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

FCA Gives Go Ahead to London Firm for Contracts For Difference: United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has given go-ahead to B2C2 OTC Ltd, a London based firm, to give its customers Contracts For Difference (CFD) based on cryptocurrency. CFDs are a financial instrument that allows traders to predict price fluctuations to profit from the rise and fall of value. CFDs are offered in BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC, and XRP.

DOVU, another London based crypto startup, has teamed up with London rail service provider Go-Ahead to offer commuters the chance to earn crypto as they travel. Travelers can earn by sharing their travel data and shifting their mode of transport to a more public one.

Belgium

SWIFT Announces Foray into Blockchain: SWIFT, the international financial transaction organization based in Belgium has announced the launch of blockchain technology based gateway to note and transmit transactional information to members. The tech is still a proof of concept that is being developed with the help of blockchain software company, R3.

Isle of Man

Government Working for Infrastructure of Crypto Sector: Authorities in the Isle of Man have set up an office that will help in developing adequate regulatory infrastructure for blockchain technology. In addition to the office, a sandbox is also introduced for organizations to test their blockchain platforms.

Switzerland

Stock Exchange to Use Blockchain Tech for Digital Exchange: Swiss stock exchange, SIX, will be using blockchain technology in its upcoming digital trading platform, SDX. The largest stock exchange in the country, it expects the decentralized ledger technology-based platform to be launched in the first quarter of the year. The exchange officials expect the new platform to outperform traditional services by 2029.

Meanwhile, this year’s Swiss Venture Capital Report has shown that in the last year, a record number of venture capital investments were made in Swiss blockchain startups. According to the report, in 2018, nearly USD 1.25 billion of funds were backed by VCs. The majority of the backing was done in Zug, Switzerland’s crypto valley.

Russia

Bank Head Says Crypto Mining is Counterfeiting: The head of the second largest bank in Russia, VTB has said that crypto mining is equivalent to counterfeiting. According to the executive, “A person who is mining [cryptocurrencies] is similar to someone who is printing money”. He believes that there will be a very niche market for cryptos in the coming future.

Cryptos may be subjected to different views, but the Russian education board, Rosobrnadzor, is taking advantage of the technology behind them. Rosobrnadzor will be implementing the technology for its Unified State Exam, the only form of testing for school completion and preliminaries for universities.

Portugal

Bank Completes Transaction Using Blockchain: Portuguese bank, Banco Best, has successfully completed an end to end transaction with the global investment bank, Credit Suisse using blockchain. Every stage of the transaction was made possible through the use of a specialized blockchain based platform, FundsDLT.

Italy

Government Close to Defining Cryptocurrency Legislation: The Italian authorities have come a little closer to clearly defining blockchain technology based cryptocurrency through a new legislation. The Italian parliament passed the bill that specifies terms and their meanings for distributed ledger technology such as blockchain.

Lichtenstein

Fund Manager Gets Backing from UAE: A cryptocurrency fund manager in the tiny country of Lichtenstein has received backing from a Dubai royalty. The special interest by the Arab Sheikh is due to the fact that even in the slump of crypto market, the fund manager invested more than USD 1 million and managed to make a decent profit.

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