Category Archives: government

Auto Added by WPeMatico

Research Claims 1 out of 40 Bitcoins Seized by Government at Some Point

According to research by The Block Crypto, 453,000 Bitcoins have been seized by various governments at some point in the past. This is 2.6% of the 17.366 million Bitcoins in circulation, approximately 1 out of 40.

Some 85.6% of these seized coins came from the Silk Road shutdown and a crackdown on a crime group in Bulgaria. It is important to note that the amount of seized Bitcoins at any given time is much less than the total, as since governments usually auction off the seized funds for cash.

Theoretically, Bitcoin cannot be seized if used properly, since Bitcoins are cryptographically secured with a private key. However, if not stored properly or if forceful persuasion tactics are used, private keys can end up being revealed.

The Silk Road is probably the most well-documented seizure. A total of 174,000 Bitcoins were seized from the Silk Road when Ross Ulbricht was arrested in October 2013, worth nearly USD 54 million at the time. All of these have been auctioned off.

In May 2017, the Southeast European Law Enforcement Center (SELEC) announced that it had seized 213,519 Bitcoins worth USD 500 million, and these are believed to be in the coffers of the Bulgarian state. There is some controversy over whether this happened, due to conflicting official statements released by the Bulgarian government.

Other seizures include 24,518 Bitcoins by Australia in May 2016 from a Silk Road merchant, 11,000 Bitcoins by Europol in July 2015, 6,060 Bitcoins by the United States in April 2014, 4,000 Bitcoins by the United States in June 2018, another 3,813 Bitcoins by the United States in January 2018, with many smaller ones.

The United States and Europe are responsible for practically all of the seized Bitcoins in the world, besides the one incident in Australia. Bulgaria officially claims to not have the stash of 200,000 seized Bitcoins and the United States in one estimate has no more than 10,000 seized Bitcoins after auctions.

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post Research Claims 1 out of 40 Bitcoins Seized by Government at Some Point appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Chilean MPs Bring Blockchain Resolution to Parliament

Two members of the Chilean government put forth a blockchain adoption resolution Thursday. It is currently being reviewed by the lower house of the country’s parliament, Camara de Diputados.

The members of parliament (MPs) Miguel Angel Calisto and Giorgio Jackson presented the drafted resolution to the government with the hopes of implementing a ”blockchain ecosystem” for Chile in the near future.

Calisto made the argument that the technology could be used to add transparency and trust to the work carried out by different public agencies, also reducing the risk of private information that they have access to being used in a malicious way. He told parliament: “It is the moment that these new technologies that are at the forefront of innovation, are seen as a real option in a Chile that must look to the future and ensure the good of all its citizens.”

Jackson added that that aim of the blockchain resolution is to increase cybersecurity standards and reduce bureaucracy within public services but that blockchain should not be limited to this, pushing that it’s ”transformative” and ”revolutionary” potential of decentralizing information should be explored further.

He also made a point that instituting blockchain data sharing solutions could save costs, citing a recent report produced by the Chilean Economic Prosecution office which points to the increasingly challenging financial situation that maintenance of notaries has become for the government.

Calisto and Jackson first registered the resolution in August, backed by eight of their colleagues. In it, the resolution appeals to president Sebastian Pinera to take action in instituting blockchain solutions in the country, with an offer to conduct studies into the potential advantages of blockchain-based security and energy solutions.

The president of Chile’s Central Bank, Mario Marcel, said in May that he was considering the establishment of regulation around cryptocurrencies to prevent them being used in the country for any illicit activities. Pointing to terrorist financing and money laundering, in particular, Marcel said that formulating a legal structure around digital currencies could help ”monitor risks”.

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post Chilean MPs Bring Blockchain Resolution to Parliament appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Malaysia Pushes Top Industries to Blockchain

Malaysia’s top three industries are being propelled into blockchain adoption in an effort to promote economic growth alongside transparency, efficiency, and sustainability with the help of a government task force.

The sectors being targeted by the Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT) task force include renewable energy, palm oil, and Islamic finance.

In the energy sector, the government task force has held discussions with local companies to investigate how blockchain can assist in the growth of renewable energy users. Blockchain was decided to be of use in this area by providing transparency over how the energy was generated, be it from sustainable sources or not, meaning that customers can choose to purchase only green energy if they wish to do so.

