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Monthly Archives

April 2018

Weekly Twitter Summary (2018-04-22 – 2018-04-28)

By | Public Announcements

Crypto Valley Association Welcomes ConsenSys as Strategic Partner

By | CVA in the News, Public Announcements

ConsenSys to chair new Enterprise Blockchain Working Group, join Regulatory and Policy Working Group

Zug, Switzerland – 25 April, 2018 – The Crypto Valley Association (CVA) is proud to announce that ConsenSys is joining the Association as a Strategic Partner.

Comprised of over 750 blockchain experts, entrepreneurs, computer scientists, designers, engineers, consultants, educators, and business leaders with delivery experience across six continents, ConsenSys is the world’s largest blockchain venture production studio. Its vision is to use blockchain technology to create a world in which distributed applications and the Ethereum world computer support a new class of frictionless, global commerce with inclusion for all.

Oliver Bussmann, President of the Crypto Valley Association, said: “We are delighted to welcome ConsenSys as a Strategic Partner. With its size and scope, ConsenSys occupies a special place in the blockchain community, both in terms of development of public blockchain on Ethereum as well as in the enterprise and government blockchain space. The company has an incredible depth of understanding and expertise not just in the technology, but also in the universe of blockchain use cases as well as the broader implications of decentralization. As a Strategic Partner, we believe ConsenSys will bring great value to our members and to the wider Crypto Valley ecosystem.”

Joseph Lubin, CEO of ConsenSys, said: “We are very excited to become a Strategic Partner of the CVA. ConsenSys has always had a special affinity for the Crypto Valley, which has been the home of the Ethereum Foundation since its founding in 2014. We have watched the Crypto Valley ecosystem grow to become one of the most important and respected pillars of the global blockchain community. The CVA has played a key role supporting this growth through its community building activities as well as thought leadership. We look forward to working closely with the CVA on its mission to promote a successful and sustainable blockchain industry in Switzerland as well as support the broader global crypto community.”

As a Strategic Partner, ConsenSys will chair the CVA’s new Enterprise Blockchain working group, which will serve as a forum for CVA enterprise, corporate and other members to share case studies of enterprise blockchain projects and examine current and future use cases.

Ken Timsit, Managing Director at ConsenSys, said: “Over the last 12 months, ConsenSys has been very active in Europe, where we now have four offices and subsidiaries, and over two dozen ongoing projects in eight countries. We are delighted to be supporting the CVA and look forward to working with peers as we examine the use of blockchain technology to reinvent industry value chains and create new business models.”

ConsenSys, which through The Brooklyn Project and other initiatives has been actively involved in the blockchain policy debate in the US and in Europe, will also be joining the CVA Regulatory and Policy Working Group.

 

Crypto Valley Association President Oliver Bussmann is available for interviews

ConsenSys CEO Joseph Lubin is available for interviews

About Crypto Valley Association:
Founded in January 2017, the Crypto Valley Association is a not-for-profit association established to support the development and dissemination of cryptographic technologies, blockchain, and other distributed ledger technologies by supporting startups and other companies in Zug, Switzerland and internationally. Crypto Valley’s mission is to shape an open, free, and prosperous economy spanning multiple sectors.

Board members of the Crypto Valley Association are:
Oliver Bussmann, Founder & Managing Partner Bussmann Advisory; Vasily Suvorov, Vice President Technology Strategy Luxoft; Professor René Huesler, Director of the Lucerne School of Information Technology, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts; Sam Chadwick, Director Financial & Risk Innovation Thomson Reuters; Søren Fog, CEO iProtus.

Crypto Valley Conference 20-22 June:
The Crypto Valley Association (CVA), in cooperation with Lucerne School of Applied Sciences, will hold the Crypto Valley Conference in Theatre Casino in Zug, Switzerland, from 20-22 June 2018. The conference brings together leading researchers, developers, lawyers and innovators from across the globe to share and discuss state-of-the-art developments and advances in the blockchain technology ecosystem.

