Online Blockchain OBC building the ‘Yahoo of Crypto’

In the latest episode of Financial Fox, crypto guru Stefania Barbaglio interviews Clem Chambers, CEO of London listed ADVFN and Online Blockchain about OBC latest product ‘FreeFaucet.io’

FreeFaucet is a revolutionary free application that allows users to distribute and access cryptocurrencies without mining. FreeFaucet was designed to address the technical difficulties faced by many people in entering the crypto world.

Access http://freefaucet.io/

“With crypto faucets, we take that technical difficulty away. People can get a little Bitcoin, a little Ethereum, a little Brazio ̶ they can just get it on the website. If they want to get more, they can subscribe.

This is the core of a crypto hub. OBC wants to be the Yahoo of crypto. This will be the place where people come for crypto stuff: coins, news, community, and more,” says Clem Chambers.

The faucet can be used by any cryptocurrency provider, meaning that any cryptocurrency — big or small, old or new — can now be easily exchanged for goods and services without users needing to mine the coin, which gives greater access to consumers and wider exposure for service providers.

FreeFaucet’s revenue comes from subscriptions and advertisements placed on the website. Cryptocurrency companies will purchase ad space on the FreeFaucet page to attract more coin holders. The same as ADVFN, which has been steadily growing since 1999 building a global platform for financial news and main hub for investors in equities.

This is a business model that benefits the consumer because the user gets value back in coins.

“It is not just about the money, it is about community and education, enabling people to enter the crypto world. FreeFaucet.io will help unlock the value of the crypto sector,” says Clem Chambers.

This is a revolutionary tool because it reverses the economic chain: money comes back to consumers rather than them paying the middlemen involved in purchasing a product or service.

Online Blockchain is focusing operations on building ‘the new generation of blockchain’, which according to Clem Chambers is all about services and applications built on top of cryptocurrencies. OBC is building an operating system, like Windows, powered by blockchain.

Visit FreeFaucet.io and @freefaucetio

Online Blockchain launches global free cryptocurrency hub- claim, send, receive and store a…

Online Blockchain launches global free cryptocurrency hub- claim, send, receive and store a variety of cryptocurrencies with FreeFaucet

Online Blockchain plc (LSE:OBC) announces the open beta of its FreeFaucet product, an innovative application that allows a variety of cryptocurrencies to be claimed, sent, received and stored.

Product Overview

In the crypto world, an online faucet ‘drips’ different coins and enables visitors to claim these cryptocurrencies. With FreeFaucet, users can obtain both renowned and emerging cryptocurrencies up to three times per day free of charge (20 times a day with membership), and access some of the highest-paying faucets on the net.

The product, which is in open beta, provides a simple way to claim, send, receive and store a diverse range of cryptocurrencies in one place. FreeFaucet offers many popular cryptocurrencies including: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Monero, Ravencoin, PlusOneCoin and Brazio. These claimed cryptocurrencies can then be securely stored on the FreeFaucet multicoin wallet (a cold storage solution).

FreeFaucet also boasts Geofaucet — a first-of-its-kind, location-specific faucet. Geofaucets are real-life, physical faucets in the form of a QR code. When these Geofaucet QR codes are scanned at a set location, the person scanning is rewarded with cryptocurrency. Additionally, anyone can create their own Geofaucet on the FreeFaucet site — and earn a passive income — by generating a unique QR code and placing it at a location of their choice. When a Freefaucet.io user scans this QR code, both the user and the Geofaucet owner receive cryptocurrency for free and will see their balance updated on Freefaucet.io. Any non-users scanning a Geofaucet QR code will be prompted to register on Freefaucet.io to have their claimed cryptocurrency added to their new account.

Users can claim from an unlimited number of Geofaucets per day and claim from any given Geofaucet once every 12 hours. Details of the Geofaucet locations and the simple steps for creating one can be found at: www.freefaucet.io/geofaucet

Another exciting feature of the FreeFaucet site is Bitferno, a powerful cryptocurrency miner of brand new cryptocurrencies. Approximately once a month, these cryptocurrencies will be distributed or ‘airdropped’ to all Freefaucet.io users. Distribution is scaled according to a user’s experience level: every single time a user interacts with the site e.g. logging in, claiming from a faucet or setting up a Geofaucet, they gain experience. Users with higher experience levels will be rewarded accordingly for their support and loyalty on the site. Bitferno is currently mining Bytecoin.

“There is unbridled interest in cryptocurrencies. Freefaucet offers a gateway to this market and enables established cryptocurrency enthusiasts and novices alike to earn free cryptocurrency with just a few clicks,” said Clem Chambers, CEO of Online Blockchain plc. “Freefaucet.io is now growing fast and our aim of making it a leading crypto community hub with many revenue streams has got off to a very exciting start.”

