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.

United Kingdom

Government Considering Crypto Ban Despite 3 Million Users: UK’s top financial regulator Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has cited integrity issues to consider placing a ban on cryptocurrency derivatives in the country despite the presence of millions of investors.

The comments were made by FCA’s executive director Christopher Woolard during an event in London on November 20, 2018. The idea of a ban was met with much criticism from the crypto sector.

Gibraltar Exchange Allocated Top Operating License: Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange (GBX) has been granted the top operating license by the country’s watchdog.

The level 3 certification was given after the exchange cleared all the 9-point guidelines formulated by the government in January this year.

Gibraltar is consistently rated as one of the most pro-crypto places in the continent with many blockchain startups mushrooming around the tiny autonomous region.

Norway

Government Pulls the Plug on Mining Subsidies: The Norwegian government has announced that it is ending subsidies on power for cryptocurrency mining companies. The decision comes after the electricity requirement rose dramatically in the country due to these mining operations.

Right now, the Norwegian data centers will remain on discount paying NOK 0.48 (0.056 USD) for one unit. For mining projects, the price may increase to a mammoth NOK 16.58 (1.94) per unit starting early next year.

Switzerland

Multi-Crypto ETF Listed on Stock Exchange: Swiss stock exchange SIX has now allowed the listing of the first multi-crypto ETF in the country after committing the move earlier this year. In addition to the first ETF of such nature, the exchange is also close to listing the first Exchange Traded Product (ETP) as well.

Switzerland’s cryptocurrency and blockchain projects are becoming one of the most progressive ones in the continent.

Railroad Workers to Replace Paper IDs with Blockchain-based Ones: The Swiss Federal Railway System (SBB) has announced that it is replacing paper processes for its employees with a blockchain-based one. 

The first Proof of Concept (PoC) was implemented successfully and the project eventually aims to create Digital EDs for all rail workers working at various construction sites across the European country.

Italy

Government Clamping Down on Unregistered Cryptocurrency Exchanges: The Italian regulator Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa (CONSOB), is working to tighten its grip on cryptocurrency trading in the country by pointing out and reprimanding exchanges and firms that are not complying with the issued regulations.

Three institutions have already received suspensions in the process and more are to follow with one of them banned for an indefinite period. The government is also working on a formal framework for the sector.

Spain

Organic Poultry Tracking System Launched: Retail giant Carrefour has announced the deployment of the first blockchain-based poultry tracking system in the country for organically raised birds.

Galician chickens are one of the most sought-after and exquisite chickens in the country but the current supply chain system leaves much wanting. The new DLT system based on IBM’s Hyperledger will allow for a more transparent system that will help track poultry and its originality.

Government Forcing Investors to Declare their Cryptocurrency Holdings: A new taxation law introduced by the government will reportedly require the 15,000 strong cryptocurrency investor community to reveal their holdings.

A strict penalty of 5,000 EUR has been placed on people filing inaccurate returns and asset declarations. The government has also opened investigations into banks and financial companies who are undertaking cryptocurrency transactions.

Estonia

900 Blockchain Companies Launched in 1 Year: Estonia has attracted investment into the blockchain sector from around the world following pro-crypto policy implementations by the government. In one year alone more than 900 new licenses have been granted to cryptocurrency companies by the authorities.

Poland

Poland Suspends Tax Collection for Cryptocurrencies: The Polish government has announced the temporary lifting of tax collection for digital currencies that was introduced in March this year.

The 18% and 32% tax imposed on cryptocurrencies was found to be hurting the sector and invoked a public response with more than 5,000 signatures asking for it to be pulled back. The government eventually bowed down to the pressure and suspended the tax system, albeit temporarily.

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