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Joseph Lubin Names Berlin as The Most Important City in The ‘Blockchain Cosmos’

Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin referred to Berlin as “the most important city in the blockchain cosmos”, Cointelegraph auf Deutsch reported July 25.

Lubin said that, “Berlin has the infrastructure, Berlin has the talent, the really good programmers are here.” Lubin added that, if Berlin wanted to maintain its status as a blockchain hub,  “the government needs to set up more programs to promote blockchain.”

According to Lubin, blockchain is still in its infancy. The Ethereum co-founder, who now is concentrating on app development on the Ethereum blockchain with his company ConsenSys, said:

“We’ve seen a lot of bubbles bursting, and will do so more often in blockchain and cryptocurrency. At $30, Bitcoin was a bubble, at $200 and at $20,000 even.”

Even though he is less interested in cryptocurrencies, the hype surrounding Bitcoin is anything but bad, according to Lubin, because it will bring more money to the market and drive technology forward.

Lubin’s main concern is developing the next stage of the Internet, which he refers to as Web 3.0. According to Lubin, the “old web” has too many mistakes; people do not have control over their data, meaning companies can capitalize on user data, and there is no quick system for settling cross-border payments.

Lubin said, “We have to get away from silos, from companies that collect data and make money, and people should have that back in their hands.”

In an interview with Cointelegraph, Lubin said that when Vitalik Buterin came up with the description for the Ethereum platforms, “It was essentially the most elegant, the most powerful description of a blockchain platform up to that point.”

Lubin added that Ethereum, “enabled, essentially, billions of software engineers to not worry too much about what is going on the protocol layer and just build with tools similar to what they are used to using, when building web applications and mobile applications, and identify their own problem, and build their own solution.”

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You Too Can Apply to the Lufthansa and SAP.iO First Ever Global Aviation Blockchain Challenge

The Lufthansa Innovation Hub (LIH) in collaboration with SAP.iO have launched the first ever Global Aviation Blockchain Challenge. The challenge is geared towards exploring the potential opportunities in blockchain technologies as well as ways of how the aviation industry can adopt the revolutionary technology. Both firms are enthusiastic that the Travel and Mobility tech scene can attract blockchain entrepreneurs by providing the perfect environment to ‘ideate and experiment with new business models’.

The announcement was made public via the official website of the Aviation Blockchain Challenge. Entrepreneurs will have access to the Lufthansa innovation ecosystem and access to SAP blockchain assets. There will also be a mentorship program to further push new ideas to the spotlight of relevant decision makers.

Thorsten Dirks, the CEO of Eurowings and a Board member of the Lufthansa Group is quoted as saying that:

Blockchain is one of the game-changing technologies of our time, which we are systematically addressing as part of our digital strategy for the Lufthansa Group…By combining our aviation industry expertise with the Blockchain technology of [SAP], we are creating the ideal worldwide framework for addressing Blockchain entrepreneurs with an affinity for travel and mobility.

Similar sentiments were echoed by the Chief Strategic Officer and Executive V.P of SAP, Deepak Krishnamurthy:

SAP is excited to partner with Lufthansa on this exciting startup challenge to reinvent the traveler experience, airline operations and supply chain with Blockchain. With our industry leading SAP Leonardo Blockchain platform and Lufthansa’s market leadership and expertise in Aviation, we can foster a new innovation ecosystem that can potentially transform the entire travel industry.

The Aviation Blockchain Challenge is divided into three categories:

  1. Airline Challenge
  2. Traveler Challenge
  3. Supplier Challenge

The submission of ideas is ongoing up until the 31st of August, 2018. 

The two firms have further added the following incentives to attract the best of the best blockchain entrepreneurs:

  • A Global stage for your idea including international press coverage and media awareness
  • Potential pilot project with Lufthansa Group
  • Professional mentoring for all shortlisted teams
  • Possibility to pitch in front of senior management
  • Coverage of travel expenses (up to 2500€ per team)
  • Finalists can get access to Blockchain-as-a-Service from SAP in order to build or improve their MVP
  • Office space for up to 3 months in the Berlin ecosystem – to work on your idea together with us

More information about the challenge can be obtained from the website earlier provided.


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BlockShow Europe 2018 Blasts a Massive Update, Days Prior to the Event

BlockShow Europe 2018 is fast approaching – time has come for some big news from the organizing team. Today, roughly a week before the event, we want to shed some light on what is waiting for more than 3000 attendees in Berlin on May 28-29.

Fresh arrivals & celebrities on board

First and foremost, the value of any conference is the quality of its speaker pool. For BlockShow Europe 2018, the organizers have brought together over 100 blockchain experts and practitioners.

Among the speakers BlockShow has in its lineup there is Jimmy Wales – the mastermind behind Wikipedia, one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” and simply one of the people who made the Internet look like we are used to see it. Having a huge influence on the crypto scene, Jimmy has been experimenting with digital currencies since 2014, the same year Wikipedia and the rest of the Wikimedia Foundation have included Bitcoin as a donation option, driving the adoption of cryptocurrencies.

