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North America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 5th to 11th October 2018

North America

Welcome to our weekly roundup of all important blockchain and cryptocurrency news from around the world. Follow the latest developments in the cryptocurrency space continent by continent, country by country.

USA

Mastercard patents multi crypto blockchain: US financial services giant Mastercard has recently won rights to a blockchain partitioning method that enables it to store different cryptocurrencies on a single blockchain ecosystem. 

Mastercard’s patent describes subnets, blockchain division that manages each format independently. Each block created would be hashed with a code that would be applied to all transactions, creating a blockchain that supports different, previously incompatible crypto chains with far fewer resource requirements.

US customs claim crypto-fiat conversions traceable: In a hearing in the US Senate, a US customs official detailed that it is possible to trace fiat-crypto and vice versa transactions using investigative methods.

The official said further that through this, they are “able to disrupt the criminals and dismantle the [transnational criminal organizations]”. He further claimed that there has been a degree of success in tracing drug sales down to the criminals involved.

5 top universities follow Yale by making crypto investments: MIT, Harvard, Stanford, Dartmouth and UNC have made investments into cryptocurrencies following Yale’s lead. The latter made investments from its endowment fund in Paradigm and Andreessen Horowitz, two crypto funds.

With Yale’s choices copied by many universities and institutional investors, it is expected that other universities across the United States will follow suit and invest in crypto.

1Broker allowed to return user funds: 1Broker exchange has recently opened up again, but in a limited capacity, allowing users to withdraw their funds.

The popular crypto exchange came into the view of US officials after an undercover FBI agent was able to acquire Bitcoin with no KYC or AML checks.

The exchange was subsequently shut down on 27 September, through FBI and SEC coordination. Some 50,000 users were left hanging as they could not withdraw their funds.

SEC files subpoena against alleged “pump and dump” ICO: According to the SEC, a subpoena was filed on 5 October at a District Court in California against Saint James Holdings and Investment Company. A penny stock firm Cherubim was committing USD 100 million to launch an ICO for the St James Trust when the order was made. 

ICOs are currently banned in the United States.

Giant inflatable rat with Bitcoin graffiti placed in front of Federal Reserve Branch on Wall Street: In a gutsy prank, ex-hedge fund manager Nelson Siers has placed an inflatable rat character with Bitcoin graffiti in front of the Federal Reserve Branch building located on Wall Street, New York.

The rat will remain there for a few days before it is finally taken down. The move mocks the Federal Reserve Bank, one of the most powerful national banks in the world with assets up to USD 5 trillion back in 2017. It is the Goliath of the fiat world and the rat was placed to mock its existence and promote cryptocurrencies.

The bank is sometimes blamed for the financial crisis of 2008, thought to be a stimulant for the creation of Bitcoin, the world’s first cryptocurrency.

Canada

QuadrigaCX continues to face Canadian bank’s bullying: QuadrigaCX, the largest Canadian crypto exchange, saw its USD 28 million funds being frozen by Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce in JulyThe battle continues on in the Ontario Supreme Court of Justice, with CIBC asking the court to take control of the funds and decide the real beneficiary of the money. 

QuadrigaCX is asking the court to unfreeze its funds as it is legal since it has already credited its customers with Quadriga Bucks. The unexplained freezing of funds shows a friction between the traditional banking and commerce and the rapidly emerging blockchain sector in a tussle to either retain control or disrupt the market.

 

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North America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 28 September-4 October 2018

North America

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

USA

Congress Requests SEC to Clarify Crypto Security Laws: The US Congress has sent a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission to clarify on their cryptocurrency guidelines to support the crucial innovation across the sector.

Congress believes that the cryptocurrency sector is important for the future of the United States economy and many startups are fleeing the country due to SEC’s policies. However, there is no consensus on cryptocurrency regulation in the Senate right now.

Cryptocurrency Pioneers Attack SEC in Joint Letter: A group of top cryptocurrency pioneers are attacking the overreaching efforts of the US Securities and Exchange Commission on cryptocurrencies. They believe that the efforts 0f the SEC will be detrimental for the overall industry in the country.

The letter follows a growing mistrust in the cryptocurrency community towards the SEC which is impeding the progress of this innovative sector.

