Category Archives: News

Play and Win BTC – Bitcoin Casinos

With Cryptocurrency and the well-known Bitcoin, casinos are a field which could not be unaffected by the trend. Bitcoin casino is an online platform which allows the players to use Bitcoin as a payment method. In other words, it is a Crypto Casino, which follows the digitalization transition of the present time, towards online transactions and Cryptocurrency. Mr.BTC.org dives deep into explaining how Cryptocurrency is nothing but a digital payment network which can be adopted in all aspects of transactions including casinos.

The most popular Cryptocurrencies that are accepted for the purpose are of course Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and more.

Cryptocurrency by Facebook (In 5 minutes)

However, there is a new addition to the family of Cryptocurrency, which is the one developed by Facebook, Libra. Libra was designed having as a goal the facilitation of Global economy, with individuals from around the world having easy and quick access to equal financial opportunities.

Libra is powered by Blockchain, which of course makes it secure and easily accessible, regardless your location. Libra: Cryptocurrency by Facebook (in 5 minutes) is an Infographic developed by Mr.BTC.org which aims to provide all the necessary information and guidance to individuals wishing to make use of it.

Simon Zenios & Co LLC, being a corporate law firm, highly involved into the world of Cryptocurrency and digital transactions and investment is able to provide all the insights on the developments in the Blockchain sphere.

Further information on the new era of Crypto Casinos as well as on the birth of Libra shall be found by visiting the following links:

ESMA’s Report on Licensing FinTech Companies in the EU

The European Securities and Market Authority (ESMA) reported concerning the licensing of FinTech companies in Europe, based on two surveys which took place in January 2018 and January 2019. The data collected through the surveys concern the licensing administration of FinTech companies in national authorities and their jurisdiction. ESMA supports that there is no need for any alterations in the existing EU regulatory system as such business models can function well in the current framework. However, it strengthens its conclusions made in the recent reports on crypto-assets/ICOs/DLT, cyber security and innovation facilitators in agreement with the EBA (European Banking Authority) and EIOPA (European Insurance and Occupational Pensions) conclusions in their respective reports.

The findings from the two surveys are summarized as follows:

  1. National authorities identified regulatory gaps and issues regarding the existing rules and regulations on crypto-assets, ICOs and DLT. The main concern is to clear up financial instruments and the legal nature of crypto-assets. The National Competent Authorities (NCAs) assured ESMA’s Crypto-Assets Advice that specific tokens are financial instruments and are subjected to the full attendant regulation, while the ones that are not should be subject to the slightest level of regulation.
  2. Included in the findings of the surveys was also the need for more transparency around the governance and risk management processes related to cyber security and cloud outsourcing. Legislative improvements related to Information and Communication Technology risk management requirements in the EU financial sector and the Joint ESA Advice consist another key point of the surveys. In particular, the costs and benefits of a coherent cyber flexibility testing framework for significant market participants and infrastructures within the EU financial sector are the subjects that need to be dealt with.
  3. Innovation facilitators and authorising approaches for innovative Fintech business models are interconnected. Innovation facilitators particularly influence the mapping approaches applied to FinTech businesses and identifying the areas where the legislation and licensing requirements need changes. What is also affected by innovation facilitators and especially regulatory sandboxes is the licensing regime for FinTechs which may diverge from other jurisdictions. Together with EBA and EIOPA, ESMA published the Report for FinTech: Regulatory Sandboxes and Innovation Hubs January 2019, to respond to the above. The European Forum of Innovation Facilitators also established in April 2019 aims at fostering concurrence in this area.
  4. The need for an EU wide holistic crowdfunding regime and, for crowdfunding based on non-MiFID II instruments, consists the reason for ongoing discussions. The regulation of crowdfunding service providers is under scrutiny by the European Parliament and the Council and is expected to facilitate a level playing field for cross-border service providers.

The report addresses one of the five action points of the EC FinTech Action plan, namely the mandate of ESMA “to map current authorizing and licensing approaches for innovative fintech business models in Europe.”

