CRYPTO NEWS

The Cryptocurrency of Switzerland

Month: July 2018

(Español) SEC Rechazado: Dice no a la aplicación de ETF de Bitcoin de gemelos Winklevoss por segunda vez, el precio de BTC cae más de 3.5%

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Swiss Crypto Mining Firm Faces Enforcement Action for Potentially Unauthorized ICO

The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) has launched enforcement proceedings against crypto mining firm Envion AG over its potentially unauthorized token sale, according to a FINMA press release today, July 26.

Swiss-based Envion AG is an off-grid mining company that claims to use decentralized, clean energy to power its mobile mining units, and completed its month-long Initial Coin Offering (ICO) for the EVN token in mid-January this year.

FINMA’s investigation into the case to date suggests that in the context of its ICO, Envion AG accepted approximately 100 million francs (around $100.01 million at the time) from over 30,000 investors in return for issuing EVN tokens “in a bond-like form.”

The regulator clarifies that the proceedings are focused on “possible breaches of banking law resulting from the potentially unauthorized acceptance of public deposits” during the token sale.

While FINMA declines to comment any further on the case until it concludes its proceedings, the Swiss context provides a robust and differentiated framework for ICOs, the most recent version of which was released by FINMA in mid-February of this year –– a month after the conclusion of Envion’s fundraising.

Earlier guidance for domestic ICOs had been published by the regulator in September 2017, which set the precedent that token sale conduct would be considered “case-by-case” –– but notably already indicated that an ICO “generally necessitates” a banking license for accepting public deposits.

Earlier this month, Switzerland was ranked second “most favorable” country worldwide for ICOs, with the U.S. sealing the top spot and Singapore third. The research was based on publicly available data for the number of ICO projects per country which made it onto the ‘Top 100 ICOs’ global list by funds raised.

(Español) PARLAMENTO EUROPEO: CRIPTOMONEDAS “PUEDEN SER UTILIZADAS COMO UNA ALTERNATIVA AL DINERO”

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(Español) MASTERCARD GANA PATENTE PARA SISTEMA HÍBRIDO DE CRIPTOMONEDAS Y DINERO FIDUCIARIO

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(Español) SAE ICO ofrece una solución ecológica para la minería de criptomonedas

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(Español) Qué es la minería de criptomonedas y los dividendos de ingresos.

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Swiss Alps Mining & Energy Gives The ‘Next Generation’ Of Crypto Mining Efficiency

The cryptocurrency mining industry is constantly growing with entrepreneurs and companies having developed successful business models which depend upon this activity, also developing mining farms in a small backyard or in a gigantic industrial sheds. Mining is becoming increasingly complex and expensive as the hardware is evolving to be more and more efficient and mining farms are developed in places with ideal conditions to improve the profitability of cryptocurrency mining. Nowadays, it is an activity that requires expertise with knowledge in multiple topics such as electricity, hardware, networks, cooling, among others.

Currently, there are cryptocurrency mining companies in which you can invest without being a ‘crypto geek’ and without having to invest large amounts of money. Swiss Alps Energy AG (SAE) is launching its own ICO, which will serve as a funding mechanism to allow any potential customer to have access to cryptocurrency mining, either by buying a small portion of mining (hashrate) or to purchase one or more cryptocurrency mining modules with a capacity of up to 100 Bitcoin mining machines each.

SAM Unit 1 being placed, source: swissalpsmining.io

Main features

SAE have developed a sophisticated, mobile, prefabricated and fast-mountable mining farm called ‘Modular Cube System’ (SAM Cubes) available in two sizes.

SAM Cubes’ mining capacities can be rented completely or partially and hosted by SAE, guaranteeing highly energy efficient and cost competitive mining. Customers may also purchase cubes for their own use obtaining the necessary power from SAE and operating the cube on SAE’s premises, or deploy the cube elsewhere.

The SAM Cubes are located in the Swiss Alps, with ideal conditions for natural cooling and renewable energy (at low cost) for mining activity, which reduces the electric cost by 30%.

ICO funds will be used to finance the development and expansion of mining facilities and to acquire holdings in hydropower plants. With the acquisition of hydroelectric plants, the energy will be self-produced, reducing costs drastically in comparison to other mining farms.

