On October 9, 2018, Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Switzerland will take place for the second time in Geneva, the European fintech hub. The event is dedicated to blockchain and cryptocurrencies uniting blockchain project developers, investors, analysts, financiers, specialists in marketing and legal support of business. The first Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Switzerland was held in February and gathered more than 300 participants.
Background, topics, experts
Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference is a series of events held in different countries of the world by Smile-Expo. In 2018, more than 20 events are planned including the recent conferences in the Philippines, Australia, India, Thailand, and upcoming events in France, Switzerland, and Malta.
The event in Geneva combines a conference featuring foreign experts and a demo zone where companies will present their products. The program includes a panel discussion and a pitch session for participants of the demo zone.
The team of Smile-Expo, the international event company, includes in the program of Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Switzerland reports of international experts as well as bright representatives of the Swiss blockchain community. In February, speakers of Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Switzerland were representatives of CERN and investor listed in Forbes 30 under 30.
Pioneer in financial technologies
Switzerland is a country with the developed banking system and great interest in fintech innovations. Today the country has its own “crypto valley” – the city of Zug, where a functional blockchain ecosystem has been developed and many famous projects are based, such as Ethereum Foundation, Monetas, Lykke. Zug is known for several business accelerators and HSLU-I university that teaches blockchain specialists. Besides, one can use Bitcoin to pay for goods and services here and exchange it for fiat money in one of three Bitcoin ATMs. At the end of July, the voting via the eID system based on the distributed ledger will take place in Zug.
In 2018, Procivis startup has successfully tested and implemented the eID solution and a number of e-Government services. Now users can file tax declarations, register residence, and use passport services with their smartphones.
Furthermore, there are blockchain platforms for over-the-counter securities trading launched by major financial organizations in Switzerland. As for the business application of blockchain, 75% of Swiss companies plan to integrate the technology in the next three years (according to the report of PwC).
Attend the second Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Switzerland!
Smile-Expo’s blockchain conference in Switzerland gives an opportunity to meet global blockchain and cryptocurrency experts. It is a comfortable networking space, where one can exchange experience with companies that have already developed and implemented real-life blockchain-based solutions.
The event will be interesting for:
- specialists working in the field of blockchain and cryptocurrencies that want to receive new and relevant information firsthand;
- those striving to build a career in the field of blockchain and cryptocurrencies;
- entrepreneurs that plan to integrate decentralized technologies in their business.
Now you can get Early Birds tickets on the website of the event!
Jelurida Africa Sponsors National Blockchain Hackathon
Jelurida Africa today announced that it will be sponsoring students of 5 different universities to the National Campus Blockchain Hackathon on September 25th and 26th 2019 where they will have the opportunity to pitch their Blockchain-based idea or solution to investors. The Sponsorship will cover their cost of flight to Abuja, feeding and accommodation.
Having been to five institutions across the country earlier in the year with Jelurida’s support, the National Campus Blockchain Hackathon is set to hold its Finale on the 25th and 26th of September, 2019 where winners of the previous Hackathons from each school will be hosted in Abuja by Jelurida for the conference themed ‘Blockchain Innovation for Sustainable Growth in Nigeria’.
The Campus Blockchain Hackathon, an initiative of the Blockchain Industry Advisory of Nigeria (BIAN) a subdivision of the Cryptographic Development Initiative of Nigeria (CDIN) with sole sponsorship from Jelurida is a two days programme that is hosted in Universities across Nigeria. Jelurida Africa, a Blockchain Technology firm in Lagos Nigeria as part of their efforts of spreading advocacy and creating awareness of the Blockchain technology have been solely involved in sponsoring the Campus Blockchain Hackathon programmes right from its inception in 2018.
The major tertiary institutions that previously participated were selected across the geopolitical zones in the country which are Covenant University, Kwara State University, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Federal University of Technology Akure and the University of Nigeria Nsukka.
