London Scene RoundUp: Bitcoin, ICOs, and Sustainability

By Nick Ayton

Our London Correspondent Nick Ayton the Sage of Shoreditch explores the past few weeks’ activity in London. It’s been eventful, with China banning things, Jamie Dimon breaching market rules, Ethereum waiting to fork… In crypto land this all seems quite normal.

New ICOs coming near you
It continues to be an exciting time as ICOs are launched in new areas: renewable energy, a new movement economy and a challenger to UBER. All three of them have great teams, vision and have a good chance of creating the future.

With the Blockchain Expo in Barcelona in October there are a host of great events in UK and elsewhere. The ICO Event in London on the 11th of October is definitely one to attend. London is not only the fintech capital of the world, but is also a great place to register and launch a Blockchain business. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has thus far been very supportive to Blockchain projects.

Satoshi spotted again in Shoreditch after a foot massage
CT: Hey Vitalark what are you doing here? Here being near the Bike Shed in Shoreditch…

Vitalark Buttering: Look, it’s him!

CT: No, that’s an old lady.

VB: No really it is him, he is in disguise. Look how he is walking and how wide his shoulders are, it is definitely him. I can tell. I have been following him for five minutes.

Just as we were outside the side gate to the Bike Shed he struck…

CT: What are you going to do?

VB: I am going to wrestle him to the ground and take a picture with my iPhone

And with that Vitalark jumped on the old lady where a huge scuffle ensued. Handbags and rucksacks flying, shouting and then all of a sudden Vitalark was on his back, being pounded by an old ladies handbag…

VB: Help me! She is really mad…

CT: Told you, see you soon Vitalark, I have to dash

And with that the police arrives and arrested Vitalark Buttering and took him away. It seems he is getting more desperate as it was leaked that Satoshi lived in London…and has been spotted several times.

Gibraltar breaks new regulatory ground
Building on Gibraltar’s success at becoming the jurisdiction of choice to the gaming industry, Albert Isola, Minister for Commerce, addressed crypto enthusiasts and outlining Gibraltar’s position on licensing Blockchain and crypto businesses. The meeting took place at a very informative event hosted by Joey Garcia, a leading crypto lawyer at Isolas LLP and co-chair of the DLT Working Group in Gibraltar.

Like many smaller provinces and principalities these governments are able to accelerate the process for bringing in new technologies and embracing new concepts. A faster decision process lies in tighter consultation opened by the government as well as in dialogue with those entrepreneurs and businesses who want to set up operations in Gibraltar. Such a system would offer some great incentives all round, such as lower corporation tax, zero capital gains and inheritance tax, etc.

It is interesting that the previous week I spoke with Brian Donegan at the Isle of Man Government who was also keen to establish a strong Blockchain business community and attract crypto businesses with a range of incentives.

But then one has to play by their rules and enter into a licensing process which in most jurisdictions is dauntingly slow. However Joey Garcia suggested an audience with the government regulator from the finance ministry can be arranged in a matter of weeks. He suggested that the entire process would be complete in 12 weeks. This is an amazing feat given the pace of larger governments. Can they really respond this quickly? Time will tell…

The Gibraltar consultation paper is available here, and they aim to get this into action at the beginning of January 2018.

There is no doubt whatsoever that regulation for crypto businesses, ICOs and exchanges is a facet of doing business in this emerging crypto economic model. Given that much of what a token represents in terms of a store of value or the means of exchange falls within current banking regulations, it is no surprise that regulators are stepping in. Many new crypto projects are trying to convince everyone their token is very different, their corporate structure avoids all regulation, etc. Well we will see about that…

Its censorship resistant dummy…
Bitcoin bashing is the favourite pastime of megabank CEOs. Jamie Dimon and his ‘fat cat’ cronies are among the many whose banks have made big investments in the underlying Blockchain technology, but deep down they really fear Bitcoin and want to decry its value to create opportunities to buy it through the back door. Funny thing: Sweden’s Financial Supervisory Authority insists that Mr Dimon was essentially guilty of market abuse. But hey, who is really surprised by a man that has cost his shareholders $28 billion is paying fines as his bank abuses customer trust, while his personal wealth balloons beyond the odd billion or two or three…

So Bitcoin is all about China then. Because China is the market. Wrong again, but Hong Kong now has the crypto bug. China has banned and now are licensing ICOs, closing exchanges and will probably stop Chinese people from trying to invest. China’s concern is capital flight as people exchange their less valuable yuan for more valuable dollars or Bitcoin, which could ultimately crash their economy. Nonetheless, the world is not China despite what we are told by critics and naysayers.

