Political climate in Cyprus as it pertains to BitCoin
Hello Reddit, this is my first post of hopefully many on this forum. I am a Bitcoin investor and have recently purchased some shares of NEOBEE, which I view as a very promising enterprise with a unique business model in an extremely unique (and volatile) environment. I would like to get some input/opinion as to the political climate in Cyprus as it relates to serious investment in Bitcoin or possibly the country becoming a hub for crypto-currency. Here are some points of consideration to get this started:
Cyprus is a member of the European Union (2004) and thus somewhat subject to the whims of the European Central Bank.
Cyprus' economy has been greatly affected by the bail outs/bail ins related to the sovereign debt crisis / austerity measures / economic relations with the Greek economy.
There are political tensions that exist between ethnic Greek and Turkish Cypriots. Indeed, Turkey does not recognize Cyprus as it currently exists.
In a more general sense, NEO got Goxxed with its launch, thus diminishing its splash onto the world stage.
There are obviously many other considerations and I would like to hear your thoughts as to how they may positively/negatively affect the price of NEOBEE stock moving forward. Thanks!
NEO & BEE: THE FULL PICTURE This is a reconstruction of the events that took place from the 17th of March up to the 18th of April 2014, surrounding the collapse of Neo & Bee (N&B). Within one month N&B, initially believed by many to be a promising bitcoin start up, vanished from the surface of the earth with its CEO still being on the hide with an arrest warrant issued for him for serious criminal charges. The timeline is derived from press reports, N&B announcements, Cypriotic police announcements, posts of Danny Brewster on Reddit and Bitcointalk, the post of N&B management team on Reddit and the subsequent AMA session, tweets by Brewster, tweets and posts on Reddit by Tuur Demeester and Andreas Antonopoulos, and other publicly available sources. September 2013 - February 2014: Brewster raises, through an IPVO in 3 exchanges, approximately 9,400 BTC for LMB Holdings, a UK “virtual entity”. September 2013 - March 2014: Brewster spends around 4,400 BTC in setting up N&B in Cyprus amidst one of the most aggressive marketing campaigns ever launched by a bitcoin company, with the motto "Who is Neo?”. On the 24th of February 2014 N&B opens its first branch in Nicosia Cyprus amidst a lot of enthusiasm, with the share price at Havelock almost doubling the IPVO price. 17th March: 6 months have passed since the publication of the original LMB Prospectus (September 2013) and even though investors were promised quarterly financial statements (copy from prospectus: “Quarterly financial statements will be published across all supported platforms where LMB Holdings shares are available to be purchased”), the company has not published a single financial statement. Investors that inquire about this in Reddit and Bitcointalk as early as December 2013, are always reassured by Brewster (“Cryptocyprus”) that the financial information “will be out very soon”. On March 17th, Brewster tweets that all financial information, projections and appendices "will be released later this week". 18th March: Brewster publishes an Updated LMB Prospectus of LMB (v.2.0) against the advice of his management team because, according to a later statement of them, "a lot of content was incorrect". To the surprise of many, the Updated Prospectus does NOT include any historic financial statements for the first 6 months of operations, nor any financial information or projections. Actually it does not include any “accounting or finance items” whatsoever. In spite of the absence of any finance and accounting numbers, on the same day, Tuur Demeester tweets: “The Neo & Bee prospectus is teaching us about the future of finance, so important reading!”. Apart from the "incorrect content", the prospectus includes misrepresentations such as the presentation of PricewaterhouseCoopers as the auditors of the company – copy from Prospectus: “We are also subjecting ourselves to external auditors for added transparency, we are working with Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC)”. The Prospectus refers to an “advisory board” whose only member is Antonopoulos. The sole member of the Board of Directors is Danny Brewster as no other board members are revealed. 18th March: Brewster tells a member of the management team "we have 5,000 BTC left". As from March 18th, Brewster, an active user of social media with daily presence for months, goes completely silent and absent from Reddit, Bitcointalk, Facebook and Twitter. 19th March: The next day Brewster shocks the management team by telling them that the 5,000 BTC have…..overnight become only 140! "Actually I thought we had 5,000, but I have checked the wallet and the coins are not there, I spent them somewhere but I don't remember on what.......we have only 140 coins left. I am going to the UK to find investors. I will send you the 140 coins left and also sell my Mercedes and Bentley and will send you the money to pay the March salaries and the creditors". 20th March: Brewster goes to N&B offices for 1 hour. Management team tells Brewster that they want him to step down from CEO. Brewster agrees to step down after transferring control of the company to “investors”, without these investors being identified. 