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Bitpanda Receives Payment Service Provider License (PSD2)

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Vienna-based fintech Bitpanda received a payment service provider license issued by the Austrian financial market authority (FMA) in accordance with European law (PSD2).

Bitpanda, the Viennese fintech with around 1 million users and more than 100 employees is expanding its business model. The Austrian financial market authority has granted Bitpanda Payments GmbH, the payment service provider license (PSD2) in accordance with European law after less than 5 months. It is a significant milestone for the Bitpanda group and will allow it to launch exciting features and products in the coming months.

“Our goal is to bridge the gap between the modern and traditional financial world. The payment service provider license will allow us to tear barriers down,” says Philipp Bohrn, one of the two managing directors of Bitpanda Payments GmbH. Prior to joining Bitpanda, Philipp Bohrn was the managing director of the Association of Financial Service Providers in Austria’s chamber of commerce for 9 years. Lukas Enzersdorfer-Konrad, former Head of Department Digitalisation and Innovation at Austria’s leading banking group Raiffeisen and second managing director, agrees: “We want to act as the missing link to make digital assets spendable anywhere our users want. With the license, we are a first mover in Europeto offer convenient and innovative features and services.”

“We are very happy that Bitpanda is one of the few European cryptocurrency fintechs to receive such a license. It’s a big step towards our vision to create an open, innovative investment-platform,” says Bitpanda CEO Eric Demuth. Bitpanda’s vision is to provide easy-to-use, convenient access to a vast array of digital assets, and it is currently expanding its trading platform to other asset classes beyond cryptocurrencies.

 

SOURCE Bitpanda GmbH

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Artprice: The “Toulouse Caravaggio” Acquired Privately

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The public sale was scheduled for Thursday, 27 June at 18:00, Toulouse time. According to the Sale Conditions, anyone interested in acquiring the painting had to “register as a bidder at least 15 days before the sale.” As thierry Ehrmann explains, that meant that since 13 June at the very least, all the potential bidders were known to the sellers. And, as Julius Caesar would have said… the die is now thrown. 

Because… no less than 48 hours before the public sale was due to take place, the sale has been cancelled! A private transaction has been concluded. “An offer that we had no choice but to communicate to the owners of the painting,” says the official statement which provides a very concise explanation: “The fact that the offer comes from a collector with close connections to a major museum convinced the sellers to accept it.

This is undoubtedly a very happy ending for everyone involved, not to mention the sellers the art expert who discovered the work, Eric Turquin, and auctioneer Marc Labarbe. The undisclosed amount apparently readily confirms that the work is indeed an authentic Caravaggio, and the buyer, anonymous, but close enough to the world’s most prestigious museums, is apparently committed to ensuring painting will very soon be exhibited in one of the planet’s top museums. It could be any museum in the world… except the Louvre, which turned its back on the painting… “An attitude that, for me personally, was difficult to digest,” confessed Eric Turquin to the French magazine Le Point. The official statement says: “Purchased by a foreign collector, [the painting] will leave France.” Its ultimate destination was the sellers’ second biggest concern, after its sale price of course… Otherwise a deal would certainly have been struck directly with a major museum.

From the sellers’ point of view, this is the best possible outcome. In terms of transparency, it’s a total and singular reversal of the situation. The sellers promised a “authentic” public sale, i.e. a sale that was 100% public, with no reserve price and broadcast live on internet so that everyone and anyone could participate in the auction. The final price was going to allow the Market to decide on the painting’s authenticity… but the curtain has fallen even before it went up… and the amount of the transaction will remain forever confidential.

Last Monday, on 17 June, Sotheby’s announced its withdrawal from the public sphere. A week later, the most anticipated work of the year has suddenly done more or less the same. For Artprice, the two cases strongly suggest that the Art Market is seeking a certain discretion. In the sales catalogue, Eric Turquin thanked his collaborators: “I wish to thank my expert colleagues, the restorers, the framers, the bankers, the insurers, the photographers and the transporters, etc. who have scrupulously respected their professional confidentiality obligations and allowed us to work in a calm and collected manner.”

After five years of work, research and determination, “this painting will go to one of the best museums in the world. And for me that was essential,” concludes Eric Turquin.

