Category Archives: North America bitcoin news

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North America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 9th to 15th February 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

JP Morgan Launches New Cryptocurrency: JP Morgan, one of the biggest investment banks in the country has launched a new crypto token called JPM Coin. The new coin is more like a stablecoin and will be backed by USD.

The move was surprising because JP Morgan has long called cryptocurrencies unreliable and a scam but the latest move suggests that the mindset is currently changing and the bank is eagerly looking on to join the stablecoin bandwagon.

The coin drew a mixed response from the crypto community with Ripple’s boss Brad Garlinghouse calling it out for its lack of innovation. However, confusion surrounds much of the new JPM coin’s details.

Virginia Police Fund Invests Millions in Bitcoin: Virginia’s Police Retirement Fund of Fairfax County has announced that it will invest some of its money in Bitcoin.

The funds will be invested through Morgan Creek which will use it to invest in companies like Coinbase and Bakkt. More than USD 40 million from these pension funds will be eventually invested by Morgan Creek. This is the first time in USA that a police retirement fund is looking to invest in cryptocurrencies.

UC Berkeley Announces Accelerator for New Blockchain Startups: One of the top public universities in the US UC Berkeley has announced a new accelerator program for new blockchain startups trying to gain a footing.

The 12-weeks long program is being launched with a partnership between Berkeley Blockchain Xcelerator, Haas School for Business and Blockchain and Venture Capitalist fund Berkeley X-lab Fund. The program is open for everyone and new startups can apply to it. The selected startups will be mentored by entrepreneurs, students, alumni and investors from the industry.

IBM Looking to Fight California Drought with Blockchain: IBM is looking to employ blockchain to tackle the issue of drought in some parts of California. The project will initially observe one of the largest and at-risk aquifers in the area using sensors and blockchain to record the data.

IBM is joining hands with the University of Colorado Boulder and non-profit The Freshwater Trust (TFT) for this project and looks to test the initial effort for a potential expanded investment.

Canada

Quadriga Investors Still Unsure About their Funds: Quadriga exchange’s curious case is unfolding further as more details are emerging from the case. This week saw a flurry of new information being released to the public.

Quadriga exchange’s case is unique because its owner Gerald Cotten died with access to a cold storage wallet that had a majority of the exchange’s crypto assets. Now those funds are difficult, nearly impossible to access. At first, this week the government announced that it would do as much as it could to help the victims and retrieve funds, but it has proven to be an extremely difficult task.

Cutton’s widow may reportedly have the keys to the cold storage wallet but nothing is certain for now. A local judge has reportedly given the exchange’s operators 30 days to try and access the wallet.

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The post North America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 9th to 15th February 2019 appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

North America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 2-8 February 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

Leaked Info Show Possible ETF Regularization: SEC commissioner Robert Jackson’s comments, reportedly leaked before the press shows some optimism for a Bitcoin ETF regularization process from the Commission. Jackson’s comments were due to be published on 11 February 2019 but were leaked several days before.

Jackson reportedly said:

“A fund based on Bitcoin will eventually pass muster at the Securities and Exchange Commission despite that agency’s actions to deny all previous efforts.”

This renewed development in the ETF-SEC saga was a positive development for many in the crypto industry.

Winklevoss Twins Ordered to Pay Compensation for Shrem Case: Bitcoin investing pioneers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss have been ordered to pay $45,000 in legal fees to Charlie Shrem, the then BitInstant owner. While the sum is quite insignificant to the famous twins, who were compensated around $70 million from Facebook a while ago, this may affect their public image, even if ever so slightly.

The Winklevosses initiated an asset freeze and investigation into Shrem after it was found that he owed them investment money. The courts eventually ruled in favour of Shrem and have ordered the reopening of his account as well as forcing the Winklevosses to pay his legal fees.

Banker Predicts Increased Interest for Cryptocurrencies from Wall Street: JPMorgan’s Global Market Strategist Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou has come out and said that Wall Street will have increased interest in cryptocurrencies in the near future.

But, at the same time, the banker insists that the market must grow before the eventual institutional investors dive into it.

He said:

“The stability that we are seeing right now in the cryptocurrency market is setting the stage for more participation by institutional investors in the future.”

But, the kind of bubble investment patterns institutional investors bring have risks of their own as well.

SEC Posts Ad for Blockchain-related Big Data: The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has posted an ad on a government contracts website to acquire big data of some of the biggest public blockchain networks in the world including Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc.