21st March: Brewster goes to N&B offices for 1 hour and then disappears and remains out of contact with anybody from the management team. 21st - 27th March: The Mercedes is reported sold but the funds from the sale and the 140 N&B coins "travel" together with Brewster to the UK, instead of being sent to the management to cover salaries and creditors as promised. The Bentley is reported to be in a car dealership in Nicosia with changed plates, it is unknown whether it has been sold as well with proceeds being taken by Brewster, or whether it is up for sale. Rumors start spreading on Reddit and Bitcointalk that N&B collapsed and that Brewster ran away with the investors’ coins, leaving behind unpaid employees and around €1M unpaid creditors. Many members of the bitcoin community, investors etc., reach out to Brewster on social media asking for clarifications. Brewster is nowhere to be found. Members of the community post on Reddit and Bitcointalk and tweet Demeester, Antonopoulos and N&B asking what the hell is going on. None of them has a clue and no official announcement is made. Some persons visit the branch and find it closed. Other persons call the company and the reply is “leave your details and we will call you back”. 27th March: With Brewster into the hide the management notes "abnormal trading" on the shares of the company on Havelock and the N&B Compliance Officer sends recommendation to Havelock to stop trading of the shares. 28th March: TAT (ThickAsThieves) terminates his contract as pass-through manager for NeoBee shares on Havelock. Havelock suspends trading of NeoBee shares. Brewster finally makes a contact with the management and says he received a threat for his daughter on the 26th. However, he cannot explain why he disappeared from all social media since the 18th and from the company since the 21st (!). Also strange is the fact that although he claims that the “threat” was for his daughter, he decides that the best course of action is to leave her in Cyprus and him to go into the hide in the UK (!). Brewster says the threats "have been reported to the relevant authorities". 29th March: Management team contacts Cypriotic Police asking about the threats against Brewster. Police says this is the first time they heard about it and no reporting of any threats has been made. 31st March: With Brewster into the hide, the management sends him a demand letter requesting he returns and give explanations regarding his absence in the face of dire problems with the company 2nd April: Brewster posts on Bitcointalk saying staff might be responsible for the threats and that's why he is out of contact with them. A new shocking assertion comes to light. Even though Brewster publicly and proudly claimed in the last weeks that he did not lose any coins on Mt.Cox as "the signs were there", in his post on Reddit he now claims that he lost coins on Mt.Cox. He also claims that "all bitcoins (raised in the IPVO) are accounted for". Furthermore, he claims that he doesn’t hold any funds/bitcoins that belong to customers: He writes: "I would like to reiterate that ZERO customer funds are under my control" (“capital letters” in ZERO being his emphasis) 4th April Trading of NeoBee shares on Havelock restarts without an explanation whether this was done by Havelock deciding on their own or under instructions from Brewster. 2nd - 15th April: Brewster’s disappearance continues, all employees resign, the offices and the branch close down, and the N&B brand becomes a joke in Cyprus with the media making derisive and derogatory comments "Where is Neo?" (paraphrasing the motto of the marketing campaign "Who is Neo?"). Brewster remains on the hide until news break out that an arrest warrant has been issued by the Cypriotic Police. Police says that Brewster is wanted for criminal charges including theft, forgery, counterfeiting and money laundering and for taking customers' and employees' coins and running away 15th April: Brewster posts for the second time on Reddit saying that although there is an arrest warrant for serious criminal charges he doesn't plan to return to Cyprus soon because he has to...attend a funeral in the UK (!), and that he can clear out all criminal charges whilst being in the UK. Also, in his post on Reddit, he instructs the Cypriotic Police to...pick up their phones and ....open their emails because he calls and emails them for days, and nobody cares to answer him (!). He also hints that “The manner in which the investigations are being carried out are concerning”, implying that the police might have set him up. He admits publicly that even though a threat was made against his daughter, he actually left her in Cyprus and he went into hiding in the UK. Even though on his posting on Bitcointalk on 2 April he reiterated that “ZERO customer funds are under my control", he now admits that he does, in fact, hold the coins of several customers and instructs the customers via the posting on Reddit “to provide me with their addresses so I can arrange for the bitcoins to be sent to them”. In this post a new shocking assertion is now made by Brewster, as he now presents a new excuse for the "lost coins". He now claims that he had sold all company coins that were at his disposal on the date Silk Road was busted (2 October 2013) at low prices and that's why he is now insolvent! 