Ex-President Bill Clinton Supports Cryptocurrencies and Praises Blockchain Technology: Bill Clinton has come out and praised blockchain technology at Ripple’s Swell conference in San Francisco. 

Ripple is currently out on a strong PR campaign and comments like these from Clinton will help their cause. They were also advocated by the actor and investor Ashton Kutcher, and Snoop Dogg earlier this year.

New York Attorney General Believes Many Cryptocurrency Exchanges Operating with “integrity”: New York’s tough cryptocurrency laws could be in for a change. The Office of the Attorney General of New York has said that cryptocurrency exchanges are reaching early stages of maturation and many of them are now offering services with a high degree of integrity.

OAG recently completed extensive surveys of major cryptocurrency exchanges and was reportedly satisfied with many of them.

Bipartisan Bill for Consensus-based Definition of Blockchain: A bipartisan bill introduced in the US House of Representatives is seeking to create a consensus-based definition of blockchain technology.

The Blockchain Promotion Act of 2018 was sponsored by Congresswoman Doris Matsui and Congressman Brett Guthrie who are members of the Energy and Commerce subcommittee as well as Technology and Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection.

Court Rules CFTC has Jurisdiction over Cryptocurrencies: In a recent case in District Court of Massachusetts, Judge Rya W. Zobel has decided that the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) will have jurisdiction over cryptocurrencies. 

The court ruled against a local coin project called The Big Coin and declared that it was not a commodity. The court used a very broad definition of the commodities to declare cryptocurrencies as such, as it says that all goods, services, and interests for which there are contracts for future or present delivery are commodities.

Canada

Firm Accepting Cryptocurrencies for Legal Services: Canadian firm Mcleod Law is now accepting cryptocurrencies for legal services in the country. The law firm became one of the first in The Great White North to accept Bitcoin from its clients.

Mcleod announced this week that the alternative option is for clients who have invested into cryptocurrencies. The firm is using Coinsquare cryptocurrency exchange for its services.

Election in Quebec to Define Future of Cryptocurrency Mining Projects: Canada’s Quebec region is undergoing elections and their results could affect the future of cryptocurrency mining projects in the state.

There are a considerable number of Bitcoin miners present in the region who faced a backlash from the government after their electricity requirements were found to be too much. The next government will likely seal the fate of these miners operating in the French-speaking area.

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North America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 21st to 27th September 2018

North America

Welcome to our weekly roundup of all important blockchain and cryptocurrency news from around the world. Follow the latest developments in the cryptocurrency space continent by continent, country by country.

USA

Government spent $5 million on blockchain espionage: The US government’s obsession with cryptocurrencies and blockchain led to it spending almost USD 5.7 million with blockchain analytics firms so far and is keen to do more.

The revelation was made by a digital currency publication called Diar. Blockchain analytics firms are supposedly paid for Bitcoin espionage, criminal prosecution, taxes and even enforcing crypto regulations. The IRS alone spent USD 2.19 million in the process.

Google announces partial lifting of crypto ads ban: In a major move, Google has announced a partial lifting of the controversial cryptocurrency ads ban on its platform. The ban had been placed earlier this year by the tech company and had only been in force for a few months since June this year.

The recent announcement from Google suggests that cryptocurrency-related ads from registered exchanges will be allowed to air on the Google Adsense network, especially the ones involving US and Japanese companies.

The statement from the company said: “Advertisers will need to be certified with Google for the specific country in which their ads will serve. Advertisers will be able to apply for certification once the policy launches in October.”

Other tech companies like Facebook have also announced a lifting of cryptocurrency bans placed earlier this year. The announcement is considered positive for the overall crypto community.

US Congressmen and crypto companies discussing legislation: Washington saw a new round of talks between US congressmen and fintech companies in the cryptocurrency genre to devise future regulations for the industry. ICOs remained the primary focus of the meeting.

The industry representatives met with the lawmakers to discuss the points of Congressman Warren Davidson’s bill which could pass through the House of Representatives later this year. Representatives of crypto companies include Andreessen Horowitz, Circle, CME Group, Coin Center, CoinList, Harbor, Intercontinental Exchange, Kraken, Nasdaq, Ripple, Union Square Ventures and other individuals.

There is still growing uncertainty regarding the final shape of the cryptocurrency regulation in the country.