Article republished on mrcrypto.cc-Blockchain simplified

An article written by Simon Zenios and Co LLC, which concerns the legal background of Blockchain, has been republished by mrcrypto.cc. The article aims to provide basic information on what Blockchain is, how it operates and become accessible knowledge for everyone who is not an expert on the filed. Also, another one of its aims is to provide input on the legality around Cryptocurrency for anyone who wishes to proceed to such endeavours and be involved in the Crypto world.

Article published on CryptoNinjas-Currency and Blockchain Asset Source

Simon Zenios and Co LLC, express a special interest in Blockchain and Cryptocurrency and it is widely known for becoming a leading Corporate Law Firm in Cyprus dealing with such matters. Experience together with dedication, and services provided to more than 200 ICOs, IEOs and STOs and counting, set the firm an important contributor in attempting to make Cyprus a Blockchain oasis.

An article published by Simon Zenios and Co LLC, was republished on www.cryptoninjas.net (Cyprus strategy to take the lead in the Blockchain and DLT Industry), emphasizing on the current developing events of crypto in Cyprus and the expertise the firm presents.

Cyprus has been established as one of the main jurisdictions to launch an STO with statements such as that the island’s blockchain regulation will undoubtedly be ready this year. The main goal as mentioned is to introduce innovative digital technologies, provide the required framework for their establishment and explore the application of distributed ledger technology (DLT). Cyprus’ friendly approach towards cryptocurrency is the ground on which such efforts can become fruitful and benefit our country in ways that could not even be perceived in the previous years.

The country is not only considered adequate in introducing new Blockchain projects, but also to welcome existing ones. Those projects can be highly benefitted, mostly due to the country’s taxation system which not only enables, but also favours the development of Cryptocurrency.

Except from the active involvement of the law firm in Blockchain endeavours, it also contributes to the government’s attempt to draft the New Blockchain Regulation. In particular, the firm attends meetings and conferences and investigates the different possibilities regarding the Crypto world.

The next scheduled meetup is on the 7th of August where the attempt to make Cyprus the new Blockchain island in the EU will be presented and discussed.

Bitcoin Club Cyprus meetup / 31st July 2019

Simon Zenios and Co LLC law firm’s involvement and interest in the updates in the crypto world is motivated by the current digitalization in transactions and investments both in Cyprus and the world.

Participating in the Bitcoin Club Cyprus meetup on the 31st of July was a pleasure since our firm has been providing International Corporate Services to IEOs, ICOs and STOs. We take pride in being a leading law firm in Cyprus in Corporate, Legal & Banking services for Blockchain & Forex related Companies. Thus, being informed on the latest changes and updates related to the field is considered significant.

Cryptocurrency and the use of digital tokens in investments have taken an essential place in today’s legal and financial framework. Understanding how digital money works and what exactly Bitcoin is, is not a piece of information only for the beginners in the field. There is always room for more knowledge; there is always motivation to acquire more information and be in the front line of Cryptocurrency updates. Especially now, with the introduction of Cryptocurrency debit cards, for example, digital transactions have proven to be constantly developing. This leaves our firm with no other choice than being ahead of the events to ensure services based on perfection.

For Simon Zenios and Co LLC to continue providing adequate legal services on this domain, constant engagement to related events is a must.

Bitcoin Club Cyprus meetup on the 31st of July

Engaging with Blockchain Technology Companies, Shanghai, China, July 2019

Simon Zenios & Co LLC had recently been present in a variety of meetings with leading Blockchain Technology Companies in Shanghai, China.

  • Innovative ideas concerning investments abroad, including around the EU, had been discussed.
  • Different perceptions had been combined, which introduced a frequent target: the combination of varied concepts regarding FinTech Companies.

The goal is led by FinTech’s recent popularity, both in Cyprus and on an international level.

