Last Friday, December 7, a city in Canada – Calgary officially unveiled The Calgary Digital Dollar. Presented by Joe Ceci, the Finance minister of Alberta, and now Calgary is the first city in Canada with their own cryptocurrency.
Meant to help and promote local businesses
The Calgary Dollars are meant to be a part of a new effort to help, promote and build better relationships with small businesses and non-profit organizations in Calgary. Shops and restaurants can list themselves within a smartphone application. That way they are participating in the program. Companies can choose the amount of Calgary Dollars they are willing to receive for their services. It can vary from 10-100% of the cost, which is a very cool feature. Also, there are multiple benefits for small businesses that participate in the program. For example, business owners can pay half of their business license in Calgary with Calgary Digital Dollars. “Every dollar spent locally goes a lot farther in our community than spending it at businesses, sending it outside,” said Solita Work, the owner of Reworks, a shop which specializes in one-of-a-kind objects made from all kinds of stuff.
More educated users
One of the benefits of such a program is that people are educating themselves by using this app and currency. It powers the local business ecosystem, and people are learning how cryptocurrencies work at the same time. “Every dollar spent locally goes a lot farther in our community than spending it at businesses, sending it outside,” commented Solita.
Also, people can donate the Calgary Dollar to many non-profit groups such as the Calgary Housing Company, the Sharp Foundation, Norfolk Housing, Inn from the Cold, and CUPS. What is interesting – you can also buy Calgary transit tickets with the cryptocurrency.
The world is slowly conceding
Today it feels like every day comes with a new country law which allows people to operate even more with cryptocurrencies. This news is particularly useful, as people will start learning and most importantly – using the new phenomena of blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Could this be the future of crypto? Every city having their own domestic token or coin with which the residents can operate. Consequently, there should be a global currency as well.
Moreover, this is where Bitcoin comes in. Bitcoin and its off-chain solutions. A future where your money doesn’t lose value after a year or two. A future of transparent transactions and accounted cash flows. How cool would be that?
The United Kingdom (U.K.) might soon be accepting Bitcoin for council tax, reports Express. A member of Parliament (MP) Eddie Hughes said that cryptocurrencies could and should be approved for making payments to local authorities and utility providers.
Crypto enthusiast with amateur knowledge
Eddie Hughes is an existing conservative MP of the U.K. He justifies his opinion with recent news about Ohio state allowing to accept Bitcoin for tax payments. Initially it applies only to businesses willing to pay their taxes with Bitcoin, but eventually, this will be introduced to the broader society like individual taxpayers as well.
Also, he has urged other MPs to start learning about cryptocurrencies and blockchain in general.
“Only recently I met with the RNLI which is now accepting charitable donations through cryptocurrency – if we can do that, what’s to stop us being able to pay council tax and other bills with bitcoin,” he said.
Wants to see local authorities to “plant a flag” in the U.K.
Based on the Ohio news, Mr. Hughes would like to see a local authority to take charge and lead this development in the U.K., saying that “you’re either ahead of the curve or you’re behind the curve, and our country is in an interesting position right now – we need to be seen as a progressive country. We are at a crossroads and we’re about to determine our future – one in which taking the lead in this field could prove very beneficial.”
Lack of knowledge
Eddie Hughes believes that the general public until now has a very little understanding on what cryptocurrencies and blockchain is. He thinks that the lack of information on how the transactions work is holding the industry back concerning mass adoption. He also stressed the availability of this new industry: “Also, how accessible it can be – it needs to appear like an app that people will use so they can become familiar with it in a safe and secure way.”
Are the dominoes falling?
First comes the Ohio news, now U.K. Walsall North. What’s next to come? These are great news as we see countries are feeling like they could be left behind. Russian state-owned Swiss banks are thinking about crypto products. So we believe that Russia is next on the path of allowing payments with cryptocurrencies. We are slowly experiencing the mass adoption we have been talking about all these last years. We knew that this year crypto is going to be regulated massively, but we never could’ve imagined that countries would start accepting crypto for taxes so fast.
