After months and months of speculation, Facebook has finally revealed the details of its would-be cryptocurrency challenger. However, what looks very revolutionary, is rather to be seen critical !
LibraMyth No 1: A blockchain allows Libra to function
Libra is enabled by what is called in Zuckerberg´s White paper as the “Libra Blockchain” which is described as a “Decentralised Programmable Database”. However, Libra blockchain is a lot but NOT a blockchain. Some of the very important characteristics are missing. Normal blockchains add blocks to the chain. Libra neither uses blocks nor uses a chain! According to their technical paper it will be a “single data structure that records the history of transactions and states over time”.
Facebook wants to define the expression blockchain, because they use technologies associated with blockchains such as Merkle Trees, hashes, and a consensus mechanisms and therefore it should be called blockchain. However, I am very against the fact that Facebook should get to decide what a blockchain is and what not. And furthermore: What Facebook tries to achieve definitely does not need a blockchain at all.
LibraMyth No 2: Libra is decentralised
In the Libra Whitepaper provided, it is stated that Libra is a decentralised system. However, unlike Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Libra won´t use the Proof of Work consensus mechanism that incentivises miners to keep the network going. Instead Facebook and the other 27 founding partners of the Libra association will run their own nodes that validate Libra transactions. The partners include Uber, PayPal and MasterCard. Each one has paid $10 million for the privilege. Facebook says that Libra will move to a more permissonless system in the future. But we don´ t provide any details on how and when that will happen.
LibraMyth No 3: Libra can reduce payment fees
Fees for transferring moneyare high due to several reasons like political ones or technical which are associated with the complicated process of moving money from one jurisdiction to another. Although it is true that fees for cross-border payments are way toohigh, we already have many companies which try to work on that issue like TransferWise or Revolut. However, as long as the majority of people use US-Dollar or Euro or other FIAT currencies they will have to exchange their money into Libra which will come at a cost, which means: There are transactions costs twice: in and out of Libra.
LibraMyth No 4: Libra protects users from data-based conflicts of interest
Pah! Facebook has created a subsidiary called Calibra through which all its Libra related financial services will be offered. This is the only part of the organisation seeking to be licensed, and the license it is going for is only a money transmission license. This is odd given the system’s ETF-like structure and grander deposit taking aspirations. Calibra promises only to use users’ personal financial data for cross selling purposes if users give them permission to do so. This possibly means Calibra will do everything in its power to incentivise that consent box is clicked.
LibraMyth No 5: Facebook wants to help the Unbanked people
Seriously??? Facebook wants you to think that Libra is about helping the unbanked and the reason for introducing the Libra cryptocurrency introduction shall increase financial inclusion and to bring in the in the 1.7 billion adults around the world who remain outside the banking system. But it´s not clear how the unbanked will be able to buy Libra when these people have no bank account particularly if Libra wants to keep regulators happy by doing proper checks on its users to avoid money laundering. Libra is also unlikely to help people in countries with rapidly depreciating currencies as those countries tend to put in capital controls to prevent a run on their banks. Facebook has never shown interest in the unbanked before, and I am not sure why it´s suddenly so interested.
LibraMyth: No 6 Libra legitimises Bitcoin
Libra calls itself a “low volatility cryptocurrency”, but just as the Libra blockchain isn´t a real blockchain, Libra isn´t a real cryptocurrency either! That´s because it´s issued by a centralised entity, doesn´t run on a real blockchain and rather than being subject to the whims of the cryptomarkets it is pegged to a basked of fiat currencies. So it´s much more akin to something like the Gemini dollar, a stable coin issued by the Winklevoss twins exchange. And it is probably not a coincidence that the twins´ longtime rival Mark Zuckerberg chose another star sign for the name of the coin.
LibraMyth No 7: Libra will comply with all regulations
Libra says its Founding Members are “committed to working with authorities to shape a regulatory environment that encourages technological innovation while maintaining the highest standards of consumer protection”.
Libra says its Founding Members are committed to working with authorities to shape a regulatory environment
Really? Openly stating the intent “to shape a regulatory environment” rather than comply with the existing regulatory environment is a veiled assertion that Facebook is more powerful than the state, and that regulators should have to buckle to its will. While Facebook probably does have some sway over national bodies, to assume it can also sway international regulatory bodies like the BIS — which happen to have a bee in their bonnet about the use and abuse of customer floats by non-banks — is truly ambitious.
Overall the use of words blockchain and cryptocurrency is more about PR value than substance!
And ever thought about the fact that if we have a currency issued by companies: What if these companies are going bankrupt? Are they already TOO BIG TO FAIL? Another interesting aspect is who is NOT part of the consortium: Amazon, Google, Apple. And there is not a single bank! Will talk about that soon!