Digital payments and investments are on the rise for the past few years worldwide, from day to day activities, to significant investments initiated by official associations. It becomes clear that discussions around possible steps towards the use of Cryptocurrency services with different Companies and authorities, willing to present and incorporate their ingenious suggestions, are vital. Through the meetings, the Cypriot and European legal frameworks were presented, on the grounds of which, steps towards the direction of practically adapting Cryptocurrency processes, would be fulfilled. The main goal would be that out of the interaction and the exchange of views on the FinTech corporations, new, inventive projects would arise.

Through a series of meetings, Simon Zenios & Co LLC

  • Had conversations around the matter and the possibility of partnering with Chinese Blockchain Companies.
  • Discussed their intention in expanding their activities within the European Union Zone, a fact which offers significant possibilities of expansion for FinTech companies.

The meetings and the overall cooperation will signify the introduction of original practices and the birth of innovatory projects related to Cryptocurrency services and techniques and the digital era of Blockchain activities.

Cyprus strategy to take the lead in the Blockchain and DLT Industry

Cyprus – the New Blockchain Island within the EU?

The amendment of the Cyprus Prospectus Law effected on the 19th of April 2019, established Cyprus among the leading jurisdictions to launch an STO. The amendment raised the threshold below while there is no obligation to publish a prospectus to raise up to 5 million Euro during the crowdfunding.

Therefore, Security Offerings such as STOs, with total consideration in the Union of less than 5 million Euro calculated over a period of 12 months, are excluded from the obligation to submit a prospectus to CySEC for approval, before starting the offering. The exclusion, of course, is subject to the notification requirements established by the Prospectus Regulation (EU) 2017/1129 for cross-border offerings.

Moreover, Cyprus has taken another step forward when its Minister of Finance, Harris Georgiades, stated that the country’s blockchain regulation would undoubtedly be ready this year. The Minister of Finance commented that blockchain technology is a “new technological revolution similar to that of the internet”. The president of the Cypriot Parliament, Demetris Syllouris added on the matter that the national strategy will promote Cyprus’ digital innovation, provide the required framework, and a roadmap exploring the application of distributed ledger technology (DLT) across many industries while also dealing with risks and threats.

The announcement is consistent with Cyprus’ friendly approach towards cryptocurrencies, blockchain technology and DLT. On the 19th of February 2019 Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission proposed that new measures must be enacted to bring Crypto Asset Activities into Cyprus Anti-Money Laundering Law following the 5th AML Directive. Additionally, Cyprus was one among the seven EU Member States participating in the declaration for the promotion of blockchain use.

For more information on STO legal services, please click on the link below:
https://www.advocatescyprus.com/areas-of-practice/sto-legal-services-security-token-offering-in-cyprus/

For more information on IEO legal services, please click on the link below:
https://www.advocatescyprus.com/areas-of-practice/ieo-international-legal-services/

For more information on ICO legal services, please click on the link below:
https://www.advocatescyprus.com/areas-of-practice/ico-legal-services/

For more information on Cyprus Company Incorporation or other Jurisdiction Company Incorporation, please click on the link below:
https://www.advocatescyprus.com/areas-of-practice/company-registration/

Sources:

  1. https://cointelegraph.com/news/cyprus-finance-minister-blockchain-draft-bill-to-be-ready-this-year
  2. http://www.financialmirror.com/news-details.php?nid=37215

New Partnership with Security Token Alliance

Our Law Firm just signed an MOU, partnership agreement with Security Token Alliance. Our mutual aim and goal are to support the future of the Digital Securities Industry within the Blockchain Industry.

STA aims to lead this legal-first movement in the digitized securities space and create a global voice that can affect security token legislation in the long-term.

More information can be found at:
https://medium.com/security-token-alliance/law-firm-simon-zenios-co-partners-with-security-token-alliance-f19c32474f10

Security Token Alliance

Our International Corporate Law Firm in Paris, France at Blockchain Summit 2019

Simon Zenios & Co LLC had the pleasure to be invited at the Paris Blockchain Conference 2019.

