Cryptocurrency Europe

Digital Currencies and Europe: Latest News

The month of August has seen a focus on digital currencies at The Fintech Times. With the industry constantly changing and innovating, within this article you can find some of the most recent developments within the digital currencies vertical. From tips and advice on crypto banking, to how stablecoins and digital assets could soon have a consistent regulatory framework.

New Ziglu insurance provides safe and secure access to cryptocurrencies

Ziglu, the new cryptocurrency challenger, has launched an insurance programme for customers holding cryptocurrencies to provide greater security and peace of mind.

Each Ziglu customer’s cryptocurrency holdings are always insured against cyber-crime up to a value of £50,000 and held in a segregated account. The vast majority of customer assets are stored in offline (“cold”) wallets, meaning they are not accessible via the internet and therefore at lower risk of theft.

Mark Hipperson, Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Ziglu, said “One of the biggest concerns for users is the safekeeping of their funds and cryptocurrencies. Ziglu’s insurance programme brings peace of mind to existing customers or those dipping their toes into cryptocurrency for the first time.”

Ziglu launched last month with a vision to offer access to cryptocurrencies securely. Ziglu’s customers can now instantly and securely exchange money into digital currencies, including Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin & Bitcoin Cash at competitive prices and monitor their balances in real-time.

Ziglu is constantly enhancing the platform in response to customer needs. Since launching a month ago Ziglu has listened to its growing community to enhance the user experience and exchange flow, to provide a more intuitive and smoother transaction experience.

Crypto Banking: Why it’s a case of Who Dares Wins, and how to come out ahead.

The emerging world of cryptocurrencies appears to be getting back on track in 2020 after a volatile 2019. The current value of the cryptocurrency market is around $270 billion, benefiting from the chaos caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Though incumbent banks have been slow to enter the crypto market, Fintech’s, crypto exchanges and big tech players like Facebook and Amazon are all jostling for an early leadership position in crypto banking.

For these companies to succeed, Leon Gauham, CSO of Elsewhen, a digital product consultancy company, says they must: 

“1. Have a clear and focussed aim. The most successful crypto-enabled banks are likely to be those which target narrow customer segments to secure a competitive edge. As crypto starts to attract interest from institutional investors, and Robo-advisors start to be able to offer fully automated financial advice, FinTech’s could emerge to bundle these products into a financial service for these customers.

“2. Learn the UX lessons from retail bank challengers and their approach to customer-centricity. It’s early days but there are signs that some crypto-enabled banks are seeking to adopt retail bank best practices when it comes to prioritising customer-centricity including entirely digital onboarding and high-touch customer services.

“3. Be Ready for Regulatory Relaxation. In the UK, there are signs the Financial Conduct Authority’s formerly icy view of crypto assets/ crypto banking may be thawing. Players keen to take pole position in crypto need to position themselves to be ready to take advantage of any relaxing of restrictions.”

Bitstock’s New eBook by Liz Louw rewrites the Definition of Bitcoin

Content marketer Liz Louw has authored a second eBook entitled ‘What is Bitcoin? – the 11th Birthday Edition’. Released with Bitstocks, a Bitcoin market advisory and investment firm, the book will mark the 11 years since the conception of Bitcoin and blockchain technology,

The eBook is marketed as the ideal starting place for anyone who wants to learn more about Bitcoin, and prides itself on being a fresh look on the industry

Louw said, “We found most existing content that tries to answer the question ‘What is Bitcoin?’ focuses on a specific aspect of the system Instead of choosing a single angle, I decided to discover the story from Satoshi’s perspective himself; we start with the professional challenges Satoshi faced circa 2008, how he used an incentive system to align the tech with human psychology and economic principles, and the resulting (current-day and potential) applications.”

Louw is a prominent voice within a male-dominated industry and has frequently contributed to the bitcoin conversation with blog posts, eBooks and interviews. Her pieces are always extensively researched, backed up with stats and written to be both authoritative and persuasive

Louw attributes part of her success in navigating these topics is her ability to view the industry as a constantly evolving entity. “When I started working in the cryptocurrency industry, the most enticing promise of Bitcoin was to help you get rich quick,” she said. “Over time, my research showed me that Bitcoin was much more than a speculative asset and that it’s going to play a pivotal role in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the data-driven economy.”

The World Federation of Exchanges calls to address the development of global stablecoins with a taxonomy – and to include crypto-assets

The World Federation of Exchanges (“WFE”), the global industry group for exchanges and CCPs, called for a response to the growth of stablecoins by developing a common taxonomy that would also cover crypto-assets more broadly, creating consistent and common regulatory classifications before they fragment further.

The WFE asked the Financial Stability Board, and other international standard-setting bodies, to generate, adopt and use a global taxonomy as it would drive a common understanding of whether a global stablecoin (GSC) or crypto-asset fits a certain classification or definition. This would reduce the variance between jurisdictions and curb regulatory dissonance. A periodic review of the taxonomy would ensure that forms of GSC and crypto-assets, which have matured and may constitute a new, viable and commonly used product, can be incorporated and regulated accordingly.

Nandini Sukumar, Chief Executive Officer of the WFE said; “We support the overall ambition of seeking to address fragmented regulatory approaches by moving to an outcomes focus, applying the ‘same business, same risk, same rules’ principle; and building on the need for cross-border co-operation in the supervision of global stablecoin, both for wholesale and retail.”

The WFE asked the FSB to consider three areas for further work:

  • Creating classifications via a taxonomy for all GSC and crypto-assets – Application of the recommendations to all crypto-assets
  • Applying the cross-border co-operation recommendations and information-sharing requirements to the supervision of all those trading GSC/crypto-assets
  • Regulators should cooperate to share information on global stablecoins and crypto-assets and also on their issuers and the platforms on which they are traded, the WFE said. Without formalised co-ordinated approaches to enforcement and oversight in general, issues around market integrity and consumer protection will not be fully addressed.

Unilever-backed Covid-19 Wargame developed

Ken Charman, CEO of fintech start-up uFlexReward has developed a wargame/role play simulation for companies to test out different options for restructuring their workforce and the long-term impact of their decisions.

The simulation, backed by Unilever, allows companies to explore creative alternatives to “the usual” cost reduction strategies that rely heavily on redundancies.

Wargames can be used to explore tactical, operational and strategic issues across a business, and encourage players to think innovatively and creatively in a safe to fail environment; identify emerging issues; test hypotheses; assess alternate options and highlight the potential consequences of choices.

Author

  • Gina is a FinTech journalist (BA, MA) who works across broadcast and print. She has written for most national newspapers and started her career in BBC local radio.

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