Greek Admin Court Blocks Decision to Extradite Vinnik to France
Dec26

Greek Admin Court Blocks Decision to Extradite Vinnik to France

Another Greek court has weighed in on the seemingly never-ending saga of accused Bitcoin fraudster Alexander Vinnik, Reuters reports. Early this week, the nation’s top administrative court issued a ruling that suspended last week’s ministerial decision to give priority to French requests for Vinnik’s extradition.

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Chinese Official: Digital Yuan ‘Not for Speculation’
Dec24

Chinese Official: Digital Yuan ‘Not for Speculation’

People’s Bank of China digital currency research institute head Mu Changchun recently said that the central bank’s new sovereign digital currency will be different than private cryptocurrencies and stablecoins, the South China Morning Post reports. Most notably, Mu asserted that the digital yuan will not be open to speculation:

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Greek Justice Minister Reportedly Signs Order to Extradite Vinnik to France
Dec23

Greek Justice Minister Reportedly Signs Order to Extradite Vinnik to France

The Associated Press has reported that Greek Justice Minister Konstantinos Tsiarashas signed an order that authorizes former BTC-e head and accused bitcoin fraudster Alexander Vinnik’s extradition to France. The order was apparently signed late this week. As the Miami Herald reports:

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U.S. House Members: IRS Crypto Tax Guidance Raises ‘New Questions’
Dec22

U.S. House Members: IRS Crypto Tax Guidance Raises ‘New Questions’

Eight members of the U.S. Congress have asked the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to provide additional information about the agency’s cryptocurrency tax guidelines. In a December 20 letter to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig, the representatives asserted that the guidelines released by the agency in October “creates many new questions related to the topics it seeks to address.”

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Cryptocurrency Act Could Clarify Digital Asset Regulation in U.S.
Dec21

Cryptocurrency Act Could Clarify Digital Asset Regulation in U.S.

Arizona Republican Congressman Paul Gosar has introduced a draft discussion bill designed to bring order to the regulation of digital asses in the United States. The Crypto-Currency Act of 2020 would provide clarity on issues like licensing, registrations, and which regulatory bodies are responsible for regulating different kinds of digital assets, Forbes reports.

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Libra Board Member Says Project Will Launch in 2020
Dec20

Libra Board Member Says Project Will Launch in 2020

Libra Association board member Patrick Ellis told Reuters on Thursday that the organization still plans to launch its Libra digital currency payment system next year, despite having no firm plan for the currency’s rollout. However, he suggested that the organization’s discussions with regulators will determine the scope of that rollout.

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Man Accused of Stealing $1 Million in Cryptocurrency Using SIM-Card Scheme
Dec19

Man Accused of Stealing $1 Million in Cryptocurrency Using SIM-Card Scheme

A Brooklyn man has been charged by Manhattan authorities with 87 counts of identity theft, grand larceny, and other criminal activities, the New York Post reports. The charges stem from an alleged SIM-card scheme that involved hijacking access to more than a dozen people’s phones across 20 states from January 20 to May 19, 2019.

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Fed’s Brainard Highlights Digital Currency Risks
Dec19

Fed’s Brainard Highlights Digital Currency Risks

In remarks celebrating European Central Bank executive board member Benoît Coeuré, Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard focused on the risks associated with digital currency and stablecoins. Brainard was part of a panel focused on future monetary policy challenges.

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Fidelity Expands Digital Asset Services to Europe
Dec17

Fidelity Expands Digital Asset Services to Europe

Fidelity Investments has announced that it will be introducing Fidelity Digital Assets, Ltd to provide digital asset services for European institutional investors. In a press release today, the company confirmed that it will provide European hedge funds, market intermediaries, family offices, and other investors access to “enterprise-quality custody and trade execution services for digital assets.”

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UN Agency Turns to Blockchain to Protect Migrant Workers in Hong Kong
Dec16

UN Agency Turns to Blockchain to Protect Migrant Workers in Hong Kong

The UN-Related International Organization for Migration (IOM) is launching a blockchain-based tool to aid it in its efforts to protect migrant workers in Hong Kong from exploitation. The launch was announced today by IOM’s partner in the venture, blockchain technology firm Diginex.