About Online Blockchain plc (LSE: OBC)

Online Blockchain (www.onlineblockchain.io) is a UK-based incubator and developer of businesses in internet and information-based technologies, including developers, administrators and custodians of blockchains and cryptocurrencies. The Company created ADVFN www.advfn.com and today still has a holding of 17.98% in ADVFN plc.

Online Blockchain plc continues to consider new related opportunities, particularly crypto currencies and blockchain-based opportunities including incubating cryptocurrency start-ups and developing technical innovation in the blockchain space. Led by a team with over two decades of pioneering in tech, Online Blockchain focuses on innovation in cryptocurrency and decentralised ecosystems via various applications of blockchain: incubating cryptocurrency start-ups and developing technical innovation in the blockchain space.

Ulticoin: The cryptocurrency gamers have been waiting for

The multi-billion dollar gaming market is about to witness a brand new project leveraging on blockchain technology to give players the chance of cashing in ‘real money’ from their gaming tokens.

The gaming industry helped drive the internet, certainly in the social media age where social gaming and microtransactions have become a flourishing industry in their own right. Now, the industry could be helping to spur the growth of blockchain technology and increase adoption of cryptocurrencies.

Numbers indicate there are more than 25,000 e-gaming platforms worldwide, generating altogether between USD$20 to 40 billion in revenue. Online gaming is expected to grow by over 11% a year until 2020. This impressive growth is mostly down to new technologies enhancing current gaming experiences and creating niches in the market.

In 2017 alone, the gaming industry generated $108.4 billion in revenue. The good sentiment is also felt on the investment side in an increasing interest in blockchain appliances from gaming companies. Over the last few years, there have been more than 50 ICOs for gaming-focused projects, the top 10 fundraisers reaching over $323 million alone.

Among many features, the introduction of blockchain technology in games offers more security to players, can increase number and variety of elements and allows more sophisticated features.

The integration of blockchain into gaming is seen as a positive move within the crypto space. Gamers are known to be early adopters of new technologies and their familiarity with tokens and virtual currencies can help drive adoption of cryptocurrencies wider.

ULTI Coin: Exchange gaming tokens for real currencies

Aiming to reach the core of the popular and expanding gaming industry, blockchain developers decided to create ULTICoin.

The coin started to be designed in 2017 by a team of experts in gaming — and gamers themselves — who understand the market very well spotted the opportunity of deploying crypto technology to unlock the billions of dollars that are locked inside video games features and different realities.

ULTI Coin is the first-of-its-kind allowing players to get ‘real’ money’ from their games. ULTI Coin is new cryptocurrency that implements and manages in-game virtual currencies. Purpose of ULTICoin is exchanging in-game currencies for ULTI Tokens, which allows gamers to become users of ULTICoin, and exchange ULTI Tokens for FIAT currencies or any other in-game currency.

“Our aim is to partner with as many gaming companies as possible. In any game, you gather tokens which now with ULTI coin can be exchanged for real money,” said Nadja Jovovic, a consultant at ULTCoin.

“Our project is built on Ethereum blockchain, which means users get the speed, safety and transparency from Ethereum network,” said Sergej Belavin, senior consultant at ULTI Coin.

ULTI will soon be listed on different crypto exchanges around the world which will allow gamers to trade their gaming coins to other cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and eventually fiat values.

Vertbase: Coinbase for Altcoins.

Accelerating cryptocurrency adoption

Founded in 2018, Vertbase is a highly secure and user-friendly digital currency platform for buying and selling cryptocurrencies with US Dollars. Vertbase was born with the aim of finding a solution to the complex, time-consuming and expensive process of trading altcoins on most crypto exchanges, which tends to prevent non-experts from engaging in crypto trading.

Coinbase is a great platform for only few cryptocurrencies, but there are many other coins with high value that cannot be traded on the Coinbase exchange.

Looking at Coinbase and the challenge around coin trading, Justin Seidl and Stuart Menzies, co-founder at Vertabse, created a digital altcoin trading platform that is user-friendly, super-fast and highly secure. A Coinbase for altcoins, but only the one with legitimate projects and strong use cases, particularly those Vertbase believes can change the landscape of finance: DigiByte, Vertcoin, Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ravencoin and Decred.

In the latest episode of FinancialFox, Justin Seidl was interviewed by Blockchain PR expert Stefania Barbaglio, where he talked about how he came to create and design Vertbase, and shares his views on the altcoins to watch.

The mission behind Vertbase is to give visibility and market exposure to altcoins with high use case value. Altcoins are considerably less expensive than coins such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, and in some cases are more sophisticated and highly developed.