This upcoming Finale is a two day event where the Campus communities are taught about the Blockchain technology, its potentials and use cases on the first day and made to think out ideas or solutions that can be implemented with this technology which will be pitched to the judges on the second day and the best solution goes home with a sum of 100,000 naira and other souvenirs.
Also, the finals of the Campus Blockchain Hackathon will offer participants the opportunity to pitch their blockchain-based ideas to investors from various industries that will be present at the event.
Pictures from event
Jelurida Africa’s mission is to ensure that the rate of adoption of the Blockchain technology in Africa is fast-tracked through implementing solutions for businesses using the technology. The Managing Director Adedayo Adebajo believes that the youths are the most acceptable of new trends hence his full support of the programme in Campus communities which is also in line with the companies key offering of Education and Consulting. For more information about the company and what they do, visit the website or follow on social media platforms @jeluridaafrica.
Meanwhile, the Campus blockchain and cryptocurrency tour CampusBCAT 2019 train will be moving to the University of Port Harcourt after recording great success at its first stop at the University of Ibadan UI on the 7th of September. The event is slated to be held on September 24.
Imposition of Charges for Deposits & Withdrawals by Nigerian Central Bank Could Drive Crypto Adoption
Imposition of Charges for Withdrawal by Nigerian Central Bank Could Drive Crypto Adoption
The Central Bank of Nigeria in circular sent to Deposit Money banks said signaled it will impose charges on deposits in addition to already existing charges on withdrawals.
The charges come as a drastic move to compel participation in the nationwide implementation of the Cashless Policy initiative of the Apex bank. This will commence by the end of the first quarter of 2020.
According to the circular already circulating the internet, charges will take begin from the 18th of September, 2019. For individuals, amounts above 500,000 ($1389) will incur processing fees of 2% for deposits while withdrawals will attract 3% charges.
The circular also reports for corporate accounts a 5% processing fees for withdrawals and 3% charges for deposits of amounts above N3,000,000 ($8334).
The cashless policy full implementation will commence from March, 2020 however, the charges will begin on the 18th of September, 2019 and charges on deposits will only apply in select regions in the country such as Lagos State, Ogun, Kano, Abia, Anambra, Rivers States and the Federal Capital Territory FCT.
The decision of the Apex bank to enforce the charges on deposits has been met with criticism as mostly seen on cryptotwitter
Charges on cash withdrawals is understandable but charges on deposits encourages keeping a lot of money out of the system. How does small business owners who receives payment in small cash get to deposit 500k when they have to pay their profits as deposit charges.
— Oyelowo 'Timileyin (@iamtimmyoye) September 18, 2019
The new CBN policy on cash transactions is catch-22.
You want a cashless society so you put charges on cash withdrawal, fine.
You then went ahead to still put charges on cash deposit.
I am not understanding. pic.twitter.com/oqzObvwSIE
— Adeyemo Adesegun (@alexcrownus) September 18, 2019
Recall the Federal Inland Revenue Service had early announced a tax on online transactions. The consumption based tax is expected to affect digital purchases.
The Tax Administrator revealed the Deposits Money Banks DMBs in the country will act as collection agents. The Value Added Tax VAT which is currently at 5% is expected to increase the cost of online purchases.
While the FIRS Boss has disclosed the collection of VAT on digital goods would require legislative backing as the VAT legislature doesn’t support the appointment of Commercial Banks as VAT collection agents rather the vendor is the collected and remitter of VAT, the Nigerian Federal Executive Council FEC has approved the increase of the VAT to 7.5%. A move which has caused uproar in the country.
In the midst of economic uncertainty and diminishing purchasing power of the naira, coupled with the difficulties of accessing forex, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has been helping locals to circumvent the difficulties encountered in accessing forex while also helping to store wealth and move funds across border at a low rate and fast speed.
