Planning to Cash Out

Planning to Cash Out

A Dublin coffee shop that doesn’t want your cash….

I have used cash exactly twice in the last two years, neither time by choice. Once was in my local barber shop that didn’t take cards (forcing me to go to the shop across the road, get cashback and return to the barber) and the other time was to pay the admission to the Tokyo State Guest House, which very surprisingly, was cash-only. Apart from those exceptions, I’ve totally given up using cash (and changed barbers). No more carrying notes and coins, no more visits to ATMs, no more concern about losing it or not having the right amount, no more waiting for change in shops.

On a recent trip to London, it was very noticeable how prevalent “cashless” has become there in just the last few months?—?multiple cafes with signs in the window declaring that cash is no longer accepted. Even Christmas markets are replete with signs of “card payments welcome” as handheld devices from iZettle, SumUp and Square have been adopted by individual traders to accept cards and contactless. In shop after shop, I notice you no longer get the puzzled look from staff when you proffer your phone at the till. My Costa coffee cup that can pay for coffee via an in-built contactless chip and my Fitbit that can pay do still elicit the odd confused stare. But expect to see an ever-increasing range of pay-enabled devices as we move beyond contactless debit cards and Google/Apple Pay equipped phones and watches. In Asia, you can see very clearly how popular paying by scanning a QR code linked to Alipay or WeChat Pay is with even street vendors and churches accepting scan-to-pay.

For businesses, there are myriad benefits to cashless?—?no risk of hold ups, no cash counting after closing, no leakage from the till, no trips to the bank, no fraudulent notes to check, improved hygiene (cash is very dirty) and of course, faster transactions. While these positive stories are the reasons that businesses may argue for going cashless, there is also the so-called “credit card effect”, where people are more willing to spend when they aren’t handing over cash.

Cash has served us well for over 2,500 years but talk of its demise at the hands of apps, plastic and contactless payments isn’t universally welcome. A recent BBC article highlighted some of the drawbacks of the move away from cash?—?such as the tendency for charity donations and payments to some sectors such as cleaners or childminders to be largely cash-based. Some States in the US are attempting to block businesses from going cashless, citing the impact on poorer communities.


Charities adapting to a cashless world

While I sympathise with the groups who could be marginalised by too rapid a move to cashless, I would urge authorities to find solutions rather than hold back progress and forgo the benefits. What we can do, is be mindful of those adversely affected, be respectful of their views and be creative in easing the transition for them.

We really should plan to phase out cash in the next five years or so?—?it’s a vestigial remnant of a bygone era. Carrying various shards of metal and pieces of coloured paper around in our pockets that also contain powerful computers makes very little sense. But the current haphazard move to cashless at the whim of individual businesses is not in the public interest.

But let’s not railroad it through without thinking, in some technology-driven rush. Many people have a sentimental attachment to physical money that, much like film, will eventually go digital. Governments, not financial institutions who stand to benefit in any event, should be leading the planning and timetable for the move to cashless?—?we should not force the vulnerable or elderly but should respect their attachment to cash, to the simple tangibility of notes and coins. We should consider a card-for-cash exchange scheme with vending machines easily letting someone who is unbanked go cashless when they need to. Maybe we can look at funnelling some of the savings in policing costs, cash in transit costs or insurance costs into programmes to aid the vulnerable. What we also mustn’t do is allow those who want to hang on to cash for nefarious purposes hide behind fake concern for the elderly or poor so as to preserve their own ability to operate outside the law.

Let’s plan for an orderly adoption with plenty of warning, education and mitigation. Then we can expect to see the real benefits of cashless for everyone.

Article Produced By

.Go to the profile of David Kerrigan

David Kerrigan

Thoughts about technology and society. Author of three books


The Five Steps to Startup Success MarkethiveDeb Williams

The Five Steps to Startup Success – Markethive/Deb Williams

     The first social/market network built on blockchain technology

CEO of Markethive Thomas Prendergast announces,

“We are now ready and on the verge of launching the first ultimate Market Network with a social media interface. This has never been done before. Markethive is well versed in identifying its market, and we now offer our experience and expertise to everyone aspiring to build a business online.

We have purposely integrated blockchain technology for your security, privacy and give you the ability to create a universal income all on one platform. What this means is you cannot be shadowbanned. Giving you freedom of speech, your data is your data and cannot be used by the company or anyone else. You can work safely in an autonomous environment with everything you need to achieve your goals.”

The Next Generation – The Next Level

You will now be able to sharpen your entrepreneurial skills with state of the art inbound marketing tools in a collaborative fluid culture achieving the five steps to startup success with Markethive. Even if you have just a slight entrepreneurial itch, you will be able to learn and grow with the system positioned to be the next generation of social/market media. And you get paid to learn!

CEO of Markethive, Thomas Prendergast says,

“Markethive has built and adopted a proven strategy over the last 20 years. The foundation has been laid which puts us in the top 1%. We already have the three pillars of viability: community, technology, and liquidity, all of which are needed in equal portions to have viability in the digital money sphere.” 


As predicted by the visionaries of Silicon Valley

The CEO states,

“As predicted by the visionaries of Silicon Valley, the Market Network is the next logical replacement of the social networks. They spoke about the Market Network being the next unicorn of trillion dollar companies over the next 10 years. They were talking about Markethive. We are a marketplace and a network, and we have all the inbound marketing tools for workflow.

We are the ultimate Market Network. Markethive is rising up to be the next generation social (market) network bringing sanity to privacy and universal income to the entrepreneur.”

The early vertical market networks are

1. A marketplace – transactions among multiple buyers and sellers

2. A network – identity and communications

3. Workflow – SAAS, Software as a service

Markethive is an outstanding platform with huge upend potential in both the markets. Revenue generation is solid with income revenue already underway, as well as funding revenue.


It’s fully operational as a beta platform

CTO and Co-founder of Markethive Douglas Yates says,

“It’s fully operational as a beta platform. The coin has been created, the blockchain is in place, and every milestone in the white paper has been met on time.”