Growth over time may propel SEC to approve ETFs: The Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) attitude towards cryptocurrencies may change over time as the industry grows over time, according to Asjylyn Loder of the Wall Street Journal.

Almost ten ETFs including one from the Winklevoss twins have been rejected by the SEC to date and many more have been deferred over time. However, the mood is likely to change as cryptocurrencies will get to showcase their strengths and adaptability in the near future.

Congressman to introduce pro-crypto bills: Representative Tom Emmer is presenting three bills titled ‘Resolution Supporting Digital Currencies and Blockchain Technology’, the ‘Blockchain Regulatory Certainty Act’, and the ‘Safe Harbor for Taxpayers with Forked Assets Act’, in the House of Representatives.

The congressman is among the pro-crypto voices in the capitol and is working among a group of politicians trying to introduce helpful legislation in the country. Another congressman Warren Davidson had already tabled a bill for sensible cryptocurrency regulation before and is debating the issue with industry professionals.

Canada

Canada better prepared for crypto adaptation than US: The head of a registered cryptocurrency investment firm in Canada has said that the country is in fact better prepared for cryptocurrency policy and adaptation than USA.

CEO of First Block Capital Sean Clark has also called for the country to become a blockchain hub in the world and lead the way in its innovation efforts. He cited the positive government attitude, promotion of educational awareness as prime factors in the rapid progress of Canada in the sector.

 

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North America Cryptocurrency News Roundup 14-20 September 2018

Welcome to another weekly blockchain and cryptocurrency news roundup from around the world. Here we present to you all the latest news continent by continent and country by country. Next up is North America.

USA

SEC delays Bitcoin ETFs despite vocal public support: The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is once again stalling another Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund (ETF).

The ETF in question was from VanEck SolidX and while the move wasn’t surprising, it was established that the SEC will be delaying all ETFs till 2019. The move took place despite over 1400 comments and public letters submitted to the SEC for the VanEck ETF alone, with almost all of them in favor of it.

While the SEC did acknowledge the favorable comments, it issued all of them to submit a 21-day writing assignment before questioning the manipulation of the Bitcoin markets.

Members of Congress for clear crypto tax rules: A few lawmakers of the US Congress have called for a clear set of rules for crypto taxation and reached out to the federal tax collection agency, the IRS.

The letter from representatives David Schweikert, Darin LaHood, Lynn Jenkins, Brad Wenstrup, and Kevin Brady, who is the chairman of the committee on Ways and Means seeks the much-needed clarification and guidance for taxpayers who are involved in cryptocurrencies.

The IRS is yet to comment on the matter.

Report points out improvement areas for cryptocurrency exchanges: The New York Attorney General’s office published a report that outlined some improvement areas for cryptocurrency exchanges in the state.

While New York has one of the toughest exchange laws in place, several exchanges have operational permits but big names like Bitfinex, Tidex and HBUS are still not approved by the State Department of Financial Services.

The report claims that some exchanges have failed to implement standard consumer protection mechanisms including adequate security measures and market surveillance protocols. The exchanges not in compliance are likely to be taken to court and fined.

University launches the first major crypto program in the US: The New York University has launched the first major program for blockchain and cryptocurrencies in the country.

The program offered by the Stern School of Business will include groundwork as well as specialized courses to help understand the legal and business implications for the new market. While the university had already been offering blockchain programs before, this remains the first full-fledged blockchain major in the country.

Oregon pushing for Blockchain State Plan: North-West State Oregon is going ahead with plans for blockchain state project through the state legislature. 

The Oregon Blockchain Venture Studio based in the state capital of Portland has been set up with an aim to gather companies and organizations in education, business , and technology. Blockchain technology is of course the most disruptive technology in recent times and the state is looking to land more and more blockchain and cryptocurrency projects.

Canada

Government okays 30th ETF provider: While the US is clamping down hard on Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), Canada just allowed the 30th ETF operator in the country with the launch of two new ETFs based on global warming technologies.

Coin Capital Investment Management Co. Ltd announced its license and that effectively made it the 30th such ETF in the Great White North. Canada is warming up to the idea of cryptocurrencies and the government is adoptiong a favourable stance towards the new currencies.

Mexico

Government puts Central Bank in charge of cryptocurrency rules: The government of Mexico has announced that it is delegating the power to its Central bank and it will get to choose which cryptocurrency companies are legitimate.

