Geography with Nooor: Cyprus Overview
With the blossoming of the new season, we are launching our new initiative: Geography with Nooor!
During these BLOCKpost series, we will discuss our partners worldwide, represent the opportunities that the countries offer, tell more about the blockchain associations, the challenges that the technology is facing in the region, and the possible solutions it may find. We will share more insights of the communities, and simply show you the world- through the eyes of the Armenian Blockchain Association.
This time we want you to have a closer look at the wonderful country of Cyprus and the preconditions for blockchain development in the region.
Cyprus is an alluring island located in the Mediterranean Sea, famous for its golden sand beaches, burning sun and warm climate. Tasty food, breathtaking monuments…and you actually feel the breath of history in the air. But what about blockchain technology? Blockchain technology is developing drastically in Cyprus, and it is representing itself as a country with continuously improving opportunities for blockchain & AI startups, projects and companies.
It is worth mentioning that last year CySEC (Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission) launched an Innovations Hub Initiative, with the sole purpose of providing a helping hand to local digital, AI or Blockchain startups, providing co-working space, mentoring and guidance for new projects.
Moreover, CySEC has launched a consultation paper on the 19th of February 2019, proposing to bring Crypto Asset Activities under the ambit of AML Law, in order to tackle Money Laundering Risks.
One of the representatives of our peer community in Cyprus is Universal Crypto – based in Limassol, Cyprus, they are offering educational and analytical consultancy services, tailored for individuals, corporations, or governmental bodies. They believe that the implementation of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology could drive the island to tremendous development. Thanks to George Agathangelou, for the informative intro to the beautiful community in Cyprus.
- Lack of interest & knowledge bearing in mind public and governmental sector
- Banking cryptocurrency restrictions
- Regulatory Framework.”
The main insights are the solutions that Bogdan has shared with us. They are as follows:
- By creating digital currency, physical and digital communities, spreading the word, working on an educational product ourselves. Hosting Blockchain meet-ups and bigger events such as Nakamoto’s Den.
- The Cypriot banks were very reluctant to deal with cryptocurrency deposits and withdrawals from crypto exchanges, and to a certain extent, not much has improved. As such, we have had to take an alternative banking route via Revolt and Wirex, for example.
We are also happy to mention that Cyprus Blockchain Association, founded and lead by Yiannis Meanalou, is among our partners as well! He expressed his vision towards the challenges that the blockchain community of Cyprus is facing nowadays:” Cyprus is considered one of the pioneers in the blockchain space. Our founders and members have been early adopters of the technologies and the cryptos. We have represented Cyprus in major global economic and blockchain events, such as the World Economic Forum in St. Petersburg, Japan Blockchain Conference, Decentralized Conferences and other major events all over the world. Cyprus is offering advanced educational studies via universities and institutional bodies, fintech and financial companies are already involved in applications such as payments, trading and certifications.
The main challenge is the same as the universal target: the mass adoption and regulation. Companies started to commercialize solutions that will be used on everyday operations and the regulators have started following the space and issuing statements. Incentives have been given for startups, but the grey field of regulation is still a major worry for new initiatives wanting to have the benefit of the Cypriot financial system.”
The partnership with Cyprus Blockchain Association is followed by the partnership with a Think-tank for Blockchain & Distributed Ledger Technology Applications – The Cyprus Blockchain Technologies (CBT) Ltd. which is a non-profit organisation established as a collaboration among academic institutions, local regulators, financial institutions and other technology associations and companies. Theodosis Mourouzis, founder and CEO of CBT, is part of an EU board for Blockchain applications representing Cyprus. Apparently, Cyprus is closer than ever to the approval a DLT strategy!
By representing itself as a bridge of knowledge between academics and enthusiasts, their main purpose is to conduct cutting-edge research in the fields of Blockchain and Distributed Applications.
We are repeating over and over again, that education is one of the most important fields to develop if you are talking about technology such as a blockchain. You need to educate first, explain and showcase the possibilities that this wonderful technology can have. If you will just raise a glass to the 4th industrial revolution!
We are keeping our fingers on the pulse and aiming to have as many of the TOP academia partners as it is possible, to give the best opportunities to our community, and have the best practices to create our own course; for you, for us and for our future.
That’s why we are more than happy to say, that The University of Nicosia is the Academia Partner of Nooor Armenian Blockchain Association.
Soulla Louca, Professor and Director of the Blockchain Initiative School of Business in The University of Nicosia, framed that, UNIC is the first EVER university in the world to:
- Accept Bitcoin for tuition for any degree program at the university (since October 2013).
- Teach a university-level course on cryptocurrency (since January 2014) in the form of an online free MOOC (Introduction to Digital Currencies). The course is taught by Andreas Antonopoulos, the author of Mastering Bitcoin, one of the most popular blockchain books in the world and the CEO of the University of Nicosia, Antonis Polemitis.
- Launch an accredited academic degree program taught online in English (MSc in Digital Currency, March 2014), currently with over 500 students.
- Issue academic certificates onto the Bitcoin blockchain (since September 2015). For example, it already worked with UAE to implement their blockchain certificate platform and have ongoing conversations with other universities across the world.
There are lots of opportunities that the community offers and we are there to bring more added value to the partnership for both parties and the global blockchain community.
With the tremendous amount of experience and expertise, partnering with fellow organizations around the globe, we are painting the picture of Armenia more vividly, creating a charming and alluring base for entrepreneurs and startups.
Keep holding on to our Geography with Nooor initiative, we have lots of things to share!