Category Archives: North America cryptocurrency news

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North America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 30 November-6 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.

Cuba

Mobile Internet Expected to bring Cryptocurrencies to the Public: This month marked a new development in the average Cubans’ life as mobile internet became a reality in the country and with it comes the promise of cryptocurrencies. Cuba has had some of the worst internet censorships in the world, far worse than China but eventually, the country is now being opened up for investment and innovation.

Nearly half of the 11.2 million residents in the country have mobile phones and can afford internet access. Cryptocurrencies can improve the microeconomic situation in the country but it remains to be seen how the government and people will react to it.

Canada

Cryptocurrency Mining Discussed in Canada: Canada is one of the most progressive countries when it comes to cryptocurrencies and blockchain adoption, but the recent issues regarding the mining companies are re-igniting the debate on the sector because of its power consuming nature.

There are considerable environmental issues when it comes to mining cryptocurrencies and while studies have shown that cryptocurrencies are more likely to use renewable resources, the debate still goes on.

United States of America

Bill Introduced to Save Investors from Market Manipulation: A recent bipartisan US bill tabled in the House of Representatives intends to protect cryptocurrency investors from market manipulation. The bill was proposed by Democratic congressman Darren Soto (Fl) and Republican Tedd Budd (NC).

The bill has been named Virtual Currency Consumer Protection Act and direct Commodities and Futures Trading Commission to start action against price manipulation especially pump and dump cryptocurrency schemes.

The bill also intends to help the industry by undergoing a study of crypto regulations in other countries and recommending ways to make the US more competitive for blockchain companies.

Ohio University Announces Blockchain Hub: A top private university in the capital of Ohio has a new blockchain group called the Cleveland Blockchain and Digital Futures Hub.

The Case Western Reserve University (CWRU’s president Barbara Snyder announced the project during the maiden Blockland Solutions Conference in Ohio this week. The conference aims to turn the state into a regional center for blockchain technology.

The newly formed hub will study cutting-edge tech like blockchain and Internet of Things in addition to Virtual Reality for future applications. It also seeks to develop applications of the technology in partnership with enterprises including academic institutions, tech accelerators and government itself.

Bill Gates Believes Digital Currencies will Help the Poor: Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates has expressed admiration for cryptocurrencies and said that digital technology has the ability to empower the most impoverished population of the world.

This is not the first time Gates has opened up regarding cryptocurrencies. Back in 2014, he said:

“Bitcoin is better than currency in that you don’t have to be physically in the same place and, of course, for large transactions, currency can get pretty inconvenient.”

Now Gates has come forward and said that the transformation of underlying economics through digitization of money can potentially help people living in poverty across the globe. The move can be seen in South America where Dash has been adopted by many people for donation-based services.

Healthcare Alliance Looking to Blockchain for Data Integrity: US Healthcare alliance that consists of seven biggest healthcare companies is exploring the option to improve data quality within its systems according to a report in Modern Healthcare.

The primary objective of the alliance is to look for ways in which blockchain can be used to improve data quality and help lower administration costs.

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North America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 23-29 November 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

Federal Reserve Bank Blames Bitcoin Futures Markets for BTC Price Decline: The Federal Reserve has officially blamed the launch of Bitcoin Futures Market for the recent decline in Bitcoin’s price according to a letter published on its website.

According to the online publication, Bitcoin Futures launch on December 17 last year converted the biggest bitcoin bull into a bearish situation. The Fed also goes on to make comparisons with falls in other assets’ prices after the launch of futures markets including the mortgage industry whose uptick was neutralised by the launch of mortgage securities. The dollar issuer then goes on to say that the Bitcoin could have kept rising past $20,000 if the futures had not been launched.

Federal Government Places Sanctions on Bitcoin Addresses: The United States has issued sanctions against several Bitcoin addresses as a first in the country. According to the government, the addresses were set up by two Iranians to help a ransomware scheme.

The sanctions were issued by the United States Treasury Department Office of Foreign Assets Control. People in the US and partnering entities are now banned from sending BTC to these addresses.

Lettuce Outbreak Results in FDA Seeking Blockchain Solution: A recent lettuce E. Coli break has resulted in the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to seek a blockchain-based solution for food tracking in a supply chain. 

According to Dr. Scott Gottlieb in a CNBC interview, the FDA had requested that a food safety expert formerly of Walmart to act as a food and veterinary medicine supply commissioner. Dr. Gottlieb continued on and said that the new addition will help the administration to introduce new tools for tracking food, with blockchain being looked at as a viable solution.

