezor and Ledger

For those of you used to using the Trezor One or the Ledger Nano S, the good news is the Blockstream Green wallet works like a charm with both.

If you’ve already ordered a Ledger Nano X, you’ll have to wait a little longer until the Green is compatible. The company is currently working on support for later models.

Developed by original cypherpunk and Hashcash inventor Adam Back (one of the most respected names in the space), you don’t need to undergo KYC to use this wallet. In fact, all you need is an email address for wallet recovery purposes only.

Let’s be clear. If you’re looking to store and trade a host of altcoins, this isn’t the wallet for you. But if you’re looking for the best in cryptographic security for your Bitcoin, it doesn’t get much better than this.

According to Back:

As a cypherpunk, cryptographer, and pioneering Bitcoin miner whose technology is still used today, you couldn’t ask for a more qualified person to design your wallet security.

Back’s creation Blockstream is a pioneer in the industry with the mission of “creating the financial infrastructure of the future”–all based on the most secure blockchain there is–Bitcoin.

Will you be trying Green Wallet? Share your thoughts below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

Share
Bře 19

Dubai’s First Bitcoin ATM Let’s You Buy With Cash, No ID

If you’re in the UAE and want to buy some bitcoin, you can do so without KYC from the first Bitcoin ATM in Dubai. Don’t get too excited, though. You can’t make withdrawals yet–and you’ll need to show ID when you do.


The First Bitcoin ATM in Dubai

The good news is that Bitcoin ATMs are gaining traction around the world. Now there’s an operational machine in Dubai hotel and wellness center Rixos Premium Dubai JBR. However, the functionality of the machine is pretty limited for now.

For those looking to venture into the world of digital currency without having to undergo KYC or even show an ID Card, this is the path forward.

Users can simply purchase bitcoin with cash, no questions asked. They can’t sell them though, not through this machine anyhow. According to Anhad Dhingra CEO of Amhora, the company that owns the ATM, that option will be available in a couple of months.

Not All Good News for Anonymous Bitcoin Buyers

If you thought that using a fat wad of cash to purchase bitcoin was a great way to stay anonymous, think again. Remember, that you’ll need some sort of wallet to send your bitcoins to and an existing exchange to sell them afterwards. 

Moreover, when the Dubai Bitcoin ATM rolls out the sell option, users will have to swipe their Emirates ID card or passport.

Buy Bitcoin at Just Five Percent Commission

Amhora is fully licensed by the Department of Economic Development and will charge users a five percent commission on the total purchase. While this may sound steep to regular users who shrink from Coinbase and its high fees, the average Bitcoin ATM charges around 7.5 percent.

Dhingra enthused:

The commission is very attractive because you can buy bitcoins instantly. Otherwise people have to go through a number of procedures which take a lot of time. At this kiosk, you just insert cash and you get bitcoins instantly. It is possible to purchase bitcoins through banking platforms and debit cards already but since we accept cash, it is very different.

While there have been several prototype projects for Bitcoin ATMs, none of them is currently functioning. This makes Amhora’s ATM the first of its kind in the emirate.

Have you ever bought bitcoin from a BTM? Share your experiences below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

Share
Bře 18

Anti-Euro Bitcoin Art Pops Up in Paris Amid Protests

The French are nothing if not expressive. In the country of the language of love, free speech, and Charlie Hebdo, Pascal Boyart has revealed his third piece of revolutionary street art in Paris with a Bitcoin QR code hidden inside.


The Bitcoin Revolution in France

Onlookers around the world, especially from the Bitcoin clan, watched excitedly as Bitcoin became a part of the Paris protests.

One of the Yellow Vest protesters wore a sign on his back saying ‘Buy Bitcoin,’ and the movement became associated with more than just unemployment, taxation woes, and various other social unrest issues.

For many, they believed it to be more about cryptocurrencies, a movement to run the French banks, topple the Euro, and spark the Bitcoin revolution.

In all likelihood, the percentage of yellow vest protestors who actually know about cryptocurrency is pretty slim. Ledger’s CEO Eric Larchevêque previously told this author in an interview:

The yellow vests do not really know about Bitcoin… They do not really think that cryptocurrency will solve their problems.

However, the fact remains that the Bitcoin movement is taking to the streets in France. This is now the third piece of street art from Pascal Boyart spreading the word about Bitcoin.

In the same vein as other pieces, the mural is provocative and radical in nature. It depicts French painter and Impressionist Eugène Delacroix burning a $100 euro note.

The piece signals the end of a reign of centralized institutions devaluing people’s savings and controlling their financial independence.