On the other hand, it seems quite evident for governments to consider this option. as they are in on everything that brings them money. So why not allow people to pay with cryptocurrencies if they want to. No one ever said that the government has to hold the asset. They can exchange it for their fiat of choice.
However, for the taxpayer, this is a huge step forward mass crypto adoption. The next step would be government-related companies or huge tax paying companies allowing employees to choose between multiple ways on how to receive their wage. Whether its crypto, fiat, cash or any other means of payment.
These are huge news, as U.K. is one of the biggest economies in the world with a population of 66 million and $2.6 trillion GDP (Gross Domestic Product).
Recently Coinbase came out with a blog post announcing a broad range exploration of assets. These assets include Cardano (ADA), Aeternity (AE), Aragon (ANT), Bread Wallet (BRD), Civic (CVC), Dai (DAI), district0x (DNT), EnjinCoin (ENJ), EOS (EOS), Golem Network (GNT), IOST (IOST), Kin (KIN), Kyber Network (KNC), ChainLink (LINK), Loom Network (LOOM), Loopring (LRC), Decentraland (MANA), Mainframe (MFT), Maker (MKR), NEO (NEO), OmiseGo (OMG), Po.et (POE), QuarkChain (QKC), Augur (REP), Request Network (REQ), Status (SNT), Storj (STORJ), Stellar (XLM), XRP (XRP), Tezos (XTZ), and Zilliqa (ZIL).
Not all will be available for everyone
Coinbase explained that not all assets would be available for everyone. That highly depends on the law of the specific jurisdiction. “Some of these assets may become available everywhere, while others may only be supported in specific jurisdictions,” they say in their blog post. They are working closely with local banks and regulators to add these assets in as many jurisdictions as possible. Also, some assets might be only available for hodling, they reveal in their post, saying that “our listing process may result in some of these assets being listed solely for customers to buy and sell, without the ability to send or receive using a local wallet.”
This decision by Coinbase comes not precisely as a surprise, but it raises a specific question. Does Coinbase know something that we don’t know? Why explore the addition of these assets only now? Of course, “now” is a stretched term, and they already announced this in September, but all of these assets have lost more than 90% of their all-time high value. Is Coinbase discretely signaling of a bull market approaching?
“Over time, we intend to offer our customers access to greater than 90% of all compliant digital assets by market cap.”
Isn’t this a little late? Multiple services are offering this already, so what would set Coinbase aside from them? However, the motivation is bright for this, the market is getting larger, and people want to hold their assets in one place. On the other hand, this could have been a great feature last year, during the ICO craze.
Judging by a recent tweet from ETCDEV, Igor Artamonov, the Founder and CTO of ETCDEV, came out with an announcement. He came out saying that the development team cannot work like this and they’re shutting down ETCDEV. ETCDEV is one of the Ethereum Classic development teams.
Is ETC dead?
In their Twitter thread, many people refer to the recent Coinbase listing, when lots of people accused Coinbase of insider trading when the asset launched on their multiple platforms. Also, many questions Coinbase of their decision making regards to adding Ethereum Classic to their platforms. However, the fact is – ETCDEV is not the only development team on Ethereum Classic. The official account of Ethereum Classic cleared the air saying: “Ethereum Classic is not ETCDEV. Ethereum Classic is IOHK, ETC Co-op, ETC Labs, and ETCDEV.”
So you can imagine what the shut down of ETCDEV looks like on a wider scale.
The market impact
However, many crypto projects are suffering during this bear time because of lack of finances. Most of them entirely rely on the funds they got during the ICO period. Also, those funds are tanked because they probably stored their funds in ETC, which price has dumped throughout this year. ETC saw a huge price increase at the beginning of 2018. The price during the first days of January went through the roof in the matter of a couple of days when it experienced a massive rise from $27 to $44. Then, starting from February 22nd, ETC went into a total bear market, and now it has come round $4.11. The asset is down 91% from its ATH.
