Canadianbanking group supports the idea of using blockchain technology as part of a digital ID system for residents, national news agency The Canadian Press reported via various local media outlets on Jan. 15.

Speaking during a presentation at the Economic Club of Canada in Toronto, chief executive of the Canadian Bankers Association (CBA) Neil Parmenter said it was necessary for untamperable solutions to form the basis of ID procedures relating to the banking and finance sectors going forward.

The comments come as Canada eyes the opportunities afforded by so-called open banking, a reenvisioning of the banking field that would allow third-party companies such as fintech startups to participate and share access to user data.

The country’s government launched a public consultation into the concept last week.

“Instantly verifying who someone is using multiple digital reference points is more secure than relying on a photocopy of a driver’s licence,” Parmenter said, noting:

“Because this digital network is connected, yet decentralized, the risk of compromising the system is reduced by eliminating ‘honeypots’ of data that hackers tend to target.”

The CBA originally sketched out plans for digital ID in a whitepaper in May last year. The document did not make specific reference to blockchain, but praised ID systems currently being rolled out in Estonia and India as instructive for Canada’s future preparations.

The Indian scheme, known as Aadhaar, has nonetheless attracted criticism, including from within cryptocurrency circles.

Canada, meanwhile, is also looking to employ blockchain a state level in other areas, the most recent of which involving customs formalities at borders.

This post credited to Cointelegraph. Image source: Cointelegraph

While emerging assets are always turbulent, 2018 has been an especially violent year for the crypto markets.

Many investors who entered during the bull market of 2017 got badly burned during this year’s prolonged crash because they were deluded into believing that market prices accurately reflected underlying value. However, this should not be taken to mean that crypto as an industry is doing poorly.

There are, in fact, two facets to the blockchain industry: the investment side and the development side.

Unlike the traditional financial market where we usually tend to have a clear expectation guidance and consensus around valuation models that can align the two, in crypto we have experienced a significant disconnect between investors and developers due to the distorting effect of hype on market prices and an information asymmetry in regards to actual development.

So, while the bloodshed in the markets we’ve seen in 2018 is likely to continue into 2019, cryptocurrencies are actually making significant progress on the technology development front. This next year will be painful to force us to step out of the bubble, learn the lesson and do a reality check.

Still, a healthy consolidation and the development of fundamentals will lead to eventual prosperity.

We didn’t see another manic gold rush on the internet after the dot.com bubble, but the internet eventually ate the world

In the Market

In the past two months, I’ve had many hours of conversation with key players in all sectors of the industry, including exchanges, traders, miners, founders, primary market investors and regulators.

My conclusions follow regarding why 2019 will be the year our violent delights reach their violent ends.

Far too many projects raised far too much money, often at outrageous valuations in the hundreds of millions. Even zcash, a relatively mature project that is seeing significant growth, is now trading at a ~300 million market cap (fully diluted $1.2 billion). And yet, there were projects with less than six months of development which raised at a valuation on par with zcash’s.

A proper valuation model is missing, investments are largely “FOMOmental” instead of fundamental.

Additionally, many of these high-profile projects are set to launch their mainnets in 2019, and most fail to meet expectations. The underwhelming adoption they face will be a further bear signal to the market that the “real adoption” investors had been waiting for won’t arrive in time to bail them out.

The organic community is tiny, developers are disappointed by the infrastructure and tooling and many investors will cut their losses and sell when they no longer believe “only the sky is the limit.”

Our failure in managing expectations well will set alternative cryptocurrencies up for a major correction, as the market is also highly correlated with BTC’s price. Hashrate and difficulty is a trailing indicator of price and will in return influence supply – for the first time since 2011, the bitcoin mining hashrate has significantly decreased with massive miners scaling back.

Many miners disassembled their mining operations entirely, because prices have fallen so much that bitcoin isn’t even worth the marginal cost to mine it. A big part of what landed us in this situation is the
“hash rate bubble” of 2017, during which many miners overextended their mining operations under the mistaken assumption that the price of bitcoin would surely rise in the short term.

Miners who used to hold their coins may be forced to sell, sending the price of the coins spiraling further downwards. A lesser-known factor that will affect prices over the next few quarters is the fact that many funds that popped up in Asia from late 2017 to early 2018 are on a one year cycle (6 + 6 month terms). This means that they’ll reach the end of their term and must liquidate.

Many western funds are on monthly redemption terms, but they also face panic redemption from LPs.

