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Tokenpay Swiss AG has officially confirmed that it has acquired a 9.9 percent stake in WEG Bank AG in partnership with the Litecoin Foundation. The terms of the agreement will also include options to purchase approximately 90% overall of the bank, pending the customary regulatory approval.
Litecoin Foundation and Tokenpay Acquire 10% of German Bank
Tokenpay has revealed that a strategic partnership between it and the Litecoin Foundation has seen the entities acquire an approximately 10% stake in the German financial institution WEG Bank.
According to a press release published by Tokenpay, the deal will see WEG Bank “Provide its world-class technology and marketing expertise to Tokenpay and its several blockchain initiatives,” specifically citing Tpay Cryptocurrency, Efin Decentralized Exchange, Tokensuisse Asset Management, WEG Bank Fintech Platform, and Multisignature Transaction Engine.
The managing director of the Litecoin Foundation, Charlie Lee, praised the partnership, stating: “This partnership is a huge win-win for both Litecoin and Tokenpay. I’m looking forward to integrating Litecoin with the WEG Bank AG and all the various services it has to offer, to make it simple for anyone to buy and use Litecoin. I’m also excited about Litecoin’s support in Tokenpay’s Efin decentralized exchange.”
Mr. Jorg E. Wilhelm, the head of the supervisory board of Tokenpay Swiss AG., stated: “We are elated to be in the process of acquiring a large stake in a successful business bank based in Germany such as WEG. Our ecosystem consisting of the Tpay blockchain, WEG Bank, Tokensuisse and Litecoin Foundation provides us with a tremendous opportunity regarding merchant solutions, along with a strong and diverse customer base for our crypto debit card business. The tangible reality of bridging the gap between the old and new world is electrifying.”
Deal May See Acquisition of 90% of WEG
The terms of the agreement will also include “options to purchase approximately 90% overall of the bank pending the customary regulatory approval.” The release adds that “under German banking law no entity can own more than 9.9% of a bank without regulatory approval.” Tokenpay “plans to exercise its options to acquire the remaining shares of WEG Bank it is entitled to purchase” should approval for such be granted.
Matthias von Hauff, founder, and CEO of WEG Bank AG stated: “The partnership with innovative institutions such as Tokenpay and Litecoin might at first come unexpectedly for a very conservative institution like us. But we have thoroughly and diligently examined the prospects of a common future, and we became convinced that the future of banking will make adoption of such modern payment methods inevitable. We are therefore proud to have teamed up with the best in the field.”
What is your reaction to the acquisition of 9.9% of WEG Bank by the Litecoin Foundation and Tokenpay? Join the discussion in the comments section below!
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Tokenpay, www.weg-bank.de
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The Berlin-based Banking-as-a-Platform (BaaP) institution Solarisbank has recently announced the launch of their new banking service plan that’s focused on clients from the blockchain and digital currency industry. The newly featured resource called the ‘Blockchain Factory,’ will offer financial management services to companies whose business operations deal directly and indirectly with cryptocurrency solutions and blockchain technology.
This German Bank Plans to Provide Special Bank Accounts for Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Companies
Over the past few years as cryptocurrencies have gained in popularity a few companies like exchanges and brokerage services that deal with digital currencies have had issues with their banking providers. Banks and other financial management services have ceased their partnerships with cryptocurrency firms and have closed business accounts making it very difficult for blockchain companies to establish reliable banking partners. Now the German financial tech company, Solarisbank, plans to offer a service called the ‘Blockchain Factory.’ Companies who deal with cryptocurrencies will now have a solid banking colleague who understands the technology.
“The Blockchain Factory will be used by Solarisbank to offer banking services to companies whose business is directly or indirectly based on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology — One example of these services is the ‘Blockchain Company Account’ for the banking business of blockchain companies,” Solarisbank explains.
Furthermore, services for global cryptocurrency marketplaces will be made available to make it easier to buy and sell fiat currencies; such as the Solarisbank ‘Automated Trust Account’, an automated escrow account for cryptocurrency marketplaces.
High Demand from the Blockchain World for a Licensed Banking Partner
Solarisbank has done well since the bank’s inception in March of 2016, and entered a strategic partnership with Mastercard the following October with plans to build new banking modules. Last March, Solarisbank raised $ 70Mn USD in a Series B funding round from firms such as ABN Amro, SBI Group, Visa, BBVA, and Lakestar.
“There is high demand from the blockchain world for a licensed partner that forms the technological and regulatory bridge to traditional banking — as a technology company with a banking license, we are the natural partner,” Roland Folz, the CEO of Solarisbank details.
A Hybrid Future
The financial tech company has started its first partnership with another firm called VPE Bank and the two have plans to provide cryptocurrencies to institutional traders. Moreover, the firm will establish partnerships with cryptocurrency companies that deal with banking and debit cards within their business model.