The National Banking and Securities Commission (CNBV) is now in charge of the process. All of the pending cases of exchange and other cryptocurrency related initiatives will be handed over to the bank.

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North America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 7th to 13th September 2018

North America

Welcome to our weekly roundup of all important blockchain and cryptocurrency news from around the world. Follow the latest developments in the cryptocurrency space continent by continent, country by country.

Mexico

Government to tighten Bitcoin regulation through central bank-issued payments: The Bank of Mexico is tightening up Bitcoin regulations by releasing a circular that says Bitcoin exchanges and other businesses dealing in cryptocurrencies will have to require a government permit to do so.

The circular was published in the government’s official daily channel and shows that the country is working to tighten trading laws in the country in an effort to stop any misuse of the digital currencies.

Canada

Canada home to first Bitcoin-linked mutual fund trust: Canadian investors are going to get a taste of something new as a company called First Block Capital Ltd was allowed by the government regulators to operate as a mutual fund trust.

The move means that Canadians can now save their money in Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) that is essentially a tax-free savings account in the country. This will boost the application of crypto and let people save money in the form of cryptocurrencies for retirement.

USA

Crypto industry starts lobbying group in Washington: A new lobbying group has been established by the Blockchain Association of the USA to represent entrepreneurs and investors in the sector and lobby for the right response from the government.

The group will also assist the government in implementing crypto specific laws including Know-Your-Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money-Laundering (AML) measures.

Department of Defense building to become crypto mining facility: A Nevada-based building of the US Department of Defense is being taken over and converted into a cryptocurrency mining facility by a private mining company.

The Wuhan General Group of China has used the opportunity to use the vacated building and install a total of 1,300 mining rigs in the building. With competition tough around the world, companies are finding it difficult to locate suitable buildings for cryptocurrency mining operations because they take a lot of space and need a former factory floor for installation of equipment.

SEC stops only Bitcoin ETN operating in US: The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has stopped the trading of the only Bitcoin Exchange Traded Note (ETN) being offered in the country. The ETN in question had only been trading in the country since mid-August.

The banned ETN is named Bitcoin Tracker One and according to the SEC, there is a lack of consistent, accurate information about the ETN that confuses investors. While the statement from the SEC says that the ETN has been banned only till 20 September, its overall attitude probably means that the ETN will be banned for a long time.

New York approves Gemini stablecoin: A New York State regulator has allowed two-dollar linked digital tokens including one belonging to the Winklevoss twins’ exchange Gemini.

The Winklevoss brothers made big money settlements with Mark Zuckerberg during their infamous trial in which they accused Zuckerberg of stealing their idea. They also jumped on the cryptocurrency bandwagon early on and profited a lot from it.

While the twins have been trying to get ETFs legalized for some time, they are also experimenting with stablecoins, digital coins linked to recognized assets such as the US dollar that gives them stability.

Marshall Islands

IMF puts pressure on government after plans for a national crypto: The tiny Pacific nation of Marshall Islands’ plans to shift to a national cryptocurrency have suffered a setback after the IMF warned against the idea and suggested that the banks will refuse to work with it if the government goes ahead with its plans.

The new token being considered by the tiny island nation was called Sovereign and could have displaced the US dollar as the national currency in the near future. But, the IMF which heavily relies on the current fiat system for survival has come out and warned the country against doing so.

 

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North America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 24th to 30th August 2018

North America

Welcome to our weekly roundup of all important blockchain and cryptocurrency news from around the world. Follow the latest developments in the cryptocurrency space continent by continent, country by country.

USA

Crypto mining firm purchases New York dam: DPW Holdings subsidiary Super Crypto Mining has announced that it has bought the power generation of an entire river for mining purposes.

The Valatie Falls in New York has been purchased by the mining company and it produces 1 MW of clean energy from the hydropower project. The crypto mining farm will be established by Q4 2018 and will try and set a new precedent focused on mining from clean energy only.

The mining farm will yield a USD 2,000 worth of mining exploits every day for the company.

California introduces blockchain legislation: A bill has passed in the Californian state legislature in both upper and lower houses to define the scope of blockchain and form a working group of the government within a year.

Bill AB 2658 is now awaiting California governor’s approval. If signed into law, it would define blockchain as “a mathematically secured, chronological, and decentralized ledger or database“, something that will increase the importance of blockchain infrastructure development in the state.