16th April: Official Spokesman of Cypriotic Police says the investigations against Brewster are "in an advanced stage" and does not rule out the issuance of a European or even an International arrest warrant. 18th April: Ex-senior N&B management team posts a detailed statement on Reddit saying "it is appropriate and justified to make the following statement regarding the mistruths and outright lies being fed by Brewster to investors, creditors and the public". Team says that there was never any accountability by Brewster about the money raised in the IPVO, in spite of repeated attempts by CFO and Compliance Officer to extract information from him. Even though Brewster claimed that "every coin can be accounted for", the CFO and the management team say that several thousands of coins "cannot be accounted for". CFO hasn't got a clue about what happened and around 5,000 coins are missing. Brewster said he had them on the 18th but “were lost” on the 19th of March. Later he claimed that they were all sold on 2 October 2013. Management also reveals that there have never been any financial reports or financial statements that were promised on several occasions by Brewster to the investors (in the original prospectus, in the updated prospectus and in social media). Management also reveals that in the prospectus issued on March 18th by Brewster against their advice, "a lot of content was incorrect" and included misrepresentations such as presenting PricewaterhouseCoopers as the auditors of the company. Management also reveals that Brewster took away with him customers' as well as employees' coins, even though Brewster claimed that "ZERO customer funds are under my control". Tuur Demeester posts on Reddit admitting that “things have taken a dramatic turn for investors and employees with N&B. The gist of it is that CEO Danny Brewster has disappeared, and with him apparently thousands of bitcoins from investors”. Andreas Antonopoulos posts on Reddit stating that “I was as surprised and bewildered by these events…dismayed that another bitcoin company had imploded amidst allegations of fraud and leaving many investors, creditors and employees with serious losses…all of whom betrayed by Danny”. N&B has collapsed, with thousands of coins missing and unaccounted for. It is revealed that after 6-7 months of operations the company didn’t manage to come up with any product, had zero revenue, and never produced any type of financial statements. The CEO is still in the hide and wanted by the Cypriotic Police.
Want to help develop Bitcoin's infrastructure? Neo & Bee, the first Bitcoin Bank and payment processing network is kicking it into high gear
Disclaimer: I have shares in NEOBEE. The securities market was severely depressed recently with closures of the exchanges BTC-TC , BitFunder, and the floor dropping out on mining companies. There isn’t much volume out there, to tell you the truth, but I don’t blame investors, there is nothing out there to invest in, or is there? Besides RentalStarter(which exchange?), and a few financial investment securities, there is only 1 other non-mining related security of interest. NEOBEE - Neo, the first brick and mortar Bitcoin bank in the world, and Bee, the payment system(POS terminals, etc) to compliment it. Neo’s first branch is opening up in Cyprus (if bitcoin can’t take off in Cyrprus of all places, then we have other problems) on Jan 1st 2014. So for the initial investors who have been waiting since September, it’s starting to get really exciting. Timeline Pre-IPVO
1/11/2013 Registered a subsidiary in Kenya for the corporate account to be opened with MPesa. Have also established a direct link with the founder of MPesa that can be utilized should the need arise.
6/11/2013 BitFunder shuts down. Shares are transferred to Havelock and Direct shares.
23/11/2013 Neo takes delivery on the 23rd of this month at the first branch. Then the interior renovations start, on target to have that completed by 1st week of January ready for the soft opening.
31/11/2013 All remaining IPVO shares at .003 will be delisted from Havelock. If you want to directly invest after that point you may still do so through the shareholder's platform that is being developed.
1/12/2013 Websites that shall be online before this date are: The Shareholder's platform (lmb-holdings.com) , Neo's customer facing site (neo.com.cy), Bee's customer facing site (bee.com.cy).
4/12/2014 Neo & Bee are the main sponsors for the Cyprus Investor Show. The largest financial conference in Cyprus. They will speaking there to a lot of companies.
?/12/2013 A top global merchant that is teaming up with Neo is planning their own news release in advance of Neo doing so. They are pushing to get the announcement in the printed WSJ.
31/12/2013 Neo EasyCoin will be online and fully functional by December 31st (Full details will be released this coming week).
1/2/2014 Cover of In Business Magazine (February 2014). Neo has been approached to be on the cover of In Business magazine for their February issue , there is already a buzz around the business world here in Cyprus about the company that is bringing Bitcoin to Cyprus for everyone. The magazine is the largest business publication in Cyprus, the feature will include a multiple page spread on Neo & Bee.