SAM Unit 2 workflow, source: swissalpsmining.io

Novelties

The SAM Cubes have a system called Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) which facilitates the process of energy recovery, taking advantage of waste heat generated by the mining process in order to recover energy and decreasing energy consumption by up to 20%.

SAM Cubes are eco-friendly as they have dust-protected mining components, the used energy comes from renewable sources and the heat emitted is used to create its own energy thanks to the ORC system.

The rent or purchase of the SAM cubes, services and energy supply will be paid with their token.

ORC System explained, source: swissalpsmining.io

Token Information

Token name = Swiss Alps Mining

Acronym = SAM

Platform = Ethereum ERC20

Max. Number of tokens = 239,682,538

Cryptocurrencies accepted = Bitcoin, Ethereum

FIAT accepted = yes

Soft cap = $5,000,000

Hard cap = $100,000,000

Token Information

ICO = 165,178,571 – 68.92%

Founders & Partners = 23,968,250 – 10%

Business Angel & Advisors = 19,174,600 – 8%

Pre-ICO = 14,583,333 – 6.08%

Future Contributors = 11,984,125 – 5%

Bounty = 4,793,650 – 2%

SAM token distribution, source: swissalpsmining.io

Funds Usage

Mining facilities / hydropower plants = 60%

Administration / salaries / rents = 18%

Marketing / promotions = 10%

Cube construction = 5%

Development / blockchain / certification = 5%

Legal = 2%

SAM token funds usage, source: swissalpsmining.io

Pre-ICO

Starts = May 29th, 2018

Ends = June 6th, 2018

Token price = $0,30 to $0,40

Min. buy = $5,000

 

NOTE: token price depends on purchase date.

 

ICO

Starts = June 15th, 2018
Close = July 27th, 2018
Token price = $0,50 to $0,80
NOTE: token price depends on purchase date.

The Leading Team

Gian-Carlo Collenberg – CEO, founder

Ramon Simon – CFO, founder

Michael Rava – CMO, founder

Rajasekaran Yogarajah – CTO, founder

 

Competitors

Hydrominer

TerraMiner

Ice Rock Mining

Additional Information

ICO Website

ICO Whitepaper

ICO One pager

ICObench Review

TrackICO Review

BitcoinTalk Forum

Conclusions

SAM is the evolution of the cryptocurrency mining farms in which they combine electrical efficiency, favorable conditions, state-of-the-art technology, eco-friendly mining and a team that has the necessary expertise to carry out the project. All the levels of efficiency that they implement reduce the electric cost up to 50% compared to other mining farms, which is a great advantage since the electric cost is the highest cost in the mining activity of cryptocurrencies, allowing the cryptocurrency mining industry to become both more sustainable and more profitable.

 

 

Here’s what it’s like to visit ‘Crypto Valley’ — Switzerland’s picturesque blockchain version of Silicon Valley

Lake Zug.
Lake Zug. Oscar Williams-Grut/Business Insider

ZUG, SWITZERLAND – Cryptocurrencies and related-crypto technology have become one of the hottest areas of investment and entrepreneurial activity over the last few years, with billions invested in the sector.

Crypto technology, sometimes called distributed ledger technology or blockchain, could potentially drive efficiencies in existing businesses and create new business opportunities by cutting out middlemen and decentralizing services. Many evangelists liken its game-changing potential to that of the internet.

Despite its decentralizing drive, development of the technology has tended to cluster around certain locations: Silicon Valley, New York, Malta, Gibraltar, Singapore, and Switzerland are all key hubs.

Switzerland is home to “Crypto Valley,” a cluster of companies and foundations in the small town of Zug just outside of Zurich.

Business Insider travelled to Zug last week for the Crypto Valley Conference to find out how the hub developed, how significant it is, and why companies are choosing Switzerland. Here’s what we found:

Zug is around an hour outside of Zurich by train.
Zug is around an hour outside of Zurich by train. Google Maps

Zug is a small town about an hour outside of Zurich with a population of around 30,000. The city traditionally centred around agriculture and heavy industry but more recently has become a hotspot for pharmaceutical and medical companies. Shire, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson all have offices here.

Many multinationals are attracted by Zug’s low tax. The region – or “Canton” as it’s known in Swiss parlance – charges just 14% corporation tax. It’s one of the region’s many business-friendly policies.

The view from the train from Zurich to Zug.
The view from the train from Zurich to Zug. Oscar Williams-Grut/Business Insider

Zug is too small to have its own airport so to get there you have to fly into Zurich and get the train. The trains run right from the airport and depart pretty regularly.

The journey took about an hour but there are quicker trains if you time it right. The views are pretty stunning along the route: lush countryside, clear lakes, and picture-postcard houses lining the valleys.

The double-decker train in the station at Zug.
The double-decker train in the station at Zug. Oscar Williams-Grut/Business Insider

The trains to Zug are double-decker. These tend to be relatively common in central Europe. Here’s the train I was travelling on pulled into Zug station.

The trains to Zug are double-decker. These tend to be relatively common in central Europe. Here’s the train I was travelling on pulled into Zug station.

The layout of Zug.
The layout of Zug. Google Maps

The town itself is very small and largely centred around one road that stretches from the business district in the north to the old town in the south. People have been living in the area since 600 AD, although none of the buildings in the old town are that old.

A flag set out for the Crypto Valley Conference in central Zug.
A flag set out for the Crypto Valley Conference in central Zug. Oscar Williams-Grut/Business Insider

I arrived a day before the conference kicked-off and walked around the town to get a sense of the place. Given the nickname Crypto Valley, I had expected to find shops accepting bitcoin or perhaps even selling crypto merch but it took a while to find any signs of crypto. There were a few flags advertising the upcoming conference but that was about it. Overall, the place felt pretty sleepy.

A luxury car dealership in Zug.
A luxury car dealership in Zug. Oscar Williams-Grut/Business Insider

There was clearly money in the town, though. There were two luxury car dealerships opposite each other on either side of the main road. The sound of high-performance engines punctuated the Swiss calm every so often too as people drove their expensive cars around the town centre.

A view of Zug's old town from the lake.
A view of Zug’s old town from the lake. Oscar Williams-Grut/Business Insider

On the first day I met Jon, the COO of Shapeshift, a cryptocurrency exchange based in the town. (Shapeshift doesn’t disclose the second names of any of its employees for fear of phishing attacks.)

Jon said Shapeshift chose to incorporate in Zug back in 2014 because of the clear stance that it took on cryptocurrency.

“We knew that crypto was a very new thing and various regulators might view it in different ways,” he said. “We wanted to find an environment where we thought it would generally be friendly. We identified Zug, and Switzerland in general, as a place that was open to this type of innovation in this space and we thought it was a good place to set up shop.”

Bitcoin Suisse founder Nikolas Nikolajsen.
Bitcoin Suisse founder Nikolas Nikolajsen. Oscar Williams-Grut/Business Insider

Back in 2014, it was unusual for governments and regulators to open to crypto. Silk Road, the infamous dark web marketplace powered by bitcoin, had only just been shut down by the FBI and crypto exchange MtGox had just collapsed after a catastrophic hack.

Later I learned why Zug was so early to embrace crypto. It was largely because of one man: Nikolas Nikolajsen. Danish-born developer Nikolajsen worked at Credit Suisse in Switzerland before leaving to set up crypto services company Bitcoin Suisse in 2013.

“There were a lot of conversations between the founder [of Bitcoin Suisse] and the government – what is this, what is that?” Bitcoin Suisse CEO Arthur Vayloyan told me. “He was very active in consulting and educating. Many knowledgeable people today know their thing because they were privileged to have [Niklas] as an initiator. He understood.”

A Ferrari outside a dealership in Zug.
A Ferrari outside a dealership in Zug. Oscar Williams-Grut/Business Insider

After discussions with Nikolajsen and others, Zug put in place clear guidance as to how it would treat cryptocurrency companies and those that dealt with the assets.

“I think clarity, in general, is a good thing for the space,” Shapeshift’s Jon said. “Whatever rules you want to make, at least be clear about them. The Swiss model has generally been pretty good about that.”

The old town in Zug.
The old town in Zug. Oscar Williams-Grut/Business Insider

The new rules helped attract the team behind ethereum, the second biggest cryptocurrency by value, to Zug. The Ethereum Foundation, which promotes and supports the cryptocurrency, is based in Zug and Bitcoin Suisse helped advise the group on its initial coin offering (ICO) in 2014.

“The whole starting point was the Ethereum Foundation,” Oliver Bussmann, president of the Crypto Valley Association, told Business Insider. “They decided to set up the foundation here and that triggered the set up of a new ecosystem – law firms, tax, accounting, smart contract evolvement firms, startups, universities.”

The UBS offices in Zug.
The UBS offices in Zug. Oscar Williams-Grut/Business Insider

The Crypto Valley Association was set up at the beginning of 2017 to coordinate all these interested parties.

“There were a lot of informal meet-ups and they had the name already crypto valley,” said Bussmann, who was formerly UBS’ CIO. As well as being a reference to Silicon Valley, Zug actually is in a valley, surrounded by mountains.

Bussmann said: “We are a global leading ecosystem for blockchain technology. To establish that you have to work on all dimensions: startups, investors, governments, corporations, R&D etc. You have to bring them together.”

Zug is a big producer of kirsch, the cherry brandy.
Zug is a big producer of kirsch, the cherry brandy. Oscar Williams-Grut/Business Insider

Today, over 400 companies with a presence in Zug are members of the association. They range from startups to “Big Four” accountant KPMG. Bussmann says last year’s ICO boom supercharged the organisation.

“This country is really good from an innovation perspective,” he said. “But there are not enough VC companies here locally. The government was always thinking about providing a fund, something like that. But now with the ICO, we have access to a global capital market.”

ICOs allow startups to sell digital crypto tokens to investors globally through the internet. 2017 saw an explosion in ICO activity and over $9 billion has been raised through ICOs so far this year alone.

A sign outside of the Crypto Valley Labs coworking space in Zug.
A sign outside of the Crypto Valley Labs coworking space in Zug. Oscar Williams-Grut/Business Insider

I visited the Crypto Valley Labs on the afternoon of my first day. The Labs are a coworking space for startups, set over two floors in a building in the business district. Jon and the Shapeshift team were huddled in the garden attached to the building when I visited.

Labs was founded at the start of 2018 and already has over 40 paying members. Many use the space as a place to work when they’re in town rather than being based there full-time. The space has been such a success that it is expanding to take up two more floors later this year.

A bitcoin ATM inside of the Crypto Valley Labs coworking space.
A bitcoin ATM inside of the Crypto Valley Labs coworking space. Oscar Williams-Grut/Business Insider

There was a bitcoin ATM in the cafe area of Crypto Valley Labs. As part of its crypto-friendly stance, Zug has begun accepting bitcoin as a form of payment for certain municipal services, although not taxes. The city is also experimenting with allowing municipal voting using blockchain, the technology that underpins bitcoin.

The pre-conference party at the Sky Lounge.
The pre-conference party at the Sky Lounge. Oscar Williams-Grut/Business Insider

The conference held a drinks event for attendees on the first night at the Sky Lounge, a bar that overlooked the town. Around 80 people gathering first downstairs outside then heading to the bar. I chatted to an Oxford Professor looking at using blockchain to track social impact, a Swiss CEO whose company makes secure storage tech for crypto, and someone who advised people on ICOs, among others. Everyone was chatty and excited.

A sticker reading "Bitcoin accepted here" is placed at the entrance of the Stadthaus town hall in Zug.
A sticker reading “Bitcoin accepted here” is placed at the entrance of the Stadthaus town hall in Zug. REUTERS/Arnd WiegmannREUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

Waiting for the elevator on the way out an ethical hacker stopped to congratulate two guys in their early 20s standing next to me.

“My staff love you guys, they’ve got your stickers,” the hacker said.

Down at ground level, I asked what the pair were working on. They were the cofounders of Aragon, a crypto-based platform to build decentralized organisations on top of. They couldn’t stay to chat – one had to find his Uber nearby, while the other left on a skateboard.

The entrance to the Crypto Valley conference.
The entrance to the Crypto Valley conference. © Oliver Hochstrasser/Crypto Valley Association

The conference began the next day. Consensus in New York is the biggest and best-known crypto conference and this year’s event generated headlines of fake banker protestsrented Lamborghinis, and raucous after parties.

The Crypto Valley Conference was held at Zug’s Theatre and Casino and I was hoping there would be similar stories – the crypto casino! – but the conference was a sober and serious affair by comparison.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) certified the event and, as such, it was much more academic than other crypto conferences. Attendees were genuinely passionate about the technology and its potential, rather than simply seeing it as a money-making opportunity.

Crypto Valley merch.
Crypto Valley merch. Oscar Williams-Grut/Business Insider

The Mayor of Zug, a representative of the government’s economy department, and a Swiss federal councillor all spoke on the first day, underlining the level of political support for the industry.

“The city of Zug, they see this as fantastic brand building,” Bussmann said. “Now we have regular strategic meetings with the canton of Zug. It’s a new business.”

Luis Cuende, one of the cofounders of Aragon I had seen the night before, appeared on a panel alongside a representative from the Swiss central bank. The moderator joked that it was the first event he had done where one person was in shorts and another in a tie. You can probably guess who was wearing what.

The main hall at the Crypto Valley Conference.
The main hall at the Crypto Valley Conference. © Oliver Hochstrasser/Business Insider

The two-day conference covered everything from more energy efficient methods of certifying cryptocurrency transactions to how the technology could apply to the internet of things, how the legal world is dealing with the new sector, and how high-frequency trading could impact crypto.

Aragon, Bitcoin Suisse, and Shapeshift all had booths at the conference, as did Melonport, another notable crypto company based in Zug. Melonport was founded by a former Goldman Sachs banker and is building a blockchain-based asset management system.

The cruise on Lake Zug.
The cruise on Lake Zug. Oscar Williams-Grut/Business Insider

The first day of the conference ended with a boat trip on Lake Zug for all the attendees. If there was going to be any crypto raucousness, surely this is where it would happen. But the crowd were as well behaved after hours as they were at the main event. Groups talked about the beauty of bitcoin as an idea, its business applications, and continued to crunch through thorny development problems.

The view from the boat on Lake Zug.
The view from the boat on Lake Zug. Oscar Williams-Grut/Business Insider

Zug had been in the headlines that week after a long Wired article about issues at troubled crypto startup Tezos, which was based in Zug. Most people just dismissed it as a freakish and unusual tragedy in the space rather than anything that should reflect on Zug.

“I think that has much more to do with the specific people involved than it does the space or even Zug itself,” Shapeshift’s Jon told me. “I think that’s just kind of coincidental.”

The cruise on Lake Zug.
The cruise on Lake Zug. Oscar Williams-Grut/Business Insider

Shapeshift’s Jon was full of praise for the regulators and governments in Switzerland for helping to foster the sector.

“I would love to see the Swiss model replicated elsewhere,” he said.

Bitcoin Suisse’s Vayloyan said: “Zug is definitely a great place to do business because you have this network, you have the government who supports it. You sense it, you sense that there is support in the crypto sphere. They are playing it very well.”

The boat docked on Lake Zug.
The boat docked on Lake Zug. Oscar Williams-Grut/Business Insider

“There is really a feeling that there is a lot of innovation happening right here in Zug and with companies in Zug,” Shapeshift’s Jon had told me. “Ever since we set up here, more and more companies are coming here because they see it as a friendly place to do business.”

Heinrich Zetlmayer, a general partner at Zurich-based Blockchain Valley Ventures, told me: “I am just very impressed by the quality of some of the startups here and the dynamic here. There are so many what I would call industrial blockchain startups here – it keeps us very busy.”

A sign at the Crypto Valley conference.
A sign at the Crypto Valley conference. © Oliver Hochstrasser/Crypto Valley Association

“It is in reality not just about legislation and taxes,” Zetlmayer said. “It’s a good place to be that makes your startup faster. What was Silicon Valley before you know? That had all the ingredients and ‘voom’ things were running faster.