Over the recent months, cryptocurrency exchanges have been in the spotlight over coins being delisted and alleged extortionate listing fees required by prominent exchanges. These controversies highlighted the need for corrections in the way the crypto market works and the challenges that need to be overcome. They also prompted more calls for further decentralisation and transparency among exchanges.

Indeed, the current lack of regulatory frameworks leaves room for inconsistent practices. Different cryptocurrency exchanges can offer various types of cryptocurrencies, with different terms, policies, payment methods, and fees. Exchanges also differ on aspects such as security, user-friendliness, functionality, and design.

Some of the advantages Vertbase offers users is 100% non-custodial transactions that allow users to send coins to any wallet of their choice. In the spirit of co-operation, Vertbase also gives a portion of trading fees back to the community to continue development.

Moreover, with security reportedly the biggest worry among cryptocurrency traders, Vertbase is equipped with a robust anti-money laundering monitoring system. Furthermore, its system requires two-factor authentication, granting access to authorised users only, while the website and apps are fully secured with 128-bit encryption. Vertbase is registered with FinCEN and operates with full compliance and procedures under all US federal and state laws.

This January, Vertbase donated 50,000 DGB to the DigiByte Awareness Team to show their support of the project and DigiByte’s vision. “DigiByte has proven strong use cases, which include security features utilising the Digibyte Blockchain. Digibyte has some exciting plans and projects, so we have no doubt they will continue to be a major player in this industry,” says co-founder Justin Seidl.

Vertbase Founders Justin Seidl and Stuart Menzies will also be presenting at the DBG summit. The DGB community can also expect more news and updates on DGB projects to be released during the first global DigiByte Summit, taking place in Amsterdam on 19th April 2019. The theme of the Summit is ‘The Power of Decentralisation’ and its agenda will expand on the multitude of possibilities and uses enabled by decentralised technologies.

Tickets can be purchased here: http://digibytesummit.io

Block 30 Labs presenting at the DigiByte Global Summit

Cassiopeia Services, official PR for DigiByte, is pleased to announce Block 30 Labs as partner at the first DigiByte Global Summit.

Block 30 Labs is developing indexes to work with strategic global partners to issue tokenised, digital index funds (ECFs). The BLOCK 30 Index was built to provide a central framework for the tracking of the 24/7 Digital Trading (“Crypto”) markets by global media, financial institutions, government and investors.

Officially launched in November 2018, the Block 30 index helps to accurately measure the value and performance of digital assets. It is one of the very first US indices to help investors track multiple factors in the market beyond Bitcoin. With a growing number of Security Token Offerings (STOs), the market requires more comprehensive and sophisticated tools to assess the value of digital assets.

The unique aspect to BLOCK 30 is that it begins to disaggregate Digital Trading assets from their singular classification within this new asset class. It distinguishes between core holdings such as Bitcoin — which may function more as a store of value — and STOs, which will function more like Initial Public Offering (IPOs), with real revenues and fundamentals.

Confirmed speakers at the first DigiByte Global summit include DigiByte founder Jared Tate; Official DigiByte PR Stefania Barbaglio; Rudy Bouwman, the founders of DGBAT, the DigiByte Awareness Team; the founders and lead developers of V-ID and Antum ID; and Vertbase Founders, Justin Seidl and Stuart Menzies.

Stefania Barbaglio, official PR for DigiByte commented: “Block 30 is a revolutionary tool to accelerate the development of tokenised asset trading. The DigiByte team and community are very much open to co-operation with valuable new projects that can help build a more transparent and decentralised financial system, and Block 30 is one of them.”

“The excitement and pace of this new asset class has led to the need to work backwards into traditional fundamentals like market indexes, tokenized index funds and more “one-click” interoperability between customer marketplaces, digital wallets and investment products’, said BLOCK 30 Labs CEO, Brian McLaren Foote.

We’re working at BLOCK 30 Labs to solve that — and having DigiByte and DGB Assets as a strategic technology partners “under the hood” is an enormous win for us on delivering product-market-fit for our clients and exchanges.

“If you look at the core tech + specs of Bitcoin, Litecoin + Ethereum, there are so many features and benefits to the DigiByte offering that are not yet reflected in its market cap and global adoption. Our goal is to help drive that change forward to the benefit of consumers, merchants + Fortune 500 enterprise.”

DigiByte Global Summit

April 19th, 2019

De Balie

Kleine-Gartmanplantsoen 10, 1017 RR

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Tickets can be purchased here: http://digibytesummit.io

Challenges and issues in cryptocurrency trading: beyond the controversies

Cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology are often portrayed as the big challenger to the current financial system, promising to fight corporate red tape, increase financial inclusion and create a more just and transparent economy. While all this is true, it’s not always rainbows and unicorns in the crypto world.

