By now everyone is aware of the risks involved in investing in cryptocurrencies with their wildly fluctuating prices. But the real risks may only appear should cryptocurrencies' prices start stabilizing, according to the Netherlands office for economic policy analysis CPB. In the worst case scenario, this could lead to another global financial crisis, the CPB wrote in its annual report on the risks for the financial markets, RTL Z reports.
The Dutch government and authority on financial markets AFM must come up with guidelines for ICOs if they want to keep developments in this technology in the Netherlands, Jan Robert Schutte, Amsterdam-based CEO of CryptoAcademy and ICO adviser, said at the Black Sea Blockchain Summit in Tbilisi, Georgia on Wednesday.
"As long as the AFM doesn't say anything - instead of providing guidelines for ICOs - the ICO projects will leave the Netherlands because of the lack of clarity." Schutte said.
Da Hongfei, founder of NEO - currently one of the top cryptocurrencies in the world, will be speaking at a NEO loves Amsterdam event at the DeLaMar theater in Amsterdam this weekend.
The event will host several speakers, including Da Hongfei himself. They will discuss the latest projects, developments and token sales launching on the NEO Blockchain.
A cryptocurrency farm was found in a commercial building on Kempenbaan in Rijen on Wednesday. The tenant, a 37-year-old man from Tilburg, was arrested on suspicion of theft of electricity and money laundering, BN De Stem reports.
The police decided to look into the building due to its extremely high electricity consumption. "We were actually expecting to find a cannabis farm", a spokesperson said to the newspaper. Instead, officers found dozens of computers in the warehouse, all mining cryptocurrencies.
Banning cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin is unfeasible, but the Dutch government wants to regulate the trade in cryptocurrency internationally to address the improper use of these digital coins, Minister Wopke Hoekstra of Finance wrote in a letter to parliament, NU.nl reports.
Hoekstra wants to bring cryptocurrencies into an "appropriate regulatory framework" without jeopardizing the technology's potential. He wants to make sure that the conversion of cryptocurrencies into regular money does not happen under the radar, for example.
The Public Prosecutor demanded 5 years in prison against a 38-year-old British man accused of laundering around 11.5 million euros in bitcoins between 2014 and 2016. The money likely came from the illegal trade in drugs and other prohibited goods on darkweb markets, the Public Prosecutor said on Wednesday.
Amsterdam will be the host city of a blockchain meetup event in the run-up to the BlockShow Europe conference that will be held in Berlin in May. The Amsterdam BlockShow MeetUp will be held in the The Warehouse on Generaal Vetterstraat on March 29th.
Dutch company Koinz Trading was declared bankrupt by the court of Amsterdam on Wednesday. The company, which offered customers access bitcoin mining machines and cryptocurrency investments, is facing dozens of customers demanding compensation for damages, the Telegraaf reports.
Customers never received access to the mining machines they invested in, and therefore also not the Bitcoins they could've mined, according to the newspaper. Lawyer Marco Kalmijn told the Telegraaf that around 60 customers are trying to recover "many millions" from Koinz Trading.
The websites of dozens of Dutch municipalities and various government websites in the United Kingdom and United States were infected with malware that hijacked site visitors' processing power to mine cryptocurrency Monero. Over 4,200 websites were affected worldwide, NU.nl reports.
When mining cryptocurrency, the processing power of a computer is used to validate transactions on the cryptocurrency network. Those who make their computers available for this are rewarded with crypto coins.
Laura and Jef, two people who promoted cryptocurrency platform Bitconnect in Twente, are receiving death threats since the platform collapsed, Laura said on Quote's website.
The number of Dutch investing in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum more than tripled to around 580 thousand over the past six months, according to a study by Kantar TNS. "I can't remember ever seeing anything like this", researcher Reg van Steen said, RTL Nieuws reports.
In August 2017 a total of 135 thousand Dutch households owned cryptocurrency. Now it is 490 thousand. In some households, more than one person invest in cryptocurrency, bringing the researchers to a total of around 580 thousand Dutch who own cryptocurrency.
All major Dutch banks refuse to let entrepreneurs active in the cryptocurrency world open business account because of "too great compliance risks", Sprout reports after questioning ABN Amro, ING, Rabobank, Volksbank and Aegon subsidiary Knab about the matter. Only online bank Bunq allows cryptocurrency businesses to open accounts under certain conditions.
Minister Wopke Hoekstra of Financie is looking into whether banning certain cryptocurrency exchanges is desirable and possible. He hopes to give the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, information about this in the next few weeks, AD reports.
According to Hoekstra, the government would like to ban bitcoin derived products such as binary options - where people basically gamble on whether an asset like Bitcoin will rise to a specific price, or fall below a certain amount. But he added that this must first be properly investigated.
Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin have nothing to do with the "real economy" and are more like Pokemon cards than they are currency, Stephane Boujnah of Euronext stock exchange said in an interview with Bloomberg.
Euronext, the operator of trading platforms in Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris, among others, will not create a market platform for cryptocurrencies, he said.
Approximately 400 thousand Dutch own cryptocurrency, according to a study by Maurice de Hond. In total they own around 3 billion euros worth of these digital coins, the Telegraaf reports.
Late last week the police tracked down two bitcoin miners that were stolen from Eindhoven in a home in Vlijmen. A man was arrested for the possession of stolen property, the police announced in a statement on Wednesday.
A bitcoin miner is a powerful computer used to approve global transactions in the bitcoin network. Owners who use their computers for bitcoin mining, are rewarded in the form of bitcoin or other cryptocurrency.
Politicians, cryptocurrency companies and regulators appearing in parliament on Wednesday all agreed that clearer policy and regulations are needed around the developing cryptocurrency sphere.
The Dutch regulator on financial markets AFM wants to ban risky investments that are increasingly being marketed online, often from abroad.
Minister Wopke Hoekstra of Finance is looking forward to seeing what his French and German colleagues come up with in regards to cryptocurrency regulations. The French and German Finance Ministers plan to present their proposal at the G20 summit in March, RTL Z reports.
Hoekstra said that "once it is there" he will study the proposed regulations "with attention" and then "see what we will do in the Netherlands", according to the broadcaster.
The Dutch authorities seized 221 million euros in money, cars, cryptocurrency, and other assets from criminals in various criminal cases last year, the Public Prosecutor announced on Friday.
Despite being called a currency, Bitcoin lacks many of the very important characteristics that currencies have, Steven Maijoor, chairman of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), said in an interview with Bloomberg. The extreme volatility of the biggest cryptocurrency alone undermines its use as an actual currency, and it is also not broadly accepted, Dutch man said.
Bitcoin's value fell about 25 percent on Tuesday. Since touching 20 thousand dollars on December 17th, the cryptocurrency's value dropped over 49 percent.
Dutch investors association VEB warns investors against companies that are using the cryptocurrency hype to attract investors and boost share prices by adding "bitcoin" or "blockchain" to their name. According to the association, this is very reminiscent of the dotcom bubble, when companies added '.com' to their names to suddenly increase their share prices without actually changing the company fundamentally, accountant.nl reports.
The Netherlands' Fraud Helpdesk is noticing a considerable increase in the number of fraud reports revolving around cryptocurrency Bitcoin. There are no exact figures yet about how many people reported Bitcoin fraud to the helpdesk, but that this type of fraud is increasingly common is very clear, Tanya Wijngaarden of the helpdesk said to BNR.
People in the Netherlands who want a way of recording their sexual partners' explicit consent to various sex acts can now utilize a new blockchain-based app called LegalFling. Launched by Amsterdam software development firm LegalThings on Thursday, the app requests and records explicit mutual consent to sexual contact between different users.