The reason given for the SEC is to “monitor risk and improve compliance”. The federal agency seems to have taken a liking to blockchain technology as far as academia is considered but has so far refrained from allowing many ICOs and other blockchain companies to grow in the country as part of a regulatory backlash.

In other news, the SEC is going to use Blockchain-based tools for analyzing user data. While some consider it ironic as far as the SEC is concerned, it is very much a need of the hour.

Canada

Blockchain Association Joins Hands with Chamber of Digital Commerce: The Chamber of Digital Commerce Canada has decided to join hands with the Blockchain Association of Canada according to a press release on its official website.

The new Association will be headed by Tanya Woods, executive director and policy strategist of the then BAC. She said in the press release that a strong blockchain ecosystem is being pursued by the Canadian government. She believes a strong merger of these two organizations will help the government in achieving that dream.

With Canada’s favourable regulations and progressive mindset, it is becoming one of the most innovative countries in the world when it comes to blockchain technology and its application.

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North America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 19 to 25 January 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.

United States

Chicago Association Forced to Withdraw ETF Application: The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) has withdrawn the application pertaining to its Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund (ETF). The application’s withdrawal was intimated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Although the exact reasons were not given, the possibility lies in the US government’s shutdown. With a majority of staff unavailable in the SEC, CBOE application would not have been processed in time and that would have affected investors confidence.

At the same time, a Chicago based crypto exchange, Seed CX now offers spot trading options for big players like institutional investors. The exchange said it offers a fully licensed and regulation compliant system, with plans to launch digital asset derivatives that are inline with Commodity Future Trading Commission.

MIT Professor Claims Blockchain will help Borderless Economy: A professor from the famed Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has claimed that blockchain technology is perfect for a borderless economy. Professor Silvio Micali said that before blockchain, only two of three crucial requirements (security, scalability, and decentralization) could ever be fulfilled. With all three by blockchain being true, it has the right ingredients.

A team of researchers at the institute have also claimed to develop cryptocurrency that, according to the MIT blog, is 99% less data intensive than Bitcoin. Apart from the bandwidth efficiency, the cryptocurrency dubbed Vault also deploys Proof of Stake model, instead of the energy-hungry Proof of Work that Bitcoin uses.

Douglas County to Initially Invest $50,000 for Blockchain Innovation Campus: The Washington state’s Douglas county seems to defy the crypto market meltdown by sanctioning USD 50,000 towards the development of its blockchain innovation campus. With the recent months seeing Bitcoin prices falling, the county has been able to bring in miners with its relatively cheaper hydroelectric power stations.

NASDAQ CEO Believes Crypto at Crossroads: NASDAQ CEO, Adena Friedman, has said that cryptocurrencies are now at a critical crossroad where they can either fade out or become integrated into the economic fabric of the world. In this regard, she expressed that cryptocurrency should be given “an opportunity to find a sustainable future in our economy.”

IBM is collaborating with big healthcare service providers for a blockchain ecosystem that would improve how sensitive information such as personal medical records are handled, along with increasing health claim speeds and transactions.

New Hampshire Passes Bill to Allow Taxes to be Paid in Bitcoin: Lawmakers in the state of New Hampshire have proposed a bill that would make it legal to pay taxes and fees with Bitcoin by 2020. The first time the idea was proposed in the state was back in 2015. New Hampshire has once again become one of many U.S. states proposing their own crypto acceptance bills.

Mexico

Havard University to Pilot Blockchain Factory Safety System: Harvard University has teamed up with clothing brand Levi Strauss to develop a blockchain based factory safety management system. The aim is to remove the dependency on third-party health and safety auditors, and mould the current HSE system into a completely independent self-reporting one. The platform will be deployed for its test phase at one of Levi’s factory in Mexico.

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The post North America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 19 to 25 January 2019 appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

North America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 12th to 18th January 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.

United States

Top 6 universities from the US, including MIT, are busy developing what they claim to be the fastest cryptocurrency ever. Called Unit-e, the cryptocurrency is being built from scratch, using a version of blockchain that would accommodate a thousand transactions per second.

Bitcoin, the biggest cryptocurrency, tops out at 7 transactions per second, while Ethereum goes at 30 transactions a second. Will the new cryptocurrency being developed eventually dethrone Bitcoin? Only time will tell.

Crypto Bills Tabled in Congress: US Congressman Tom Emmer introduced a bill titled the Blockchain Regulatory Certainty Act that would exempt cryptocurrency related companies from money transmission laws if they are non-custodial in nature.

