The price of bitcoin has surpassed the $8,800 mark, rising 6 percent within the last 24 hours. Trading volumes across the major cryptocurrency exchanges have also increased beyond $26 billion for the first time in a while.

Upward trend.

Last month, bitcoin tested the $9,200 mark, but it didn’t take long before it fell to $6,500 after failing to sustain the momentum to bounce off $8,200.

Based on the fluctuations in the price the market has witnessed in recent weeks, it is quite likely that bitcoin will test the $9,200 mark again as it did last month, and it could even surpass it. A movement above the $9,200 level it reached late March could see bitcoin price entering the $10,000 region before April ends.

Psychological threshold.

Investors highlighted the $10,000 mark for bitcoin in November last year was both a psychological threshold and a key milestone. They predicted it would surge substantially, way before it got to $10,000. Bitcoin was relentless towards the ending of last year.  After breaking the $10,000 ceiling – it rose to $14,000 and eventually to $20,000, where the decline started.

Since the corrections of February this year, and the series of regulations in recent weeks, the market has struggled to hold forth any form of stability. As always, the price of most altcoins and tokens have taken a cue from bitcoin which has been battered since the turn of the year. Regional exchanges in Japan and South Korea have not been spared either as both have witnessed a decrease in trading volumes.

The new trend in the price of BTC is an ideal position for the currency to rally round for both the short and mid-term, given that more people are getting aware of cryptocurrency as adoption has increased.

Crimea Plans Cryptocurrency Fund to Protect Investors from Economic Sanctions

Authorities in Crimea are interested in launching a cryptocurrency fund for investors to circumvent economic sanctions imposed on the Russian-occupied territory.

The deputy prime minister of Crimea, Georgy Muradov highlighted the plans on April 18. He said:

“We are discussing these schemes to circumvent sanctions. One way is the creation of a cryptocurrency investment fund in Crimea where we can accumulate cryptocurrency resources, exchange them into cash, and then use them to implement certain investment projects on Crimean land”.

The plan is for Crimea to create a public investment fund in crypto which can be used to accumulate digital assets for the region.

Muradov made his comments one day before the commencement of the Yalta International Economic Forum, held in Crimea. At the forum, Anatoly Aksakov – who oversees the Committee on the Financial Market in Russia’s lower legislative chamber – gave the green light to the project.

Anatoly said cryptocurrency exchanges and ICOs might be permitted in Crimea, but mining won’t be allowed due to the excessive amount of electricity it consumes.

The move towards cryptocurrency adoption in Crimea is progressing faster than expected. Aksakov said:

“Mining in the Crimea is an illusion, but ICO and crypto-exchanges are quite real,” “[Authorities] are working hard on this issue.”

Russia also has plans to launch a cryptocurrency named CryptoRuble, in a bid to circumvent economic sanctions from the West. This has become necessary as the Russian government seeks to strengthen the economy while reducing the impact of international sanctions.

Russian regulators are currently drafting cryptocurrency regulations which are expected to be released in July 2018, but we should not expect CryptoRuble till mid-2019.

While Russian president Vladimir Putin had initially expressed skepticism towards bitcoin and the rest of the cryptocurrency market because of fears of regulation and the lack of backing by any central bank, the ballooning market and demand for cryptocurrency have since softened his stance.

A couple of Russian companies have started testing the waters as well. Gazprombank, one of the largest bank in Russia has made bold moves towards cryptocurrency adoption as it seeks to conduct crypto transactions through its Swiss subsidiary later this year.

BIS London

Blockchain International Show London: Largest Cryptocurrency Event in Europe

On June 6-7, London will see Blockchain International Show, major large-scale cryptocurrency event in Europe.

What is waiting for you?

  • Two days of experts’ presentations and major corporations’ developments
  • 60 speakers from all over the world
  • 100 exhibitors
  • 2000 participants

The event will be held for two days and will consist of two parallel sections, one dedicated to financial and regulatory questions, and another – to developments, tokenization, and ICOs.

Top-level experts from all around the world will provide their presentations in two conference halls turning the event into a two-day journey full of mesmerizing discoveries. Speakers will give presentations on the topical issues concerning the technology in general as well as on details within the industry. Highly interactive panel discussions based on case studies will provide real-world options for technology implementation, and explain ways of building communities and profitable partnerships in the emerging blockchain field. You will find out which industries can profit most from the implementation of blockchain and cryptocurrencies and which are set to be disrupted.

Speakers:

  • Sally Eaves – Emergent Technology CTO, Global Strategy Advisor – FinTech, Blockchain AI, Forbes Technology Council
  • Michael Mainelli – Executive Chairman at Z/Yen Group
  • Spiros Margaris – Influencer and Venture Capitalist, Senior Advisor at Arbidex
  • Iman Multaq – CEO at Sigma Investments
  • Kambiz Djafari – CEO and Co-Founder at Edgecoin.io
  • Jan Sammut – CEO at RefToken & Blockchain & cryptocurrency investor and ICO advisor
  • Jimmy Nguyen – Chief Executive Officer, nChain Group
  • Bogdan Malesa – Founder of Universal Crypto
  • Arnab Naskar – CEO SICOS (LUX) S.C.S.
  • Lex Sokolin – Global Director Fintech Strategy & Partner at Autonomous Research
  • Richard Kastelein – Co-Founder at Cryptoassets Design Group

Speaker list is constantly expanding. Find the latest updates on the website.