About ConsenSys:
ConsenSys is a venture production studio building decentralized products, platforms and infrastructure for blockchain ecosystems, focusing primarily on Ethereum. ConsenSys is interested in the identification, acquisition, and development of talent and projects on an ongoing basis, in addition to the development of internal projects and consulting work. ConsenSys is based in NYC, with offices in Paris, Dubai, London, Dublin, San Francisco, Toronto, Sydney, Manila, and other major cities around the globe.

Follow ConsenSys: GitHub, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, https://consensys.net/


Media Contact:

Liam Murphy
Account Supervisor // Wachsman
liam@wachsman.com
+353 87 119 2107

 

CVA Q1 2018 Newsletter – Playing by the rules

By | CVA in the News, Public Announcements

Better late than never, as the saying goes: on the evening of 23 April we released our Q1 2018 newsletter with a wrap up of our major activities during the first three months of the year. As CVA Board member René Hüsler wrote in the editorial, this quarter it was all about regulation:

“If there was one theme that dominated the crypto world in Q1 it was ICO regulation.

This was certainly the case in Switzerland, where in February FINMA released its ICO guidelines, garnering a great deal of interest both domestically and in the global blockchain community.

At the CVA, one of our main responsibilities is to represent our members and the nascent blockchain industry in Switzerland in the regulatory and policy debate, and so it’s no wonder that we have been very active in the ICO area too.

As you can read below, in January, we released our ICO Code of Conduct. We also partnered with FINMA to organize and carry out a series of roundtables in Zug, Geneva and Lugano to explain the guidelines to the public, and collect feedback.

We are involved in the policy discussion in other ways too. We take part in the Swiss government‘s Fintech Roundtables. We are also a member of the Swiss Finance Ministry’s Blockchain Task Force. Participation in these and other forums allows us to add our perspectives and insights as we work to educate policy makers and support regulation that both protects consumers and fosters innovation.

Both of these goals are extremely important to our community.

We believe for example that the ICO will over time go mainstream to become an innovative and important way for companies to raise capital. Regulation will of course play a central role in this development.

Nor is it just ICOs. Our long-term goal at the CVA is to support a sustainable and successful blockchain industry in Switzerland, one that creates jobs and contributes to economic growth. Clearly legal and regulatory issues will play an important role in the broader industry too. (To get a flavor of what that means, just consider the thorny issues around how blockchain technology can be reconciled with GDPR in Europe.)

We will therefore continue to take part in the regulatory and policy discussion on all levels, and do our best shape the debate to the benefit of our members, our growing industry but also the users and consumers of this new technology we are building.

We encourage all members to stay on top of the issues, and where possible, join the debate too.

You can read the full newsletter here.

Weekly Twitter Summary (2018-04-15 – 2018-04-21)

By | Public Announcements

Consensys

By | Sponsor Profile

Comprised of over 800 blockchain experts, entrepreneurs, computer scientists, designers, engineers, consultants, educators, and business leaders with delivery experience across six continents, ConsenSys is the world’s largest blockchain venture production studio. Its vision is to use blockchain technology to create a world in which distributed applications and the Ethereum world computer support a new class of frictionless, global commerce with inclusion for all.

ConsenSys platforms and applications range from re-imaginations of foundational industries like supply chain (Viant), energy (Grid+), journalism (Civil) and law (OpenLaw), to cornerstones of the digital asset economy (Airswap, Balanc3), and groundbreaking dApps like Ujo, Gitcoin, Bounties.Network, and Gnosis that provide real utility, create value, and are leading the way towards global, decentralized economies.

