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North America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 15th to 21st April, 2019

North America

North America

Welcome to another weekly blockchain news roundup from around the world. Here we present to you all the latest Bitcoin news continent by continent and country by country.

USA

CFTC Commissioner says rapid pace of innovation presents difficulty in approving proposal like Bakkt: In the current period of innovation, it will be harder to approve proposals like Bakkt, according to Christopher Giancarlo, US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Commissioner. CFTC is responsible for regulating options and futures markets.

Recently, prospective clients were promised by Bakkt that CFTC will be requested to permit the issuance of the first physically deliverable Bitcoin futures. Moreover, Bakkt will be looking to store Bitcoin in a physical warehouse on their client’s behalf. Industry is changing at a rapid rate, hence it is difficult for regulators to catch up with upcoming technological innovations, believed Giancarlo.

John McAfee relied on mathematics to predict BTC price: By the end of 2020, Bitcoin (BTC) price will be no less than USD 1 million, claimed John McAfee in a recent tweet. He stated that his prediction is based on mathematics and it will be “mathematically impossible” to experience a lower price. In 2018, BTC price experienced a 20 times increase which, according to many experts, was extremely unexpected and will not likely happen again.

Nevertheless, BTC currently sits at USD 5,277, meaning that it will have to increase by 20,000% to achieve USD 1 million target. It is important to note that previously, in 2017, McAfee predicted that BTC price will touch USD 500,000 mark by the end of 2020.

2020 presidential candidate Andrew Yang criticizes BitLicence, demands clarity on crypto regulations: More lucidity is demanded by Andrew Yang (democratic presidential candidate) on crypto regulations. Yang, who is known as a supporter of Bitcoin, stated that BitLicence is “onerous”.  According to the reports, the New York State Department of Financial Services will issue BitLicence, which will serve as the business license for cryptocurrency activities.

Yang said that federal government must bring clarity in regulations so that investors can proceed with relevant information. It is worth noting that Yang announced to accept crypto donations. He is among a few presidential candidates to do so. Moreover, he himself is an entrepreneur and has worked in multiple startups during the span of 2000-2009.

Russia allegedly used BTC to purchase computer hardware for hacking into Clinton’s emails: Bitcoin (BTC) was used by Russian intelligence to secure computer infrastructure required for hacking purposes, which aided in interfering in the 2016 US Presidential Election, stated the Mueller Report. As per the report, Russia damaged Hilary Clinton’s presidential campaign by using hacking, which in turn helped Donald Trump and “smoothed his path”.

However, Donald Trump was not found guilty of collusion.  The operation was carried out by the main intelligence directorate of the general staff of the Russian army (GRU). GRU was responsible for hacking into computers of Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and leaking the hacked material, states the report.

IBM and University of Louisville will join hands to open blockchain academy: A blockchain skills academy will be setup by IBM in collaboration with the University of Louisville, reports the media. The academy will aim at reducing the gap between existing supply and demand for blockchain expertise.

The curriculum of the said academy will be comprised of eight developing and emerging technologies like blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), cybersecurity and Internet-of-Things (IoT). The academy will be established in Kentucky state (USA). IBM is expected to extend this program to other universities as well.

ETFs should drop “blockchain” tags in their names, warns SEC: Fund providers looking to offer blockchain exchange-traded funds (ETFs) have been warned by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to lose “blockchain” tags in their names.

The said step is taken to avoid “misleading investors”. During 2018, one out of every three companies changed their names during the SEC approval process, owing to the increased scrutiny. As per the reports, one of those companies replaced the word “blockchain” with “transformational data sharing”. Many ETFs changed their names even before their funds started trading.

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Coinbase Adds Latin America and Southeast Asia to Its Expanding Client Base

Coinbase Adds Latin America and Southeast Asia to Its Expanding Client Base

US cryptocurrency exchange giant Coinbase is to add 11 new markets in Latin America and Southeast Asia as part of its current global expansion programme.

This is hot on the trail of its expansion in the UK market seeing revenue growth of 20% to USD 173 million, and the recent announcement of its new Coinbase card. In 2018, the exchange recorded USD 520 million in revenue according to Reuter’s latest figures.