?/2/2014 Hard opening of first Neo branch
Dividends are going to be payed quarterly. The dividends will only be paid on shares sold. Neo will not receive any dividends on their holdings until 0.0035 BTC/Share has been paid on all public shares. If you would like to learn more about NEOBEE, refer to the Bitcointalk thread If you're thinking about investing, Havelock Investments is the place at the moment. Don't invest more than you can afford to lose
We are pleased to announce that Neo's flagship branch is scheduled to launch on February 24, 2014. As part of the launch, we will also release the following three products:
Instant-Access BTC Wallet
This wallet will function as a standard Bitcoin wallet which utilizes the multi-signature process. Neo will earn revenue from these accounts through the fees paid when exchanging Euros for Bitcoin. Account holders will receive a Bee card, allowing them to make purchases at retailers around the island of Cyprus, and through existing Bitcoin payment gateways.
This wallet will allow the customer to hold Bitcoins over a predetermined time period in their own wallet with multi-signature functionality. These wallets will enable the customer to execute an exchange back to Euros on the predetermined date for either the original Euro amount or for the value of the Bitcoin that is held in the wallet at the time of the exchange, however the maximum amount of gains the customer will receive will be limited to an agreed level. Neo will derive income from this type of wallet through gains made in the value of Bitcoin over an above the agreed percentage.
This wallet will enable merchants to accept Bitcoin payments from anyone. Merchants will have the ability to determine the exact percentage of revenue they wish to retain as Bitcoins and how much they wish to convert instantly to Euros as settlement. Merchants may accept payments into their bank account through electronic transfer, or collect as cash from one of the Neo branches. Should the merchant choose to access their money through one of our branches, they will have access to those funds within one minute of accepting the payment. We have decided to delay the second branch in Nicosia to ensure the flagship branch opening goes smoothly. The second branch will tentatively launch within the first quarter of 2014.
Bee Payment Network
We have taken delivery of the first batch of POS terminals. We are now finalizing the integration with Neo applications. Bee will not charge transaction fees to merchants. This ensures the lowest barrier to entry. Bee will instead derive income from the rental of POS terminals and monthly fees for online payment gateways. We have been working closely with a number of POS and Stock Management System developers to ensure compatibility and ease of integration with their systems and the Bee network. This will enable thousands of Cypriot and international merchants to easily integrate our terminals with existing infrastructure.
Neo EasyCoin is nearing the completion of beta testing. We are waiting for some locations to go online with different payment service providers. We are also working with other payment service providers in Europe to enable Neo EasyCoin to service additional European countries. Neo EasyCoin will provide service to the United States once we are in possession of a written clarification from FinCEN regarding our business model. Our lawyers are working on this daily. While we are confident in our plan, we also want to ensure long-term stability.
We have received consistent and positive attention from local news outlets, including newspapers, television, magazines and news websites. Here are some examples:
Neo's first advertising campaign is now underway. The first television advertisement will premiere on February 1st. Radio advertisements and a new Neo & Bee website will be launched in support of this campaign. The website will include detailed information about our personal and merchant wallet service offerings.
We continue to make progress in establishing clear regulations for the operation of Bitcoin-based businesses in Cyprus. We have taken the necessary steps to obtain a Cyprus investment firm license, which would enable us to offer time-locked wallets to customers. We will offer these wallets when we open the first branch.
Neo Xchange is a new venture in which Neo will act as a brokerage and trade on a new Bitcoin exchange under development. The Neo Xchange platform will offer trade derivatives and other financial instruments. This requires the platform to be regulated. We are working towards obtaining the required licenses from CySEC to operate this platform. More information will be provided as available. Once this platform has been launched, Neo will have greater ability to hedge the instant-access pegged wallets.
We are now developing our own ATM hardware that will enable customers to have access to all subsidiaries in many countries. This development will enable global expansion. By increasing our footprint in this manner, we can assess the data from these portals to determine optimal locations for expansion of the Neo network of branch locations. The Neo Portals project is being managed by Brad Vaivoda. Brad Vaivoda graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a B.Sc in mechanical engineering. After beginning his career performing brake rotor design and analysis in Formula 1, he accepted a position aiding orthopedic surgeons during operations whilst working for Zimmer Holdings Inc., a medical device manufacturer in the orthopedic industry. Most recently, Brad was employed by The Boeing Company as a Test & Evaluation Engineer working across Boeing's commercial aircraft product lines. Brad has since turned his focus to Bitcoin and Bitcoin-related ventures. He has considerable experience with bleeding-edge technology and is familiar with working in fast-paced environments.
cryptocyprus is behind the big Neobee payment network launching in Cyprus in 2014. Here is a question asked: (15:15:57) (skinnkavaj) Will you use Litecoin as a hedge against a falling Bitcoin in the future? (15:18:15) (cryptocyprus) It is always a possibility, litecoin is the only alt I have ever bought and sold, if/when Gox integrates litecoin then there will be more liquidity to make it a more suitable hedge
My thoughts on investing in Bitcoin denominated securities.
