Networking on a vessel: new A-list speakers announced for Coinsbank Blockchain Cruise 2019

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IBM Blockchain Director and Ajit Tirtha from ConsenSys join main conference lineup 

Despite the current situation in the market, many blockchain events are getting bigger. The main trend of the year is how blockchain technology comes to different fields of business. 2019 can already be called the “year of blockchain” – as opposed to 2018, which was the “year of the ICO”. Blockchain for enterprises and widely discussed STO will be covered on Coinsbank Blockchain Cruise 2019. IBM Blockchain Director Pietro Lanza and Ajit Tirtha from ConsenSys will have to take part in panel discussions dedicated to blockchain for enterprises topic on the vessel.

Another example of positive dynamic is the successful implementation of blockchain technologies in Grand Bahamas. Together with co-founder of PO8 technology Matthew Arnett, Grand Bahamas administrator Don G. Cornish will tell about their experience in regulations.  

During Coinsbank Blockchain cruise Ajit Tirtha, Fintech at ConsenSys will share some of his notable projects, among them, are We.Trade blockchain platform for trade finance at Deutsche Bank and  Tokenization and Blockchain Applications.

Meanwhile, IBM Blockchain Director Pietro Lanza has something to tell about his Blockchain, AI and IoT projects and he’s going to talk about supporting banks developing their digital strategies. There will be one more expert on the vessel, the co-founder of Wikipedia Dr.Larry SangerI who showed the world how to use wikis to build encyclopedias.

Earlier mentioned A-list speakers include computer scientist John McAfee, ex Wall Street trader Tone Vays and Gordon Einstein, CryptoLaw Partners. 

The Coinsbank Blockchain Cruise 2019 speakers who have been announced are CEO of Smart Valor Olga Feldmeier, Contributor at Forbes Naeem Aslam. There will be announced the complete list of panels and speeches and also will be given an introduction to the new speakers at an early date. The tickets are available via Coinsbank website.


Blockchain Cruise 2019 will be held for the fourth time departing from Barcelona between June 9th-13th, docking in Rome. The global conference will take place on the majestic Oasis of the Seas by Royal Caribbean making stops in Palma de Mallorca, Marseille, and La Spezia. The event brings together decision-makers for 4 days of panel discussions, networking events and thought-provoking business talks. 

Note: This is a press-release by CoinsBank.

HTC will implement a Full Bitcoin Node in its new Smartphone!

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Recently at the Magical Crypto Conference in New York, Phil Chen, HTC’s decentralized chief officer, announced that HTC’s new smartphone will have a full Bitcoin Node. That way HTC users will store the entire Bitcoin’s blockchain on their phones. 


EXODUS 1s is the name of the new blockchain phone and HTC plans to release it by the end of Q3. Phil Chen reveals that the phone itself will be a lot cheaper than others. Also, the new 1s will be based on the previous EXODUS 1, which was released in 2018. The price will retail for between $250 and $300. However, he did not disclose any specifications for the device.

A Full Bitcoin Node

This is probably the most promising feature of the new device as this might trigger various other advantages that the phone could offer. Phil Chen described this as “a really important piece of the pie” for the whole Bitcoin ecosystem. Also, he highlighted one of the community’s incentives by saying: “We think that’s foundational to the whole decentralized internet and just the whole fundamental premise. If you don’t own your keys, you don’t own your bitcoin, you don’t own your crypto.” We congratulate this position as this is what many large corporations should understand about crypto in general.


Speaking from the technological point of view about this phone, Phil Chen explained that HTC believes that the new devices will be powerful enough to carry the Bitcoin Node.

“The bitcoin blockchain is about 200 [gigabytes], and it’s growing about 60 gigs per year. And those numbers are reasonable to hold on a smartphone. Imagine the iPod with 256 gigs … of course, the music fan wants to keep the whole music library but the crypto fan wants to keep the whole bitcoin blockchain.”

Phil Chen

That being said, the new HTC EXODUS 1s will be just a regular smartphone, just with an additional Bitcoin Node. It will be capable of storing music, videos, apps and dApps.