Tim Moseley, one of the many veteran associates, says,

“Markethive represents the future to me. It offers the most significant opportunity of my lifetime. Because of the vision and hard work relentlessly performed by the CEO Thomas Prendergast and his team, Markethive will launch into the future to become the premier inbound marketing network of our time. I can envision Markethive becoming the standard by which other market networks will be judged by.”

Another satisfied associate, Mike Sheehan, states,

“Having had the opportunity to meet and speak with Tom provided me with the vision that this platform is going to be unique and beneficial. With limited tech knowledge, Markethive gives me a platform where I can learn from both members and the training videos. And finally, given the option to have free access to 75% of the platform or, for only $100 monthly, having access to 100% of the platform, I know that everything is available for me to use without surprises of ‘up-sells’.”

All five steps to startup success have now been executed by Markethive. Now it’s your turn. Join Markethive and be ready to receive the first of many infinity airdrops of 500 MHV coins just for subscribing. And it gets better.

To find out more about Markethive, please visit.

Article Produced By

Deb Williams
I am a freelance writer for the Market Network and crypto/blockchain industry. I’m a strong advocate for technology, progress, freedom of speech, and I embrace “Change”.

My background is in state management, also sales, service and business development consulting in the corporate arena, which involves training and coaching clients from front line through to management in the financial services and real estate industries. For the last 18 years I have been an owner/operator, developing offline and online businesses.

Adelaide, Australia


The Biggest Tech Trends of 2019 According to Top Experts

The Biggest Tech Trends of 2019, According to Top Experts

Next year’s AI, AR, and 5G tech may set the stage for some massive tectonic shifts in tech and culture

For the tech industry, 2019 may be more about laying groundwork

than historic breakthroughs. But it should be a busy and exciting year, as key new technologies begin finding their way into real, useful applications. The smartphone will still be our central tech device by the end of next year, but as augmented reality and wearables progress, we’ll sense more and more that a new paradigm in personal computing is around the corner. That will be helped along by enabling technologies such as 5G networks, which will be stretching far and wide by the end of 2020. And, artificial intelligence will become infused in all kinds of products, allowing gadgets and services to subtly begin to anticipate our wants.

These tectonic shifts are already creating opportunity and chances for innovation. Venture capital investments on startup companies are on pace to reach $100 billion in 2018, far exceeding 2017’s $82 billion in investments. The big question is which of these opportunity areas will mature in 2019. We asked venture capitalists, tech analysts, and a few entrepreneurs for their thoughts on the subject.

Patrick Moorhead, Principal, Moor Insights & Strategy

On the growth of AI: We will see further permutations of artificial intelligence making their way into every aspect of our lives and our devices. We will see more services and experiences. Obviously the upside is that these things will become better at knowing what you want beforehand, and then doing it for you, whether that is meeting management or calling a Waymo self-driving cab or a microwave knowing exactly what you’ve put inside it and then starting when you tell it to start. This is all brought about by massive improvements in computational power and savvy programming.

Peter Rojas, Partner, Betaworks Ventures

On AI in media: In the coming year, we’ll see a number of technologies that blur the boundaries between what is real and what is synthetic. There’s synthetic media, where powerful new tools for creating highly realistic computer-generated imagery are increasingly accessible to anyone with a decent laptop or smartphone. Another part of synthetic media is algorithmically generated content, in which tools like generative adversarial networks create, enhance, or edit media far more efficiently than humans. We’d also put news articles “writtenOK” by AI in this category. Related to all this is the new world of digital avatars and virtual celebrities/influencers that use these tools.

Matt Hartman, Partner, Betaworks Ventures

On opportunities in ethical technology: This past year we saw consumers and employees of the big tech companies begin to push back against the ways those companies are using our data, building AI, manipulating our behavior, and who they are choosing to do business with—like certain government agencies. Society is just beginning to demand ethical consideration along with technological advancement. I think we’ll see this movement toward humane technology gives rise to new business models that are not built on harvesting our attention. Some of those, like subscriptions or tipping platforms exist today, and I’m eager to see what new innovations emerge as startups look to align their business models with their users’ need to be in control of how their data is used and how their time is spent.

Avi Greengart, Research Director of Consumer Devices, Globaldata

On consumer adoption of AR glasses in 2019: I don’t think we get there next year. The idea that you’ll slip on a pair of glasses and all of a sudden you’re Iron Man is something you’re more likely to see in Marvel’s Infinity War: Endgame than in your local Best Buy. That said, I am hopeful that some of those scenarios are still coming but they may still be a few years out. We have companies like Vuzix and Microsoft that are working on those things for the enterprise, but also companies like Apple, which is already building AR experiences into pretty much every iOS device today.

On phones and 5G: We’ll see some new form factors including folding phones and phones where instead of a notch you’ll see a hole punched off in the corner. The big question now though is around 5G . . . Whether or not we’ll see some of the big promises of 5G in 2019 is still a big open question. Low latency mobile gaming is something I’m convinced we’ll see; it’s just whether it will be next year or the year after. Whether we’ll all be driving around staring at holograms inside 5G cars, I’m skeptical about that in the short term, but in the long term that’s something I’m sure we’ll see. I don’t expect a 5G iPhone next year.

Timoni West, Director of XR Research, Unity Technologies

On new user controls for AR/VR experiences: Controllers are still the name of the game in XR over the next two or three years. It still feels really awkward when people interact with digital objects [using old modalities] like we see with the current HoloLens, although this may change when we see the new HoloLens, possibly in 2019. A button press is still a button press. Computers can’t actually read our minds. What we need to see is more body level stuff. It’s very exciting to think about transmodality in input methods?—?combining things like eye tracking, voice recognition, hand gestures, finger bone tracking?—?then you’re getting somewhere close to magic. You’re getting closer to that feeling of Harry Potter casting a spell. But even then you’re going to have to do a lot of calibration to make it all work together.

Paul Carter, CEO of Global Wireless Solutions

On the 5G hype wave: All of the industry players are trying hard to make “first to market” claims for 5G networks. And, 5G devices are coming soon in 2019 although we likely won’t see the 5G iPhone until 2020. The reality is that it’s not an instantaneous transition. We will have a blended network of 5G, 4G, and even 3G, depending upon geography.

