According to a report in the Financial Times, at least three early Facebook Libra backers are looking at options to distance themselves from the project. The three backers are reportedly concerned about the increasing scrutiny and resistance to the proposed digital currency payment system from regulators and legislators around the globe.
Tether has plans to introduce a new stablecoin that would be pegged to the value of China’s yuan currency, according to an article published by Chinese media outlet Chain News. The plans for the ‘CNHT’ stablecoin were reportedly confirmed by Bitfinex shareholder Zhao Dong, who suggested that his RenrenBit digital asset management platform will be among the first to back the new venture.
Israel’s Capital Market, Insurance and Savings Authority wants to expedite the licensing process for blockchain and other fintech firms, according to a report from Israeli business outlet Calcalist. The Authority reportedly hopes to facilitate greater competitiveness and innovation in the sector.
Cryptocurrency exchange Binance has announced plans to launch an open blockchain project called Venus to facilitate the development of “localized stablecoins” around the world. The exchange said that it hopes to partner with governments, tech companies, and other cryptocurrency businesses to help empower nations to create new currencies.
Credit card giant Mastercard is apparently building an in-house cryptocurrency team, according to a recent report from the New York Post. The company is actively recruiting job candidates who are familiar with cryptocurrency technology. The Post provided details of the job listing in its August 17 report:
South Korea-based cryptocurrency exchange CoinOne recently published a blog post revealing its criteria for new cryptocurrency projects seeking to get listed on the exchange. In that post, CoinOne identified nine specific criteria it uses to judge any project’s suitability for being listed as well as several criteria the company uses when considering a delisting.
Bakkt announced today that it plans to launch its custody services and bitcoin futures products on September 23. In a blog post announcing the news, the company confirmed that the New York State Department of Financial Services has approved its New York trust charter, paving the way for Bakkt to launch its products.
The Moscow Department of Information Technologies (DIT) reportedly plans to develop a blockchain platform that will be used to host the electronic services City Hall provides to citizens in the capital, Open Media reported on August 15. Officials have published an open tender to procure a contractor to develop the system, with an initial contract estimate of 56.97 million rubles.
British banking institution Barclays has stopped providing bank services to U.S.-based digital currency exchange Coinbase, according to Reuters, which cited “sources familiar with the matter.” Other recent reports suggest that Coinbase has secured a banking partnership with UK-based ClearBank.
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission has announced that it has delayed its decision on rule changes that could permit the Bitwise Bitcoin ETF Trust and VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust to begin trading. With the delay, the SEC won’t make a decision about the two funds until October at the earliest, Bloomberg reports.
New Zealand’s tax authority has published new guidelines permitting the use of cryptocurrency to pay worker salaries, effective September 1, 2019. The published guidelines emphasize that digital currencies are still not considered legal tender, and any salary or wage payments that utilize them must comply with the country’s tax laws.
During remarks at the China Finance 40 Forum, People’s Bank of China (PBoC) Payment and Settlement Division deputy director Mu Changchun claimed that the “People’s Bank digital currency can now be said to be ready.” The PBoC has been researching options for a central bank digital currency since 2014, Shanghai Securities News reported Saturday.
The United States Department of Energy’s Office of Science is partnering with two universities, a software firm, and energy company ComEd to develop an “energy internet” using blockchain technology. The DOE has provided the four organizations with a grant of $1,05 million to fund the project, according to a ComEd press release published on Friday, August 9.
A group of roughly 15 nations are reportedly planning to develop a new system that will facilitate collection and sharing of data related to consumers who engage in cryptocurrency transactions, the Nikkei Asian Review reports. The stated objective is to reduce the risk that cryptocurrencies might be used to fund terrorism, launder money, or facilitate other crimes.
Coinbase Custody Trust Company has added two former New York banking regulators to its board of directors. In a blog post, dated August 7, the company confirmed that Robert Easton and Richard Neiman were selected for their solid experience in “financial services, public policy and banking operations.”
North Carolina Republican Representative Ted Budd’s Virtual Value Tax Fix Act of 2019 has been reintroduced in the House of Representatives and referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means. The bill seeks to amend the Internal Revenue Code to “allow exclusion of gain or loss on like-kind exchanges of virtual currency.”
Security experts have long alleged that the North Korean government has been engaged in cyber theft designed to help fund its missile program, nuclear program, and other regime priorities. According to a new report from a United Nations panel, those attacks have enabled the regime to steal an estimated $2 billion in assets.
At least one official in Thailand wants to amend the country’s Anti-Money Laundering laws to ensure that cryptocurrencies are not used to facilitate crime. According to a report in the BangkokPost today, Thai Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO) secretary-general Maj Gen Preecha Charoensahayanon is convinced that money launderers will eventually use digital currencies to further their illicit schemes.
The Iranian Cabinet has released a newly-ratified bill that outlines the government’s position on digital assets and establishes conditions for cryptocurrency miners to operate within the country. According to Iranian media outlet PressTV, the government’s official position is that digital currencies are not recognized as legal tender in Iran, and the country’s central bank cannot ensure their value.
In July, President Trump responded to Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency announcement by taking to Twitter to announce that he’s not a fan of Bitcoin or cryptocurrency. Former Trump strategist Steve Bannon recently took the opposite view, suggesting that Bitcoin and other digital currencies could play an important role in the future.