Scandinavian Bitcoin Dealer Struggles to Find Banking Partners

One of Northern Europe’s largest Bitcoin dealers is finding the lack of regulation surrounding cryptocurrency a hindrance to their business model. Prasos Oy has systematically burned through all but one of their Finnish bank accounts.

Last Chance Saloon

The banks that have closed their doors to Prasos Oy because of fears that the company might be breaching money laundering rules. So far, the cooperative S-Bank, the Op Group, Saastopankki, and Nordea Bank AB have shut down the company’s accounts.

For now, Prasos Oy still has an active account with POP Bank. However, their CEO, Henry Brade, spoke to Bloomberg about the precarious situation they are currently in:

“The risk is that we’ll see our last bank account closed before we can get the next one opened. That would freeze our business.”

Whilst there is no specific law telling Scandinavian banks how to view cryptocurrency, there is anti-money laundering legislation already in place. These laws demand that those offering financial services must follow KYC (“know your customer”) practices.

However, the fact that the anonymous appeal of cryptocurrencies sits at odds with the money laundering legislation is a huge warning sign for the banks. What’s more, the dramatic growth of companies like Prasos Oy over the last twelve months is another factor causing suspicion for financial institutions. Brade continued, touching on how the growth of the industry, as well the lack of guidance the banks themselves are willing to provide, is affecting his company’s relationship with the banks:

“We’ve realised that the growth in international transaction volumes started to disturb the banks. Along the way, we’ve been given very little information by the banks on what we could do to solve the problem.”

At the end of last year, the European Union agreed to extend their money laundering legislation. Although yet to be enforced, the rules will now cover cryptocurrency under their remit.

In the meantime, neither the European Bank Authority or Finland’s Financial Supervisory Authority are offering any form of advice to companies like Prasos Oy. Hanna Heiskanen of the FSA dismissed the issue as one between the company and the banks:

“Cryptocurrency trading places are not currently under the regulatory mandate of the Finnish FSA.”

Meanwhile, the EBA stated today that they would not recommend banks provide their services for companies involved in cryptocurrency transactions.

Despite the hostility they are facing from the banks, Prasos Oy is still trying to continue with their business. Brade told Bloomberg how his company were trying to improve their KYC practices and work with banks to help them understand where funds came from:

“We’ve created identification practices, which we have taken into use in March, and they comply fully with anti-money laundering laws and regulations, even though authorities do not even require this from us as our business in not under regulatory obligations.”

Evidently, not all of the planet’s banks are as phased by money laundering regulation as those in Scandinavia appear to be. Just last month we reported on US Bancorp’s blatant violations of the Bank Secrecy Act. We’d never condone tax avoidance but even if some of Prasos Oy’s customers were wanting to “clean” dirty cash with cryptocurrency, we’re sure it wouldn’t be nearly to the tune of the $613 million that US Bancorp was fined.


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Tiago Máximo, a Portuguese shoemaker, is the owner of a small boot shop in Barcelona, Spain. His traditional handcraft method, inspired by his family ancestors in rural Portugal, contrasts with his sophisticated payment method options that include Bitcoin.

Merchants Accepting Bitcoin Still Facing Issues

Urban Shepherds, a brand of traditional Portuguese work boots, has its only physical store in Barcelona. While founder Tiago Máximo is hopeful about growing the business brick-and-mortar style, he is also invested in selling online.

With cryptocurrencies on the rise, the more Máximo learned about it the more he agreed to it: “The concept and philosophy behind it all are amazing and it makes sense. And I think there is a need in the market for that. More than that, it is a demand”, he told Tech Crunch. “I’m an entrepreneur. Anything that makes us thrive and go further and better, why not?”

Despite accepting Bitcoin online, most of the company’s sales come from the physical store. Máximo, however, says he would like to be one of the crypto pioneers and is attempting to have a percentage of his sales in bitcoins.