Dan Hays, Tech, Media, and Telecom Industry Lead, PwC

On the rise of fixed wireless: The biggest story in telecom in 2019 may well wind up being how the use of wireless technologies is renewing competition in broadband services. While the vast majority of consumer and enterprise broadband services are currently delivered over cable or fiber optic connections, 2019 should see more companies?—?including incumbent cable and telephone providers?—?look to wireless links to expand their networks and offer increased speeds to consumers and small businesses.

On the slow death of pure cable TV: As the old saying goes, “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.” This is especially true for video services, where continued declines in traditional, bundled subscription services are set to reach a breaking point in 2019. We expect to see even more cable, satellite, and fiber-based service providers shifting their focus to a combination of providing broadband services and delivering competitive, over-the-top, cloud-based video streaming services as consumers increasingly reject legacy services and their higher costs.

M.G. Siegler, General Partner, Google Ventures

On startups built on voice platforms: I continue to be on the lookout for startups in the audible-computing space. The rise of Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home in 2018 has these devices in millions of homes already, and this holiday season should only accelerate that trend. I would include Apple’s AirPods in this general space as well. These are not niche products. But the jury is still out?—?people need to learn to use these devices beyond just listening to music or asking for the weather. I believe they will, especially as young people grow up with them integrated into their lives. It will take time, but I think the groundwork can be laid in 2019.

Dave Welsh, Growth Equity Leader, KKR

On consumer experiences: Moving beyond commerce, consumers are looking for more than material goods?—?experiences are the next opportunity for startups. Consumers have more disposable income today, leading to the desire to not just go somewhere, but to experience it like a local or to have a curated tour providing an extra level of depth and fun. This is the next frontier beyond Airbnb, Uber, and Lyft.

Miles Clements, Partner, Accel

On cities realizing the opportunity of micromobility: 2018 may well have been the year of the scooter, but their impact on cities and archaic urban infrastructure is just beginning to make a dent. Revenue share agreements with high-growth startups like Bird and Lime provide cities with income streams they’ve never before had exposure to. As municipalities invest those dollars into infrastructure improvement and new commuter options, an ecosystem of tools will emerge for urban planning, transit mapping, and ease of navigation around the modern urban environment.

Greg Sullivan, Director of Communications, Mixed Reality, Microsoft

On AR in the enterprise: This past year one of the things that’s become clear is that the commercial space has seen the value of HoloLens, and AR/VR/XR in general, in a range of deployments in some very interesting ways. There is a value in taking the digital world and the physical world and bringing them together in meaningful ways. We’re just starting to see people getting a handle on what they can do with the technology?—?things like remotely assisting someone or laying out physical objects in a digital space. In the next 12 months we expect to continue to realize the commercial value of the HoloLens. We fully expect to see more [enterprise] customers take advantage of HoloLens to achieve more.

Michael Wolf, Former MTV President and Current Activate CEO

On the proliferation of smart cameras: We see 2019 as the year of the smart camera. Over the next four years, the average American will have 12 smart camera devices in their lives. As part of that, we expect people to increasingly put cameras inside their homes, especially as existing smart speakers add cameras. Already, roughly 18% of adults have non-mobile smart cameras?—?this is today.

The cameras can create networks, and we see the Ring camera on someone’s front door connecting with someone’s car or phone so that everyone else in the neighborhood can see what’s going on. Smart cameras will also enable cashierless retail, seamless facial recognition security (say for going to the ATM), and at-home medical diagnoses. Smart cameras are just exploding, people see them as a way to not only interact but control their own security.

Scott Parazynski, CEO, Fluidity (and Former Astronaut)

On drones in 2019: Drones will continue to pop up in amazing new applications in 2019, with ever greater sensor capabilities and advances in pilot-guided automation. We believe that advances in human-machine interfaces in particular will dramatically reduce the training time and cognitive workload for drone pilots, allowing for much wider adoption for enterprise applications in dynamic, unscripted environments. While still a niche market, we see substantial growth in the public safety realm?—?fire, search and rescue, police and security?—?as well as DoD and security applications.

Carl Esposito, President of Electronic Solutions, Honeywell Aerospace

On laying the groundwork for flying cars: The work being done over the next 12 months will be crucial to making the vision for urban air mobility a reality. We’ve seen a lot of innovative and motivated companies come to the table with concept aircraft and business models that sketch out a future where you and I get to commute from point-to-point with ease and convenience in our “flying cars.” But before we cross that threshold, we need to map out the regulations, infrastructure, and relationships that make the skies above our urban environments as safe and efficient as the routes we travel today. A lot of that foundation will be set in 2019.

Steve Case, CEO, Revolution (and Cofounder of AOL)

On how cities with losing Amazon HQ2 bids may still profit: It would have been great if Amazon chose an unexpected location between the coasts, but I believe the bid for HQ2 has the potential to deliver significant benefits starting in 2019 for the cities that participated, but didn’t take home the prize. The search for Amazon’s second headquarters drove collaboration between universities, economic development groups, civic leaders, and startup ecosystem builders. Those efforts could likely prove catalytic for these cities, helping to build the next thriving startup community that might?—?just might?—?launch the next Amazon. Next year, look for cities to repurpose what they built to lure Amazon to help their own cities rise.

Vic Gundotra, CEO, Alivecor

On the role of artificial intelligence in health care: One of the major trends that we’ll see in 2019 is the explosion of devices that push consumers to do more measurement of biometrics like heart rate monitoring and glucose monitoring and remote blood pressure. And we’ll also see an explosion of frustration on the part of doctors around how to make sense of all this data. How do you deal with the data of a consumer constantly generating heart measurements? How do you deal with consumers generating hear data who may be anxious? At some point in 2019 there will be a realization that AI is going to be needed to make sense out of all this data, because physicians don’t have the time to look at this tidal wave of data.