Different cryptocurrency exchanges can offer various types of cryptocurrencies and have different terms, policies, payment methods, and fees. Exchanges also differ on aspects such as security, user-friendliness, functionality, and design. These factors can all play a significant part when choosing the most suitable exchange.

Talks over regulation of digital currencies and crypto exchanges are a way to help the market become healthier and more transparent. Cryptocurrencies and exchanges indeed have many issues to address and challenges to overcome. Here, we highlight some of the main concerns and recent issues that are preventing the crypto revolution from progressing to its next stage.

Security

The biggest problem currently in the crypto market is the lack of security. Indeed, with news of hackings and breaches often making headlines, users are demanding more protection over their assets and data.

It is important to remember that as technology becomes more sophisticated, so do hackers. Exchanges are essentially so vulnerable to hacks because they centralise the risk, so further decentralisation can be an option in the pursuit for maximum security.

Security is indeed an urgent and weighty matter. Coin Desk reports that each day, $2.7 million is stolen from exchanges, with the amount of cryptocurrency taken in 2018 having increased 13 times compared to the previous year. This amounts to $2.7 million in crypto assets being stolen every day, or $1,860 each minute.

Transparency

Indeed, it is a well-established fact that the majority of ICOs end up unsuccessful — some of them even fraudulent. Furthermore, many expensive crypto projects often make a case for themselves claiming they are decentralised, when in reality, data from Token Analyst for Yahoo Finance showed that nearly 80% of the top 50 coins are held by the top 20 wallets. In 16 cases, the 20 biggest wallets held more than 90% of total token supply.

Much like in the more traditional economy, power dynamics also underline the negotiations and collaborations set in the crypto sphere, and the nuances of marketing strategies can mislead users and investors.

The lack of transparency, accountability and professionalism from renowned institutions can poison the benefits of digital currencies and undermine the strength and influence of blockchain adoption in different industries beyond finance. True blockchain believers call for an end to sketchy practices in the financial system and market structures, promoting widespread professionalism and ethical standards.

Credibility

Initial Coin Offerings are a great way to attract investors, but part of them resulted to be scams. Exchanges need to be careful and strict enough only to list those crypto coins which are reliable and ensure that the right assessment is performed.

Trading fees

Some exchanges charge a single flat fee, for example, 0.2% of the transaction value, on all trades. But many exchanges split their trading fees into two separate fees: the maker fee and the taker fee.

In some cases, maker fees can be higher than the taker because the maker adds liquidity to the market, so the exchange ‘rewards’ the trader.

Liquidity

Liquidity is a vital element for any of the market. A lack thereof creates an imbalanced environment, and things go out of control. Due to the decreased liquidity, orders are not placed/executed on time, and the doors are open for large holders to manipulate prices. Additionally, with a lack of liquidity, markets become more volatile and see more price slippages.

A secondary issue of reduced liquidity is that it puts the power into the hands of cryptocurrency exchanges with large liquidity. Some major exchanges now charge up to $1 million to get tokens listed, essentially selling liquidity to the token projects.

Price manipulation

Currently, the majority of crypt exchanges are only lightly regulated, leaving room for sometimes shady or abusive manoeuvres. It is reported that crypto exchanges use bots to manipulate the prices of coins. Last September, cryptocurrency trader and analyst Alex Kruger exposed a promotion on Bithumb which inflated the trading volume on the exchange.

“There currently are $250 million [in] fake volume traded at [the] Korean crypto exchange Bithumb, every day at 11 a.m. Korean Time, since Aug. 25. Bithumb offers 120 percent payback of trading fees as an airdrop. Trading fees are 0.15 percent taker. To collect the full KRW 1 billion rebate, a wash trader must thus trade KRW 278 billion. That is $250 million in daily fake volume. Notice how 31K Bitcoin is traded at exactly 11 a.m,” Kruger explained.

Transaction Delays

While cryptocurrency transactions are known for being fast, delays can happen and can be a way to protect users from hackings or fraudulent transactions. Exchanges sometimes delay transactions if they suspect the user did not authorize the transactions.

Regulation

In light of these flaws and loopholes, and continuing cases of hacks and breaches of exchanges, regulations would be welcomed if tailored to ensure transparency and consumer protections.

Crypto experts have anticipated 2019 is on track to be the year of crypto regulations

This year started with stronger calls for rules and regulations all around the world. In January, two major European regulatory bodies, the European Banking Authority (EBA) and the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) have publicly called for better assessments of crypto technology and its impacts to develop appropriate regulations.

