McAfee continues to promote cryptocurrencies from his Spanish jail cell

McAfee continues to promote cryptocurrencies from his Spanish jail cell

Cointelegraph interviews antivirus pioneer John McAfee on the state of Blockchain from his confines in Barcelona, Spain.

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John McAfee, an eccentric millionaire, crypto enthusiast, and anti-virus expert, was recently detained in Spain on charges of U.S. tax evasion. He also faces charges arising from a series of questionable crypto promotions, from which he allegedly profited millions of dollars. Though he is currently in a Spanish prison, it did not stop him from sharing a few of his thoughts on recent developments in the crypto industry. 

With regard to PayPal’s recent announcement, McAfee said “PayPal’s acceptance of cryptocurrency signals, I believe, a new wave of cryptocurrency acceptance worldwide. Governments around the world will have to get used to cryptocurrencies.”

In 2017, McAfee  boldly forecast that Bitcoin would hit $1 million within three years, though he later took back his comment in July 2020. When asked whether his view of the asset class had changed in the months since, he responded affirmatively stating “Too many people are using crypto as a way to get rich quick rather than its original intent, which is for buying and selling transactions.”

“We will see very soon a new movement into using cryptocurrencies as transactions rather than as get rich quick schemes. This is why I developed the private $GHOST stablecoin.”

Although McAfee is no longer involved with the Ghost cryptocurrency asset, he still remains a part of the network’s broader privacy project.

“My work with $GHOST revolves entirely around our development of the world’s first private stablecoin,” McAfee explained. “Version one will be a wrapped DAI. Later we will have a new stable, private blockchain. Holders of $GHOST will share all transaction fee profits for the stablecoin.”

According to his correspondence, which was facilitated through his wife Mrs. Janice McAfee, he has not yet been transported to the U.S., and still resides in Barcelona. “I have not seen the full complaint or the charges against me, but I assume they are also looking into my crypto activities,” John said.

McAfee and his wife have posted a number of updates via their Twitter profiles following his arrest. John evaded the U.S. authorities for quite some time due to the tax charges against him.


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Cointelegraph interviews antivirus pioneer John McAfee on the state of Blockchain from his confines in Barcelona, Spain.

Spanish lawmakers get cryptocurrency in a bid to promote industry

Spanish lawmakers get cryptocurrency in a bid to promote industry

All 350 members of Spain’s lower house got 1 euro equivalent in cryptocurrency, and it’s not a donation.

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Members of Spain’s lower house of Congress saw a surprise in their inboxes, the equivalent of 1 euro in crypto.

As reported by Spanish news outfit ABC, the plan is spearheaded by Tutellus, a decentralized platform looking to tokenize education technology, and the Blockchain Observatory. The project aims to promote the use of cryptocurrencies in the country. 

All 350 members of Spain’s lower house, or the Congress of Deputies, received the equivalent of 1 euro in cryptocurrency in their emails. Miguel Caballero, Tutellus founder, said the goal is to raise awareness about the future role of cryptocurrencies in society:

“We have explained to your honorable members that we are in a time of profound change in the use of money, in addition to highlighting the important role that cryptocurrencies have today.”

Caballero said the cryptocurrency “is not a donation” and acknowledged that some congress members might be more familiar with crypto. But for those who no experience with cryptocurrencies yet, Caballero said, this is an opportunity to learn more. 

Spain is not the first country to send cryptocurrencies to lawmakers. The political action committee (PAC) of the Chamber of Digital Commerce sent $50 worth of Bitcoin to all 541 members of Congress in early October, reported Decrypt

Spanish banks have been more interested in cryptocurrencies and blockchain in the past few years. Santander partnered with Ripple for a blockchain-based payments platform while the Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) launched a study to explore zero-knowledge proofs and other cryptographic techniques. 

The European Central Bank also announced it would look into a digital euro by 2021 and released a report diving into its possible impact on the retail market.


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All 350 members of Spain’s lower house got 1 euro equivalent in cryptocurrency, and it’s not a donation.

Alleged crypto Ponzi scheme targeting Spanish speakers freezes user funds

Alleged crypto Ponzi scheme targeting Spanish speakers freezes user funds

Researchers are warning that the supposed scheme could have swindled billions.

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The team behind Arbistar, a crypto trading bot developer, announced that it would be shutting down a popular trading tool known as Community Bot.

According to a press release published by Arbicorp, the company that runs Arbistar, the platform is not currently allowing deposits. All funds have been frozen, preventing users from withdrawing their money. Users are not even able to access crypto from funds that trade with other bots. 

This has led financial forensic firm, Tulip Research, to warn users that Arbicorp is actually a billion-dollar crypto Ponzi scheme — a claim they say they have made “many times”:

“Arbistar has used BTCPayServer for the last year taking advantage of the PayJoin functionality to hide the money trail. Before its implementation, it was possible to trace without problem the different movements that the company made with the incoming capital. By applying heuristic methods, different addresses can be related to a single organization.”

