Israeli Capital Markets Authority to Expedite Licenses for Fintech Firms
Aug20

Israeli Capital Markets Authority to Expedite Licenses for Fintech Firms

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.

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Binance Announces Plans for ‘Venus’ Open Blockchain Project
Aug20

Binance Announces Plans for ‘Venus’ Open Blockchain Project

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.

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Report: Mastercard is Building Cryptocurrency Team
Aug18

Report: Mastercard is Building Cryptocurrency Team

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:

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Korean Exchange CoinOne Announces Listing Criteria
Aug17

Korean Exchange CoinOne Announces Listing Criteria

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.

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Bakkt Set to Launch Futures on September 23
Aug16

Bakkt Set to Launch Futures on September 23

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.

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Moscow to Develop Blockchain Platform for Administrative Services
Aug15

Moscow to Develop Blockchain Platform for Administrative Services

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.

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Report: Barclays Has Stopped Providing Banking Services to Coinbase
Aug14

Report: Barclays Has Stopped Providing Banking Services to Coinbase

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.

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SEC Delays Bitcoin ETF Decision Until October
Aug13

SEC Delays Bitcoin ETF Decision Until October

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.

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NZ Tax Authority Offers Guidelines for Workers Receiving Salaries in Cryptocurrency
Aug12

NZ Tax Authority Offers Guidelines for Workers Receiving Salaries in Cryptocurrency

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.

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PBoC Official: China’s Digital Currency is Ready
Aug11

PBoC Official: China’s Digital Currency is Ready

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.

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U.S. Department of Energy Awards Grant for Development of Blockchain-Based Energy Platform
Aug10

U.S. Department of Energy Awards Grant for Development of Blockchain-Based Energy Platform

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.

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Group of Nations to Create System for Cryptocurrency Transaction Data Collection
Aug09

Group of Nations to Create System for Cryptocurrency Transaction Data Collection

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.

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Coinbase Custody Trust Co. Names Two Former NY Banking Regulators to Board of Directors
Aug08

Coinbase Custody Trust Co. Names Two Former NY Banking Regulators to Board of Directors

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.”

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Virtual Value Tax Fix Act Referred to House Ways and Means
Aug07

Virtual Value Tax Fix Act Referred to House Ways and Means

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.”

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UN Report: North Korea Has Stolen $2 Billion from Cryptocurrency Exchanges, Financial Institutions
Aug06

UN Report: North Korea Has Stolen $2 Billion from Cryptocurrency Exchanges, Financial Institutions

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.

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Thailand Official Wants to Amend AML Laws to Address Cryptocurrency
Aug05

Thailand Official Wants to Amend AML Laws to Address Cryptocurrency

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.

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Iran’s Govt Issues New Rules on Cryptocurrency
Aug04

Iran’s Govt Issues New Rules on Cryptocurrency

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.

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Former Trump Strategist Bannon Disagrees with President on Bitcoin
Aug03

Former Trump Strategist Bannon Disagrees with President on Bitcoin

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.

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Malta Announces First Blockchain-Powered Government Agency
Aug02

Malta Announces First Blockchain-Powered Government Agency

Malta Digital Economy and Innovation Junior Minister for Financial Services Silvio Schembri recently announced that the Malta Business Registry will be the country’s first government agency to use a blockchain-based system, Zeta reports. During his remarks at the MBR’s inauguration, Schembri said:

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EESC Report: EU Blockchain Regulation Should Promote Accessibility
Aug01

EESC Report: EU Blockchain Regulation Should Promote Accessibility

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has advised the EU to consider a blockchain regulatory approach that focuses on ensuring that the technology’s potential benefits are accessible to everyone. In a recent EESC report, the committee warned about the potential risk of creating a new digital divide:

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