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Swiss Cryptocurrency Firm X8 Obtains Islamic Finance Certification



Finance Certification

Switzerland-based financial technology firm X8 AG has obtained certification from Islamic scholars for its digital currency, with plans to expand its business in the Middle East, a senior executive said on Monday.

Several fintech firms are integrating their technology into the field of Sharia-compliant finance, with regulators and financial exchanges in the Middle East region keen to attract new business and encourage innovation in the sector.

This has prompted Islamic scholars to assess the religious validity of digital currencies, some wary of price volatility and the types of assets behind digital tokens.

The company hopes its Ethereum-based cryptocurrency, which is fully backed by a basket of eight fiat currencies and gold, can address such concerns, said X8 director and co-founder Francesca Greco.

“The Gulf region is a really good place for financial technology companies, because they all want to become hubs for fintech,” said Greco, adding the company would open a regional office in the Middle East later this month.

Regulators in the Gulf region have built a welcoming environment for fintech but they are also being cautious about cryptocurrencies, giving an opportunity for so-called “stablecoins” which are designed to reduce price volatility, Greco said.

The company also plans to launch a crypto-exchange that would include a Sharia-compliant component, and it has held discussions with local exchanges in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Bahrain, Greco added.

The firm received certification for its cryptocurrency and related tokens from the Shariyah Review Bureau (SRB), an Islamic advisory firm licensed by Bahrain’s central bank.

Cryptocurrencies have drawn a variety of rulings from scholars over the past few years, with differing views on how they fit into religious principles that emphasize real economic activity and forbid outright monetary speculation.

The debate among Islamic scholars has been narrowing, however, as some have compared the trading of cryptocurrencies to the transfer of rights, which is deemed permissible in Islam.

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Finablr’s UAE Exchange, Ripple to Begin Blockchain Payments by First Quarter




United Arab Emirates-based UAE Exchange and U.S. startup Ripple plan to launch cross-border remittances to Asia via blockchain by the first quarter of 2019, UAE Exchange’s group CEO said in an interview.

Asia was one of the biggest recipients of the roughly $613 billion in remittances sent globally last year, with a large swathe coming from expatriate workers in the Middle East, where UAE Exchange, part of payments and foreign exchange company Finablr, is one of the main players.

Most funds are currently sent through foreign exchange branches but a growing chunk is being transferred via websites and apps, with the use of blockchain technology expected to ramp up in the next few years — a transition that UAE Exchange and San Francisco-based Ripple are aiming to capture.

“Blockchain holds tremendous promise for the industry but there is progress to be made before we see it go fully mainstream,” said Promoth Manghat, also executive director and chief executive at Finablr.

“We expect to go live with Ripple by Q1, 2019 with one or two Asian banks. This is for remittances to start with, from across the globe into Asia.”

In February, UAE Exchange and Ripple announced a partnership to process cross-border payments, making the UAE-based company the largest payments firm in the Middle East to use Ripple’s blockchain technology for processing payments.

RippleNet, which includes more than 100 member banks and financial institutions, enables messaging, clearing and settlement of transactions.

Middle East lenders National Bank of Ras Al Khaimah (RAKBANK) RAKB.AD and Kuwait Finance House (KFH.KW) have also joined RippleNet, alongside global banks such as Standard Chartered (STAN.L).

“We are also looking at how Ripple can enhance our business-to-business solutions at Finablr,” Manghat said.

Finablr, which houses Travelex Holdings, Xpress Money and other businesses, has hired JPMorgan and Barclays as global coordinators for its listing in the first half of 2019 on the London Stock Exchange, Reuters reported last month.

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Kepler Technologies Crypto Trading Terminal Kattana Simplifies Trading with an Access to Multiple Crypto Exchanges and Covering All Crypto Traders’ Flow in One App



Cryptocurrency Exchanges

Kepler Technologies GmbH, a software product company launched by the founders of TaaS fund, announces the beta version of Kattana, the first desktop-based trading terminal allowing users to trade blockchain assets through one app on multiple exchanges and offers a complete range of tools for professional trading, from market analysis to measuring trading performance. Unlike existing solutions, Kattana has a fully customizable interface and offers tools that cover the whole workflow of a trader.