By checking the address pool before preceding the BTCPayServer, and taking into account that they have linked the final addresses with the old ones, Tulip Research stated that they were able to check the amount of Bitcoin (BTC) that entered Airbistar’s accounts.

Cointelegraph Spanish reported that the “Community Bot” had been paying a 28% excess over the actual profits for 46 weeks. This has generated, according to the directors, a „hole“ in the bot’s accounts. Arbistar stated:

“At that time, an error in the configuration of the profits made the figure obtained in the markets (exchanges) with the Arbitration Bot (community bot) WAY LOWER than what is actually detailed on the platform. Therefore, we have been producing higher profits on the platform for almost one year than was actually achieved in the markets.”

In a video published on YouTube, Arbistar CEO Santi Fuentes said that the company intends to return the funds to customers via daily payments starting on Sept. 15.

Arbistar warned, however, that if users decide to take legal action against the company, they “will block the funds” pending a judicial resolution.


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Researchers are warning that the supposed scheme could have swindled billions.

Top Spanish Banks Finalize Trial of Payments Using Smart Contracts

Top Spanish Banks Finalize Trial of Payments Using Smart Contracts

Five major Spanish banking institutions have completed a proof-of-concept for payments using smart contracts.

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Multinational banking giant Banco Santander and four Spanish banks have successfully finalized a proof-of-concept for payments using smart contracts.

The PoC was coordinated with IberPay, the company that oversees the Spanish Payment System.

Trial confirms blockchain’s feasibility for payments

In a statement on July 15, IberPay said the PoC had “confirmed the feasibility of applying blockchain technology to the field of payments“ and its successful connection to the national payment system.

Using smart contracts automates the execution and settlement of payments once certain pre-conditions are met.

Alongside IberPay and Banco Santander, the four banks involved were Banco Sabadell — Spain’s fifth-largest banking group — BBVA, Bankia and Caixabank. 

Grant Thornton provided consultancy services to IberPay in testing the PoC using an interbank blockchain network with seven operating nodes and successfully executing over 20,000 automated immediate transactions.

The average processing time per completed payment was reportedly 2.5 seconds, fostering confidence in its applicability to the real world.

IberPay has said the PoC functioned “with the maximal guarantees of security, efficiency, traceability and integrity, as well as compliance with current regulations.”

Santander’s previous use of blockchain technology

As reported, Banco Santander has been a forerunner in testing and implementing blockchain technology for financial services, last winter redeeming a $20 million bond using the public Ethereum blockchain.

Santander had issued its first end-to-end blockchain bond using the public network in September 2019. 

The bank has also integrated Ripple’s xCurrent technology into its global payments services for retail clients, most recently announcing plans to extend the services to Latin America.


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Five major Spanish banking institutions have completed a proof-of-concept for payments using smart contracts.

Blockchain Tech to Help Spanish Cider Makers Fight Counterfeits

Blockchain Tech to Help Spanish Cider Makers Fight Counterfeits

Spanish cider companies are integrating blockchain to fight against counterfeit cider products and over-production.

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Spanish cider makers Sidra Menéndez S.L. and Llagar Castañón S.L are using the Telos blockchain to track the production of their beverages. This will purportedly allow the cider makers to fight counterfeits and over-production. 

According to Luis Meijueiro the head of blockchain research at CTIC Technology Center, cider is one of Spain’s most prized beverages, made from designated apple varieties that place it under the European Union’s PDO, or Protected Designation of Origin. However, Spain’s cider industry has faced challenges as some producers import apples from outside the region to make imitation ciders. 

The Telos blockchain will provide a solution that helps Spanish cider companies to gain consumer confidence and global market share. 

Douglas Horn, chief architect of the Telos Blockchain, said, “Tracking cider production is an excellent example of the many ways Telos can help solve challenges in supply chain management, agriculture, and consumer goods.”

Telos will record the traceability data of the premium cider, allowing consumers to trace the origins of each bottle using the SidraDOP app to scan a QR code on the label.

Consumers can then pull up the history of each bottle, including the types of apples used and when it was delivered. A link also provides the raw transaction data stored on the Telos blockchain registry. 

Under the supervision of cider regulators, all parties register their activity data on the Telos blockchain, including apple producers, cider makers, beverage distributors and sellers.


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Spanish cider companies are integrating blockchain to fight against counterfeit cider products and over-production.

Spanish Researchers Try to ‘Flatten the Curve’ with Blockchain App

Spanish Researchers Try to ‘Flatten the Curve’ with Blockchain App

A new blockchain and AI app could help flatten Spain’s COVID-19 curve

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A Spanish research team of more than 100 people is developing an app that uses AI and blockchain to predict the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic and to help manage lockdown measures.

The app, which has the support of the Institute of Biomedical Research of Salamanca and the Artificial Intelligent Research Institute, is currently at proof-of-concept phase.