Court Overturns Security Designation of ICO by SEC: In one of the first ruling of its kind, a judge of the Southern District of California has declared that the security classification by SEC on an ICO was not justified. 

ICO Blockvest had been walking a tightrope when it came to security designation from the SEC, but never explicitly broke the rules according to the judgment. While the decision is unique and first-of-its-kind, the ICO is still not exonerated as other charges remain on the project.

USD Tether Restarts Direct USD Redemption: USDT is slowly returning back to its best as the stablecoin company has announced that the direct redemption of the silverback is set to be re-enabled after months of issues that even affected the price of USDT against USD in the open market.

Tether currently is the top stablecoin in the market with over $1.8 billion market cap and it is ranked seventh on cryptocurrency market cap tables.

Mexico

Blockchain Association Formed With Consensys as First Member: The Central American country has seen the formation of the first blockchain association with ConsenSys starting the rostrum as the founding member.

According to Forbes Mexico, the new association has members who represent the fintech facet of the industry. Several local exchanges and hedge funds have found a seat on the table including Bitso, Volabit, Lvna Capital, etc in addition to ConsensSys.

Canada

Air Canada Partnering to Develop Blockchain Travel Solutions: Air Canada, the national flag carrier of the country is now partnering with a blockchain firm for developing a distribution system based on Blockchain technology.

Winding Tree, the partnering DLT company has created an open source blockchain marketplace where agents can arrange flights at their own commission rates.

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North America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 16-22 November 2018

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

Ponzi Scheme Figure Arrested and Extradited to the US: OneCoin’s public face Sebastian Greenwood has been arrested and extradited to the US after the company collapsed amid Ponzi scheme allegations.

Greenwood was captured by authorities in Thailand who facilitated the transfer back to his country. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has a USD 400 million indictment against Mark Scott, and Greenwood is also named. He disappeared back in 2016 just before the crash of the OneCoin scam.

Crypto VC Compares Bitcoin to Post 1990s Amazon: Lou Kerner, a Bitcoin investment VC has compared Bitcoin to the post dot-com bubble Amazon. Amazon remained strong after the bubble burst of the late 1990s and is one of the most valuable companies in the world right now.

According to Kerner, the volatility is part of any long-term investment remembering how in 2013, the value was down almost 70% in one night. He said:

“Nobody likes being down like this. But this is what investing in crypto is all about.”

Kerner is overall positive regarding the future of Bitcoin.

John McAfee Partnering with Art Firm to Auction Picasso’s Works: John McAfee, the eccentric Bitcoin billionaire has now teamed up with Maecenas and ERC-20 exchange Ethershift to auction Picasso’s paintings later this year.

The initiative called Project Phoenix will plan the auction for the unnamed Picasso and made the announcement on the Maecenas website.

According to the website:

“The auctioning process will be executed using Maecenas technology. The newly created digital asset, the first of its kind, will be represented as a single ERC-721 token for the digitalized artwork. A fixed number of ERC-20 tokens will separately represent shared ownership in the physical asset.”

It is expected that the BTC payment option will be available in the proceeding because of McAfee’s involvement.

IBM and Columbia University Promoting New Blockchain Startups with Latest Courses: Two blockchain accelerator programs are being offered at Columbia University in partnership with IBM for blockchain-based firms and innovators.

According to IBM:

The goal of these programs is to help network founders develop their ideas into sustainable and scalable companies offering blockchain solutions. For those already further along in their journey, the programs are designed to help them achieve scale and build successful business networks.”

IBM is also willing to offer entrepreneurs and blockchain innovators access to expertise and resources for establishing new use cases and products.

Former SEC Commissioner Appointed in Director Role by Blockchain Company: Former Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) commissioner Annette Nazarath has been unveiled as a Director by blockchain company BitFury.

With Nazarath’s extensive experience as a regulator, the company will have valuable insight into the workings of financial platforms and thus the ability to design their own system accordingly.

Colorado Regulator Closes 4 Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) for Violating Laws: The Colorado Division of Securities has announced the closure of 4 ICOs who were found to be violating securities laws of the state.

Global Pay Net, CrowdShare Mining, Cyber Smart Coin, and Credits LLC were closed down by the government. Two more ICOs are expected to meet the same fate in the near future. A total of 24 cease and desist orders have been issued by the state commissioner in total.