Emmer is also a member of the US House Financial Services Committee and co-Chair of Blockchain Caucus. If passed, the bill would help in accelerating the development of blockchain related industry and businesses on US soil.

Ex-Congressman Criticizes Current Approach to Crypto Sector: An ex-congressman, George Nethercutt has also criticized the US government for being too conservative and throttling the development of a technology that can help the country grow.

According to him, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) laws are from the 1930s and should have no role to play in regulating cryptocurrencies.

Douglas County Announces Blockchain Innovation Campus: Douglas County in Washington has revealed plans for a blockchain innovation campus.

With a number of crypto mining farms in the county, due to its cheap hydroelectric power, the county already boasts of a number of blockchain startups and mining farms. The development of a dedicated area for blockchain companies to work would cement its place as a local industry leader.

Cryptocurrency Bills Passed by State Legislature: Two bills concerning cryptocurrencies have been passed by the State of Wyoming.

One of the bills caters to utility tokens, declaring them as intangible personal property and requiring no exemption from security regulators since they are not securities now. The second bill is set to provide a sandbox for crypto platforms to test various services while being shielded from specific laws and regulations. 

Nevada to Test Marriage Registration on Blockchain: Love is in the air for Nevada blockchain enthusiasts. Washoe County in Nevada allows its residents to cement their vows on the immutable blockchain.

The county has turned towards the Ethereum blockchain as it offers a simple way to record marriage certificates. Couples now do not have to wait for 10 days for issuance of their marriage certificates. The county also records births on the blockchain, issuing them as quickly as those of marriage.

Canada

Bankers Association Pushing for Blockchain Adoption: The Canadian Bankers Association (CBA) is pushing banks for a larger and broadscale adoption of blockchain due to the added benefits it carries.

The CBA calls for linkage of federal and provincial ID database on the blockchain. This, according to the association, would allow banks to authenticate clients digitally and replace the current slow, paper-based version which is prone to security lapses.

Marshall Islands

State Cryptocurrency Close to Becoming a Reality: Once the testing ground for nuclear tests by the US, the Marshall Islands governments blockchain team has announced it has made major achievements in developing a central bank backed cryptocurrency, dubbed the Sovereign.

Although the country has faced a lot of criticism from major financial institutions and regulators from around the world, it seems the tiny island nation is going full steam ahead.

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North America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 5th to 11th January 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

Canada Debating Crypto Campaign Donations with Elections Around the Corner: Fierce political debate has started in Canada among different political parties and advocacy groups regarding crypto donations to political campaigns as the country prepares for general elections later this year.

As of now, none of the parties are accepting crypto donations in the country as there are no rules and regulations regarding the sector.

The United States of America

NASA Develops Blockchain Prototype for Air Traffic Control: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has developed a blockchain prototype for air traffic control which offers superior security and communication capabilities compared to the upcoming Automatic Dependent Surveillance System (ADS-B). According to NASA, the  “framework features certificate authority, smart contract support, and higher-bandwidth communication channels for private information that may be used for secure communication between any specific aircraft and any particular authorized member.”

The prototype is based on Hyperledger’s blockchain ecosystem.

Department of Energy Announces Blockchain Grants: The US Department of Energy has announced it will be offering USD 4.8 million in grants to research and development by universities for different projects in the energy sector, including blockchain.

The grants are coming from its Office of Fossil Energy and are meant to bring advancement to fossil fuel power generation systems to reduce costs and increase efficiency. The department has had experiences with blockchain for electrical bill settlements. This time, the department’s interests are to “secure process signal data and other information flows within distributed sensor networks for fossil-based power generation systems.”

Colorado May Free Cryptocurrencies from Some Securities Laws: The State of Colorado just might free cryptocurrencies in its jurisdiction from some securities laws. The Colorado Digital Token Act, if passed, will allow for “limited exemptions from securities registration and securities broker-dealer and salesperson licensing requirements for persons dealing in digital tokens.”

Last year, the state had hit hard on blockchain platforms that did not comply with current securities laws. It carried out nearly two dozen cease and desist orders. With this bill, nearly all of the previous ones will be exempted now.

Dave Rubin Turning to Bitcoin for Funding: Stand up comedian Dave Rubin, famous for his political comments on The Rubin Report show, has announced that he will be turning towards Bitcoin for his crowdfunding campaign.

According to him, the current platform he uses, Patreon, has censorship policies that are not aligned with his beliefs. Citing that the platform’s policies suppress freedom of speech, he will be deleting his account there and using Bitcoin to fund his show. Gab, a controversial social media platform that allows uncensored speech was the first to respond with a donation of 0.0025 bitcoin.