It uses blockchain to store and verify digital identities and licenses for individuals to perform certain tasks, such as returning to work or going to the supermarket during the lockdown period. Each identity is in the form of a certificate recorded on the blockchain, and each person will hold the respective private key to their own identity.

Deep thought

The app also makes use of the Deep Intelligence AI platform to predict the future behaviour of the coronavirus. It synthesises information from news outlets and scientific journals along with healthcare data and shares its analysis with government officials and healthcare professionals. The app can provide specific instructions and alerts to individuals and companies on how to minimize the spread of the virus.

Team leaders Juan Manuel Corchado and Javier Prieto from the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers explained in an interview:

“The technology will be able to support healthcare professionals and public health officials by providing them with information that can be used when making decisions. For example, if the data shows an increase in COVID-19 cases, officials can decide whether to shelter-in-place.”

The team hope the information recorded and collected will help shed light on pandemics in the future and aid in their suppression. They are currently exploring avenues for additional funding.

Digital identity on blockchain has already shown potential

Blockchain technology is being used by a number of companies in the fight against coronavirus.

PwC launched a personal identity tool earlier this week which allows COVID-19 test results to be stored on the blockchain and accessed in real time. Canadian startup Emerge is launching Civitas, software that uses blockchain to track and manage stay-at-home orders around by local authorities the world.


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A new blockchain and AI app could help flatten Spain’s COVID-19 curve

Spanish Tax Watchdog Puts 66,000 Crypto Traders on Notice

Spanish Tax Watchdog Puts 66,000 Crypto Traders on Notice

Spain’s tax authority will fired off tens of thousands of warning notes to crypto traders

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The Spanish tax authority has begun sending out warning notices to 66,000 cryptocurrency holders to remind them of their tax obligations.

According to Europa Press, the Agencia Estatal de Administración Tributaria (AEAT) began the campaign on April 1, and will keep firing off letters until June 30 in the midst of the national COVID-19 crisis.

The 66,000 notices represents a sharp increase from 2019, the first year of the campaign, when a reported 14,700 notices were sent out. The tax watchdog is also targeting those who earn income abroad and from real estate investments.

Taxes don’t stop during a pandemic

Speaking with Cointelegraph, Javier Pastor, chief sales officer at Spain-based crypto exchange Bit2me, said he believes the government may be looking for ways to obtain income to help pay for the huge costs incurred during the COVID-19 crisis.

Pastor pointed out the Spanish government has not postponed the filing of tax returns or the payment of taxes due to the pandemic. He said the measures would not affect Spanish exchanges much, even though he believes stricter KYC rules and transaction monitoring is on the way.

“This does not affect us much in the companies in the industry that have been doing things well […] I think they [tax watchdog]  are only scaring the novice user by applying such measures, plus I don’t think they are going to collect much tax revenue from the cryptocurrency sector because they are not even regulated in our country.“

The national tax authorities have become increasingly interested in crypto over the past couple of years, in which a series of measures were implemented to oversee tax obligations.

Growing interest in crypto taxation

In 2018, Cointelegraph reported that Spain’s tax agency sent information requests for customer data to 60 companies associated with cryptocurrencies, including those firms that accepted cryptos as a payment option. They required them to provide details about the owners of the accounts, the frequency of crypto transactions, among other aspects.

Local crypto exchanges were also asked to provide the identity of the crypto traders and the euro amount of the transactions.


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Spain’s tax authority will fired off tens of thousands of warning notes to crypto traders

Telecom Giant Telefonica Pilots Blockchain Access on 8,000 Spanish Firms

Telecom Giant Telefonica Pilots Blockchain Access on 8,000 Spanish Firms

Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica granted access to its blockchain to about 8,000 local firms

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Spanish telecommunications giant Telefonica has reportedly partnered with the local Association of Science and Technology Parks (APTE) to grant access to its blockchain to about 8,000 firms in Spain.

According to a report published by telecom news outlet TotalTele on Jan. 9, Telefonica will deploy nodes of its Hyperledger-based blockchain at APTE’s 52 sites.

During the three-month-long testing period, firms will be encouraged to develop applications on the network and allowed to experiment with their own tokens. Telefonica partnered with IT giant IBM in November 2018 to apply blockchain technology to managing international mobile phone call traffic.

A project backed by notable partners

In April last year, Telefonica leveraged its relationship with IBM to launch its Cloud Garden service. This service is meant to simplify adoption of emerging technologies, including blockchain, as well as AI and big data.

The blockchain deployed in partnership with APTE leverages the Cloud Garden service. CEO of Telefonica Spain Maria Jesus Almazor claimed that the project will bring significant benefits to firms housed at Spain’s science and technology parks:

“Companies housed in these scientific and technological parks will be able to benefit from the advantages of blockchain technology without having to face the inherent complexity of it, or have to dedicate resources to acquire the knowledge necessary to make the most of it.”

