Central Australian Bank Might Soon Launch Cryptocurrency

FinTech companies in Australia have been demanding that the central Australian bank issue the Digital Australian Dollar.

Several Australia-based FinTech startups have submitted proposals to the Australian central bank and Federal Treasury to create a state-sponsored Australian cryptocurrency, the Digital Australian Dollar.

According to the Australian Financial Review, three prominent FinTech startups, including FlashFX, AgriDigital, and Othera, have approached the bank via the industry advocacy group FinTech Australia, as well as the governmental FinTech Advisory Group. These startups have urged the bank to give due consideration to creating the Digital Australian Dollar (DAD). According to reports, the DAD will be linked to the current fiat Australian currency, and reportedly is set to confirm the country’s growing blockchain enthusiasm, according to FinTech Australia chief executive, Danielle Szetho.

According to Szetho, key stakeholders such as the RBA will ensure a relationship based on trust when Australian users are introduced to cryptocurrencies. While, being linked to fiat currency, the DAD will not be able to undermine the current stability of the current Australian currency.
So far Szetho proved a critical advocate for the cryptocurrency, while also being critical of the Australian government’s delay in delivering on their promise to end double taxation in the case of cryptocurrency transactions. The double taxation was finally ended this year.
FlashF, based in Sydney, was one of the pioneering startups which provided financial services to facilitate blockchain related activities. While all three startups have their own tokens, they argued that the DAD would be more powerful than any other digitized version of the Australian dollar, as well as create trust amongst Australian citizens.

According to FlashFX chief enabling officers, Nicolas Steiger, a DAD endorsed by the government would encourage increased trust and certainty amongst users. In addition, implementing the DAD would lead to immense growth in the marketplace. Lastly, it would discourage unofficial parties to release unendorsed digital Australian dollars.

Another advocate for state-backed cryptocurrency is the blockchain startup, AgriDigital, who facilitates transactions between farmers and buyers.
While AgriDigital uses blockchain to record, store, and facilitate transactions, payments are still in the fiat currency. This is mainly due to the volatility of cryptocurrency.

According to AgriDigital co-founder, Emma Weston, a state-sponsored DAD would make payments easier and more convenient.
The last startup, Othera, manages digital loan contracts that are based on blockchain technology. According to Othera’s chief executive, the company is currently pressed to work with existing legacy payment systems in the financial industry in order to process payments from loan borrowers before they can forward payments to the token holders of the contract.

John Pellew, CEO of Othera stated that the current system is a slow and painful process which does not sufficiently utilize the full scope of what blockchain technology has to offer. A DAD would enable all companies to unlock a significantly quicker and more convenient payment technology.
According to reports, the Australian central bank is currently engaged in reviewing the proposals and launching an investigation before they will reveal their decision.


Putin Reopens the Case for Cryptocurrency in Russia

The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, recently addressed financial leaders in the country to reassess the value of cryptocurrency.

Last week, President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, led a discussion surrounding Russia’s policy on cryptocurrency activity. The discussion, which included the countries leaders in the finance industry, notably went against current Russian thought as to cryptocurrency’s place in the country.

Last week, President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, led a discussion surrounding Russia’s policy on cryptocurrency activity. The discussion, which included the countries leaders in the finance industry, notably went against current Russian thought as to cryptocurrency’s place in the country.

Up until recently, most Russian finance leaders were strongly against employing or supporting cryptocurrency. Last week, Sergei Shvetsov, the Deputy Governor of the Russian Central Bank, denounced cryptocurrencies as dubious and officially stated his efforts to restrict access to external websites which allow users to trade in cryptocurrencies.

After Shvetsov’s statement, it seemed clear that Russia would follow China’s example and completely block all blockchain technologies and activities within their borders.

However, during the discussion led by the President, Putin stated his support for cryptocurrencies and the possibilities it offers. The meeting was attended by several prominent finance leaders including the Presidential Aide, Andrei Belousov, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov, Governor of the Central Bank Elvira Nabiullina, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank Olga Skorobogatova, as well as QIWI CEO Sergei Solonin.
During the discussion, Putin stated that blockchain technologies offer various opportunities for both organizations and citizens within the finance and banking sphere. Putin expressed his belief that cryptocurrency can make all financial activity convenient.

Cryptocurrency markets around the world have recently endured a tumultuous time. Two major cryptocurrency markets, China and South Korea, have placed bans on domestic cryptocurrency activity while Japan and countries in the Middle East have moved towards more definitive regulation. Despite the volatility, however, experts are still convinced that cryptocurrencies, especially Bitcoin, will continue to enjoy an increased market value.
In the talk, Putin acknowledged the possible dangerous nature of unrestricted cryptocurrencies, especially in regards to it possibly enabling malicious activities. Putin stated that the first concerns are the possibility of money laundering, tax evasion, and terrorist financing. In addition, Putin also mentioned proliferation scams.