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New Report Highlights Female Investor Interest in Bitcoin
Dec15

New Report Highlights Female Investor Interest in Bitcoin

A new report from Bitcoin fund management firm Grayscale indicates that the digital currency gender gap may not be as wide as many have assumed. The report was based on a survey of 1,100 American investors, and discovered that women share many of the same views as their male counterparts when it comes to Bitcoin as an investment.

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Swedish Central Bank Announces E-Krona Pilot Project
Dec13

Swedish Central Bank Announces E-Krona Pilot Project

Sweden’s central bank, the Riksbank, first announced its interest in launching a national digital currency a little more than three years ago. At the time, the public expressed little interest in the idea. According to Reuters, however, the bank has apparently maintained its interest in the initiative and today announced plans for a digital currency pilot project.

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Reuters: Dutch Bank ING Reportedly Developing Digital Asset Custody Technology
Dec12

Reuters: Dutch Bank ING Reportedly Developing Digital Asset Custody Technology

The Reuters news agency reported this week that Dutch bank ING is developing asset custody technology that could be used to help customers securely store various types of digital assets. The report relied on unnamed sources “familiar with the matter” who said that the project is in an early stage and is but one of ING’s ongoing blockchain initiatives.

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Feds Charge Five Men for Illicit $722 Million Cryptocurrency Scheme
Dec11

Feds Charge Five Men for Illicit $722 Million Cryptocurrency Scheme

On Tuesday, U.S. prosecutors brought charges against five men who engaged in a cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme to defraud investors of $722 million, NBC News reports. The allegations were presented in a 27-page indictment in a Newark, New Jersey U.S. District Court.

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Japan’s KEPCO Extends Power Ledger Blockchain Trial
Dec10

Japan’s KEPCO Extends Power Ledger Blockchain Trial

Japan’s Kansai Electric Power Company (KEPCO) has extended its agreement with Australia’s Power Ledger blockchain firm, in an expansion of an existing trial program for peer-to-peer surplus energy trading. The trial program relies on a Power Ledger-designed blockchain platform for trading renewable energy, creating and tracking renewable energy certificates, or RECs.

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Hainan Province to Invest 1 Billion Yuan in Blockchain Industry
Dec08

Hainan Province to Invest 1 Billion Yuan in Blockchain Industry

China’s Hainan Province announced a new series of economic measures that include investing 1 billion yuan to promote blockchain industry development, according to a report from state-run media outlet Xinhua. The announcement was made in a press conference in the Hainan capital, Haikou on Wednesday.

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Coinbase Card Now Supports DAI Stablecoin
Dec07

Coinbase Card Now Supports DAI Stablecoin

Coinbase announced this week that Coinbase Card now supports the DAI stablecoin, providing card users with “a cryptocurrency with stable purchasing power.” In a blog post announcing the move, Coinbase asserted that the addition of DAI support provides consumers with even more opportunity and choice.

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IRS Criminal Investigation Division to Increase Focus on Crypto Tax Cases
Dec06

IRS Criminal Investigation Division to Increase Focus on Crypto Tax Cases

The Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation division released its annual report on Thursday, revealing that it is continuing to prioritize cybercrime, employment tax concerns, and cryptocurrency tax-related issues, Accounting Today reports. The division reported that it had identified a total of $1.8 billion of tax fraud so far this year and has successfully prosecuted 91.2 percent of its financial crime cases.

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Govt Report: Stablecoin Adoption Could Pose Risk to U.S. Economy
Dec05

Govt Report: Stablecoin Adoption Could Pose Risk to U.S. Economy

The Financial Stability Oversight Council released a new report this week highlighting various risks to the U.S. financial system and economy. Part of the report focused attention on potential dangers that could result from increased adoption of so-called stablecoins, like Facebook’s proposed Libra currency.

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GA Governor Appoints Pro-Crypto Loeffler to Fill Senate Seat
Dec05

GA Governor Appoints Pro-Crypto Loeffler to Fill Senate Seat

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp named Bakkt CEO Kelly Loeffler to replace retiring GA Senator Johnny Isakson, who plans to step down from office at the end of the year for health reasons. Loeffler, 49, is expected to bring a decidedly pro-cryptocurrency voice to the U.S. Senate, having served as Intercontinental Exchange’s (ICE) digital asset head prior to taking on the leadership role at Bakkt.

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