Crypto News | Sberbank to Pilot First Russian ICO

On May 24, ForkLog reported that the first Russian ICO may be ready to launch by the end of summer. Earlier this week, the Russian parliament approved the first reading of legislation that aims to regulate the crypto industry in the country. The laws define tokens and cryptocurrencies as property, specifying at the same time how to interact with mining, smart contracts, and other crypto-related technologies. Prior to that, in April, Russia gave its fintech companies an opportunity to test new technologies in a “regulatory sandbox”, allowing them to play around with blockchain technology without violating any laws. These measures seem to have resulted in an experimental first Russian ICO which will be piloted by state-owned Sberbank CIB, the largest bank in Russia, and the National Settlement Depository (NRD). Igor Bulantsev, the head of Sberbank CIB, said that the bank’s clients showed interest in this new way of fundraising, although it is likely that this first Russian ICO will be reserved for “qualified investors”.

Meanwhile in China, Tencent, one of the greatest internet giants in the country, has partnered up with the Shenzhen National Taxation Bureau to provide the city with a blockchain-based solution to tax evasion. Tencent and the city of Shenzhen will work together in an „Intelligent Tax” innovation lab, working on innovative solutions such as a new digital invoice based on blockchain technology.

There are many other areas in which blockchain technology can prove useful. The Transform Africa Summit 2018, Smart Africa’s flagship event, took place at the Kigali Convention Center from 7 – 10 May 2018. The summit’s theme, ‘Accelerating Africa’s Single Digital Market’, attracted over 4,000 participants, including Craig Wright, the famous (or infamous) Australian computer scientist and businessman who claims to be the real Satoshi Nakamoto. On May 24, Bitcoinist reported on some of his remarks and how they sparked a wave of controversies. Among other things, he told conference members that he has “more money than their country.” He also aggressively pushed for Bitcoin Cash as opposed to Bitcoin. Twitter analyst Dennis Parker said that Wright was a “scammer, blowhard, psychopath and fake satoshi.”

Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter how any particular person feels about Wright. As long as there are people who agree with him and are willing to support him, he will always be around. In fact, that applies to cryptocurrencies as well, which is quite a democratic idea, once you think about it. The Warwick Business School recently conducted a study, concluding that the prices of cryptocurrencies depend more on how investors feel about them than on actual economic indices. Daniele Bianchi, the author of the research paper, said that, although there are studies comparing Bitcoin and gold, having looked into the top 14 cryptocurrencies, he reached the conclusion that their volatility stops them from being a reliable savings instrument. Other experts challenged his conclusions, such as Iqbal Gandham, the managing director of eToro, and Martin Weiss of Weiss Cryptocurrency Ratings, who recently rebutted Warren Buffet’s similar claims by saying that Bitcoin has an intrinsic, monetary, and exchange value.

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