Currently, cryptocurrency markets are highly fragmented in terms of trading volumes and pairs availability. On the other hand, crypto traders rely on the broad range of tools for analyzing charts, executing trades and measuring their trading performance. This means inefficiency in terms of time and money spent by traders. Kattana aims to solve this problem by allowing traders to focus on actual trading and making profits instead of hassling around various exchanges and tools.


As of this writing, Kattana supports 3 major crypto exchanges: Binance, Bittrex and HitBTC.

Kattana offers some distinctive features that allow crypto-traders to:

Tailor workspace layouts to their individual trading workflow and goals for an efficient trading experience.

Evaluate their asset positions in realtime to gain better understanding of the results each of their trades yields.

Perform multiple time frame analysis easily inside market scanner to get the grasp of a broader market perspective.

Assess what results their trades bring as compared to a benchmark index (alpha) and make wiser trading decisions in the future.

Keep track of their market exposure by asset and trading venue in realtime to improve the execution of their risk management strategy.

To start trading through Kattana, a user must have an account on at least one of the abovementioned exchanges with the sufficient balance available there. In addition, a user needs to generate API keys with the permission for trading.

As regards to security, all API keys are encrypted and stored on your device only. The application does not have the access to even a part of your key and does not store it on a server. The user can permanently revoke exchange connection from Kattana at any time by just deleting their keys in the profile section.

As Bohdan Kit, a Product Lead of Kattana team has said: “Having access to one of the most successful trading teams on the market at TaaS Fund, we were able to combine the best trading practices and apply them in the process of product development. So, Kattana is made by traders for traders. Our ultimate mission is to help crypto-traders stay profitable in the long-run and improve their performance. Kattana is built to provide tools you need to achieve this”.

In the nearest future, the team plans on connecting all major cryptocurrency exchanges to Kattana and improve functionality of the existing product features.

To try Kattana’s beta go to Kattana website and download it

About Kattana:

Kattana is a professional trading terminal for blockchain assets, powered by Kepler Technologies, a software company specializing in building solutions for cryptocurrency traders and investors. Our mission is to bridge the gap between users and digital currency markets by providing state-of-the-art technologies for the financial system of tomorrow.

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3DCoin is now listed on the p2pb2b exchange




With the exceptional achievement of reaching the worlds top 5 in terms of masternode count even before the market started, the highest crypto-growth rate in history. 3DCoin now joined the European exchange on x December 2018. is a very professionally ran exchange, it was a great choice for its low fees, excellent support service, and an interesting referral program that leads to even further savings on fees.

Belonging to the Districts Project ecosystem, 3DCoin represents, according to its founder, Zain, “the greatest leap forward in the adoption of the blockchain technology”, this is due to its original proof of service consensus protocol that immunizes it against most of attacks without the energy or staking requirements of older ones, and its advanced scripting that allows the 3DCoin blockchain to be the support of entire decentralized applications accessed both on the Districts 3D world or any other platform, while making all transactions instantaneous and programmable.


Initiated by the Blockchain Technology LLC, located in Dubai, mid 2016, the Districts Project swiftly gathered around itself many enthusiastic investors then successfully entered the ICO phase leading to the creation of 62 million 3DCoin, for a maximum supply of 85 million, the main net was launched in April 2018, followed by many updates in the track of the development roadmap.

It is the official currency of the Districts 3D VR world, which is meant to be a free space for business, education, and entertainment; contents existing as a decentralized application hosted and ran by a set of specialized nodes (Pulse, Prime), all made by the users.

Statistics show that the 3DCoin network is backed-up by more than 3100 masternodes demonstrating the solidity of the project and the trust that the community puts on the development team. Masternodes are central to the consensus protocol and will permanently replace miners in block creation.

3DCoin, and the Districts Project in general, aims at democratizing online entrepreneurship opening the opportunity for the largest numbers to create and run their DApp businesses, by offering intuitive tools that simplify the creation DApp and smart contracts.