However, in addressing these concerns, Putin emphasized that the way forward is regulation, rather than outright banning the otherwise innovative industry. Putin suggested creating a comprehensive regulatory environment which would codify relations within the industry, while simultaneously protecting the interest of both Russian citizens, businesses and providing these with legal guarantees when conducting business within the industry.
Despite Putin’s positive attitude towards cryptocurrency, the industry’s future still remains murky both in Russia and the rest of the world. Several governments and financial authorities across the world have only recently acknowledged the growing need for regulatory systems. Something which is made more difficult by cryptocurrencies’ inherent decentralized nature. While some, like Putin, has called for regulation, others, like the Bank of Finland, do not believe that cryptocurrency can be sufficiently regulated.


The Demand For Cryptocurrency Degree Courses Skyrockets

Change remains the only thing that is constant; yet when it is introduced it is always resisted.

But in the long run, everyone comes to embrace change as they see the positive side of things it brings. Even if you try to highlight the prospects, people would still take it with a pinch of salt.

The cryptocurrency world is no different. When Bitcoin was launched people did not take it seriously because they felt it was not possible to have a sort of bank online that would be controlled by the coin holders. It wasn’t simply possible for a currency to be run outside of the traditional regulatory system, so they thought. But today everyone knows better. Bitcoin is a reality after all! Everybody wants to have it including nations. It’s no longer a thing people think might be useful in the future; it has come to stay with us.

The decentralized, digital nature of cryptocurrencies, especially bitcoin is increasing the security of financial transactions, ensuring that payments are free of fraud and that middlemen no longer cut the shots. This is making the demand for cryptocurrencies to increase daily. This increase in demand is also increasing the need for more miners.

Miners play the role of adding ‘blocks’ to the ‘blockchain’ which guarantee transactions confirmation and prevent cryptocurrencies from vanishing without a trace. Every miner who creates a new block is compensated with priceless cryptocurrency.

Some savvy cryptocurrency traders already know that the best way to make huge money in the crypto-world is by being a miner, though cryptocurrency is relatively new as a money-making concept. This awareness is creating an increasing demand for university courses to teach the computer science of cryptocurrency as well as blockchain coding.

Startup of cryptocurrency societies have already been witnessed in some universities, with the Blockchain Education Network (BEN) playing the role of a focal point for ideas between student societies.

The crypto-world is full of fluctuations. It is really difficult to be an expert in the field of cryptocurrency without some kind of formal training. Some university courses are already emerging around cryptocurrency and one of such is the ‘Digital Currency, Blockchains and the Future of Financial Services’ at NYU Law.

Aggelos Kiavias, chair in cybersecurity and privacy and director of the blockchain technology laboratory at the Edinburgh University, told the Financial Times that the university is considering launching a cryptocurrency course that would be the first of its kind in Europe. He added that “Blockchain technology is a recent development and there is always a bit of a lag as academia catches up.”

The data received by the Financial Times from Linkedin revealed that in June alone, over 1,000 blockchain-related jobs were advertised, which is thrice the amount advertised in the previous year.

Speaking to the Study International, George Benton, the co-founder and co-president of Leeds University Union Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Society, said that “Students currently have the chance to be involved in the early stages of a technological revolution. The decentralized nature of blockchain technology resonates with my generation because of the power it gives to individuals.”

Blockchain technology and Financial Innovations Researcher, Shanghai Jiao Tong University Tamar Mentenshashvili, believes that blockchain is a technology with the possibility to upset several industries. Yet, it poses a lot of interesting intellectual riddles that must be cracked in order to realize its full potential.

With the potential that cryptocurrency promises to bring into the financial world and as more people embrace the blockchain technology, we expect to see more universities creating courses that are specifically targeted at producing more future digital miners.


Malaysia May Announce Bitcoin Ban at the End of the Year

The Central Bank of Malaysia recently hinted when addressing reporters that a blanket ban on all cryptocurrency activity might be in the works for the country.

The governor of Malaysia’s central bank, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), recently confirmed that the country would announce its decision on whether they will ban cryptocurrency at the end of 2017. Currently, there is no cryptocurrency regulation in Malaysia.

According to governor Muhammed bin Ibrahim, the government will make a decision and announced it at the end of 2017. However, his subsequent statements hinted at there is a strong chance of cryptocurrency activity being banned. Governor Ibrahim stated that before the close of the year, the Malaysian financial authorities intend to address several concerns. Some guidelines that will be issued are expected to include concerns regarding registering investors, collecting information, and ensuring that all cryptocurrencies are used towards legal practices.

