For Breaking Bitcoin 2019, technologists gathered in Amsterdam to explore the future of bitcoin.
Amsterdam-based exchange Blockport previously declared bankruptcy after its STO did not reach an expected $1.1 million soft cap.
Blockport first announced its STO in March, describing its BPS token as a security token that is pegged to a stake in Blockport and enables holders to profit sharing through dividends. Launched on April 16, the STO reportedly offered investors the ability to buy BPS with a minimum 500 euro ($560) investment, and lasted up to May 15.
In mid-May, Blockport revealed the STO results, claiming that the offering had not reached the expected soft cap of 1 million euro ($1.1 million). The exchange stated that it will refund its investors, adding that the platform was expected to be taken down by the end of May.
The Blockport website remains live at press time, with the main page still saying that the firm offers the “easiest way to buy and sell cryptocurrency.”
According to The Next Web, the platform is still online due to the unfinished refund process, while the company is planning to “properly take it offline” as soon as all refunds are finalized.
While the date of the shutdown is still reportedly not scheduled, Blockport founder Sebastiaan Lichter revealed that the company will continue to develop its products in “stealth mode.” Lichter added that Blockport is in talks with “several parties for a potential relaunch.”
Schiphol – the international airport serving the Netherlands’ capital city, Amsterdam – is launching an ATM that will allow travelers to exchange their euros for bitcoin or ethereum.
The airport explained in an announcement on Wednesday that the machine is being located in the departures terminal, since it will offer travelers an option to convert their remaining euros to the two popular cryptocurrencies when they leave the country.
The new ATM service – facilitated through a partnership with Dutch software firm ByeleX – is currently at the beginning of a six-month trial period to determine if there is sufficient demand from travelers, the release indicates.
Tanja Dik, director of Consumer Products & Services at Schiphol, commented:
“With the bitcoin ATM, we hope to provide a useful service to passengers by allowing them to easily exchange ‘local’ euros for the ‘global’ cryptocurrencies bitcoin and ethereum. That can be beneficial if, for instance, it’s not possible to spend euros in their home country.”
The effort comes as other international airports are starting to embrace the idea of cryptocurrency as a potentially beneficial added service for their customers.
Earlier this year, Australia’s Brisbane airport also announced a plan to roll out a crypto payment option for consumers shopping at retail outlets across the terminal.
Schiphol airport image via Shutterstock
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The Money 20/20 event came to a close on the 6th of June in Amsterdam. The event is a global event hosted in different cities to bring together the best minds in fintech, financial systems and now recently, blockchain technology. This event is where Ripple’s CEO, Brad Garlinghouse, was quoted as saying that more and more banks were continually embracing Ripple’s technology.
His words indicated that the number was continually growing and had this to say with respect to the rapid adoption of xRapid by the banks:
By the end of this year, major banks will use xRapid as a liquidity tool. By the end of next year, I would certainly hope that we will see…in the order of magnitude…of dozens. But we also need to continue to grow that ecosystem…grow the liquidity.
A similar momentum is evident in Ripple’s other product, xCurrent. This product is the backbone of Santander’s OnePayFX service that has excited the international money transfer industry in that it is a mobile app that completes international transactions in a matter of seconds. The demonstration a few days back, clearly showed how efficient xCurrent is. This has even led Santander to use Ripple products for 50% of its international transfers.
Is is therefore with this background, that American Express officially announced that it was also using xCurrent to increase the transactions speeds on its payment processing platform. The announcement came during a panel discussion at the same Money 20/20 event that Brad Garlinghouse was attending.
Colin O’Flaherty, American Express’s VP & General Manager of global commercial services UK & Russia, had this to say during the discussion at the event:
Ripple offers instantaneous, point-to-point conversations between the sender and receiver of funds. And that provides a real opportunity to alleviate most of the issues our customers are facing.
xCurrent provides a new blockchain-based infrastructure for global payments by integrating it with the already existing American Express infrastructure. Therefore, the SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) that facilitate payments of goods and services to customers on a regular basis, are the core beneficiaries of the efficient services that is as a result of the integration of the two platforms.
This means that American Express transactions are as fast as the OnePayFX app by Santander. American Express aims to expand this new integrated services the same way Santander is planning on rolling out the app across different countries around the globe. This is indeed good news for the Ripple Community.
Perhaps Crusade is too strong of a word when considering the historical background of such events. But it is in a sense also appropriate due to the fact that Ripple’s (XRP) Chief Cryptographer, David Schwartz, will be in Europe for a bunch of events where he will attend meetups, give keynote addresses and share his perspective with industry experts in panels and fireside chats, and with respect to Ripple and Blockchain technology.
The Ripple website has dubbed this tour by Mr. Schwartz as the Tour De Schwartz EU.
Tour De Schwartz flier, source, Ripple.com
This week, Mr. Schwartz is in the Netherlands attending the Next Web (TNW) Conference in Amsterdam. The even started yesterday and runs up until today, the 25th of May. He will be giving a speech on his personal journey from discovering Bitcoin (BTC) and blockchain. He will also share how he became part of the team of original designers of the XRP ledger and a chief cryptographer of the project.
David Schwartz at the TNW Conference on the 24th of May, source @Ripple twitter page
He was quoted as saying the following just yesterday at the event:
We are trying to make moving money as easy as sending an email using
#blockchain. We should be able to move value as easily as we move information, this is the lubricant to make global commerce better.
Next week, he will be in Germany for the Blockshow Europe event in Berlin on the 29th of May. In the event, he will be in a panel discussion on how innovators can discover new decentralized solutions with blockchain technology. He will then proceed to Hamburg for Unchain to give a presentation on the importance of the Internet of Value.
Mr. Schwartz will then return to the Netherlands on the 4th of June for the Money20/20 Europe event in Amsterdam. On the next day, June 5th, he will participate in a panel moderated by Sara Feenan to discuss the classification of digital assets by regulators and how they should go about it.
For the week that starts on June 11th, he will be at a meetup in Dublin, Ireland where he will chat about digital assets in an event moderated by Fortune’s Robert Hackett. The event already has 80 confirmed attendees. His last day in Europe will be the 12th of June and in Dublin to attend the MoneyConf fintech event.
More updates on his European tour can be found via the twitter pages of both Ripple and David Schwartz.