A conference placed in the heart of France, Paris, which was the first International event in France dedicated to cryptocurrencies and Blockchain technology.

The event hosted international key players of the Blockchain ecosystem including:

  • well-known influencers
  • investors
  • government representatives
  • blockchain developers
  • law firms and service providers among them Simon Zenios & Co LLC as one of the main sponsors of the event.

Paris Blockchain Summit was a unique opportunity for Simon Zenios & Co LLC to connect with international stakeholders who want to promote the industry, generate concrete leads, attend presentations with the actual application of the technology and experience hands-on learning from dedicated Workshops and Keynotes.

Many Blockchain experts had the opportunity to present a speech sharing their knowledge on the blockchain, among them Simon Zenios who had the opportunity to participate as a Keynote speaker with a 30-minute speech and afterwards opened a discussion with the participants and then answered all their questions.

It was an interesting interaction with the guests of the event, beginners and more professionals to discuss and share knowledge with each other.

As a conclusion, Paris Blockchain Summit 2019 was an educational event and Simon Zenios & Co LLC had the pleasure to meet new people and establish new relations and gain another amazing experience.

Email us now if you need any Legal & Corporate Services in relation to your ICO/STO and Blockchain Company.

Start a Company to Get Your Work Visa in Cyprus

When it comes to countries one might want to migrate to, Cyprus, tops all the lists. The small island country offers everything one can dream of, for a happy and safe life. The Cyprus taxes are low, business is promoted and the weather is amazing.

As with any successful country, the migration of foreigners into the territory of Cyprus is highly regulated. These regulations are meant to protect the rights and opportunities of the local population. However, there are enough routes available to live and work on the island for individuals with a significant potential to contribute to the Cypriot society or economy.

The Cyprus government even offers the citizenship by investment program following which after making an investment for a set minimum amount, a person is almost guaranteed to be granted the Cypriot citizenship, thereby becoming an EU citizen too. This requires a steep investment in the country’s economy through  2 Million EUR, and another 500,000 EUR for residential property. Thus, mostly inaccessible for small business owners or skilled employees.

This is by no means the end of the road as there are several other options for company owners and employees to get a work visa or residence permit in Cyprus.

Immigration Permit

The most common way to get a work visa for in Cyprus is to apply for an immigration certificate. Like all popular ways, this is a crowded option which makes getting a successful allocation harder. The main body responsible for overseeing the immigration and work regulations in Cyprus is the Civil Registry & Migration Department. Immigration permits are also only granted after the recommendation of the Minister of Interior who only acts after a similar recommendation from the Immigration Control Board. To get the Certificate one must fall under the categories provided under the Aliens and Immigration Regulations of 1972.

    • Category A – For individuals self-employed in agriculture and other such related activities. Individuals who have legally acquired the required land and have a minimum set amount of capital – 430,000 EUR and with no negative effect on the Cyprus economy.
    • Category B – For individuals self-employed in the mining industry with a permit for the same and disposable capital of 350,000 EUR and with no negative effect on the economy.
    • Category C – for individuals interested in being self-employed through trade or business in Cyprus having a permit for the same and a minimum capital of 260,000 EUR with no negative effect on the economy.
    • Category D – For individuals who wish to be self-employed in a profession or science with provable academic qualifications for the same. There needs to be demand for the same in Cyprus and they also need to show proof of necessary capital.
    • Category E – For individuals who have been offered permanent employment in Cyprus at the condition that such employment would not create an undesirable competition locally.
    • Category F – For retired individuals with enough resources, who aren’t allowed to work in Cyprus.

Utilize the company to get a work visa in Cyprus

A person aspiring to open a mining or agricultural company; or having been taken a permanent position in a Cyprus company, can apply for a work permit under the aforementioned categories. There are also available, much faster options for entrepreneurs who have foreign companies in Cyprus.

Setting up your own company in Cyprus paves a seamless way of acquiring work permits in Cyprus. This option is accessible for Executive officers like directors, middle management positions in the company, and other key personnel which wouldn’t be readily available in Cyprus.

