European Investment Fund Unveils 400M Blockchain AI Initiative

European Investment Fund Unveils €400M Blockchain, AI Initiative

Image courtesy of CoinTelegraph

                                                                                        NOV 22, 2019

The European Commission and European Investment Fund (EIF) has launched a new investment scheme for artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain in Europe, the organization announced in a Nov. 20 blog post. The announcement reads:

“With the European Commission, we are launching a dedicated investment scheme that will make EUR 100m available to venture capital funds or other investors that support AI and blockchain-based products and services. Because these are cornerstone investments, we expect a total of EUR 300m to be generated for AI and blockchain from other private investors ‘crowding in.’”

The project will focus on development and growth beyond the research and proof of concept stage.

Investment focused on research, not development

Western Europe is expected to spend $674 million on blockchain technology in 2019, making it the second highest-spending region in the world. This would put it behind the United States ($1.1 billion), but ahead of China ($319 million), according to the data.

However, much of this is directed towards research and proof-of-concept stages, with little going to further development and growth. The organization notes:

“The blockchain and AI ‘financing gap’ in Europe presents an opportunity for the EIF to support these new technologies through its existing and future venture capital networks.”

New fund to keep technologies in Europe

Few closed venture capital funds invest in the blockchain space in Europe, meaning that ultimately, many entrepreneurs receive U.S. financing. This often leads to the opportunities and economic growth associated with these technologies leaving the region.

Starting from 2020, the scheme will make €100 million available to support AI and blockchain-based products and services. This is expected to attract a further €300 million from private investors.

Co-investments with national promotional banks should increase the available capital further still.

As Cointelegraph reported earlier this month, the European Central Bank is reportedly considering issuing a digital Eurocoin.

Original article posted on the site, by Jack Martin.

Article re-posted on Markethive by Jeffrey Sloe

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Bitstop To Install Bitcoin ATMs At Simon-operated Malls

Bitstop To Install Bitcoin ATMs At Simon-operated Malls

By RTTNews Staff Writer | Published: 11/29/2019 9:08 AM ET

Miami-based Bitcoin ATM operator Bitstop is in deal with Simon Malls, the largest shopping mall operator in the U.S., to install Bitcoin ATMs across the U.S. at Simon Mall locations. The installations come in time as holiday season is on.

Bitstop, a licensed and regulated company, has already installed five Bitcoin ATMs recently at Simon operated malls in California, Florida and Georgia. They are Carlsbad Premium Outlets, Miami International Mall, Sawgrass Mills, The Avenues and Mall of Georgia.

In October, Bitstop had installed the Miami International Airport first Bitcoin ATM. It is the third-busiest airport in the U.S., in terms of international passenger traffic, and will help customers conveniently exchange their dollars for Bitcoin and vice versa while on domestic or international travel.

Bitstop said it has a total Bitcoin ATM count of more than 130 machines across the U.S. and is on track to expand the Bitstop network to more than 500 Bitcoin ATM installations by the end of 2020.

Automated kiosks for buying bitcoin are becoming increasingly popular in the U.S. More than half of the world's Bitcoin ATMs are installed in the United States.

There are a total of 3963 Bitcoin ATMs currently installed in United States out of a total of 6055 Bitcoin ATMs globally, according to data from Coin ATM Radar. The total count is expected to reach 10,000 by the end of 2020, with the recent average daily installation rate of more than 10 machines.

In July, Bitcoin ATM operator LibertyX had entered into a deal with traditional ATM operator Desert ATM to convert cash-dispensing ATM machines into those dispensing cryptocurrencies as well. LibertyX will load its software on 90 Desert ATMs, specifically the ones manufactured by Genmega, in Arizona and Nevada.

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Article written by an RTT News Staff Writer, and posted on the RTT website.

Article reposted on Markethive by Jeffrey Sloe

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Mom’s Buying You Bitcoin For Christmas Is It A New Bullish Trend?

Mom’s Buying You Bitcoin For Christmas – Is It A New Bullish Trend?

When your mom says she wants to buy you some bitcoin for Christmas does it mean there could be something stirring in the crypto marketplace, in a good way?

After all, this year’s Thanksgiving bitcoin bounce has lent weight to the thesis that the holiday season can act as a price pump, assuming sentiment going into the festive season is already somewhat conducive.

The theory goes that the young evangelists in the family will start to explain what crypto is about for curious family members, a conversation that ends with the clincher – so how do I buy this sucker?