Bob Kocher, Partner, Venrock

On AI in health care: AI will gain traction in health care but not where the hype is focused. While there is tremendous interest in applying AI to clinical decision making, we think that clinical use cases will prove to be harder than expected. The data needed to train AI models is messy, and the business models are challenging. Instead, we think AI will gain traction first helping payers and providers reduce administrative costs. This is likely because the datasets are larger and far better quality. For example we have years of high-quality claims, coding, and quality data. Lowering admin costs immediately boosts margins in a sector where nobody outside of pharma makes much money.

Article Produced By
Mark Sullivan


Binance’s ICO Platform Ready for Takeoff

Binance’s ICO Platform Ready for Takeoff


Binance will be holding initial coin offerings (ICOs)

on the firm’s token sale platform Launchpad nearly every month in 2019. TRON’s BitTorrent and are two of the ICOs slated to be offered in 2019. Launchpad is Binance’s attempt to legitimize the cryptocurrency-based ICO method, which has had a checkered history since it rose to prominence in 2017. According to Binance’s Jan. 3rd announcement, companies that are offering ICOs on Launchpad undergo a selection process to ensure that they are compliant with applicable laws, have a legitimate business plan, and will be beneficial to the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

Binance’s CEO and founder, Changpeng Zhao, in a statement said:

“In 2019, Binance Launchpad will help launch projects serving the universal cryptocurrency ecosystem as a whole that benefits people around the world. Bringing on distinguished token sales to the Launchpad platform is part of our continuing efforts to create a more secure and open token launch environment, paving a healthier market in 2019 and beyond.”

Binance Launchpad is not available to users in the United States, China, South Korea, and a dozen other countries. The decision is likely motivated by the regulatory grey area around ICOs, which are still illegal in some jurisdictions.

First Offers Available in 2019

The peer-to-peer file sharing company BitTorrent was purchased by the blockchain startup TRON for $140 million in June of last year. With over 100 million monthly active users, it was one of the more high-profile acquisitions by a blockchain firm in 2018. TRON itself raised $70 million in its own ICO in the summer of 2017. The new BTT token will add a cryptocurrency element to the uTorrent software and allow users to pay for faster downloads.

The same day as the BitTorrent ICO was announced, Variety reported that the CEO of BitTorrent, Rogelio Choy, had left the company. This news has not been confirmed by BitTorrent or TRON. That same day, VentureBeat reported that Justin Sun was appointed as the CEO of BitTorrent. Choy has been CEO since 2017, and had previously served as CEO from 2012 to 2015. Unnamed sources told Variety that there had been a disagreement between Choy and the direction of BitTorrent, though this was denied by TRON. describes itself as a “decentralized digital representation of the world in which autonomous software agents perform useful economic work.” Per the firm, these agents will deliver data or provide services using “smart ledger technology” in exchange for Fetch Tokens, the network’s native cryptocurrency. claims its technology has use cases in the hospitality, transportation, energy, and supply chain sectors. No timeline was given as to when the ICOs for BitTorrent and ICOs will begin, with the Launchpad website only saying they are “coming soon.”

Popularity of ICOs Dropped Sharply in 2018

In making its announcement, Binance appears to be anticipating that ICOs will reverse the trend that began in the second half of 2018, which saw a rapidly declining pace of funding. According to a report entitled The State of the Token Market, released by venture capital firm Fabric Ventures last October, the amount of funds raised by ICOs fell dramatically as 2018 progressed. June through September saw $1.6 billion raised via ICOs, compared to nearly $10.6 billion in the first five months of the year.

While ICOs have been used by companies to raise billions of dollars, their future is in question. Since they have largely operated outside of existing laws regulating securities offerings. Moreover, they’ve been rife with opaque processes, questionable management practices, and even outright fraud. These factors and the lack of clear regulations in many countries have put ICOs in a legal gray area.

However, some countries, such as Malta (where Binance is based), Switzerland, and Thailand, have looked to bring ICOs in from the cold and encourage blockchain technology by streamlining regulations. 2018 also saw the emergence of the security token offering (STO) as a legally compliant alternative to the ICO, though the concept is still in developmental stages. With one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges legitimizing ICOs, the practice could experience a resurgence. Whether it will be accompanied by the widespread fraud and deception like was seen in 2017 is another question.

Article Produced By
Ian Edwards

Blockchain Writer at CryptoSlate


Switzerland sets legal foundations for blockchain industry

Switzerland sets legal foundations for blockchain industry


Blockchain and crypto tokens have the potential to bring efficiencies
and cost savings to a range of industries.

The Swiss government has announced a wide-ranging blockchain strategy that aims to create a legal foundation for the new technology. The reports suggests amending existing laws, rather than creating new legislation, in a bid to enhance Switzerland’s status as a blockchain-friendly country. The main focus of the strategy is to incorporate decentralised digital tokens into the Swiss business infrastructure, particularly the financial sector. One proposal is to clear away regulatory hurdles for trading securities (such as shares, bonds or real estate) on blockchain platforms. This would create a new regulatory category along the lines of recent fintech laws, which allow certain financial activities to be carried out by tech start-ups without a banking license.

Switzerland has rapidly established itself as one of the world’s leading blockchain hubs, attracting both start-ups and hundreds of millions of dollars in investments. The technology, which started off as a means to replace the existing financial infrastructure, is now being adopted and adapted by banks, stock exchanges and other industries.


Blockchain is one example of distributed ledger technology (DLT), a recent digital innovation that allows people to take direct control of their own assets and trade them peer-to-peer without the need for centralised third parties, such as banks or other entities. Asset ownership and transactions are recorded on encrypted digital ledgers that are open for all participants to both view and validate. The complete history of asset ownership is included on these ledgers. To protect privacy, participants are assigned “private keys” – a series of randomly generated letters and numbers that act as IDs.

Blockchain was originally designed to be totally decentralised and open to the general public. But this is not suitable for many businesses that instead opt for restricted DLT platforms that require special permission to access.

End of infobox

The Swiss government reportexternal link released on Friday describes the innovation as “among the remarkable and potentially promising developments in digitalisation. It is predicted that these developments have considerable potential for innovation and enhanced efficiency, both in the financial sector and in other sectors of the economy.” 

