Frick-Bank-CCO Hubert Büchel: “We don’t share the scepticism of other market participants”

Some time ago, the news that the Liechtenstein Financial Market Authority had approved the first crypto-asset-based fund regulated in Europe caused quite a stir. The Liechtenstein bank Frick is sympathetic to blockchain technology and serves as custodian for the Postera and other crypto-asset-based funds. An interview with Hubert Büchel, CCO of Bank Frick.

A few days ago, BTC-ECHO wrote about regulated crypto funds. Various interviews show that the Old Economy is also showing more and more interest in crypto currencies. In this respect, Liechtenstein seems to become an increasingly important location in Europe, as the statements of Prince Michael von und zu Liechtenstein show. Thanks to the Savedroid debacle, the Liechtenstein bank Frick has also become better known in crypto circles. To say the least, Yassim Hankir’s PR stunt was not fully thought through, but Bankhaus Frick’s response was sovereign, calm and appropriate:

“All funds invested in the ICO of savedroid AG are safe and could not have been deducted under any circumstances due to fiduciary diligence. Bank Frick does not understand the PR stunt of savedroid CEO Yassin Hankir and prefers to work with professional market participants”.

Both this form of reaction and the fiduciary custody of the funds acquired by the ICO show that the Liechtenstein bank knows the crypto market.

Depository for Bitcoin revolution crypto assets

Hello, Mr. Büchel. Can you explain to us exactly what a cryptographic asset depository is? Similar to traditional banking, it is basically a matter of keeping assets in safe custody. However, while humanity has learned over thousands of years to assess analogous values and risks, purely digital Bitcoin revolution crypto assets present us with new challenges. At worst, Bitcoin revolution can be irretrievably lost. Conventional approaches focus primarily on protecting against natural risks, accidents or unauthorized access. Bank Frick has unique expertise worldwide, not only in making known risks manageable, but also in countering political risks. Our customers have it easy: The traded assets are booked via the custody account or accounts like a normal stock exchange transaction.

What security precautions do you take as a bank for Bitcoin loophole crypto assets?

Security means the integrity of private keys at all costs and limiting access as much as possible. We ensure the integrity by means of geo-redundancy. The restriction of access takes place at the expense of availability, but reduces the risks to a minimum. Technically, we make remote access impossible through permanent physical isolation and multiple encryption. Bitcoin loophole transactions only take place in a high trust environment and require several persons. We also have a very good Bitcoin loophole monitoring system and can react quickly to changes.

A huge potential

What do you think of the scepticism of other banks? We do not share the skepticism of other market participants. What we can say is that the great interest shown by investors and the steadily growing number of applications of the core technology behind it testify to the enormous potential of a market that is just emerging – especially for regulated products and services on the blockchain, which we as a bank are already offering. Of course, we understand that such leaps in technology are sometimes viewed “cautiously”.

What projects is Bank Frick planning in the crypto-asset area?

At the moment, Bank Frick is paying a lot of attention to the tokenisation of classic assets. A token represents the value of the underlying assets. Here the difficulty is still in trading. Since these are security tokens, tradability is only possible via corresponding providers who are authorized to do so. We are therefore very curious to see how the market of Exchanges and Brokers will change in the future. […] Our focus here is on the development of AlF funds and with the Postera Fund we have co-developed the world’s first crypto fund, which is designed in accordance with European law. Our Payment Service Provider team is also interested in the optimization of payment solutions based on the Blockchai

Nakamoto Family Foundation: We are all Satoshi Nakamoto

Since 29 June 2018, the website nakamotofamilyfoundation.org has published a first excerpt from the book “Duality”. The author of the book is said to be the legendary Bitcoin inventor Satoshi Nakamoto. On closer inspection, however, one comes to a different conclusion.

Who is Satoshi Nakamoto? The search for the identity behind the name “Satoshi Nakamoto” is still a mystery. The latest news appeared on the website nakamotofamilyfoundation.org. Here the alleged Satoshi published an excerpt from his planned book. A glance at the excerpt raises strong doubts that it is the “real” Satoshi.

On the page announcing the excerpt from the upcoming book, Satoshi says that his book will appear in two parts. In an easy-to-solve cryptogram (be careful: spoiler!) he reveals the title of the book: Honne and Tatemae. This title describes a phenomenon that we recently described in our series on digital identity: The difference between the inner attitude (Honne) and the masquerade (tatemae) that we cultivate in society – the social roles.