According to APTE’s official website, a science and technology park is a project generally associated with a physical space dealing with educational institutions and research centers promoting knowledge creation. Such parks also have a stable managing body that encourages innovation and technology exchange between companies and organizations participating in its function.

Company information website Crunchbase estimates Telefonica’s annual revenue to be about $54.1 billion. Furthermore, the website also reports that the telecom giant also invested $5 million in the seed funding round of blockchain data verification platform Zamna. In February, a Microsoft press release also announced a partnership with Telefonica aiming to develop blockchain and artificial intelligence innovation.

Telecom giants’ investments in blockchain

Investments in blockchain technology are becoming increasingly common amongst telecommunications giant. As Cointelegraph reported in November 2019, Malta Enterprise, the Maltese government agency supporting business development, signed a memorandum of understanding with Blockchain-as-a-Service service firm T-Systems.

In September last year, also Union Mobile, the fourth-largest mobile carrier in South Korea, announced the launch of its blockchain project called ELYNET. Trying to motivate firms in the space to further adopt the technology, the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance also published a collection of use cases for blockchain in telecommunications in August last year.


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Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica granted access to its blockchain to about 8,000 local firms

Major Spanish Bank Latest to Bring Blockchain Into European Finance

Major Spanish Bank Latest to Bring Blockchain Into European Finance

Spain-based CaixaBank integrates We.trade, giving customers access to blockchain technology

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On Jan. 3 Spain-based CaixaBank added the blockchain-powered finance platform We.trade to its list of services. CaixaBank has now become one of the first banks in Europe to provide its customers access to blockchain technology.

Launched in 2017, We.trade is a finance platform powered by IBM’s blockchain technology. It was developed by a consortium of 15 financial institutions from around Europe, like UBS and Societe Generale, and it works to provide businesses with a digital, trustless platform for verifying financial information. We.trade’s open API architecture lets it track and trace goods shipped by any of the 400 logistics companies throughout Europe who are also using the platform.

We.trade uses blockchain to facilitate the transaction process for suppliers and buyers on a single, shared platform. We.trade generates smart contracts that link the trading operation with the financing or payment that prevents any default risk for companies, which can increase business globalization.

While CaixaBank joined the We.trade consortium in Oct. 2018, the leading Spanish bank is giving its 15.8 million customers access to We.trade for purposes of making the world’s transactions more traceable and secure.

In the company’s latest press release, CaixaBank explains:

“Specifically, the solution provides real-time monitoring of transactions, which increases transparency throughout the process. Since it is a platform which can only be accessed by customers who are verified and authenticated by the member banks, the security and trust element of the transactions is very high.”

IBM also points out in a company blog post that the banks part of the We.trade network are working to solve a specific problem, which is to grant small- and medium-sized businesses access to trade financing. This will let these companies grow their businesses, expanding into new markets and forging new trading partnerships.

IBM notes that We.trade is compliant with the requirements of each bank’s country, as well as the European Union. We.trade also operates within the context of complex global regulatory requirements including the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and within the individual requirements of each of the member banks.


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Spain-based CaixaBank integrates We.trade, giving customers access to blockchain technology

Spanish Financial Watchdog Warns Against Unregulated ICO Scheme

Spanish Financial Watchdog Warns Against Unregulated ICO Scheme

A Spanish financial watchdog has issued a warning against Ethereum-based token dubbed AlyCoin

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A Spanish financial watchdog has issued a warning against Ethereum (ETH)-based token dubbed AlyCoin.

As Financial Magnates reported on Nov. 18, the Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores warned the public against AlyCoin as it the coin is registered neither in Spain nor in the corresponding registry and thus promotes unregulated initial coin offerings (ICOs).

Specifically, AlyCoin purportedly provides its customers with financial services in violation of the second paragraph of Article 17 of the Securities Markets Law.

82 million of independent tokens

AlyCoin describes itself as an independent token based on Ethereum. The company’s ICO phase is scheduled to take place from Dec. 24, 2018, to Dec. 24, 2019, in which time AlyCoin is planning to distribute 35 million tokens in lots of 5 million each with a starting price of $0.10 per token in the first lot. The company further claims to be ready to release over 82 million tokens to the market.

AlyCoin also stipulates about its intention to operate in full compliance with corresponding laws and regulations, as well as procure all necessary licences and approvals. The company ensures that “it is not possible to guarantee that any such license or approval will be obtained within a particular period of time or in all. This means that the initiatives described in this document may not be available in certain markets, or in all,” which purportedly goes contrary to its business in the Spanish market.

Regulators blacklist crypto brokers 

Earlier in November, the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority issued a warning against Bulgarian cryptocurrency broker 5 Capital, since the firm illegally offered Contracts for Difference designed to expose clients to the price movements of cryptocurrencies.

In late October, the Malta Financial Services Authority warned of a Bitcoin (BTC) scam that shared the same characteristics as a previously identified entity. The agency cautioned the public that an entity dubbed “Bitcoin Future” appeared to display “the same deceitful characteristics” as a separate scam, dubbed “Bitcoin Revolution,” against which it had already issued two public warnings this year.