The market continues to decrease in value as this is yet another red day in the cryptocurrency markets. The positive thing – the dominance of Bitcoin over other cryptocurrencies is still increasing rapidly.
Judging by recent reports, G20 countries are about to regulate cryptocurrencies. They have signed a joint declaration in Buenos Aires which promises to regulate cryptocurrencies and combat its use for money laundering and financing terrorism. They will follow the standards of FATF (Financial Action Task Force).
“We will regulate crypto-assets for anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism in line with FATF standards, and we will consider other responses as needed,” reads the declaration.
G20 focus on crypto
According to the G20 declaration, the countries would also continue to monitor the global economy, which is rapidly digitalizing, adding that it “would seek a consensus-based solution to address the impacts of the digitization of the economy on the international tax system with an update in 2019 and a final report in 2020.”
The forum had commissioned its regulator. The Financial Stability Board (FSB), headed by Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, who is a fan of strict monitoring of the crypto markets to develop a framework for monitoring the crypto sector.
“The objective of the framework is to identify any emerging financial stability concerns in a timely manner. To this end, it includes risk metrics that are most likely to highlight suck risks, using data from public sources where available,” the FSB framework reads.
Regulate crypto just like they regulate banks?
However, This agreement comes as no surprise as the G20 had already announced the news earlier this year. Crypto enthusiasts were familiar with their willingness to regulate crypto-based assets by the end of this year. It is weird to see nations this big to brag about strictly regulating cryptocurrencies. Wouldn’t it be better to regulate banks and their fiat-based assets thoroughly first? Moreover, only then move on to regulating crypto? They are so concerned about money laundering or terrorism in crypto. Could it be that they don’t see further than their nose? Alternatively, if they are going to regulate crypto just like they are monitoring their banks, then there is no need for a regulation which doesn’t work. The incident with Danske Bank when billions of dollars were laundered through the bank still is believed to be one of the biggest in the world. The Danske scandal involved 32 currencies, companies from Cyprus, the British Virgin Islands and Seychelles. Customers of the Estonian branch have been traced to Russia, Azerbaijan, and Ukraine.
One scheme run through the branch reportedly involved Azerbaijan’s ruling elite, and a $2.9bn (£2.2bn) fund used to pay European politicians and lobbyists. Now tell me again – what were they going to regulate?
Lately, we have seen only red accents when looking at coinmarketcap.com, coingecko.com or any other cryptocurrency statistics website. Although today the market is looking a lot greener, the general perception of an incoming bull-run hasn’t changed much. There has been a lot of FUD in the crypto community as a lot of bearish tweets of getting out of cryptocurrencies and selling everything have become quite popular.
On the other hand, the Bitcoin Maximalist camp is looking at this pretty positively, justifying that “many sh*tcoins are dying out,” which, in their opinion, is a particularly good sign. It leaves room for Bitcoin to grow. Whether this is true or not, no one knows, but the fact is that most of the ICOs and cryptocurrency projects from last year have lost 95-97% on average from their all-time high (ATH).
Top losing altcoins
In the picture above you can see the top 15 of those coins which have lost the most value. As we can see Zclassic, GameCredits and Ethos are the top losing projects, having lost 99% in value. When looking into Zclassic twitter page, it was surprising to see only 1,862 followers. Their activity also is feeble. The last retweet (not even a post) was published on September 7. Also, there has been only 2 GitHub commits in the last 90 days. That all could lead up to an abandoned project.
However, GameCredits has working products like G-Nation which includes G-Play and G-Share. Their mission is to build a worldwide community for gamers and game publishers. However, looking at the price of GAME it looks like they are not doing that well. Especially, if users can purchase games with GAME, or earn it while playing. It looks like it’s not rather profitable for users to use it. Also, only 10 commits on GitHub in the last 90 days. On the other hand, their Twitter page is booming with followers (30k), and they are continually publishing their updates on the GameCredits Foundation. However, the fair point is that GameCredits are competing with an already established industry leader – Steam. Also, NEO (NEO) and TRON (TRX) are entering the blockchain gaming industry, and those are huge companies. How is that going to work out for GAME – we’ll see.