The Visa card, linked with the Coinbase Card app for iOS and Android, is only available to UK account holders, although there are plans to add support for other European countries in the future. The card will allow worldwide purchases where crypto payments are available online or in store.

Latin America has been in Coinbase’s sights for some time, so the access to trading services in Argentina, Mexico, Peru, Colombia, and Chile won’t come as a huge surprise to those in the region, given the company’s desire to spread its services to all corners of the globe.

Southeast Asia has a booming cryptocurrency market with Japan and South Korea leading the way, so a move towards capturing a piece of the market in the region is a sound move with India, Hong Kong, South Korea, Indonesia, the Philippines, and New Zealand customers now having access to Coinbase services.

With 53 countries now using Coinbase services including the recently added Andorra, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Lithuania, and Iceland, the San Francisco-based company has thrown down the gauntlet to other major exchanges in its bid to become the globally dominant cryptocurrency exchange.

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Blockchain-Based InsurTech Gains Traction

Blockchain-Based InsurTech Gains Traction

More insurers are joining the cryptocurrency industry through blockchain-based insurtech startup B3i in an ongoing funding round, according to news outlet Tokenpost.

B3i started out as a consortium of five insurers and reinsurers to include Aegon, Allianz, Munich Re, Swiss Re, and Zurich, established to create value for the re/insurance industry through distributed ledger technology. In its latest funding round, it added three new insurers and reinsurers, thereby expanding its shareholders to 16, which includes some of the top insurance companies from across Europe, the Americas, and Asia.

Chairman of B3i and Group head of business transformation at Zurich Insurance Company Ltd, Antony Elliot said B3i community and network spans over 40 companies who represent “over half of the world’s reinsurance premium and major primary insurers”, thereby showing a significant interest from the insurance world.

The company seems to be living up to its expectation of building a community of shareholders who will drive value in the blockchain-insurance niche. “Following incorporation, B3i will grow its community of shareholders, partners, and customers and create an ecosystem of products and services developed by the market, for the market”, according to its website.

The company continues to experience funding success following its USD 6.35 million raise in March 2018 after its incorporation. As the consortium targets Q4 for the release of their product, it plans to grow the community even further. Overall, the company seemed pleased with the achievements so far, as Antony expressed:

“We are pleased to have strong ongoing financial and strategic support from the insurance industry. the company looks forward to addressing critical industry needs.”

Blockchain-based insurance has been identified as one of the five major tech trends that will reshape the insurance industry, as an EY report finds that:

“FinTech and InsurTechs have made significant inroads by designing powerful but focused applications that solve specific problems and deliver high-quality and intuitive digital experiences.”

As insurtech and blockchain threaten legacy insurance systems, “tomorrow’s insurance leaders must prepare for the adoption of blockchain and big data…”, the report suggested.

In December last year, US-based insurance company State Farm began a blockchain trial to settle insurance related cases aimed at streamlining the manual process of subrogation. Also, in Zimbabwe, an official of the Insurance and Pensions Commission (IPEC) recommended blockchain technology as an industry solution to failing insurance companies.

Bitcoin News recently reported how ignorance is one of the major hindrances to blockchain and cryptocurrency-related insurance adoption, and further heightened by the level of risk exposure in the industry, only a few insurers are willing to provide their services to crypto-related businesses. Further, a value in flight is expected to be a focal point for companies willing to adopt insurance, as other aspects may prove useful in the long run.

However, the increasing involvement from insurance companies seems to be encouraging. Perhaps this alongside other blockchain driven insurance startups may change the scape of insurance in the emerging digital asset class and its underpinning technology.

 

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North America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 31st March to 6th April, 2019

North America

North America

Welcome to another weekly blockchain news roundup from around the world. Here we present to you all the latest Bitcoin news continent by continent and country by country.