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A Spanish financial watchdog has issued a warning against Ethereum-based token dubbed AlyCoin

Spanish La Liga Club Atlético Madrid Is Launching a Fan Token

Spanish La Liga Club Atlético Madrid Is Launching a Fan Token

Atlético de Madrid finished 4th in UEFA’s Club Coefficients rankings for the current season — beating the likes of Juventus, Arsenal, Chelsea and Ajax

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Spanish soccer team Atlético de Madrid — which plays in the top professional division of Spain’s soccer league, known as La Liga — is partnering with blockchain platform Socios.com to launch a fan token ecosystem. 

The news was revealed in a press release shared with Cointelegraph on Sept. 6.

Atlético’s fan token

As previously reported, Socios has described itself as a blockchain-powered, tokenized application of the “Socios” crowd-management concept of Real Madrid & FC Barcelona (“socios” means member or associate in Spanish).

The Socios tokenized voting platform and blockchain-based mobile app is operated by sports blockchain venture chiliZ, which has the backing of high profile crypto industry players that include crypto exchange Binance and OK Blockchain Capital.

Atlético de Madrid finished 4th in UEFA’s Club Coefficients rankings for the current season — beating the likes of Juventus (5th), Arsenal (9th), Chelsea (12th) and Ajax (20th).

According to today’s press release, Socios and Atlético de Madrid will launch a club-branded Official Fan Token via a so-dubbed Fan Token Offering (FTOs) in fall 2019 for the 19/20 season.

The token — priced at 2 euros — will be a digital asset that confers voting rights on Atlético fans, and will be used to drive fan engagement by enabling users to participate in tokenized polls on the Socios mobile app. Tokens also grant holders access to merchandise, rewards and games.

Eyeing “well over a billion” crypto users

While the fan tokens are used on the Socios platform, in technical terms they operate on a separate permissioned side chain, where each participating chilliZ soccer club functions as a node with proof-of-authority. 

The sidechain is powered by chiliZ’ native cryptocurrency $chz, an Ether-compliant ERC20 utility token.

Atlético de Madrid joins a host of other major international soccer teams who have already partnered with the platform — including London-based West Ham United, French soccer club Paris Saint-Germain and Italy’s Juventus.

Socios’ CEO and founder Alexandre Dreyfus has said that by onboarding such high-profile teams, he aims to grow the platform’s potential user base to “well over a billion sports fans, all of whom will be eventual cryptocurrency users.“

This July, Cointelegraph published an overview of the growing tokenziation of the sports industry. Aside from Socios — which has an official partnership with Binance and has recently had its token listed on the exchange — other platforms such as Utrust are facilitating cryptocurrency payments for tickets and merchandise for teams such as Portugal’s Benfica.
This August, English Premier League football club Manchester City announced a partnership with South Korean blockchain football gaming startup Superbloke.


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Atlético de Madrid finished 4th in UEFA’s Club Coefficients rankings for the current season — beating the likes of Juventus, Arsenal, Chelsea and Ajax

Cresio CIO Comments, New ‘Satoshi’ and BTC Games: This Week in CT Spain

Cresio CIO Comments, New ‘Satoshi’ and BTC Games: This Week in CT Spain

This week on CT in Spanish: Cresio’s CIO on crypto’s future, a response to a new ‘Satoshi’ and the latest in games to earn Bitcoin

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As many of our readers probably know, Cointelegraph has a number of non-English branches, each covering news from different parts of the world. 

In pursuit of the most complete and detailed picture of the global cryptocurrency industry, we present a series of weekly compilations of the freshest original articles from our colleagues, starting with Cointelegraph in Spanish.

On Aug. 22, Cointelegraph in Spanish spoke with Daniel Pons Ayala, founder and CIO of Cresio, a platform that allows users to operate on multiple crypto exchanges simultaneously using the same application. Ayala shared his perspective on the future of money and cryptocurrencies in Spain. He said:

“The cryptocurrency sector is in the state of adoption. And it shouldn’t be considered a bubble at all. From my point of view, it is the clear and necessary evolution of money as we know it today. I think it will have a great impact on society once it continues to spread globally and its use becomes widespread. This will undoubtedly mark a ‘before’ and ‘after’ in the economic and financial sector”.

What are the dynamics of video games that give BTC? Some time ago various developers realized that users were getting bored with simplistic ad-funded crypto gambling sites. This was understandable, as people didn’t want to spend hours sitting in front of an unchanging screen in exchange for a few cents.

Developers moved to make the games themselves more entertaining. They managed to make users stay longer, which implied a positive impact for any advertising campaign they deployed, while also getting users more engaged in the process.

This idea matured with time and gave birth to various video games — for tablets, smartphones and computers — where you can win Bitcoins by playing and having fun. Most of these games are funded by advertising, so there is no up-front fee or buy-in.