Speaking about Ethos, they have plans to build a universal wallet for all the cryptocurrencies available — kind of what Coinbase has now. Moreover, their internal token – ETHOS, was supposed to be a facilitator of the platform, by mainly reducing fees and allowing users to access certain services on the platform. Ethos also has lost 99% from their ATH. They claim that 60k users are using their platform with almost 1000 joining in every day. However, the thing is, they are planning to implement a fiat gateway with multiple features, which would lead up to thinking that their token might be dying out.
Bitcoin likes bear markets
Overall, the picture looks dreadful. The question is, whether the investors, who helped these projects to raise money, will ever get their return of investment. That is a good question which possibly is asked multiple times during the day. Especially after these bear moves, the market was performing in the last couple of days. These lows don’t necessarily mean that the market is dying out. Cryptocurrency markets have experienced multiple bear markets, and there is no sign that this should be the last one. The history shows that each one of the previous bear markets leads to even higher prices and larger market caps. Whether this is also going to be like that, we can only wait and guess.
The fact is that by each of these bear markets, the bitcoin price has retreated to a previous all-time high. As we can see in the picture below – this looks exactly the case. Now the question is – whether it might fall even lower – to a different previous ATH. Bitcoin price could fall to a $2000 mark or even lower – to a $1000 mark. Because if we remember, the rise from $1000 to anywhere around $4000 was pretty quick, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see even lower price setbacks.
When looking at how this past year has been treating us – the picture is not so confident as we intended it last year. This was supposed to be the year of privacy coins, but that seems to be postponed till next year. The good thing is – this year has boosted the Bitcoins dominance over other cryptocurrencies. It survived the lowest point of 32% in January when the bear market emerged. Now resting at 53-54% for quite a while. It almost looks like it soon could reach the highs of December 2017 when it was around 67% continuing in a pace like this.
A few things that fall into our eyes are that Ripple has overtaken Ethereum in market dominance by almost 3%, which has happened only a couple of times in the history of Ethereum. Also, we can see that Bitcoin Cash is losing dominance pretty steadily and Litecoin somehow stays stable around its 1,5% market dominance.
The overall cryptocurrency market cap also had dropped quite significantly from its peak in January when it was $829 billion. Currently, it has suffered a severe drop from $210 billion to $130 billion in these last days. It was going sideways for about three months and now seeing this big of a decline, still kind of draws the descending pattern.
So when bull?
This is probably the most common question among crypto-supporters, and no one can quite answer it. The fact is that after a month we will have suffered a year-long bear market. Is it going to continue? The most realistic outcome in our mind would be that Bitcoin keeps loosing price, but gaining dominance. This bear could stop at $1100, and it also could stop at $2000. By all means, this is just a speculation. The price will rise when people start buying Bitcoin. What will be the most appealing price for people to start buying it? Also, at the moment, assets on this market are not individual. They all fall under Bitcoin, and if Bitcoin price ascends, altcoins follow. So we all have to wait for Bitcoin to make a move.
November 25, the state of Ohio starts accepting Bitcoin as a tax payment. Originally it applies only to businesses willing to pay their taxes with Bitcoin, but eventually, this will be introduced to the broader society like individual taxpayers as well.
Starts already this week
As of now, businesses based in Ohio can start the registration to begin paying taxes with Bitcoin, the leading asset of cryptocurrencies. Crypto payments service provider BitPay will process these payments. BitPay has been operating in the Bitcoin payment area since 2011, and they already are cooperating with major players like Microsoft, Virgin, Shopify and possibly BMW.