The significance of using the French romantic artist in his moral will not be lost on artists, historians, or literature aficionados. Delacroix is famous for his use of expressive brushstrokes and for shaping the movement of the Impressionists.

PBoy Pascal Boyart Is a Legend in Himself

Now the third piece of street art he’s created to spread awareness about Bitcoin, a quick glance at his website or Instagram account is enough to leave you breathless. Pascal Boyart is one really, exceptionally creative and hard-hitting artist with strong political views.

He’s also staunchly anti-centralist, sells his artwork through OpenBazaar, and accepts donations in cryptocurrencies.

Boyart’s work has been featured not only by several cryptocurrency outlets including Bitcoinist, but also in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Le Monde, and Reuters, among many others.

Bitcoin may be smaller than Amazon in terms of market value. We may still be in the nascent stages, and perhaps most French people don’t know about cryptocurrencies. But with activists like Pascal Boyart spreading the word, at least there are sparks starting the fire.

What do you think about the latest Bitcoin-inspired mural in Paris? Share your thoughts below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, pboy-art.com

Share
Bře 17

Gatecoin Ordered to Cease All Operations, Enters Liquidation

Gatecoin, a cryptocurrency exchange based in Hong Kong, has announced that it is shutting down and entering liquidation following failed attempts at recovering lost funds stemming from a dispute with a past payment services provider. 


The news comes via an official statement on Gatecoin’s website.

As detailed by the company, Gatecoin ran into trouble with its banking partners in September 2018, which forced the lesser-known exchange to commence a working relationship with a payment service provider (PSP). Said provider is apparently fully-compliant with French regulations. However, Gatecoin blames the PSP for failing “to process most of the transfers in a timely manner.” States the exchange:

[This] in turn almost paralyzed our operation for many months and caused substantial loss on our side.

Things apparently got worse when Gatecoin decided to replace the problematic PSP with “more reliable alternatives.” The prior PSP allegedly retained a significant portion of the exchange’s funds. Legal action apparently had little effect on recovering the funds — which seems a little suspect. Explains the statement:

After months spent trying to recover those funds, we commenced legal action against that PSP but were advised that it is unlikely that we would be able to recover the funds from them in full.

This financial difficulty, undoubtedly paired with the continued bear market, has forced Gatecoin to close up shop. The company was ordered to wind up by a court on March 13, 2019, and a provisional liquidator has been put in control. All operations must be ceased immediately. “Please rest assured that we will assist the liquidation process in order to expedite the realization and redistribution of our assets to the creditors,” the statement claims.

Gatecoin now joins the growing list of failed exchanges and bear market fatalities as the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry continues to flush out the waste and separate the wheat from the chaff.

What do you think of Gatecoin’s closure? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

Share
Bře 16

Andrew Yang is the Bitcoin-Friendly U.S. 2020 Presidential Candidate

With the exception of Wyoming and a handful of other states, blockchain regulation in the U.S. has been disappointing at best. Yet, there may be a ray of hope from Democrat Presidential candidate Andrew Yang.


Who Is Andrew Yang?

Andrew Yang is an entrepreneur and founder of Venture for America (VFA), a non-profit organization with a mission of:

Mobilizing the next generation of entrepreneurs and equipping them with the skills and resources they need to create jobs.

Praised by the Obama administration in 2012, Yang was selected as a “Champion of Change,” and later, in 2015, recognized as a “Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship.”

Somewhat a dark horse in this electoral race, Yang caused a flurry of excitement among the cryptocurrency community last summer. He declared that he accepted bitcoin, ether and other cryptocurrency donations for his campaign:

Along with the words:

Let’s build the future together

This sparked a storm of comments from his followers asking whether that meant that he supported the mainstreaming of cryptocurrencies. There were also plenty of enthusiastic statements like:

Nothing stops crypto, even Presidential candidates are jumping on!

Yang also had to contend with a decent amount of criticism. The usual opposers claiming that untraceable donations would lead to a flow of illicit funds and foreign financing. They even pointed out the damage to the climate from PoW mining.

Knowledge of Bitcoin Back to 2013

Regardless of the mixed reactions to his news last summer, the 44-year-old Yang of Asian descent could certainly bring the promise of the winds of change in American politics.

And his knowledge of Bitcoin goes back at least as far as 2013 when he tweeted about the then price meltdown when the price dropped under $600 USD:

How far this outsider will get in the presidential race and how much he will do to thrust cryptocurrencies front and center if he wins remains to be seen. But, we wouldn’t mind betting that either way, he’s got a few satoshis hodled away for a rainy day.

And who knows, maybe his bits could even help fund his presidential campaign!

Do you think Andrew Yang holds bitcoin? Share your thoughts below!


Images courtesy of Yang2020.com

Share