200-Year-Old Austrian Company Launches Crypto Hardware Wallet

Samuel Haig

A 200-year-old company in Austria has launched a cryptocurrency hardware wallet targetting businesses.

The device, called Chainlock, was released by YOUNIQX Identity, a subsidiary of Austrian State Printing House (Oesterreichische Staatsdruckerei, also known as OeSD) - a printing company that has operated since 1804. Currently, the company prints Austrian passports and provides secure identity solutions.

Chainlock Applies for Patent for Key Generation System

Chainlock purports to offer enhanced security through generating keys using a procedure for which it has filed a patent application that prevents everyone other than the wallet’s owner from viewing the key, including  YOUNIQX staff. The device also claims to be both heat and water-resistant.

Despite OeSD advertising the product as being operated “100% offline,” the hardware wallet can be used via the Chainlock app. The device takes the physical form of a thin piece of plastic that resembles a credit card in both size and shape.

YOUNIQX has partnered with Singapore-based Tokenize Exchange and Austria-based Coinfinity to also offer the Chainlock hardware wallet to consumers.

The company also seeks to target the burgeoning security token offering market, with the Chainlock release stating that the wallet is “the perfect token container for STOs pursuing a retail strategy.”

Austrian Regulator Against ‘Bitcoin Trader’ Investment Scheme

Earlier this month, Austria's financial regulator, the Austrian Financial Market Authority (FMA), issued a warning against crypto investment website, Bitcoin Trader.

The website claims to offer investors a guaranteed return of approximately $1,460 through their proprietary automated trading platform, also claiming that investors have generated seven-figure returns in 61 days.

According to the FMA, Bitcoin Trader does not hold the licensing required to accept funds from other parties for the purpose of management. The regulator describes the website as being comparable to multi-level-marketing schemes.

Austria Post Launches Crypto Stamps

During June, Austria’s postal company, Österreichische Post, launched a line of collectible cryptographic stamps.

Dubbed ‘crypto stamps’, the collectibles claimed to comprise “the world’s first” stamps to be authenticated by distributed ledger technology. 150,000 crypto stamps were issued, with a recommended retail price of € 6.90 (approximately $7.68).

The collectibles comprised two parts, with half of the stamp comprising functional stamp that can be used to send mail, and the second hosting the information required to authenticate the crypto stamp via blockchain.

Binance ‘Is Not Authorized' to Operate in Malta, Says Country's Financial Watchdog

Malta’s financial watchdog, the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA), has issued a statement claiming leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance is “not authorized” to operate in the country.

In the statement, the MFSA cites reports in the media referring to the cryptocurrency trading platform as a “Malta-based cryptocurrency company,” and revealed that Binance “Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA).

The cryptocurrency exchange announced it was opening an office in Malta in March 2018 shortly after it received a warning from Japan’s Financial Services Agency, telling it to stop operating in the country without official approval. At the time, Malta’s Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat, welcome the cryptocurrency exchange. At the time Malta was starting to be known as the “blockchain island” thanks to its pro-crypto stance.

While it isn’t clear whether Binance still has offices in Malta, press releases sent to cryptocurrency publications list Malta in the dateline as recently as February 11, 2020. Officially, Binance hasn’t revealed where its headquarters are located.

On social media, its CEO Changpeng Zhao addressed reports on the MFSA’s statement claiming there’s a “mix of truth, FUD & misconception” associated with them. Per his words, Binance isn’t headquartered or operated in Malta. He added there as misconceptions as “some people” believe the world “must work a certain way, you must have offices, HQ, etc.”

In its statement, the MFSA did say it is assessing if the cryptocurrency exchange has activities in Malta that “may not fall within the realm of regulatory oversight.” The regulator added that since the passing of the Virtual Financial Assets Act of 2018, businesses in Malta trading or offering cryptocurrencies have to be fully licensed.

Featured image via Pixabay.