I had a few thoughts on "investing" bitcoins. I put a little into Neo & Bee as well as SFI through Havelock. I actually think that I likely won't sell those shares for more bitcoins than I bought them for, but I still might consider that I'm coming out ahead. Why? Because the infrastructural improvements that these companies are working on effectively increase the value of an individual Bitcoin itself. Let's consider these two scenarios:
I buy a Bitcoin and hold it. The market price of bitcoin goes of up 100% in a year. I've made 100% ROI in relation to USD if I sell at that point. Nothing wrong with that.
I buy a Bitcoin and buy a BTC-denominated stock representing a company (say MEXBT or NEOBEE). They use that money to further their business and they are successful, but at the same time the BTC price rises 150% and people that own their stocks decided to take profits. Their total Capitalization denominated in BTC is lower, but their Capitalization is actually higher in USD. If I sell my stock at that point... I've actually lost bitcoins and thus haven't turned a profit.... a buy and hold strategy of pure Bitcoin would have worked better.
Or would it have? Who's to say that my contribution to their cause didn't get baked into the market price of a bitcoin and that increase in price wouldn't have occurred without their contribution of new use-cases. It would be impossible to tell just by looking at the market, but if we see new use-cases come up (US->MX remittances and increased use in Cyprus) then by necessity the value of bitcoin would rise. This adds a interesting tragedy/comedy of the commons: It's possible that investing a rapidly appreciating asset into a moderately successful company you believe in will actually benefit those who chose not to invest more because they will still get value-addition to their Bitcoins. inb4: Cognitive dissonance accusation. I'm perfectly aware I'm performing some non sequiturs to get to my conclusion. I just wanted to prompt some discussion.
Will the value investing community pick up on this?
Shares of Neo&Bee (Cyprus' bitcoin 'bank' which will, using debit like cards, bring monetary freedom to the island) are trading significantly below the all time highs reached on the day the first store opened. You see, in the bitcoin space, things move quickly, and if no amazing omgroflbbq news is produced on a daily basis, share prices drop. This being one of those times to load the boat up(smart money) for when some spicy news comes along and everyone(dumb money) starts purchasing at new all time highs. So, which one are you? Shares can be purchased at www.havelockinvestments.com Disclaimer: I personally own over 4000 shares of NEOBEE and am adding to my stack daily.
So I read on Samizdata this morning that Bitcoin has encountered it’s first truly serious issue. Control over a substantial fraction of the currency has been lost as popular bureau de change Mt Gox has gone bust. The BBC business editor seems to call this right, or at least nearly:. There is no central authority to step in and give any kind of guidance to Mt Gox customers whether their money ... Bitcoin’s Great Hope That Wasn’t. In 2014, Neo & Bee was Bitcoin’s great hope. Launching just weeks after Mt. Gox began to collapse, it was set to be a model for bringing cryptocurrency to the masses. Its physical “branch” , located with the company in Cyprus, was staffed by consultants to help everyday consumers get started. The first Neo physical bitcoin savings branch opened in Cyprus just last month. The company launched an IPO on bitcoin-only share trading platform Havelock Investments in September 2013. After years of total silence, failed bitcoin startup Neo & Bee is finding its way back into the spotlight for doing the one thing no one expected: Repaying investors. Last month, the long-shuttered “bitcoin bank” sent out emails inviting shareholders to access a new “redemption portal” for “NEOBEE” tokens. (Full disclosure: This reporter owns a … The Bitcoin Emerging Market Fund (BBBB) initiated a position in the Neo & Bee Payment Network (Havelock: NEOBEE) on 03/07 buying 18 shares. The fund will continue to increase this position in the near term. I love the tangibility of NEOBEE's assets. ... Leaving aside that Cyprus has relatively little to do with Crimea, ...
BITCOIN DUMP!!!! DID SATOSHI MOVE HIS BITCOIN!!!!!? - YouTube
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