Prior to the rise of Bitcoin games, there was another kind of cryptocurrency-based entertainment — crypto faucets. They have been on everyone’s mind for some time now, but what are they? Could they really give you Bitcoins or are they designed just to steal yours? Is it actually possible to earn Bitcoins on faucets? Our Spanish colleagues answered these and many other questions in the article.

Who doesn’t like free samples of food in a supermarket? Those chunks of ham on a toothpick or shot glasses of gourmet coffee bring their bit of joy to an average shopping day. 

Instead of getting free food, the idea is that we receive free cryptocurrencies. But why would someone give away an asset that is constantly being revalued over time? This is where Bitcoin faucets come into play, and our Spanish colleagues explained how they work.

This week digital marketing and PR agency Ivy McLemore & Associates announced that it had signed a partnership with a company named “Satoshi Nakamoto Renaissance Holdings” and would reveal the true identity of Satoshi Nakamoto by proving his ownership of 980,000 Bitcoins, eventually naming Bilal Khalid as the creator of Bitcoin.

In turn, Riccardo Spagni, a developer at Monero, rejected the proposed Satoshi. Spagni tracked down numerous inconsistencies in Khalid’s story, including the distortion of the relationship between the domain name of Khalid’s Blue Chip International (BCCI) and Bitcoin.


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This week on CT in Spanish: Cresio’s CIO on crypto’s future, a response to a new ‘Satoshi’ and the latest in games to earn Bitcoin

Spanish Police: Bitcoin ATMs a Blind Spot for Money Laundering Laws

Spanish Police: Bitcoin ATMs a Blind Spot for Money Laundering Laws

Bitcoin ATMs show a gap in European Union’s Anti-Money Laundering regulation, according to Spanish law enforcement

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Spanish law enforcement pointed out that Bitcoin (BTC) automated teller machines (ATMs) show a gap in European Union’s Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations, Bloomberg reports on July 11.

Per the report, Spanish police uncovered a local gang that used Bitcoin ATMs to transfer more than 9 million euros ($10 million) for drug traffickers in Colombia and other countries. 

Bloomberg cites anonymous representatives of Guardia Civil (a type of Spanish law enforcement) alleging that the group hired two machines from trading platforms and installed them in an office in Madrid.

The office in question masqueraded as a center for remittances and cryptocurrency trading. The group reportedly used the center to transfer money from bank accounts to trading platforms to top up the ATMs with digital assets. Cryptocurrencies obtained this way would allegedly then end up being sent to the aforementioned drug traffickers.

Police also reportedly seized the two Bitcoin ATMs, four cold wallets, and 20 online wallets. Bloomberg further notes that prosecutors are now trying to prove a correlation between the ATMs and the confiscated digital assets.

As Cointelegraph reported at the beginning of June, the city of Vancouver, Canada, is considering banning bitcoin ATMs due to money laundering concerns.

On the other hand, earlier this month Canadian exchange Coinsquare announced that it has acquired software allowing traditional ATMs to sell cryptocurrencies.


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Bitcoin ATMs show a gap in European Union’s Anti-Money Laundering regulation, according to Spanish law enforcement

Spanish Law Enforcement Arrests 35 Suspects for Bank Fraud, BTC Money Laundering

Spanish Law Enforcement Arrests 35 Suspects for Bank Fraud, BTC Money Laundering

People accused of counterfeiting banking cards and laundering the proceeds through bitcoin have been arrested by Spanish law enforcement

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Spanish law enforcement arrested 35 people for allegedly counterfeiting banking cards and laundering the proceeds through bitcoin (BTC), local media La Verdad reports on June 14.

Per the report, the organization obtained over €600,000 ($674,000) and laundered over €1 million ($1.2 million) using bitcoin. Furthermore, the Command of Alicante reportedly solved a total of 1,020 connected cybercrimes during the operation. The alleged actions of the suspects — who are from Equatorial Guinea, Spain, Nigeria, Cameroon and Morocco — had a total of 219 victims in Spain, with 20 more in Israel, Denmark, Germany, France and Greece.

According to La Verdad, law enforcement noticed the unauthorized use of 104 banking cards in Spain and 12 other countries. The investigations were then spurred by a complaint filed by a car rental company that detected unauthorized use of their banking cards on online services.

The group allegedly operated in three different ways: phishing via email (pretending to be a trustworthy individual and asking for banking credentials), cloning the physical cards, or obtaining credentials from credit card receipts in what is often referred to as credit card bin attack fraud.

The group reportedly paid for hotels, flights, train tickets and rental vehicles with the cards obtained this way, ordering them for its customers for much lower prices. Companies under the group’s control located in Estonia, the United Kingdom and Finland bought bitcoin with the profits.

As Cointelegraph reported at the time, eight people were arrested in Spain for allegedly operating a money laundering scheme involving cryptocurrencies in March.

