The past week has seen a range of crypto- and blockchain-related developments in the German-speaking world. The German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection is planning to sponsor a research project of the University of Marburg on legal issues surrounding blockchain technology, the Swiss online bank Swissquote began offering its customers the trading of a real estate portfolio-covering security token, and an Austrian research project provided proof of profitability for blockchain technology-based decentralized marketplaces.
Below is the past week of crypto and blockchain news in review, as originally reported by Cointelegraph auf Deutsch.
The German Ministry of Justice donates 900,000 euros ($991,916) for blockchain research
The research project "Blockchain and Law" from the Institute for the Law of Digitization (IRDi) at the Philipps-University in Marburg aims to eliminate "the enormous legal uncertainties in technology" that are currently hindering entrepreneurial initiatives.
By implementing the project, the country intends to compete with the United States and Asia from within the European Union, as they have "already become active in many issues while the EU is still in the exploratory phase". Markus Uhl, the responsible reporter of the Committee on Budgets, said:
"The blockchain and law project will focus on unexplained legal issues, such as cryptocurrency and assets or public registers, such as the suitability of blockchain for maintaining the land register and commercial register. [...] Of course, the IRDi will also define the legal nature of the blockchain and the applicable law. "
ING study: European consumers do not see crypto as an alternative to traditional money
Consumers in Europe, Australia and the U.S. do not consider digital currencies an alternative to traditional money, according to a recent study by ING Bank. Less than a third of European consumers surveyed believe that digital currencies are "the future of online payment", while in Germany, the proportion is even lower, at just under a quarter.
Interest in traditional payment accounts with cryptocurrency option is also reportedly relatively low. In Germany, around 85% of consumers do not suggest that their bank is about to offer such an account.
Mining operator Northern Bitcoin merges with U.S. competitor Whinstone
The crypto-mining operator listed on the Frankfurt XETRA exchange agreed to merge with its U.S. competitor Whinstone. With the acquisition of Whinstone planned for the beginning of 2020, Northern Bitcoin claims to have establish itself as a world leader in Bitcoin (BTC) mining. Northern Bitcoin CEO Mathis Schultz said:
"With this merger, we catapult ourselves faster than originally planned to the world leader in the field of Bitcoin mining. Whinstone's team has done a great job over the past few years, and is leading the way in the blockchain industry, not least with the construction of the largest mining facility in the world."
Deutsche Boerse, Swisscom Settle Securities with Corda and Hyperledger
German securities marketplace Deutsche Boerse and Swiss state-run telecom Swisscom settled securities transactions using different blockchain protocols. In a joint proof-of-concept (PoC) involving a number of banks, the participants exchanged money in the form of cash tokens against tokenized shares.
Based on blockchain technology, the joint PoC intends to show the potential of new technologies in the financial services sector and maintain Germany and Switzerland’s expertise in the digital asset ecosystem.
Crowdlitoken: Swiss online bank Swissquote enables trading in real estate tokens
The Swiss online bank Swissquote now offers its customers the ability to trade real estate portfolio-covering security token Crowdlitoken (CRT), as well as custody of the CRT tokens.
The Liechtenstein startup Crowdlitoken received a license to issue bonds for blockchain real estate investments in April. Through the company's security token, investors can allocate their capital to individual properties via a bond and, at one-month intervals, convert their capital between the available real estate objects.
Bavaria plans digital training certificates based on blockchain
Starting in 2020, the Bavarian state government plans to test verifiable training certificates through blockchain technology. The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Munich and Upper Bavaria intends to issue the first digital training certificates with the Digital Ministry next spring.
Employers will use an electronic key to verify the authenticity of the certificates via blockchain in the future, while applicants will send it along with a PDF file to appropriate companies.
Blockchain-based data trading: a research project provides proof of profitability
The Austrian Research Studios Austria Forschungsgesellschaft (RSA FG) provided proof of profitability for blockchain technology-based decentralized marketplaces, demonstrating that secure and smart data trading can generate profits.
The beta version of a corresponding trading platform was released with Data Market Austria. Companies or institutions can offer records via the portal and conclude individual purchase agreements via license templates such as location data, climate information or data on migration movements.