  • To be able to access this option a company’s majority shareholding should lie with a person or other company located outside Cyprus, i.e., a foreign national. In case the shareholding lies with a company this is to be declared so that fulfillment of conditions can be verified by the responsible authority.

The option is still available to companies where the share of foreign entities is less than 50% if the foreign share capital in the company is valued at 171,000 EUR or more. It is also mandatory to have a proper physical presence for the company in Cyprus in the form of independent offices in relevant districts.

Classification and limitations of employees which can be brought via the work visa

Executive Directors

  • Includes Consulting Directors, Partners, General Managers etc
  • An employee with a salary of 41,000 EUR or more.
  • Only 5 visas are allowed under the provision for Directors.
  • They are exempt from restrictions on the period of stay in the country.

Middle Management

  • This includes any Directors who do not qualify as Executive Directors.
  • Also included are other managerial, clerical and staff positions.
  • The eligible salaries are between roughly 20,500 EUR – 41,000 EUR.
  • 10 visas are allowed under this category.
  • The Civil Registry & Migration Dept. may decide to increase this after considering the nature of the company’s operations and its needs.

Staff Positions

  • This category covers any technical, clerical or supervisory positions not covered in the first two categories.
  • It is expected of companies to hire under this category only when there are no good options available to hire personnel from within Cyprus.
  • The applications are only allowed when it is clear that no personnel were available in Cyprus meeting the technical, or skill demands of the company.

Visa by Start-up in Cyprus

The latest scheme favoring entrepreneurs in Cyprus has been the Start-up Visa program. Under this program, a founder or team working on a start-up are eligible to get a work visa in Cyprus if they meet all the conditions and bring their start-up, which must have high growth potential, to Cyprus.

In case of a founder –

  • They must have access to at least 50,000 EUR in funds from any legal means of their choice.
  • They must also have required educational qualification and functional knowledge of English or Greek language.

In case of a team –

  • There must not be more than 5 members applying for the visa.
  • There must be at least one founder and they should have access to a minimum of 25,000 EUR in funds. In the case of two or more founders, the minimum funds would be 50,000 EUR.
  • At least one member of the team must hold the required educational qualification and all members must be fluent in English or Greek.

Documents Required

  • Passport
  • Application Form
  • Certificate of Incorporation of Company
  • An explanation as to the role of the employee
  • Residence Proof
  • Proof of Investment (where applicable)
  • Proof of the sale of property
  • Cyprus Bank Account
  • Proof of Financial Status like Tax Returns
  • Confirmation Letter from Bank proving deposits (where applicable)
  • Clean Criminal Record
  • Relevant Fee

We Help with All Aspects of Immigration to Cyprus

It can often be confusing to find out which option is the best guarantee of getting you the work permit or visa that you have been waiting for. Everyday innumerable applications are rejected in the emigration offices in Cyprus, many because of lack of technical knowledge and technical errors. This is where the professional services of an expert can make all the difference.

Our law firm in Cyprus has the necessary experience and knowledge to see your application through, from the first step of acquiring the forms to the last one of collecting your visa. Right after you give us green light to work on your case, you can kick back and relax. We will take care of the rest.

After years of experience in dealing with the immigration applications, we know exactly what the best category for your application would be. We boast an approval rating of 95% for the clients we choose to represent.

Areas of Specialised Assistance

    • Assistance deciding the best category to apply under.
    • Acquiring and filling forms.
    • Advise on financial information to be provided.
    • Guidance on the most beneficial investment options as per the need of the client.
    • Sort documentation and ensure meeting of all criteria according to the regulations.
    • Assistance with acquiring the right kind of property, where needed.
    • Fill forms and manage applications for all members of the family.
    • Assistance with submitting documents and drafting applications.
    • Regular follow-up on the status of the application.

For any other queries relating to work visas, immigration or any other legal matter under the sun – we are always available to help. Contact Us Here.