The blockchain technology is going to be standardized in Switzerland to ensure more legal certainty. For that purpose several players from the finance, technology, science and law sector have joined forces and founded the organization "Capital Markets and Technology Association" (CMTA). The main goal is to facilitate the use of blockchain technology.

The new start-up center "weXelerate" wants to transform Austria into a relevant blockchain hub. Cooperations in education, cooperation with universities, companies and public institutions as well as networking events should help to establish a successful blockchain ecosystem in Austria. For example, the „Research Institute for Crypto-Economics“ at the Vienna University of Economics is exploring the effects that cryptocurrencies and blockchain applications might have on the real economy (Crypto Future was present at the official presentation of the research institute last year). In addition, the Vienna University of Economics seeks to clarify the legal aspects under academic conditions.

The Austrian Federal Computing Center also explores which legal use cases could make sense for cryptocurrencies and blockchain. In addition, some new technology applications are currently being explored.

(CF ed. / futurezone)


The Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) tracks the digitization-progress of the EU member states. In terms of digitization of the economy and internet trade, Austria improved from 12th to the 10th place. Many domestic companies, including more and more small and medium-sized enterprises, are already well positioned. However,  the high non-wage labor costs in our country are still negatively viewed - these should be massively reduced or completely abolished. Thanks to the availability and scope of the online platform "Digital Austria", Austria even ranks 8th in the field of e-government. With the creation of further one-stop-shops in the administrative area already announced by the government, the preconditions for a successful e-government future are now being created. Austria's efforts to integrate Blockchain technology into public administration are particularly appreciated - but there is still room for further gains.

(CF ed. / Österreich Journal)


HSBC claimed that it had performed the world's first commercially viable trade finance transaction using blockchain technology.  The bank said that the exchange was performed in one day, compared to the five-to-10 days it normally takes to complete such exchanges through a paper-based System. Letters of credit are issued by one bank to another to guarantee that a payment will be received by a seller under a set of conditions. Traditionally this process would take a large amount of time, numerous paper records, and a lot of back and forth between the various parties involved. Blockchain technology promises to change that. For this transaction, HSBC used a platform developed by a blockchain start-up which works with a consortium of banks to come up with blockchain solutions to a variety of problems. While there have been proof-of-concept transactions performed using blockchain technology, HSBC's was the first that could have commercial applications.

(CF ed. / CNBC)


Facebook is launching its own blockchain division as part of a broader reorganization of its executive line-up. The move comes four months after CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post that he wanted the company to study the effects of cryptocurrencies. The company is saying little about its blockchain division for now. But we do know that David Marcus, who was serving as the vice president of messaging products and overseeing Facebook Messenger, will be running the blockchain group. The former CEO of PayPal, Marcus has long been interested in alternate payments, and is currently board member of the crypto-exchange Coinbase. This is the first of a greater number of changes in the employee staff of Facebook regarding the blockchain project. It’s likely that Facebook is going to use the technology to grant a much more secure handling of user data – we will keep an eye on further developments.

The announcement takes place a short time after severe problems Facebook had to face after the data breach caused by the selling of millions of data to “Cambridge Analytica”. This and other issues regarding data protection that happened in the recent years lead the European Union to introduce the General Data Protection Regulation.

(CF ed. / blogs)


In November 2017 the American credit card company American Express announced a partnership with the US cryptocurrency Ripple and the Spanish Banco Santander. One of many projects in the finance sector which have been successfully started by the third largest player in the blockchain world. Also investors who are interested will be able to rely on an entire stock index of companies involved in blockchain. More specifically - the "Solactive Blockchain Technology Performance Index" includes those companies that have significant economic exposure to blockchain – all together 20 members, mainly from the US. However, Europe is catching up – for example the Mahrberg Fonds (based in Liechtenstein) is increasingly focusing on blockchain-based technologies. Even Austrian big players in the finance sector like RBI (Crypto Future already reported) are in the process of discovering the blockchain for their businesses.

(CF ed. / Die Presse)



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