Canada

Two Canadian Crypto Firm Owners Fight USD 30 Million Fraud Accusation: Two Vancouver cryptocurrency firm owners, Lisa Angela Cheng of Anbex Group Inc. and Kevin Patrick Hobbs of Etherparty Smart Contracts Inc have been accused of fraudulent activity and swindling USD 30 million in initial coin offering. The British Columbian (BC)’s Civil Forfeiture Office claims that the couple raised money fraudulently by launching FUEL token as part of their businesses. The companies are undergoing RMCP investigation which revealed purchases of a three-bedroom townhouse, two Range Rovers, an apartment in Toronto, and a leased Lamborghini with the allegedly swindled money. Both owners deny all charges and vow to fight the allegations.

Canadian Town Approves Bitcoin Payment for Property Taxes: The Canadian town of Innisfil will now also accept Bitcoin as a payment option for property taxes. The technology shift will be implemented in collaboration with Coinberry Limited, and will make Innisfil the first Canadian town to adopt such a project. The option will make tax paying far more convenient for the locals, and is seen as a milestone step towards the country’s adoption of blockchain technologies. Currently, only Bitcoin will be accepted, but the authorities are also planning on integrating other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ripple.

USA

Ripple Founder Donates USD 25 Million Dollars to San Francisco State University: Founder of cryptocurrency company Ripple, Chris Larsen has donated USD 25M to his alma mater San Francisco State University (SFSU). The donation was delivered in XRP tokens to SFSU’s College of Business through RippleWorks, which is a private foundation offering support and advice to social entrepreneurs. Interim vice president for university advancement,  Venesia Thompson-Ramsay, thanked the tech entrepreneur, and termed the donation being made in crypto as a “ learning curve for everyone in dealing with cryptocurrency”. The donation will be used to finance an endowed chair in fintech and the Lam-Larsen Fund for Global Innovation.

SEC Publishes Framework for Digital Assets Investment Contracts: Deciding on the status of digital asset as an investment contract and security is now easier courtesy the framework published by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Development of the document titled ‘Framework for “Investment Contract” Analysis of Digital Assets’ was led by Valerie Szczepanik, senior advisor for Digital Assets and Innovation and Bill Hinman, director of the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance. It is to be noted that the framework is neither legally binding nor a regulation, but a mere guideline for token issuers and initial coin offerings (ICO) operators since the US Commission hasn’t officially approved it.

Bitcoin Spike Down to Public Distrust of “Irresponsible” Federal Reserve: Ikigai Asset Management founder and chief investment officer, Travis Kling, has criticised US Federal Reserve Bank’s constant changing of the interest rate and has pinned the sudden spike in Bitcoin’s value earlier this week on the growing public mistrust of the Federal Reserve. He termed Bitcoin as a hedge against the “irresponsible monetary and fiscal policy” of the US central bank and blamed the highly fickle interest rates policy for the loss of the public’s faith. Kling added that this mistrust would only increase, consequently benefiting Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, if the Central Bank doesn’t bring stability in their decision making.

Crypto Considered to Plug Legalized Cannabis Payments Hole in California: Two members of the state assembly in California from the Democratic party have filed a bill to allow buying of legal cannabis using Stablecoin rather than just fiat. Kevin McCarty and Phil Ting have furthered the bill and protested against US federal restrictions stating that they are out of tune with the legalised cannabis industry, making the use of digital methods of payments like cards or crypto next to impossible. In case the bill is passed, it would require a change in the state law to allow operators and customers to conduct transactions in stable coin.

Mexico

Santander to Study Fintech Firms in Mexico: Banco Santander has announced the launch of a new study on the financial tech companies in Mexico in collaboration with the Embassy of the United Kingdom in Mexico. The study, undertaken by research firm Endeavor, would examine “the challenges, prospects and opportunities for the development of the companies”. The study would offer recommendations to ensure the development of competition on a level playing field. The study also aims to reveal new opportunities for public policy development and the possible role of fintech innovations benefiting society in financial matters.

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South America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 31st March to 6th April, 2019

South America

South America

Welcome to another weekly blockchain news roundup from around the world. Here we present to you all the latest Bitcoin news continent by continent and country by country.