Furthermore, he admits at the same time: “I want to point out that there are many who have participated in this project, many of whom I have not mentioned. Individuals who, for various reasons, have decided not to go public. Out of respect for them, I didn’t name them.”

“Satoshi” and the news spy Cypherpunks

In the extract he describes the news spy basic idea behind Bitcoin and that it originates from the Cypherpunk movement, which he joined at the age of 14. Satoshi Nakamoto is also the Japanese equivalent of the name “John Smith” – Lieschen Müller or Otto Müller. He explains further about the news spy:

“At some point it became obvious to part of the community that Satoshi Nakamoto could not be real. And although I pulled out all the stops to ignore it, some people were clever enough to see through it all. Maybe Satoshi Nakamoto was actually just a pseudonym. Maybe I wasn’t from Japan at all, but of English descent. Some came to this conclusion after analyzing my way of writing. To be honest, that was something I learned early on – good English. (I must admit, however, that I know that my writing style has changed in the meantime. I don’t use double spaces anymore and I also know that I don’t take myself so seriously anymore, maybe because I’ve grown older. If you try to appear older than you are in the 1920s, to be accepted in a community that equates age with experience, and to drive your own project forward – you wouldn’t believe what you’re doing.”

Aren’t we all a little Satoshi regarding the Bitcoin secret?

Literarily, you’re dealing with a (most likely conscious) game with the categories Bitcoin secret author and protagonist. Already the title indicates such a Bitcoin secret. Also the hint that many people participated in the project suggests that it is not the “real” Satoshi who wrote these lines. Rather, it raises the question of whether this genuine Satoshi exists at all. In connection with the hint that behind Satoshi Nakamoto lies the Japanese equivalent of Otto Müller, one can conclude from this perspective: We are all Satoshi Nakamoto. At least according to the Nakamoto Family Foundation – whoever is behind it.

Basic data protection regulation: What does this mean for Bitcoin, Ethereum & Co.?

The time has come: The Basic Data Protection Regulation (DSGVO) comes into force. The problems caused by the new data protection law with public blockchains are highly problematic and unclear to many. The right to be forgotten clashes with the right not to be able to forget. The principle of central responsibility stumbles over decentralisation. How can this be reconciled with the blockchain and crypto currencies?

After a grace period of two years, the DSGVO finally enters into force. With its seemingly endless scope of application and the hefty penalties of up to 20 million euros or 4 percent of the worldwide annual turnover, it has already caused a sensation in the entire business world. So far, it has attracted less attention in the area of blockchains.

Does the Bitcoin loophole even apply to blockchains?

When initial questions were asked about the compatibility of Bitcoin and the DSGVO, some objected that the block chain was anonymous. As everyone now knows, the blockchains at Ethereum and Bitcoin loophole are not anonymous, but pseudonymous. The DSGVO may therefore be applicable.

In addition, the scope of application of the DSGVO is extremely broad.

First of all, in territorial terms it is de facto applicable worldwide due to the digital network and the attractive European economic area, namely according to Art. 3 DSGVO in simplified terms whenever data of EU citizens are processed or data processing takes place within the EU.

In addition, data processing is an inherent part of the functioning of a blockchain, which places it more in the focus of the DSGVO.

Personal data in the news spy

Of course, the processing of any data is not sufficient. It must be personal data – the news spy clarifies this directly in its first articles (Art. 1 para. 1 and Art. 2 para. 1 DSGVO). According to the definition of scam in Art. 4 para. 1 DSGVO, personal data are “any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person […]”.

The blockchain stores all transactions ever carried out. With this transaction data, it contains information about the credit balances and payment flows assigned to the individual Bitcoin addresses. With the appropriate additional knowledge, this makes it possible to establish a link to the persons behind the data (more and more easily). The stored hashes serve to identify the user. Thus they are person-related for those persons who have or can obtain the necessary knowledge to assign this information (by relative means) to a specific person – for example, if a trading exchange, a marketplace or an online shop is involved.

The DSVGO is thus applicable to public blockchains.

Persons responsible in a public block chain
Against whom can the associated obligations be enforced at all? Who is responsible for any infringements of the DSGVO? According to Art. 4 No. 7 DSGVO, the person responsible is the person who alone or jointly with others decides on the purposes and means of processing personal data. It is therefore about the actual power to determine the blockchain.

The example of Satoshi Nakamoto makes it clear that it cannot be the person who programmed and started the blockchain: After the start he gave the control completely out of his hand.