Yes, the Bitcoin price dipped, naïve people panicked, traders bought the dip and the price recovered again. The volume moved to Japan, which as of last week was 52% of the world’s volume, with the USA picking up the slack.

Make money by walking, what’s not to like…
SweatCoin is already a successful fitness app with more than 1.3 million users and is now firmly established as the centrepiece of the new movement economy that gets people ‘off their arses’ and rewards them for moving, taking a few (thousand) steps each day.

Over weeks this effort builds your SweatCoin fund which can be redeemed against fitness gear, healthier lifestyle products and services and eventually, in 2018, health and life insurance. I am already a big fan and user of this free to download most popular fitness app in the USA, that is simple to use and brings out my competitive edge. SweatCoin succeeds where wearable tech often falls short, a good band but a poor app experience.

The SweatCoin ICO will launch very soon so watch this space…download the app and get walking, as “it pays to move.”

Fair mobility economy starts here…
FairTradeCab (FTC) delivers a new kind of fair mobility that matches passengers and drivers in an economy where everyone benefits, unlike UBER that penalises drivers and where the few owners of the platform make all the money. FTC is about fast on-demand journeys and helping and rewarding people for participating in what is likely to be the hub of a new mobility ecosystem.

The CEO at FTC, Priya Roberts, is one ‘driven’ entrepreneur, sorry Priya I couldn’t resist it…and they intend on delivering fully transparent and fair options for passenger journeys globally. Both people, the car owner and the passenger are getting a good deal from going between two or more locations… With a zero carbon journey option following in 2018…

New infrastructure to support a zero carbon footprint lifestyle
We all know the autonomous vehicle is coming and that people are investing in solar power to live an off-grid existence… The cost and efficiency of battery technology changes the economics of renewable energy based economies. The smart boys and girls at ZeroCarbonCoin (Volt Coin) will deliver a zero carbon lifestyle to owners of electric vehicles and a platform to exchange and trade renewable energy. By doing so users are rewarded for reducing their carbon footprint.

The team at Zero Carbon want users to be assured the energy on their batteries comes from renewable sources and that they are getting the best market price available at that moment. Consequently their trading platform allows you to lock in prices and have the confidence that the energy you are using to recharge your electric vehicle (EV) comes from low carbon, renewable sources…

CrapCoin hits the pan…
CT: met up with farmer Charles Oliver Wilson Patt or C.O.W.Patt to his mates…to find out what makes his poo so special…

COW: well it aint the cows, it aint what they eat, but it is about how the poo

CT: sounds bad

COW: what is it that cows do best?

CT: produce milk and steaks?

COW: No, cows can shit their own body weight each week. That is amazing don’t you think?

CT: Sorry Charles I am still not getting it

COW: Methane…

CT: Ah I see, you are talking renewable energy arnt you Charles

COW: Where there is muck there is money still remains true today

Most Global warming comes from methane from animals, and from the sea. Not cars as many think. We have two solutions. The first is the COW tube that captures the gas, the second is the processor after the cow has done its business…

We put old grass and the cow poo which is pretty good quality into this hopper and the machine does all the rest. It breaks down the poo and we add extra bacteria which gets the poo to ferment, like brewing cider. It goes a bit bubbly and gets a bit dangerous. You don’t want to be smoking near this stuff… BOOM!

CT: So the CrapCoin isn’t crap at all, it really a great idea and investors good returns…

COW: Each machine can generate 15KWH of energy per day, and that is a lot, enough to run the farm and the local village. The farmer sells the excess energy and it pays off the cost of the machinery. The farm gets carbon credits from the EU as well…

We did have an idea to fix a tube in a cow’s rectum, to collect pure methane but they wouldn’t stay in place. And farmer Blewit is still in hospital after his cow backfired as he was lighting his pipe. A big blue/green flash and it melted his wellies to his feet. He was in a terrible state…

CT: When can we buy CrapCoin

COW: We are launching in a few weeks at the Game Fair next July in Oxford. We already have plenty of business and we log the orders on the Blockchain Poo Ledger as we call it….

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