Palm oil has become a contentious commodity due to a lack of ethical labor practices in its production, including reports of child labor coming from several countries. With blockchain, MIGHT wants to give buyers the ability to see that the palm oil they are purchasing from Malaysia comes from a government-approved ethical production line, while also setting up the government infrastructure necessary to monitor production in the country. Australia has also used a similar blockchain strategy to monitor the origin of sugarcane entering the country.

Islamic banking in 2016 accounted for 28% of Malaysia’s financial sector, with the government hoping they can increase this to 40% by 2020. MIGHT believes that blockchain can be used to offset the high costs of the strict ethical regulations that Sharia laws require from financial and banking services. Similar operations have already begun appearing in the Middle East where banks have started pegging debt to gold units, presenting this as a blockchain smart contract.

Bitcoin News has previously reported on the compatibilities of cryptocurrency and Sharia-compliant financial practices, with the first Islamic law abiding crypto exchange launched earlier this month opening the market up for Muslims.

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post Malaysia Pushes Top Industries to Blockchain appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

UK Government Questioned on Protection of Domestic Blockchain Industry in Bear Market

A question was posed to Lord Bates in parliament Monday regarding the UK’s ability to support the domestic blockchain industry in the current bear market that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are facing.

Lord Taylor of Warwick asked his colleague: “Her Majesty’s Government, what assessment have they made of reports that the value of crypto-currencies in the United States is falling, and of the potential effects that such a decline might have on the UK blockchain industry?”

Lord Bates, Minister of State at the Department for International Development responded, saying that as of yet the government has not made a formal assessment of the implication that the current market performance might bring. He added, ”However, the Government continues to monitor developments in the cryptocurrency market.”

The Cryptoassets Taskforce was pointed to by Lord Bates as evidence that the government is taking the potential risks of cryptocurrencies seriously. The taskforce comprises of members from HM Treasury, the Bank of England, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and members of parliament, and maintains responsibility for determining any issues that the blockchain industry might face.

A report from the Cryptoassests Taskforce is due this Autumn, and Lord Bates’s pressing question will hopefully be answered within the publishment.

A ‘balanced approach’

Last week, Bitcoin News reported that the UK’s FCA chief Andrew Bailey wants the nation to take a ”balanced approach” to the cryptocurrency industry. In a speech in London, Bailey said that the FCA is keen to explore the potentials of the underlying technology of cryptocurrency, blockchain. He told the crowd, “The FCA is firmly a supporter of innovation.”

With the UK’s largest financial regulator onside, this is promising that the UK’s growing blockchain industry will get official support, despite the poor performance of the market this year.

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post UK Government Questioned on Protection of Domestic Blockchain Industry in Bear Market appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Chinese Justice Department Uses Blockchain to Track Parolees

Officials in the southern Chinese city of Zhongshan have instituted a blockchain system to track the movements of those on parole in the district.

The new blockchain network is said to improve the quality of community correction that the justice department can serve, upgrading its ability to track parolees activities around the clock. Monitoring the community prisoners previously had restrictions imposed, including regional and time constraints. The blockchain system, however, lets officials view data at any time from any location.

Changes to the electronic bracelets mean that wearers are no longer required to regularly report their own activities or require officers to make visits to check up on them, meaning less friction is created between parolee and officer.

The new blockchain system also employs data analysis that can detect the possibility of criminals re-offending through sharing the action trajectory and situation of the community prisoners with the Department of Justice. An analysis is done through an accumulative data check of the behavioral tendencies of the parolees and their current situation. If there are any indications that re-offending may occur, staff are triggered to make an early intervention and prevent any criminal activities from occurring.

In this specific use case for blockchain, the Chinese government is able to reduce the manpower required to supervise the offenders, creating both financial savings and preventing potential situations of conflict. Whether it is able to actually reduce the number of re-offending parolees is still a question as the network was only rolled out this month, but the potential to do so is certainly there.

It is not just the government in China committed to developing fresh blockchain solutions; a recent study shows that last year China was responsible for 56% of the world’s blockchain patent applications, with Chinese multinational holding conglomerate Alibaba claiming 10% of the overall total. The study also indicates that the number of blockchain patent filings has increased from just 134 in 2016, to 406 in 2017.

