Čvc 08

New EU Cybersecurity Laws to Cover Online Banking, Markets

Source: bitcoin

EU flag

The European Union (EU) parliament has approved a new set of cybersecurity laws, ordering firms in “essential service” industries like banking, health, energy and transport to bolster their defenses against cyber-attacks.

Also read: Industry Report: How China, France, and the FBI Do Bitcoin

The EU network and information security (NIS) directive represents the first EU-wide standards on cybersecurity. According to an EU parliament statement, they are designed to increase cooperation between member states as well as to prevent attacks on EU countries’ interconnected infrastructure.

EU Parliament rapporteur Andreas Schwab said:

“Cybersecurity incidents very often have a cross-border element and therefore concern more than one EU member state. Fragmentary cybersecurity protection makes us all vulnerable and poses a big security risk for Europe as a whole.”

Requirement to Report Breaches

Of note is a provision within the laws covering digital service providers — such as cloud services, search engines and online marketplaces.

As well as taking measures to protect their infrastructure, these companies will also have to report any major breaches or security incidents to national authorities.

Given the law’s specific mention of online financial services, and KYC/AML requirements for bitcoin exchanges falling in line with those covering banks, there’s no doubt digital currency service providers will need to take extra care to protect their clients’ property and personal data.

The European parliament approved new regulations to cover bitcoin exchanges earlier this year. While not seen as particularly restrictive, the regulations called for “precautionary monitoring” of the industry and the appointment of a watchdog to keep an eye on its development.

Another set of proposed rules are aimed at making trading more transparent and preventing tax evasion. It should be noted, however, that most digital currency exchanges operating in the EU already have customer identification requirements similar to those of banks.

What EU Countries Will Need to Do

For NIS, Union member states will need to identify which companies are operating as “essential services” using set criteria, e.g: is the service critical for society and the economy? Is a security incident at those companies likely to have “significant disruptive effects” on providing their services?

A new EU-wide strategic co-operation group will form to share information and assist EU member states in building their cybersecurity capacity. The existing European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) will assist with implementation.

They will be required to form a network of “Computer Security Incident Response Teams” (CSIRTs) to handle incidents, identify risks, and formulate a set of responses.

The NIS directive will come into force 20 days after publication in the EU Official Journal, after which member states will have 21 months to draft individual national laws that comply.

Will the new laws make any difference to the way European bitcoin exchanges handle security and customers’ personal information?

Images courtesy of User Irinawave, Wikimedia Commons.

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New EU Cybersecurity Laws to Cover Online Banking, Markets

Dub 29

Europe Blockchain Fever: Public, Private Sectors Jumping on Board

Source: bitcoin


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

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Europe Blockchain Fever: Public, Private Sectors Jumping on Board

Dub 15

European Parliament To Host Educational Blockchain Conference

Source: bitcoin

Bitcoinist_European Parliament

The focus on blockchain technology and distributed ledgers have not gone by unnoticed, as the European Parliament will be hosting a four-day conference on digital currency and blockchains next week. Quite an interesting announcement, and perhaps even a hint as to what is to come regarding regulation in the EU over the coming years.

Also read: Keeping the Blockchain Open in the Shadow of Tech Giants

European Parliament Blockchain and Bitcoin Conference

It is important to note this four-day event will not be held like most traditional conferences touching upon the subject of digital currency. Instead, the plan is for the European Parliament to bring together financial players and educate them on distributed ledgers and how virtual currencies could be beneficial to them.

Among the attendees will be some of the more prominent members of the financial sector, such as the World Bank, IMF, and Bank for International Settlements. But they will not be the only ones receiving an education on blockchain technology, as the United Nations and Europol will be represented during this event as well.

As one would come to expect, there will be plenty of academics, startups, central banks, and established companies in the blockchain world present as well. Although many people might argue Bitcoin is no longer of interest to financial institutions, they have taken a liking to the concept of issuing their own digital currencies as of late.

Syed Kamall, Member of the European Parliament, stated:

“I am pleased to be hosting the exhibition on blockchain and virtual currencies in the European Parliament. Legislators internationally are now looking at this area and how to protect the consumer while stimulating innovation.”

Blockchain technology, on the other hand, has been the buzzword for most of 2015 and 2016 so far. It is only normal the European Parliament wants to get involved in these matters, as they may need to establish a regulatory framework for this technology at some point in the future. Moreover, this four-day conference will provide vital insights as to how digital currencies work, which may impact Bitcoin as well.

What are your thoughts on the European Parliament hosting a four-day blockchain conference? Let us know in the comments below!

Source; Finextra

Images courtesy of European Parliament, Shutterstock

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European Parliament To Host Educational Blockchain Conference