In the US, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is applying their regulatory guidance to cryptocurrency projects as it considers another form of securities.

Recent controversies over exchanges ’ lack of professionalism and transparency are likely to prompt exchange regulations to be in place soon.

Decentralisation

Over the last few months, we have been seeing more moves from centralised exchanges towards decentralisation. Binance, for example, announced earlier this month that it is about to launch its decentralised exchange, Binance DEX, for public testing.

There various advantages to decentralisation. A DEX ensures the poor and unbanked can participate in the global economy: anyone can store and transfer wealth to anyone anywhere in the world, almost at no cost. Another benefit of decentralised exchanges is that users are fully in control of their data as there is no central authority storing or managing it.

How does the future look like?

While centralised crypto exchanges have been the tradition so far, they have somewhat given way to the decentralised crypto exchanges. The main objective behind bitcoin and blockchain is decentralisation and thus, both the CEX’s and DEX’s should come together to develop a hybrid model which benefits all of the crypto ecosystem.

Hybrid crypto exchanges can represent a viable option that bridges the gap between the benefits of a centralised exchange and those of a decentralised exchange. This is the way to gain the trust of numerous users and the cooperation of huge investors, while eliminating the element of subordination to a third-party and ensuring reliable storage.

If there is one thing we can learn from the recent developments and news, it is to look at the shortcomings of the so-called transparent crypto sphere, realise there is plenty of work to be done in this realm, and use the combination of technology, knowledge and accountability to fight these flaws. For the blockchain & crypto revolution to produce its best outcomes, it is important to address the factors that undermine its integrity.

Keep an eye out for a special episode on Financial Fox about crypto exchanges and the challenges to overcome. Follow us on @cassiopeia_ltd and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Special guests: the crypto evangelist Chico Crypto @chicocrypto & Alexander Fred, Technology Researcher and Writer of @beincrypto, the truly independent bitcoin & cryptocurrency news.

Challenges and issues in cryptocurrency trading: beyond the controversies

Cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology are often portrayed as the big challenger to the current financial system, promising to fight corporate red tape, increase financial inclusion and create a more just and transparent economy. While all this is true, it’s not always rainbows and unicorns in the crypto world.

Different cryptocurrency exchanges can offer various types of cryptocurrencies and have different terms, policies, payment methods, and fees. Exchanges also differ on aspects such as security, user-friendliness, functionality, and design. These factors can all play a significant part when choosing the most suitable exchange.

Talks over regulation of digital currencies and crypto exchanges are a way to help the market become healthier and more transparent. Cryptocurrencies and exchanges indeed have many issues to address and challenges to overcome. Here, we highlight some of the main concerns and recent issues that are preventing the crypto revolution from progressing to its next stage.

Security

The biggest problem currently in the crypto market is the lack of security. Indeed, with news of hackings and breaches often making headlines, users are demanding more protection over their assets and data.

It is important to remember that as technology becomes more sophisticated, so do hackers. Exchanges are essentially so vulnerable to hacks because they centralise the risk, so further decentralisation can be an option in the pursuit for maximum security.

Security is indeed an urgent and weighty matter. Coin Desk reports that each day, $2.7 million is stolen from exchanges, with the amount of cryptocurrency taken in 2018 having increased 13 times compared to the previous year. This amounts to $2.7 million in crypto assets being stolen every day, or $1,860 each minute.

Transparency

Indeed, it is a well-established fact that the majority of ICOs end up unsuccessful — some of them even fraudulent. Furthermore, many expensive crypto projects often make a case for themselves claiming they are decentralised, when in reality, data from Token Analyst for Yahoo Finance showed that nearly 80% of the top 50 coins are held by the top 20 wallets. In 16 cases, the 20 biggest wallets held more than 90% of total token supply.

Much like in the more traditional economy, power dynamics also underline the negotiations and collaborations set in the crypto sphere, and the nuances of marketing strategies can mislead users and investors.

The lack of transparency, accountability and professionalism from renowned institutions can poison the benefits of digital currencies and undermine the strength and influence of blockchain adoption in different industries beyond finance. True blockchain believers call for an end to sketchy practices in the financial system and market structures, promoting widespread professionalism and ethical standards.

Credibility

Initial Coin Offerings are a great way to attract investors, but part of them resulted to be scams. Exchanges need to be careful and strict enough only to list those crypto coins which are reliable and ensure that the right assessment is performed.

Trading fees

Some exchanges charge a single flat fee, for example, 0.2% of the transaction value, on all trades. But many exchanges split their trading fees into two separate fees: the maker fee and the taker fee.