On Development

When I told my friends that Eric Melzter and myself were leaving our positions at large funds in order to strike out on our own with Primitive Ventures, many asked us “Why now in such a brutal market?” Our answer is that it’s in fact a fantastic time to start a fund.

Although temporary market trends may be brutal, that very condition creates the opportunity for extraordinary returns for anyone who can invests in truly valuable work while it is still massively undervalued by a spooked market. It may be the worst of times for the markets, but it is the best of times for real development.

During the bull run of 2017 and early 2018, there was too much noise in the crypto space. Projects raised tens of millions even before what would normally be a Series A, and became slow, distracted, and unmotivated. Further, even quality teams were forced to compete in the game of token prices and had to divert a significant amount of their time and money toward keeping token price up and investors satiated.

In this current colder climate, those who remain are truly committed, and they no longer feel as much pressure to issue pointless tokens that will only cause friction. It is more possible for a blockchain product to gain organic adoption now that investors won’t be confusing popularity with real usage.

We are beginning to see fairer distribution models with real tech backing, such as Grin and Raven, which have attracted a dedicated community even without offering an opportunity to invest in a pre-sale or pre-mine. We are also observing the products of academic research being implemented in real-world settings, such as the integration of bulletproofs into Monero, the Sapling upgrade for zcash, and the Bitcoin_NG implementation in Aeternity as a part of their recent Roma launch.

We have seen the emphasis return to real developer usability instead of chasing vanity metrics such as transactions per second, and native use case discovery rather than endless discussions surrounding on-chain governance.

The non-technical development of the crypto industry is also by no means in hibernation during this winter. We have seen much activity amongst various jurisdictions hoping to become the “crypto capital” of the world and attract the talent, capital and enterprise that will gain them a share in an industry that could soon be worth many trillions.

Silicon Valley’s dominance in previous technologies won’t necessarily carry over to crypto since it’s crypto ecosystem is not complete. The miners who are a crucial component of the ecosystem are certainly not located in California, with its high electricity and operational expenses, and traders are also largely outside the U.S. due to its high taxes and strict regulations.

The distributed nature of crypto has fittingly allowed for the global distribution of the opportunities it creates.

What does this mean for 2019 and beyond? Crypto is set to radically upend the way we transact, privacy, ownership and many more things we can’t anticipate. In the near term, market conditions will be brutal, but that is actually helping nurture real value that is simply not reflected in the prices yet.

Investors and builders alike must not be blindsided by mistaking short-term market movements with real value. Now isn’t the time to put crypto on pause, but rather to take a much closer look at the projects addressing real needs in a way uniquely enabled by cryptocurrency, distributed ledger and blockchain technology.

In short, it’s the worst of times, but it’s also the best of times.

This post credited to coindesk Image source: Depositphotos 

Meet Jane.

She lives in Alabama in the United States, and she is 21 years old. In her spare time, Jane enjoys traveling around the West Coast. This summer, after a hard year in college, she decided to travel through California.

Jane was having fun in L.A. when she suddenly started to have breathing problems. Some of the people passing by called 911, and an ambulance rushed out and took her to the hospital. By the time she arrived in the emergency room, Jane was struggling to get enough air to breath.

Soon, she was diagnosed with an acute respiratory failure, and treatment started. But the problem was that Jane couldn’t tell the doctors anything about her medical history.

Since her sole focus was to get some air, she had difficulties speaking. “Are you using any medications? Do you have any chronic disease? What allergies do you have?” None of the members of her family could tell the medical team either – they weren’t there.

Everything about her medical condition was written in her medical record, which was in her local hospital in Alabama. But the doctors here in LA didn’t have access to it. They knew nothing about her medical history.

You’ve guessed it – Jane was in quite the predicament.

I think you’ll agree with me when I say that something like this can happen to anyone, not just to Jane.

Let’s face it – healthcare today faces some serious problems. Fragmented data and lack of interoperability and secure links are just some of them. Obtaining and sharing medical records is insecure, slow, and often incomplete.

Although we are living in a digital world, today’s healthcare systems often require patients to obtain and share their medical records as physical paper copies, or they are stored within a single system. These copies may get stolen or lost. You have to keep track of every single piece of paper because you never know when someone will request it from you. And computer systems can get hacked.

Plus, there is always a security problem since patients don’t own their data, and these data can be manipulated. Try to recall some healthcare institutions you’ve visited in the past.

These institutions probably obtained access to your data so they can learn more about your medical history. Once the provider got access to your data, they remained permanently in his possession. And these are just a few problems healthcare is dealing with.

