Crypto, Data and Privacy in Europe: Paradigm's interview
Deribit flash crash, Bisq new features, Sygnum in Singapore, low penetration of businesses accepting BTC and a Russian aluminium giant turning to crypto mining to survive
|Etienne Brunet||Nov 3, 2019|
This is issue #28 of my European crypto newsletter aiming to give updates on corporates, startups and regulation in 🇪🇺 If you’d like to sign up, you can do so here.
Thank you for supporting the European crypto ecosystem!
Etienne ( Twitter, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thank you Ledger Vault for supporting the crypto European ecosystem 🇪🇺
🙈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.
Paradigm — Automated workflows for OTC Digital Asset Traders
Note, Paradigm is based in NYC but from time to time we will showcase some of the most exciting company we see. Paradigm is one of them.
Hi Anand, you started working on Paradigm in 2016, which automates OTC trading within chat for institutional traders; can you share a bit about your background?
I’ve spent my entire post grad-school career (6+ years) on an OTC trading desk focused first on interest rate and commodity derivatives, and then High Yield credit. Paradigm was conceived of during my early days on Keybank’s energy derivatives desk. Back then, about 90% of all OTC Energy derivatives trades were being transacted over AOL Messenger and ICE Chat. It seemed odd that we were trading billions and dollars of these very sophisticated derivative products with very sophisticated counterparties, but the best we could come up with for a communication medium was AOL Messenger?
I was also in a junior role back then which meant that all the most painful tasks of onboarding a counterparty, structuring the RFQ, pricing credit/CVA, sending confirmation emails and booking of the trade into our risk system were delegated to me. This daily ritual, although critical to the trading process, was mind-numbingly repetitive and extremely time consuming. Importantly, it took away from all my trading-related responsibilities…which was the part of my job that I enjoyed most. There had to be a more efficient and less error prone way to transact. I’m lucky to have a computer science background so the first thing I set about doing was trying to automate most of my workflow using Excel/VBA. That Excel spreadsheet was probably what you could call the earliest version of Paradigm!
How did you get into the bitcoin and blockchain industry?
🐦 Tweets of the week
On October 31, 2019, at around 21:00 UTC, Deribit experienced issues with its BTC index calculation mechanism. This caused a significant price drop on its exchange and sequentially triggered multiple invalid liquidations. In short, traders got liquidated when they should not.
Deribit has always been at the forefront of index calculation by having the most exchange constituents and other key features in order to offer a robust index price.
The founder did not use their insurance fund but instead used the company balance sheet to reimburse users. Well done.
🤹 Startups News
Bisq launched with New Trade Protocol and Account Signing, the new trade protocol that removes the influence of third-party arbitrators and a way for new accounts to gain accreditation as a reputable trader of crypto assets without compromising user anonymity or site security
Sygnum granted capital markets services (CMS) licence for asset management in Singapore. With the CMS licence, Sygnum can now conduct asset management activities in Singapore, and will focus primarily on digital asset investment strategies for institutional and private qualified investors
In an interview with CNBC published, Feroz, Coinbase UK CEO, said he saw two ways for cryptocurrency to go mainstream: central bank digital currency (CBDC) issuance and Facebook’s Libra.
🎁 Startups Product & Partnership
Bitcoin Magazine reporter Colin Harper wrote the fourth piece on his “Living on Bitcoin in Europe” series, this time about Prague. Awesome read
Meanwhile, a recent survey by Cointelegraph and Coinmap shows the lack of massive adoption on the retail level for spending BTC despite. There’s been definite technical progress in the past year, but People just aren’t willing to spend an asset with such upside potential.
Having said that, Bitcoin is the 3rd most popular method for online payments in Italy. It comes in behind payment processor PayPal and Italian prepaid cash card provider PostePay.
On average, Bitcoin is used more than 215,800 times each month. American Express is used only 189,000 times. Other credit cards such as Visa and MasterCard are reportedly only used for direct payments 33,950 times each month.
A new survey of 2,500 UK citizens between the ages of 18 and 65+ reveals the opinions of Bitcoin ownership with some interesting results
76% of individuals age 65+ do not own, nor plan to buy Bitcoin (78% of males age 65+)
20% of UK respondents have never heard of Bitcoin (and 25% of males age 25-34)
5.3% of UK respondents already own Bitcoin
6.8% of UK respondents plan to buy Bitcoin (9% of males age 35-44)
Rusal, an aluminum giant owned by Oleg Deripaska, turns to Cryptocurrency Mining in Face of Sanctions. Rusal has been unable to manufacture anything since the sanctions were slapped on it. Looking to maintain cash flow, it has agreed to lease a section of its one of its Plant to the Russian Mining Company (RMC)
The World Economic Forum teamed up with seven major mining and metals firms to develop responsible sourcing and sustainability practices using blockchain
Deutsche Börse Venture Network (DBVN) confirmed the deal with local fintech company Cashlink, the benefits of which will be available immediately. From now on, investors with DBVN will be able to complete the funding process entirely digitally using tools based on so-called distributed ledger technology, or DLT
Crypto startup Knabu is piloting bank regulatory reporting with Factom, one of the earliest enterprise blockchain companies. “The purpose of the pilot is to start proving some of the efficiencies that blockchain brings – specifically as core infrastructure for a bank” CEO of Knabu
🏦Regulations / Universities
France continues to lead in regards to crypto currency. The French Ministry of National Education recently issued a resource guide including eight-page guide discusses Bitcoin (Yes it’s in French.)
The financial markets watchdog in Malta, Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA), said it has received ‘Letters of Intent’ from 34 prospective digital assets providers, of which are 21 crypto exchanges seeking authorization in the ‘Blockchain Island.’
A paper released by the Association of German Banks (Bankenverband), which represents more than 200 private commercial banks and eleven member associations, banks stated that the “economy needs a programmable digital euro.”
💰Fundings & M&A
The round was led by LocalGlobe and Oxford Capital, with additional participation from Seedcamp, the London Co-Investment Fund, Telefónica and airline group IAG
The start-up has developed a software that instantly verifies passenger data to reduce the need for manual document checks in airports.
Centrifuge raised an additional $3.7m, led by Crane Venture Partners out of London, Krishna and Scott are world class enterprise and SaaS investors - Congrats!
The team also launched the first incarnation of the Centrifuge Development Fund DAO. We call it the “Lab”. The Lab is a fund, governed by a number of individuals and organizations, to further the utility, usability, and usage of Centrifuge OS, the network, and its ecosystem
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.
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