As Cointelegraph explained in a recently published analysis, law enforcement groups are also taking action against cryptocurrency anonymization services known as cryptocurrency mixers, or tumblers.


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People accused of counterfeiting banking cards and laundering the proceeds through bitcoin have been arrested by Spanish law enforcement

Spain: Stock Exchange Operator Pilots Collateral Pledges Digitization on Blockchain

Spain: Stock Exchange Operator Pilots Collateral Pledges Digitization on Blockchain

Major Spanish stock market operator BME has completed its first blockchain pilot for digitizing certificates of collateral pledges

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Major Spanish stock market operator Bolsas y Mercados Españoles (BME) has completed its first blockchain pilot for electronic certificates of collateral pledges, according to an official press release published on March 15.

Implemented along with Renta 4 Banco, which is the only investment services firm listed on the BME, the new pilot intends to eliminate the use of physical certifications by digitizing all processes and providing network participants with real-time access to data.

The pilot’s proof-of-concept (PoC) consisted of the release of collateral pledged by Renta 4 Banco to cover customer’s positions at BME Clearing, BME’s central counterparty.

According to the announcement, the implementation of the blockchain-powered pilot enabled the parties to reduce total processing time by more than 80 percent.

The PoC was developed by BME’s division DLT-Lab, which researches the use of blockchain for improving existing financial procedures in collaboration with regulators and various financial institutions. To develop the pilot, BME’s DLT-Lab worked with infrastructures involved in the process and the BME subsidiaries BME Clearing, the Spanish central securities depository Iberclear and Renta 4 Banco.

According to the press release, BME and Renta 4 Banco will keep working on the initiative in order to launch the new system officially by the end of 2019.

Berta Ares, Head of Digital Transformation at BME, emphasized that distributed ledger tech (DLT) allows the parties involved in the process to both reduce operating times and provide legal certainty for electronic certificates, while maintaining privacy and compliance.

Previously, BME participated in a joint blockchain tech project to record the issuance of financial warrants. The initiative involved eight major European financial institutions, including Spanish securities regulator the National Securities Market Commission, BBVA, BNP Paribas, CaixaBank and others.

In early February, Cointelegraph reported on Switzerland’s principal stock exchange SIX Swiss Exchange plans to test blockchain integration for its upcoming parallel digital trading platform SDX in the second half of 2019. The blockchain-powered platform intends to minimize trading risks, as well as to expand the scope of tradable titles.


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Major Spanish stock market operator BME has completed its first blockchain pilot for digitizing certificates of collateral pledges

Major Spanish Bank BBVA Issues $40 Million Green Bond Based on Blockchain Platform

Major Spanish Bank BBVA Issues $40 Million Green Bond Based on Blockchain Platform

One of the largest Spanish banks, BBVA, has issued a structured green bond based on a blockchain platform

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Spain’s second largest bank, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA), has announced the launch of the first blockchain-backed platform for structured green bonds. The news was announced in a press release published on Feb. 19.

BBVA has closed the deal with Spanish insurance house Mapfre, which has invested €35 million (approximately $40 million) to finance sustainable products. To close this deal, BBVA has “issued the first structured green bond using blockchain technology to negotiate the terms and conditions,” the press release states.

The press release underlines that the funds have been specified for the financing of green projects, under the umbrella of BBVA’s sustainable development goals. BBVA’s head of global sales, Juan Garat, noted the company’s focus on innovation sustainable solutions, adding:

“Using DLT — distributed ledger technology — for this transaction allowed us to simplify the processes and streamline the negotiation time frames.”

Previously in last December, BBVA had already announced the closing of a €150 million ($169 million) loan on blockchain, which was claimed as BBVA’s first blockchain-based loans deal with a non-Spanish borrower, as Cointelegraph reported on Dec. 14.

As Cointelegraph reported on Nov. 22, two major Spanish banks — BBVA and Banco Santander — joined the European Union International Association for Trusted Blockchain Applications, which aims to develop E.U. blockchain regulation along with preparing for the launch of E.U.-wide blockchain applications.


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One of the largest Spanish banks, BBVA, has issued a structured green bond based on a blockchain platform

Spanish City Gives $13 Mln to Develop ‘Industry 4.0’ Technologies, Including Blockchain

Spanish City Gives $13 Mln to Develop ‘Industry 4.0’ Technologies, Including Blockchain

The city of Aragon has allocated over $13 million on the education and promotion of emerging technologies, including blockchain

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The government of the Spanish city of Aragon has allocated over 12 million euros ($13 million) for the development of “Industry 4.0,” which includes blockchain technology, artificial intelligence (AI), and other emerging technologies. The news was announced by local news outlet La Vanguardia on Feb. 12.

The funds —  the amount of which is reportedly twice the originally planned amount —  were co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) within the Operational Program of Aragon for 2014–2020. The donation will be used for the development of industrial property and consulting projects, as well as the analysis and planning of projects.

