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| September 26, 2018

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Russian space chief: No ‘2nd-tier status’ with NASA outpost

September 22, 2018 |

Russia’s space agency chief said Saturday that it wouldn’t accept a second-tier role in a NASA-led plan to build an outpost near the moon, but Roscosmos spokesman quickly clarified that Russia is still staying in the project.
FOX News

Miniature ‘Space Elevator’ to Be Tested Next Week

September 4, 2018 |

It sounds like something out of a science fiction film, but a very real “space elevator” is being developed by researchers at Japan’s Shizuoka University, and the first test is coming this month. A miniature stand-in for the real thing will be attached to a rocket and launched by Japan’s…
Newser

Defense Companies Run Space Race

August 25, 2018 |

Defense and aerospace companies are accelerating plans to develop new types of missiles and satellites in an effort to capitalize on President Trump’s proposed military branch devoted to space warfare.
WSJ.com: US Business

Boeing to acquire El Segundo small-satellite maker Millennium Space Systems

August 16, 2018 |

Aerospace giant Boeing Co. said Thursday it will acquire Millennium Space Systems of El Segundo, a maker of small satellites, in the latest indication that tiny spacecraft are upending the industry.

Boeing is already well known for its work in assembling school bus-sized satellites in its El Segundo…


L.A. Times – Business

Crypto Cafe and Coworking Space ‘Hash House’ Established in Xi’an, China

August 13, 2018 |

Crypto Café and Coworking Space Hash House Established in Xi'an, China

A new crypto cafe and coworking space, called Hash House, has been established in the city of Xi’an, China. It seems like a cool place to go whether you want to learn about the latest trends, develop your own project, or just grab a coffee for BCH.

Also Read: The Daily: Huobi OTC to Support Dồng, Dymon Asia Backs Crypto Platform

Say Hello to Hash House

Crypto Café and Coworking Space Hash House Established in Xi'an, ChinaHash House is a new crypto-themed cafe and coworking space in the Chinese city of Xi’an, the capital of Shaanxi Province and home of the famous Terracotta Army. After operating under the radar for about a month, the venture is planning to celebrate its official opening with a three-day “Blockchain Carnival” event in late August. Inside the cafe, Hash House have set up a mining exhibit that displays mining hardware and their history, cryptocurrency-themed decorations, and a crypto shop that sells related merchandise such as different hardware wallets from around the globe.

Serving as a crypto community center, Hash House also provides learning materials for free, such as white papers and relevant books. Every week the place will host seminars and meetups about different subjects to share the latest crypto news and trends to locals for free. And the cafe actually serves specialized food and drinks that can be paid for with Bitcoin Cash (BCH). Complementing the public cafe are professional development studios for relevant startups, offering a classroom, multiple meeting rooms, a 2000 square-meter exhibition area and 500 square meters of office space.

Giving Back to the Community

Crypto Café and Coworking Space Hash House Established in Xi'an, ChinaSpeaking with news.Bitcoin.com, the founder of Hash House, Kirk Su, explained the rationale behind the new venture. When he came back to China after graduating from Indiana University, Kirk noticed that actual adoption is still very low in his home country, outside the major coastal cities, compared to what he saw in the West. He was already involved in the crypto mining world for three years at that point and wanted to “give back to his community the culture of bitcoin because that is something that people deserve to know.”

The purpose of Hash House is to introduce new people to the concept of cryptocurrency and educate against any negative perceptions they might have, as the topic is often only reported by the general media regarding scams. And above all, the team will teach newcomers about the utility, history and legacy of Bitcoin Cash, which Kirk explains “is the real Bitcoin.”

By having a team who make Bitcoin-themed swag and drinks, as well as attractions like a Harley Davidson for sale for which the only crypto accepted is BCH, the place exudes a very cool vibe. Kirk explains that this, in addition to the various activities, gives people great photo-taking opportunities for social media, thus promoting Bitcoin Cash from the ground up to new people. And the attraction seems to be working, as the place has only been open for about a month and already people are flying in from all over China just to see it for themselves, Kirk says.

