Bitcoin trading in Emerging Markets: going “crypto native”

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In one of my previous posts, I mentioned that emerging markets are more “bitcoin or crypto native“. And according to LocalBitcoins, 2018 was a great year for bitcoin trading especially in emerging economies – 4 out of the top 10 countries by bitcoin trading volume, were emerging markets.



4th Place Venezuela: Bitcoin and Dash go head-to-head

Venezuela is not an emerging market but I wanted to highlight why this South American country embraced cryptocurrencies so well.

If you are like me, sometimes is difficult to follow why things got so bad in Venezuela – here is an overview on how their economic situation got to this point.

If the fiat currency where you live is worthless and hyperinflation is rampant, the obvious move is to adopt a cryptocurrency. So, P2P transactions with Bitcoin and now Dash, have become the norm.

Experts say, DASH is has surpassed the volume of bitcoin trade.
It’s difficult to find websites that offer specific volume data on the DASH/VEF market, so there’s no reading of just how quickly Dash usage has expanded since the end of 2016 when it was first started in Venezuela. But no doubt, the adoption has been high.

Dash is accepted at 1,741 merchants and counting, including Calvin Klein, Subway, and Papa John’s, with dozens of videos out there documenting purchases at these locations.

Paying for Subway in Caracas



7th place Nigeria: despite government backlash Bitcoin trading is going strong

Nigerias use bitcoing mostly for P2P transactions – as most of the population still is unbanked. Cash and alternative methods of P2P payments contributed for the exponential rise of bitcoin transactions in the country.

In the end of 2018, there was a backlash from the Union Bank of Nigeria PLC, Nigeria’s sixth largest bank by assets. The bank issued a general notice informing its customers that all accounts linked to cryptocurrency trading activities will be monitored and may be subject to restrictions going forward.

The pronouncement comes at a time when the Nigerian cryptocurrency ecosystem is in the news for a potential government regulatory framework promised by the main opposition candidate in next year’s elections as reported by CCN


Even entrepreneurs are choosing bitcoin over the Nigerian Naira. As reported by CCN, web designer Soji from Lagos said:

 “I can use Bitcoin for anything now […] It means I can invest and also pay anybody currently, except old people, I will send them Bitcoin. “

This post was originally published on Emerging Markets Today

Crypto Price Index Wins Royal Family Endorsement

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Dave Pulis ZBX CEO

Crypto Price Index partners with Emirati Royal Family, ZBX exchange and ICO Malta 

The Crypto market is still regarded by many as inferior to traditional financial products. Crypto Price Index (CPI) intends to change that.

CPI is an emerging Decentralised Finance (DeFi) project which aims to allow users to participate in the crypto markets in a stable and less volatile manner. CPI achieves this via an index coin linked to the average value of the top 200 crypto assets.

CPI has recently won the full endorsement and support members of Emirati Royal Families through their direct participation on the company’s board, bringing a global level of stability and recognition to the emerging class of DeFi protocols which market commentators expect to disrupt the financial industry. 

The CPI project will democratise access to crypto assets by allowing non-technical users to acquire exposure to the broader crypto asset market via the ownership of a single index token called the CPI200 token. Participants in the CPI protocol will perform an integral function in the governance of the protocol through a governance token referred to as the CPI token ensuring that the protocol’s ruleset is aligned with the community’s interests at all times. 

Herbert Law, CEO of Crypto Price Index, was keen to welcome Highness Sheikh Abdullah Bin Rashed Al Sharqi as well as His Excellency Khalfan Saeed Khalfan Al Mazrouei to the board, and issued the following statement:

“I feel what we have is an amazing event which has happened by forming this partnership with the Royal Family. Our CPI project now has one of the more powerful platforms ever we created in the crypto industry. 