In some cases, maker fees can be higher than the taker because the maker adds liquidity to the market, so the exchange ‘rewards’ the trader.

Liquidity

Liquidity is a vital element for any of the market. A lack thereof creates an imbalanced environment, and things go out of control. Due to the decreased liquidity, orders are not placed/executed on time, and the doors are open for large holders to manipulate prices. Additionally, with a lack of liquidity, markets become more volatile and see more price slippages.

A secondary issue of reduced liquidity is that it puts the power into the hands of cryptocurrency exchanges with large liquidity. Some major exchanges now charge up to $1 million to get tokens listed, essentially selling liquidity to the token projects.

Price manipulation

Currently, the majority of crypt exchanges are only lightly regulated, leaving room for sometimes shady or abusive manoeuvres. It is reported that crypto exchanges use bots to manipulate the prices of coins. Last September, cryptocurrency trader and analyst Alex Kruger exposed a promotion on Bithumb which inflated the trading volume on the exchange.

“There currently are $250 million [in] fake volume traded at [the] Korean crypto exchange Bithumb, every day at 11 a.m. Korean Time, since Aug. 25. Bithumb offers 120 percent payback of trading fees as an airdrop. Trading fees are 0.15 percent taker. To collect the full KRW 1 billion rebate, a wash trader must thus trade KRW 278 billion. That is $250 million in daily fake volume. Notice how 31K Bitcoin is traded at exactly 11 a.m,” Kruger explained.

Transaction Delays

While cryptocurrency transactions are known for being fast, delays can happen and can be a way to protect users from hackings or fraudulent transactions. Exchanges sometimes delay transactions if they suspect the user did not authorize the transactions.

Regulation

In light of these flaws and loopholes, and continuing cases of hacks and breaches of exchanges, regulations would be welcomed if tailored to ensure transparency and consumer protections.

Crypto experts have anticipated 2019 is on track to be the year of crypto regulations

This year started with stronger calls for rules and regulations all around the world. In January, two major European regulatory bodies, the European Banking Authority (EBA) and the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) have publicly called for better assessments of crypto technology and its impacts to develop appropriate regulations.

In the US, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is applying their regulatory guidance to cryptocurrency projects as it considers another form of securities.

Recent controversies over exchanges ’ lack of professionalism and transparency are likely to prompt exchange regulations to be in place soon.

Decentralisation

Over the last few months, we have been seeing more moves from centralised exchanges towards decentralisation. Binance, for example, announced earlier this month that it is about to launch its decentralised exchange, Binance DEX, for public testing.

There various advantages to decentralisation. A DEX ensures the poor and unbanked can participate in the global economy: anyone can store and transfer wealth to anyone anywhere in the world, almost at no cost. Another benefit of decentralised exchanges is that users are fully in control of their data as there is no central authority storing or managing it.

How does the future look like?

While centralised crypto exchanges have been the tradition so far, they have somewhat given way to the decentralised crypto exchanges. The main objective behind bitcoin and blockchain is decentralisation and thus, both the CEX’s and DEX’s should come together to develop a hybrid model which benefits all of the crypto ecosystem.

Hybrid crypto exchanges can represent a viable option that bridges the gap between the benefits of a centralised exchange and those of a decentralised exchange. This is the way to gain the trust of numerous users and the cooperation of huge investors, while eliminating the element of subordination to a third-party and ensuring reliable storage.

If there is one thing we can learn from the recent developments and news, it is to look at the shortcomings of the so-called transparent crypto sphere, realise there is plenty of work to be done in this realm, and use the combination of technology, knowledge and accountability to fight these flaws. For the blockchain & crypto revolution to produce its best outcomes, it is important to address the factors that undermine its integrity.

Keep an eye out for a special episode on Financial Fox about crypto exchanges and the challenges to overcome. Follow us on @cassiopeia_ltd and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Special guests: the crypto evangelist Chico Crypto @chicocrypto & Alexander Fred, Technology Researcher and Writer of @beincrypto, the truly independent bitcoin & cryptocurrency news.

More countries join European Blockchain Partnership making Europe a leading force in blockchain…

More countries join European Blockchain Partnership making Europe a leading force in blockchain research

This week, Hungary has joined the European Blockchain Partnership, becoming the 29th member country. The partnership is led by the European Union Blockchain Observatory and Forum, which aims to accelerate blockchain innovation and the development of the blockchain ecosystem within the European Union. More than that, the objective of the forum is to promote education, understanding and research around blockchain.

The EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum was launched by the European Commission in February last year. It will see the investment of 300 million euros into projects that support the use and adoption of blockchain technology for economic, technical and societal changes. The forum plans to become an articulator between researchers and the EU, make the most appropriate recommendations, and oversee initiatives and implementations throughout the member countries. It will also aid in creating more appropriate regulations in the region.