Bitcoin, however, is currently falling short and Máximo points to two key issues: “The fluctuation of the price of cryptocurrency and the time it actually takes to arrive in my bank account are the two main issues for now.”

The bitcoin acceptance rate among businesses in 2017 kept dropping as the bitcoin price continued to push higher. Bruce Fenton, founder of Atlantic Financial and board member at the Bitcoin Foundation, said in an interview that “there are some micro transaction uses cases – a cup of coffee is the big analogy everybody uses – that are being sort of priced out just because bitcoin is going up so much.” Inc. introduced Bitcoin as a payment method in 2014, and while sales in Bitcoin have tripled since then, board member Jonathan Jonhson says the company brings as much as US$ 5 million per year from Bitcoin. Things are put into perspective when compared to its total revenue of US$ 1.8 billion.

Many fear that Bitcoin will go mainstream as an asset rather than a transaction method. In a move to bring merchants and consumers to the same table, Coinbase released in February a tool that eases the payments process.

Coinbase Commerce can be directly integrated into a merchant’s checkout flow or added as a payment option on an e-commerce platform.

Cultural tourism plays a big part in the travel industry. Big players like Lonely Planet and TripAdvisor offer loads of information about historical sites, museums, and landmarks, but there’s plenty of room for improvement. More and more companies feel the need to adapt, adopt disruptive ideas and join a digital transformation journey.

A new Blockchain-based project, Cultural Places, has entered the scene with a potential answer to the needs and wants of the modern culture seeker. The mission is to reinvent and restructure all aspects of the cultural industry, from ticketing and crowdfunding to trip planning and mapping, by bringing Blockchain technology and cultural heritage onto a single platform.

Cultural Places is best described as a social network for patrons, artists, and curators. Developed over the course of 3 years by Oroundo, the existing app – which is available on both iOS and Android – connects customers and suppliers on a platform better known as a cultural ecosystem.

Cultural Places has jumped on the Blockchain bandwagon and is looking to take its mission to the next level with the Cultural Coin; a dedicated cryptocurrency that users will use to purchase theatre and museum tickets, or support exhibitions and galleries. The ICO’s vision is to raise funds to develop a project that will become the go-to place for booking and discovering new trips.  

Transparent crypto-ticketing

Booking tickets online using traditional sites can incur high booking fees of over 30%. Not to mention, culture seekers often deal with touting and fraud attempts when hunting for the best deals. On Cultural Places, crypto-ticketing is done via smart contracts, removing middlemen and intermediaries. Customers buy reasonably-priced tickets, while artists are guaranteed that ticket touts don’t get in the way.

The platform adopts a new approach to funding and sponsoring too. With the help of Blockchain technology, institutions can provide unique, innovative, and interactive user experiences. The mission is to transform Cultural Places into a decentralized social network of people involved in the culture and arts industry.

Crypto-funding and social networking on Blockchain

Cultural Places aims to become a one-stop-shop social network for culture buffs and avid travelers. Culture seekers can join the platform to build relationships with like-minded people, buy digital and physical goods, make donations and become part of a loyal community.

Institutions can also benefit from the Cultural Places platform. They can use it to analyze and collect user data, thus gaining better insight into the content they share with users. The end-goal is to help organizations hone their data to provide better, more precise advertising and marketing compared with similar social channels.

Cultural institutions such as galleries and museums can send and receive payments via cultural coin tokens after becoming an active part of the platform. This allows them not only to sell tickets and lower cost as there are no intermediaries but also spreads awareness and gives access to new visitors.

A triple win concept for all users

All purchases executed on Cultural Places have an unrivaled, minimal fee that begins at 6%; which could result in revenue streams of nearly 94% for cultural institutions. For every purchase made, the platform takes a three percent share. The remaining three percent share is subsequently distributed among the community.

Users will get 1% in Cultural Coins of the total spendings on Cultural Places as part of the platform’s loyalty program. All Cultural Coin token holders will get another 1% as part of the platform’s reward program. A final 1% will be split among institutions to encourage them to enter the Cultural Places ecosystem.

