The past week has marked a number of crypto- and blockchain-related developments in the German-speaking world. Malta Enterprise partnered with Deutsche Telekom's IT service subsidiary to offer its blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) marketplace, French IT company Atos and Austrian startup Smart Digital proposed industrial plant inspections using blockchain, and the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) launched a market survey on crypto assets derivatives.
BaFin launches a market survey into crypto derivatives
BaFin’s survey contains 19 questions in five subject blocks and is aimed at all market participants, including investors, consumer protection associations, providers and issuers, as well as interest groups. With the survey, BaFin intends to build “a detailed picture of the market of derivatives featuring cryptocurrencies as an underlying asset and its potential risks."
According to the Financial Services Supervision Act, the authority is "committed to the protection of collective consumer interests" and, against this background, observes and analyzes "the market situation with regard to possible consumer protection issues".
Deutsche Bundesbank: Facebook’s Libra could trigger financial crises
Federal Banking Commissioner Joachim Wuermeling, responsible for banking supervision, argued that Facebook's yet-to-be-released Libra stablecoin could trigger financial crises in certain scenarios in the future. According to Wuermeling, Libra would be more like "platform money" than a real currency.
However, Wuermeling added that “under certain circumstances, Libra could to a certain extent displace the money currently being used," thus having "consequences for consumers, banks, the financial system and monetary policy". The Bundesbank also sees the danger of a financial crisis triggered by Libra, and therefore urges "global rules and institutions to supervise Libra and other providers with similar business models."
Austrian startup to deploy drones and blockchain for industrial plants inspections
Austrian startup Smart Digital, in collaboration with French IT company Atos, is planning to automate supervision of industrial plants using camera drones and blockchain tech. This will reportedly include objects such as bridges, power plants, large forest areas, power grids and other infrastructure facilities and areas. The initiative is aimed at cutting costs and resource expenditures.
Smart Digital CEO Alexander Schuster said: "Our goal is to offer solutions that have real added value for our customers and are fully automated. [...] The autonomous and flexible processes offer many possibilities — from detecting pests in agriculture and the defects in construction sites to the detection of wear in power grids."
Deutsche Telekom to bring blockchain solution to companies in Malta
Maltese business agency Malta Enterprise entered into a partnership with Deutsche Telekom's IT service subsidiary T-Systems to offer its BaaS marketplace to local companies. Representing the Maltese Government, the agency is responsible for both foreign investment and local economic development in the island republic.
Kurt Farugia, CEO of Malta Enterprise, commented on the motivation behind the new partnership:
"This collaboration with T-Systems will give companies a competitive advantage over other jurisdictions while adding more value to the already established blockchain ecosystem. The companies using T-System's GBE services will receive certification from Malta for their project Digital Innovation Authority. The cooperation with T-Systems will further strengthen Malta's reputation as a solid blockchain jurisdiction."
Austrian blockchain startup Qravity launches alpha version
A blockchain network for media professionals developed by the Viennese startup Qravity is now online in an alpha version. The blockchain-based platform is designed to help digital media content creators collaborate and automatically receive payment for their time.
The blockchain-powered system takes over the tracking of all involved parties, as well as the commercial distribution of contents created in the team within the Qravity system. With the alpha version, the developers want to eliminate errors through tests and supplement improvements, while the official launch of the platform is scheduled for the second quarter of 2020.
German BaaS provider Advanced Blockchain issues new shares as part of a capital increase
German BaaS provider Advanced Blockchain, which is listed on the XETRA stock exchange in Frankfurt, issued new shares as part of a capital increase. With subscriptions of existing and new synergy investors totaling 128,520 shares at a subscription price of EUR 5.40 ($5.95) per share, the company raised nearly EUR 700,000 ($771,325) in new equity. This corresponds to 6.1% of share capital.
According to Advanced Blockchain, the additional funding will "serve to further expansion of the company and further strengthening of the company's equity base."