Sources: Cryptorobby, Alphaville, FinancialTimes
#ReturnOnSociety #Libra #Facebook #LibraLies #LibraMyths #CryptoCurrency #CryptoRobby
The Austrian Blockchain Landscape was initially created in January 2018 by enliteAI and CryptoRobby. EnliteAI published the Landscape also on their website and there are also Landscapes on AI, VR/AR and more.
The blockchain landscape includes startups, accelerators and universities – as well as a large number of public institutions, initiatives, events and communities. We take this strong backing as a promising sign that the Austrian Blockchain landscape goes well beyond adopting new technology, but is also discussed in a wider societal context.
This updated version v2.1 of July 2019 includes 31 new organisations and projects with a total of 142. New companies & institutions are marked with “v2.1”
With Scytale Ventures Austria has now it´s own Blockchain Venture Captial Fund!
The most interesting finding is that many new startups entered the scene and that quite some new companies in exchange, trading and investing:
- eloop.to is a e-Car sharing startup, cars are tokenised on the 0bsnetwork.com blockchain
- element36 combines banks with bank accounts. The company is located in Switzerland with an Austrian founder and team and a branch in Austria.
- gridsingularity is a very active energy blockchain startup with Austrian founders and the company located in Vienna.
- helpar is a help-desk blockchain project and startup with the intention to build a world wide technical help-desk with reward token
- Linx4 provides blockchain based services for banking and insurance. The idea is to receive trustworthy real-time information about machines and production parks.
- Jaroona creates automated, distributed cybersecurity guardian with the power to protect entire blockchains, DAPPs and personal assets and data
New trading and brokering platforms and liquidity providers are
Cobra cryptocurrency brokerage service
autowhale focusses on market making, blockchain analysis and cryptocurrency and blockchain-related consultancy
Trever is a liquidity provider, which develops services to ensure liquid markets, tradable conditions and decrease market obstacles
iQCashNow ATMs for cryptocurrencies
Cryptix offers a new payment token for retail businesses.
Blackmanta Capital offers tokenisation services for enterprises and startups, it has a branch in Austria.
For new law firms are
New blockchain software developers from Vorarlberg: 4yu Blockchain Tech.at
Lenzing is tracing its fibers on blockchain
DiePresse Newspaper has been added to the blockchain as they provide regular detailed content on blockchain and cryptocurrency topics.
Some organisations and startups halted their activities and we removed them from the Blockchain Landscape. The really promising car sharing startup DriveDeal.io halted it´s activity. However, their whitepaper is still one of the best on token economics. Minebox has been sold to a New Zealand company. CBDoken.com has been removed as they halted their activities.
Key Findings of 2019, Outlook on 2020
- We see several Security Token offerings being prepared behind the scenes which will be launched later in 2019 and 2020.
- With Facebook introducing the Libra cryptocurrency we expect that blockchain technology will receive more attention by large companies especially from banking, insurance and related financial services industry
You’re welcome to reuse the infographic below as long as the content remains unmodified, in full and proper reference to the source is mentioned.
Would you like your company or institution to be included in future updates? Mail to robert(@)schwertner.com
Blockchain Companies & Startups
This section contains applications in the energy sector and companies developing closed blockchain systems with for a specific application like ticketing, security, e-commerce, taxation or invoicing.
- Difacturo GmbH
- Wien Energie AG
- Salzburg AG
- Verbund AG
- Post AG v1.2
- Realest8 Technologies v2.0
- Lenzing AG v2.1 NEW!
- Erste Group v2.1 NEW!
In this section consulting agencies which focus on blockchain related advice are listed.
- Ernst & Young
- Catalysts v1.1
- Danube Tech v1.1
- Accenture v1.1
- Synercon v1.1
- Arthur D Little v1.2
- Digital Sunray v1.2
- Cryptorobby v2.0
- Seekyou v2.0
- Digitalblocks v2.0
- Die Crypto Berater v2.1 New
- Inisticore 2.1 New
- Die Crypto Berater v2.1 New
Companies in this category offer either mining hardware or mine for cryptocurrencies.
DEVELOPMENT & SOFTWARE
This box contains important software developers with experience in smart contract programming related coding.
- Blockserv v1.1
- Capacity v1.1
- baumann.at – concepts & solutions v1.1
- Crypto Consulting v1.1
- OS Alliance v1.1
- Salamantex v1.2
- Iteratec v2.0
- SAP v2.0
- iov42 v2.0
- 0bsnetwork v2.0
- 4YU Blockchain Tech v2.1 NEW!
