Digital Currency Weekly Recap 11-1-2015
IOTA: Digital Currency without the Blockchain?
Even as many in the financial industry continue their effort to decouple Bitcoin from the blockchain, a new cryptocurrency token referred to as IOTA bypasses both. IOTA relies on Tangle as its operational platform, and was created to better facilitate so-called micro-transactions across the wide landscape of the emerging Internet of Things (IoT). The token’s founders describe the innovation as a decentralized, blockless ledger that has no transaction fees attached to its use.
IOTA has emphasized the important role that micro-transactions will have in enabling greater integration between the growing number of devices that make up the IoT. These mico-transactions are viewed as essential for providing citizens around the world with the incentives they need to freely share the data their devices generate. Other uses could include transactions involving everything from consumer-generated electricity to computer computational power.
It should be noted that IOTA’s team has taken a different approach to competition than many of the banks that have consciously worked to avoid cryptocurrencies even as they pursue their own internal blockchain schemes. IOTA remains actively engaged with Ethereium, Nxt, and others in the digital currency universe, opting for real collaboration rather than outright attempts to displace blockchain-powered crypto solutions.
Russia Continues Hard Line on Digital Currency.
Even as other countries continue to work toward enacting sensible regulatory regimes to either manage or take advantage of digital currency and blockchain technology, Russia remains steadfast in its opposition to cryptocurrency. Though the nation has not yet enacted a legal regime to enforce punishment for those who own or use digital currency, its Finance Ministry has recently proposed a policy that would result in a maximum four-year prison sentence for anyone convicted of trading in Bitcoin - and almost certainly other digital currencies as well.
While some have hoped that the Russian government would moderate its stance over time, the opposite has actually occurred. Prior to this, the Ministry’s proposals for punishing use of these currencies amounted to fines of a half-million rubles or community service of up to two years. Officials have cited speculative prices and possible facilitation of crime and terror activities as justifications for the government’s opposition to digital currency.
AIFMRM Warns Crypto Risks Rest with Users.
At a recent meeting at the African Institute for Financial Markets and Risk Management (AIFMRM) in Cape Town, South Africa, a group of assembled experts agreed on one thing with respect to digital currency: those who use it do so at their own risk. The meeting involved experts and regulators, and occurred during the International Financial Consumer Protection Organization Seminar. Citing a lack of regulatory power, and the lack of control over mobile payment systems and currency account security, the group issued a warning to consumers that regulators and banks have no power to help them should they suffer losses.
EBay to Adopt Crypto?
Thomas Moore has contributed an excellent article about eBay’s recent crypto-related patent filings. If you’re been following all of the recent patent news related to the industry, then you need to read this latest news as well: EBay Moves Towards Cryptocurrency.
DCEBrief Welcomes New Contributor Nick Marinoff.
In case you missed it, new contributor Nick Marinoff recently offered his take on the U.S. student debt crisis, and examined cryptocurrency’s potential for helping to ease the problem. You can welcome Nick to the fold by checking the article out here: Can Digital Currency Help with Student Debt?