Are you looking forward to grabbing a coffee at Hash House next time you visit Xian? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Hash House.


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The post Crypto Cafe and Coworking Space ‘Hash House’ Established in Xi’an, China appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Many Swiss Bankers and Financial Regulators Quit to Join the Crypto Space

August 6, 2018 |

Many Swiss Bankers and Financial Regulators Quit to Join the Crypto Space

A lot of people in Switzerland have left the traditional financial sector to work in the crypto space, in which the banking nation is now developing a niche market. The Swiss banks don’t show enthusiasm officially, but they massively have interests in dealing with Bitcoin, insiders say.

Also read: Switzerland’s Main Stock Exchange Dives Deep Into Crypto

From Crypto Valley to Crypto Nation

At this year’s G20 finance ministers’ meeting in Buenos Aires, the Swiss Federal Councillor and Finance Minister underlined Switzerland’s position on cryptocurrencies, saying that digital assets offer a great potential for financial services.

The latest Credit Suisse crypto mover is Andrew Peel, efinancialcareers reported, Peel has left Credit Suisse to become head of digital asset markets at Morgan Stanley. He’s not the only one. At least eleven other people at Credit Suisse’s Zurich office have also succumbed to joining the crypto world in the past year, the financial news outlet highlighted, Peel was reportedly the latest to go with that flow.

Switzerland has seen a wave of crypto startup companies rushing into Zurich, Switzerland’s financial capital, and Zug, a Swiss town now commonly known as Crypto Valley, in the past two years. Many Swiss crypto companies are trying to operate like banks but they avoid deploying too much marketing noise, they just deliver, “Swiss style.”

Crypto Finance Group, a company which has an office in Zug and most of its manpower working in a luxury villa in Zurich dubbed “Crypto Villa,” is far from looking like a Silicon Valley garage. The atmosphere in the villa, which news.Bitcoin.com visited, is very much of a Swiss private bank’s. The board of Directors of the Fintech company founded in June 2017, includes Raymond J. Baer, a relative of the Swiss private bank Julius Baer, and Jan Brzezek, formerly Business Manager for the President of UBS Asset Management.

Many Swiss Bankers and Financial Regulators Quit to Join the Crypto Space
Crypto Villa, Zurich

“We [almost] all have a background in finance. Basically what we did is what is standard in the traditional market like equities or FX, with older management systems,” Jan Brzezek, the CEO and founder of Crypto Finance told news.Bitcoin.com in an interview in Zurich. “Our strength lies in the fact that we have tech guys as well as guys who come from the Swiss financial industry. That’s why we can speak with all the large banks and Finma, because we speak the same language,” he added.

Many Swiss banks are prudent nowadays, as they do not want to take reputational or financial risks. “Despite the big crisis that occurred with the issue of the taxation of American assets, Switzerland still represent 25% of the global offshore market. That means Swiss banks manage 25% of all transnational assets, which is enormous for a country that small. Switzerland is strong but humble. There is a lot of talent and know-how in Switzerland for the development of these new technologies and their application to finance,” Yassine Ben Amida, the former market head at Julius Baer, and former head of financial institutions at Credit Suisse, who’s now officially involved in cryptocurrency projects in Switzerland told news.Bitcoin.com in a phone interview in Switzerland. “Switzerland is a very diversified nation, each bank decides which is its activity. And where it wants to go,” he said. 

Why Does Switzerland Attract Cryptocurrency Talent?

From a judicial point of view, many global companies which come to Switzerland look at its judicial stability, Marc Walpoth, a Swiss jurist who formerly worked at the Intensive Supervision of Banks division at Finma from 2014 to 2017, explained. Walpoth is also now fully involved in the crypto business and compliance. “Finma, the Swiss financial market supervisory authority, is very stable with regard to regulations and is rather flexible,” he said, “Finma was created six years ago, it rewrote, and created new laws, however, Swiss banks are completely independent of the government. They decide the activities they wish to undertake, in coherence with the financial regulator. Which is different in many countries,” Walpoth explained. “It would not be acceptable in Switzerland that a Federal Councillor gives an order to banks to accept crypto companies. No politician in Switzerland would do so, and also Finma would not accept it,” he said. “Switzerland is a country were regulators are very flexible and exchange a lot of dialogs with the companies. That’s why we have a lot of entrepreneurs, generally inclined to take risks, because the political and judicial framework is quite flexible. This is deeply rooted in the Swiss culture.”