David Pulis, ZBX CEO

The CPI project has appointed ICO Launch Malta as technical partners, with the CPI platform being built on the ICO Launch Malta DeFi Product Stack. By building upon this proven and heavily audited technology layer, CPI offers its users full transparency and auditability of their holdings. Jan Sammut CEO of ICO Launch Malta issued the following statement: We are thrilled to be part of the CPI project, who’s ethos is congruent with our objective to democratise the financial industry by disintermediating it to a purely trust less P2P market. CPI has selected ZBX as exchange partner for their upcoming launch, which is scheduled for the end of year. Dave Pulis, CEO of ZBX commented:

The Crypto Price Index is a much- needed vehicle that will enhance our product offering for both institutional and retail investors worldwide”


For more info about CPI

Contact: Myriam Gauthier

Phone: +356 9981 4554

Email: mg@zbx.com 

[PODCAST] Bitcoin prices July 2019: High Volatility

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Bitcoin prices July 2019

In the last 24 hours it’s been a roller-coaster of emotions if you follow Bitcoin prices!
Here is my second chat with friend and crypto trader Emi LaCapra: we talked about the high volatility of Bitcoin prices, why bitcoin is the absolute dominant crypto in the market and also a possible explosion of altcoins.

If you want to know more, Emi LaCapra wrote this article for Coinfomania, in reference to Bitcoin prices high volatility. Worth a read!

Coinfomania

Sweden ranked 12th place on bitcoin trading volume

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bitcoin trading sweden

According to Coin.dance with LocalBitcoins data, Sweden ranked in 12th place on world’s volume of Bitcoin trading in 2018.

But is this good news for Sweden? US$ 68 million doesn’t seem bad for a country with only 10 million people. Being already a cashless society, bitcoin (or crypto in general) falls a bit short on Swede’s pockets.

I asked Totte Löfström, CEO of the Swedish cryptocurrency exchange Trijo, what was his take on the LocalBitcoins data, here is what he said:

“It is of course really positive that Swedes are investing in crypto, but I think that the numbers might be a bit off. The biggest problem with them is that Local Bitcoins is the only data source. We haven’t had a real crypto exchange here in Sweden (Trijo will be the first), which means that we might be over represented in using Local Bitcoins. The over representation could also be linked to the fact that Local Bitcoins is a Finnish company and that Swedes are more likely to become customers.

Another problem is that Local Bitcoins has a fairly low trading volume compared to the big real-time exchanges that are operating around the world. Since the start 2012, Local Bitcoins have had a total trading volume of about $6.32 billion, which could be compared to Bitfinex which has had a trading volume of $1.45 billion the last 30 days. As much as I would love Sweden to rank high on such lists, I have to admit that we are probably not one of the biggest bitcoin nations today”.

Totte Löfström, CEO of the Swedish cryptocurrency exchange Trijo

Totte also told me that Trijo made a quite advanced analysis of the Swedish market (in order to get to know their potential customers better), and found that Sweden stands out when it comes to what percentage of the population has owned a cryptocurrency at some point in time. For Sweden, it’s around 1% of the population, but for Norway – they are co-operating with a Norwegian company that makes crypto surveys on a regular basis – the number is about 4%.

Sweden’s tax on crypto trading: how declare your earnings

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If pay taxes in Sweden and traded (bought/sold) any cryptocurrency in 2018 (and previous years), now it’s time to declare your transactions.

The deadline for the income tax declaration (2018) is approaching and should be handled to Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) no later than 2nd May.

So what happens if you bought and sold cryptocurrency in Sweden? Here is a quick guide on how to declare it.

If you bought / sold crypto privately in Sweden

The first step is to compile a list of all transactions before filling out the tax declaration form.

These are the types of transaction Skatteverket advises to declare if you:

  • sold crypto currency
  • exchanged a cryptocurrency for one or more other types of cryptocurrencies
  • paid with crypto when buying an item. Even small value transactions eg. paying for a pair of shoes or a service, such as a taxi ride, should be declared too.
  • lent any cryptocurrency
  • used crypto for a gambling bet

Then you should use the form K4, complete section D and submit it together with your year’s income statement. Any profit will be taxed in the income category at 30%. If you have made a loss, it is deductible to 70%.