- Chainlock v2.1 NEW!
- Block42 v2.1 NEW!
EXCHANGE, TRADING, INVESTING
This category focuses on exchange of crypto currencies, Crypto teller machines, trading and investing in blockchain projects and ICOs.
- The House of Nakamoto
- Coinfinity GmbH
- Crypto Management GmbH
- Coinnecting v1.1
- MCV v1.2
- Multis Group GmbH e-bitstore v1.2
- iQ Cash v2.1 NEW!
- Trever v2.1 NEW!
- Scytale Ventures v2.1 NEW!
- Blackmanta Capital v2.1 NEW!
- AutoWhale v2.1 NEW!
- Cobra v2.1 NEW!
- Apollon Network v2.1 NEW
LEGAL & TAX
Due to the high activity in the Blockchain space many law firms have experience in setting up and supporting ICOs.
- Stadler Völkel Rechtsanwälte
- Enzinger Steuerberatung
- Blockpit v1.1
- Brandl & Talos Rechtsanwälte GmbH v1.1
- CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz Rechtsanwälte GmbH v1.1
- Herbst Kinsky v1.1
- Heller Consult v1.1
- Jarolim Partner Rechtsanwälte v1.2
- DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach Rechtsanwälte GmbH v1.2
- Kunz Wallentin Rechtsanwälte GmbH v2.0
- Binder Grösswang v2.1 NEW!
- Wolf Theiss v2.1 NEW!
- Lansky, Ganzger + Partner v2.1 NEW!
- Wieneroiter Raffling Tenschert & Partner v2.1 NEW!
This section contains applications startups which offer coins, and companies developing closed blockchain systems with for a specific application like ticketing, security, e-commerce, taxation or invoicing.
- Artis v1.2
- Finnoq v1.2
- Pantos v1.2
- H3O v1.2
- AVINOC v1.2
- Grapevine v2.0
- Experio v2.0
- Jaroona v2.1 NEW!
- eLoop v2.1 NEW!
- Helpar.global v2.1 NEW!
- Cryptix v2.1 NEW!
- Linx4 v2.1 NEW!
- Gridsingularity v2.1 NEW!
- element36 v2.1 NEW!
- youniqx Identity AG v2.1 NEW!
- Minerva v2.1 NEW!
Enablers & Extended Ecosystem
UNIVERSITIES & EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS
Austrian universities conduct blockchain both economical and technical research. At the end of 2017 Vienna’s University of Economics and Business launched the Institute of Cryptoeconomics, which will focus on new business models. In addition a number of private institutions offers education and trainings, covering blockchain basics up to investments, development and business case modelling.
- University of Vienna
- TU Wien
- Danube University Vienna
- Salzburg University of Applied Sciences
- Vienna University of Economics and Business
- University of Innsbruck
- St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences
- Anita Posch
- FinTech Academy
- Modul University Vienna v1.1
- University of Graz v1.1
- Austrian Academy of Sciences v1.1
- Eigenheads Academy v2.0
- Crypto Skills Academy v2.0
- Bitfantastic v2.0
- FH Technikum Wien Academy v2.1 NEW!
Extra-university research facilities are small in number but contribute substantially to blockchain related science and applied research.
ORGANISATIONS & COMMUNITIES
Austria has a very large blockchain community with more than 10.000 blockchainers – with local organisations in each province.
- Bitcoin Austria
- Smart Blockchain
- City of Blockchain
- BlockchainHub Wien
- IoT Austria – Blockchain
- Blockchain Austria v2.0
- Digitalcity Wien v2.0
- Austrian Standards v2.0
Activities from public players is strong in Austria, both in form of initiatives, as well as in pilot projects like open government data.
Four publishing enterprises have been added, they are very active in the crypto sphere and provide specific news and content related to cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.
- derBrutkasten v1.1
- Trending Topics v1.1
- Futurezone v1.1
- Addendum v1.1
- Decentralbox v1.2
- DerStandard v2.0
- DiePresse.com v2.1 NEW!
ACCELERATORS & INCUBATORS
A healthy blockchain eco-system not only requires developers, finance experts and researchers, but also mentoring and finance from seasoned entrepreneurs. Fortunately, there are accelerators and incubators across the country, often linked with co-working spaces and local organisations.
Germany: Forschungszulage: www.forschungszulage.de
Austria: Forschungsprämie www.forschungspraemie.tax
The Austrian Post has presented the world’s first blockchain stamp. With this release Austria´s largest mail delivery service links the analog and the digital era.