The list of BlockShow speakers will include:

  • Bobby Lee – Co-founder of BTCC, Board Member at Bitcoin Foundation
  • Johanna Maska – CEO Global Situation Room, Ex-Head of White House Press Department for president Barack Obama
  • Benny Giang – Co-founder of CryptoKitties, Product Manager at Axiom Zen
  • Olga Feldmeier – CEO at SMART VALOR, 100 Women in Fintech Powerlist 2017
  • Mike Butcher – Writer, broadcaster & blogger, Editor-At-Large at TechCrunch, Awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list 2016
  • Rachel Wolfson – Crypto Journalist, Podcast Co-Host at Bad Crypto LLC
  • Llew Claasen – Venture Capitalist, Executive Director at Bitcoin Foundation since 2016

Agenda and networking

One of the most important part of an event is to put speakers into a program that is interesting both for the audience and for the speakers themselves. The Blockshow agenda this year aims to cover major aspects of today’s blockchain scene, and will include the following panel discussions:

  • “Governmental Blockchain Initiatives within the EU (and Beyond)”
  • “Blockchain in Enterprise Environment: Corporate Giants are Stepping In”
  • “Next-Gen Blockchain: How Innovators Discover New Dimension of Decentralized Solutions”
  • “The Rise of Humanitarian Use Cases”

BlockShow Europe 2018 also features a networking app. The app is designed specifically for all Blockhow attendees to connect and network before and during the event. Each user will be able to filter attendees based on their expertise and role – for example investor, startup, crypto fund, etc. – and organize business meetings according to their preferences. The app can be a useful tool for attendees to create business, and forge professional and creative partnerships in the crypto industry.

BlockShow Oscar

Of course, a BlockShow can’t exist without an element of show in it. During April and May 2018, BlockShow held a large-scale meetup tour across major European cities. The goal of the tour, among others, was to meet promising blockchain startup and determine which of them will join the grand finale of the ‘BlockShow Oscar’.

The Blockshow Oscar is the event’s traditional startup competition, where each company gets the opportunity not only to gain visibility among the blockchain community, but also to compete for the main prize – this year, the winner will get 50000 euros.

The list of the BlockShow Oscar finalists has already been revealed: it includes companies such as Altpocket, Shelf.Network, Seal Network, NeoPlace, Coin Governance System, Give Bytes, Enecuum and Dattabot.

See you there!

BlockShow Europe 2018 is just around the corner – if you want to join the conference and immerse yourself into the blockchain environment, hurry up – the last price increase is coming in 5 days. Meanwhile, you can also visit the official BlockShow website for more information and follow the event on social media. Looking forward to seeing you in Berlin!

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Belarus, German Tourist Board Now Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) Friendly

The tide is turning in favor of all cryptocurrencies as the German National Tourist Board and the country of Belarus are now welcoming the use of Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and other cryptocurrencies.

In the first case of the German National Tourist Board (GNTB), an announcement was made on the 5th of March welcoming payments in Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and other cryptocurrencies. This is an attempt by the Board to continually evolve with current digital trends and latest technologies. GNTB, being global, wants to set an example as a trend setter for innovation and a source of inspiration for the global tourist industry. This is due to the fact that cryptocurrencies are also global and erase all boundaries set on maps through their decentralized nature and worldwide popularity.

This is welcome news for crytpocurrency holders who happen to be planning trips to Germany. They no longer have to go through complex Forex exchanges that leave tourists with a felling of being ripped off after high transaction fees and ever changing exchange rates.

Belarus is also setting a precedent for other countries by legalizing all crypto related businesses in the country. A Presidential Decree on the ‘Development of a Digital Economy’ came into effect on the 28th of March this year. The decree was signed in December by President Alexander Lukashenko and became active on the said date of the 28th. By legalizing crypto related businesses such as ICO’s, crypto-mining, smart contracts and crypto-exchanges, the country is hoping to lure international entrepreneurs and corporates but on the condition of registering as residents of the Belarus High Technologies Park.

The decree goes ahead to offer tax breaks and incentives for crypto businesses until January 1st, 2023. No taxes will be imposed on any crypto related profits till then for local and international cryptocurrency entities operating in the country.

The future is indeed looking bright for global cryptocurrency adoption with the above two developments. These announcements add to the list of ever expanding crypto adoption news that is slowly but surely gathering headlines despite the market not being at its best this year.

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BlockShow 2018: New European Event is Announced, Larger than Ever

Just a short time ago, Cointelegraph was releasing last materials dedicated to the recent BlockShow Asia 2017. However, today the conference team came back to announce BlockShow Europe 2018, its third big conference dedicated to discovering the hottest innovations, trends and sensations currently happening in both European and Global Blockchain scenes.

BlockShow Europe will be held from May 28-29 in Berlin. Why exactly so? According to the organizing team, Berlin was chosen as one of the main European centres for fintech and Blockchain development; apart from that, the large concentration of investments, startups, and innovative businesses makes the city an important hub for many trending industries. Last, but definitely not least is the spirit of the city itself. Anna Sergius, Head of Product & Operations at BlockShow commented:

“Berlin is a European capital of Blockchain. Concentration of Blockchain people is enormous! […] It’s really easy to get along with the local community. Obviously, our next conference should happen here! For me, it’s a very casual city: it’s comfortable, convenient and full of freedom.”

