UK lawmakers have announced the launch of a Treasury Select Committee inquiry that will examine digital currency and blockchain technology, according to reporting from The Telegraph and Reuters. The committee will be tasked with examining cryptocurrency’s potential impact, including risks to the nation’s consumers and business community.
In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, PayPal CFO John Rainey was asked about his views on cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. He said that he doesn’t believe that Bitcoin is currently ready to serve as a reliable payment option, and he cited the digital currency’s high rate of volatility as a major reason why:
Though some financial experts have expressed concern that a collapse in the digital currency markets might affect the broader financial sector, a new report from US-based financial ratings firm Standard & Poor’s contends that any impact would be almost negligible at this point. According to S&P’s assessment, the markets would only be impacted if cryptocurrencies became a serious asset class and enjoyed the market confidence that comes from proper regulatory oversight.
Florida’s Denison Yachting announced on Friday that digital currency owners can use their cryptocurrencies at the Miami International Boat Show to buy a luxury yacht. The company had previously made such transactions possible through BitPay, with customer crypto holding converted into fiat currency to make the purchase.
The United States government is still researching digital currency and examining its risks and potential benefits. As a result, US authorities are not yet ready to create a regulatory framework for the industry, according to remarks made by White House cybersecurity coordinator Rob Joyce at the Munich Security Conference on Friday.
The price of Bitcoin continued to rise on Thursday, peaking at above the $10,000 mark – a height last seen more than two weeks ago. The cryptocurrency markets have been rallying in recent days, as investor fears about potentially crippling government regulation have appeared to subside amid a host of more positive news.
Online news and opinion outlet Salon has introduced a new policy to help it recover revenue losses resulting from the growing use of adblocking software. The company now gives readers a choice when they arrive at the site: they can disable their ad blockers, or they can agree to allow Salon to use their computers’ unused processing power to mine digital currency.
An estimated 7% of all Americans are believed to own some type of cryptocurrency. According to early indications from tax firm Credit Karma, however, only a relatively small number of those people are apparently reporting digital currency gains and losses in this year’s tax filings.
More than 4,200 websites were infected with crypto-mining malware on Sunday, according to a report in The Register. The scheme used Browsealoud – a popular plugin that provides audio readings of web content for visually impaired internet users – to infect websites with the Coinhive Monera-mining malware. Browsealoud is used in many government websites around the world.
Several Russian scientists have reportedly been detained by the authorities after they attempted to use a supercomputer to mine digital currency. The scientists, who work on Russian nuclear warheads at the Federal Nuclear Center in Sarov, were caught as they tried to connect the facility’s computer to the internet, according to reports from the BBC.
The state of Arizona moved one step closer to accepting digital currency for state income tax payments last night, after the state Senate voted to pass a bill designed to allow taxpayers to use cryptocurrencies to meet their tax obligations. Arizona Senate Bill 1091 was passed with 16 yeas, 13 nays, and one abstention.
If Brian Forde is successful in his quest to represent California’s 45th congressional district in Congress, Bitcoin and other digital currencies could soon have a new friend in the nation’s capital. The 37-year old former digital currency director at MIT’s Media Lab is one of several candidates in that hotly-contested race, but he’s already attracted the attention of a number of prominent crypto investors who have been impressed by his knowledge and support for digital currency technology.
On Tuesday, the Senate Banking Committee conducted a hearing on cryptocurrencies that included testimony from Commodity Futures Trading Commission (FCTC) Chairman Christopher Giancarlo and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Jay Clayton. The two men testified about a wide variety of crypto-related topics, including regulations, ICOs, and distributed ledger technology.
Bitcoin’s price continued to drop on Monday, sliding below the $7 mark – its lowest level in more than two months. Analysts have attributed the ongoing price weakness to a steady stream of bad news for the cryptocurrency industry, including new regulatory concerns and recent announcements that several big banks will no longer allow their credit cards to be utilized for cryptocurrency purchases.
The Ontario Securities Commission has formally approved Canada’s first blockchain exchange-traded fund (ETF). The fund is expected to be launched on the Toronto Stock Exchange this week.
Three major U.S. banks recently announced that they will decline credit card purchases of digital currency. The three banks – Bank of America, Citigroup, and JPMorgan Chase – revealed the policy change at the end of the week, with JPMorgan Chase citing the “volatility and risk” involved in such transactions. In a statement to CNBC, a bank spokesperson said:
Shares of Long Blockchain Corp. enjoyed a 4 percent increase on Friday, after the company announced that it will no longer be purchasing 1,000 Bitcoin mining rigs. Instead, the company formerly known as Long Island Iced Tea will focus its attention on its proposed merger with British technology firm Stater Blockchain Ltd.
Brisbane Airport has announced that it plans to begin accepting digital currencies in its restaurants, bars, and shops. The Australian airport has reportedly signed a deal with TravelbyBit Australia that will enable it to accept a variety of different cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dash, and Steem, according to a report in The Telegraph.
South Korean media reported this week that tech giant Samsung Electronics is manufacturing chips designed for cryptocurrency mining. The chips are being made by the company’s Foundry chipset business and provided to a Chinese Bitcoin mining hardware manufacturer, according to a report in The Bell.
In a statement on Monday, Chinese bitcoin exchange BTCC announced that it has been acquired by a blockchain investment fund based in Hong Kong. The company says that it will now focus its attention on serving international markets through its main products: BTCC Pool, USD Exchange, and Mobi. The company’s co-founder, Bobby Lee described the acquisition as a milestone: