Bitcoin news: First DLT and Blockchain Professor at the University of Basel

Distributed ledger technology with decentralized transaction systems can fundamentally change the financial world. The Rectorate of the University of Basel has appointed economist Fabian Schär as assistant professor in order to strengthen research in this field.

Bitcoin news: This endowed professorship will be financed by Credit Suisse Asset Management AG

With Bitcoin news Fabian Schär, the University of Basel receives its first “endowed professor for innovative financial technologies” with a focus on distributed ledger technology and FinTech according to the Bitcoin news. As can be seen in the press release of the University of Basel, this professorship is financed by Credit Suisse Asset Management AG.

Prof. Dr. Fabian Schär is currently Managing Director of the “Center for Innovative Finance” CIF Research Unit at the Faculty of Economic Sciences of the University of Basel. His research focuses on applications based on blockchain technology, such as smart contracts, the conversion of assets into blockchain-based units and other aspects of distributed ledger technology (DLT). In 2017, Schär received his doctorate with one of the first scientific publications on digital means of payment and capital investments, which combines economics, cryptography and computer science. (This was later published under the title “Bitcoin, Blockchain und Kryptoassets”). Dr. Fabian Schär to BTC-ECHO:

To the best of my knowledge, this is the first university professorship that was created specifically for the subject of distributed ledgers and block chains. It is a great honor to take up this position and I am pleased to be able to continue my research and knowledge transfer in blockchain technology. I am convinced that the topic Blockchain must be considered holistically. Therefore it is one of my great goals to further promote interdisciplinarity in teaching and research. The University of Basel offers six blockchain lectures and seminars, all of which combine economic aspects with cryptography and computer science. We go deep into the technical details of the protocols and programming. Altogether more than 600 students have already attended blockchain lectures at the University of Basel and we are thinking of launching our own specialization for the master’s programme. In addition, there are some interesting research projects in the pipeline, but I can’t give any details about them yet. What I can reveal, however, is that several doctoral positions will be advertised in the next few weeks. This is intended to expand the team and further expand research and teaching.

The “Credit Suisse Asset Management Switzerland Professorship for Distributed Ledger Technology/Fintech” will be established as an assistant professorship (without tenure track) at the Faculty of Economic Sciences for five years from September 1, 2018.

University of Basel promises connection between research and practice

The professorship is dedicated to the research of distributed ledger technologies. It examines the use and application possibilities in the financial markets and industry as well as the possible effects of these technological innovations on society. The professorship is to play a central role in teaching and research in the autumn semester of 2018.

Interview with Dr. Fabian Schär
Already in May we met Fabian Schär together with Aleksander Berentsen for an interview. They told us why the Bitcoin will prevail, why the era of cash is coming to an end and why Fiat currencies are only a bubble. Read more here:

Gold chain meets the news spy: Canada’s largest jeweller accepts Bitcoin

The Canadian Birks Group, the largest jewellery manufacturer and seller by its own account, now accepts Bitcoin as its means of payment. Bitcoin payments will be processed by the US crypto payment service provider BitPay.

Bling, bling: In Canada, customers in selected branches of the Birks jewelry chain can now pay with BTC. The company announced this in a press release on November 27. Initially, however, the service will only be available in eight of Birks’ 26 stores.

Jean-Christophe Bédos, President and CEO of Birks Group, is open to the new technology: “As a growing international brand, we believe BitPay will benefit our customers.”

BitPay-CCO Sonny Singh also refers to the news spy about our international clientele:

“Bitcoin’s acceptance will help Birks Group serve its international high-end customers and attract the news spy, while providing an innovative and secure payment method”. Read more about it:

Most Birks branches with Bitcoin acceptance points are located in Vancouver and Montreal. In addition to jewelry, Birks Group also sells other luxury products such as watches from Rolex, Breitling, Bulgari and other high-priced brands.

Second strike for BitPay

This step shows that the view of the crypto currency is slowly changing in Canada. A year ago, the focus of Canadian crypto friends was clearly on the investment aspect. Even if the Bitcoin acceptance in the luxury segment means at most a small step for the mass adaptation of crypto currencies – the fact that Birk has chosen Bitcoin & Co. as a payment option despite the bear year is a good sign.

For the crypto payment service provider BitPay this week is already the coup in North America. As BTC-ECHO only reported on 26 November, the US state of Ohio also wants to fall back on BitPay. There, companies can already pay various taxes to the tax authorities in BTC. Ohio also plans to give citizens the opportunity to pay taxes in Bitcoin in the medium term.

The German Bundestag is also increasingly dealing with Bitcoin and Blockchain. In a blockchain hearing the demand for a “Marshall Plan” for Germany became loud. More information about the current state of the Blockchain ecosystem in Germany can be found here.

Tether: USDT can be exchanged for Bitcoin loophole again – but not for everyone

Tether now enables USDT in US dollars to be exchanged again on its own platform. The decision was made during the redesign of the platform. But not every investor can exchange his stable coins for fiat money.

The report by the law firm Freeh, Sporkin & Sullivan (FSS), which is still emblazoned on the Tether home page and is supposed to confirm Tether’s US dollar stock, did not help either. Here, too, personnel links between the FSS and one of the tether banks ensured that doubts about the stability of the stable coin remained. The fact that the exchange of USDT for USD at a ratio of 1:1 did not have to take place via the tether platform but via the Bitfinex crypto exchange was a gift. At least on this point, however, there is good news for the holders of USDT tokens.

Prerequisite: Bitcoin loophole wallet

As the company recently announced, it is once again possible to exchange your USDT for Bitcoin loophole directly at Tether. Provided you have a full Bitcoin loophole wallet. Only those can make use of the new option who want to deposit or withdraw at least 100,000 US dollars with Tether. Thus, the offer is clearly tailored to professional investors. The fees for US dollar deposits and withdrawals are between 0.4 and 3 percent, but at least 1,000 US dollars. A maximum of one withdrawal per week in US dollars is allowed.

The fee structure for USDT and Fiat transactions on the Tether Platform

The fact that the exchange can now again take place directly at Tether is explained by the company as ‘strengthening [its] banking business’, which was accompanied by the switch to Deltec Bank. However, the tether exchange rate is still struggling with the US dollar parity.

Tether is undoubtedly one of the crypto companies that have made the most wind this year. To the disappointment of the company (and the USDT holder), most of these were shitstorms that were fed by doubts about the company’s US dollar reserves. Questionable personnel connections between Tether, their former bank Noble and the crypto exchange Bitfinex reinforced fears that Tether might not have one US dollar in his account for every USDT.

Between a gaming library and a regulated stock exchange: this is how crypto trader work

The wish is not new: regulated crypto financial products that allow a broad investor base access to Bitcoin & Co. via a securities custody account. Whether it’s a convenient order via WKN or management by a third party without having to worry about private key and wallet. Many reasons are given for purchasing regulated and centrally managed crypto products.

In order to meet this demand, many financial service providers are trying to bring products onto the market. The problem is that financial assets are only of limited use. Why this is the case and why today more than ever a “real” mutual fund is needed. Apart from the fact that the central management of crypto assets via a bank contradicts the actual Be-Your-Own-Bank-Narrativ of Bitcoin, many do not want to or cannot take over the management of their tokens themselves by direct purchase.

Institutional clients, in particular, are often tied their hands in this respect, insofar as they can only fall back on regulated financial products. For example, the alternative investment funds (AIFs) from Blockwall or Postera, which are regulated under EU law, have been created exclusively for institutional clients. The reason is simple: in order to increase the chances of admission, small investors are excluded. For this reason, so far only institutional crypto funds have managed to obtain approval from the authorities. In addition, these funds are comparatively expensive and – compared with an ETF or classic mutual fund – inflexible. Due to a lack of alternatives, some customers nevertheless accept the often suboptimally designed products.

Welcome to the world of crypto trader

What did crypto trader do when they had no access to real coffee in historically difficult times? They drank so-called Mukkefuck, i.e. inferior substitute coffee. The situation is similar with crypto trader. Since no ETF has yet been created and there is no actively managed public crypto fund from a Deka, DWS or Union Investment, less sophisticated crypto financial products are issued by less established financial institutions.

Instead, the private investor quickly stumbles across CFDs, i.e. contracts for difference, which are aggressively advertised by the relevant providers via banner advertising. This may be interesting for the loss-proven daytrader, but not for the average investor, who simply wants to put some money into Bitcoin & Co.

ETP, ETN etc.

Furthermore, so-called ETNs, i.e. Exchange Traded Notes, which represent Bitcoin, have been around for quite some time. In contrast to ETFs, however, these ETNs are legally designed as debt securities. This means that the underlying assets do not have to be acquired physically, nor do they offer extra investor protection as special assets. New this week is the Amun Krypto Basket Index in the form of a generally held ETP. ETP is only the generic term for exchange-traded index fund constructions such as ETN, ETC, ETF, etc. ETPs are not the only ETPs.

As laudable as it is that regulated stock exchange products are designed by hook or by crook, one must nevertheless state that these products only reach a very small circle of investors. Too unclear is their structure, too little investor protection. Pubertal nuances such as the company name under the ticker symbol HODL do not make the investment offer any rounder either. On the contrary: as a serious investor, you don’t want to feel like you’re in a game library at the main station. The subject of investment still has a serious character in 2018.

Cryptosoft 2020 – Two ideologies meet each other

How much of the backend of financial applications should be based on the blockchain – so the question that determined a small dispute at the Money2020 conference. This dispute also points to a great need for discussion on this issue.

Despite broad agreement on the principle of blockchain applicability in the cryptosoft industry, splits occurred

Emmanuel Aidoo of Credit Suisse challenged Yolanda Goettsch of Nasdaq by postulating that cryptosoft could address the inefficient sides of the stock markets. Goettsch himself argued that the market is already “very liquid” and “very stable” – in contrast to Judd Bagley, head of tØ, an Overstock subsidiary.

According to Goettsch, it would not be enough for cryptosoft to reduce the settlement time to ten minutes – which is feasible according to tØ. Although such an improvement is certainly noteworthy and desirable in the long term, it would not compensate for the effort involved in converting all processes.

“If you have to pre-verify the existence of values and money, that changes everything. That’s not how the markets work at the moment. The processing time may be long, but it is currently being used to guarantee that all regulatory processes have been implemented and that all market players have been taken along.

On the other hand, Bagley replied that the new technology would do well to remove unnecessary players from the market. This argument was put forward somewhat polemically because he suspected a certain bias among financial institutions.

“Yes, many people will lose their jobs in technological change. But here we are talking about the people who are slowly becoming part of Wall Street’s inventory. tØ is located in Utah, far away from Wall Street – so we don’t care much about historical things. We’d rather burn down and then rebuild.”

Bagley then got lost in the statement that with the Blockchain events like the Flash Crash of 2010 would have been impossible.

Aidoo was the moderator of this debate

In his opinion, the adaptation of the blockchain in financial markets will be gradual and will first ensure that trades are completed on the same day and not three days later. Some stakeholders like the high frequency traders are already working on blockchain pilot projects. Credit Suisse itself is investigating how to strike a balance between the challenges of implementing the blockchain and the benefits.

Aidoo himself believes that the blockchain leads to a rethink of the existing processes and expressed this somewhat polemically:

“We can start by deleting words like clearing from our vocabulary.”

Stumbling blocks on the way
Later, Jacob Farber of R3 explained how the debated problems had so far ensured that there was hardly any cooperation between open source blockchain startups and traditional financial companies.

With his comment Jacob Farber has also described the role of R3 as evangelist for the blockchain. For example, R3 provided large banks with a sandbox for testing the new technology using the examples Ethereum and Ripple.

There was a great deal of agreement in all discussions on one thing: that there are inefficient sides to the current financial system and that interest in the blockchain can help to find solutions here.

Scott Robinson, the Fintech director of Plug and Play, explained how the Blockchain is attracting more and more interest from large companies:

“Three years ago, I talked to some Exxon Mobil executives. And a year ago they started looking at the blockchain.”

Ethereum: Reasons for the Bitcoin secret

The Ethereum price has risen by more than 500% since the beginning of the year. Here are some possible reasons for the rapid rise:

What are the reasons for the Bitcoin secret and the Ethereum price?

Ethereum and the Bitcoin secret, the crypto token of the Ethereum platform, has gained enormous popularity in the digital currency industry in recent weeks. Not least because the value of the digital currency and the Bitcoin secret has increased by more than 500% since January. In January, an ETH was worth just 0.00212 BTC. Mur 1.5 months later, the value was already 0.01101 BTC. Highest value to date: 0.0177 BTC.

Tutorial: Setting up Ethereum Wallet and receiving & managing Ethereum Coins

Investing in the future
Ethereum is one of the really valuable platforms. Many industries are currently moving in the direction of blockchain technology. Here Ethereum is very well positioned with applications such as Smart Contracts and process automation. Ethereum is perfect for such applications. With the increasing number of applications on the Ethereum platform, the demand for Ethereum will increase and so will the price.

The demand determines the price
Even though a large part of the Ethereum investment is based on the future potential of the token, others simply follow the trend. The growing demand for certain digital currencies serves as an indicator of the potential of the technology (even if it proves to be wrong). No matter why people invest in Ethereum, it drives up demand.

Faltering confidence in Bitcoin

It is rumored that the ongoing Bitcoin Blocksize debate also contributes to the Ethereum upswing. Although difficult to prove, it currently appears that the statement contains at least a spark of truth. In just 24 hours, Ethereum worth 60,000 BTC has been traded over the past few weeks. On social networks, hitherto unknown people send n´Nachrichten to people interested in Bitcoin and say Ethereum is a good alternative to Bitcoin.

This statement may be correct against the background of the investment, technologically and against the background of the goals, but both technologies pursue completely wrong. Both technologies pursue two completely different goals.

Positive headlines
Ethereum has received very positive press in recent months and weeks. In addition, many companies and organisations have announced their support for the platform.

More importantly, Ethereum is entering a new phase. The platform will probably release a new version soon. Homestead will then replace the Frontier version. This is an important step for Ethereum as the Homestead version will be much more stable than the previous beta version.

Also the availability of Etehreum Coins (ETH) will probably increase strongly. Many platforms for trading digital currencies have already announced an integration. This will increase ETH/BTC and ETH/Altcoin trading.

Augur, the Ethereum prediction platform, will also be launched soon, as will a large number of startups and companies that want to provide smart contract solutions.

Is the growth sustainable?
On 12 February, Ethereum reached a high of 0.0177 BTC and corrected shortly thereafter with a small price drop. Even if the share price may calm down a little or even fall further, it is very likely that we will see new highs in the future and the share price will continue to gain stability. So maybe we can’t talk about sustainable growth in the short term, but in the long run we can in view of market support.

The Future of Bitcoin Development: BitMEX Saws at the Chair of Bitcoin Core

Bitcoin Core: It is well known that competition stimulates business. This must have been what the employees of the research department of the BitMEX crypto exchange must have thought when they started to set up their own client for the further development of Bitcoin. With the new client, BitMEX wants to demonstrate that the supposed dominance of the Bitcoin core implementation is not carved in stone.

Bitcoin Core is still the most common implementation of Bitcoin. More than 95 percent of nodes on the network use Bitcoin Core, which is based on Satoshi Nakamoto’s original reference code. BitMEX’s research department has now investigated how to increase competition in development without compromising the crypto currency through events such as chain splits.

