KW 11: Swiss watchdog rejects banking license for Bitcoin Suisse, IBM led consortium wins German Digital Health Passport contract, Citybank report sees Bitcoin at a turning point

NEWS

Swiss watchdog rejects banking license for Bitcoin Suisse: Cryptocurrency trading platform Bitcoin Suisse AG has had its application for a Swiss banking license turned down. The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority cited a number of elements that were relevant under licensing law, such as weaknesses in money-laundering defense mechanisms, as the reason for the rejection. The financial watchdog has now terminated the licensing procedure after Bitcoin Suisse indicated it would not be continuing with its application at the present time.
reuters.com, coindesk.com

IBM led consortium wins German Digital Health Passport contract: A consortium led by IBM, including blockchain cybersecurity firm Ubirch, won the tender for digital vaccination certificates in Germany. The two firms beat competition from a joint initiative by Deutsche Telekom and SAP. According to the Official EU Journal the award is 2.7 million euros, but IBM will subcontract 51% of the project. The initiative is to create a digital version of yellow vaccine certificates. In order to ensure that those vaccinated have forgery-proof evidence of their vaccinations with full control over their data, the companies announced that they want to develop the vaccination certificates on a blockchain basis. But some voices on social media criticized the fact that Ubirch is still keeping a low profile when it comes to which blockchains it wants to fall back on and what the selection criteria will look like.
ledgerinsights.com, bitcoin-kurier.de

Citybank report sees Bitcoin at a turning point: Citi thinks bitcoin is at a tipping point and could one day become the currency of choice for international trade as companies like Tesla and PayPal warm to it and central banks explore issuing their own digital currencies. Bitcoin’s future is thus still uncertain, but developments in the near term are likely to prove decisive as the currency balances at the tipping point of mainstream acceptance or a speculative implosion, the US bank’s global perspectives and solutions team wrote in a note Monday. It marks a change in tone for major financial institutions on bitcoin. Many banks have historically shunned the digital asset.
cnbc.com

Bitcoin tops the $60,000 mark: The cryptocurrency surpassed $60,000 on Saturday to hit a new high, just a few weeks after it topped $50,000. But as is so often the case on the stock exchange, the news at the beginning of the week caused the price to slide in the form of deadweight loss effects. Bitcoin temporarily fell by 10% on Monday and closed at around 56,000 US dollars. But the losses were kept within limits when compared with the crash of the Bitcoin value by over 20% after jumping the 50,000 mark a few weeks ago. Here, too, the short-term losses were just an attempt to overcome the next bigger hurdle. The current developments should therefore not cause too much concern for long-term investors.
cnn.com, manager-magazin.de

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Consensus algorithms: What’s behind one of the central mechanisms of blockchain technology blockchain-insider.de
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Cooperation: European Blockchain Institute works together with FH Windesheim logistik-heute.de

NUMBER OF THE WEEK

A JPG file made by Mike Winkelmann, the digital artist known as Beeple, was sold on Thursday by Christie’s in an online auction for 69.3 million dollars with fees. The price was a new high for an artwork that exists only digitally, beating auction records for physical paintings by museum-valorized greats like J.M.W. Turner, Georges Seurat and Francisco Goya. Bidding at the two-week Beeple sale, consisting of just one lot, began at $100.
nytimes.com

BACKGROUND

Invesco economists: Blockchain technology is the secret of success for Bitcoin: The economists at independent US investment company Invesco are critical of the current Bitcoin hype. The current price gains are to be understood primarily against the background of the underlying blockchain technology. Viewed in isolation, however, the cryptocurrency is merely a „highly speculative asset class with no obvious intrinsic, long-term advantages over other asset classes such as stocks, bonds or real estate“. The course benefited significantly from the liquidity expansion of the global central banks in the wake of the Covid pandemic. With rising interest rates, a crash in Bitcoin’s value is to be expected. The real value of digital money lies in the achievements of blockchain technology, which, within a regulated framework, will determine the future digitization of currencies.
dpn-online.com

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The causes of the current digital art hype: The trade in non-fungible tokens (NFT) has just triggered a veritable hype. This is evident not least in the recent record auction of Beeple’s digital work of art, which also works on an NFT basis. The reason lies in the special property of NFT technology. These cannot be exchanged and act like a digital certificate of authenticity, through which the original origin of a work, be it a picture or a song, is guaranteed. NFT technology could make artists and content producers less dependent on central platforms such as Facebook and Google.
deutschlandfunkkultur.de

QUOTE

„Bitcoin generation uses more electricity than any other method.“
During a discussion on audio platform Clubhouse, Bill Gates warned of the harmful effects of Bitcoin mining on the environment and advised against investing in the cryptocurrency.
merkur.de

BLOCKBUG

India bans possession of private cryptocurrencies: India will propose a law banning cryptocurrencies, fining anyone trading in the country or even holding such digital assets, a senior government official told Reuters. The bill, one of the world’s strictest policies against cryptocurrencies, would criminalize possession, issuance, mining, trading and transferring crypto assets. The measure is in line with a January government agenda that called for banning private virtual currencies such as bitcoin while building a framework for an official digital currency.
cnbc.com

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