To learn more, please visit:

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Alberta Finance Minister to Unveil Calgary Digital Dollars as Part of New Effort to Promote Small Businesses




Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci unveiled Calgary Digital Dollars Friday afternoon as Calgary becomes the first city in the country to have its own digital currency.

Ceci made the first transaction, buying a round of coffee and showcasing how the app can be used for everyday purchases.

Calgary Dollars is part of a new effort meant to help promote and build better relationships with small business and non-profits within the city.

“I don’t mind seeing things happen locally and people making money,” Ceci said. “It’s a lot of fun to meet people and barter and exchange.”

“[The Alberta government] supports the work of Calgary Dollars in every way,” he added.

Calgary Dollars runs through a smartphone app and lists shops and restaurants that participate in the program.

Businesses can set how much they want to accept in Calgary Dollars, anywhere between 10 and 100 percent of the cost.

Solita Work, owner of Reworks, said there are many benefits for small businesses to use Calgary Dollars, even though it means less money in the till at the end of the day.

“It’s like money in the bank but a Calgary Dollars bank,” Work said. “One really great benefit is that we can use the Calgary dollars to pay up to half of our business license with the city of Calgary.”

Work has also been educating customers about the program, hoping that shoppers buy into the currency.

“Every dollar spent locally goes a lot farther in our community than spending it at businesses, sending it outside,” said Work

The app can also be used as an alternative to classified sites. Users can sell items for Calgary Dollars then use the proceeds to buy from local businesses.

Gerald Wheatley with Calgary Dollars, said limited-time promotions make it beneficial for sellers.

“You get five Calgary dollars for the first five ads,” Wheatley said. “It’s a lot better than other classified systems, you actually get paid to post on it.”

Calgary Dollars are also accepted as donations for the non-profit groups including the Calgary Housing Company, the Sharp Foundation, Norfolk Housing, Inn from the Cold and CUPS. They can also buy Calgary Transit tickets.

The Victoria Park Business Improvement Area is also using the dollars as reward program for customers, offering a 10 percent bonus when shoppers pay with Calgary Dollars.

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Kraken Preparing a Private Listing at $4B Valuation




One of the most prominent crypto exchanges in the US, Kraken, is mulling over a private offering. The company sent an email out to its most prominent clients, which informs them about the investment opportunity.

According to the contents of the email, the customers of the crypto exchange are invited to fill out an online survey before they get additional information. Kraken underlines that it is not in need of financing, but given the crypto bear market and the company’s “significant reserves,” it sees opportunities for acquisitions.

The valuation at which Kraken is listing shares for sale is $4 billion, and the minimum investment size is $100,000, the company said in the email.
“The transaction process will be done by a 3rd party service, who will run accredited investor checks, facilitate the execution of transaction documents, and the funding of your investment,” the emails states.

Kraken is going to be evaluating each prospective investor for eligibility to be a part of the share offering. The customers who received the email have until December 16 to respond to the survey. More details are to be provided in the near future, as the company probes its prospects for the additional fundraising effort.

With the ICO market essentially dead, Kraken’s effort seems targeted at hardcore crypto enthusiasts with substantial funds. The company has been notably cheaper when compared to many of its competitors, but its service was also mired in tech glitches as the crypto market ran hot last December.

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10 yrs Sought for Bitcoin Exchange MtGox’s ex-CEO over Embezzlement




Prosecutors sought on Wednesday a 10-year jail term for the former CEO of MtGox Co., once the world’s largest bitcoin digital currency exchange, for embezzlement. The prosecutors claimed at the Tokyo District Court that Mark Karpeles, 33, “diverted company funds to such uses as investing in a software development business for personal interest” and “played a great role in totally destroying the confidence of bitcoin users.”

Karpeles, who was born in France, pleaded innocent in the first hearing of his trial in July 2017, saying, “I swear to God I am not guilty,” in reading out a prepared statement in Japanese.

According to the indictment, Karpeles embezzled a total of 341 million yen ($3 million) of customers’ money kept in a MtGox bank account by transferring it to his own account between September and December of 2013. Karpeles also allegedly manipulated data on his company’s trading system to pad the balance.