The miners cannot be seen as responsible either. Their influence is limited only to the calculation of new blocks. They have neither influence on the content nor any real decision-making power. They only provide the computing power.

But this is different with full nodes: Whoever carries out a transaction and thereby distributes information or enters the blockchain into his copy, processes data, participates in the network and pursues his own economic purposes – and is responsible according to the DSGVO.

K.O. through rights of data subjects
In addition to a number of other rights and obligations, the DSGVO regulates the right to be forgotten as the strongest right (Art. 17 DSGVO). Thus the obligation to delete applies to the respective responsible node.

It is in the nature of the blockchain that data in it are not changed or deleted, but should remain permanently stored. This is what establishes the decentralised public faith or public trust in the first place. In addition, the complete deletion of data in public blockchains is theoretically possible, but extremely difficult in practice. Deleting individual data would change the hash of the block and all blocks that follow it.

After all, the basic idea of the blockchain has become so popular precisely because of the fact that the hash of the block and of all blocks that follow it can be deleted in its hash.

Bitcoin Cash criticized: How decentralized are BCH Full Nodes really?

The Twitter account BitPico accuses the popular representatives of the Bitcoin Cash network, Roger Ver and Jihan Wu, of hosting full nodes via a centralized cloud server. What does this mean for the security of Bitcoin Cash?

Bitcoin revolution has many vocal opponents on Twitter

The crypto currency there is often called “BCash”, much to the chagrin of front man Roger Ver. The old-established Bitcoin revolution community makes it clear time and again that Bitcoin Cash is not “the real Bitcoin”. Now new accusations are circulating against Bitcoin Cash: Bitcoin Revolution Review 2018 » Full Scam Check

Full Nodes about Cloud Server: BitPico is a Twitter account of a group of Bitcoin developers, miners and whales. As they recently twittered, a stress test showed that many of the full nodes start with the same IP address:

Perhaps somebody from the #bcash $bch #BitcoinCash team can explain this? #cryptocurrency #blockchain #decentralized #magic #trick #fail @rogerkver @JihanWu If you are running a bitPico Cash stress test node please update your code ASAP. Thanks! pic.twitter. pic.twitter.com/0GfJy8xDZM

Server farms, a single point of Bitcoin revolution

For the layman, it is not possible to see directly what the problem is. After all, it is healthy for the network to have many full nodes as tested here: onlinebetrug.de. A Full Node is a computer that has the entire blockchain stored. These entities play an important role in the network because they check the validity of the blocks produced by the miners according to the consensus rules. So the more full nodes there are around the Bitcoin revolution world, the more secure the network will be.

However, looking at the screenshot you can see that many Full Nodes have an IP address of 47.88.xxx.xxx. This is an indicator that they are in the same place. Probably this is a rented server farm where someone runs Full Nodes.

Only eleven minutes after BitPico’s tweet, 800 full nodes were banned. Krypto-OG, DanDarkPill, expresses itself ironically with a Star Wars reference on the subject:

While it’s good that there are many full nodes on the network, it’s problematic if they’re all in the same place. If they are hosted on the same service, the total number of nodes is deceptive when it comes to the degree of decentralization. An environmental disaster or a service provider could quickly ensure that a large number of full nodes are no longer part of the network. A spatial concentration of nodes also gives rise to fears that the block chain will then be under the control of a single party. All in all, a concentrated number of nodes in a single server farm therefore conflicts with the desired decentralization of a crypto currency.

US government wants to fight crime with crypto currencies

There are only two weeks left from 2016 and bitcoin seems to be busy “catching up”. For a long time analysts have predicted that bitcoin would reach 800 US dollars by the end of the year. Looking at the last few days, this could become reality. Currently bitcoin is trading at 791 dollars and is therefore only 9(!) dollars away from this hurdle.

But not everyone celebrates this cryptosoft review

The US government is still hanging around with the idea that bitcoin is the most popular cryptosoft review for criminals and terrorists. And they are most likely to use the digital currency for their atrocities.

However, some representatives believe that terrorists could create a cryptosoft review that is so anonymous and powerful that there is no way to find out the identity of the co-conspirators. (Editor’s note: Monero, Zcash, ShadowCoin…?)

Joshua Baron, theoretical cryptographer and mathematician for Rand Corp., shares his knowledge with a US government think tank. His mission? Find out if the enemies of the nation want to create such a currency. Currently, there is no evidence that anonymous money is being developed in this form.

Crypto trader scam crime is relatively low in the United States

“We are trying to find ways for the government to prevent crypto trader scam with onlinebetrug and new virtual currencies for terrorists, non-state actors and separatists,” he said.