With each new event, the BlockShow conference gets bigger. It is expected that BlockShow Europe 2018 will be visited by more than 3,000 attendees; over 150 companies from all over the world will exhibit their projects, and 120+ organizations and companies will provide their support for the event. That’s twice the size of the recent BlockShow Asia 2017, and about five times bigger than BlockShow Europe 2017.

CEO BlockShow CEO Addy Crezee said:

“The main mission which we are carrying through BlockShow, through the each event of ours – to bring value to the Blockchain community, to be helpful for any participant. We strive to yield benefits for startups, so they can get all the valuable connections they need among Blockchain celebrities and Investors, so they can establish partnerships they need. Blockchain projects can present themselves and and raise funds; those who want to make announcement to the world are absolutely welcome to make it from the stage of BlockShow!

We are bringing value – this is our main objective and guidance. And this is exactly why our events keep growing – to be useful for as many people from the ecosystem as possible.”

What to expect?

Throughout its existence, BlockShow seems to have worked out a perfect formula of what to offer to guests and participants. The upcoming event will be no exception: BlockShow Europe is going to reveal the most groundbreaking releases from various Blockchain companies, the most successful Blockchain-powered projects, as well as deep insights into how Blockchain is being utilized in cutting-edge global industries: IoT, AI, cybersecurity, trade and finance, and others. Furthermore, the conference will be welcoming representatives of Central Banks and governmental structures who will share their experiences and plans for harnessing the possibilities Blockchain can provide.

Top Blockchain experts around the globe claim 2018 to be the year of global Blockchain regulations, so there is no way BlockShow won’t raise this question at the main stage of the upcoming event. Our greatest aspiration is to reach balance and fairness for the global Blockchain law, and this is our way to contribute to one of the main Blockchain topics of 2018.

BlockShow Europe 2018 is going to bring together over 80 internationally recognized influencers and experts from banks, institutions, and other global sectors. For two days straight, they will be delivering their professional experience, knowledge and more. Take a look at some of them:

There is so much more that BlockShow Europe is preparing for its guests! Each year the organizing team strives to bring more ‘show’ to the whole concept of BlockShow, so there is no doubt this time the event will be packed with even more exhibition, expanded networking opportunities, and entertainment. Both of last year’s Startup Competitions were a truly exciting and fun experience; in 2018, the event will keep this tradition of discovering and rewarding the most promising Blockchain companies out there, so if you are a Blockchain entrepreneur- this opportunity is for you!

Don’t miss out

Starting today, registration for BlockShow Europe 2018 is officially open. Learn more and register for the conference at the official BlockShow Europe website. Of course, there is no way we will let you get away without a special offer – so don’t forget to use the code CTPOWER18 to save 30% off your purchase.

See you in Berlin!

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Bitcoin-Only Property Sale: UNESCO World Heritage Site in Ibiza for 1,850 BTC

When a Texas-based real estate brokerage firm sold a property using just Bitcoin, the ease of transaction became topical.

“In a matter of 10 minutes,” says Sheryl Lowe, the agent who represented the buyer in the sale, “the Bitcoin was changed to US Dollars and the deal was done!”

The same factor is playing out again. Handlers of the sale of a historic palace in the Spanish resort town of Ibiza are banking on the ease of Bitcoin to put the property on the market.

El Palacio Badarji is on sale for 1,850 Bitcoin. No cash equivalent indicated. The location which was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1999 is an 18th-century palace built in 1740.

It’s been renovated in the last few years. Yet, its four en-suite bedrooms, a master suite with private lounge room and a living room with reception area as well as other parts are intact.

Ease of use

The ease of use is a major factor that would continue to cause leading real estate brokerage to look keenly in the digital currency’s direction. This is considering the hassles that always go with the sales of real estate ownership especially across borders.

Just last month, a mansion in London was put on the market for £17 mln. Its sales notice stated that the potential buyer has to pay in Bitcoin – about 5,050 BTC at the time.

Lev Loginov, who put the property up for sale, talked about transactions in Bitcoin being “…done quicker, more efficiently and it is much easier to deal with than using banks, which are putting in unnecessary over-regulation.”

British entrepreneurs, Michelle Mone and Doug Barrowman, also launched a Bitcoin-priced real estate development in Dubai. Mone sees a time when early adopters will give way to a more mainstream application of cryptocurrencies. Hence, “… it’s a logical extension to take land and buildings and effectively offer people the opportunity to pay in cryptocurrency or bitcoin rather than just fiat currency.”

Some of the other Blockchain-backed projects with interests in the real estate market include Propy, Atlant and Brickblock. Propy’s decentralized title registry platform was recently used in the sale of an apartment in Ukraine, while Brickblock plans to offer the world’s first tokenized real estate project – an apartment block in Berlin going on sale in December.