The public token sale will be divided into 5 main phases. The ICO is currently live until April 5. Participants can purchase Cultural Coins in 4 phases starting with 0.018 EUR and receive a 40% discount. Between March 12 and March 18, the token price will increase to 0.021 EUR, and the bonus available will drop to 30%. Then the prices will increase to 0.024 and ends at 0.030 EUR on April 5 (the final phase of the ICO).

IPCHAIN Database is designed as an innovative application based on Blockchain technology and meant to protect all forms of intellectual property (IP) such as inventions, scientific research, music, video, etc. The project addresses the needs of artists, inventors and scientists and is supported by key players within the industry. The team behind IPCHAIN Database has started the project following extensive research, market analysis and numerous talks to experts on intellectual property.

The platform aims to solve multiple issues surrounding the protection and use of intellectual property. One major issue with intellectual property is that its monetization requires legal protection, which can be difficult and costly to come by and many IP owners are do not have the means to ensure suitable protection. Traditional means of protecting intellectual property are often technologically outdated and are expensive and as such favor big companies, who can pay high fees for registering their IP. Aside from this, the process is tedious and complicated.

However, through the IPCHAIN Database platform, individuals will have the ability to both prove their authorship and thus protect their intellectual property quickly and at a low price. Users will save their IP on the Blockchain and will thereby receive a time stamped proof of authorship, which cannot be tampered with or edited and thus act as suitable proof in legal proceedings. Users will also be able to use the platform’s Blockchain based architecture to safely share confidential information and to securely sell their IP.

Who can use IPCHAIN Database?

  • Inventors can use it to protect, promote, and trade intellectual property rights.
  • Artists can use it to secure proof of their authorship, sell rights, and protect their property such as music, video, art etc.
  • Companies can use it to protect, cooperate, and trade their IP including trade-secrets.
  • Scientists can use it to safely share and protect their findings and publish them on the Blockchain

The advantage of IPCHAIN Blockchain

The following are few advantages of the platform

  • Optimal protection against fire, data corruption or theft.
  • The swift process of claiming ownership of novel concepts
  • Creative UTXO Business Model
  • Quick and cost-effective
  • Flexible and incorruptible
  • Complex Yet Flexible Transactions
  • Mobile Application Support

Presale of Token

The use of the IPCHAIN Database, which is to be released at the end of 2018, will require IPCHAIN Tokens. These will be available for purchase during the company’s official Token Sale. The presale of the IPCHAIN is scheduled to take place on 24 March 2018. The breakdown of the token, as explained in its whitepaper follows:

Hard Cap: 20,000,000 USD
Total Tokens: 15,000,000
Number of Base Tokens for Sale: 8,500,000
Bonus Tokens (incl. Strategic Fund): 1,500,000
Tokens for Project Fund (team & development): 5,000,000
Tokens available in Pre-Sale: 7.5% of Base Tokens
Strategic Fund for early investors: 3.1% of all Tokens ma


IPCHAIN Database is the latest blockchain technology designed to revolutionize the way we protect, register, and transact intellectual property. Once successful, it will make it much easier and accessible for organizations and individuals throughout the world to buy, protect, and sell their IP rights. This process will be easier and faster when compared to our current traditional processes.



OBi, is OpenBlocks automated cryptocurrency trading bot that will bring trading returns to the Open Block platform token holders. This allows people from almost anywhere in the world to participate by staking their tokens on the network.

Research over the last two years has shown that digital currencies have become a source of high marginal returns considering its ample trading opportunity and skyrocketing prices. Consequently, it allows individual traders to take advantage of multiple aspects of digital currencies often without the knowledge of the pitfalls of trading, such as high volatility that leads to major price swings.