Juan Zarate, senior consultant at a Washington think tank center for strategic and international studies, worked on the problems of transparency in digital crypto trader scam currencies. He has actively fought money-based crime in the crypto sector. In 2003, he led a team of Treasury experts to freeze personal accounts of American enemies to “provoke trouble”. He explained that the model they have introduced prevents major crimes and that the government does not have to worry too much.

“We have now made it very difficult for members of the Islamic state to receive money or send money around the world,” he said. “Even Iran has difficulties.

First, Treasury officials will observe and let pass the development of bitcoin and other crypto currencies. However, they keep a critical eye on the development in order to be present in time if something unusual happens.

“Such anonymous money does not yet exist? Let us please remember the security theatre for Zcash. There I ask, among other things, the following question: ‘The federal government does not want the surveillance of WhatsApp and Co. nation states to be seen as potential attackers of this currency? At the time I wrote this article, it was just a logical conclusion. That after a little more than half a month we see more or less evidence of such activities, frankly surprises me.

It’s not as if I didn’t expect it. Rather, I wonder how quickly such information comes to the public and how here it is more or less ‘said by the flower’ that anonymous digital currencies can be seen as a terrorist weapon.”

Starta ICO Analysis: A Bridge between the USA and Eastern Europe

“Venture capital” has become an everyday term in recent years and we are currently experiencing a boom phase in start-ups. The startup euphoria and the need for venture capitalists are also increasing in Eastern Europe. Starta wants to invest in Eastern European start-ups and aim for exits to major investors in the USA.

What is Starta’s goal?

The idea behind Starta’s “Accelerator 16/17” project is to invest primarily in the early stages of start-up companies in Eastern Europe. Many start-ups still have problems obtaining sufficient venture capital in important phases if they do not have an appropriate network of VCs. Therefore, Starta invests smaller sums and supports the founders with its own programs to build up their company.

If the company grows strongly, then an exit to other VC’s should take place, since these usually have start-ups in later phases in view. Starta would like to build a bridge between Eastern Europe and the USA, because there is a much larger stock of venture capital in the latter region.

The Eastern European region could be a useful region for this project, since the VC culture, as it exists in the US, for example, is less pronounced here. Ultimately, the Early Stage Accelarator ensures that the start-ups are built up through financial injections and mentoring and that an exit in the USA is subsequently promoted.

How does the Starta ICO work?

Starta would like to raise capital for the project through the ICO and issue its own tokens in cooperation with Cross Coin. The Singapore-based partner Cross Coin will then acquire a 33 percent stake in Starta Accelerator 16/17 LLC. Those who participate in the ICO will receive the Cross Coin Tokens. The pro rata winnings will then be distributed to the token owners via the partner Cross Coin.

The Starta Accelerator 16/17 holds 21 “post product” startups, i.e. young companies whose idea has already left the conception phase. Exact details on the individual start-ups are explained relatively openly by Starta in the corresponding whitepaper of the project (see below).

Up to 1.5 million US dollars will flow directly into the 16/17 fund, and any additional amounts will be invested in Starta’s future accelerator programs.

The Starta Blockchain
The relation to the Starta blockchain is rather small – this project does not focus on the technical sophistication of the blockchain technology, but rather on a new type of funding, which is carried out with this ICO. The tokens are used exclusively to carry out the buy-back programme digitally as simply and as cheaply as possible. This doesn’t have to be a bad thing, but this ICO is a comparatively less technical project.

The team
The team seems to be very experienced at first sight: The members promise years of experience in leading positions and in the VC sector. If you get up close and personal with Roy Weissman, you will indeed find a verifiable record track – with small flaws:

Roy Weissman

Weissman is Vice President Business Development at Octopus, an American media agency. The company’s website greets with the face of Weissman. According to Weissman, the company has already worked with partners such as Amazon.

At Starta, Weissman has been acting as Sales and Business Development Advisor since August 2016.

He mentors the “Protokol App” project, a tech startup. This had received a funding of approx. 130,000 US dollars from Starta. Although this did not take place until January 2017, the project website, which is currently not accessible, appears less professional.

Weismann is also Vice President of Sales at SendPulse, a startup for professional email marketing that makes use of artificial intelligence (AI). In fact, Sendpulse’s services are already relatively well known. Although Weissman’s work at SendPulse is predominantly sales, it is likely to be at least a proof of his affinity with tech start-ups.

Investment Summary