ConsenSys Services provide consultation and enable partnerships in fields that run the gamut from tech to enterprise, government, education, community, and media. Some examples: The Brooklyn Project provides a platform for establishing best practices for consumer protection in the token economy, while Token Foundry spins up exceptionally engineered token launches from around the world. ConsenSys’ series of Ethereal Summit events has emerged as one of the premier meeting-places for the blockchain community, while ConsenSys Academy is training the next generation of blockchain developers and technologists. ConsenSys Ventures operates as an investment wing, while the Blockchain for Social Impact coalition is striving towards innovations that create a better world.

ConsenSys Labs, our venture studio, supports entrepreneurs and developers around the world as they build on the Ethereum platform. Our educational institution, ConsenSys Academy, is developing the global blockchain ecosystem by bridging the Ethereum knowledge gap. ConsenSys Solutions helps organizations across the globe build, test, and deploy public and private blockchain solutions, while ConsenSys Capital reprsents our constellation of financial service offerings for digital assets and blockchain businesses.

At the heart of ConsenSys is a host of infrastructural projects that underpin much of the Ethereum network. MetaMask, an Ethereum web browser extension, recently celebrated one million installs, while Infura directs over 6 billion traffic requests a day through the Ethereum network. The Truffle suite of developer tools has been utilized by over 250,000 developers, and uPort is poised to establish self-sovereign identity as an essential feature of the blockchain era. And keep an eye out for Alethio, a blockchain network analytics dashboard that will launch in the very near future.

PWC

By | Sponsor Profile

PwC Switzerland is the leading audit and advisory company in Switzerland. At PwC, our purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems. We’re a network of firms in 158 countries with more than 236,000 people who are committed to delivering quality in assurance, advisory, tax & legal and Digital Services. Within PwC Switzerland, more than 3,000 employees and partners (in 14 locations in Switzerland and one in the Principality of Liechtenstein) are helping to create the value organisations and individuals are looking for.

We believe that Blockchain has the potential to powerfully disrupt many aspects of how businesses and economies work; even how societies are organised. Blockchain goes to the core of the role of trust in markets – an area that is central to PwC’s purpose.

We understand how Blockchain can revolutionise a broad range of industries – not only financial services, but also government, healthcare, education, energy, entertainment and media, and consumer markets.

We focus on a set of core Blockchain offerings in cryptocurrency and payments, smart contracts, supply chain, Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) security, DLT assurance, and identity. Transform your business in the digital age from strategy, through design, to execution.

Our Blockchain team is supported by a global workforce of over 5,000 digital experts spread across 11 experience centers in PwC’s global network of firms. Our experience centers are focused on innovation and design thinking, delivering development expertise and ultimately helping one build and implement digital projects.

We are key participants in the ecosystem that is defining the way forward for Blockchain technology with our membership in the Crypto Valley Association.

As Switzerland’s leading one-stop Blockchain & ICO service provider, we offer a broad range of services in the field of:

Business Strategy

  • Design of overall ICO strategy, incl. coordination of different teams (project management)
  • Design and review of token economics, detailed analysis of usage and functionality
  • Timing of ICO, detailed analysis of the market situation

Regulatory

  • Regulatory strategy and advise for all relevant regulations
  • Compliance, KYC and AML support, incl. turnkey-solutions for digital client on-boarding or industry utilities
  • Facilitation & support on interactions with regulators (Switzerland and all international jurisdictions)
  • End-to-end services in obtaining written approval on regulatory treatment from regulators (e.g. no action letter, licenses)

Tax & Structuring

  • Business registry and set-up, incl. complex legal entity structures, trusts, cross-border business
  • Corporate governance & corporate actions, incl. contracts, by-laws and statutory requirements
  • Support and counsel in litigations and intermediation of disputes
  • Tax structuring and advise (cantonal, federal, international) for all relevant tax categories

Corporate Finance

  • Presale and public sale strategy, incl. ICO marketing advisory
  • Pricing of ICO, valuation of token utility and business model
  • Sale characteristics
  • Fundraising with institutional investors

Assurance

  • Risk management and assurance services and solutions for all relevant risk categories
  • Cybersecurity strategy and services, incl. Forensics in fraud or malicious attacks
  • Finance advising and audit/assurance services (incl. full/ partial audits based on legal requirements)