Digital assets

It also acknowledges that the true potential of blockchain – a form of distributed ledger technology (DLT) – “cannot yet be conclusively estimated” as it has yet to be tested on an industrial scale. Another caveat in the report talks about the risk of cryptocurrencies being used for criminal purposes, including the financing of terrorism. The government said it would remain vigilant but was waiting for the creation of international guidelines before deciding if it needed to take further action.

While current Swiss regulations cover many forms of digitalisation, such as e-banking, some aspects of blockchain/DLT technology fall between the cracks in the legal code. There are two notable challenges to incorporating blockchain into the law. New forms of encrypted digital tokens are not backed by physical assets, such as government issued money or paper certificates. The law needs to be amended to recognise digital-only assets, the report suggests.

Secondly, blockchain is designed to bypass middlemen who keep records of transactions and play a recognised role in protecting consumers from fraud. They are replaced in blockchain by decentralised digital ledgers and smart contract code that automatically processes transactions. The government wants financial transactions that are performed without physical intermediaries to have a place in the legal code.

Positive reaction

The report also proposes giving the financial regulator discretion to apply a lighter touch for decentralised blockchain/DLT securities trading platforms, provided their activities are not likely to harm investors. The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) currently has these powers when assessing fintech start-ups that offer limited banking services.

The creation of such discretionary powers circumvents recent Swiss legislation that was inacted to align the Swiss financial centre with the European Union, says Luzius Meisser of the Bitcoin Association Switzerland. The law created three categories of stock exchange – none of which are suitable for decentralised token platforms, “making it necessary to create a new type in order to allow such exchanges to exist in Switzerland,” Meisser says.

“This shows once again how the traditional Swiss approach of having principle-based laws that give a lot of discretion to citizens and regulatory agencies are much more innovation-friendly than overly detailed European-style laws,” he said in a written statement. Blockchain financial start-ups will soon be able to take advantage of new fintech-friendly regulations allowing firms to take up to CHF100 million in client deposits without needing a banking license. Fintechs that qualify under this new regulatory category could also take custody of clients’ crypto tokens up to this value.

Unlike neighbouring Liechtenstein, that is in the process of creating a new set of laws aimed specifically at blockchain, Switzerland has chosen the route of adapting current legislation to incorporate the new technology. This approach was welcomed by the Crypto Valley Association (CVA), which it sees a solid legal base as an essential pillar of Switzerland’s blockchain strategy.

“We feel that this approach best represents the principle of technological neutrality and is in line with the position taken by the CVA in the consultation process,” Mattia Rattaggi, CVA spokesman for regulatory matters, said in an emailed statement to “Crucially, this approach ensures maximum consistency within the current legal framework while keeping it principle-based and flexible, while allowing changes to be adopted on a ‘need-to-regulate’ basis.” The issue of how to tax digital tokens has been put off until a review is complete at some stage next year. The federal communications ministry has also been tasked next year with determining how blockchain can be reconciled with data protection laws.

Proposed law changes

Amend company bankruptcy laws to recognise data as an asset. This would allow courts to handle purely digital assets, and make sure they go to the right creditor, when sorting out insolvent firms. Amend the Banking Act along the same lines as above in the case of a financial institution going bankrupt. Amend the scope of the Anti-Money Laundering Act to cover decentralised exchanges with the power to dispose of third-party assets.

Create a “new authorisation category” for blockchain securities traders and exchanges to give FINMA discretion to apply a lighter touch when assessing the activities of such entities. Amend the Financial Market Infrastructure law and the Financial Institutions Act to “create more flexibility” for blockchain/DLT applications.

The finance ministry is already looking into a Collective Investment Schemes Act amendment to include a new category of funds (limited qualified investment funds L-QIFs) so that “new innovative products could be placed on the market more quickly and cost-effectively in the future”. No immediate changes to financial laws for the insurance industry are immediately foreseen as blockhain/DLT is in its “infancy” in this sector. The report also sees no reason to change any legislation with regards to cryptocurrencies.

Article Produced By
Matthew Allen

Zurich bureau chief|  English Department


When not covering fintech, cryptocurrencies, blockchain, banks, trade and the World Economic Forum,'s business correspondent can be found playing cricket on various grounds in Switzerland – including the frozen lake of St Moritz. Initials: mga


Business, Finance, Economics



Ireland moves to limit crypto money laundering

Ireland moves to limit crypto money laundering

New AML bill given thumbs up by cabinet
will lead to stricter rules, and ease police access to bank accounts. 

The Irish Cabinet has approved a bill that purports to stiffen laws aimed at tackling money laundering, and puts the use of cryptocurrencies front-and-centre for their alleged role in financing terrorist activity. At the heart of the new legislation is the passing of the fifth EU money laundering directive, released in July of 2018, into Irish law by amending the country’s existing statutes on the matter. That new EU policy widened the purview of existing rules – unsurprisingly, the fourth EU money laundering directive of 2015 – on Anti Money Laundering (AML) to cover virtual currencies, wallet providers and exchanges. That means as of now, any such operation in the country must be fully compliant with its demands or face prosecution.

The speed at which the legislation has been updated again, of course, reflects the meteoric rise of cryptocurrencies in that time – and the threat they are now perceived as by authorities looking to track criminal activity. As well as targeting cryptocurrency related business, the laws also look at the roll of pre-paid debit cards, as well as sellers of high-value items and art. According to The Irish Times, banks and other financial institutions will also “be required to carry out stricter due diligence before taking on new clients. Credit and financial institutions will also be prevented from creating anonymous safe deposit boxes.”

It also says that the the bill provides upgraded powers to the Garda and Ireland’s Criminal Assets Bureau to access bank accounts during money laundering-related investigations.While the legislation will not be enacted in post-Brexit UK, at least not in such an obvious transposition as this, Jonas Karlberg – the boss of crypto advisory firm, Amazix – believes that such enhanced regulation will bring more parties to the market.

“The continued development of crypto-related regulations globally will mean that more traditional areas of business and financial institutions will adapt to expand their services to crypto. 2019 will also see the full implementation of the 5th AML directive in the EU – allowing the full spectrum of cryptocurrencies and possibly token offerings to operate within full compliance”, he said.