Brazil

Trading Volume on Brazilian Exchanges Increases 500% After Recent Appreciation of Bitcoin: Bitcoin’s sudden rise above USD 5000 has seen an unprecedented level of appreciation in cryptocurrency’s trade volume and investors’ interest in Brazil. On the three Brazilian exchanges, transaction volume increased by a whopping 500%, rising from 200 BTC to over 1700 BTC.

On BitcoinTrade, the valuation of trading went from BRL 3 million to BRL 17 million within the first two days of April. Similarly, for Bitcoin Banco group, the start of April saw record-breaking transactions, BRL 33.5 million in just 24 hours, making the company maintain a 24-hour SAC.

ABCripto and ABCB Join Forces to Carry out Mapping of the Bitcoin Industry in Brazil: The Brazilian Association of Cryptoeconomics (ABCripto) and the Brazilian Association of Crypto and Blockchain (ABCB) have joined hands, in collaboration with Grant Thornton Brasil, to map the entire Bitcoin and cryptocurrency industry in Brazil. The launch event for the research will officially be held on 10 April, at the Developer & E-Commerce Hub, São Paulo.

Fernando Furlan, president of ABCB, explained that they aim to create an X-ray of the market to reduce the regulatory problems in the sector since crypto activities currently do not have any specific regulations in Brazil.

Federal Revenue to Publish Strict Rules for Bitcoin in Brazil: The Federal Revenue of Brazil (RFB) will implement normative instructions until 15 April, which will introduce strict rules for Bitcoin and cryptocurrency trading platforms in the country. The document was first presented at the end of 2018 and afterwards went through a period of public consultation in compliance with Brazilian legislation.

This is not good news for the market since the rules will add complexities for the users and exchanges in the market. After the implementation, there will be a deadline for the adoption of new regulations for the market entities, and non-compliance will lead to possible penalties by the Federal Revenue.

Pakistan Piles on Pressure for Bitcoin Regulation Implementation in Brazil: Brazil has been struggling with the Financial Action Task Force (GAFIT / FAFT) regulations, and a recent move by Pakistan can exert even more pressure on the Brazilian financial institutions. FAFT has greylisted Pakistan, and in a bid to undo that and reduce the cases of money laundering and terrorist funding, it has recently announced a series of rules that will regulate crypto operations in the country. Now a similar response will be expected from Brazil, which was even expelled from the group due to the inconsistencies with the FAFT rules.

Among them is the requirement of “detailed implementation for effective regulation and supervision of virtual asset of service providers”, which needs to be adopted not only by Brazil but by all members of the G20.

Venezuela

Broke Venezuelans Turn to Crypto Bartering: In the wake of hyperinflation and nose-diving Venezuelan economy, many inhabitants are now turning towards crypto bartering to ease their woes. Bizarrely, Venezuelans are using crypto tokens as food bartering tools called the nano or the rail block. It is a zero-fee method of transferring value almost instantly, which was distributed among the people for free.

They only need to resolve the “captchas”, which are similar to the tests consisting of images or letters on the internet, to claim free tokens hosted on so-called “faucets”. An increasing number of people are now chasing these captchas, which is seen as a way to store value and protection from hyperinflation.

Argentina

Tim Draper Urges Argentina’s President to Legalize Bitcoin to Improve Economy: Crypto bull Tim Draper has advised the President of Argentina to legalise Bitcoin in the country to improve the struggling economy. The American venture capitalist met with the Argentine president Mauricio Macri on 20 March and urged him to consider the prospects of legalising the currency and the blockchain technology while iterating its benefits for their economy given the devaluing Argentine peso (ARS).

He went as far as proposing a bet, challenging the President that if Peso is valued more than Bitcoin, he will double his investment in the country. But if Bitcoin goes higher than peso, they would have to declare it as a national currency.

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South America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 24th to 30th March, 2019

South America

South America

Welcome to another weekly blockchain news roundup from around the world. Here we present to you all the latest Bitcoin news continent by continent and country by country.