Other Blockchain Platforms

Chen explained that the Bitcoin Blockchain will be the primary goal for HTC, however, they are not ruling out other options. He explained that it could be “doable” to run Ethereum light nodes, but that all depends on the spec. Most importantly, he shared his belief that Bitcoin is the most important blockchain, and HTC wants to stand by and support what Bitcoin stands for.

“I think people who really care about the public blockchain space see the role we play in this ecosystem. We’ve gotten a lot of support from developers and we’re very authentic about empowering developers.”

Great for mass adoption

This is a great step for mass adopting Bitcoin! First comes these Full Nodes, next we can send and confirm transactions between friends independently. After that, Lightening Network apps and payments, in general, will become much easier to use as the much-needed node will operate on the device itself. Not long after, this will be a kickstarter for other mobile device manufacturers as the ecosystem will grow. 


Saudi Arabian energy companies invest millions in an American blockchain startup!

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An American blockchain startup Data Gumbo Co. Raised $6 million in a series A equity funding round from major Saudi Arabian energy companies. These companies include natural gas company Saudi Aramco. 

Data Gumbo commercial blockchain network

These raised funds are meant for the development of Data Gumbo’s commercial blockchain network. Additionally, company’s technical, sales, and marketing teams will also receive funding, bringing this total funding to $9.3 million.

“We enabled the first application of blockchain technology in the offshore drilling industry and will continue to break new ground with applications of BaaS (Blockchain-as-a-Service) to improve the bottom line of companies of all sizes. Blockchain will have a major impact on the oil and gas industry – and all global industries – and we will lead the charge in its broad adoption for sweeping operational improvements,”

said Andrew Bruce, CEO of Data Gumbo

The Saudi Arabian investors expect that this investment will help Data Gumbo to improve oil and gas supply chains by eliminating disputes and enabling automated payments. As well as decreasing reconciliation times between supply chain counterparts.

“Distributed ledger technologies have the potential to bring win-win efficiencies between industrial companies and their suppliers, and Data Gumbo is at the forefront of introducing this innovation,”

said Daniel Carter, senior investment director, SAEV.

About Data Gumbo

Andrew Bruce founded Data Gumbo. He is a former executive at National Oilwell Varco and MHWirth. He is a serial entrepreneur with 20 years of experience in the software and energy industries. Bruce built Data Gumbo after identifying a multi-million dollar cost-saving opportunity to eliminate a sizable inefficiency between an oil super-major and one of its suppliers. Bruce devised a blockchain solution, spurring the creation of Data Gumbo’s BaaS distributed ledger network to automate contract execution.

Why does this matter?

Oil and energy companies coming into blockchain tech is a massive step towards a broader blockchain mass-adoption. Oil, gas and energy is a huge industry with a value of multiple billions of dollars. However, this does not coincide with cryptocurrencies as such. We see that some of the largest industries in the world already use blockchain tech. After blockchain comes cryptocurrencies. Blockchain as a technology is now booming in all sorts of industries. Presumably, it will continue with this pace onwards as well. Blockchain will be on every corner in every industry because it is an update to the old system. It’s called evolution.

However, we still have got no idea how blockchain will be used in the future and how it is going to be developed. It’s like in the early days of internet. No one could possibly imagine a world like we are living in right now. Internet is the key component of today’s modern society and blockchain will be the key component for the next modern society.

The only question is – when we will start broadly adopting cryptocurrencies? 


Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

IOTA partners with Jaguar Land Rover!

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Today, judging by IOTA’s Twitter and Medium posts, IOTA has partnered with Jaguar Land Rover. The car manufacturer is testing IOTA’s technology to implement IOTA within their cars.

“Drivers will be able to earn cryptocurrency and make payments on the move using innovative connected car services being tested by Jaguar Land Rover.”