On June 11, 2019 the blockchain-based stamp has officially been presented to prominent guests in Vienna by the Head of Product Management at Austrian Post AG branches Stefan Nemeth.
It can as well be fully used for the carriage of a postal item, and also as a virtual collector’s item. The digital complement is securely stored on the Ethereum blockchain, which is an extraordinary type of decentralised and distributed data storage, and it falls in what is called digital purse known as a Wallet that is absolutely preserved by the real owner.
Brand Block Resembles a Bank Card
When you look at this brand block, it is in the form of a bank card. On the right side of the block, there is all crucial identifications concealed under scratch layers (scratched off in the pic already it shows a sample key). The Wallet holder has full access to the code and all other attached codes including the “Secret Word List,” thus possesses the digital stamp. When the crypto stamp is transferred from one particular wallet to another, then the transaction is effectively documented and accepted in the blockchain.
And the left-hand side is the real postage stamp which can be sent often by flouting the block apart at the encoded breaking point. Unicorn, a beast with one long horn protruding from its forehead, is pictured on the crypto stamp and is the heraldic ceremonial animal of the entire Ethereum community.
It is absolutely crazy and awesome at the same time. The Austrian Post Office released a crypto stamp 6 days ago and complete sets already sold for 999 USD each on ebay. In Austria there even were sales for over 1000 Euros just for the red stamp alone. The yellow and blue stamps also reached high prices. So what is this all about? Why is this physical collectible so highly sought after and what actually is a crypto stamp???
1. THE CRYPTO STAMP IN GENERAL
Well it is quite simple: the Austrian Post Office decided to give Cryptos some Kudos and brought the world a real-world-use-case. They simple created the VERY FIRST CRYPTO STAMP worldwide. The stamp is limited and just 150K are made. But there is more! The stamp exists in a physical-analog form AND in a digital form. In its physical form the stamps look all the same, but if we scan the QR code, we can see the actual color of the stamp. There are FIVE DIFFERENT COLORS and every color has a different limitation. Austrian Post has developed an affinity for cryptocurrencies and blockchain in recent years. After cooperation with cryptocurrency exchante Bitpanda (sale of cryptocurrencies in branches) and Coinfinity (Bitcoin machines), the post has now entered a third cooperation with a crypto firm. The world’s first cryptocurrency and blockchain postage stamp, developed together with blockchain experts of Capacity has just been introduced to the market.
The five different colours:
RED VERSION: limited to 1,500 pieces
YELLOW VERSION: limited to 10,000 pieces
BLUE VERSION: limited to 20,000 pieces
GREEN VERSION: limited to 40,000 pieces
BLACK VERSION: limited to 78,500 pieces
When purchased, the stamp set comes in two parts. As pictured in the first image, the left part, which shows a #unicorn associated with Ethereum, functions as a standard stamp that can be used to send mail. The QR code shows the digital color and the limitation. The right section, on the other hand, contains a unique identifier and is concealed under scratch layers. The code is used to save the stamp on the Ethereum Blockchain, the digitised and unique stamp is then available in an Ether-Wallet and can be transferred to another one. The amount of ETH per stamp is around 0.001666666 ETH!
Almost sold out in 14 days!
When I checked the online shop, the stamps were almost SOLD OUT – and this after 14 days. What does this show us? CRYPTO has arrived in the heads of the people and a lot of collectors and crypto lovers want to have a PIECE OF CRYPTO HISTORY in their hands.
It is incredible! The crypto community and other stamp collectors really want a piece of this first limited stamp and it seems this is because of the fact that it is ONE OF A KIND. Never before an analog AND digital stamp was produced. On Ebay complete sets sold for 999 USD each. So far I could spot around 3-4 sales.
Crazy prices on ebay:
On ebay the new crypto stamp went viral. Several offers for a red stamp are above 1000,- EUR. There is even one for 9,989 EUR:
Also yellow and blue stamps have high prices and I thought, I have to dig deeper. At ebay Germany and Austria a lot of offers can be found.
It´s quite interesting how two world´s are combined with the crypto stamp. The classic conservative philately world of old fashioned stamp collectors with the new world of crypto enthusiasts and blockchain geeks. At least it is for sure, that this stamp is just amazing and I really like the idea. The fact, that a part of the stamps will be used is also cool, because many people will throw them away because they have no clue what it is. So the stamps will be even more limited and the best is: the cryptos on it are LOST, if nobody uses the keys.
Germany: Forschungszulage: www.forschungszulage.de
Austria: Forschungsprämie www.forschungspraemie.tax
Telegram WeChat Kakaotalk: @cryptorobby
We need more #ReturnOnSociety 🦋