Iceland’s Financial Regulator Approves Blockchain-Powered E-Money Firm

The Financial Supervisory Authority (FME), Iceland’s sole financial regulator, has approved the first blockchain-powered e-money firm in the country, crypto media outlet CoinDesk reported June 14. Reykjavik-based Monerium, backed by blockchain software company ConsenSys, has reportedly been approved by the Icelandic financial watchdog to provide fiat payment services using ethereum (ETH) blockchain. According to the report, Monerium has become the first company to operate under an electronic money framework, a major European regulatory framework that enabled the firm to offer blockchain-powered e-money services across the European Economic Area (EEA). Monerium…

General Motors Participates in $23M Funding Round for Spring Labs Blockchain Firm

  This article has been updated to correct that GreatPoint Ventures, not General Motors, led the funding round. United States-based blockchain startup Spring Labs has raised $23 million in a Seed A funding round, according to a press release on June 12. Among the investors for this seed A funding round — led by GreatPoint Ventures — were Galaxy Digital, the cryptocurrency investment bank founded by crypto enthusiast Michael Novogratz, and automotive giant General Motors (GM). Spring Labs will purportedly use the funds to improve its blockchain-based platform Spring Protocol…

Eos Developer Block.one Working With Lobbying Firm on Blockchain Issues

Eos (EOS) parent company Block.one has disclosed that it is a client of a lobbying firm in a disclosure form registered in May. In the document, Block.one is cited as the client of international law firm Holland & Knight LLP, whose offices globally work on over 200 different practice areas including regulatory and government affairs, blockchain technology and e-commerce. In the Specific lobbying issues (current and anticipated) field Block.one indicated “policy related to blockchain.” Block.one has apparently contributed $30,000 for lobbying activities. The document also reveals that Scott Mason and…

Napster Creator’s Blockchain Firm Helium Releases IoT Hotspots

Napster creator Shawn Fanning’s new company Helium has released its internet of things (IoT) wireless hotspot devices with a blockchain-based incentives program, according to an official blog post by Helium on June 12. According to the post, a Helium Hotspot provides wireless connectivity to the Internet; one node on its own will cover about 1/50 to 1/150 of a city, according to the company’s research. The nodes are intended to support a network of internet coverage, one which is decentralized and powered by individual contributors. Contributors are rewarded by an…

Major Hong Kong Property Firm to Seek Regulatory Approval for Tokenized Real Estate

Family-owned property firm Stan Group — which represents the assets of “shop king” real estate scion Tang Shing-bor — is set to meet with Hong Kong’s securities watchdog in January 2020 to seek approval for the sale of tokenized real estate assets. Hong Kong English-language newspaper South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported the news on June 12. Stan Group is reported to have a real estate portfolio estimated at over HK$50 billion ($6.38 billion). Against the backdrop of reportedly lacklustre sentiment in the local property market amid escalating trade tensions…

CEO of Major American VC Firm Digital Currency Group: Crypto Winter Is Ending

The crypto winter is likely to be ending, a senior executive at major American blockchain venture capital firm Digital Currency Group (DCG) said in an interview with Bloomberg Technology on June 11. Barry Silbert, DGG founder and CEO, outlined the cyclical nature of the ups and downs of major cryptocurrency bitcoin (BTC), which allegedly means that the recent surge of crypto prices would only continue. Silbert, who is known as a serial crypto investor, specifically pointed out that bitcoin’s price dynamics have been “quite a roller coaster,” with its price…

Major Pan-African Insurance Firm Rolls Back Insurance for Crypto Mining Equipment

Pan-African insurance company Old Mutual has opted out of insuring cryptocurrency mining equipment due to the absence of regulation in the industry, local technology-focused new outlet ITWeb reported on June 10. Following comprehensive research of the industry, Old Mutual has arrived at a decision not to insure equipment used for digital currency mining because of the unregulated nature of the industry. Among other reasons, the company also named cryptocurrencies’ exposure to fraudulent activity and modified electronic infrastructure of mining equipment that leads to overheating and other malfunctions. Christelle Colman, an…

Blockchain Genomics Firm, Merck’s EMD Serono Sign Anonymized Data Sharing Agreement

Blockchain firm Nebula Genomics has announced a collaboration with EMD Serono, the North American biopharmaceutical business of Merck KGaA — the world’s oldest operating pharmaceutical firm. The news was announced in a press release shared with Cointelegraph on June 11. As previously reported, Nebula is a blockchain-powered platform for genome-sequencing data, co-founded in 2017 by renowned geneticist Professor George Church and his Harvard colleagues Dennis Grishin and Kamal Obbad. The platform leverages blockchain technology in a bid to incentivize genomic data generation and sharing, and to lower the costs of…

Major Insurance Broker Aon Secures Crime Coverage for Crypto Custody Solutions Firm

Aon — a leading insurance broker that purports to occupy 50% of the crypto-insurance market — will reportedly provide crypto custody solutions provider Metaco with crime insurance coverage via a panel of London insurers. The news was revealed in a Metaco press release published by fintech news outlet Finextra on June 11. Lausanne-based Metaco is part-owned by Swiss telecoms giant Swisscom, the country’s national postal service, Swisspost and banking technology vendor Avaloq. The insurers — none of whose names have been disclosed — will reportedly provide the crime insurance coverage…

Fidelity, Tenaya Capital Fund Crypto-Security Firm Fireblocks

Fireblocks, a platform for securing digital assets in transit, announced today $16 million in Series A funding from investment heavyweights including Cyberstarts, Tenaya Capital, and Eight Roads — the proprietary investment arm of Fidelity International. The additional capital will enable the company to build out its infrastructure, and court additional firms. Several influential customers like Galaxy Digital and Genesis Global Trading have already switched to Fireblocks to safeguard the transmission of their digital assets across exchanges, over the counter brokerages, hot wallets, and cold storage. Spurred to action following a…