More than 9 out of 10 nodes run with Bitcoin formula

BitMEX first analyzed which forms of competition exist in the further development of the protocol like this According to the analysis of the Crypto Exchange, projects competing with Bitcoin formula can largely be divided into two categories:

Competition between different chains

This category includes software projects that provide new rules for consensus building for existing implementations of the protocol. These can be soft and hard forks. An example of competing chains is the Bitcoin ABC vs. Bitcoin SV debate at BCH. BitMEX describes this approach as “risky”, as it can possibly lead to a chain split. This is also feared by BCH. Other examples of this approach are Bitcoin UASF and BTC Classic.

Competition between independent implementations
Another approach is to implement the Bitcoin Core protocol on a new code basis. This re-implementation must include the same consensus-building rules as Bitcoin Core. Nevertheless, there may be conflicts in the consensus mechanism if the re-implementation behaves differently than the dominant client of the network due to its different code base. In the worst case, a chain split can also occur here. Examples for the re-implementation of the Bitcoin Core protocol include BTCD, Libbitcoin and bcoin.

The third way
BitMEX is looking for a third way to compete with Bitcoin Core. Neither the consensus rules nor the code base of Bitcoin Core should be touched. Instead, a software fork is carried out. This bears the – not exactly original – Bitcoin BitMEX Research. The client should illustrate that a healthy form of competition is possible with Bitcoin Core. It also aims to prove that Bitcoin’s fate is not inextricably linked to the Bitcoin Core client. After all, each node operator has the free choice of which implementation to choose. And this corresponds to the Bitcoin ideal rather than constantly focusing on a supposed Bitcoin core development team.

House of Nakamoto: Bitcoin cult in Amsterdam

Bitcoin fans can be happy: The House of Nakamoto is now also available in Amsterdam. The House of Nakamoto, now known far beyond the city limits of Vienna, now also opens its doors to Bitcoin enthusiasts from the Netherlands.

This is also good news for northern Germans

For the crypto enthusiasts of this world, Vienna is definitely worth a visit. Not only is the Austrian capital one of the European engines for crypto-use; the House of Nakamoto has also been located in Vienna for several years. The house sees itself as a competence centre for crypto currencies and at the same time is an information centre, museum and shop in one. In addition to advice on trading in crypto currencies, customers can also obtain various crypto items such as hardware wallets or Bitcoin vouchers here.

But it’s not only Germany’s southern neighbour that stands out in terms of crypto adaptation. The Netherlands are also a step ahead. The pioneer is “Bitcoin City” Arnhem, whose citizens have been able to pay with Bitcoin in various shops for several years now. The Bitcoin wave now seems to be slowly but surely sloshing into the rest of the country.

Always worth a visit

Since the beginning of this week, the capital of the Netherlands has also been able to adorn itself with a House of Nakamoto. An offshoot of the successful Austrian model opened on 15 October in Amsterdam’s city centre. For the Dutch Bitcoin enthusiasts, this is a good opportunity to learn even more about crypto currencies. Naturally also in the Amsterdam House OF Nakamoto the Bitcoin ATM may not be missing. In contrast to Germany, Bitcoin ATMs are permitted both in the Netherlands and in Austria.

“Digital currencies are more than just a payment system. They embody the revolutionary idea that a decentralized currency should be possible without the influence of the state and banks. With the branch in the centre of Amsterdam, the expansion of the competence centre for crypto currencies and blockchain “The House of Nakamoto” continues. After Vienna, another free and innovative thinking company is approached: We bring Bitcoin and crypto currencies into the real world, with real people in a physical shop in the heart of Amsterdam”,

says Magdalena Isbrandt, Managing Director of the House of Nakamoto.

The opening is also good news for North and West German Bitcoin fans, who find Amsterdam much easier to reach than the Austrian capital. Another good reason for travelling to Amsterdam.