This applies only for individuals. If you traded crypto using a company (juridisk person), there are different rules – I will be talking about it on my next post.

According to a press release on 12/02/19, Skatteverket will be more strict in checking the purchase and sale of crypto in Sweden. This is a response of the increased number of people investing in crypto in the country.

For more info [in Swedish] click here

3 easy points to understand what makes Malta the “Blockchain island”

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Malta has earned a well-deserved title of “Blockchain island” –  it is the first jurisdiction in the world to introduce blockchain regulations. The Maltese government views the blockchain technology as a whole, while other countries are typically looking at crypto and blockchain for short-term gains.  It’s fair to say that Malta legislators understand what the blockchain technology can offer in the long run.

In July 2018 when the Maltese parliament passed the regulatory bills, Silvio Schembri, Junior Minister for Financial Services, tweeted:

These 3 bills provide comprehensive legal framework that addresses a number of problems faced by the industry. But what are they and what makes them such special piece of legislation? Here is a quick summary of each bill:

The first one is the Malta Digital Innovation Authority Act (MDIA Act), and it establishes the Malta Digital Innovation Authority and certifies DLT platforms. This law will focus on internal governance arrangements and will outline the duties and responsibilities of the Authority to certify DLT platforms to ensure credibility and provide legal certainty to users wishing to make use of a DLT platform.

The second is the Innovative Technology Arrangement and Services Act (ITAS Act), deals with DLT arrangements and certifications of DLT platforms. This bill is primarily concerned with the setting up of exchanges and other companies operating in the cryptocurrency market.

And the third law, known as the Virtual Financial Assets Act (VFA Act), establishes the regulatory regime governing ICOs, cryptocurrency exchanges, wallet providers, etc.

Additionally, these bills reflect the European Union (EU) laws onto Maltese laws.  There are 3 basic core principles that the bills abide to – market integrity, consumer protection and industry protection. The main difference here  is that the bills have a principles-based approach, rather than a rules-based approach. Hopefully, they will flourish amidst a highly-unregulated environment.

That is why Malta is so attractive to the biggest players in the industry, hence Binance and OKEx already set up shop there.

Blockchain PR is at the Malta Blockchain Summit

Follow Ana Paula Picasso Twitter and LinkedIn for live updates

 

Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Switzerland: Key Takeaways

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On October 9, 2018, Smile-Expo international company organized Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Switzerland – a crypto event in Geneva that has gathered 150 visitors – top professionals in the crypto segment, representatives of the major DLT-based companies, entrepreneurs and investors.

Speakers and Key Topics of the Event

The conference united 16 speakers – representatives of the leading fintech companies, such as PwC Legal Switzerland and HIT Foundation. Specialists discussed the most crucial aspects regarding the technology and legal aspects of the crypto industry.

Managing Wealth

The Founder and CEO at SwissBorg Cyrus Fazel talked about the future of financial management. He described the evolution in traditional payment system to P2P and explained the nature of ISO. More than that, the speaker talked about investment funds and customized smart wallets.

Blockchain for Government

The decentralization of government and economy was highlighted by the founder at TARCO International and AgAu.io – Thierry Arys Ruiz. The specialist provided explanation of how digital money challenge the monopoly in Central Banks. The expert also focused on e-voting and solutions for democracy provided by DLT. According to the specialist, existing problems can be solved in three steps: redefining the two institutional pillars of society – money and power, redefining the Financial System and moving the Society towards a Decentralised Organic Consensus (DOC).

Digitalization of Healthcare Sector

Dr. Quy Vo-Reinhard, one of the HIT Foundation establishers and the company’s CDO, analysed the health data tokenization. According to the expert, current issues of the healthcare sector can be seen in expensive transactions, complicated access to data and its inconsistency. Dr. Quy Vo-Reinhard sees the solution in decentralized data storage and smart contracts. In her speech, she presented the positive sides of DLT implementation in the healthcare industry and elaborated on the sphere’s potential future.