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post Chinese Justice Department Uses Blockchain to Track Parolees appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Brazilian Government Inspects Activities of Local Crypto Exchanges

In an apparent government crackdown on corruption and money laundering, Brazilian cryptocurrency exchanges have been given a 14-point survey to fill out detailing a number of areas in their operations.

Local news outlet Portal do Bitcoin covered the incident in an exclusive piece after obtaining a copy of the document that was served to the exchanges, despite the message being signed by the prosecutor Ana Paula Bez Batti warning that the dissemination of the message is prohibited by law.

The questionnaire covers a number of topics that will supposedly contribute to the study of combating corruption and money laundering in Brazil, and covers topics including compliance issues, limits offered to customers in relation to declared income, control over the number of operations, control over the originator’s identification, hashes of the portfolios and data of the partners themselves.

Question 10, for example, reads: ”Does the Crypto-Exchange trade popular crypto-coins for their anonymity, such as Monero, Dash and Zcash?” most likely querying these coins in particular as they are notably more difficult to trace ownership of. Other questions were more direct, such as number six: ” What measures, if any, does Crypto-Exchange take to mitigate risks related to money laundering and terrorist financing?”

The Ministry of Finance supposedly issued the questions as part of a stealth dossier “to protect the integrity of the financial system”. Each brokerage was notified they had five days to respond, with the data promised to be kept entirely confidential.

What do the exchanges say?

Portal do Bitcoin contacted three of the countries top 10 exchanges by trading volume, each giving a different response to how they are handling the situation and each wished to remain anonymous. One has been fully compliant, answering each question and has already sent its response. Another claims they do not know if they have received it but are looking onto all possible communication channels.

The final exchange to comment said they do not have any plans to respond to the survey, as it was not sent as an official document from the Brazilian government but rather sent through its contact form. As most inquiry forms on similar platforms send an automated reply, it is unlikely they will be able to claim they never received the survey when the government approaches them.

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post Brazilian Government Inspects Activities of Local Crypto Exchanges appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

US Senate to Review Blockchain Energy Efficiency

The US Senate is preparing for another blockchain hearing next week, this time to discuss its energy efficiency and implications.

The 23-member Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will hold the “Energy Efficiency of Blockchain and Similar Technologies” hearing on 21August to discuss the issues and practical implications of its widespread adoption on the energy sector.

A specific focus will be placed on the potential increase in energy consumption and subsequent electricity price rises, with the discussion based on estimating the most likely outcomes in the near future as the technology evolves.

The committee will also consider similar decentralized technologies, focusing also on the cybersecurity possibilities for energy industry applications. It will debate considering how blockchain could, in fact, be used to improve the security of computing systems that supply energy across the country.

This appears to be the first committee meeting from the Senate to explicitly discuss blockchains role and future in the energy sector.

The entirety of the hearing will be broadcast live on the committee’s website via webcam, with witness testimony also available on the site from the start of the hearing.

Renewable energy in blockchain

While Bitcoin has received criticism over the accused unsustainability of the mining process as was the case in Washington State recently, there is a significant movement in the community to develop a climate responsible solution to the problems of energy consumption.

A Lichtenstein-based startup called Solareum has developed a decentralized marketplace platform for renewables, with an aim to make solar energy more readily available and affordable to people internationally.

Another blockchain project, HashByte, allows users to rent hash-power from companies to limit wastefulness, as well opening up its own centers across Europe that utilize only renewable energy in their operations.

Unfortunately, the Senate has a poor record when it comes to staying fully up to date and informed on the most recent cases in technology as recently seen in the now notorious interview with Mark Zuckerberg, so blockchain advocates can only hope they have done their research this time.

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter at https://twitter.com/bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com at https://t.me/bconews

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post US Senate to Review Blockchain Energy Efficiency appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

India Investigates Replacing Smart Travel Cards with Crypto Tokens

The Indian government is currently in the midst of reviewing the viability of substituting smart travel cards for its own central-bank issued crypto tokens.

A senior official from the country’s finance ministry and a member of the committee undertaking applicability research for the crypto token said that the committee is currently researching the use of a custom blockchain-backed crypto token to replace smart cards in the public sector, such as the metro card.

