Europe

Welcome to our weekly roundup of all important blockchain and cryptocurrency news from around the world. Follow the latest developments in the cryptocurrency space continent by continent, country by country.

United Kingdom

UK to target carbon emissions with eco-digital company: The port city of Liverpool is striving to reduce its carbon footprint through blockchain technology by working with the Poseidon Foundation.

Liverpool has set the goal of becoming the first carbon-positive major country in the world and the latest deal with the eco-digital company will help to counteract its carbon footprint by over 110%, thus providing a valuable milestone for the future of global conservation projects.

The Poseidon Foundation monitors the carbon impacts of products and services in an area. Liverpool’s significant carbon footprint is a cause of concern for the City Council which is keen to reduce these emissions as early as possible. Poseidon’s technology ensures that conservation projects such as the ones undertaken by Liverpool are provided automatic support. It is also working with universities, colleges and businesses with educational message regarding more environmentally secure future.

London mosque exceeds crypto donations target in Ramadan month: A London mosque that opened its doors for cryptocurrency donations has announced that it has exceeded its donation target.

According to a news report back in May, the Masjid Ramadan, built by Turkish Cypriots, had decided to accept Ethereum to carry out essential repairs. Leaders at the mosque had made the decision to accept zakat, the annual donation made by all Muslims on accumulated wealth. The mosque set a target of GBP 10,000 and the overall positive response has seen more than GBP 13,983 donated from around the world.

Mosque chairman Erik Gurney was pleased to announce the successful donation drive using cryptocurrencies. He said:

“Many people at the mosque were initially skeptical about us accepting this new money, but the fact we received four times more in cryptocurrency donations shows how important it is to be open to these new digital currencies.”

The mosque followed regulatory protocol by ensuring the donations were transferred to the bank’s hard wallet before finally converting them into pound sterlings.

Germany

German airliner Lufthansa announces first aviation blockchain challenge: The national flag carrier of Germany Lufthansa has announced a new blockchain challenge in the aviation sector.

The main areas of focus in the new challenge will be to examine blockchain-based solutions for solving traveler experiences with the airline including improving existing supply chains and enhancing maintenance of airlines.

Lufthansa has announced the project in collaboration with SAP, the world’s largest ERP system that is also interested in blockchain technology. The three main challenges in the event include the Traveller Challenge, Airline Challenge and Supplier Challenge. The challenges are looking to seek innovative blockchain solutions.

Thorsten Dirks, an executive board member of the airline said:

“We look forward to discussing innovative solutions and initiating experiments together with our partner SAP at the Aviation Blockchain Challenge. By combining our aviation industry expertise with the blockchain technology of a world market leader, we are creating the ideal worldwide framework for addressing blockchain entrepreneurs with an affinity for travel and mobility.”

The winning projects will have a two-fold payout for pushing their innovative blockchain concepts forward. The winners will also have exclusive access to SAP’s Blockchain-as-a-service network to help develop their concept.

Aircraft manufacturer Boeing has also announced that it is partnering with an AI company to develop pilotless vehicles using blockchain technology.

Russia

Universities announce new blockchain courses: Russian universities have announced new courses in blockchain technology in their current curriculum. Voronzeh State University, Don State Technical University and Novosibirsk State University have announced that these courses will be available in the fall semester.

The VSU will particularly offer a new major called ‘Models and methods for analyzing the digital economy’. The other university DSTU will offer two master’s programs in the space: ‘Intellectual systems based on blockchain technologies’ and ‘Digital accounting and management’.

Russia is aiming to become one of the blockchain centers in the world with English courses also being offered for expat students.

Government whitelists 50 crypto startups: In a positive development for cryptocurrency projects in the country, Russia has announced that it has whitelisted over 50 crypto projects working in the country.

The list was compiled by the Russian Association of Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain. Most of these companies have been approved by regulators and include a diverse range of startups from cryptocurrency mining companies to ICOs.

Bulgaria

Government to focus on crypto market for providing regulatory steps: The Bulgarian government has announced that it is beginning to monitor cryptocurrency and ICO investment in the country through its official government watchdog.

The Financial Supervision Commission (FSC) of Bulgaria will help the government in safeguarding against the threat of illegal activities like money laundering and fraud connected to cryptocurrencies. The move comes after Bulgaria seized a record BTC 213,510 in May worth around USD 1.4 billion from reportedly criminal elements. The government has also initiated a crackdown against reputable cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinbase and Kraken.

Slovakia

National bank illuminated with giant Bitcoin sign: The Slovakian banks found themselves advocating Bitcoin in the country as a giant icon was illuminated outside of banking institutions around the capital.

The signs were erected by a local crypto group called Paraleni Polis, a Prague-based anti-bank, pro-crypto organization that has its own crypto hub and cafe. The giant Batman-esque sign was lit up and drew attention from a lot of people in the Eastern European nation.

Malta

Malta introduces first decentralized bank: Malta, the Mediterranean island nation has announced the key development of a decentralized bank in the country according to latest reports.

Malta has long sought to become a global hub in blockchain development and has engaged Binance with the innovative project of a decentralized bank. Binance will have a 5% stake in the new bank along with other anchor investors, with a USD 155 million initial valuation.

 

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