🇪🇺 Crypto Weekly Updates #20: Sven, Postraise (multi bank and multi jurisdictional fiat banking)

Donut, Gnosis, Copper, IOTA, ECB, Central Bank of Netherlands and Mexico, Bruno Le Maire, Elliptic $23m+, DappRadar $2m and much more

Hi Everyone,

This is issue #20 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.

I want to thank everyone who filled my survey. I shall share the insights next week. Also, the next edition is a special one. Very excited to share the update…

  • If you have experience in crypto mining (investor, builder, miner etc…), email me, I want to write something about it.

  • I’m looking for contacts with Swiss regulation knowledge in regards to crypto assets. email me :)

If you are looking to hire, share news or want to sponsor a newsletter please email me at cryptojobseu@gmail.com - we are 1,100+ and growing.

Merci,

Etienne Twitter, ebrunet40@gmail.com)


🙏Thank you for filling my survey. My cat is super happy.

🙈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: ‘Hi Etienne, I’m calling because our bank is threatening us to shut down our account. I don’t know what to do. Any advice?’ I had this call multiple times from European and US crypto founders - some with well known backers and strong business models. If you don’t have a strong banking relationship, you can’t pay your employees or your rent. Having a weak fiat banking partner is massive point of failure for crypto companies.

Postraise

Note, if you want to be connected to Sven you can email me at ebrunet40@gmail.com and I shall help to connect.

Hi Sven, you launched Postraise with a mission to create a multi bank and multi jurisdictional fiat banking portfolio for your crypto clients. Could you share a bit about your background? How did you get into the bitcoin and blockchain industry?

I first heard about bitcoin back in March of 2013 under very strange circumstances. I was travelling in China and I had met an Italian living in Guangzhou; we bonded over both being traders and struck up a friendship. I had remarked I was looking to visit some factories in the area and he mentioned that he had a friend who owned a jewellery factory and asked if I would like to have a tour. I, of course, jumped at the chance and a few days later we were walking through the factory with gold and silver absolutely everywhere, including lots of little bits on the floor. The tour ended with a look inside the vault where for the first time in my life I saw actual gold bars sitting on a pallet. The owner of the factory said they were worth somewhere in the region of 3 million dollars.

At that point, my head was spinning and when my new friend and I left the factory to grab some lunch he began telling me about a digital gold created by some Japanese professor that uses cryptography to create digital scarcity. I really had no idea what he was talking about and couldn’t really take the idea seriously as I thought this was all part of an elaborate scam to get me to “invest” in some sort of digital money which didn’t exist.

I heard about the substantial increase in Bitcoin’s price around the latter part of 2013 as my friend had invested in Bitcoin and was telling me about all of the money made. Then came the crash and two years of Bitcoin’s price going sideways which for me was not very interesting as at the time I was trading FX.

The light finally came on for me when in the early part of 2016 I read two very interesting books: The Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and the Blockchain Are Challenging the Global Economic Order (Paul VIgna & Michael J Casey) and Digital Gold by Nathaniel Popper.

Since then I’ve been firmly in the Crypto space — trading, investing and learning. If I recall correctly, both books mentioned Jesse and Kraken so when the opportunity to join them came upI jumped at the chance. Unfortunately, the position never really turned into what I thought it would but I enjoyed my time there and still have a good bunch of buddies at Kraken. My time there also opened my eyes to the banking issues faced by both individuals and companies who have a Crypto touchpoint to their activities.

More about Postraise. Fiat partner for crypto business. Click here.

 💵 Job of the week

If you want to work at a blockchain / crypto company but feel slightly overwhelmed by the number of openings and name of companies (they all start with Block….). Well, just click below to be registered in our database. It’s free and we’ll match you with employers. Enjoy!

Otherwise have a look at awesome jobs in Berlin at Donut

🐦 Tweet of the week

This not a tweet but when people tell me that crypto has no real use case and it’s only magic beans I often share this graph from Paxful with $22.5m weekly volume or c. $1.2bn annualized… beautiful

🤹 Startups

  • Copper, the London-based custodian for digital assets, has witnessed exponential growth in the use of its trade and settlement Infrastructure, showing a 50% increase in volumes month-on-month. Since launching its infrastructure in June, Copper has already processed $500m in transactions [Source] - I am a massive fan of the Copper team. It is also awesome to see a team that was interviewed few months ago starting to become one of the leader of their industry!