“This new trend will challenge traditional consultancies to think about adequate control measures to comply with applicable laws and regulations. All the usual integrity risk concerns and compliance burdens of a conventional financial institution will now apply to crypto businesses: money laundering, terrorist financing, tax avoidance/evasion, sanctions and cybercrime”.

Article Produced By
John Moore





Swiss government announces legal foundation for blockchain technology

Swiss government announces legal foundation for blockchain technology


Following the Swiss government’s release

of an official report (see English report here) on Friday, advocating for decentralised financial transactions to have a place in the Swiss legal code, could this new strategy strengthen Switzerland’s status as a blockchain friendly country?

Several experts in the blockchain space provide their insight on the importance of adapting current legislation to incorporate new technological developments and the implications of Switzerland allowing changes to be adopted on a ‘need-to-regulate’ basis. Brent Jaciow, Head of Blockchain Affairs at Utopia Music, the cutting-edge, blockchain-powered music tracking and attribution platform based in Zug, Switzerland,


In order for any new technology to gain mass adoption, people must know what regulatory framework they are operating under. While for early adopters a loose understanding may be all that is necessary, for institutions and the population en masse, it is crucial to understand the regulatory implications of owning, transacting and working with new technologies especially as it relates to securities.

Switzerland allowing changes to be adopted on a ‘need-to-regulate’ basis is not a large shift from the current situation, where governments must direct their focus to the most pressing needs of their citizens. Though, this is also positive as it means that governments and their regulatory bodies will be more proactive in providing guidance to new technologies. By being proactive, it will speed up the adoption cycle as new entrants do not need to be concerned with dealing with future or retroactive regulation and can just move forward with using and innovating with these new technologies.”

Chair of the Crypto Valley Association (CVA) Policy and Regulatory Working Group, Dr Mattia Rattaggi,


The CVA welcomes the release of the Federal Council’s report, and is entirely in tune with its goal to create the best possible framework conditions for “Crypto Nation Switzerland,” while underlining the country’s integrity and reputation as a financial centre and business location.

It is positive that this is to be achieved through targeted adjustments to the existing legal framework – instead of issuing completely new laws. We feel that this approach best represents the principle of technological neutrality and is in line with the position taken by the CVA in the consultation process. Crucially, this approach ensures maximum consistency within the current legal framework while keeping it principle-based and flexible, while allowing changes to be adopted on a ‘need-to-regulate’ basis.

To a large extent, the report also confirms what we, in the Crypto Valley community, have known for some time — that Switzerland’s regulatory system is already open and relatively flexible. These are attributes that have been fundamental in the Crypto Valley’s emergence as a global hub of blockchain innovation.

With the CVA Policy and Regulatory Working Group, we look forward to analysing the details of the report, communicating its contents and implications to our Membership and to continued cooperation with government stakeholders to keep building the wider Crypto Valley ecosystem.”

Angel Versetti, Co-Founder & CEO of Ambrosus the world’s leading blockchain and IoT platform for quality assurance in food and

pharmaceutical supply chains, said:

The most recent Swiss Government report concerning the regulatory approach to blockchain technologies is an important step in moving the entire blockchain industry towards formal recognition and industrial adoption, and provides increased legal clarity. Notably, the report is keen to emphasize the innovative value of blockchain-based ecosystems, while also reminding the public of the infancy of the industry as a whole. For the broader cryptocurrency community, this report puts forward a cautious approach to regulating digital currencies and tokens. Within the context of innovation and the impending digital revolution, the report is significant insofar as it indicates a larger social and political shift in favour of decentralisation, transparency, and increased efficiency via blockchain technology.

At the same time, it is important to not simply apply securities, banking, and money transmission laws to cryptocurrencies and Blockchain, as has been done frequently in Switzerland over the past year. It is important not to stifle innovation and decentralisation with excessive regulations, red tape and bureaucracy, because this will reduce the democratic value proposition that blockchain offers and will only favour bankers, compliance lawyers, and financial intermediaries, which is already happening in most jurisdictions that are taking too strong an approach to regulation. As entrepreneurs in general —and crypto enthusiasts in particular — treasure privacy, decentralisation, and freedom from censorship, these values should likewise be reflected in the rules and regulations.

In addition, Switzerland should consider only regulating companies that do business with retail customers, and instead treat decentralized protocols as a common good, rather than trying to excessively regulate and impose rules on companies working on building decentralised protocols. In a nutshell, they should take a laissez-faire approach, whereby there are general freedoms and rights guaranteed, and companies are regulated reactively and not proactively. Those are fundamentally different approaches. One permits innovation while eradicating fraud, while the other will only benefit the banks and intermediaries that blockchain was supposed to replace in the first place. Right now, Switzerland seems to favour the digital asset management industry, which almost exclusively consists of the same old financial elites from the largest corporate banks and investment banks. They tend to recreate the same barriers that currently exist in the financial sector, which is worrying.

Mandating FINMA to be more relaxed and use more discretion towards crypto companies is a very welcome step indeed. However, reaffirming protection of rights and interests of crypto companies would be even better.”

Article Produced By


The Five Steps To Startup Success – Markethive

The Five Steps To Startup Success – Markethive

The First Social/Market Network Built On Blockchain Technology
5 steps to Startup Success
5 steps to Startup Success
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SHELL, Wyo.Jan. 2, 2019PRLogCEO of Markethive, Thomas Prendergast announces:

"We are now ready and on the verge of launching the first ultimate Market Network with a social media interface. This has never been done before. Markethive is well versed in identifying its market being and we now offer our experience and expertise to everyone aspiring to build a business online.

We have purposely integrated blockchain Technology for your security, privacy and give you the ability to create a universal income all on one platform. What this means is you cannot be shadowbanned giving you freedom of speech. Your data is your data and cannot be used by the company or anyone else. You can work safely in an autonomous environment with everything you need to achieve your goals "

The Next Generation – The Next Level
You will now be able to sharpen your entrepreneurial skills with state of the art inbound marketing tools in a collaborative fluid culture achieving the five steps to startup success with Markethive. Even if you have just a slight entrepreneurial itch, you will be able to learn and grow with the system positioned to be the next generation of social/market media. And you get paid to learn!