The move follows a growing trend among US states to give blockchain and cryptocurrencies legal cover and promote innovation in the sector.

Securities administrators association reveal 200 active investigations on crypto-related products: The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) has said that currently, there are over 200 active investigations in the United States and Canada regarding cryptocurrency projects.

The combined North American regulatory body said that investigations are part of a massive action called Operation Cryptosweep that has so far resulted in 46 enforcement actions involving ICOs and other crypto investment projects.

According to Joseph B Borg NASAA president:

“While not every ICO or cryptocurrency-related investment is a fraud, it is important for individuals and firms selling these products to be mindful that they are not doing so in a vacuum; state and provincial laws or regulations may apply, especially securities laws. A strong culture of compliance should be in place before, not after, these products are marketed to investors.”

The combined regulatory effort is aimed at suspected securities fraud for which the NASAA claims jurisdiction.

Canada

Government delays regulation of crypto and blockchain companies: The Canadian government has decided in principle to postpone the final regulations for its cryptocurrency and blockchain companies.

The reason for postponement was because the government is in pre-election mode ahead of the 2019 election and it is logical to delegate the task to whoever forms the next government. Meetings of regulatory bodies have been put on hold for the moment and the regulations will now be delayed till 2020 because it takes an additional 12-month period for any regulation to take effect after it has been signed.

The move was overall received positively by the crypto community as the government essentially backed away from strict rules drafted and published in June this year. But, some crypto quarters have concerns that this will damage the Canadian prospects of becoming a blockchain haven because of regulatory unclarity.

Mexico

Central bank to experiment with blockchain and crypto: The central bank of Mexico Banco de Mexico has announced plans to harness the power of blockchain technology and start using cryptocurrencies on a trial basis to lower transaction-related costs.

Officials from the national banking regulator announced plans for public consultancy as well. The process will start by regulators learning more about the virtual currencies and their payment processing systems based on blockchain technology.

 

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North America Cryptocurrency News Roundup 17-24 August 2018

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. Next up is North America.

USA

CNBC’s Brian Kelly Sees Bitcoin ETF Approval by 2019: Mainstream news channel CNBC’s popular program Fast Money host Brian Kelly has predicted that Bitcoin will jump considerably in the future following ETF approval by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). However, he doesn’t see that happening till August 2019.

Currently, the SEC has ruled against ETFs for the near future but possible reviews are likely expected in the future and further legal tussles which will result in slow approval overall.

SEC Rejects Nine Bitcoin ETFs and Stays Decision on Five Others: The much-awaited Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) decision mostly ended in a negative note as nine Bitcoin ETFs were rejected by the commission and five others are now pending further review.

The nine ETFs rejected included five from Direxion, two from Proshares and two from GraniteShares. But, as a silver lining, the SEC stayed its decision on five ETFs fuelling hopes that the commission might be willing to approve it after greater scrutiny.

$800,000 Announced for Scientific Blockchain Project: The US government announced a healthy $818,433 grant for a new blockchain project called Open Science Chain (OSC). The OSC is a new platform that allows researchers to verify the data of scientific experiments.

The project is being led by Subhashini Sivagnanam, a software architect and researcher currently working at the San Diego Supercomputing Center. The funds were awarded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop the project. NSF is granting a sizeable number of funds to blockchain development programs this year.

US Border Agents Try Blockchain for Free Trade Compliance: US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has announced that they are testing a new blockchain program that will help enforce the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and Central American Free Trade Agreement.

The new decentralized program will be used to verify the original source of the products entering the United States through its borders and also help in authenticating them.

Universities Weigh in on Blockchain Applications: US universities are considering blockchain technology for a broad range of applications because of its tremendous potential. The applications under consideration will help government, private companies, and NGOs in achieving their objectives efficiently.

Some of the academics speaking in favor of widespread blockchain adoption include Robert Dahlstrom —  a Professor of Marketing at Miami University, David Noble — the Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UConn, and  Lawrence Trautman — a Professor at Western Carolina University.

US Congressman Invites Crypto CEOs to Washington to Discuss Future Regulation: US congressman from Ohio Warren Davidson has invited top cryptocurrency representatives from the industry to visit Washington for further discussions on ICO and crypto legislation.

