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Europe: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 5th to 11th January 2019

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Europe: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 5th to 11th January 2019

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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.

The European Union

EU Banking Authority Says Cryptocurrencies Require Research before Regulations are Imposed: European Banking Authority (EBA), the EU bank regulation branch, has said that more cryptocurrencies warrant more research before an organization-wide regulation can be introduced. The authority admitted that there is a risk to investors since there is no proper customer protection under the EU law as yet. However, it said that a hurried set of regulations may do more harm than good.

Many EU states already have different rules and stances on cryptocurrencies within their jurisdiction. For an effective EU wide regulation, all countries’ regulations must be studied so that a uniform and smooth system can be created.


Government Denies Crypto Slowdown Has Caused Government to Slow Down Development in the Sector: The government of Malta has denied claims by the opposition that last year’s crypto market crash has caused the government to fall silent and slow down its activity in the sector. The Parliamentary Secretariat, Maltese body responsible for the crypto industry in the country, hit back strongly, saying that with already a number of cryptocurrency protections in place, it has still not lost steam and more are being planned.

Malta is one of the most crypto friendly countries in Europe and the small island nation has used it to become a center of interest. Malta hopes to become the first country in the world that will have a complete regulation system in place for cryptocurrencies.


Graffiti Artist Uses Bitcoin for Latest Work: Graffiti artist, Pascal Boyart, is famous for hiding messages in his artwork. He has, once again, used Bitcoin in his latest work. This time, the French artist has embedded clues to a prize of BTC 0.28492509 in “La liberté guidant le peuple 2019”.

Boyart has made the public key available and says that anyone who can crack the puzzle in his painting will be able to gain access to the private keys, and therefore, get their hands on the Bitcoin stored within it.

The artist loves to incorporate cryptocurrencies in his works. Recently, he organized an exhibition in Paris, where he told artists to hide the Bitcoin symbol in their creations and surprise visitors.

Tobacco Retailers Offering Bitcoin Vouchers: While Boyart plays with Bitcoin in his art, tobacconists in France are now offering the world’s leading cryptocurrency as gift vouchers to customers. The vouchers are being offered by fintech company KeplerK and allow buyers to claim bitcoins. Co-founder Adil Zakhar said that people in France face difficulties in getting their hands on Bitcoin. Using the trust developed between tobacconists and customers, he hopes to help people buy digital currencies.

The firm is facing a backlash from authorities, though. The authorities have warned people not to buy the gift cards since the company does not have regulatory approval from both French and EU authorities.


Italian Government Forms Crypto Task Force: Italian authorities have announced that the government has brought on 30 experts to form a blockchain task force. The vision of such a board was conceived in September last year in order to “know, deepen, and address the issue of distributed ledger technologies (DLT) and blockchain, as well as increase public and private investments in this direction.”

The task force has major blockchain leaders of the country whose task is to examine practical and real-life uses of the technology in both private and public sector.


An Official from Central Bank Says Bitcoin Should be Allowed to Grow: An official from the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) has said that authorities should allow breathing room for cryptocurrencies. According to him, the country is trying to over-regulate the industry and that will lead to its growth being stifled.

The official, Mikhail Vidyaking, Head of Strategies and Reforms Department at NBU says that laws need to be sensibly made. Too many regulators, each without a clear guideline, is also harming the industry, he said.

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