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.

Germany

Financial regulator believes blockchain could be revolutionary: A regulator from German Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) has said that blockchain technology is “revolutionary” and is capable of turning the financial sector “upside down”.

The regulator made these remarks at an event last week in Berlin. While being openly skeptical regarding the price of Bitcoin and the ICO boom, believed that distributed applications based on blockchain “could actually be revolutionary”.

He said, “These apps are not only safe from failures of individual computers or providers, they also promote the development of a ”blockchain economy.”

Germany is one of the most crypto-friendly countries in the EU and the regulator’s language shows this.

Government says Bitcoin not a threat to financial stability: According to CoinTelegraph, the German central government has said that cryptocurrencies do not pose a fundamental threat to financial stability.

It gave this position based on the volume of cryptocurrencies which, when compared to the size of the German economy, is quite low. It said careful monitoring would only be needed to make sure investors were protected. The view is also shared by the G20 union of which Germany is a prominent force.

Volkswagen using IOTA tech for autonomous cars: German automaker Volkswagen has indicated that it is using IOTA technology to develop its new range of autonomous vehicles, showing off a proof-of-concept vehicle at the Cebit Expo, Germany.

Using the IOTA ledger, Volkswagen can wirelessly send updates to each individual car in a transparent, incorruptible manner. This method allows secure updates that are tamper-proof and increase trust and capability. IOTA will be further used to configure car sales, provide statistics and adjust policies.

United Kingdom

Cloud mining firm the first crypto Listing on London Stock Exchange: Cloud mining company Argo is set to become the first company from the blockchain space to get registered on the London Stock Exchange, according to latest news coming from the company’s official channels.

London is one of the biggest hubs for development of financial technology and that has attracted Argo, a mining company to go public in the city’s stock exchange.

According to co-founder Jonathon Bixby: “A London stock market listing will provide Argo with the profile, credibility, and access to global capital to drive our growth and help us establish a leadership position in the long term.”

Financial watchdog advises on “good practice” for crypto financial scams: UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has advised banks to increase protection for users and implement “good approaches” to clients who are offer crypto-related services.

The advisory letter highlights the surge in use of cryptocurrencies in criminal activities but also the fact that many non-criminal activities are also associated with cryptocurrencies and the banks must give the legal clients a chance.

Switzerland

500,000 Swiss vote for Bitcoin-like financial system: Switzerland underwent a vote on the “Sovereign Money Initiative” that would have seen cryptocurrencies and ICOs being legalized in the country, with more than 500,000 Swiss voting in favor of this move.

The overall vote was lost as those in favor represented less than 25% of the total votes cast. The federal government is also looking to launch its own cryptocurrency called e-Franc.

Blockchain center Zug to pioneer blockchain voting: Switzerland’s progressive blockchain center Zug is working to conduct a first blockchain voting measure.

Zug is one of the most pro-crypto places in the country and even on the continent, as the city was the first one in the entire world to accept Bitcoin as payment for municipal services. It has also established “Crypto Valley”, an association promoting cryptocurrencies and blockchain development.

Estonia

Small company looking to raise $180 million from token sale: Blockchain-friendly nation Estonia’s startup SAFT project has registered for a USD 180 million worth obscure token sale.

The project made its way to the US and the notice was published through US SEC’s EDGAR document system last week. There is little overall information available regarding the company.

Ireland

Ireland looking to become blockchain center for excellence: The Irish government has announced major plans to promote the pro-IT country as a pro-blockchain country for the future, according to The Irish Times.

The new initiative is called The Blockchain Expert Group and is an Irish forum that has been set up to involve companies working in the blockchain space and convince them to set up shop in the republic.

More than 40% of Ireland-based companies have already embraced blockchain technology and the country leads in IT and innovation sectors. It can become a natural leader in blockchain technology development.

Montenegro

Homes worth BTC 420 sold via cryptocurrencies: Montenegro is becoming the latest country to embrace Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in the real estate sector with the small European nation responsible for USD 3.2 million worth of real estate purchases in Bitcoin alone.

According to the Notary Office and Astra Montenegro Investment Association (AMIA), more than BTC 420 have been spent in the real estate sector. Most of the money was spent on luxury homes near the Adriatic Sea where property is extremely expensive.

Russia

Government website involved in crypto jacking: Earlier reports of the government websites being involved in crypto jacking have been proven true as the Khabarovsk county in Russia was recently hacked as part of a covert attempt to mine cryptocurrencies. The malware had been active for just ten days before it was detected and eventually removed, according to local news source Gubernia.com.

 

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