China’s recent ban on initial coin offerings (ICOs) and domestic cryptocurrency exchange encouraged a mass capital outflow, which in turn caused the Malaysian markets to reach record highs.

Up until now, all cryptocurrencies have been unregulated. During 2014, BNM released a statement wherein they emphasized that Bitcoin, and other cryptocurrencies, were not considered legal tender within Malaysia. The bank also confirmed in this statement that they did not regulate Bitcoin or other currencies. Last month, BNM issued another statement which warned potential investors about fraudulent ICOs.

Several financial experts have claimed that by legalizing Bitcoin, Malaysia could have an alternative to changing currencies. Recently the Malaysian ringgit endured strict capital regulation’s following President Trump’s election and the dollar surge that followed. These events caused a mass devaluation of the Malaysian currencies.

Several players in currency exchange were affected severely, especially multinational banks and investors, as they could not convert the local currency to US Dollars. All expatriate remittances to the country also suffered a blow. Considering Bitcoin’s decentralized system, many have argued that Bitcoin could allow capital to flow in and out of the country with more ease.

While a ban is possible, other financial authority officials have also hinted that Malaysia would accept cryptocurrencies if it were regulated. The assistant governor or BNM dropped several other hints regarding the matter. According to the assistant governor, BNM’s main objective in the coming months would be to balance both the safeguarding of their own fiat currency, while making the necessary room for innovation and progress. The governor also hinted that the Malaysian government might soon revise its strict anti-money laundering policies.


Malta Issues License to Allow Cryptocurrency Gambling

Unikrn recently obtained its license to enable cryptocurrency gambling, which will soon become available in most of Europe.

A regulated cryptocurrency gambling platform will soon be available in large part of Europe.

Earlier this week, the popular eSports platform, Unikrn, announced that they’d been allocated a license in Malta which will enable its platform to real-money wagering using its UnikoinGold crypto token.

This crypto token is based on the ERC-20 ethereum principle and is currently available via a token sale or initial coin offering (ICO). The UnikoinGold crypto token will be utilized as a substitute of real-money wagering in the licensed area. Since Malta has extended the license, this will be available in 80% of Europe.

Rahul Sood, chief executive of Unikrn, recently stated that expanding into Europe will a large and growing market of users. Users that include both previously established users and those who are attracted by the real-time money transition.

Unikrn EU was established through a collaborative venture with RBP, France’s leading gambling platform. Currently, RBP boasts over 300 000 registered users, and an average of 1 million unique monthly visitors.

In addition to this, eSports are experienced a growing popularity, especially amongst younger users. eSports comprises of video games played competitively both online and in front of audiences, many consider this to be the world’s fastest growing sport. According to market research conducted by Newzoo, eSports will generate $696 million in revenue for 2017. This will mark a 41% growth from 2016. Experts have predicted that eSports could rake in approximately $1.5 billion by 2020.

So far Unikrn has attracted high-profile investors such as Mark Cuban, Ashton Kutcher, and Elisabeth Murdoch.

Until recently, Unikrn only enabled its real-money betting feature in Australia and the United Kingdom where it held gambling licenses. In other countries, Unikrn allowed free betting mostly on the popular first-person shooter and multiplayer arena video games such as Counterstrike, Global Offensive, League of Legends, and Dota 2.

Free betting was facilitated by previous free Unikoin tokens. However, these tokens will become out of use as Unikrn introduces their new UnikoinGold token.

The introduction of the UnikoinGold token, as well as the Malta licensure, were both critical factors which played a part in Unikrn’s moving from a free betting platform to implementing real money. This expansion will also allow for creating a broader amount of uses that the token owner can access from non-betting related areas.

Unikrn will release another token, UnikoinSilver, which will be released in unlicensed areas so as to keep users engaged. However, the tokens will not be allowed to trade on any other platform.

According to Sood, the decision to transition from free-play to implementing real-money was an easy one. Sood stated that the popularity of Unikoin was unexpected as they turned over a quarter of a billion in less than two years.

A large part of the new token’s appeal is that users don’t always have to place a wager to earn tokens. Many users can earn tokens purely by participating in a tournament or by viewing a match online or in person.

According to Sood, earning and using UnikoinGold won’t be restricted by regions. Sood stated that they will work to ensure that token owners can get more uses out of tokens so as to make them more valuable.

This principle sparked a discussion in the gambling community all over the world, as most gambling platforms are searching for ways to be more appealing to younger audiences. This is particularly true in the Las Vegas gambling industry. Last week, panel sessions regarding this issue was held during the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas.

While Sood recognized this, he cautioned the gambling industry that the only way to appeal to younger audiences is to do so by following the rules. He emphasized that the Malta license confirmed his company’s dedication to providing its users a safe, legal, and regulated platform.