Canada

Lawmakers Calling for AML Regulations: Canadian lawmakers are looking to tighten cryptocurrency regulations in the country to fight Anti-Money-Laundering (AML) and other illicit activities in the country.

The Blockchain Association of Canada is against the new proposed legislation in the country and is asking the government to cooperate with the sector instead of imposing unilateral sanctions.

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The post North America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 16-22 November 2018 appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

North America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 2-8 Nov 2018

North America

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

USA

Politician Tries to set Record Straight on Cryptocurrency Donations: US politician Brian Forde has tried to clarify misconceptions against cryptocurrency campaign donations in the country including lack of transparency.

Brian Forde has served previously as Senior Tech Advisor to President Obama and he was the one who educated the president about the new industry. He was also one of the first US politicians to collect cryptocurrency campaign donations during his run for the House of Representatives. He received reportedly $300,000 in donations through Bitcoin alone.

He clarified in an article that the misconceptions regarding cryptocurrency donations are false including the allegation that they cannot be traced. Forde cleared that cryptocurrencies have the same process as their fiat alternatives when it comes to campaign donations.

SEC Shuts down 12 ICOs in One Year: The Securities and Exchange Commission has shut down a dozen ICOs in one year alone, according to its official report at the end of the current fiscal year.

According to the federal regulator, these banned ICOs raised more than $68 million before they were finally shut down. Overall, the SEC confiscated, fined more than $3.945 billion during the same period overall from all violators.

SEC to Issue Simplified Crypto Guidelines: The SEC is working on clarifying when and how cryptocurrencies and ICOs can be regarded as securities by the regulator and treated as such according to a recent speech by Director of Corporate Finance.

Willian Hinman, the director said on record that the SEC was working to release new regulations in plain English to help new startups looking to offer their tokens in the market. The overall attitude despite these simplifications will remain hawkish.

Crypto-favorable Candidates Elected in US Gubernatorial Elections: According to the results of the mid-term elections of this week, five pro-crypto governors have been elected in the country. Three are newly elected governors while two pro-crypto ones have been re-elected.

The five governors are given extremely high ranking by the Digital Asset Trade Association that assigns rankings to politicians regarding their crypto-friendliness.

Bank of America Gets Tamper-proof DLT Patent: Bank of America, the country’s second-largest bank has secured a blockchain patent that can provide a useful barrier against hacking attempts on banking networks.

The patent reportedly prevents tampering by having redundant keys which can be removed from a tampered device for good.

Cryptocurrency Pioneer Says He Will Run Only for Promoting Cryptocurrencies: Famed cryptocurrency pioneer John McAfee has said that his run for the 2020 presidential elections is solely meant for the promotion of cryptocurrencies in the country.

McAfee will reportedly campaign from the Libertarian platform like in the 2016 elections. However, he has now come out and said that the only reason he is doing this is to promote cryptocurrencies in the country.

Canada

First Bitcoin-backed Loan Service Launched for Businesses and Consumers: A financial company named Ledn Inc has become the first organization to offer fiat loans in exchange for Bitcoin as collateral.

The move was founded by a Bitcoin investor Mauricio Di Bartolomeo who aims to fill the market gap for Canadians who are invested in cryptocurrencies but can’t obtain loans because of various reasons.

Marshall Islands

President in Hot Water over National Cryptocurrency Launch: The President of Marshall Islands Hilda Heine is in trouble after promoting the idea of a national cryptocurrency in the tiny Pacific nation. She will now have to face a vote of no confidence in the country’s legislature on 12 November 2018.

The current currency of the islands is USD despite the country gaining independence from the mainland forty years ago. President Heine incurred the wrath of IMF and the USA after her move to start the island’s own national cryptocurrency. Now she is facing backlash and possible impeachment in the parliament. If she wins this battle, she will launch the Sovereign (SOV) as early as next year.

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North America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 26th October to 1st November 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

First Bitcoin ATM operator given Bitlicense: Coinsource, a Bitcoin ATM operator with more than 192 ATMs has become the first such company with a Bitlicense in the state.

While there are a number of Bitcoin ATMs being operated in the state already, the first Bitlicense was issued to Coinsource after a heavy vetting process which is described as the toughest in the country. When the Bitlicense was incorporated, much of the Bitcoin trading was deemed illegal in New York but slowly, companies are complying with the new regulations.

Federal Reserve ex-chair gifted Bitcoin after negative crypto comments: After condemning cryptocurrencies in a recent interview, fformer chair of the Federal Reserve Janet Yellen received BTC 0.00316 or USD 20 as a gift from Bitcoin gifting service Biterica’s founder Raz Suprovici.