More than 32 CEOs and founders were contacted by the congressman’s office to schedule a meeting in the coming months. Davidson sits on the House Committee for Financial Services and his role could play a crucial role in furthering the cryptocurrency scene in the country.

Court Orders Hacker to Pay Bail in Bitcoin: In a new precedent, a US magistrate Judge Corley has ordered an accused embezzler Martin Marsich to pay an equivalent of $750,000 in bitcoin as bail.

The new precedent was set after the accused was presented before the court for hacking US video games company Electronic Arts’ (EA) servers and selling video games illegally online through black market websites. He is accused of hacking more than 25,000 accounts.

Mexico

Bank of Mexico May Set up Cryptocurrency Payment Infrastructure: Mexican state bank, Bank of Mexico has announced that it is considering developing a cryptocurrency payment infrastructure in the near future. The system will be used to process electronic payments quickly and effectively.

The bank announced the landmark decision during a public consultation process that was aimed at researching ways to use fintech innovations for its benefit.

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North America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 10th to 16th August 2018

North America

Welcome to our weekly roundup of all important blockchain and cryptocurrency news from around the world. Follow the latest developments in the cryptocurrency space continent by continent, country by country.

USA

ICO scam slapped with $30,000 fine: The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued a USD 30,000 penalty for David T Laurance and his fraudulent ICO. Laurance was a director of a new coin project.

Laurance, previously the CEO of oil drilling company Tomahawk Exploration LLC, with whom he had been associated for over eight years, launched the ICO for new tokens of the oil drilling company called Tomahawk tokens. The ICO stated that the funds from the ICO would be used for oil drilling and exploration services in California.

The ICO overall failed to meet the USD 5 million target. An online bounty program of promotional activities thrived but was eventually shut down by the SEC. Laurance and Tomahawk have been given cease and desist orders and further action is being deliberated by the authorities.

Coinbase acquires San Francisco startup for decentralized login tech: Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange operating in USA, has acquired a local startup that was offering decentralized login solution to secure its verification and login processes.

The firm, Distributed Systems, Inc, was selected by the Coinbase company to utilize blockchain for verification purposes. According to Coinbase project manager B Bryne:

“Blockchain technology that powers cryptocurrencies offers a new way to let us all be “verified” everywhere we go on the internet, feeling safer about our interactions with others and opening the door to the experiences that require trust.”

Distributed Systems was a successful startup at the seeds round with millions of investments garnered from around the world.

Facebook to launch crypto?: The world’s largest social network Facebook may be looking to launch its own cryptocurrency, according to recent chatter from inside the company.

Earlier this year, the company created a blockchain research team led by David Marcus that was aimed at leveraging blockchain technology and possibly even cryptocurrency across the vast social media platform. Marcus was on the board of directors of Coinbase but has since then stepped down from his position.

Other sources also claim that the Facebook’s blockchain team has met with the Stellar team to discuss forking the Stellar cryptocurrency and blockchain to create a native Facebook cryptocurrency similar to Kin crypto tokens. The purpose of the rumored Facebook crypto token is still unknown.

Jamaica

Jamaican stock exchange set to offer crypto for trading: The Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) has announced that it will offer cryptocurrency trading services by the end of 2018.

The announcement came after the exchange signed a collaboration with cryptocurrency firm Blockstation. The latter will develop digital assets for JSE platform and JSE will then integrate them into its platform for trading purposes. Blockstation has been developing these assets in collaboration with the JSE for the last six months.

According to co-founder and chief architect of Blockstation Jai Waterman:

“Our mission is to provide a secure method of trading cryptocurrencies with broker-dealers and stock exchanges. We’re providing the stock exchange the technology for a broker-dealer network and repository, so that from end-to-end, their life cycle of trading – just like with securities – they can do the exact same thing with blockchain and cryptocurrencies.”

Canada

Blockchain and crypto improving finance and accounting in Canada: In addition to disrupting the fintech businesses, blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies are also improving accounting and finance functions in the country.

According to a Robert Half Finance and Accounting survey, both will become common in business transactions in the next five years. But to do so, financial professionals will have to expand their skillsets and put greater focus on inter-departmental collaboration with information technology.