Earn cryptocurrency while driving

With this partnership, IOTA and Jaguar Land Rover have come up with a new “Smart Wallet” technology. This technology will allow users to earn cryptocurrency while on the go. They call it “credits” (the crypto that users will earn). Users can earn credits by sharing information about traffic and specific road conditions. Afterward, the users use these credits to pay for tolls, parking, and electric charging. It sounds like the user won’t have to do any additional operations with the car. Users will just have to enable this feature on their car. Then the cars will automatically report useful information to navigation providers or local authorities.

“’Smart Wallet’ removes the need for drivers to hunt for loose change or sign up to multiple accounts to pay for a variety of everyday services.”

Why exactly IOTA?

Jaguar Land Rover says that they specifically chose to partner with the IOTA Foundation to “harness “distributed ledger” technologies to make and receive payments”. They say that IOTA offers no transaction fees which makes this easier to operate with. Also, they anticipate that these car-to-car transactions will get faster by time. Their overall forecast is 75 billion connected vehicles by 2025.

Jaguar Land Rover’s Destination Zero strategy

The car manufacturer aims to achieve zero emissions, zero accidents, and zero congestion. They say that one part of this goal is to develop a shared economy where the “vehicle will play an integral role as a data gatherer”. They believe that with this new technology, traffic congestion will reduce which comes together with tailpipe emissions.

Russel Vickers, Jaguar Land Rover software Architect says: “[…] In the future an autonomous car could drive itself to a charging station, recharge and pay, while its owner could choose to participate in the sharing economy  – earning rewards from sharing useful data such as warning other cars of traffic jams.”

Jaguar Land Rover is the UK’s largest automotive manufacturer. In 2018 Jaguar Land Rover sold 592,708 vehicles in 128 countries. From 2020 all new Jaguar Land Rover vehicles will offer the option of electrification, giving their customers even more choice.


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Is Samsung developing its own Ethereum-based blockchain? Samsung Coin?

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Rumors say that the electronics giant Samsung is about to develop their own blockchain network which would be Ethereum based. This comes from an unidentified person who is “familiar with Samsung’s internal situation”, says CoinDesk. 

A Hybrid-blockchain

The unidentified, unofficial source tells that Samsung is building a blockchain mainnet based on Ethereum. However, this work is still at the “internal experimentation” stage. Additionally, it is quite unclear whether they are already working on a blockchain, or they are just about to figure out on what they are working. The source says:

“Currently, we are thinking of private blockchain, though it is not yet confirmed. It could also be public blockchain in the future, but I think it will be hybrid – that is, a combination of public and private blockchains.”

Judging by this quote, it’s clear that Samsung hasn’t yet figured out on what exactly they are working.

Samsung Coin

While they haven’t yet started working on their blockchain project, they are already claiming that they could be needing a Samsung Coin token. The source says that “the market expects Samsung Coin to come out, but the direction has not yet been decided”. This token could be used on its payments app Samsung Pay, however, at this point, it’s just speculation.

Moreover, Samsung says that their blockchain task force has been working on number of projects for “at least a year”.

At this point, all this is just speculation. It’s quite the same as all the rumors about a Facebook Coin and Facebook blockchain developers. When looking at it with a philosophically practical view, it is highly unlikely for such giant corporations like Samsung and Facebook to develop it’s own token/coin, not even talking about it being able to trade on a traditional crypto exchange. Facebook has revealed that even if they would be making a cryptocurrency, it would be a stablecoin.

Why would Samsung’s strategy differ much? Companies of such scale cannot allow the risk of implementing a highly volatile asset within their services. They are interested in a stable currency.

At the same time, it’s not impossible. I believe that almost everyone in crypto has pictured how that could affect the whole cryptocurrency market as such. 


Photo by Omar Markhieh from Pexels

Tunisia and Afghanistan look into issuing crypto bonds

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Tunisia and Afghanistan are willing to become the first countries in the world to issue a sovereign Bitcoin bond. These two country’s governors were speaking at the annual Spring Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund which happened in Washington between April 8 and 14.