Yellen had said that Bitcoin had slow transactions, wasn’t a stable source of value wasn’t efficient at all.

Suprovici hoped she understands the process and changes her mind with this kind gesture. Yellen confirmed the transfer but said that she didn’t look into it any further.

Johnny Depp fired, Michael Keaton to play John McAfee in Hollywood film: Veteran actor Michael Keaton has replaced Johnny Depp in the cast of a new movie that will circle around the life of cryptocurrency advocate John McAfee.

The move came after McAfee himself objected to the casting of Johnny Depp. He had a few choice words to say: “The pussy couldn’t handle my drugs. Keaton will have no problem.”

The film is currently in its initial stages.

Study reveals diverging opinions on crypto campaign donations: A recent study by research firm Clovr in the US has shown that there is little consensus on cryptocurrency political donations in the country.

The survey gathered data of 1,023 US voters from a diverse set of backgrounds. Overall, 60% believed that cryptocurrencies and USD should be treated as equals while 21% opposed this view. Over 42% of the respondents said that cryptocurrencies were stable enough for campaign purposes but 35% deemed them too volatile. On the other hand, 60% believed that Bitcoin will make foreign interference more common while 62% believed cryptocurrencies could be used for illegal gains in politics. Overall, there is no consensus on the matter.

New US commodities regulator wants open mind for crypto, blockchain: A new commissioner at the US Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is calling for an open-minded approach towards fintech innovations including blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

Rostin Benham made these comments during a recent speech at a Swaps and Derivatives Conference in Tokyo, Japan. While the SEC itself has clamped down hard on cryptocurrencies, new regulators may spell better times for the cryptocurrency scene.

Canada

Exchange announces hack, deletes website: Canadian exchange MapleChange has deleted its online presence soon after claiming its website was hacked on 28 October.

According to previous Tweets from the exchange’s handle, the exchange had only just reduced trading fees, leading to an increase in overall volume to some BTC 913 per day. This was when the hack allegedly took place.

Government to simplify cross-border services with blockchain tech: Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has announced that it is going to use blockchain technology to improve the efficiency and speed of its services.

CBSA processes 14,000 trucks, 127,400 courier shipments and 240,00 mails every day. The Border service is linking up with a DLT shipping firm called TradeLens which was a project of IBM and Maersk, the largest container company in the world.

 

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North America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 19-25 October 2018

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

Columbia University Investigating the Future of Blockchain in Journalism: The University of Columbia is reportedly studying blockchain technology and its impact on Journalism. According to a recent article from the institution’s Journalism Review titled ‘Blockchain in Journalism: Promise and Practice,’ various aspects of the new technology on the field were discussed in a recent panel discussion.

The panel at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism in the University discussed various ways through which the technology is impacting the world including changing journalism, its practice, and consumption. The Tow Center regularly discusses new technology and its impacts on journalism itself.

The panel consisted of important players in the blockchain and journalism sector including Civil Foundation CEO Vivian Schiller, ZigZag podcaster Manoush Zomorodi, Columbia researcher Eran Tromer, Forbes head of Product & Tech Salah Zalatimo, New York Times researcher Nellie Bowles, and Po.et CEO Jarrod Dicker.

Coinbase Lists Stablecoin: Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the USA has announced the listing of a new USD stablecoin (USDC) in their system. The coin was initially launched by Circle but now Coinbase itself is listed as a co-founder. This is the first stablecoin listed on the Coinbase platform and only the 7th cryptocurrency introduced on the platform after Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, and 0x.

Coinbase has been doing a lot of acquisitions recently to appeal to the unique needs of the US consumer as the SEC clamps down hard on several aspects of cryptocurrency trading in the country.

CNBC’s Brian Kelly Predicts Investment Bull Run for Bitcoin in 2019: CNBC’s popular news personality Brian Kelly has predicted an early investment bull run for Bitcoin in 2019. His viewpoint was made after Fidelity Investments, one of the largest asset managers in the country worth $7.2 trillion was reportedly considering moving towards cryptocurrencies.

Kelly believes that soon enough, mainstream brokers and other investors could be brought into the cryptocurrency scene, thus, triggering a healthy bull run in the sector.

SEC Monitoring Innovation in DLT and Offering Advice: The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)’s FinHub is using a new form on its website to request meetings and gather advice regarding compliance with the regulator’s rules.