In February 2014, MtGox suddenly shut down all transactions, causing a panic among its customers around the world. It then announced that it had gone bankrupt after having lost about 850,000 bitcoins, worth about 48 billion yen at the time.

MtGox said the bitcoins were likely stolen through hacking.

In June this year, the Tokyo court issued an order to commence civil rehabilitation proceedings for MtGox, halting its bankruptcy proceedings.

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Good Money Secures $30 Million Series A Financing Round Led by Galaxy Digital’s EOS VC Fund



Bitcoin core

Good Money, the first digital banking platform to be owned by its customers, featuring best in class online and peer to peer banking services, announced today they have raised $30 million in Series A funding led by Galaxy Digital via its Galaxy EOS VC Fund with investments from Breyer Capital, Blocktower Capital, Boost VC, Ken Howery, Blockchange Ventures, Cross Culture Ventures, Troy Carter, Mitch Kapor, Peter Diamandis, Blake Mycoskie, Justin Rosenstein, and others.

Good Money provides values-based banking services for the 21st century with leading features in the rapidly emerging neo-banking market. These features include FDIC insured savings accounts that will generate a 2% yield, free ATMs nationally, no-overdraft fees and the lowest consumer loan rates in the country to help Americans get out of debt.

In a historic first, every customer will receive equity when they open an account and will become an owner of the banking platform. In a revolutionary effort to democratize access to ownership and wealth creation, users may earn additional equity by installing the app, setting up a direct deposit or referring friends.

Additionally, Good Money users will direct 50% of the platform’s profits to impact projects focused on social and economic inequality, environmental stewardship and renewable energy. Good Money’s founding team has also pledged 50% of their equity to philanthropy and impact. How we bank is one of the most important decisions we can make, yet there is not currently a values-based, customer owned bank in the US that has social and environmental activism woven into its business model.

“The combination of an activist brand with deep direct-to-consumer experience at scale, positions Good Money to be a leader in the historic disruption of the banking industry. We launched Galaxy’s EOS VC fund with our partners at in order to back exceptional founders who are capable of transforming consumer understanding and adoption of the blockchain. Good Money is led by world-class founders who have built billion dollar companies, with marketing experience and relationships that can bring tens-of-millions of users into the ecosystem quickly,” said Sam Englebardt, Co-Founder and Co-Head of Principal Investments, Galaxy Digital.

The company is led by entrepreneur Gunnar Lovelace, who has spent his career building platforms at the intersection of business and social change. Lovelace was most recently Founder and co-CEO of Thrive Market ($180m raised), a direct-to-consumer online grocery store that shook up the trillion dollar grocery market by building a mission driven business that offers organic groceries at the same price of conventional equivalents for the first time.

“We live in a world where consumers pay hundreds of dollars each year to banks for low-quality banking services, where banks return practically zero on deposits but leverage those deposits on a 10x ratio to finance projects that make the world a dirtier, less equitable place while creating no economic benefit for consumers,” said Good Money Founder and CEO, Gunnar Lovelace. “Modern banking is a primary driver of so many issues we face as a society — from economic inequality, institutional racism, environmental destruction to political corruption. We founded Good Money to help consumers take their money out of a system that’s both destroying the planet and extracting wealth from the most vulnerable and put it into a new system focused solely on benefiting people and planet. As we scale Good Money over the next 10 years, we will empower consumers to realize they should own the businesses they buy from as an evolutionary step in improving capitalism by leveling the economic playing field.”

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STO Business Essentially an Illegal Financial Activity in China




The People’s Bank of China officially banned security token offering (STO) businesses on Saturday, in another blow to digital currencies in mainland China. An STO is an initial coin offering (ICO) backed by tangibles such as assets, or profit or revenue of a company. An ICO is fundraising activity that allows digital currency start-ups to raise funds through the creation and sale of digital “tokens”.

Pan Gongsheng, a deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China, the country’s central bank, told an internet finance forum in Beijing that “illegal” financing activities through STOs and ICOs were still rampant in the mainland despite a nationwide clean-up of the cryptocurrency market last year.

“The STO business that has surfaced recently is still essentially an illegal financial activity in China,” he told the forum, according to state-owned China Central Television. “Virtual money has become an accomplice to all kinds of illegal and criminal activities.”

