Europe

Welcome to another weekly blockchain news roundup from around the world. Here we present to you all the latest Bitcoin news continent by continent and country by country.

European Union

European Central Bank believes cryptocurrencies have no impact on real economy: The European Central Bank (ECB) believes that cryptocurrencies do not have a significant impact on the “real economy” and its implications according to the latest report compiled by the institution. 

The report goes on to claim that virtual currencies do not fulfil the requirements of money and will only matter if they become a credible source of cash and transactions in the world. 

France

Bank of France closely monitoring stablecoin developments: Bank of France governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau has said on record that the bank is interested in the latest stablecoin projects around the world according to a Bloomberg report. 

According to the governor, the bank is “observing with great interest” regarding the latest stablecoin ventures by entities around the world. In the US, USD Tether, Paxful, Gemini and now Facebook are some of the latest names to enter the stablecoin bandwagon. However, the stablecoins have the ability to challenge the authority of the state banks and thus they are maintaining a key interest in them. 

Investment Bank pushes for crypto-based business integration: Major French investment bank Société Générale S.A. (SocGen) is advocating for crypto-based integration in the European Union. For instance, the bank is working on increasing the efficiency and speed of transacting bonds. For this purpose the Ethereum blockchain was used rather than a specialized blockchain system. 

According to the bank:

“[…] issued EUR 100 million of covered bonds in the form of “security tokens” (home financing bonds or “OFH”) directly registered on the Ethereum blockchain. Tokens OFH was rated Aaa / AAA by Moody’s and Fitch and were fully subscribed by Société Générale.”

Germany

German Province to open blockchain institute for Internet of values: The government of German territory North Rhine-Westphalia has announced plans for the development of a European Blockchain Institute to research blockchain technology, and so-called “Internet of Values” (“Internet der Werte”). 

According to a press release by the government, the local Economics minister Andreas Pinkwart said:

“This technology can be safe, decentralized, affordable and when used properly, not too energy intensive”. 

Switzerland

Facebook registers secretive crypto company in Geneva: A new company named Libra networks was registered in Geneva, Switzerland on May 2 with Facebook’s parent company Facebook Holdings listed as its stockholder.

According to the report by Reuters that broke this story, the Swiss register notes that the new company will receive hardware and software related support from the parent company, i.e. Facebook Holdings which appears to show that the company is being developed by Facebook to get into the blockchain niche. It is yet unclear what exact purpose of the new company will be in the sector. 

Malta

Financial regulator releases Guide on crypto assets and scams: Malta’s financial regulator MFSA has released new guidelines on crypto assets in an effort to educate the public regarding them. The guidance outlines some of the more basic points of the industry including fake Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), crowdfunding ventures with higher gains, fake exchanges and fake e-wallet apps. 

While Malta has been acting progressively when it comes to cryptocurrencies and blockchain, the sudden influx of the industry into the island nation has invited scammers as well who can rob innocent people of their wealth. MFSA has already approved more than 14 licensed agents for cryptocurrency trading in the country. 

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