Digital

  • Web Agency services (end-to-end), incl. UX design, coding, services, maintenance
  • Data & analytics services, incl. AI/ML, Quant, Algorithms
  • Technical support, coding Blockchain-as-a-Service, integrated technology solutions

HIT. Foundation

By | Sponsor Profile

The Health Information Traceability (HIT) Foundation offers a marketplace that allows individuals to digitize and monetize their health data and trace its usage. It seeks to address two key issues plaguing the healthcare industry: 1) Monopolization of health data leading to siloes and inefficiencies, 2) lack of incentives for individuals to digitize their health data.

In HIT the individual grants access to his data under a smart contract that determines the conditions of the data usage by information seekers such as research institutions or hospitals. HIT allows everybody to get compensated for health information instead of paying others to process or store it. Blockchain technology allows to maintain the privacy of the individual and leaves health data under his sovereignty.

HIT supports the global execution of new or existing business cases for information seekers on top of the HIT platform without the need for intermediaries. HIT builds on the public NEM blockchain that is suited for large scale applications and uses an energy conserving consensus algorithm. HIT is directly supported by the NEM Foundation (https://nem.io/).

Personal health information is a precious good used in medical and market research, or by large internet companies that sell it on to any organization that is willing to buy it. The global Connected Health Market will be worth US$150 billion by 2024 growing at a CAGR of 30%. HIT offers a transparent platform where the creator of data can profit from providing it via smartphone or computer. Information seekers profit from a large pool of potential individuals who have entered a basic set of health-related data when they join the HIT Foundations network.

Upon registering individuals provide basic information about their health status and medication intake via the HIT wallet. For this initial information they receive tokens. In a marketplace, information seekers can offer tokens in exchange for existing information or ask individuals to create new health data such as monitoring their blood pressure or patient-reported treatment outcome. Individuals can give access to additional data from apps, smartwatches and/or existing medical records. Due to its distributed architecture HIT does not need a central database!

Token & Network Effect

Based on smart contracts the individuals receive tokens corresponding to the “value” of the data that is assigned by the information seeker. The smart contract determines the access to the data and the transfer of token under the agreed conditions. For stakeholders that already store data it is attractive to make the individuals’ data shareable if they get a small share of the compensation that is being given by information seekers and/or if they can access additional health data. The individuals can redeem bonuses that are offered by service providers on the platform. HIT aligns network participants to achieve common goals: the growth of the network and the appreciation of the HIT token, which can be exchanged at associated token exchanges.

The HIT token helps to overcome the initial bootstrap problem by adding financial utility when the application utility is low, i.e. individuals get compensated in tokens by HIT to provide their initial personal health information. The earlier they register the more tokens they get. The HIT token enables the Foundation to run open services while serving as an incentive to the network participants. It is essential to the system, as it quantifies the value of health information that cannot be achieved otherwise. Those who acquire tokens can participate in the HIT ecosystem and incentivize individuals to digitize and share health data. A growing network leads to increased token demand and value. In the future HIT tokens can serve as health community tokens.

Token Generation Event

In a Token Generation Event a total of 1 billion HIT tokens (1’000’000’000) will be issued in summer 2018. The number of tokens is justified by the potential number of users and the transaction volume in the healthcare market. Tokens will be delivered to the participants 4 weeks after the token sale ends.

Current Status

Hit Foundation consists of an experienced team of 8 in the field of blockchain and digital health, and execution of large scale projects in regulated environments. It has a strong advisory board and is directly supported by the NEM Foundation and Netcetera, one of the biggest independent software developers in Switzerland.

Hit Foundation was founded in November 2017 and is a member of the Crypto Valley Association in Zug. It takes advantage of the Crypto Valley’s thriving network, knowledgeable experts, and crypto-friendly regulation. In March 2018 the Swiss Federal Supervisory Authority for Foundations officially took HIT Foundation under its supervision, which is mandatory and certifies that HIT Foundation is here to build a sustainable platform.