The specific objectives of the program include the education and promotion of the “Industry 4.0” concept and associated technologies. The program purportedly plans to attract representatives from various industrial sectors, including research centers and technology firms to work on digital solutions adapted for industry use.

The program is also designed to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) incorporate digitalization into their processes and products, as well as enable technology companies to develop their R&D in order to boost the digitalization of the industry.

In January, the Port Authority of the Bay of Algeciras (APBA), Spain, signed an agreement under which it will collaborate with IBM on its blockchain-based shipping platform Tradelens. The platform will purportedly allow APBA to more securely and efficiently exchange information and documentation between partners within a supply chain.

That same month, Madrid-based energy company Repsol reported a successful test of a blockchain pilot to improve the quality of safety certification of its products. The use of blockchain will purportedly allow Repsol to save up to 400,000 euros ($450,000) each year by reducing the frequency of errors.


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The city of Aragon has allocated over $13 million on the education and promotion of emerging technologies, including blockchain

Spanish Port Authority Joins Blockchain Platform Developed by IBM and Maersk

Spanish Port Authority Joins Blockchain Platform Developed by IBM and Maersk

The Port Authority of the Bay of Algeciras in Spain will collaborate with IBM on a blockchain-based shipping platform originally developed by the tech giant and Maersk

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The Port Authority of the Bay of Algeciras (APBA) has signed an agreement under which it will collaborate with IBM on its shipping platform Tradelens, Europa News reported on Jan. 21. Tradelens is a digital platform based on blockchain technology developed by both IBM and international shipping giant Maersk.

Algeciras is one of the top 10 busiest ports in Europe, hosting over 70 million tons of cargo traffic annually. In 2017, the port had a container throughput of 4.3 million containers.

According to an APBA note seen by Europa News, the platform will allow APBA to more securely and efficiently exchange information and documentation between partners within a supply chain. Per the note, the platform will generate value for shippers, freight forwarders, logistics operators and shipping companies.

Europa Press states that by the end of 2018, the solution onboarded more than 100 organizations and 20 port operators. Tradelens has reportedly registered 230 million shipments and processed more than 20 million containers.

Leading port operators have been increasingly implementing blockchain technology to streamline their operations. In October 2018, the  Port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands partnered with major Dutch bank ABN AMRO and the IT subsidiary of Samsung to test blockchain for shipping.

In June 2018, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Ports became the first entity in the country to deploy its own blockchain solution. The subsidiary, Maqta Gateway LLC, developed and launched Silsal — a blockchain-based technology that aims to improve efficiency in the shipping and logistics industry.

The leading port operator in the United Kingdom, Associated British Ports, signed an agreement in September 2018 with digital logistics enabler Marine Transport International to develop blockchain for port logistics.


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The Port Authority of the Bay of Algeciras in Spain will collaborate with IBM on a blockchain-based shipping platform originally developed by the tech giant and Maersk

Spanish Car Manufacturer SEAT Joins Alastria Consortium to Develop Blockchain Products

Spanish Car Manufacturer SEAT Joins Alastria Consortium to Develop Blockchain Products

SEAT, the largest car manufacturer in Spain, has joined Alastria consortium focused on the development of blockchain technology

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Spanish automobile manufacturer SEAT has joined Alastria consortium to work on the development of blockchain-based products. Cointelegraph in Spanish reported the news Jan. 16.

Founded in 1950, SEAT is a state-owned industrial company and Spain’s largest car manufacturer. SEAT’s turnover reportedly reached a record figure of 9.552 billion euro ($10.878 billion) in 2017, which is 11.1% more than the year prior.

Per the recent announcement, SEAT joined Alastria, a multi-industry, semi-public consortium backed by a national network of more than 70 companies and establishments. These include such major players as banks BBVA and Banco Santander, telecommunications provider Telefónica, energy firm Repsol and professional services company Accenture. The goal of the alliance is to promote the advancement and development of blockchain technology.

As part of the collaboration, SEAT plans to test the benefits of blockchain in the field of finance, aiming to improve and optimize the existing processes and facilitate supply chain management.

SEAT president Luca de Meo reportedly said that the company is “convinced of the relevance that blockchain technology will have in the future.”

In the meantime, SEAT and Telefónica have already begun jointly working on a proof-of-concept of a blockchain product that will track vehicle parts throughout the supply chain of SEAT’s factory located in Martorell, Spain.

Last month, American car manufacturing giant General Motors (GM) filed a blockchain patent for a solution to manage data from autonomous vehicles.

In September, German automobile manufacturer Porsche AG announced that it will increase its investments in startups — with a focus on blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) — by around $176 million over the next five years. The investments target “early and growth” stage businesses that relate to “customer experience, mobility and digital lifestyle,” as well as future technologies including blockchain, AI, and virtual and augmented reality.


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SEAT, the largest car manufacturer in Spain, has joined Alastria consortium focused on the development of blockchain technology