The decision of the Apex bank to charge on deposits and withdrawals could inform businesses and individuals transacting in high volumes adopt the use of cryptocurrencies to avoid paying the charges. With local and foreign blockchain firm’s products like the BPay Prepaid Card and the BitPay Card which allows users to make transactions with bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies without having to hold funds in any bank, cryptocurrencies presents a fascinating alternative to the use of traditional banking infrastructure.
While the aim of the Apex bank is to enforce the Cashless society policy, sentiments are not with the government and this move could have given a nudge to adopt crypto.
MasterCard to Develop New Blockchain Powered Cross Border Payment Solution in Partnership with R3
MasterCard has strategically partnered with R3, a leading enterprise blockchain software provider to develop and pilot a new blockchain enabled cross border payment solution that will focus on connecting worldwide faster payment infrastructures, schemes and banks supported by a clearing and settlement network operated by MasterCard.
In a press released by Mastercard, the global payment firm revealed has earlier strengthened its cross border network by its acquisition of Transfast – a global cross-border payment network provider with proprietary payment network serving more than 120 countries globally.
The partnership will help provide increasing innovative, value added services for customers, addressing challenges such as high processing overheads, liquidity management and the current lack of standardization and processes between local clearing systems and banks.
Speaking on the partnership, Peter Klein, an Executive of MasterCard says the development of a new and better cross border Business 2 Business payments solution by improving worldwide connectivity in the account to account space is central to MasterCard’s ambition.
Peter Klein went further saying “Our goal is to deliver global payment infrastructure choice and connectivity as demonstrated through our recent strategic acquisitions and partnerships, including our relationship with R3.”
“It confirms our commitment to innovation, both home-grown and through partnerships and acquisitions, to support advances and innovation in the increasingly complex global payment infrastructure space”
The firm believes the partnership with the Enterprise Blockchain Software provider will provide customers with unrivaled choice to transfer funds.
R3’s CEO David Rutter expressed his excitement at the partnership saying R3 is happy to partner with MasterCard to help shape the future of the digital payments ecosystem.
He went further saying, all institutions either large or small rely on the ability to send and receive payments, but all too often the technology relied upon is expensive and complex.
Defining Corda, David Rutter said, Corda was designed specifically for enterprise use cases such as cross border payments that is a pain point and R3 looks forward to supporting MasterCard bring blockchain enabled payments to business around the world.
R3 is an enterprise blockchain software firm working with a global ecosystem of more than 300 participants across multiple industries from both the private and public sectors to develop on Corda, its open-source blockchain platform, and Corda Enterprise, a commercial version of Corda for enterprise usage.
Libra Association Seeks Payment License for Facebooks Cryptocurrency in Switzerland
Facebook makes plans to get payment system license from the Switzerland’s Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) for its digital currency Libra. According to Reuters report on Sept. 11.
Going by an official statement the Switzerland registered association aims to govern the Libra network as a non-profit membership organisation. The body explained it’s decision to carry out this regulatory framework with the Swiss watchdog:
“Switzerland offers a pathway for responsible financial services innovation harmonized with global financial norms and strong oversight. We are engaging in constructive dialogue with FINMA and are encouraged to see a feasible pathway for an open-source blockchain network to become a regulated, low-friction, high-security payment system.”
Guidance on regulatory requirements made for payments on the blockchain network and blockchain related services including exchanges, trading platform and wallet providers was notably released by FINMA this summer.
The guidance released complies to the framework for the regulation of digital assets which was issued June this year by the intergovernmental Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which includes provisions for Anti Money Laundering (AML) measures, Know Your Customer compliance, risk-monitoring systems and others.
The concerns of other bodies
The United States Treasury officials had told had told reporters in Geneva that it was of utmost importance that the Libra project satisfy the highest standards for combating money laundering and countering terrorism financing if it gets approval by the lawmakers and regulators.
On Sept. 5, Swiss National Bank President Thomas Jordan made a statement on this, saying that stablecoins pegged to foreign currencies creates a possibility for an adverse effect on Switzerland’s monetary policy.
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