Category Archives: North America blockchain news

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

North America

North America

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

USA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The post North America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 15th to 21st April, 2019 appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

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

North America

North America

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

Canada

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

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

USA

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

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

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

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

Mexico

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

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The post North America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 31st March to 6th April, 2019 appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

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

North America

North America

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

The United States

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bahamas

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

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

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

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The post North America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 3rd to 9th March, 2019 appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

North America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 23rd February to 2nd March 2019

North America

North America

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

Canada

Regulations Proposed After Quadriga CEO Reportedly Takes USD 140 Million to His Grave: Canadian public and regulators are calling for new regulations to be put in place after CEO Gerald Cotton died without giving the whereabouts of the USD 140 million worth of private crypto stash that belonged to investors of the exchange.

The bizarre incident caused the exchange to go into bankruptcy and seek creditor protection. The cautionary tale is forcing the community and the government to ensure that digital assets can still be accessed after a person’s death to distribute to his heirs.

Crypto Ponzi Scheme Banned in Ontario: USI Tech, a US-based Ponzi scheme claiming to deal in forex and cryptocurrency has been banned in Ontario by the Ontario Securities Commission. The abrupt closure comes after the company’s management threw its Canadian affiliates under the bus.

Last month, the OSC had issued a Cease Trade Order against the platform without any reason and the company tried to get out of it by saying that it hadn’t sold any product in Canada directly but only through local independent traders. That is when OSC came to the conclusion that USI Tech was dishonest and warranted a blanket ban.

USA

Congressman Tells Federal Reserve Chair That Cryptocurrencies Will Improve Innovation in the Country: Representative Warren Davidson (R-OH) has told the Federal Reserve chairman that cryptocurrencies can help innovate the fintech space in the country in a recent congressional hearing.

He said:

“Bitcoin doesn’t represent blockchain anymore than a website represents the internet. It is one use…..Capital has fled the United States where this innovation [was] initially off to a good start. Do you believe that regulatory certainty could foster innovation in this market…in the token economy?”

Davidson also cited the development of the internet as a similar example to that of the crypto sector and suggested the Federal Reserve Chair allow it to do so. The response of some of the other lawmakers was not as encouraging as Davidson’s.

Ripple Lawsuit to Remain in Federal Court: Ripple scored a minor legal victory last week when it announced that the securities lawsuit against the company’s XRP cryptocurrency was to remain in Federal court despite a move by the prosecution.

Lawyer Jake Chervinsky announced the development through a tweet on 1st March 2019 and said that the plaintiff’s motions were denied by the court and termed it as a minor victory. The case currently being fought by Ripple is a class action lawsuit against Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse and Ripple for illegally selling unregistered securities in the country.

Specific Tokens to Be Exempted from Securities Law in Rhode Island: A new bill tabled in the Rhode Island legislature suggests that some digital tokens should be excluded from securities laws of the state.

The bipartisan effort H5595 recommends a series of amendments to the Rhode Island Securities Act and suggests several revolutionary changes. According to the new bill, tokens for consumptive use including receipt of services, goods or content may not fall within the securities laws.

But, the bill clearly suggests that tokens are not allowed to be used for investment purposes and so, it makes the adoption of the new bill a tricky subject up for debate in the state assembly.

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The post North America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 23rd February to 2nd March 2019 appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

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.