Tech Center Raided in Michigan by FBI: A technology center in Michigan was raided by a team of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on the suspicion that the firm was trading cryptocurrencies illegally.

The firm’s CEO, Chris Boden, said on a YouTube posting that the offices were raided and officials took away computers and other electronic equipment. Although he maintained that his firm was a technology-based non-profit organization, he admitted that the firm did not have the authorizations required for crypto trading. He could face imprisonment and a fine of around USD 100,000.

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North America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 29 December 2018 – 4 January 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

Bitcoin Not Affected by US Government Shutdown: Analysis of recent price flow of Bitcoin has revealed that the biggest cryptocurrency is slightly affected by the U.S. government partial shutdown. The row over President Trump’s Mexico wall has affected the U.S. stock market, but Bitcoin during that time has actually risen in value.

Institutional digital asset platform Bakkt has announced it has successfully completed its first seed round funding. The total investment is said to be around USD 182 million by 14 investors. The investment of Bakkt brings a lot of positivity towards cryptocurrencies, with the digital assets class finally gaining the attention of mainstream institutional investors.

New York

State Government Forms Task Force for Cryptocurrencies: The State of New York has announced that it is forming a task force to examine and see what kind of regulations are required for cryptocurrencies. Bank’s committee sect of the New York state legislature has already voted for the task force formation in May last year. The main target is to see how cryptocurrencies are affecting the state’s financial markets and what needs to be done to ensure that cryptocurrencies can co-exist with the current system.

The DarkOverlord, a hacker group that claimed it had accessed financial records of insurance companies involved in the aftermath of the September 2001 terrorist attack in New York, has released the first batch of the records. What impact the financial records of insurance claims and payouts will have is anyone’s guess. The hacker group has demanded Bitcoin in ransom or they will continue to publish information.

Massachusetts

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Published Piece on Blockchain Technology: The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has published an article in which it claims that decentralized technology like blockchain will “start to become mundane” in 2019, but also “more useful.” The report cites a number of indicators, such as Wall Street holding its first blockchain summit, the rise of a central bank backed national cryptocurrencies and the performance of the market. The report says that the hype is fading, leaving only the serious actors in the arena.

Ohio

Overstock Wants to Pay Tax in Bitcoin: The online U.S. retailer Overstock has become the first local retailer to be paying a part of its Commercial Activities Tax to the State of Ohio in Bitcoin. The government of Ohio had initially approved the option of firms and organizations to pay their taxes in cryptocurrencies. The state has even set up a dedicated portal OhioCrypto.com for the purpose.

Georgia

State Senator Sent to Jail for Falsifying Mining Equipment Fraud: Michail Williams, the State Senator from Georgia has been jailed for falsifying a crypto mining equipment theft. The Senator has reported the theft of the mining equipment from his office, claiming that the hardware was worth around USD 300,000. Investigators, however, failed to find any evidence of the machinery and he was indicted over the false report filing. Williams is a relatively little known in the Senate, although he had backed crypto related bills in the past. He is the first serving Senator to be sent to jail over cryptocurrency related matter.

Texas

Department of Banking Looking to Declare Stablecoins as Proper Currency: Texas Department of Banking is considering declaring stable coins as proper money. According to the state legislature, the Money Services Act, the state of Texas does not accept cryptocurrencies as any legal form of money. The Supervisory Memorandum 1037 says, “A licensing analysis will turn on whether the stablecoin provides the holder with a redemption right for sovereign currency thus creating a claim that can be converted into money or monetary value. This is true regardless whether the redemption right is expressly granted or implied by the issuer.

Mexico

UNICEF Holds Events for Promoting Blockchain Technology: UNICEF announced that it has held events in Mexico and Kazakhstan to encourage children and teenagers to go into the new sector. 

In Mexico, the focus of the event was on identity and payments part of the crypto world. There’s high optimism that these efforts will attract more people into the sector.

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The post North America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 29 December 2018 – 4 January 2019 appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

North America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 22-28 December 2018

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

Lawmakers Looking to Revisit Definition of Cryptocurrencies to Favour Cryptocurrencies: Two Congressmen in bipartisan legislation are aiming to ease restrictions of cryptocurrencies in the country by aiming to revisit one of the oldest securities definition in the country.

