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.
$100K prize money set for EU hackathon: The European Union is offering a grand prize of EUR 100,000 to the winning team in an upcoming blockchain hackathon. The ‘Blockathon’ event is going to take place in Brussels this year and will be conducted by the European Commision, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and its observatory on Infringement of Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).
EU agencies have worked alongside each other to assemble the event. Organizers say that the event is necessary to tackle counterfeit products in the European market.
Barclays to test blockchain technology: Barclays UK is testing the blockchain waters by directing its new ventures unit to study “disruptive technology”. Blockchain and decentralization have so far proved to be the top disruptive technologies in the business and this move is seen with great enthusiasm by the cryptocurrency circles.
The new unit will “accelerate the growth of new business lines… working independently of traditional units” and “develop new customer propositions around major areas of disruptive technology”.
While blockchain technology is not directly mentioned, it is understood that this thinly veiled reference is regarding the new technology that is disrupting businesses around the world.
Every fifth adult willing to buy Bitcoin, 1 in 10 businesses accept crypto:An extended survey of over 1,000 people in the UK has revealed that as many as 1 in 5 Britons are willing to invest in cryptocurrencies, and 1 in 10 businesses already accept cryptocurrency payments. The survey was conducted by communications agency Citigate Dewe Rogerson.
But there was another side to the survey too as 67% believed that cryptocurrencies were too volatile or risky and 43% had concerns regarding regulations, and 61% simply cited their ignorance on the matter. These surprise statistics show the growth of the cryptocurrency revolution inside Britain.
FCA to deliver crypto regulation analysis in 2019: Three of the UK government’s top financial entities, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Bank of England and the UK Treasury are working together to author a discussion paper on cryptocurrencies regulations. The paper will form the basis of any future regulations on the cryptocurrency scene. The FCA business plan of 2018/2019 suggests:
“Cryptocurrencies themselves (i.e. those designed primarily as a means of payment/exchange) are not currently within our regulatory perimeter. However, some models of use or packaging cryptocurrencies bring them within our perimeter, making the landscape complex.”
German stock exchange subsidiary to launch crypto exchange trading app: German interest in cryptocurrencies is growing with a new cryptocurrency app to be released in the autumn to provide traditional stock exchange options. The app is called Bison and is being developed by Fintech startup Sowa Labs, a subsidiary of Boerse Stuggart Digital Ventures. Boerse is Germany’s second largest stock exchange after the stock exchange in Frankfurt.
Sowa Labs also conducted an online survey of German crypto traders found out that the majority of the German traders were male and younger than 35 years.
Blockchain project powered by 45 MW of solar power launched: Cryptosolartech, a cryptocurrency mining company is relying on 3,000 servers to mine cryptocurrencies on its new 45 MW solar farm. The farm and the mining facility will be located near Malaga in Andalusia and will attract an investment of EUR 42.8 million. The company is currently banking on an initial coin offering to raise most of the funds.