  • The global peer-to-peer Bitcoin (BTC) marketplace, Paxful, and Medellin-based blockchain company, CoinLogiq, are joining forces to bring 20 new crypto ATMs to Colombia and, later, 25 to Peru [Source] - Paxful is one of the largest P2P crypto exchange with $1b+ annual volume… and yes it’s from Europe

  • French hardware wallets manufacturer Ledger announced that its cryptocurrency management software Ledger Live now supports Ethereum (ETH) ERC-20 tokens [Source]

  • the IOTA Foundation published its 19-page study "Towards Open & Transparent Cities" which shares IOTA’s perspectives on the current concepts for smart city projects and the future challenges in which IOTA could play a major role [Source] - One name that was missing in the report was Bosch… Also if you are interested in Smart city I would recommend to check Crossbar.io that recently partnered with Continental and Hewlett Packard Enterprise to create Earn As You Drive

  • On Sept. 6, Telegram released its Telegram Open Network (TON) testnet explorer and node software on its website, two months ahead of its planned launch of the Gram digital currency [Source]

🏭Corporates

  • Turkey's Istanbul Clearing, Settlement and Custody Bank (Takasbank) has announced its blockchain-based platform for trading physical gold. Dubbed BiGA, Takasbank’s new project aims to enable people to transfer physical gold stored at the Borsa Istanbul Stock Exchange (BIST), Turkey's sole exchange entity, through digitized gold units on a blockchain [Source] - This is somewhat similar to a gold-backed token like Paxos announced earlier this week

  • The German arm of global fast-food chain Burger King now accepts Bitcoin (BTC) payments on its delivery website and mobile application [Source]

🏦Regulations / Universities

  • Huobi University, the research and education arm of cryptocurrency exchange Huobi, announced its collaboration with the University of Gibraltar on various blockchain initiatives. It was describes as its “first formal collaboration with a Western university.” [Source]

  • Central Bank of Mexico (Banxico) will impose fines for operating with crypto assets without the authorization of the bank or for carrying out operations other than those established, vary approximately from USD 9,500 to USD 47,000 - [Source] - Note, this is pretty important as it shows how some country try to monitor the use of crypto currency. Great in-depth information here on regulation

  • Swiss National Bank (SNB) President Thomas Jordan said that stablecoins pegged to foreign currencies could hamper Switzerland’s monetary policy in some circumstances [Source] -

  • ECB’s Yves Mersch Warns Libra Cryptocurrency Is ‘Facebook’s Siren Call’: “I sincerely hope that the people of Europe will not be tempted to leave behind the safety and soundness of established payment solutions and channels in favor of the beguiling but treacherous promises of Facebook’s siren call.” [Source] - safety and soundness yes but only up to €100,000 thanks to Deposit guarantee schemes (DGS)….

  • The French minister, Bruno Le Maire shared his interest in potentially launching a state-backed stablecoin to lower cross-border fees [Source] - Maybe Clearmatics could be a good partner

  • The Central Bank of Netherlands is ordering trading services providers in the Dutch Bitcoin economy to register. The enforcement of the trading regulation begins January 10, 2020. Bitcoin market players including wallet providers and trading firms have to register [Source] [add info UK]

💰Fundings

  • DappRadar raises $2.3 million from Naspers Ventures and Blockchain Ventures. It tracks over 2,500 dapps across seven blockchains, including Ethereum, EOS and TRON, with plans to expand to others, filtering data to remove fake and irrelevant activity and provide trustworthy, actionable market intelligence. [Source] - Think of it as App Annie but for crypto, interesting the same week the good people at Hashed backed Dapp with Du Capital

  • Blockchain forensics firm Elliptic raised $23 million in funding led by Tokyo-based financial institution SBI. The funding will help drive Elliptic’s Asia expansion, which includes a recently opened Singapore office and one in Japan that will open this week [Source] - “According to our analysis, approximately $1BN in Bitcoin has been spent on the dark web, so far in 2019, on items ranging from narcotics to stolen credit cards. This represents a very small share of all Bitcoin activity — less than 0.5% of Bitcoin payments over this period,” says Smith.

  • Cryptocurrency wallet and statistics resource Blockchain.com (formerly Blockchain.info) is reportedly raising a $50m venture fund [Source]

🕹️ Products of the week

  • The Berlin-based Donut is launching an investment app for crypto. Today they only offer Bitcoin but in the long term, nothing stops them to offer other crypto assets… Also if you don’t know the team you need to join the waiting list.

  • Connect your bank, select triggers and track your investments. Imagine saving everyday in USDC while you buy your favourite matcha latte and getting 5%+ yield.