Together with our technology partners the HIT Foundation is currently developing its MVP which will be released in summer 2018. With our partners in the field of healthcare HIT Foundation is implementing first projects in the last quarter of 2018 before the global rollout starts in 2019. In 2020 HIT foundations eco-system will be the largest platform to access individuals for providing health-related information.

Melonport

By | Sponsor Profile

Melonport AG was officially founded by Mona El Isa and Reto Trinkler in July of 2016. It is a fully partner-owned, private company domiciled in Zug, Switzerland – the Crypto Valley. In February of 2017, the company issued 599 400 MLN tokens, raising a total of CHF 2.5 million in under 10 minutes. Melonport AG, the company, is solely responsible for the development of the Melon protocol, the product.

The Melon protocol is a fully decentralized tool for both individuals as well as large institutions to set up and manage an investment fund in digital assets. Both the front-end (IPFS) and the back-end (Ethereum) are hosted and executed on decentralized platforms. One of the main assumptions on which Melon is built is that one day most traditional assets (stocks, bonds, commodities, etc.) will be stored on a blockchain or, in other words, will be tokenized. When that day comes, all those asset classes can be traded on the Melon protocol. Melon is an autonomous company which allows you to set up and operate secure, transparent digital investment funds. It aims to provide you with an alternative to the current asset management industry.

When we hear about finance or asset management in the news, it is common to hear discussions around price development of a certain asset or asset class from a well-known investment professional.

What is seldom in the news, but of equal importance are all the back-office processes and operations performed in the background. These processes include executing all trades, the custody of the assets, auditing the investment manager, internal accounting, on-boarding of new clients, payment of fees, etc. We summarize these services under the umbrella of fund administration services. Amongst other tasks, a fund administrator is an independent third-party service provider who protects the interests of investors by independently verifying the assets and valuation of the fund, thus, preventing the investment manager to embezzle the fund holdings.

In today’s world, the fund administration industry is dominated by a few key players. The largest fund administrators are State Street, Citco and BNY Mellon and together those three companies provide the fund administration services to a majority of asset managers around the globe. Acquiring their services usually requires several months and is associated with costs between USD 50 000 – 100 000 just to get to the start-line of setting up a fund. This makes it very difficult for smaller emerging asset managers to set up their own fund.

Melon aims to reduce these barriers to entry. It does so by replacing a majority of functions performed by the fund administrator with smart contracts. This not only drives down the costs of setting up and operating a fund drastically, but it also reduces the scope for human error. Melon is an autonomous fund administrator helping you to launch and manage your own investment fund. By operating on the blockchain, Melon ensures a high level of transparency, thus, inherently preventing the potential for another financial catastrophe.

As Melon is a tool for people to manage their crypto assets, security is the single most important issue for us. We started to build the protocol on the Kovan test network to test the logic of our contracts in a safe environment. We had one major competition on the test network with over 700 funds set up. In February 2018, the first technology regulated investment fund was deployed on the Ethereum main network in form of a bug bounty. The protocol has undergone three independent code audits to ensure the highest standard of security and ongoing audits are in the pipeline. Melon was intended as a two-year project since its token sale and is planned to deploy in February 2019.

If we could choose one thing for you to remember about Melonport, it is our values. Why we do what we do?

We are passionate about lowering barriers to entry and Melon is intended to be a public good, just like the internet. We want to allow a deeper talent pool to emerge and thrive which is not boggled down by administrative headaches. The public good is designed to be permissionless, ownerless, reliable and easy to access. It should eventually provide investors and the financial industry at large with increasing transparent and secure investment alternatives.

The Melonport team has committed to building and deploying the protocol over a two year period. Once deployed by early 2019, the company will take a step back and from that moment onwards it has no special privileges over Melon.