Now, the question is, can we use blockchain technology to improve healthcare system? Yes, we can.

Most of us know that blockchain technology was initially created in order to help the financial industry. Distributed ledgers should ensure that financial transactions don’t rely upon an intermediary – financial institutions like a bank, PayPal, or a credit company.

Today, most of the attention around blockchain is centered on cryptocurrencies, especially Bitcoin. But blockchain slowly started to find applications in other fields like legal, healthcare, economics, education…

More and more companies are seeing potential in blockchain technology and are implementing it in everyday technology.

In the case of the healthcare industry, blockchain can solve one of the biggest challenges in healthcare today: how to transfer patient data around the world and through different systems without compromising its security.

But wait, there is more to that.

Let’s take a look at more problems that blockchain can solve in the healthcare industry:

1. The elimination of third-party intermediary can reduce administrative costs

According to the study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, using data from 1999, about 30% of American health care expenditures were the result of administration.

Today, that would mean that out of the average of about $19,000 that US workers and their employers pay for family coverage each year, $5,700 goes toward administrative costs. These are some serious numbers.

On the other side, blockchain technology uses smart contracts in order to avoid intermediaries, in this particular case, administration. Plus, centralized data storage can bring duplication and errors. Blockchain, a decentralized network, provides immutability and transparency.

2. Keeping patient digital identity private and safe

Using a private key, patients can confirm their identity within different health organizations, and those without a key cannot identify the data. This way, patient’s data belong to the patients, not institutions.

It’s worth mentioning that in today’s healthcare industry, it’s not unusual to see duplicated patient records and incorrect or incomplete medical data.

3. Blockchain enables interoperability among providers

Interoperability (don’t make me say it again) means that different healthcare organizations can securely share patients’ medical records with one another, no matter where they’re located.

For example, let’s say you went to see a doctor at your local clinic, but you still want to ask for a second opinion. Without blockchain technology, that means you have to copy all your documents and your medical record (and you have to be careful not to forget something).

Then, you can go and see another doctor and ask for a second opinion. But with blockchain technology involved, that means that all your data are already within the network and that the other doctor can see them using your key.

This includes not only information about your current state, but also your entire medical history.

I’m sure you’ll agree that this would help our Jane from the beginning of the post.

4. Blockchain can track prescriptions to detect over prescriptions

Prescription of opioids such as fentanyl and pain relievers have become epidemic in the United States. But it’s not a problem only in the USA. Drug abuse is a worldwide epidemic, and the UN estimates that there are 29.5 million people around the world with drug use disorders.

And here is the problem: current prescription tracking systems lack the technology to track prescriptions successfully.

On the other hand, blockchain can make prescriptions traceable and safe. How? By establishing a blockchain-based network of hospitals and pharmacies to track all transactions and prescriptions.

This way, every prescription remains marked and transparent.

Despite all of the benefits that blockchain technology offers, the use of public blockchains in healthcare is still a challenge.

Is blockchain technology perfect? No, it’s not. Blockchain-based applications also face many challenges.

Is blockchain a better solution than the existing technology used in healthcare? Yes, it is. And it’s definitely worth trying.

 

This post credited to Daily HODL Image source: Daily HODL

Crypto exchange Gemini has just launched a mobile wallet for its users.

Gemini CEO and co-founder Tyler Winklevoss wrote in a Medium post on Tuesday that the new app allows customers to buy or sell cryptocurrencies, view market prices, see their own portfolio values and set price alerts, among other features geared toward traders.

The exchange is working to “build the future of money” through its licensed exchange and regulated custodian, Winklevoss wrote, ensuring that customers can entrust their holdings to a compliant platform.

“A trusted and regulated platform, however, is just the beginning. The future of money is both digital and mobile, and now Gemini is too with the launch of the Gemini Mobile App,” he added.

As such, the app features Gemini’s institutional-grade security, while remaining easy to use, he claimed.

Among the offerings is Gemini’s basket, dubbed the Cryptoverse, which allows customers to simultaneously purchase all of the coins currently offered by the exchange – bitcoin, ether, bitcoin cash, zcash and litecoin – at once.

The coins are weighted by market capitalization, according to the post.

Gemini added bitcoin cash just days ago, after securing approval from the New York Department of Financial Services.

“We spent the last three years building the world’s most trusted cryptocurrency platform and today we are excited to extend it into your hands and allow you to engage with cryptocurrency wherever you are and whenever you want,” Winklevoss wrote Tuesday.