Given the importance of this work in art historical terms, Artprice promises to track the reappearance of this painting – a painting that, as of today, no longer needs to be referred to as the “The Toulouse Caravaggio” –  and to shed as much light as possible on this private sale, concluded just hours before an auction that had all the makings of a truly historic event. Artprice’s consistent and long-standing efforts to bring transparency to the Art Market are more than ever justified.

 

SOURCE Artprice.com

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Huobi Expands to Turkey

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As part of its ongoing plans for global expansion, Huobi Group will be moving aggressively into the Turkish market over the course of the next 12 months. Plans include a fiat onramp for Turkish Lira, a branch office with local resources in Turkey, and localized products and customer services.  Huobi invites Turkish projects to apply for listing here: list@huobi.com.

Turkey is a very important and promising prospective market for us and we plan to take an aggressive approach to bring the Huobi ecosystem there,” said Huobi Global CEO Livio Weng, fresh off a Huobi-sponsored meetup in Istanbul.  The event was attended by traders, crypto enthusiasts, and blockchain professionals, including digital economy expert Erkan Öz and lecturer and cryptocurrency mentor Ismail Hakki Polat.

Huobi’s expansion into Turkey will be overseen by Huobi MENA, the Middle EastAfrica, and South Asia branch of Huobi Group. Huobi MENA is headquartered in Dubai.

“We are really excited with the response we received from the Turkish community. With their support, we successfully pulled off one of the largest crypto events in Turkey. We’ve already added a Turkish language option to the Huobi Global website and will also be rolling out Turkish language customer support and a Turkish language mobile app. Other than this, we’ve also launched Huobi Tokens for the Turkish users, which gives them access to Huobi Prime and Fast Track. We also hope to have a crypto-to-fiat onramp for Turkish users by the end of the year.” said Mohit Davar, Co-Founder of Huobi MENA.

According to market research and analysis firm Statistica’s  Global Consumer Survey for 2019, Turkish citizens already have the highest per-capital rate of cryptocurrency ownership of all nations surveyed. A whopping 20% – or 1 in 5 – Turkish residents now own some form of cryptocurrency. “That figure definitely matches what we’ve experienced during our time here,” Weng said. “We’ve been blown away by the numbers and passion of the Turkish trading community.”

In addition to Turkey, Huobi is exploring an expanded role in other markets as well. This includes Romania, where, at the invitation of the Romanian government, Weng recently delivered a keynote speech in Bucharest’s Palace of the Parliament as part of the 2019 Romania Blockchain Summit.

“It’s unclear what changes blockchain will bring to the world but today we are all pioneers in the space,” said Weng.  “Huobi is willing to work with you in charting a path into a promising future.”

 

SOURCE Huobi Global

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TransPerfect Announces New Transcend Integration With True Digital Dossier’s Blockchain Technology

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TransPerfect, the world’s largest provider of language and technology solutions for global business, and distributed ledger firm True Digital Dossier (TDD) today announced a partnership to integrate TDD’s new blockchain technology with TransPerfect’s virtual data room (VDR) tool, TransCEND, for the mortgage, art, energy, regulatory, and supply chain sectors.

This partnership is the first integration of blockchain technology with VDRs on a global scale. Branded under the TDD “Digital Dossier” name, the service aims to help professionals prevent lost revenue from poor due diligence and poor record keeping. It will serve markets where the value of assets, such as a mortgage or work of art, is tied to the quality of their information packages.

VDRs are online document platforms that compress the time for M&A transactions by allowing concurrent document review by unacquainted parties. Customers can manage, read, write, execute, search, audit, and access documents in the secure, collaborative environment. By integrating blockchain technology, owners can now embed a “digital fingerprint” in documents, creating a long-term tracking system for an asset’s paper trail and ensuring protection from data tampering.

“By combining TDD with TransCEND, we can create long-term trust in business and the world,” said Rob Chepak, CEO at True Digital Dossier. “Data rooms are brilliant for document sharing but mainly reserved for corporate finance. Distributed ledgers help networks of people secure information. Put them together, and we see game-changing applications that can benefit due diligence professionals in many markets.”

Phil Shawe, TransPerfect President and CEO, remarked, “Security and tracking are key elements of both VDRs and blockchain technology. They are a natural pairing that will promote more secure, reliable, and trusted transactions between parties.”

 

SOURCE TransPerfect

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