Initiated by a pro-crypto state treasurer
The regulation initially came from Josh Mandel, who is a pro-crypto American Republican politician. He is a former city councilman and a member of the Ohio House of Representatives. He is confident that this move will continue to develop among other states, leading to a wider cryptocurrency adoption. Mandel stands optimistic on the issue of a national cryptocurrency.
Other states also apply for cryptocurrency adoption
Additionally, other states in the U.S. also have proposed on accepting cryptocurrencies for tax payments, but state legislators have delayed their final passing. Maybe the state of Georgia – the home of BitPay, will be the next one?
Starting next week, one of the most prominent summits in the northern Europe region will take place. It is a two-day conference beginning from Monday, November 26 and ending on November 27, respectively. Moontec resides in the Baltic crypto capital – Tallin, Estonia. Last year all the tickets were sold out, and more than 2000 attendants from 30+ countries visited the event.
Moontec… to the moon?
The event mainly focuses on the development and use cases of blockchain technologies and companies operating with cryptocurrencies. This year will bring a much more organized and selected schedule, and most certainly will draw new areas of interest. From the beginning, Moontec has attracted industry professionals from all around the world. Big companies like Microsoft and IBM is returning to the conference, and this year one of the key speakers is Nicholas Merten, the man behind one of the most popular crypto youtube channels – DataDash. It is most definitely worth to come and see his presentation on “How Cryptocurrencies are Disrupting and Liberating Emerging Markets.”
The crypto capital of the Baltic region
Estonia, in general, has been an early cryptocurrency and digital trend adaptor. Their e-residency platform is fast gaining popularity. It launched on December 1, 2014, and it allows non-Estonians access to Estonian services such as company formation, banking, payment processing, and taxation. It is reasonably easy to use and even more comfortable to form.
Ott Vatter, the deputy director at e-residency, will host the opening speech. Moreover, the subject of e-residency will be widely discussed during the conference day one. Kaspar Korjus, the managing director at e-residency, will speak on several discussion panels about the governments’ ability to support blockchain, and weather e-residency can help countries to scale.
No ICOs this year
This year Moontec has decided not to allow ICO pitches. So there won’t be any ICOs at all presenting their “soon to be” products. They write: “With the majority of Blockchain events becoming ICO pitching arenas, we decided to prohibit ICO promotion on our stages and focus on the technological aspects of Blockchain and its use cases.” We congratulate this decision because we believe that allowing ICOs to present their yet undeveloped ideas to attendants who paid their hard earned money, was not ethically correct.
Last year Moontec gathered speakers and product stands from prominent tech companies around the world. Such companies as Microsoft, IBM, Hyperledger, Consensys, Lykke and many more were the key attendees.
This year will be no exception as many of these companies are returning to the conference to share their freshly developed ideas. Of course, new companies have joined in like OKEx exchange, CoinJar, Revolut, representatives from NEO blockchain, Lloyds Bank, and even Interpol. So it is safe to say that this year the event will be twice as better as it was last year. Meaning that even more crypto ground gets covered in these two days.
Moontec most certainly looks like a go-to event. It will mostly focus on actual technology rather than discuss the possibilities that future offers. Day one is specifically for regulatory enquires. Members from the European Parliament are expected to present their view on blockchain technologies as well. However, the second day will mainly outline blockchain use cases among many companies.
Best Coin Investments proudly can say that we are the media partners for this event. So we will cover a review after the event and keep you posted about the ongoings within the summit by communicating through our Twitter account.
If you are near Tallin during November 26-27, definitely come and take a look at this event as it will share some of the most profound insights on where the global cryptocurrency market is heading.
Last week Best Coin Investments attended one of the largest Blockchain events in Turkey – Blockchain Turkey Summit 2018. It was a well-organized event with somewhat around 1200 attendees with some of them being government representatives, politicians, authorities and, mostly, people in the tech and business field. The summit mainly consisted of talks about Blockchain development within the country and how it might affect the future. Also, representatives from the Turkish government did a few presentations on the governments take on cryptocurrencies and blockchain in general.