Exhibition

The exhibition area is a place that will help you to discover the latest hardware and software products based on the blockchain technology used in banking, social services, infrastructure projects, computer security companies, automation service providers, IT companies, and others. Hardware department of the exhibition area will introduce the most efficient equipment for cryptocurrency mining, cryptocurrency storage devices, and other hardware manufacturers.

The exhibition area provides:

  • Interaction with product teams
  • Lecture zone

Who will enjoy the event?

  • Business representatives who want to implement blockchain into their business and develop their company in the future
  • Large institutional investors, as the cryptocurrency attracts more interest every day and brings higher profits
  • Developers, as the event will introduce a wide range of blockchain-based and financial crypto services
  • Blockchain start-ups, as it is possible to meet investors and cooperate with other start-up projects
  • FinTech professionals and technical advisors
  • development and marketing managers
  • Industry enthusiasts and many others

Why visit Blockchain International Show London?

  • interaction: speakers will answer any question you would like to ask about the industry and exhibiting companies will tell you anything about the product, technology or service that you will use in your everyday life soon
  • Networking: you can meet your future partners, clients, investors, potential employees and employers, and a lot of like-minded people
  • Your product presentation and promotion: exhibition will give you the opportunity to introduce your innovative idea to the audience, get maximum feedback and let everyone know about you as of the industry leader
  • New business opportunities: among the participants, you will meet government representatives, service and platform providers, operators, investors, data scientists, business analysts, and venture capitalists with whom you can cooperate in the future

Attend the largest European crypto event and open your future with blockchain – go to BIS!

 

Yesterday, ElaadNL released the world’s first IOTA based charging station in the Netherlands. ElaadNL has been researching and running tests on smart charging technology.

This charging station, which is located at Arnhems Buiten (former KEMA site) is locally known as a public space that hosts all kinds of charging facilities. The charging station utilizes IOTA for both charging and paying on a machine-to-machine (M2M) basis.

The charging station operation is quite impressive. Once the car is connected to the charging station, the hardware within the charges will establish a TCP/IP connection. This connection will allow for the exchange of relevant data, followed by payments (IOTA) in a machine to machine mode.

Some few months earlier, ElaadNL had built a PoC Charge Station running on IOTA for payment of energy and communication with the customer.

According to the Managing Director of ElaadNL:

“This charger shows the ability of using real machine to machine communications and micropayments, with the use of IOTA as a secure layer for these payments and data. ElaadNL researches all kinds of innovative and smart technologies with regard to charging electric cars. DLT-technology might become a widespread thing in the near future. Now we can explore and research its possibilities on our testing ground in Arnhem.”

The charging station doesn’t require a communication protocol to get started and the transactions are exchanged seamlessly without the use of a subscription or charge card. The station was tested with a mini Tesla model car which was equipped with the hardware to support the transaction.

This technology should fit perfectly in a future of connected and fully digitalized systems, and we also expect more exploration of this technology in the e-mobility domain especially for connected sectors like energy.

Alisa Mass, Head of Mobility at the IOTA Foundation shares a similar sentiment. She said:
“Thanks to ElaadNL’s cutting-edge innovation, seamless e-mobility is taking one big leap forward, and we look forward to sharing this achievement with the rest of our growing ecosystem, at the crossroads of mobility, energy and smart cities sectors.”

IBM announced today that their Kenyan research lab is prepared to roll out a new blockchain-based microlending solution, prepared in partnership with Twiga Foods.   Twiga Foods is a Nairobi-based business-to-business coordination platform for kiosks and food stalls in Africa that had previously expressed interest in extending financial service offerings to its customers.

While Twiga Foods was interested in ways that they could offer access to working capital to their customers, many of the businesses did not have credit scores or another existing way to assess their creditworthiness.  Fortunately, IBM researchers had a solution and proposed using both machine learning applied to mobile phone data, including purchase and repayment patterns, in order to build a picture of a business’s financial health.    In the past, IBM has successfully used similar data in partnerships with an African bank and with a mobile service provider.  In those projects, over $3 million in loans were processed.

Grant Brooke, co-founder of Twiga Foods said, “Previously, we were focused on helping farmers distribute bananas, tomatoes, onions and potatoes to 2,600 kiosks across Kenya, but we soon realized that we could help them sell even more produce with access to working capital. It’s simple, if the food vendors can sell more, we can distribute more, growing both of our businesses.”Late last year, Twiga Foods and IBM tested the viability of their concept by running a pilot project with 220 Kenyan small food kiosks, referred to locally as “mom mbogas” in Swahili.  The eight-week pilot involved over 220 loans issued to participants, with the average loan amount around $30 USD (3,020 KES).   During the pilot project, participating retailers saw an increase in profits of approximately 6%, and orders increased by approximately 30%.   The microloans were issued as 6 to 8 day advances, and participants were charged between 1% and 2% interest.

 

Using blockchain allows a level of transparency within the lending process for all parties, including the lender, the borrower, and their banks.  Since no one party can unilaterally alter or add to the blockchain, it can be an effective way to reduce fraud and misrepresentation.  Blockchain technology can also be a very efficient way of processing financial transactions, as it can execute a series of “smart contracts” simultaneously.

“We analyzed purchase records from a mobile device and then apply machine learning algorithms to predict creditworthiness, in turn giving lenders the confidence they need to provide microloans to small businesses. Once the credit score is determined, we used a blockchain, based on the Hyperledger Fabric, to manage the entire lending process from application to receiving offers to accepting the terms to repayment,” said Isaac Markus, a researcher on the inclusive financial services group at IBM Research in Kenya.

 

IBM and Twiga Foods hope to expand the project to include other vendors and suppliers, both within Kenya and in other countries, by the end of 2018.