 

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North America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 3rd to 9th August 2018

North America

Welcome to our weekly roundup of all important blockchain and cryptocurrency news from around the world. Follow the latest developments in the cryptocurrency space continent by continent, country by country.

USA

Rich Dad, Poor Dad author believes crypto is the future as fiat will crash: Popular author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad Robert Kiyosaki has said that there is a fiat crisis in the making and cryptocurrency will soon become the sole solution to a US dollar bubble that will cause a big financial crisis.

The book, written in 1997, outlines the importance of financial literacy and independence through assets investment, real estate investment and entrepreneurship. The critically-acclaimed author now believes that the US dollar is on its last legs when it comes to long-term financial scenario and its after-effects will be bigger than the 2000 dot.com crash and the real estate crash of 2008. Cryptocurrencies offer a respite because of their higher transparency.

SEC postpones decision on Bitcoin ETFs causing massive price tank: Cryptocurrency prices took a major hit when the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) postponed any announcements on Bitcoin ETFs till 30 September this year.

The most popular cryptocurrency in the world dropped from a three-month high of USD 8,400 to USD 6,200 in a matter of two days when the SEC announced a 92-page rejection letter for the Winklevoss Bitcoin ETF that uses Bitcoin in reserves of cash. The announcement showed that the future of Bitcoin ETFs is rather bleak in the country thus resulting in a selling spree by the investors who had obviously bet on other outcomes.

Texas mining facility starts US expansion drive by Bitmain: Bitmain, the largest Bitcoin ASIC manufacturer, has announced further US expansion drive with Texas selected as the next location for its mining facility.

Rockdale, Texas will benefit from FDI of over USD 500 million in the next seven years from Bitmain with plans of launching mining operations as early as 2019. The investment will also create job opportunities for 400 more people in the Texas blockchain data center as well.

Goldman Sachs custodial expected in near future: Rumors regarding some of the largest Wall Street banks and their experiments with cryptocurrencies are abuzz as an unconfirmed story regarding Goldman Sachs states that the group is considering crypto custody for the benefit of its clients.

The change in approach by the bank which was anti-crypto a while ago shows the effects of change of leadership with new head David Solomon. His target is to evolve the business and adapt to the environment, something that is not normally associated with a large, conventional fiat bank.

Congressman Bob Goodlatte is first to declare crypto holdings: US congressman from Virginia’s sixth congressional district Bob Goodlatte is the first to declare crypto holdings.

Goodlatte, who currently is the chair of House Judiciary committee, made this disclosure back on 10 May but was only investigated recently. The congressman holds USD 50,000 worth of BTC in addition to having smaller BCH and ETH holdings of USD 1,000 and USD 15,000 each.

The reason for the disclosure was a result of Congressional Blockchain Legal Advisory’s request to all employees of the executive branch to declare cryptocurrency holdings.

US military servicemen to vote with blockchain app: US overseas military personnel will have the option to vote for their candidate in various elections with the help of a new blockchain app.

The move comes after the US government is making amends for crippling attacks allegedly done by Russian hackers on the election network in the country. With the help of blockchain technology, the election office of the US hopes to increase transparency and security in the process.

Canada

Mining project threatening Canada’s carbon-neutral electricity generation: Canada may have to forgo its carbon-neutral power generation policy in the face of countless numbers of mining companies setting up shop in the country.

Cryptocurrency mining is an extremely resource intensive process and often relies on low electricity prices. The abundance of local hydro power generating units meant that Canada felt confident while inviting mining companies but once the situation went out of control, the government sought other means of electricity generation that could include processes with higher emissions.

Electricity providers like HydroQuebec are fighting back and rationing the electricity usage of miners.

Mexico

Central bank issuing new rules for crypto exchanges: The Bank of Mexico is setting new rules for cryptocurrency exchanges and traders in the country according to a two-page document released by the governing bank.

The new regulation asks financial institutions to stop using regular bank accounts for cryptocurrency exchanges. The move comes in the backdrop of a few serious cyber attacks in cryptocurrency exchanges in the country including a latest one that resulted in 500,00 users being hacked.

 

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The post North America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 3rd to 9th August 2018 appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

North America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 27th July to 2nd August 2018

North America

Welcome to our weekly roundup of all important blockchain and cryptocurrency news from around the world. Follow the latest developments in the cryptocurrency space continent by continent, country by country.