Help access needed investments

The governor of the central bank of Afghanistan, Khalil Sediq told that they were seriously considering issuing a sovereign crypto bond that uses blockchain technology. That would be as an instrument to raise around $5.8 billion which would help the private sector. Afghanistan’s mining, energy and agriculture sectors are “critical”, says Khalil Sediq. Also, he suggested that Bitcoin could be coupled with a form of metals future like Lithium. He notes that the value of Afghanistan’s mineral reserves estimates around more than $3 trillion. Also, Afghanistan now has become the worlds largest Lithium miner.

One of the reasons why Afghanistan is considering a Bitcoin bond is because the country is facing severe restrictions on non-concessionary borrowing, says Khalil. This means that a crypto issuance could offer a way to access international markets via blockchain.

Tunisia has a working group studying the issuance of a Bitcoin bond

Marouane El Abassi, the governor of Banque Centrale de Tunisie, also was speaking at the Spring Meetings conference. He revealed that Tunisia is in the works of issuing a sovereign Bitcoin bond.

Moreover, Tunisia was one of the first countries in the world which developed its own digital currency the e-Dinar. Also, they already had a working digital payments network through a Poste Tunisienne system which DigitUS Tech developed.

Additionally, Marouane El Abassi commented that Bitcoin and blockchain technology can offer central banks a very efficient tool. It could help to fight money-laundering, manage remittances, fight cross-border terrorism and limit grey economies.

Christine Lagarde, the managing director of International Monetary Fund, said that she thinks issuing Bonds using blockchain is possible, however, it needs testing, using a closed and supervised “sandbox” approach.


Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

ConsenSys Seeks for $200 Million From Outside Investors

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Recently reported by The Information, a Brooklyn-based blockchain company ConsenSys is seeking for additional $200 million from outside investors. It was founded by Joseph Lubin, the co-founder of Ethereum. 

ConsenSys Grew too Quickly

During the bull market of 2017, ConsenSys reached near 1,200 employees. However, at the end of 2018, they came to a decision to lay off 13% of their staff, because of the long-lasting bear market. Now they have approximately 900 employees. Judging by recent reports, ConsenSys revenue last year was around $20 million. That could be the main reason why they are seeking an additional investment. When comparing to other large blockchain companies ConsenSys seems to be using a different business model. For example, Ryan Selkis, the founder of Messari, tweeted a data slide from the annual DCG summit showing off the company’s numbers:

When comparing to yearly revenue reports on DCG (Digital Coin Group) we see that they managed to do over $100 million in revenue in 2018 with only 8 employees in the parent company and less than 100 total employees. Anthony Pompliano says that Coinbase is rumored to have done over $1 billion in 2018 revenue. However, Binance showed $78 million in revenue in only the first quarter of 2019. Binance has approximately 500 employees across the world.

While many say that these are not comparable companies, we can compare different business approaches.

ConsenSys Revenue Mostly is Coming from its Enterprise Consulting Business.

The Information had gathered fundraising documents from ConsenSys. These documents revealed that most of the 2018 revenue comes from their consulting services. This year, they plan their revenue to be around $50 million with $40 million coming from their enterprise consulting business. Moreover, these documents reveal that ConsenSys has a substantial share in blockchain companies.

While their primary business revolves around building blockchain infrastructure, it might seem that they are not using it efficiently. Anthony Pompliano says in his daily newsletter:

“ConsenSys has focused on less infrastructure though and more on the applications, along with driving majority of their revenue through consulting with governments and large enterprises. It remains to be seen if the strategy will pay off in the long run, but the pressures of a deep bear market expose the difficulties with this model.”

However, he wouldn’t want to count ConsenSys out. While up to this date ConsenSys might have lived with one man funding the company – Joseph Lubin, this is just the effect of the ever-lasting bear market. Pompliano believes that when the bull market will return – ConsenSys wide range of crypto assets will explode, thus driving more revenue.

Should be able to raise the money

Many believe that ConsenSys should be able to raise the capital they need. The company is led by some of the smartest people in blockchain industry. Additionally, the large basket of crypto assets that they have acquired during the company’s existence should be enough of a reason for a potential investor. Wayne Vaughan tweeted a prediction that Microsoft will invest in or acquire ConsenSys in 2019.