CEO and Co-founder of Markethive, Thomas Prendergast says:

"Markethive has built and adopted a proven strategy over the last 20 years. The foundation has been laid which makes us in the top 1%. We already have the 3 pillars of Viability being Community, Technology, and Liquidity which need to be equal portions of  to have the viability in the digital money sphere."

The early vertical market networks are
1. A Marketplace – Transactions among multiple buyers and sellers
2. A Network – Identity and Communications
3. Work Flow – SAAS, Software as a service

The CEO states:
".As predicted by the visionaries of Silicon Valley, the Market Network is the next logical replacement of the Social Networks. They spoke about the Market Network being the next unicorn trillion dollar companies over the next ten years. They were talking about Markethive. We are a Marketplace, a Network and we have all the Inbound Marketing tools for workflow.

We are the ultimate Market Network. Markethive is rising up to be the next generation Social (Market) Network bringing sanity to privacy and Universal Income to the Entrepreneur"Markethive an outstanding platform with huge upend potential in both the markets and revenue generation is solid and are already generating income revenue as well as funding revenue.


CTO and Co-founder of Markethive Douglas Yates quoted:
"It's fully operational as a beta platform, the coin has been created, the blockchain is in place, and every milestone in the white paper has been met on time."

One of the many veteran Associates, Tim Moseley says:
"Markethive represents the future to me. It offers me the most significant opportunity of my lifetime. One of which I am totally confident, that because of the vision and hard work relentlessly performed by the CEO Thomas Prendergast and his team, will launch Markethive forward into the future to become the premier Inbound Marketing Networks of our time. I can envision Markethive becoming the standard by which other Market Networks will be judged by"

Another satisfied Associate, Mike Sheehan states:
"Having had the opportunity to meet and speak with Tom provided me with the vision that this platform is going to be unique and beneficial.  With limited tech knowledge Markethive gives me a platform where I can learn from both members and the training videos.  And finally given the option to have free access to 75% of the platform or for only  $100 monthly having access to 100% of the platform gives me comfort that everything is available for me to use without surprises of 'up-sells'."

All five steps to startup success have now been executed by Markethive. Now it's your turn. Join Markethive and be ready to receive the first of many infinity Airdrops of 500 MHV coins just for subscribing. And it gets better.

To find out more about Markethive, please visit our Blog


Thomas Prendergast  CEO
219 Main St, Shell WY  82441
Office: (307) 254-9329


Deborah Williams Market Manager


YouGov Crypto Survey shows 50 of millennials interested in Cryptocurrency

YouGov Crypto Survey shows 50% of millennials interested in Cryptocurrency


The recently published YouGov survey found

under 50% of millennials were interested in using cryptocurrencies as a primary form of payment as opposed to using the U.S. dollar.  Bitcoin adoption has been growing year on year and here is commentary from a number of spokespeople on the topic of mainstream awareness and acceptance of the crypto and blockchain industry.

The commentary comes from those who have already launched blockchain education initiatives or are directly involved in the academic space, including Lisk; Orvium; the Social Alpha Foundation; Brave New Coin and the Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange (GBX).

Nick Cowan, CEO of the Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange (GBX), which aims to position itself as a world-leading institutional-grade token sale platform and digital asset exchange that is a subsidiary of the Gibraltar Stock Exchange, a European Union (EU) regulated stock exchange says:

Overall, the results from the YouGov poll provide a positive indicator for the future of cryptocurrency. The fact that 48% of millennials would be interested in using a digital currency is a sign of things to come. This is important because, ultimately, the future of the global economy lies with the millennials, not the baby-boomers.

The fact that over three-quarters of Americans would be interested in using cryptocurrency as a primary means of exchange is a positive for the industry. It speaks to the future prospect of cryptocurrency going mainstream. What is required is private sector actors offering real-world services to unlock institutional investment opportunities so that the market can become truly viable.”

Manuel Martin, Co-founder and CEO of Orvium, an open source platform for managing scholarly publications’ lifecycles, says:

This survey clearly indicates cryptocurrencies are the future! Mass adoption of cryptocurrency is the next logical step for modern societies, they exemplify the next step for the payment layer of the internet. As a peer-to-peer way of transferring value, the functionality of cryptocurrency is attractive to a person who grew up in a digital age with a tablet to hand at all times, this goes some way to explaining why 48% of millennials would be interested in using it.

A striking advantage of cryptocurrencies is that they negate the need for the involvement of third-party actors or central authorities in the transaction process. This reduces barriers to entry, transaction times, security concerns and even privacy issues – all factors which will invariably lead to increasingly widespread adoption.

The survey found that  79% of Americans are familiar with the cryptocurrency concept, this is a striking finding. However, upon delving deeper this makes sense as the cryptocurrency space is a massive marketplace that evolves at a very fast pace and is disrupting every single industry we know. It is important to note that cryptocurrencies represent more than meets the eye, they are flourishing ecosystems which have matured massively since Bitcoin’s inception in early 2009.”

Thomas Schouten, Head of Marketing at Lisk, the blockchain applications platform which allows users to code and build in JavaScript, says:

The stand out feature of this YouGov survey is the heightened awareness and openness to cryptocurrencies by millennials – acceptance by this core demographic is key to ensuring global adoption in the future. The survey shows us that the global leaders of tomorrow are aware and open to cryptocurrency but, saying that, there may still be some way to go in improving understanding of the real future utility of the underlying technology.

Generally, most people seem unaware of the massive potential in this space and don’t realise that Bitcoin and Ethereum are only the tip of the iceberg. It is safe to assume that these cryptocurrencies are noted in the survey more for their price spikes than their assumed future potential. Alongside investment in research and development, the blockchain industry needs to continue investing in education, as this will help move the discussion on from profitability, to the more important talking points around the potential of the technology.”

Rafael Delfin, Head of Research at Brave New Coin, a leading data and research company focused on the Blockchain and Cryptographic Assets industry, says:

YouGov’s survey findings are a reflection of a number of trends among 20-40 year old adults. Mainly of the high barriers to entry to both capital markets that produce returns and the public institutions controlling their legal tender. Together with the lack of trust in traditional financial institutions, the importance of an apolitical, borderless, and censorship resistance form of cash is becoming increasingly clear to a mostly global generation. This applies not only to urban dwellers but also to rural-based millennials who traditionally have lacked access to competitive banking services.