“We Don’t Need Banks Anymore,” Ex-Swiss Banker Says

Before joining the crypto space, Jan Brzezek worked on innovation projects and proof of concepts, issuing bonds on the Blockchain within UBS. While in charge there, he said he worked on the USC (Utility Settlement Coin) in consortia with other global banks, such as Barclays and Credit Suisse. “Theoretically, you don’t need a bank anymore for many of the tasks they have been performing,” he explained. “The core competence of a bank is to offer clients safekeeping of their assets, so [banks] will now build up custody solutions. The question is not if are they going to do that, but when.” Some believe Switzerland will reach this target by the end of 2018.

Many Swiss Bankers and Financial Regulators Quit to Join the Crypto Space
Jan Brzezek.

Money, Interest, and Clients

“I felt like Alice in Wonderland falling into the rabbit hole when I started to understand Bitcoin,” Brzezek said, “now it’s up to you, if you wish to stay in the traditional world, you are free to believe things will all stay as it is. Magic doesn’t happen when you stay in your comfort zone,” he said. Many bankers chose to adapt to where the money is. “[Banks] put their feet in the water, and they get a bit of experience, then as soon as they understand how it works, they go in, because there’s a lot of money, interests, and clients there.”

In the last 12 months, Finma, Switzerland’s banking and financial regulator has clarified what can be done and what cannot, with crypto. In September 2017 and February this year, Finma published a report clarifying how the Swiss law classifies ICOs. “The interesting point,” says Yassine Ben Amida, the ex-banker, “is that the Swiss have not created a new law, but they made some clarifications on an already existing law,” he explained. Cryptocurrencies, tokens, and ICOs are considered securities, and in Switzerland, to manipulate securities as a broker, the regulator requires a broker’s license, which currently no one has in the crypto industry in Switzerland, he said, but which many in the Swiss crypto space are trying to negotiate with Finma, according to people familiar with the matter.

Swiss Banks Are Quietly Interested in Bitcoin

SIX, the Swiss main stock market, announced they would put in place a market for cryptocurrencies, particularly for all the tokens that are considered as securities. “SIX is owned by all the Swiss banks, so isn’t it interesting to see that despite the lack of enthusiasm towards crypto that the Swiss banks seem to be showing, SIX has acquired the authorization from all of them to build a platform for digital assets?” Yassine Ben Amida told news.Bitcoin.com. “A lot of banks officially say they don’t do crypto, but behind the scenes, in front of their clients they are actually very active,” a source close to the matter said.

The mainstream media often reported that Swiss banks did not support crypto, or that they didn’t give authorization to companies working with ICOs to create corporate accounts. “I don’t think this is really true,” Yassine Ben Amida said, “Switzerland is pretty strict in terms of regulations, particularly in terms of money laundering. But we are seeing a clear ‘professionalization’ in terms of crypto, and banks increasingly started to accept companies working with cryptocurrencies, or ICOs,” he added. There are banks in Geneva and in Zurich that reportedly allow companies with cryptocurrency funds. “This is developing now because there is a will to professionalize the industry,” Ben Amida added.

What do you think of Swiss crypto entrepreneurs trying to acquire Swiss banking licenses? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Crypto Finance Group.


