Friday, 23rd November 2018: This week brings news from France and Portugal. IBM plans to support ventures using blockchain tech, and the EU looks to the blockchain for help. Read this and much, much more on our blog below!

Bitcoin Vouchers: A First in France

This week, ‘Europe1’, a France-based radio-station reported that tobacco-retail outfits will start offering bitcoin vouchers worth 50,100 and 250 Euros.

Local crypto startup Keplerk is said to have signed a deal with a cash register software provider to facilitate the scheme. Keplerk will allow customers to convert their vouchers into bitcoin and store it in wallets on its platform.

At its inception, a reported 3,000 to 4,000 tobacco retailers will be complying with this scheme.

Adil Zakhar, Keplerk’s director for strategy and development, believes that due to the tobacco industries’ far-reaching audience and their existing sim-card vouchers, it would be the best medium of distribution with the long-term hope of making cryptocurrencies mainstream.

IBM: Building Blocks

This week, Columbia University and IBM revealed plans for 2 new blockchain startup accelerators as a part of their joint ‘Columbia-IBM Center for Blockchain and Data Transparency’.

The Center will provide blockchain-centric start-ups with funding, access to IBM assets and resources that they need to become sustainable blockchain businesses and enterprise-grade blockchain networks.

The motivations behind this venture, as explained by the managing director of the Center, David Post:

“The possibilities presented by blockchain technology are seemingly endless, and we see strong dedication by technical talent to build game-changing applications.”  

Here on CoinDCX’s social media, we find ourselves very often reporting how much Blockchain is currently changing the world. Now, as large institutions like IBM and Columbia University invest more capital and resources into this space, the effect blockchain has on the world will only multiply.

European Commission: Better, block by block.

The EU’s executive body - the European Commission plans to launch a blockchain association as early as Q1 of 2019.

Recently, Spanish banking giants, BBVA announced their membership to the International Association for Trusted Blockchain Applications (IATBA), along with 4 unnamed banks, with multiple reports naming Santander as one of the new members.

The initiative was announced earlier this week, at the “Bringing industries together for Europe to lead in blockchain technologies” round-table event.

The initiative consists of public and private sector entities that will “garner support from private blockchain and [distributed ledger technology] experts to contribute to outlining the EU’s strategy regarding these technologies,” according to BBVA.
The EU: Securing the tech of the future. 

The main goal of the IATBA is to establish a system of rules and regulatory assertions on the European Blockchain space. As Carlos Kuchkovsky, BBVA’s head of research & development for new digital business said, the biggest reason for this regulatory council is:

“Blockchain is not only a technology, but it engenders new business models creating a tokenized economy and paving the way to a decentralized economy in the future.”

ICOs: A Way Out?

Debt-swamped Football Club, Sporting Club de Portugal (SCP) is planning to launch its own Initial Coin Offering in order to raise money. SCP is still 4 million euros short of paying off its debt, raising the other 26 million by issuing a bond that matures on the 26th of this month.

While it seems rather simplistic, the current framework for ICOs in Portugal makes it easy and convenient for companies to raise money this way.

A genuine bailout?

Other football clubs, most notably French Champions - Paris Saint-Germain have announced their own cryptocurrency. More similarly, however, English clubs Cardiff City and Newcastle United have also announced plans for their own ICO, both are in need of monetary saving.

Could the world’s most popular game harness the blockchain and sell tokens to raise funding? We might just have to wait and see.

To get your dose of all things crypto - watch this space! Updates every Friday!