Anthony Pompliano newsletter

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The world’s most popular Youtuber joins blockchain streaming platform DLive!

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The worlds most popular Youtuber, PewDiePie, has more than 93 million subscribers worldwide. He just recently joined a blockchain live streaming platform DLive. He is one of the biggest earners on Youtube with a $15 million profit in 2018.

An exclusive live streaming deal

PewDiePie, real name Felix Kjellberg, signed an exclusive live streaming deal with DLive. Starting from April 14, he will start streaming weekly on DLive. Additionally, on his first live stream, he will be donating $50,000 to a maximum of 100 creators. He wants to support content producers on the platform.

“I’m excited to start live streaming again regularly! DLive is great for me because I’m treated like a real partner, just like all of the other streamers on DLive’s unique platform,” says PewDiePIe.

What is DLive?

DLive is a decentralized live streaming platform built using the Lino blockchain. It utilizes the Lino blockchain to incentivize both content creators and viewers using cryptocurrencies. The platform believes that all rewards belong to platform participants. And, most importantly, does not take cuts or charge any fees to content creators.

“DLive is a place where instead of competing against each other, it benefits creators to support one another. With no platform cuts, we incentivize everyone to create the highest quality content for viewers,” said Wilson Wei, Co-Founder of Lino Network, “PewDiePie has always been a fierce advocate for the value that creators bring with their hard work, time, and effort, and he believes in DLive’s vision. Our live streaming platform has the potential to forever change how creators are represented in this industry, and we’re proud to have PewDiePie help us lead this charge.”


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What will be the Spotify of crypto? #ripico #sto #ntut

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The cryptocurrency market just experienced a small break-out and it almost seems like we all are profiting again. However, it has become virtually impossible for any ICO to (1) attract a decent amount of funding, (2) maintain token price within reasonable value, (3) return the money to the investors, (4) produce any of the blockchain ecosystems promised or (5) make any money at all.

“I therefore declare ICO as dead and buried forever. But it is not the end.”

A new wave is coming. STO (Security Token Offering) is taking the lead in being the most appealing alternative way of fundraising for 2019. In a nutshell is the ability to issue tokens backed by real value. Too many “pitchers” in 2017 and 2018, promised an ICO token that would have appreciated in value for the mere reason that it was scarce (as in limited issuance). Wrong. A million times wrong. Because unlimited ICO multiplied by limited tokens, still makes unlimited token supply as a result, as long as the herd kept producing tokens on ERC20 and list them on an exchange.

I foresee the renaissance being based on 2 ecosystems and 2 tokens.


The first ecosystem will be common to all projects and all trades: a pure financial ecosystem fuelled by Security Tokens (ST). No hidden agenda. Purely for the purpose of making money. Too many times, from the stage of yet another blockchain conference, the CEO of the next big wannabe ICO has promised an ecosystem with a real utility use case. Too bad that token buyers only bought the stinky tokens hoping to go to the moon with their Lamborghini, in the same fake fashioned way Tesla pretended to send one of their cars in outer space. This Financial Ecosystem is only designed to make money.


The second ecosystem depends on the trade. It could be a Lifestyle Ecosystem for a gaming company (one of those who doesn’t have a Problem/Solution slide, but makes ways more money that those who want to “save the world with blockchain technology”). A project aiming to tokenize real estate could, for instance, create an Education Ecosystem, sharing tips and secrets of the trade. A company aiming to tokenize a portfolio of wealth management could create a Financial Networking Ecosystem. The options for naming here are endless. Whatever is the name assigned to this ecosystem, there will be a Non-Tradable Utility Token (NTUT) that can never ever in its lifetime be exchanged for fiat currency or any other crypto/token/coin or whatever. So it is basically useless unless you use it in the ecosystem.