Brazil

Central Bank of Brazil Looks for Blockchain System Upgrades With an Innovation Program: The Central Bank of Brazil (BCB) has announced the launch of the second edition of the Laboratory of Financial and Technological Innovations (LIFT). The project looks to accelerate the development of technological innovation in the country’s financial system. Local authorities will select proposals for the innovations with the help of BCB and will collaborate with technology partner companies to create prototypes and solutions for the financial industry. The projects will also address some priority actions for the “BC+” Agenda, which aims at increasing banking efficiency, lowering credit, modernizing the financial system, and enhancing financial inclusion.

CoinBene Brasil Clarifies That It Was Not Hacked: Amidst the circulating rumours, CoinBene unit in Brazil clarified that there was no hacker attack on the platform on 26 March. The suspicions arose after the exchange suspended their operations without any prior notice. However, the company clarified that it was nothing more than a failure of communication with the users. Initially, the company’s Twitter handle announced that it was going through a maintenance period and said,

“In order to improve our users’ experience, CoinBene is updating its wallet platform on the 26th of March. During maintenance, portfolio-related operations will be affected, as will deposits and withdrawals. Trading will not be affected.”

But some members of the exchange claim that the ‘maintenance’ was initiated as a preemptive precaution to avoid any potential threats considering the recent attacks on three exchanges in Singapore.

Banco do Brasil Is Required to Keep Foxbit Accounts: Foxbit has finally won a milestone decision against Bradesco, Banco Inter, and Banco do Brasil, which are now required by law to keep Foxbit’s bank accounts open. It was reported that CAIXA closed the Foxbit account without following all steps recommended by the Central Bank, and the Brazilian court found this enough reason to rule in favour of Foxbit. Previously, Banco do Brasil closed Foxbit’s account citing unlawful company activities as the reason, and the lawsuit has been running since 2017. But this watershed moment will encourage more activity in the Brazilian financial markets, as it marks the first favourable decision for any Brazilian crypto company.

Educational Entities Launch the First Blockchain Course for Business in Brazil: The leading blockchain education institutions in Brazil, Mosaic University and Blockchain Academy, have announced their own one of a kind Blockchain Business course. The course will explain the blockchain landscape in Brazil and will go into in-depth concepts like smart contracts, self-executing computer protocols, and tradeoffs for blockchain infrastructures. It also touches concepts like the nature of tokens, crowdfunding models via blockchain, decentralised applications, and Web 3.0. The course is 100% online with a workload of 42 hours and requires no prior blockchain knowledge.

Argentina

Argentina Wants to Surpass Brazil and Take the Lead in Latin America Blockchain: The government of Argentina has made its intentions clear as it tries to take over Brazil and become a leader in technological innovation in Latin America. For instance, the government held a meeting of Secretariat of Science and Technology with the representatives of the private sector, scientific, and academic community to draw up the policy guidelines for the National Artificial Intelligence Plan 2020-2030. The goal of the meeting was “to define a plan throughout 2019 and insert it into the government’s Digital Agenda to develop a digital intelligence lab.” The government has also enacted several other groundbreaking initiatives such as the development of Artificial Intelligence and blockchain applications, and the Ministry of Production and Labor announced a partnership in Latin America with Binance Labs to financially support the development of blockchain-based projects.

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Vitalik Buterin Concedes Ethereum’s Price Does Matter

Vitalik Buterin Concedes Ethereum's Price Does Matter

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has conceded that the price of Ether (ETH) is important for the future of the ecosystem, despite past comments contradictory to this.

Speaking at the Columbia Journalism School earlier this week, Buterin admitted that in the early days of Ethereum the developers were not focused on the price of ETH. Instead, the efforts were focused on pushing forward the development of smart contracts. They even felt it gave them an edge over other cryptocurrency projects that were promoting ”lambo-ing”, as Buterin put it.

First @laurashin asks @VitalikButerin if he thinks the price of #ETH is important, and then she polls the audience. #unchained pic.twitter.com/8xNIQ0XzJc

— Columbia Blockchain (@ColumbiaCBA) March 20, 2019

Now, however, his outlook has changed. “I’m going to be really candid,” he told the full-house audience, acknowledging that the developers now see that “projects will be better if prices go up”.