Turkey is positive about cryptocurrencies
The primary outcome of the summit is that Turkey is very open to developing cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies in the future. Tensel Kaya, CEO of Mindstone, pointed out that they would need stablecoins or stable currencies for doing better business with cryptocurrencies.
Furthermore, the summit also gathered many tech enthusiasts to take part in the IoT and Blockchain workshops. They tested out software with Markov chain with Monte Carlo simulations on the blockchain. The physicists from the Manhattan project invented the Monte Carlo method, and it is all about generating data for variables to simulate systems. However, A Markov chain is a stochastic model describing a sequence of possible events in which the probability of each event depends only on the state attained in the previous event.
Moreover, the summit consisted of talks about decentralized systems and how they could overcome the traditional centralized systems we know. Robert Wiecko, the COO of Dash Group Inc. and Jan-H Meyer, the CEO of Dash Embassy D-A-CH UG, presented their instant payment platform and gave a few convincing arguments why DashPay is faster and cheaper than any other cryptocurrency.
The conclusion after this summit is that Turkey is still a newcomer to the crypto-space, but they are very determined to jump into the scene and start developing their cryptocurrency market and to evolve blockchain technology as a whole in their country. They are willing to support new companies that operate in the blockchain area, but significant works still need to be done.
On November 12, 2018, Bitcoin Group SE has acquired 100% of Tremmel Wertpapierhandelsbank GmbH shares. That is an essential accomplishment of Bitcoin Group SE as they are expanding, even more, this year.
“The acquisition will significantly expand the range of services offered by Bitcoin Group SE, which operates Bitcoin.de, Germany’s only regulated trading platform for digital currencies,” says in the official announcement.
A huge benefit for Germany’s crypto-scene
That will allow Bitcoin Group SE to issue their cryptocurrency-related products, conduct proprietary trading and produce ATMs for cryptocurrencies. All this, thanks to the banking license of Tremmel. So far, the Bitcoin.de strategy of becoming a multilateral cryptocurrency exchange is succeeding. This acquisition will bring significant advantages like the possibility to maintain an order book and even quote prices.
“We are very pleased that in Tremmel Wertpapierhandelsbank GmbH and in particular Mr. Rainer Bergmann we have been able to gain an excellently positioned partner with in-depth knowledge of the market. This will enable us to take the corporate development of Bitcoin Group SE to a new level,” says Marco Bodewein, Managing Director of Bitcoin Group SE.
Moreover, the purchase price hasn’t yet been disclosed. However, it is known that it is in the lower seven-digit euro range.
Who are they?
Tremmel Wertpapierhandelsbank GmbH is a German investment bank which handles securities, bonds, and stock exchange trading services to institutional clients. It was created in 1983 and is licensed by the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority, or BaFin, Germany’s financial watchdog, as an investment service provider.
Bitcoin Group SE is a holding company focusing on innovative and disruptive business models and technologies in the areas of Cryptocurrency and Blockchain. The company holds 100% of the shares in Bitcoin Deutschland AG, which operates Germany’s only regulated marketplace for the digital currency Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Ethereum (ETH) under Bitcoin.de, as well as a 50% holding in Sineus Financial Services GmbH, a financial services provider supervised by BaFin.
This reminds me of the good old saying I saw on Twitter one day, it went something like this: “I once thought that banks are going to buy out cryptocurrency companies, but now Crypto companies are buying banks!”
So far, this has been a well-known praxis, since more and more crypto-related companies are acquiring traditional banks and their licenses. Bitcoin Group SE bought a 50% share in financial investment broker Sineus Financial Services Gmbh, to diversify risk. “In the future, this will enable the group to offer additional financial services in the cryptocurrency sector,” the company explained.
It looks like Germany has a bright future for cryptocurrency development coming up. Bitcoin Group SE now can put a Bitcoin ATM on every corner of every street in Germany. Besides that, the company now has acquired all the necessary licenses to fulfill their corporate business strategy.