In what amounts to a top financial official acknowledging the ban on ICOs and STOs for the first time, Pan said most of the financing operations conducted through ICOs in China were suspected of being illegal fundraising, pyramid sales schemes and other financial fraud.

Beijing launched a crackdown on ICOs in September last year, ordering all platforms to halt digital currency issuance immediately. Before the crackdown, 80 per cent of the world’s virtual currency transactions and ICO financing took place in mainland China.

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Huobi Has Officially Launched Huobi Russia



Huobi Group

Huobi Group has announced its official opening of Huobi’s first Russian office in Moscow at a by-invitation only event on December, 06. Huobi Russia is a local exchange supported by Huobi Cloud, Huobi’s regional exchange partnership program, in partnership with the VEB Digital Transformation Center and Russian experts in the field of blockchain and exchange trading.

“The launch of Huobi Russia will bring the Huobi’s leading technology and trading expertise to Russian users,” said David Chen, Huobi Senior Business Director. “Huobi Russia gives Russian traders and cryptocurrency enthusiasts access to Huobi’s unmatched safety, stability, and user experience.”

Huobi Russia CEO Andrei Grachev says: “Despite the current market, the trading volume of Huobi Russia is growing, and recently exceeded US $20 million in a single day. This shows the high interest and popularity of the Huobi Russia exchange with the Russian community. Huobi Russia will also be looking into providing blockchain and business development services for the local Russian users, such as education, project management, and negotiating deals.”

Huobi Russia and Huobi Cloud collaborated with the VEB Digital Transformation Center in the fields of training, legislative & regulatory initiatives, and blockchain research.

Demin Vladimir Igorevich, chairman of the VEB Innovation Fund, said, “Russia is actively promoting the blockchain market. As a well-known bank owned by the Russian government, VEB seeks to play an important role as a leader in blockchain research and legislation.”

“In the field of digital asset trading, Huobi is one of the world’s largest digital asset trading platforms, with advanced technology and mature experience, security, and trading experience. VEB will continue to expand and cooperate with Huobi in the fields of development and education.”

VEB Bank was founded in 1922 as the first international bank in the Soviet Union. In 2007, Russia passed a law stipulating that VEB should support and develop the Russian economy and manage Russia’s national debt and pension funds.

As part of Huobi Group’s global expansion strategy, Huobi Cloud will seek out the most suitable partners to open local offices. By working with local partners, Huobi Cloud can quickly adapt to local culture and expand into local markets to better meet the needs of our users. Huobi Cloud is a one-stop solution for the digital asset exchange by Huobi. It enables our partners to quickly build secure and stable digital asset exchanges and OTC services using Huobi’s expertise and system. Partners can enjoy Huobi Global’s order matching system, wallet system, asset management, and clearing system to share the depth, liquidity, and market data on Huobi Global.

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Digital Asset Security Startup Trustology Raises $8m




Former UBS blockchain lead Alex Batlin has raised $8 million in seed funding from Two Sigma Ventures and ConsenSys for his new startup developing technology and services to help private and institutional clients secure digital assets.

Batlin, who also led blockchain innovation work at BNY Mellon and was a founding member of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance and R3, has put together a team of former banking and technology execs for Trustology.

The company, which was incubated at ConsenSys and is now onboarding beta clients, is hoping to cash in on the growing institutional interest in digital assets, promising to help protect them.

Its first product, TrustVault, combines private key protection against cyber and physical threats with low latency execution by safekeeping private keys and control code inside tamper proof, programmable hardware security modules hosted in secure data centres, with encrypted backups in the cloud.

The seed funding will be used to develop new capabilities like smart accounts with programmable controls, support additional asset classes and expand operations internationally.

Says Batlin: “Trustology’s unique blend of people, process, and key management technology offers industry defining digital asset security with speed of access and unrivalled ease of use.”

Joseph Lubin, founder, ConsenSys and co-founder of Ethereum, adds: “Trustology represents a profound technological piece that will move the needle noticeably on institutional adoption of digital assets. And the world class Trustology team has the pedigree to drive these discussions.”

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