The forum is part of the the Horizon 2020 programme, the largest Research and Innovation programme ever launched by the EU. It will make €80 billion of funding available over 7 years, from 2014 to 2020, to support the EU’s reach for excellence in the area.

Blockchain, as one of the most important technologies introduced by the Fourth Industrial Revolution, has immense industrial and technical value. The European Commission understands that blockchain is not merely about finance, even though this is the area in which the benefits are already most tangible.

Beyond the finance realm, blockchain can support the development of more sophisticated and secure internet systems, as well as being integrated into other industries beyond finance — such as agriculture, education, healthcare, to name only a few.

In fact, among the projects that have already received funding are two projects focused on services: MHDMD, a blockchain platform to enable safe and effective transmission and storage of medical data; , and DECODE, a system providing tools affording individuals the ability to control whether they keep their personal data private or share it for the public good.

“Blockchain is a great opportunity for Europe and Member States to rethink their information systems, to promote user trust and the protection of personal data, to help create new business opportunities and to establish new areas of leadership, benefiting citizens, public services and companies,” said Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society at the launch of the partnership.

“The Partnership launched today enables Member States to work together with the European Commission to turn the enormous potential of blockchain technology into better services for citizens.”

Beyond the hype around cryptocurrencies and ICOs, which often still holds back investment and adoption, blockchain technology can have an immensely positive impact. This advanced technology can help states manage unified digital identities, gain more control over supply chains, introduce smart contracts and even prevent fraudulent actions.

Blockchain is also part of the European Commission’s Fintech Action Plan, a 23-step strategy designed to increase the adoption of new technologies, create a business-friendly environment, increase cybersecurity and consumer protection and allow for integrity of the financial system across the EU backed by new technologies.

The Fintech plan will also present a blueprint with best practices on regulatory sandboxes, based on guidance from European Supervisory Authorities. A regulatory sandbox is a framework set up by regulators to allow FinTech startups and other innovators to conduct live experiments in a controlled environment, under a regulator’s supervision.

“The position taken by the European Commission shows professionalism, commitment and open-mindness towards embracing the benefits of disruptive technologies. It shows the EU understands the potential of blockchain beyond media and market speculation, and serves as an example for other governments around the world who are still reluctant in welcoming this powerful technology,” says Stefania Barbaglio, Director at Cassiopeia Services, leading PR firm in the blockchain space.

More countries join European Blockchain Partnership making Europe a leading force in blockchain…

More countries join European Blockchain Partnership making Europe a leading force in blockchain research

This week, Hungary has joined the European Blockchain Partnership, becoming the 29th member country. The partnership is led by the European Union Blockchain Observatory and Forum, which aims to accelerate blockchain innovation and the development of the blockchain ecosystem within the European Union. More than that, the objective of the forum is to promote education, understanding and research around blockchain.

The EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum was launched by the European Commission in February last year. It will see the investment of 300 million euros into projects that support the use and adoption of blockchain technology for economic, technical and societal changes. The forum plans to become an articulator between researchers and the EU, make the most appropriate recommendations, and oversee initiatives and implementations throughout the member countries. It will also aid in creating more appropriate regulations in the region.

The forum is part of the the Horizon 2020 programme, the largest Research and Innovation programme ever launched by the EU. It will make €80 billion of funding available over 7 years, from 2014 to 2020, to support the EU’s reach for excellence in the area.

Blockchain, as one of the most important technologies introduced by the Fourth Industrial Revolution, has immense industrial and technical value. The European Commission understands that blockchain is not merely about finance, even though this is the area in which the benefits are already most tangible.

Beyond the finance realm, blockchain can support the development of more sophisticated and secure internet systems, as well as being integrated into other industries beyond finance — such as agriculture, education, healthcare, to name only a few.

In fact, among the projects that have already received funding are two projects focused on services: MHDMD, a blockchain platform to enable safe and effective transmission and storage of medical data; , and DECODE, a system providing tools affording individuals the ability to control whether they keep their personal data private or share it for the public good.

“Blockchain is a great opportunity for Europe and Member States to rethink their information systems, to promote user trust and the protection of personal data, to help create new business opportunities and to establish new areas of leadership, benefiting citizens, public services and companies,” said Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society at the launch of the partnership.

“The Partnership launched today enables Member States to work together with the European Commission to turn the enormous potential of blockchain technology into better services for citizens.”