The mother of reddit user Devil_Hand spilt the beans on her bitcoin present plans when she discovered that she didn’t have the faintest idea of how to go about getting hold of the premier virtual currency.

She was forced to message her son: “I’m trying to buy bitcoin for Christmas what is a wallet????”

That’s often one of the first things a newbie will be perplexed by. How can a virtual currency have a wallet?

Her son was forgiving. “Oh bless ????????????I’ll talk about it later today x” came the reply.

See the conversation below and the reddit post here.

Now we know about scanning Google Trends for a bump in searches for “buy bitcoin” as a leading indicator metric for upward price movements, but discerning what the moms of America and mums of the UK might be buying their offspring from the crypto store is a new one.

It begs a number of serious questions.

First, is this indicative of a trend? Is your mother a super-cool ‘Crypto Mom’ that thinks out of the box to buy you what you really really want, à la Spice Girls?

Who knows, but leave a comment below if you know of any cool parents who are lining up a surprise crypto surprise for Alice or Bob.

After all these years, bitcoin still not user-centric

The perhaps more serious thing to consider is what this says about the state of the industry after 10 years of trying to fix ease of use – user-unfriendliness is still a thing, a big thing.

Those on the inside looking out can get a little blase about onboarding as the infrastructure know-how can be so easily taken for granted.

It can be too easily assumed that the amount of bitcoin you have is associated with an 34 character alphanumeric string known as an address and that this address (or public key) or addresses is/are the wallet and to secure it you have another alphanumeric string of characters known as the private key, which are the substantive elements of public-key cryptography and that these addresses exist on the blockchain which is sometimes called a ledger but is in essence a decentralised database where transactions are immutably recorded. Phew.

And in the event of loss of keys, you need to recover said keys with your “seed” and if you lose the seed your bitcoin is gone forever, although you can “see it” on the blockchain.

You can appreciate that mom might be scratching her head and this point, as too would dad no doubt.

For mere mortals then, that is all adds up to one one big barrier to entry.

And despite the apparent ease-of-use of Coinbase (high fees aside), for example, or of today’s self-custody wallet applications, the industry has still not really solved ease-of-use in the way that setting up and sending email has been solved; or in the way that sending and receiving digital fiat money using say Apple Pay has made transactions almost analogous to sending a photo or text message.

As we know Facebook with its arms-length Libra Association has a plan to fix crypto’s “complexity” problem, but many would argue it’s not really crypto – and besides, governments and regulators have other ideas about what Libra can or cannot be. And anyway, who wants Facebook messing with their finances no matter how easy and cheap its crypto might be to use.

It’s ultimately just tech and some bright spark will solve crypto’s complexity problem

The animated discussion on Reddit has some claiming that this is precisely why bitcoin will never replace cash.

At any rate that’s what scramboney thinks:

“Crypto will never replace cash. Industries will adapt to use crypto technology for other things but it will never become a currency, the barrier to entry is absolutely massive to become a currency in countries where the currency is worth anything.”

…while others say there is no a priori reason why the ease-of-use problem cannot be solved, and once that theoretical work has been done, the practical execution will follow.

Here’s Houdinii1984‘s thoughts: “This was the exact mentality of the personal computer ending up in homes. It’ll never happen, it’s too complicated. The barrier to entry is too damn high, etc. And it’s true. Not a lot of people had IBM PCs in their homes because they cost as much as a decent used car and didn’t have a high use case for the average user. Oh, but look at us now. If you’re not connected, you're an outsider nowadays.”

Baby steps in mom’s buy bitcoin journey

In the meantime Devil_Hand will have to take his mother by the hand and walk her through how to buy bitcoin, which kind of takes the joy out of receiving it.

And what’s there to unwrap come Christmas Day? Maybe mom could buy an HTC Exodus 1 blockchain-powered smartphone with its onboard hardware wallet and preload it with bitcoin?

But taking that route would require you to spend another couple of days or more explaining and demonstrating what a hardware wallet is and how to use it.

Assuming Devil_Hand onboards his mother ok, bitcoin could be presenting a nice entry point or alternatively mom could wait until nearer Christmas for a bottom – but if you are in for the long-term the timing doesn’t really matter.

Go for it moms of the world – you have nothing to lose but your wallets.

Original article posted on the site, by Gary McFarlane.

Article re-posted on Markethive by Jeffrey Sloe

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