In today’s edition of The Daily we cover stories about a well known economics professor and outspoken crypto-skeptic who is going to speak about the subject at the U.S. Senate, bitcoin-buying service Coinmama adding support for SEPA bank accounts holders, and more.
Crypto-Skeptic Professor to Speak at US Senate
Renowned economics professor Nouriel Roubini (commonly known as Dr. Doom) is set to tell American politicians about all the ills he sees in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. The Senate Banking Committee lists him as a witness at a hearing on “Exploring the Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Ecosystem” to be held Thursday, October 11.
Rather than presenting the lawmakers with a balanced review of the matter, Roubini can be expected to use this pulpit to further denigrate the innovation and the community behind it. In the past day alone he repeatedly lashed out on Twitter, writing among else that: “Crypto is the biggest bubble and scam in human history.”
Coinmama Adds SEPA Support
Coinmama, the Israel-based service best known for allowing the purchase of cryptocurrency with credit cards, has announced this week the addition of support for SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) bank transfers. This means that all Coinmama clients within the EU can now utilize this payment method to buy BCH, BTC, ETH, LTC, and a few other top coins, with their bank-held fiat.
The company explained that SEPA daily payment limits average around $12,000 (€10,250), more than double of credit and debit card daily payment limits. Additionally, the SEPA transaction limits operate separately from other funding methods, meaning it is possible for clients to purchase approximately €5,000 worth of crypto via credit or debit card on top of the crypto purchased through SEPA.
According to Coinmama CEO Asaph Schulman, “SEPA compares favorably with other traditional payment systems, as it combines speed and low fees with the convenience of sending a transfer from your regular bank account. When transfer costs are the prime consideration, it’s hard to find a better option than SEPA for conducting fiat transfers within the European Union.”
Developments in Israeli Ecosystem
The past week also saw a number of additional developments in the crypto ecosystem in Israel.
Kzen, a Tel-Aviv based startup developing a new easy-to-use crypto wallet, has announced the completion of a $4 million seed round. It was led by Benson Oak Ventures and involved a number of other investors including: Elron, Samsung NEXT, FJ Labs, Collider VC, Block Nation, Jonathan Smith (co-founder of Civic), Pierre Kosciusko-Morizet, Jean David Blanc and more. The founders explained that: “We considered the option of an ICO and quickly discarded it because it did not make any sense (and thank god, we made the right choice). So we went the ‘old way’ and decided to find investors aligned with our vision and in parallel, we searched for unique talents sharing our passion of products well built and deep belief in the crypto industry. That path was tested by the strong correction of the market of the last months but it has served as an important challenge to gauge our determination.”
Moshe Hogeg, whose Sirin Labs raised $157.8 million in an ICO last year, has donated 7 million shekels to Tel Aviv University for establishing an institute of “applied Blockchain Research” at the Coller School of Management. It is meant to train the next generation of entrepreneurs, managers and professionals in the field. Prof. Dan Amiram, Vice Dean of the Coller School of Management, has been appointed as Head the institute, while Dr. Jacob Mendel will serve as its Director. At the agreement signing ceremony, Hogeg said, “I am delighted that we found the much-needed link between entrepreneurs, business and academia. This is a natural continuation of investment in the field of education of students in Israel, something I believe is of the utmost importance. The establishment of this institute will facilitate in-depth research and contribute to accelerating technological development and its application in most areas of our lives for the benefit of entrepreneurs and businesses in Israel and worldwide. I believe that by granting knowledge, practical tools and scholarships to students, we will help train the next generation which will spearhead the next technological revolution.”
The Israel Securities Authority has announced on Wednesday that “Blockchain technology has been implemented in its information systems for the first time.” The installation took three months and was carried out by the Taldor corporation. It was integrated into the system which the regulator uses for sending messages to supervised entities. The developers explained that “the technology confirms the authenticity of the messages, prevents fabrication and prevents the messages from being edited or erased. In addition, the system prevents the possibility of denying that messages were received from the ISA.” It is also planned that in the future the technology will be integrated into the ISA’s investors voting system and company reporting system.
UK Business Newspaper Adopts Satoshipay
Satoshipay, the micropayment processor originally founded in 2014, has announced a partnership with London-based business newspaper City A.M. Under the terms of the agreement, City A.M. readers will be able to read ad-free online content by paying a small fee and using Satoshipay’s digital wallet. The one-click payments are said to take less than a second and there’s no need to create a new subscription account.
Meinhard Benn, the startup’s CEO, said, “With the changing dynamics within the media sector, Satoshipay uses cutting-edge blockchain technology to make micropayments economic and therefore allow readers to purchase individual articles for small payments instead of paying a subscription. This collaboration marks another important milestone in establishing an entirely new way to pay for content. It greatly benefits both parties: expanding Satoshipay’s partner network whilst adding an additional revenue stream for City A.M.”
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