A new bill presented in the House of Representatives introduced what is called the Token Taxonomy Act that reiterates support for cryptocurrencies by declaring that they do not fall under the securities law. The bill was co-sponsored by Warren Davidson (R-Ohio) and Darren Soto (D-Florida).

According to Congressman Davidson:

“In the early days of the internet, Congress passed legislation that provided certainty and resisted the temptation to over-regulate the market. Our intent is to achieve a similar win for America’s economy and for American leadership in this innovative space,”

It is yet to be seen how the bill will fare in the House as support is polarized for cryptocurrencies right now due to lack of knowledge and consensus among lawmakers.

Government Believes Drug Money Moving Via Crypto: The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has recently stated that Mexican cartels are using cryptocurrencies and Asian banking channels to shift funds across the country. The DEA announced these latest developments in a recent hearing in the US Capitol on Drug money and Mexican drug cartels.

Despite the extraordinary claim by the DEA, it is believed that cryptocurrencies still facilitate a tiny portion of the $2 trillion worldwide illegal drug business and its associated money laundering activities. The total cryptocurrency market cap is less than $150 billion and that shows that fiat channels are still working overtime to serve this illicit trade.

Government Working to Undercut Iranian Cryptocurrency Usage: After banning several bitcoin addresses allegedly connected to Iranian authorities, the American government is now looking to introduce new regulations to stop any Iranian plans for launching its own borderless cryptocurrency. 

A new bill called Blocking Iran Illicit Finance Act has been tabled in the House and aims to block any foreign nationals involved in the support and development of the alleged Iranian cryptocurrency project. The move comes after Iran announced earlier that its sanctions-defying cryptocurrency project was ready to be deployed.

Mexico

Ripple Looking to Gain Foothold in Mexico: Ripple is working to increase the outreach of its cryptocurrency and have the Mexican market well within its sights. According to Ashish Birla, a senior executive at Ripple’s Product Development Team, the foray into the Mexican market will result in on-demand liquidity on an instant basis in the country. Birla is currently working on xRapid platform developed by Ripple for this purpose.

According to Birla:

“That’s such a big deal is because you don’t need to have the expensive capital tied up in Mexico. You can use xRapid for on-demand liquidity, instantly sourcing liquidity and delivering your payment into Mexico. One of the really exciting things about xRapid is that not only did we get the product launched not technically but we got it live in Mexico. We gotta live in the Philippines as well.”

Birla believes that increased regulatory clarity and its launch into more specific corridors will help customers in adoption and benefit the overall Ripple network in its quest for developing a blockchain ecosystem across the world.

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North America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 14 – 20 December 2018

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.

United States

Coinbase transfers Biggest amount of Cryptocurrency: The United States’ largest cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has done a transfer that is the biggest in the history of cryptocurrency. With 15 million Litecoin (LTC), 8.3 million Ether (ETH), and 870,000 Bitcoin (BTC) transferred, the total value stood at USD 5 billion at the time. The transfer was done internally, moving funds from one of its cold storages to another even secure one to fend off any hacking attempts.

Token Taxonomy Act Introduced in House: A bill introduced by pro crypto Florida Democrat Darren Soto and Republican Warren Davidson will see SEC’s role in crypto regulation come to an end. SEC has had a history of coming down hard on ICOs, where it sees the crypto tokens being offered as securities.

The SEC Chairman Jay Clayton had previously announced that cryptocurrencies and ICOs will be officially classified as securities by the regulator. The bill, if passed, will be hailed by the crypto community which feels stifled and threatened by the undue pressure of the SEC.

Western Union Hints at Cryptocurrency Support: The American financial services company has recently hinted on supporting cryptocurrencies in the future. Western Union Global Money Transfer President Odilon Almeida has said “Cryptocurrency might become one more option for a way for assets to be exchanged between people and countries. If that happens we would be ready to launch,” and that the money transfer company is in the perfect position to start the services. Western Union has already partnered with Ripple Labs to establish whether using blockchain is feasible.

Taxing Software Node 40 being Used:  With still a lot of confusion on how to file crypto related tax gains in the U.S., many have turned towards Node 40. The Node 40 software integrates user wallets and exchanges into itself and over the year calculates the exact amount that needs to be reported and actual tax to be filed.

The use of specialized software indicates that many crypto users and traders still do not have clarity on exact taxes to be paid. This can lead to the wrath of IRS as it begins to clamp down on crypto trading.

Pro Bitcoin White House Chief of Staff Appointed: With General John Kelly leaving the White House Chief of Staff position, President Trump has hired Mick Mulvaney, Director of the Office of Management & Budget as acting