“Here in Zug, we are all very quick talking to each other. And it is big enough that there is a critical mass. We somehow have a lot of things going for us. It makes it a unique place.”

The entrance to the conference.
The entrance to the conference. © Oliver Hochstrasser/Crypto Valley Association

Bussmann is so pleased with the success of Crypto Valley in Zug that he is now talking about marketing Switzerland as a “crypto nation.” The association already has some members even beyond the countries borders in Milan.

“We have about 15 requests per day for startup coaching, investor tours, government ambassadors want to talk to us, regulators are calling because we have these frameworks,” he said.

Original source: businessinsider.es

Comienza una era: la bolsa de Suiza lanza su propia casa de cambio de criptomonedas

  • SIX, propietario y operador de la bolsa de valores suiza, lanza una casa de cambios de criptomonedas totalmente regulada.
  • Este movimiento se produce a pesar de la caída de los precios y los volúmenes de criptografía desde principios de año.
  • “Está muy claro que gran parte de lo que está ocurriendo en el espacio digital ha llegado para quedarse”, dijo el CEO Jos Dijsselhof.

SIX, la compañía propietaria y operadora de la bolsa de valores suiza, anunció el viernes su plan de lanzar una casa de cambio de criptomonedas totalmente regulada, mostrando interés institucional en el sector pese a la caída de los precios.

 

El nuevo SIX Digital Exchange será supervisado por el banco nacional suizo y el regulador suizo FINMA, dijo la compañía. Suiza ha sido una de las jurisdicciones más favorables a las criptomonedas en Europa, con reguladores que ofrecen una orientación clara sobre cómo esperan que operen las empresas de cripto.

Lee más: Pierden medio millón de criptomonedas y acusan al informático

La decisión de SIX de lanzar una casa de cambio de criptomonedas se produce pese al colapso en su valor y la disminución de los volúmenes desde principios de año. Bitcoin, el mayor activo cripto por valor de mercado ha caído de los 20.000 dólares de principios de año a poco más de 6.600 dólares el jueves.

“Este es el comienzo de una nueva era para las infraestructuras de los mercados de capitales”, dijo Jos Dijsselhof, CEO de SIX, en un comunicado. “Para nosotros, está claro que gran parte de lo que ocurre en el espacio digital está aquí para quedarse y definirá el futuro de nuestra industria”.

Inversores y empresarios del sector dicen que los inversores institucionales están preparando la infraestructura necesaria para entrar, estableciendo cuentas de negociación y soluciones de custodia a puertas cerradas. Uno de ellos describió la oleada de actividad como “preparándose para septiembre”, refiriéndose a un mes típicamente asociado a altos volúmenes de operaciones post-verano.

La nueva plataforma de SIX, cuya puesta en marcha está prevista para el primer semestre del próximo año, ofrecerá servicios integrales de negociación, liquidación y custodia de activos digitales como bitcoin y tokens ICO.

Thomas Zeeb, jefe de valores y bolsas de SIX, dijo en un comunicado: “El espacio digital se enfrenta actualmente a una serie de retos clave. Esto incluye la ausencia de una reglamentación que garantice la seguridad, la protección, la estabilidad, la transparencia y la rendición de cuentas de los funcionarios, todo lo cual contribuye a la falta de confianza”.

Zeeb destacó la custodia de los activos digitales como un tema clave y dijo que SIX resolvería este problema a través de su papel como “proveedor de infraestructura reconocido y regulado que proporciona todos los pasos de la cadena en un modelo integrado y seguro”.

Business Insider recientemente destacó el problema de la custodia como barrera clave para los inversores de capital de riesgo y otros inversores institucionales que buscan entrar.

Por separado, el jueves, la casa de cambio estadounidense Bittrex anunció una empresa conjunta con Invest.com para construir una nueva plataforma en la UE. Itai Avneri, portavoz de Invest.com, dijo: “Nuestro objetivo es convertirnos en la plataforma de mayor reputación de la UE y, más tarde, de numerosos países de todo el mundo”.

 

Fuente original: businessinsider.es

  • Si te gusta minar criptomonedas ?
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(Español) Presentación online de la minería de Swiss Alps Mining

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