Lis 28

First Bitcoin ATM Installed in ECB’s Own Backyard

Germany has just got its second Bitcoin ATM in Frankfurt, home of the European Central Bank, as the total worldwide machine count hits 4000 for the first time.


Bitcoin ATM Arrives in Frankfurt

As local media reported November 23, Bitcoin-Store Frankfurt in Germany’s financial center and home of the European Central Bank (ECB) is now home to one of only two BTMs currently operational in the country.

Under the auspices of founder Oliver Pangratz, Bitcoin-Store exists as a brick-and-mortar cryptocurrency guide, offering in-person assistance with all aspects of Bitcoin including helping consumers open wallets and send transactions.

“A relatively small group of people have knowledge of cryptocurrencies in Germany at present,” Pangratz told local news program Hessenschau Monday.

…At Bitcoin-Store we want to get people a bit more enthused about the topic.

coinatmradar Bitcoin ATM

Unlike the US, which now boasts 2370 BTMs according to data from CoinATMRadar, Germany is one of the most sparsely-populated jurisdictions for Bitcoin buying and selling options.

The reason behind the lack of progress remains regulation. As Bitcoinist reported, only a court decision allowed legitimate operation of machines this month, a situation which finance regulator BaFin has suggested may not last.

“Whether the ATM will be found in Munich for a longer period remains unclear and depends on how long the judgment can remain in force,” media reported after the BTM appeared in a Munich casino.

Coinsource Pushes For US-Wide Presence

Across the Atlantic, meanwhile, the competitive push to cast BTMs far and wide has continued in recent months.

Coinsource, one operator which has installed around 200 machines in various US states, finally received its BitLicense from New York regulators at the start of November.

BitLicense Revisions

Planning a presence in all 50 states, the company is one of several laying the foundations for a future surge in consumer-level interest.

“This expansion is not only a step in the right direction for mainstream adoption, but should also be seen as a case study for other companies to make every effort to remain compliant with current regulations,” LeapRate quoted Coinsource general counsel Arnold Spencer as saying Wednesday.

What do you think about Bitcoin ATMs in Germany and further afield? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Bitcoinist archives, CoinATMradar.com

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Dub 29

Europe Blockchain Fever: Public, Private Sectors Jumping on Board

Source: bitcoin

EU

Europe is taking blockchain technology and fintech solutions very seriously. All across the land, government officials, new startups, financial executives, and educators are promoting these emerging markets with much excitement. With investments being made within various European countries, and strategic discussions with parliament, it seems the Europe wants a leading edge in this growing environment.

Also read: Peter Todd Exposes MIT ChainAnchor Project That Enables Tracking Bitcoin User’s Identity

Dutch Bank Partners With Nexuslab Blockchain Ventures

recent partnership between the Dutch Rabobank and the Swiss-based Nexuslab will be geared towards early-stage European blockchain ventures. Switzerland’s blockchain startup program Nexuslab will be advised by experts from Rabobank, and the collaboration will give the bank access to the European startup Nexussquared. Both companies will host in-person hangout sessions in Amsterdam, London, Berlin, and Zurich. Daniel Grassinger, Managing Director of Nexuslab and co-founder of Nexussquared stated in the recent partnership announcement:

“We’re excited to work with Rabobank on this first round of Nexuslab. The engagement of a leading international industry player demonstrates Switzerland’s ability to play a central role in the development of the European blockchain ecosystem. Together with Rabobank, Startupbootcamp and our infrastructure and IT-partner SwissQ we have created an unparalleled offering for aspiring European blockchain startups to turn their ideas and visions into viable businesses.”

London Is All About Blockchain Technology

In a presentation at London’s Digital Catapult, Cabinet Office minister Matt Hancock had some positive statements to say about blockchain technology. Hancock told attendees that digital ledger protocols give distributed consensus of everyone in the chain. He feels that data held within the chain has protection from central authority censorship and has “built-in immutability.” The Cabinet Office minister said during his speech, “we’re exploring the use of a blockchain to manage the distribution of grants. Monitoring and controlling the use of grants is incredibly complex. A blockchain, accessible to all the parties involved, might be a better way of solving that problem.” Another London proponent for the emerging technology is George Galloway, who is currently a Mayoral candidate, former Labour Party MP and current leader of The Respect Party. Galloway says in a recent podcast that if he becomes Mayor of London, he will use blockchain technology to provide a transparent budget.

Parliament to Regulate Blockchain Tech ‘Softly.’

Alongside these announcements, the European Union’s parliament has been considering what to do with blockchain technology as far as regulation is concerned. According to a recent report from Reuters, certain members of the EU council want to regulate these technologies “softly.” Jakob von Weizsaecker, a German member of the European Parliament gave some positive remarks about these protocols to the press and said, “We don’t want pre-emptive regulation, but we do want precautionary monitoring,” However, the virtual currencies and blockchain report given to parliament and passed calls for quite a bit of AML/KYC type of regulatory policies. The report does warn against regulating too harshly and Weizsaecker addresses the subject within the report. Weizsaecker states:

“To avoid stifling innovation, we favour precautionary monitoring instead of pre-emptive regulation. But, IT innovations can spread very rapidly and become systemic. That’s why we call on the Commission to establish a taskforce to actively monitor how the technology evolves and to make timely proposals for specific regulation if, and when, the need arises.”

European Central Bank is Infected by the DLT’s

To add to all the blockchain and digital currency fervor across the EU, the European Central Bank (ECB) is full steam ahead with distributed ledger technology. An Executive Board Member of the ECB, Yves Merch said the central bank is researching blockchains and the economic implications. The board member said he considered Europe as a leader in blockchain technology. The declaration coming from Yves Merch doesn’t end the ECB news as another report finds the entity researching the current post-trade landscape, blockchain governance, and the overall implications of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). The ECB paper was written by authors who don’t necessarily have the same opinions as the bank describe DLTs in great detail. According to the researchers the definition is:         

“DLTs allow their users to store and access information relating to a given set of assets and their holders in a shared database of either transactions or account balances. This information is distributed among users, who could then use it to settle their transfers of, e.g. securities and cash, without needing to rely on a trusted central validation system”

Europe Knows What Bitcoin and the Blockchain Is

Europe wants to be on the forefront of blockchain technology and financial technology solutions and each and every day this is becoming clearer. People from all around the EU are beginning to find out about cryptocurrency and DLT’s. In Germany, a recent report shows 44% of consumers know what Bitcoin is which is a good sign. Since 2008 Bitcoin has created some pretty cool concepts and ideas that are taking the world by storm. European proponents believe the EU is riding the lightning.   

What do you think about Europe’s fascination with these technologies? Do you believe the region is a leader? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Nexuslabs, Shutterstock, Wiki Commons and Pixbay

The post Europe Blockchain Fever: Public, Private Sectors Jumping on Board appeared first on Bitcoinist.net.

Europe Blockchain Fever: Public, Private Sectors Jumping on Board

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