Beyond the hype around cryptocurrencies and ICOs, which often still holds back investment and adoption, blockchain technology can have an immensely positive impact. This advanced technology can help states manage unified digital identities, gain more control over supply chains, introduce smart contracts and even prevent fraudulent actions.

Blockchain is also part of the European Commission’s Fintech Action Plan, a 23-step strategy designed to increase the adoption of new technologies, create a business-friendly environment, increase cybersecurity and consumer protection and allow for integrity of the financial system across the EU backed by new technologies.

The Fintech plan will also present a blueprint with best practices on regulatory sandboxes, based on guidance from European Supervisory Authorities. A regulatory sandbox is a framework set up by regulators to allow FinTech startups and other innovators to conduct live experiments in a controlled environment, under a regulator’s supervision.

“The position taken by the European Commission shows professionalism, commitment and open-mindness towards embracing the benefits of disruptive technologies. It shows the EU understands the potential of blockchain beyond media and market speculation, and serves as an example for other governments around the world who are still reluctant in welcoming this powerful technology,” says Stefania Barbaglio, Director at Cassiopeia Services, leading PR firm in the blockchain space.

Calls for crypto regulation gather momentum around the world

As the crypto market matures and gains relevance within the global economy, executives, investors and even public bodies worldwide are calling for clearer crypto regulations.

In 2017 we witnessed the ‘Bitcoin boom’, with skyrocketing prices and major attention driven towards cryptocurrencies.

Since the Bitcoin Boom in 2017, the crypto market has exploded with Initial Coin Offerings — the controversial ICOs — with many of those projects, under the flag of the crypto revolution, proving to be nothing more than artifice designed to trick eager investors into putting money into a business that was never realised.

Nevertheless, the high number of fraudulent ICOs is more a representation of dubious morals than a testament of the actual revolutionary nature of blockchain. The challenge posed by the introduction of cryptocurrencies and tokens has allowed for an expansion of investment opportunities for new groups of investors, as well as giving millions of unbanked people around the world an alternative means of finance.

This realisation is slowly spreading among financial regulators, which are now exploring the ways that crypto technology can be integrated into the widerfinancial and regulatory market framework.

In recent months, with the rise in the popularity of tokenised securities — a SEC-compliant class of digital assets, comparable to equities stocks — the theme of regulation is spreading across the crypto space.

At the moment, although the EU does not present a unified framework regarding cryptocurrencies — regulations vary by state members — the European Central Bank has shown plenty of initiatives in exploring ways to regulate and manage cryptocurrencies.

In the beginning of 2019 alone, two major European regulatory bodies, the European Banking Authority (EBA) and the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) have publicly called for better assessments of crypto technology and its impacts in order to develop appropriate regulations.

In an official statement, the EBA said it is calling for regulations to protect investors above all, and has asked the European Commission for a comprehensive analysis to assess whether unified crypto rules are needed across the region. In addition, the ESMA’s recommendations advise the EU Commission on the current regulations which can be suitably applied to crypto assets.

In the emerging markets scene, where the positive effects of cryptocurrencies are more tangible, calls for regulation have also risen, with movements urging authorities to work on implementing and regulating cryptocurrencies.

In India, where the legalisation of digital currencies has become a divisive topic, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has put a ban on banks and any regulated financial institutions from “dealing with or settling virtual currencies”. The move in April 2018 sparked backlash from crypto enthusiasts, who defend their right to enjoy alternative finance means.

The CEO of India-based Cryptocurrency Exchange WazirX, Nischal Shetty, kicked off a social media campaign to attract the attention of Indian financial regulators over the need for ‘positive regulation’ ofcryptocurrencies, which provide the Indian population with an innovative, necessary and accessible tool for economic growth: “Please bring positive regulations in crypto and over 5 million crypto Indians will be thankful to you. Youth of India have found a new way to make wealth & this is especially important when there are not enough jobs for everyone,” he said.

Crypto experts have already stated that 2019 should be “the year of crypto regulation” and represents an important move towards allowing the blockchain revolution to truly thrive and improve financial practices around the world.

“Regulations are a necessary step to take the crypto industry to the next level. We have seen numerous cases of fraud and scams in the ICO space in the last couple of years, which has put off institutional investors and created a sense of distrust in crypto projects. However, with a regulatory framework in place, cryptocurrencies and tokens are no longer products of mere speculation. They have become real assets. It benefits both the investor side and companies themselves, and shows the maturity of the crypto market,” says Stefania Barbaglio, Director at Cassiopeia Services, leading crypto & blockchain PR.

Keep an eye out for upcoming interview with Nischal Shetty about the crypto scene in India and the impact of cryptocurrencies on emerging markets. Follow us on @cassiopeia_ltd and subscribe to our YouTube channel FinancialFox.