According to the SEC, the new form will help companies and blockchain startups to get all the appropriate information to tailor their services accordingly and remain in compliance with the regulations set by it.

According to the SEC:

“The FinHub provides a central point of focus for our efforts to monitor and engage on innovations in the securities markets that hold promise, but which also require a flexible, prompt regulatory response to executing our mission.”

SEC has also played a shady game before that irritated blockchain and cryptocurrency players by setting up a fake ICO website called Howeycoins whose ‘buy now’ button led to an educational program detailing the pitfalls of cryptocurrency and ICO investment. Much of the information on the website was similar to that of an ICO and the chairman himself justified this exercise as “Educative”.

Security Tokens Offerings (STOs) Could Replace ICOs in the USA: While ICOs are heavily scrutinized by the regulators due to their lack of operational resemblance to securities, Securities Token Offerings (STOs) may be seen as a viable alternative to ICOs in the country.

While STOs will offer cryptocurrency tokens to investors, and since they are a security token, they will give the appropriate share of the company to token holders and thus guarantee equity and even announce dividends on profits.

Canada

Bank to Use Blockchain Technology to Simplify Transactions: The National Bank of Canada is implementing a new DLT-based system to simplify banking transactions and remove inefficiencies in the process.

According to a recent press release from the bank, it has formed a partnership with CGI and blockchain-based startup Skuchain to use smart contracts to replace the lengthy email-based features of the current system.

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North America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 12-18 October 2018

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

Department of Justice to Auction 660 BTC: The US Department of Justice is selling 660 BTC ($4.2 million) that were accumulated from various criminal proceedings.

The US Marshals Service (USMS) that works under the umbrella of the Justice Department, posted a notice on its website regarding the auction. A USD 200,000 refundable deposit is needed to enter the bidding process which will be done via sealed bids by 31 October 2018.

The sealed option was undertaken so that bidders cannot see each others’ bids and adjust their own price. 6 sets of 100 BTC will initially be up for auction followed by one set of 60 BTC.

Toyota Using DLT for Ad Buying in the USA: World’s largest car manufacturer Toyota is working with a blockchain advertisement firm to reduce fraudulent activities on digital ads. 

Lucidity, the blockchain company in question is offering enhanced solutions to the car company for its advertising campaigns for the $15 billion US market. With the help of the system, Toyota can now flag sites and apps with high impression and click discrepancies, thus saving up valuable funds.

Crypto Donations from Alumni being Debated: An increased number of cryptocurrency donations are being made to universities prompting debate on their standing in the educational centers. The universities themselves are, however, reluctant to accept them.

According to Nicolas Cary, the co-founder of Blockchain website, he had a tough time having his 14.5 BTC donation accepted in the university.

He said:

“I had to do a little bit of convincing for them to accept it. They wanted to dig in about how it works and what the process would be. We had a lot of conversations.’’

The problem for many institutions is that many simply don’t have a process for such donations. Even Ivy league colleges like Yale and Harvard have been slow in adopting frameworks for cryptocurrency donations.

USD Tether Struggles While Gemini and other Stablecoins Surge Above Parity: The USD stable coins are showing mixed behaviour as by far the principle stable coin USD Tether lowered while Gemini, USDC and PAX surged above parity.

Insolvency issues are reportedly dogging the further adoption of USD Tether, thus causing benefit to its smaller competitors.

Former Commodities Regulator Says ICOs Should be treated like Securities: A former chairman of the US Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has reiterated that ICOs should be considered as securities. 

Gary Gensler, the former chairman of the CFTC made these comments while acknowledging the uniqueness of cryptocurrencies. He made the case that except top cryptocurrencies, all other ICOs should be treated securities to help protect investors.

Joint Investigation Finds SEC Moves Damaging to US Blockchain Startups: A Joint Investigation conducted by Yahoo Finance and Decrypt Media has found that the moves by the SEC are negatively affecting cryptocurrency and blockchain adoption and development in the country.

The attitude of the SEC involves exerting pressure on companies with subpoenas and fines and it has led to many companies moving away from the US to crypto-friendlier shores.

Canada

Marijuana Legalization Brings DLT to the Center: Canada legalized recreational marijuana in the country and blockchain companies are racing to get a share of the pie.

Cannabis has historically been connected with cryptocurrencies and blockchain and now that it has been legalized, more investment and innovation is expected in the sector. Various blockchain-based cannabis companies have announced moves into the now legalized multi-billion dollar industry.

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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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