Asset Tokenization

Marco Abele, the Founder and CEO of TEND Technologies AG and Abele Innovation Consulting, shared information about how assets get tokenized in modern world using the real use case. He focused on the changes in the consumer world, compared different eras and explained how tokenization works today. “Asset tokenization is a much bigger use case than cryptocurrency,” believes the expert. He is sure that the time has changed, asset tokenization will become big and new marketplaces will be established.

Legal Issues

Being one of the key issues regarding DLT, legal framework has also been addressed at the panel discussion. Participants included Leandro Lepori, Luigi Bruno, Aleks Bozhinov, Thierry Arys Ruiz. The discussion was moderated by Tina Balzli, Director at PwC Legal Switzerland.

Comparison of Blockchain Ecosystems

The Founder at TopOfBlockchain – Yael Tamar – explained how Israel has changed from a startup nation to the blockchain nation and compared Israeli and Swiss ecosystems.

Exhibitors and Sponsors

Event had a space for the traditional demo zone – companies have shown their latest developments in the crypto industry. One of the exhibitors – Toweco, a platform gathering reviews of brands and products. The disruptive art community & marketplace MonArt has presented its ways to improve the creative sector. Among the platforms which demonstrated their solutions there also was the first DLT-powered mobile operator in the world – Miracle Tele. The company has presented its DLT-based solution on how to improve the telecom industry, while its COO – Roberto Machín –shared company’s novelties during the pitch session. Innovative lending system CoinLoan was a participant of the demo zone as well. The platform’s Business Developer Mike Rozhko also delivered a small pitch presentation. Hotmine, which provides a new insight into mining, presented its ideas to the attendees. Moreover, the company has become the Mining 2.0 sponsor of the conference. The bronze sponsorship has been represented by a legal firm Rechtsanwälte Lennert Partners (RLP), which offers various services to clients in several countries and provides advice for private and corporate clients regarding the financial market law. TaaS Capital Fund was an investment partner of the event – a company enabling the easy crypto assets management. You can see the post video on the official YouTube channel.

Organizer

The conference was organized by Smile-Expo – an international company that has already held 47 crypto events in 25 countries. Next events from the Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference series will take place in Russia, Malta and the Philippines. Events timeline can be found on Smile-Expo website.

Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Switzerland: Industry leaders get together

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Blockchain PR will bring you all the news and insights directly from the Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference in Geneva, Switzerland

On October 9th, 2018,  Smile-Expo will host the second Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Switzerland – one of the most important events about Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) and cryptocurrencies. The conference will bring together top professionals from the DLT-sphere, as well as investors, developers and market analysts.

Switzerland – the “Crypto Paradise”

Switzerland focus a great deal on blockchain development. The country has its own “crypto valley” – the city of Zug, where numerous crypto businesses work improving the blockchain technology and integrating the DLT in various sectors –  according to a report from PwC, 75% of Swiss business companies intend to integrate DLT in the next three years.

The country has developed clear guidelines for regulating ICOs and welcomes DLT applications in the education, transportation sectors and electronic voting.

What else is in store for the attendees of the event?

The team of Smile-Expo is proud to bring international experts as well as bright representatives of the Swiss blockchain community to the Geneva conference. It’s definitely an unmissable opportunity for those who want to get to know more about DLT and blockchain.

The conference will also feature the demozone, where DLT-based corporations will have a space to show their latest developments and present their innovative ideas to the audience.

And the famous “pitch-sessions” are back – on the sessions, companies can pitch their products or ideas to visitors and find potential business partners and investors.

Last but not least, from 03.10 to 05.10 (3 days only), you can buy 2 tickets for the price of 1 = 240 EUR. More information about the event and registration – on the official website here.

About the Organizer

Smile-Expo is a multi-national events company and has already successfully held 45 crypto events in 25 countries.

If you want to know more what Blockchain PR can do for your business – contact us here.

Follow Blockchain PR on LinkedIn here.

Follow Ana Paula Picasso on Twitter here.