Also in the private sector, they are looking to include the tokens in such areas as air mile loyalty programs where they cannot be converted back into fiat money, he said.

The Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) was first established early last year by the Ministry of Finance and constitutes members from India’s taxation authority and India’s Department of Economic Affairs (DoEA), as well as representatives from India’s central bank, the State Bank of India, and several other government departments.

The IMC has also been charged with producing a regulatory road map for the cryptocurrency space and is responsible for determining the usability of crypto tokens in the public sector, partly by studying international and governmental policies and legal framework regarding cryptocurrency.

The committee has been requested to find specific measures used by governments to curb money laundering activities via crypto.

India’s own crypto token

As reported by Bitcoin News on Monday, the Indian government is in the midst of implementing a crypto token specifically for financial transactions, stressing this as different to cryptocurrencies which are currently all banned in the country.

The tokens would differ specifically from cryptocurrencies as they would be a means of executing financial transactions exclusively in India.

The president of the Digital Lenders Association of India detailed that people would have to pay for these tokens with physical money should they be instituted, removing any impact on the country’s monetary policy.

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter at https://twitter.com/bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com at https://t.me/bconews

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post India Investigates Replacing Smart Travel Cards with Crypto Tokens appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

World’s Largest Archive Testing Blockchain for Record Management

The National Archives (TNA), entrusted with national record management of the UK government, is on the verge of testing the blockchain for record keeping and sharing. The project, termed Archangel, is meant to investigate the use of blockchain to address archiving challenges faced by TNA.

The world’s first archiving research project on blockchain is led by the University of Surrey and bankrolled by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. Reports indicate that the council of research spend USD 800 million on research projects related to technology, mathematics, and material science annually. Additionally, the Open Data Institute is another key partner with an interest in project Archangel.

On Tuesday, Alex Green, the digital preservation services manager, wrote in a blog post:

”How can we demonstrate that the record you see today is the same record that was entrusted to the archive 20 years previously? …How do we ensure that citizens continue to see archives as trusted custodians of the digital public record? To address these questions, Archangel is exploring how we can know that a digital record has been modified and whether the change was legitimate so that ultimately it can still be trusted as the authentic record.”

Being the largest and oldest archives, TNA has set standards and best practices in the field. Being an 18-month project, Archangel is set to prototype a distributed ledger technology that will collect robust digital signatures for born-digital and digitized physical content, reports Green.

TNA has acknowledged the challenges imposed by the changes in technology and is working on a solution.

 

Image Source: Wikipedia Commons – Chris Reynolds

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter at https://twitter.com/bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com at https://t.me/bconews

The post World’s Largest Archive Testing Blockchain for Record Management appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

China to Launch National Blockchain Standardization Committee

An official from China’s ministry of industry and information technology has verified that the country’s plan to launch a national blockchain standardization committee should be ready to launch by the end of this year.

Structurally based on TC 307

As discussed in a keynote speech from Li Ying, head of the IT ministry’s information and software department, the structure of the committee will be based on that of TC 307, the International Organization for Standardization’s (ISO) counterpart blockchain commission, as reported by CoinDesk.

“We have been working closely with the ISO and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). We should soon have our national technical committee for blockchain standardization ready within this year,” Ying said, commenting on the plans to establish a comprehensive framework for blockchain standards by the end of the year while confirming the Chinese government’s direct involvement.

Ying’s announcement came at the 2018 Guiyang Big Data Expo on Saturday.

China’s blockchain agenda

These comments follow closely the revelations from China’s IT ministry that indicate an agenda to pursue the standardization of blockchain application development. Ying noted the government’s plans to “expedite blockchain deployment in areas that most urgently need the nascent tech”.

While China is currently a participating member of the ISO’s TC 307 commission, the country has plans to provide its own initiative surrounding blockchain standardization. The TC 307 focuses predominantly on authentification and smart contracts; it may be speculated that China wishes to pursue the standardization of blockchain elements beyond these uses.

The IT ministry of China currently directly supervises a research lab responsible for conducting monthly evaluations of significant public blockchains. It has been reported that this is done in an effort to create a standard rating system of these blockchains, a service that would be a huge benefit for businesses looking to utilize blockchain for their company.

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter at https://twitter.com/bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com at https://t.me/bconews

The post China to Launch National Blockchain Standardization Committee appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.