ETH currently stands at around USD 135 — a 90% loss from its December 2017 peak, so it is perhaps not surprising that Buterin is concerned over funding for future Ethereum protocol development.

When the Columbia Journalism School audience was polled over whether they believed Ethereum developers were focused enough on the price of ETH, only 13% said yes. About 28% said they believed they should focus more on ETH price, while 39% said they did not care.

 

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Bank Of Mexico Further Complicates Its Crypto Rules

Mexico’s Central Bank has published new crypto related rules which has left many industry players confused as to the ramifications of the new provisions.

The new rules which were published by the central bank in the federations official gazette before the weekend stated that the Bank of Mexico (Banxico) “stipulated that they wouldn’t authorize any cryptocurrency to be offered by regulated financial companies.”

The confusion lies in the fact that fintech law brought in 12 months ago simply requires exchanges to put in an application for an operating license. Toma Alvarez, CEO of Mexican exchange Volabit explains how that law operates:

“This law stipulates that services that hold custody of users’ fiat money or cryptocurrencies (most brokers and exchange business models require this) have to apply for a license issued by the Mexican equivalent of the SEC (CNBV).”

Alverez adds that the idea at the time was that the responsibility would be with the central bank to determine which cryptocurrencies were to be offered by the regulated companies and come up with a workable framework to facilitate this. The new ruling is in complete contradiction to this.

A catch-22 scenario now exists as a result because the law requires you to become a regulated financial institution (otherwise you would be operating illegally). However, once you obtain this license, you would not have the authorization to list cryptocurrencies, thereby making it legally impossible to operate an exchange in Mexico under the new law. The Central Bank explains:

“Institutions may only enter into transactions with virtual assets that correspond to internal transactions, subject to the prior authorization granted by the Bank of Mexico.” and adds, “They will not be eligible for obtaining the authorization” to directly provide their clients with cryptocurrency exchange, transmission or custody services.

Alvarez explained that exchanges are awaiting further clarification as to how this impasse might be overcome for current exchanges and comments:

“Fintech companies in Mexico are operating with a special waiver until the process for registration is ready thus allowing companies to register for the license. This will happen in around 6 months.”

However how useful this license will be when issued remains to be clarified. This is not the first punitive ruling affecting the industry after financial entities were required to identify customers involved in cryptocurrency trading late last year.

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North America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 3rd to 9th March, 2019

North America

North America

Welcome to another weekly blockchain news roundup from around the world. Here we present to you all the latest Bitcoin news continent by continent and country by country.

The United States

Utah’s Lawmakers Make Efforts to Encourage Blockchain Growth: In order to exempt blockchain firms from the application of Money Transmitters Act, a bill has been pushed by Utah’s lawmakers. The bill is presented to encourage the growth of crypto sector in Utah.

As per the act, a money transmitter license has to be obtained by any firm issuing payment instruments to be put up for sale. Bill no. 213 was filed in the Senate by Daniel Hemmert (Republican senator) to exempt digital currencies from obtaining the said license. It is yet unclear what kind of backing this latest pro-crypto bill will have in the state’s legislature and things will become clearer once the debate starts on the floor.

Kroger to Drop Visa Credit Card Payment Option: Kroger will stop accepting Visa credit card payments from next month, reports the media. The largest supermarket chain in the US, with 108 fuel center locations and 142 supermarkets, cited “excessive transition fees” as the reason to drop credit card payments. However, Kroger has not announced any alternative payment method. According to rumors, the company is considering Bitcoin (BTC) as a replacement due to the cryptocurrency’s universal appeal.

Anthony Pompliano, Morgan Creek Digital partner, has purportedly suggested Kroger Digital representatives use BTC as an alternative option. However, the company itself has not spoken on the matter and we await further details on it.

Philadelphia to Facilitate Cash Payments Along With New Jersey and Massachusetts: After the states of New Jersey and Massachusetts, Philadelphia has now announced the introduction of new laws for the utilization of cash in retail stores. The move is expected to affect the adoption of a cashless future in the state as it may slow down its pace.

From July 2019 onwards, Philly retailers will be required to accept cash as payment. The city has decided to facilitate residents who do not own a debit or credit card. Previously, New Jersey announced a ban on all cashless stores in order to keep cash in circulation.

However, the decision has raised considerable questions regarding digital currency adoption in the state. In case cash payments become a widespread phenomenon, it may negatively affect the appeal of cryptocurrencies but the state may change its stance because of the pressure from companies for a more cashless future.

Bahamas

Bahamas Central Bank Announces Collaborators for Its Digital Currency Project: With the aim of developing a virtual fiat currency system for the Bahamas, the country’s Central Bank has announced its collaborating members, noted an official document.

As per the document, NZIA.io (transaction provider) and Zynesis (software development firm offering blockchain solutions) will join the project, which is named as “Project Sand Dollar”.

The project will deal with reducing service delivery and cash transaction costs. Moreover, the overall operational efficiency of the financial system will be enhanced. Digital currency will integrate communities across the Bahamas (currently lacking a proper banking system) into the financial system.

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South America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 3rd to 9th March, 2019

South America

South America

Welcome to another weekly blockchain news roundup from around the world. Here we present to you all the latest Bitcoin news continent by continent and country by country.

Argentina

Binance to Collaborate With Argentina’s Government on Blockchain Projects: In order to co-invest in a series of blockchain related projects, Binance is planning to join hands with Argentina’s government, notes a report.

The government will collaborate with LatamEx (regional exchange) and Binance Labs (Binance’s innovation arm).

Previously, Binance announced that Buenos Aires will be chosen as its Latin American hub before the upcoming round of development. According to the report, USD 50000 will be funded by the government for around 40 blockchain projects over a span of four years.

Brazil

Brazil May Regulate Crypto Sector Again Following GAFIT Request: Financial Action Task Force (GAFIT / FAFT) requests Brazil to adopt similar regulations for both crypto exchanges and banks. According to a media report, crypto sector may suffer a setback as Brazil may decide to respond to the said request. On 22 February, a meeting was held in France and it was decided to regulate crypto services providers. In the previous week, the G20 group (responsible for the regulations) requested the participating countries (35) to consider the crypto sector the same as the banking sector.

Brazil to Present Blockchain Related Articles in an International Conference on Accounting: During the 2nd International Conference on Accounting, Brazil will report the potential of digital assets in transforming processes in the public sector. The said congress will be held during the month of March in Portugal, states media outlets.

The article titled “Use of Blockchain Technology as an Instrument of Digital Governance in the Public Sector” will be presented by the vice-rector of the University of Brasília.

The theme of the conference is “Financial Management Reform – Challenges for Research and Practice”.

Brazil Ranked as the Fifth Largest Country to Own Cryptocurrency: Brazil has been ranked as the fifth largest country in the world with respect to the Bitcoin and digital currency owners. Global Digital Report issued the recent rankings, placing Brazil above China, Japan, and the USA. Around 8.1% Brazilians (aged between 16 and 64) own some kind of digital currency. On the other hand, the world average is around 5.5%, noted the report.

A new level of security can be achieved by using blockchain technology, maintained CargoSnap’s co-founder Daniel Lins: Lins recently highlighted the importance of investing in technologies that can ensure risk management. Risk management that can be done by using tamper-free certifications or that can identify the person who did the tampering are very crucial, he added. By using blockchain technology, a new level of security and protection can be achieved.

Brazil’s Legislative Chamber Refuse to Accept Blockchain Backed Digital Signatures: The Legislative Chamber of the Federal District has refused to accept blockchain backed digital signatures, according to a report. The chamber maintained that the digital method of obtaining the signatures is “invalid”.

The project, named as Cheapest Chamber, was initiated by Institute of Society and Technology of Rio (ITS-Rio). In order to present a bill to the legislature, ITS-Rio digitally collected the necessary signatures. However, the Legislative Chamber has refused to accept those signatures.

Director ITS-RIO, Rolando Lemos stated that it is unfortunate that less secure and much difficult to obtain physical signatures are preferred over digital signatures.

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