“The fiat world is not about to dissolve. We are moving towards a hybrid future, in which the blockchain world still has to prove itself,” the CTO of Solarisbank, Peter Grosskopf explains.
However, we see the disruptive power of these business models and we want to help shape the future of this industry.
What do you think about Solarisbank’s new Blockchain Factory banking services? Do you think companies who deal with cryptocurrencies need better banking providers? Let us know your thoughts on this subject in the comment section below.
Images via Shutterstock, and Solarisbank.
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German auto-industry leaders are making the case to the Trump administration that a trade feud with the U.S. will cause irreparable damage to global business.
The chief executive officers of Volkswagen AG, Daimler AG and BMW AG met Wednesday with the U.S ambassador to Germany to discuss looming…
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling conservatives are holding last-ditch talks to defuse an escalating dispute over immigration and avert a breakup of her government as the Interior minister says he will tighten border policing on Monday.
WSJ.com: What’s News Europe
Bitcoin in Brief Wednesday: German Banks Trade Cryptos, US Universities Invest in Crypto Hedge FundsJune 6, 2018 | dailybusinessnews
In today’s Bitcoin in Brief, regulators in Berlin have revealed that at least six German financial institutions are involved in cryptocurrency trading. Also, it has been reported that American universities have started investing in crypto hedge funds. The investments are on a limited scale but nevertheless indicate a growing interest from academic institutions. And, authorities in Belgium warn the public about crypto scams with a “Too good to be true” website.
Financial Authorities in Germany Find Six Institutions Trading Cryptos
At least six financial institutions in Germany trade cryptocurrencies, the country’s Federal Ministry of Finance revealed. The information emerged from an answer to a question filed by Bundestag member Thomas Lutze. The figure is based on findings of the German financial regulator Bafin, which supervises the financial sector and is also expected to monitor crypto trading activities. The banks involved were not named.
There is no case registered with Bafin against financial institutions suspected of any breach of money laundering regulations, due diligence requirements, nor reporting obligations regarding cryptocurrencies, the Bundesfinanzministerium said, quoted by Reuters. Each such institution, which has permission to trade properties, also has the right to set up mechanisms allowing the exchange of bitcoin to euros and vice versa, the ministry noted.
The Finance ministry also said that the issuance of a digital central bank money is currently not an option in the Eurozone, “given the wide range of unresolved issues and significant risks associated with unclear benefits.” According to the report, the Federal government in Berlin does not see crypto-related risks to the stability of the financial markets due to the low market capitalization of cryptocurrencies and the limited interdependence with the financial sector.
East Coast Universities Invest in Crypto Hedge Funds
Academic institutions in the US have started making small investments into cryptocurrency hedge funds, according to a lawyer working in the industry. These universities are getting involved on a limited basis for strategic reasons, the founder of Capital Fund Law Group, John Lore, told Business Insider. “I can’t say the names because that’s attorney-client but we have people mostly on the East Coast that have begun doing investments in this space on a fairly modest basis,” he added.
The New York-based law group specializes in providing legal services to the hedge fund industry. According to Lore, at this point investors are putting in very small percentages of their net worth into these new funds. He doesn’t expect institutional investors, such as pension funds, to invest in crypto soon, with one notable exception – university endowment funds, some of which have already begun to invest on a limited scale. “We see academia as a tie between these somewhat young and enthusiastic fund managers and capital raising,” the lawyer said.
Cryptocurrencies and the underlying blockchain technologies have seen a growing interest from universities. Leading academic institutions, such as Cambridge and Oxford, have introduced crypto and blockchain related courses. In December, the Belarusian National Technical University announced a diploma course covering cryptocurrencies, derivatives, and ICOs, as news.Bitcoin.com reported. In April, the Fundacao Getulio Vargas University in Sao Paulo launched “Brazil’s first Master’s degree in cryptofinance.” It has been reported that North Korea’s Pyongyang University is also offering educational courses on cryptocurrencies.
Belgian Regulators Warn About Crypto Scams with New Website
Financial authorities and regulators in Belgium have launched a website dedicated to warning the public about crypto scams and raising awareness about the associated risks. The move comes in response to substantial increase in interest towards investing in cryptocurrencies and related products. The site, temooiomwaartezijn.be (“Too good to be true”), can also be used to report suspicious offers and projects in the crypto space.
Belgians can find there useful tips on how to avoid fraudulent schemes. The site advises investors to make sure they know who they are dealing with, check if a project is registered as a scam and never share sensitive personal data. Regulators say people should always request clear and understandable information, take their time to critically evaluate an offer before accepting it and be wary of promises of excessive profits. “If the return seems too good to be true, it usually is. Profit is never guaranteed,” they warn.
