Unspent, Cryptowatch, Bitwala, Web3, Elliptic, Quedex, Switzerland and much more!
|Aug 4||Public post|| 2|
This is issue #15 of my European crypto newsletter aiming to give updates on corporates, startups and regulation in 🇪🇺
Everyone is talking about San Francisco as the epicentre of everything in crypto. Well, I wanted to shed light on Europe and show how exciting the ecosystem is.
If you are based in Europe and want to support the ecosystem you can email me to highlight companies or topics that you think should be covered.
And if you are looking to hire, share news or want to sponsor a newsletter please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org - we are 1,000+ and growing.
Etienne ( Twitter, email@example.com)
🙈Who’s behind this?
This section aims to give the opportunity to introduce some of the best 🇪🇺 founders. Most people loves their products but don’t know who are the founders behind them. Hello World.
Background: Philippe is a French single founder bootstrapping Unspent and focusing on providing a product that's simple and valuable to its customers. This story is very relevant with the recent acquisition of Interchange by Kraken.
Hi Philippe, you recently launched Unspent, a crypto-asset portfolio management app that presents itself as “simple enough for newcomers, and powerful enough for serious investors”. Can you share a bit about your background?
I’m an entrepreneur at heart and I’ve been a software engineer for several years. I love building stuff that helps others in some way and I’ve both created as well as worked for a couple web companies where I was able to do just that. Just before launching Unspent, I worked at Buffer for three years, building social media tools for thousands of businesses and individuals. About a year ago, I set out to build a service that makes it easier to participate in the cryptocurrency industry that many have become fond of, including myself. That’s where Unspent comes in!
How did you get into the bitcoin and blockchain industry?.
I first heard about Bitcoin early enough, in 2011. Like many others at that time, I saw it as intellectually interesting and highly speculative. I didn’t dare buy any and I learned about it from afar over tim, until Bitcoin as well as other cryptocurrencies caught my attention (and many others’) during the 2017 bull run. I realized then, that against all odds, Bitcoin had actually gotten to a state where it was known worldwide and used by a significant amount of people. Not only that, but the space was ripe with ideas and innovation, with many projects and ideologies being put to the test. It was exciting to witness! I developed a strong desire to contribute to that industry and it didn’t take long until I started working full time on Unspent in mid 2018.
Tell us a bit more about the team behind Unspent. Are you hiring?
I’m a single founder bootstrapping Unspent and focusing on providing a product that’s simple and valuable to its customers.
For a service like Unspent, I believe slowly working towards profitability is a sustainable approach that ultimately allows for more liberty in how product decisions are made and a better user experience overall.
💵 Job of the week w/ Crypto Jobs List
Very excited to announce our first partnership with Crypto Jobs List. We curate a list of top jobs based in Europe. Apply. Share it.
Head of Research at Web3 Foundation (Polkadot): Looking for scientists with a deep understanding of decentralised technologies and an ambition to lead a high performance research team [APPLY IT’S A GREAT JOB]
🐦 Tweet of the week
BitPay, a payment processor that allows merchants to receive payments in Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash, has suspended its operations in Germany indefinitely as Germany has publicly stated that they want crypto companies to apply for a license starting in 2020 [Source]
The European subsidiary of Japanese crypto exchange bitFlyer launched a simplified Bitcoin buying and selling services for the European traders. It is an extension to its already existing pro-traders services, called Lightning [Source]
Blockchain analytics startup Elliptic, MIT researchers collaborate to detect money laundering in bitcoin using machine learning. ‘Elliptic’s data set is a time-series graph of 203,769 bitcoin transactions and payment flows. The analysis found that 2% of the analyzed transactions were illicit, 21% were licit, and the remaining transactions were labeled as unknown.’ - Lots of unknown unknowns [Source]
Instant crypto loans firm Nexo is launching a MasterCard-branded cryptocurrency credit card. - Some may remember XAPO credit card that got shut down and more recently the Coinbase card. Let’s see how many people actually want to use their crypto [Source]
Gibraltar-based crypto derivatives exchange Quedex has secured a license from the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC). - This may help the company to attract institutional clients [Source]
Youniqx Identity AG, a subsidiary of the Austrian State Printing House, has developed a cryptocurrency hardware wallet, named Chainlock — enables the offline storage of private keys allowing access to cryptocurrency wallets [Source]
Blockchain launched their exchange called The PIT, a custodial exchange. [Source]
English Premier League football club Leicester City FC announced the renewal of its partnership with multi-asset and cryptocurrency investment platform eToro [Source]
NYC-based enterprise software firm R3, known for its enterprise blockchain platform Corda, has doubled the size of its London Wall office “There is enormous opportunity for London post-Brexit. While there clearly remain some uncertainties, we believe the city is well placed and established to thrive in the coming years. ‘‘ R3 CEO David E. Rutter - At least someone is happy with the Brexit outcome [Source]
The Swiss Financial Services Standards Association (VQF), the oldest and largest SRO in the country, said that 7% of its membership is connected with crypto-related businesses [Source]
BCB Group and Bitstamp announce partnership to enable GBP transfers. New partnership will allow Bitstamp's customers to deposit and withdraw funds denominated in GBP [Source]
🏦Regulations / Universities
A report published by fintech firm Bitpanda and market research company GlobalWebIndex notes that the gender distribution among European crypto holders is 78% male and 22% female. Female crypto investors are 30% more likely to be in the top 10% of earners — 21% versus 16% of their male counterparts — and 3.3x more likely to be so than the “average woman.” [Source]
Germany-based Bitcoin (BTC) bank Bitwala announced that it received €13m (almost $14.5m) - This is a huge news. Bitwala is the banking service offering a free current account with a built-in bitcoin wallet as well as BTC trading options. What’s cool is that they are built on top of SolarisBank and thus can focus on building the crypto native tool. They already have users in 31 EEA countries and operates as a regulated entity [Source] - Also have a look at the press release of Earlybird when they invested back in September 2018 [Source]
Smart Valor has secured a fresh $3.25m round of investment, led by Venture Incubator, alongside Tally Capital and other Asian and U.S. investors. With the news, the startup is announcing a new exchange operating from both Switzerland and Liechtenstein that will provide custody, trading and brokerage services [Source]
🕹️ Product of the month
This is a new section where I highlight tools that are just great and lack coverage. This month: Cryptowatch