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The post Many Swiss Bankers and Financial Regulators Quit to Join the Crypto Space appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

CNN

See ‘apocalyptic’ wildfires from space

August 6, 2018 |

Wildfires in California continue to rage across the state. CNN’s Nick Watt reports on the latest developments.
CNN.com – RSS Channel – World

Northrop CEO tells Congress cost overruns for new space telescope should not be paid by company

July 26, 2018 |

Northrop Grumman Corp.’s chief executive acknowledged Thursday that the company contributed to launch delays for a next-generation successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, but he balked at a suggestion during a congressional hearing that the defense giant pay for the cost overruns itself.

The exchange…


L.A. Times – Business

PR Specialists in the Russian Crypto Space Paid 10x the Average Salary

July 25, 2018 |

PR Specialists in the Russian Crypto Space Paid 10x the Average Salary

Around 70,000 people are currently employed in the young and growing crypto industry in the Russian Federation. The average salary in the space has fallen by 40 percent this year, along with cryptocurrency prices. Nevertheless, the monthly remuneration for certain skills remains very high for Russian standards.  

Also read Three Russian Universities Add Crypto Courses and Diplomas

Salaries in the Crypto Sector in Russia Fall by 40%

The average monthly payment in the Russian crypto industry has fallen by 40 percent from the 2017 levels, according to data released by the recruiting platform hh.ru and quoted by Izvestia. Employers are generally paying less for securities analysts, project managers and legal experts – 100,000 rubles (~$ 1,600 USD). PR specialists, on the other hand, are still in high demand. Despite that, the salaries offered for these experts have fallen by 50 percent – from 800,000 rubles (>$ 12,000) in December to 400,000 rubles now (>$ 6,000) – still a very high wage for Russian standards.

PR Specialists in the Russian Crypto Space Paid 10x the Average Salary

Experts explain the downward trend with the bearish crypto markets this year and the cooling interest towards cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. Nevertheless, hh.ru reports some 100 new vacancies posted by crypto and blockchain companies in the first half of 2018, which indicates a stable demand for expertise in the sector. Beside PR specialists, fintech businesses are also willing to offer good salaries to tech directors – up to 600,000 rubles ($ 9,500), and software developers – 300,000 rubles (almost $ 5,000).

The average salary in the crypto industry in the first half of this year is estimated at 169,500 rubles ($ 2,700). Towards the end of 2017, it was reaching 292,000 rubles ($ 4,600). In comparison, the directors of various departments in Russian ministries and their deputies receive between 200,000 and 800,000 rubles, or approximately $ 3,000 to $ 12,000 USD. According to Rosstat, the country’s statistical bureau, the average monthly payment in the Russian Federation was 41,800 rubles, or $ 663 USD, as of May 2018.

70,000 Russians Employed in the Crypto Industry

According to the Russian Association of Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain (RACIB), around 70,000 Russians are currently employed by companies operating in the crypto space. Most of them, however, are getting paid in fiat currency. RACIB’s director, Arseniy Shcheltsin, claims the demand for some experts is still growing and their salaries can increase by 10 percent. The average remuneration for programmers and software developers in 2017 was reaching 360,000 rubles per month ($ 5,700), and now it’s between 150,000 and 350,000 rubles ($ 2,400 – $ 5,500 USD).

PR Specialists in the Russian Crypto Space Paid 10x the Average Salary

An important factor that has to be taken into account is the drop in the capitalization of most cryptocurrencies since the beginning of the year that has led to shrinking corporate budgets. The price of bitcoin (BTC) has fallen from its all-time high of almost $ 20,000 in December, 2017 to below $ 6,000 in the first half of 2018. The recent upward trend, however, may change the current situation. Another trend influencing the labor market in the sector, according to experts quoted by Izvestia, is the requalifying of many specialists from other related industries seeking better employment opportunities in the crypto space.

Do you think salaries in the crypto sector will start rising again with crypto prices? Share your expectations in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Michael Novogratz (Twitter).


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The post PR Specialists in the Russian Crypto Space Paid 10x the Average Salary appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Space Officials Put Collaboration on Display at Airshow

July 16, 2018 |

From promoting space tourism to proposing new launch sites to setting up assembly lines to churn out small satellites, corporate and government space officials are pursuing intercontinental collaboration.
WSJ.com: US Business