The main takeaway of this survey is that as baby boomers captured the gains of the stock market during the past 30+ years and now will start to cash out for retirement, young adults are turning to a new paradigm, that both resonates with their values and  has a significant upside potential, for performance gains.”

Nydia Zhang, Co-founder and Chairman of Social Alpha Foundation, a not-for-profit grant making platform supporting blockchain technology for social good, says:

The survey findings from YouGov are reflective of current trends among millennials within the blockchain and crypto space. The report touches on the issue of mainstream awareness, with 79% of Americans saying they are familiar with at least one kind of cryptocurrency. Broader reputational issues in the industry are also raised in the survey, with a quarter of respondents stating that they think cryptocurrencies are used more for illegal purchases rather than legal ones. This statistic is not surprising, and while cryptocurrencies continue to defy the odds, blockchain adoption remains a challenge. For this to change in the future, we must demonstrate the functions of the technology to the public through major application or adoption.

Almost half (48%) of millennials say they would be interested in using cryptocurrency primarily. This is interesting and reinforces how the crypto community and culture has a bigger impact on the younger generation. Despite this, there is still a misperception surrounding cryptocurrencies and bitcoin, and this is evident by the 34% of people who think crypto will not become widely accepted in the near future.”

 What is Bitcoin

This e-book on Amazon explains what Bitcoin is, it explains that Bitcoin (BTC) is a virtual currency, digital, not physical, and independent of banks. Useful links and resources for the newbie and advanced Bitcoiner or cryptocurrency enthusiast.

Article Produced By


PR management firm Cision is acquiring Falconio to expand into social media marketing

PR management firm Cision is acquiring to expand into social media marketing


Social media has become a primary conduit for getting the word out,

in some cases proving to be an even stronger force for publicity than more traditional media outlets and paid advertising, and so today, a company that has grown its business around public relations services has acquired a social media management company to make sure it has a foothold in the medium. Cision, which provides press release distribution, media monitoring and other PR services to businesses and the media industry, has acquired, a startup founded in Denmark that lets companies post, manage and analyse their presence on social media platforms.

Terms of the deal are not being disclosed, the companies tell me, but the whole of the Falcon team, including CEO/founder Ulrik Bo Larsen, are joining the company, where they will continue to operate its existing product set as well as integrate it into Cision’s wider business. The last valuation noted in April 2017 at the Danish Companies House was about $52 million (€45 million), but they have been growing very rapidly, and one source tells us that the price paid was around $200-$225 million, while Danish publication Borsen says it’s 800 million Danish kroner, or around $122 million. I’m still trying to get more detail.

Falcon had raised around $25 million according to PitchBook, and it has never disclosed its valuation. Cision — well-known to many journalists — is publicly traded and currently has a market cap of just under $1.6 billion. For some context, two other prominent social media management firms that compete with Falcon, Sprout Social and Hootsuite, are respectively valued at $800 million and anywhere between $750 million and $1 billion (depending on who you ask).

The latter two are bigger firms — Falcon has around 1,500 businesses as customers that use it to manage their social profiles and read social sentiment across platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, while Sprout says it has around 25,000 and Hootsuite counts millions of individual users — and both have raised significantly more capital, but their valuations underscore the demand that we’re seeing for platforms and user-friendly tools to target the world’s social media users — estimated to number at upwards of 2.5 billion people globally.

Kevin Akeroyd, who came on as Cision’s CEO after long stints at both Oracle and Salesforce, among other places, describes Falcon as a “top five” social media marketing and analytics firm, and in an interview he said that the new acquisition will form a key part of the “communications cloud” that Cision has been building. As with Salesforce, Oracle and Adobe (which also use similar cloud-themed terminology to describe their product suites), Cision’s strategy is to build a one-stop shop for customers to manage all their communications needs from one platform. Falcon itself may be smaller than its competitors, but the idea is that it will be cross-sold to Cision’s customers, which currently number 75,000 businesses.

“We’re seeing too many of our customers using one application for content, another for something else, and so on. There are too many apps,” Akeroyd said. “We have always believed in earned media” — that is, media mentions that are not in the form of paid advertising — “and the role of influencers alongside paid and owned marketing. We believe we could provide the first solution for businesses across earned, communications services and public relations, helping to build a better data stack to measure and attribute what you are doing in comms.”

As social networking companies like Facebook and Twitter build more of their own tools in-house to serve the social media needs of organizations that want to better manage their profiles and interactions on these platforms, this has led to some consolidation and shifts among social media management companies. Some are merging or getting acquired, and some are shopping themselves around.

And in that wider trend, it’s not too surprising to see public relations firms get in on the action. Social media has completely changed the landscape for how information is disseminated today, sometimes complementing what traditional media organizations do — there are many examples of how newspapers and other news outlets leverage, for example, Facebook to grow and communicate with their audiences — and often replacing traditional media altogether. (Pew last month said that social media outpaced newspapers for the first time as a news source in the U.S., although TV and radio are still bigger than social… for now.)

Given that public relations management has long been the connecting link between organisations and media outlets, they have had to take a bigger step into social media in order to provide to their clients a more complete picture of the media landscape. Cision is not the first to have done this: Last year, Meltwater, another media monitoring firm, acquired DataSift to add social signals and traffic to its platform mix. “This consolidation has to come because there is just too much value for the user,” Akeroyd said. “CMOs and CCOs do not want their own islands, they want something bigger.”

Article Produced By
Ingrid Lunden


Ingrid is a writer and editor for TechCrunch, joining February 2012, based out of London. Before TechCrunch, Ingrid worked at, where she was a staff writer, and has in the past also written freelance regularly for other publications such as the Financial Times. Ingrid covers mobile, digital media, advertising and the spaces where these intersect. When it comes to work, she feels most comfortable speaking in English but can also speak Russian, Spanish and French (in descending order of competence).