Scam-related losses of almost €2.2 million have been reported to financial authorities in the country, with at least 118 victims having contacted Belgium’s Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA). Belgian regulators claim only 4% of the cases are reported. According to their estimates, the total financial loss from fraud related to cryptocurrencies amounts to around 130 million euros annually. In March, the financial watchdog published a list of 19 cryptocurrency trading platforms showing signs of fraud. Last month, the FSMA expanded its blacklist including more businesses reported by customers.
What are your thoughts on today’s topics in Bitcoin in Brief? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Trade between Germany and China reached an all-time record last year. But when Chancellor Angela Merkel visits the country this week, she will carry a growing list of concerns from a wary business delegation.
WSJ.com: What’s News Europe
Europe’s largest economy cooled sharply in the first quarter amid a drop in government spending and weak exports – a sign that a stronger euro and global tensions are beginning to leave a mark on the German economy.
WSJ.com: What’s News Europe
A senior German official has urged Macedonia and Greece to resolve a decades-long name dispute that has kept the former Yugoslav republic out of NATO and hindered its efforts to join the European Union.
The same German online news outlet that broke the Savedroid supposed exit scam, turned gotcha publicity stunt, is reporting prosecutors just might have a legal case against the initial coin offering (ICO) outfit.
German Prosecutors Consider Legal Action Against Savedroid
Wirtschafts Woche, the same German source that announced a $ 50 million exit scam by ICO Savedroid, is reporting prosecutors in Frankfurt are examining the “extreme advertising campaign” of the startup. After an elaborate hoax was played on its investors and the public, the company has been doing heavy damage control. According to the online news group, prosecutors have begun a “preliminary investigation.”
A day or so ago, nearly every media outlet in the space ran headlines about tens of millions of dollars ghosted by a brazen ICO founder. He appeared on a beach, Egyptian beer in a frame beside him. Safedroid’s website featured a well-known meme, circumstantially suggesting yet another ICO has orchestrated an exit scam.
But this one seemed off. Veteran journalists, and these very pages, wondered aloud if this wasn’t just a publicity stunt. By later that evening, the site was back up, insisting they were joking and trying to educate the ecosystem about the potential of fraud. “That could have legal consequences for Savedroid now,” the German website stated.
Founder Yassin Hankir released a video statement, asking the public “let me apologize for the drastic campaign.” Indeed, even the company’s Telegram account ghosted during those hours. In situations like these, especially with new investors to whom ICOs are geared, dangerous emotions are often involved, including drastic measures of self harm. Losing considerable sums is no laughing matter, especially if it’s your money.
For Education Purposes
Mr. Hankir continued, “We’ve noticed in the past few months that there are a lot of scams in the industry and we believe this is just the tip of the iceberg. That’s why we wanted to use this very drastic method to show that even we, as a very heavily regulated German company, could easily have run away with all investments.”
Wirtschafts Woche also revealed that indeed police have visited Mr. Hankir to discuss the issue.
Would you invest in Savedroid now? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Sowa Labs, a subsidiary of Boerse Stuttgart, Germany’s second-largest stock exchange, has announced a forthcoming cryptocurrency app. The new app, Bison, is expected to be made available in German during Autumn, with an English version expected soon after.
Boerse Stuttgart Subsidiary Announces Forthcoming App Cryptocurrency Trading
Bison will be made available free of charge and is designed to provide a simple means for investors to gain exposure to the cryptocurrency markets. Sowa Labs has claimed that Bison will be the first cryptocurrency trading app to be backed by a stock exchange, and the first to be released by a German company. Bison states that will not charge additional trading fees.
The managing director at Sowa Labs, Ulli Spankowski stated “Bison makes trading in digital currencies easy. It is the first crypto app in the world to have a traditional stock exchange behind it.”
A prototype for Bison has been presented at Invest in Stuttgart – a German finance and investment trade fair. The German version of Bison is currently scheduled for release in autumn, with Boerse Stuttgart announcing that an English version will be launched later.
The app will initially offer pairings for BTC, ETH, LTC, and XRP, with the company stating that additional crypto assets will be added later.
Sowa Labs Publishes Survey on Cryptocurrencies
Sowa Labs has conducted a survey of 1,019 crypto traders regarding their opinion on virtual currencies. Of the respondents, 81% were male 19% were female, and 54% were thirty-five years-old or younger.
16.9% of respondents confessed to possessing at a single cryptocurrency, whilst a further 18.2% stated that they owned several. The survey against evidence the cryptocurrency space to be male-dominated, with 40.6% of men stating that they have one or more crypto trading accounts, compared to just 11% of women.
More than 80% of respondents opened their first cryptocurrency trading account from 2017 onwards, with 49.1% entering the markets last year. 67.8% of respondents do not trade more often than monthly. Market participants aged over thirty-five trade with higher frequency than their younger counterparts – with 31% of older respondents trading on a weekly basis, and 11.5% making trades at least daily.
Do you think that more mainstream financial institutions will provide cryptocurrency trading apps to their customers? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Bisonapp.de
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