Trading cryptocurrencies have always been a risky endeavor considering the opaque background of various coins, a trader must know the complexities of trading and the understanding of a rapidly growing cryptocurrency landscape. Considering the fact that the crypto market remains open 24/7 with little oversight and is highly volatile. This environment has led the perfect storm for both huge losses and huge gains.

Monitoring trends to make the right decision is a tricky task that involves deep analysis of market trends, fundamentals, 30-day moving averages and so much more. Although gaining information from the internet is not a difficult task, it’s important to absorb the correct data from unbiased sources continually. A single individual would have a hard time performing these time consuming and often mundane tasks day in and day out with precision.

The Artificial Intelligence Advantage

The advantages of A.I. trading to human trading is that A.I. has predetermined trading rules, trades 24 hours a day, zero emotional breakdowns, understands risk management and the list goes on.  

Considering the huge potential crypto markets have to offer, OpenBlock has solved all of these issues with an automated trading bot. OpenBlock has carried out two years of investment and extensive research and development into a proven trading bot that solves all the problems of human day trading and provides consistent profits day in and day out.

What Is OpenBlock

OBi, is OpenBlocks‘ automated cryptocurrency trading bot that will bring trading returns to the Open Block platform token holders. This allows people from almost anywhere in the world to participate by staking their tokens on the network. Individuals that do not have the time nor the basic knowledge of crypto trading can benefit from the continuously growing digital currency marketplace without sitting in front of a computer pulling their hair out trying to make money. OBi is a highly advanced automated trading bot that does all the heavy lifting for members of the OpenBlock community 24 hours a day.

Obi trades dozens of currency pairs of crypto simultaneously while it scans the markets, analyzes charts and performs fundamental analysis around the clock which is above and beyond what any human trader could ever perform on a consistent basis. OBi has the ability to trade up to 1200 round trips in a single 24 hour period.

Artificial intelligence is the future of trading, and OpenBlock is at the forefront of this trading revolution.  

OpenBlock believes in complete and utter transparency and livestreams its trades in real-time on and the official OpenBlock Youtube Channel. Obi posts the results daily of individual trades and daily profits earned. This ensures that staking participants are always in the loop. OpenBlock is truly building a formidable company that is here for the long run and has a sustainable business model

OpenBlocks’ first round of Presale is currently underway. Learn more by signing up here


Phoenix has been designed as a decentralized organization (DAO), which is based on blockchain technology. The result is that transparency and security are assured for any process that occurs within its framework. All financial transactions within this system are processed with the aid of the Ethereum virtual machine. Ethereum has been designed as a global decentralized computer that can store information on all transactions at the same time and make them available to everyone.

The Phoenix system is based on a complex but clear algorithm, which enables users to increase the worth of their financial assets within the system over a short time. Additionally, this algorithm has been designed in a manner that minimizes the financial risk for the users. It works within the framework of an unchangeable code that runs on the Ethereum blockchain called the smart contract.

How the Phoenix System Works

Every process and activity that users partake in within this system is carried out in accordance to a set of strict rules. These rules have been designed to ensure fair play for all participants of the Phoenix system. Every new user on the Phoenix system uses the Ethereum Smart Contract to join the system. This contract is completely automated, and it can’t be altered by others at any time.

By making the first payment to the smart contract address, the user automatically agrees to all the rules set forth in the contract. The Phoenix smart contract code is publicly available, and it can be reviewed by anyone for authenticity and integrity. Once the smart contract is launched on Ethereum blockchain, it will start policing the whole process, ensuring that all messages and payments sent by the Phoenix platform members remain safe.

The Phoenix platform works as a self-reliant financial algorithm that allows the accumulation of funds. This algorithm is based on a system of rounds. Thus, accruals by participants occur after each round has been successfully terminated. Concurrently, the transfer of the first payments to the participant’s wallet will occur following the one in which he or she invested. Thus, if someone wants to join the Phoenix project while it is in the third round, the first payout will be made when the fourth round is completed.

More information about Phoenix Project is available at –