For example, if you are running a gambling project, for every time your user wins/loses more than a certain amount of dollars on your platform, you give them a load of NTUTs, which can only be exchanged to customize the look of the chips, but never to be exchanged for chips. Or, if you are tokenizing real estate, you could use NTUT to access premium content in an educational directory. And if your ecosystem does not have a way to reward users with value, then it would be great to connect with third-party partners able to do so. For example, a telco could offer 1Gb of data as a way to connect with new potential clients.

I believe that the industry is not dead. Only the format. The death of vinyl discs and music cassettes did not kill the music industry, but rather introduced new ways of playing songs with CDs, DVDs, then MP3 and currently Spotify. What will be the Spotify equivalent in this industry? Nobody knows yet.

Stefano Virgilli, CEO at

How blockchain could disrupt passports and immigration

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The oldest piece of technology that everyone carries around for a lifetime is indeed the Passport. There is nothing in my opinion more obsolete than a piece of paper with stamps on it meant to track the places that we have visited. In my wildest guess, I would not be surprised if in 10 years from now we could be actually laughing at the idea of carrying around our passport country by country.

Blockchain could once again be the solution. It is not a mystery that I believe in blockchain being the greatest innovation opportunity of our times. The concept is so simple and yet so misunderstood by the most, that occasionally I catch myself commenting:

“People do not need to understand how blockchain works, they just need to use it.”

And for as radical it might sound, it is actually quite acceptable in pretty much any other aspect of our life.

Less than 1% of the world population knows how to program an app for a smartphone, and yet such innovation has taken the world by storm. In extreme terms, everybody has one or more cell phones in their pockets, and yet nobody knows how it works at its core. The same goes for computers of course. And by larger definition, let us think for a moment about the stock market or insurance policies. Do we really know what a hedge fund is? Do we totally be 100% confident about understanding every single clause of our insurance? Even further? Do we need to be able to cable or plumb our house before we move in? Of course, some people do, but for an innovation to succeed on a large scale, adoption is far more important than understanding.

Blockchain has been seen fully implemented over the past nine years almost exclusively with regards to cryptocurrency, and because of the word “crypto”, it ended up sounding scary ever since day one. However, the potential implementation of blockchain in other parts of our life makes it so promising that it is hardly imaginable how could it fail.

Given the idea of a shared ledger, blockchain will in future allow health records to be tracked globally for everyone. So if John Smith has a car accident while on holiday in Thailand, the doctors would immediately be able to track any allergy to medication even when the patient is unconscious. In our super modern society and with all the most advanced technologies that we hear about, isn’t it so primitive that doctors need to ask their patients whether or not they have any medication allergy? Blockchain could answer the question for everyone at any point in time.

Back to the main topic of passports, if we look at the issue from square one, we understand that the only reason why a country would ask any visitor for passport identification is to track entry and exit to avoid overstay. In other words, we need to track date one as entry and date two as the exit. There are also some small variables of course, such as visa extensions, reasons for visiting etcetera, but let us keep it simple for a start.

A country would not want to have overstay of foreign citizens that are inclined to crime and create harm to society. This can also be prevented by blockchain. In simple terms, a country’s custom wants to check whether a visitor has any criminal records in any other country. This is virtually impossible with paper passports, despite the deeply integrated international systems, but if we were to adopt blockchain as the main mean of transferring data fully, we could be able to find all the answers in a second. In fact, all criminal behaviors and arrests could be tracked by local police officers and validated block by block by other police authorities or simple citizens.

I imagine the blockchain requiring a parallel internet to run the profile of every single person in the world, that at will can disclose which relevant part of their lives can be exposed. On Facebook, we can all be happy, honest and successful, but on the blockchain, nobody could lie.

For example, citizens could publish in the public ledger their income statements and make it accessible on demand to the requesting institutions. Banks could clear the person’s credit in a snap while embassies could cross-examine the account balance without asking the visitor to present a bank statement. Everything could be transparent at will, and most importantly fast and secure.

I imagine a world where every citizen could travel from country to country without a passport, by carrying only their footprint on the blockchain as a form of identification.

Stefano Virgilli

TEDx Speaker, Marketing Blockchain & ICO, Singapore PR

Title photo by: Himesh Kumar Behera