Germany to introduce blockchain strategy by mid-2019: The German government has revealed that the country’s blockchain strategy will be introduced by mid-2019. According to the German cabinet, the government will first organize an online consultation process prior to introducing the blockchain strategy. The Ministry of Finance and the Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy are in charge of preparing the strategy, with the explicit expectation that other ministries will contribute at a later stage. Earlier this month, the government started consulting companies that could be stakeholders in the space to help promote their current strategy.
German health minister choses the best blockchain ideas: The German health ministry has used a competition to look for blockchain-based concepts than can help prepare the German health industry for the future. Health Minister Jens Spahn personally awarded prizes to the winners of the ministry’s “Future Workshop Blockchain in Health Care” competition in Berlin. Three winners were chosen from a total of around 140 submissions. Overall, a prize money of 30,000 euros was awarded, which was distributed between the three winners. The German health ministry has mentioned legal and identity management, consent declarations, and the organ donor register as examples of potential uses of blockchain.
Private banks get into crypto: Julius Baer plans to offer access to digital assets through a partnership with Swiss start-up SEBA Crypto in the latest move into cryptocurrencies by a Swiss private bank. The partnership, which follows a similar move by smaller rival Falcon Private Bank, will enable customers of Julius Baer, Switzerland’s third-largest listed bank, to store, trade and invest in digital assets. Banks see promise in the blockchain technology underpinning cryptocurrencies, but have not rushed into an industry which has faced regulatory scrutiny and extreme price swings. Meanwhile, JPMorgan Chase this month said it would launch its own digital coin.
Opinion: Bitcoin’s opportunities are still being underestimated handelsblatt.com
Coinbase: Former hacking team members will transition out of Coinbase bitcoinist.com
Drug prescriptions: Soon only on the blockchain? apotheke-adhoc.de
Food retailer: Carrefour adopts blockchain to track fresh produce reuters.com
Feasibility study: Ministry issues field test for blockchain energate-messenger.de
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A company based in Munich which operates in cryptocurrency trading services had Bitcoins worth around €180,000 euros stolen by one of its own employees.
It’s not easy being a blockchain company in Malta: Malta has been hyped up as the happy ending for crypto business who have trouble operating elsewhere, but there is a problem: Banks are reluctant to grant crypto startups business accounts until they are properly licensed with the MFSA. This process can take up to six months for a first-round response, leaving many businesses unable to operate using local bank accounts. A recent report by the “Times of Malta” suggested that while crypto businesses have flocked to the world’s so-called blockchain haven, a task as simple as opening a bank account is not nearly as straight-forward as they had anticipated, with banks showing them the door until they have received the appropriate licensure from the Malta Financial Services Authority.
QuadrigaCX crypto wallets were emptied before CEO’s death: Like most cryptocurrency exchanges, QuadrigaCX kept most of its funds in so-called “cold wallets.” These repositories of cryptocurrency are not connected to the internet, making them more secure from hacking attempts. The company would just move small amounts of crypto into the “hot wallets” as needed. After CEO Gerald Cotten’s death late last year, the company said it was unable to access the wallets holding customer funds because Cotten was the only person with the passwords. After examining data provided by the exchange, auditor Ernst & Young reports that the exchange’s wallets were emptied months before the founder’s death.
“This is a platform for all sorts of art trade services, but not for art dealers themselves. I do not want to compete with galleries.”
Art collector Niko Kipouros, CEO and founder of 4ARTechnologies, wants to prevent the spread of artificial counterfeiting with the help of blockchain.
Huawei opens Brussels cybersecurity center: The Chinese telecoms giant has opened a cyber security center in Brussels, to allow its customers and governments to test Huawei’s source code, software and product solutions. The company has similar facilities in Britain, Bonn, Dubai, Toronto and Shenzhen. Huawei, in the spotlight over the security risks of its telecom equipment gear, urged governments, the telecoms industry and regulators on Tuesday to work together to create a common set of cybersecurity standards. High-level officials at the EU Commission and the telecoms giant sought to build bridges on Monday, as Vice President for the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip sat down with Huawei rotating chairman Ken Hu in an encounter described as conciliatory by a Huawei spokesperson.