USA

Morpheus Titania Bitcoin dealer case shows lengths of US law enforcement: Arizona Bitcoin dealer Mario Costanzo working under an alias Morpheus Titania has been sentenced to 41 months in prison for five counts of money laundering and drug trafficking showing the reach of the US law enforcement when it comes to cryptocurrencies.

The case is in stark contrast to the belief that law enforcement has limited means to tackle cryptocurrency related crimes and endeavors. Costanzo’s problems with the law started back in 2015 with a felony conviction for Marijuana possession, a substance illegal in the state. His home was also raided back in April 2017 but no incriminating evidence was found except for three boxes of bullets. An eventual undercover operation led to his damnation and arrest.

Walton College in Arkansas announces blockchain courses: The University of Arkansas is the latest educational institute in USA to offer blockchain educational courses at its Sam M Walton College of Business.

The university is aiming to study the rapidly penetrating technology and is aiming to prepare its students for a decentralized future. Walton College Dean Matt Waller said:

“We will develop and establish research partnerships by conducting collaborative industry-university research, we will promote and enable dissemination of knowledge about blockchains, and we will accelerate industry adoption of blockchain technology.”

The university joins the likes of Stanford, NY University, Berkeley, and other educational centers across USA in provision of blockchain technology education.

Wall Street research organization Fundstrat to accept Bitcoin: Interest in blockchain and cryptocurrencies is increasing in Wall Street as a leading independent research organization FundStrat announced that it is going to accept Bitcoin from global clients.

The recent trends from Wall Street show that is that it is very receptive to cryptocurrencies but still figuring out how best to adopt it. Banks like Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and others are still considering cryptocurrencies.

Wells Fargo poll shows skepticism still retained by US investors for crypto: Financial services giant Wells Fargo has conducted its own poll that shows that a 72% majority still has a skeptical opinion regarding Bitcoin and don’t wish to buy it. About 75%, on the other hand, believe that cryptocurrencies are very risky.

The poll consisted of 1,912 adults in the US who had more USD 10,000 or more invested in stocks, bonds or mutual funds. Some 26% of the respondents were intrigued by cryptocurrencies but won’t be buying soon and only 2% owned Bitcoin themselves and 0.5% hoped to buy some in the near future.

Morgan Creek Capital CEO says Bitcoin will reach $25,000 by the end of 2018: Morgan Creek Capital CEO Mark W Yusko has said that Bitcoin will probably reach USD 25,000 by the year’s end and as much as USD 500,000 by 2024 and USD 1 million eventually.

While insane price forecasts by people are not based on any data, it reminds people that great future lies ahead for cryptocurrencies according to many top investors in the world.

Trade war could be real reason behind Bitcoin rally: According to CEO of ADVEN Clem Chambers, the devaluation of the Chinese yen and the trade war between the US and China is the reason behind the latest price rally of Bitcoin.

Chambers also compared Bitcoin to gold that people hoard when fiat currencies are down. He also said that Bitcoin is like gold but a lot better in many ways because of its instant transfer capability.

SEC Commissioner says ETF rejection hurts investors, stifles innovation: A Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) commissioner Hester Pierce who voted in favor of ETFs has come out and said that the restrictions on ETFs will hurt innovation and investors in the space.

The ETF case was heard by the SEC that eventually rejected the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust Fund’s ETF in a 92-page document. Pierce who supported the ETFs said:

“The Commission’s action today deprives investors of this choice. I reject the role of gatekeeper of innovation—a role very different from (and, indeed, inconsistent with) our mission of protecting investors, fostering capital formation, and facilitating fair, orderly, and efficient markets. Accordingly, I dissent.”

The divide in SEC is evident but anti-Bitcoin forces seem to be dominant right now.

Mexico

Government to conduct first procurement procedure on blockchain: The Mexican government has announced that a project first started in a Mexican hackathon has now been implemented via a blockchain network.

The move will be a first in the country and will hope to bring transparency in the public sector.

Canada

Bank of Canada restarts debate on implementation of central bank crypto: A new paper published by the Bank of Canada bring forth a positive argument for the implementation of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs).

The author Mohammad R Davoodalhosseini believes that introduction of a CBDC “can lead to an increase of up to 0.64% in consumption for Canada and up to 1.6% for the US, compared with their respective economies if only cash is used”.

 

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