The Canadian central bank and its Project Jasper partners revealed the results of their experiment with distributed ledger technology (DLT) in a press release published on Thursday and a report posted on the central bank’s website. The project’s conclusions suggest that the technology still has obstacles to overcome before it can reliably replace the existing national intrabank payment settlement system.
Fidelity Investments CEO Abigail Johnson has made no secret of her love of technology, and she’s certainly not shy about expressing her appreciation for Bitcoin, the blockchain, and other aspects of the digital currency universe. In a speech to the attendees of the Consensus 2017 conference on Tuesday, she doubled down on that support for digital currency technology, and announced that Fidelity will soon provide its customers with the ability to track their cryptocurrency holdings on the Fidelity website.
DNotes has announced that its upcoming DNotes 2.0 upgrade will include innovative features and applications relating to smart contracts, blockchain technologies, mobile applications, and global payments systems. The upgrade is expected to launch later in 2017, and the company is unveiling a new Bitcointalk Forum in preparation for the event.
Earlier this month, the largest bank in Dubai, Emirates NBD, unveiled plans to integrate blockchain technology into its checks as it launched an initiative that has been referred to as “Cheque Chain.” The project involves adding printed Quick Response (QR) codes to the bank’s checks, with each code eventually registered on the Emirates NBD blockchain to strengthen authenticity and reduce fraud. As the bank’s Group Chief Operating Officer Abdulla Qassem observed at the time:
The ransomware attack that began on Friday may have been slowed for the moment, but there are indications that another similar attack could occur as soon as Monday morning, according to Europol Director Rob Wainwright. In comments to the BBC, Wainwright confirmed that the cyberattack spread to 150 countries, victimizing thousands of people and firms.
An official from the Palestine Monetary Authority recently told Reuters that there are plans for the Palestinian government to launch its own digital currency within the next five years. According to the head of the PMA, the introduction of such a currency could help to provide Palestinians with greater protection from Israeli interference in Palestine’s economy.
DNotes Launches New Website – Aims to Bridge the Gap Between the Centralized and the Decentralized World.
After a period of relative silence as the DNotes team migrated from ecosystem building to technology development, the company recently launched its new website – showcasing one of its many initiatives to bridge the gap between the centralized and the decentralized world.
The Australian government’s 2017-18 Budget was released on Tuesday, and cryptocurrency enthusiasts in the country have at least one provision that should put a smile on their faces. After more than a year of waiting for the government’s promised GST tax relief to materialize, Bitcoin users will no longer need to worry about the existing double tax on the digital currency. The government’s new policy as of July 1, 2017 will see digital currency taxed in the same way that more traditional fiat currencies are treated.
Japanese exchange Coincheck is reportedly set to begin offering its Bitcoin customers interest-paying accounts. The offering will be a first for the country, and will enable Bitcoin holders to deposit their digital currency in fixed deposit accounts that earn interest at one of four different rates ranging from one to five percent.
In recent months, many major firms have revealed that they are testing various blockchain solutions. Reuters recently reported that two major United States credit agencies – TransUnion and Equifax – are following suit. The two credit reporting giants reportedly told Reuters that they are currently participating in trials for a Canadian blockchain network focused on identity management and secure consumer data sharing online.
It has been more than a year since the Australian government committed itself to remedying the nation’s double taxation scheme for cryptocurrencies. The delay in crafting a fix has left some observers wondering whether the issue had been set aside entirely. In a statement released this week, the government has reaffirmed its commitment to addressing the issue.
Blockchain firm Coinsbank recently announced that ticket sales for its second annual Coinsbank Blockchain Cruise 2017 event will be ending soon. Tickets are available until May 11th, and the cruise will depart on May 25th from Cape Liberty Port in New Jersey. Scheduled passengers include an impressive assembly of leading tech innovators from the blockchain world, as well as a host of business executives, developers, and representatives from a variety of startups.
Bitcoin is not a ponzi scheme, pyramid, tulip bulb, or beanie baby, and despite over a hundred front page headlines claiming otherwise, it is also not dead. When we don’t understand a new concept, our minds try to connect it to something we are even slightly more familiar with. If throughout history we had always assumed anything new and innovative was a scam, and that everything (including money) should stay the same, we would still be living in the Stone Age and paying with pebbles. The name calling and proclamations of death have eased off somewhat, as the more tech savvy journalists and financial advisers have come to understand the significance of, at the very least, the technology behind bitcoin.
In the past few months, there have been a flurry of reports indicating that a growing number of central banks around the world are researching the potential benefits of issuing their own digital currencies. Norway’s central bank, Norges Bank, has been giving serious thought to cryptocurrency as well, as evidenced by statements from Norges Deputy Governor Jon Nicolaisen at a recent gathering of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters in Oslo.
Add West Virginia to the growing list of U.S. states actively working to ensure that digital currencies like Bitcoin are included in their states’ anti-money-laundering laws. With judges and others questioning whether existing AML legislation can be applied in cases involving cryptocurrencies, state lawmakers have been rushing to modify statutes to meet the challenge. WV lawmakers have now passed a bill that criminalizes the use of digital currency in any money-laundering scheme.
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has decided to review the March decision that rejected the Winklevoss twins’ Bitcoin ETF proposal. The denial came after more than three years of effort by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss to gain approval for what would have been the United States’ first Bitcoin exchange-traded fund. That decision denied a requested rule change designed to allow the ETF to be included on the Bats BZX Exchange.
Earlier this year, Malta’s Prime Minister, Dr. Joseph Muscat, offered some innovative ideas during his keynote speech at the CEPS Ideas Lab – including a suggestion that Europe should work to become “the Bitcoin continent.” In recent remarks at an Economic and Financial Affairs Committee conference, he vowed that his country would take the lead by becoming one of the first to truly embrace the technology. Malta’s Cabinet has now taken steps toward that goal by approving the initial draft of what is being referred to as a national strategy for blockchain promotion.
Legislators in Florida are considering a bill that would add digital currencies like Bitcoin to the money-laundering statute. The legislation is a response to last year’s dismissal of money-laundering charges in a case that involved a man in Miami beach. The defendant allegedly sold $1,500 in Bitcoin to undercover detectives who had reportedly told him that they intended to purchase stolen credit card numbers. Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Teresa Mary Pooler had thrown out the money-laundering charges after determining that Bitcoin could not be considered “money” as that term was defined in state law.
The week has gotten off to a frustrating start for some digital currency customers, as two major cryptocurrency exchanges have suspended US dollar deposits. Bitfinex announced on Monday that it would be unable to process wire transfers. Now, OKCoin has made a similar announcement, informing its customers that US dollar deposits will not be accepted. The suspension of deposits has been attributed to problems with the intermediary banks responsible for processing the wire transfers.
The government in India announced last week that it had created a special committee to examine involving digital currency technology and propose regulatory policies to address consumer protection, money-laundering, and other concerns. Now, an alliance of digital currency firms – the Digital Asset and Blockchain Foundation of India (DABFI) has announced that it wants to be able to make the industry’s case by meeting directly with the committee.