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Latest Report Shows US at Top of Most Favorable Countries for ICOs

The US has been ranked as the “most favorable” country for Initial Coin offerings (ICOs) according to a recent report linked to the Crypto Finance Conference, writes Cointelegraph.

According to the report, figures show that the US has seen 30 crypto start-ups launched, along with Switzerland and Singapore in the top three with 15 and 11 project launches respectively. The data was compiled by examining 100 ICO’s worldwide in terms of fundraising and designating their countries of origin.

The report also identified Russia, the UK, and Estonia as good locations for startup fundraising industry. Many crypto companies are now doing business in Estonia with Lithuania and Latvia, also experiencing an economic boom recently. Estonia’s widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies and fintech has become a breeding ground for new startups.

The start-up frenzy reached it hiatus in March of this year with $2.94 being raised in one month, although as many as 1000 cryptocurrencies have gone to the wall on the back of Bitcoin’s recent declining fortunes this year. The good news for the industry is the doubling of 2017’s start-ups in just the first half of 2018.

Second place Switzerland on the ICO report seems to be going from strength to strength with regulators attempts to support mainstream use, and startups in Crypto Valley are thriving as a result. Another step along that road has been the recent announcement that the country’s stock exchange, SIX, will open its doors to digital currencies.

Third place Singapore continues to deal with regulatory issues as it grows as an Asian start-up hub. Singapore, always at the forefront of technological advancement saw startup Tangem release its own version of a physical bitcoin banknote recently.

The US, in top place in the recent report in the ICO popularity stakes, continues to focus its attention on regulating the industry, particularly at State level. New major mining projects are making use of past defunct industry locations and making new homes in such installations, replacing steel for the cryptocurrency as the states attempt to integrate crypto into existing tax legislation.

Arizona is one of many states regulating ICO’s with a view to paving the way for regulatory framework for initial coin offerings (ICOs) in the state, although earlier this year both New Hampshire and the state of Georgia failed to pass a bill that was to require the state to accept cryptocurrencies for payment of taxes and license fees.

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Connecticut Joins Growing Number of US Blockchain States as Interest Spreads

Governor Dannel Malloy of Connecticut has signed off on a law that will employ a blockchain working group, in order to further study the technology and how it can be utilized in state legislation.

The new law, SB 443 is a result of a bill which passed through both legislative houses last week tasked with overseeing the expansion of the blockchain industry in the state, according to Cointelegraph.

It’s reported that the governor’s intentions are to make Connecticut  “a leader in blockchain technology.”  The new group’s remit will be to:

“(1) Identify the economic growth and development opportunities presented by blockchain technology; (2) assess the existing blockchain industry in the state; (3) review workforce needs and academic programs required to build blockchain expertise across all relevant industries; and (4) make legislative recommendations that will help promote innovation and economic growth by reducing barriers to and expediting the expansion of the state’s blockchain industry.”

The group must submit its final recommendations to the standing committees of the General Assembly by January 1, 2019, taking into consideration matters relating to commerce, banking, and finance, as well as revenue and bonding.

US states are increasingly beginning to come on board in order to utilize blockchain tech. The state of Arizona has officially signed into law a bill that allows for corporations to hold and share data on a blockchain. First introduced in February by state representative Jeff Weninger, the bill is intended “to open the door for emerging technologies in Arizona”.

In May, the New York state legislature also presented a bill to create a blockchain task force. If created, the New York task force would prepare a report for the governor, the temporary president of the state senate, and the speaker of the assembly by December 2019. Also, Colorado has passed its own bill which will use blockchain for government record keeping and cybersecurity.

As states line up the new technology, Tennessee signed a bill recently that legally recognizes blockchain technology and smart contracts for electronic transactions. The bill also makes a provision that, “protects ownership rights of certain information secured by blockchain technology.”

Nebraska, Florida, Arizona, Nevada, and Vermont, along with Maine, Hawaii, Illinois, and North Dakota are some of the many US states notably either in the process of presenting bills, enacting legislation or actively utilizing blockchain in state legislation.

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Blockchain Gains US Momentum as Ohio Examines New Bill

The US state of Ohio is currently proposing a change to state law through a bill which will legally recognize smart contracts and storage of records on a blockchain, according to Coindesk.

There are several states in the US that have adopted blockchain-associated laws. Vermont, Arizona, Delaware, Illinois, Nevada, and Tennessee are among these states. Indiana, Iowa, and Texas have taken a somewhat negative approach against cryptocurrencies or flagged them as potentially risky.

Some states have examined the governmental use of blockchain, either as isolated applications in specific or integrated government functions. Vermont, for example, recognizes data stored on a blockchain as admissible in the court system, according to Brookings.

Washington and New Hampshire have succeeded in passing some legislation and Arizona has introduced or passed regulations ranging from making signatures, transactions, and contracts on a blockchain legally valid, to allowing residents to pay their income tax in cryptocurrencies.

If Ohio becomes another blockchain state and the ‘Revise Electronic Transactions Act/blockchain/smart contracts’ bill signs into law, it will significantly pass ownership rights to those needing to store electronic information on the blockchain. Bill 300 states:

“Notwithstanding any other law, a person that, in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, uses blockchain technology to secure information that the person owns or has the right to use retains the same rights of ownership or use with respect to that information as before the person secured the information using blockchain technology.”

Changes to the existing bill have notable inclusions in the amendment relating specifically to blockchain, making it clear that smart contracts will legally usable for legal documents.

Brookings research shows that in the past two years, a wave of states has started to shift attention to blockchain technology and explore the potential roles of the technology in public and private services.

Recently, Arizona passed a bill that allows residents of the state to use cryptocurrencies in making tax payments. Also, Wyoming passed its own bill through both legislatures early this year which exempts cryptocurrency from state property tax, potentially making it the friendliest state in the US to investors of crypto assets.

 

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