This post credited to coindesk Image Credit: Piotr Swat / Shutterstock.com

On November 16, the Hong Kong-based blockchain startup Crypto.com announced that it is planning to issue its prepaid card, MCO Visa Card, in the United States. The company says the card has been approved for launch in partnership with its local bank partner Metropolitan Commercial Bank. Its metal cards promise up to two percent token rewards with its native MCO token, airport lounge access (select cards), tap-and-pay functionality, as well as competitive interbank rates.

Convert crypto to fiat with a few taps

According to Crypto.com, users of the MCO Visa Card can easily convert their crypto to fiat using the mobile wallet to be spent at over 40 million locations worldwide, online and offline. However, the company highlights that users need to exchange crypto to fiat currency first via Crypto.com’s Wallet before transacting.

The company began shipping cards to Singapore users in October, and says it currently has reservations for over 100,000 cards.

The blockchain startup says that the cards come with no annual or monthly fees, and no-fee ATM withdrawals.

The company’s official announcement quotes Mark DeFazio, President and CEO of Metropolitan Commercial Bank, who said that they are pleased to work closely with Crypto.com, as “the MCO Visa card is quite unique and provides a bridge between the traditional banking and cryptocurrencies in a safe and compliant way.”

Card reservations are made through a Crypto.com’s Card & Wallet App available for iOS and Android users.

More than a card

Crypto.com believes their product range will be useful for both crypto newcomers and experienced users. In addition to the MCO Visa Card, the company has created products that are geared towards making cryptocurrency more accessible to a broader group of customers.

Crypto.com’s Wallet is designed to securely buy, sell, send, store, and track a range of cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ether, XRP, Litecoin, Binance Coin, and its own MCO Token. Crypto Invest is a tool to help democratize quant trading. Crypto Credit, which is not yet released, will allow customers to “spend crypto without selling.”

Crypto.com assures, that their App is easier to use than some other platforms. For example, buying cryptocurrency requires only a few taps compared to the complex process of other wallets, the company says. With Crypto.com’s Track Coin feature, users can track coins, compare exchange rates and prices, and sort coins by capitalization, performance, and volume.

Crypto.com Co-Founder and CEO Kris Marszalek said, “Our vision is to put cryptocurrency into every wallet, and the upcoming card roll out in the United States is a huge step in that direction. Our products are beautifully designed to connect the fiat and crypto worlds and drive mass market adoption.

About the project

The company was founded in July 2016. Crypto.com was formerly known as Monaco until its rebrand to Crypto.com in July 2018. The founders had raised $26.7 million during their token sale in June 2017. Crypto.com is headquartered in Hong Kong.

This post credited to cointelegraph Image source: Cointelegraph

In an official statement, the Ukranian government confirmed its plans to establish regulatory frameworks to legalize crypto in the region.

As a part of an initiative to consider and acknowledge cryptocurrency as an emerging technology, the Economic Development and Trade Ministry in Ukraine released a new state policy to oversee various cryptocurrency-related sectors which will be put in full effect by the end of 2021.

Two-Part Plan

Throughout 2018 and 2019, the government of Ukraine will integrate regulatory frameworks to strictly govern the local cryptocurrency exchange market. Crypto trading platforms will be required to implement Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) systems to help local authorities monitor the market.

By 2020, the government plans to delve into the cryptocurrency mining industry, smart contract protocols, and taxation, as the second part of the initiative to recognize cryptocurrencies as an asset class and an established industry.

cryptocurrency mining

Researcher Denis Zarytsky stated that the official document released by the government of Ukraine outlined a 5 percent tax payable by entities and individuals with cryptocurrency holdings, a rate that is substantially lower than other regions like France and the UK that have over 10 percent tax on cryptocurrency investments.

Regions that have recognized cryptocurrencies as properties impose higher taxes, as Japan and Australia have done in the past. In early 2018, both Japan and Australia removed double taxation on crypto.

“They aim to determine guidelines for token classification. Additionally, they will be touching upon issues that relate to smart contracts and cryptocurrency mining. Therefore, this work will be ongoing. There will be two separate stages to the implementation of this new state policy. The hope is to have this policy in full effect by 2021. In addition to the new state policy, the government notably has brought in a new taxation bill. This outlines a new 5% tax that is payable by entities and individuals with cryptocurrency holdings.”

In October, Yuriy Derevyanko, a member of the anti-corruption Movement of New Forces and a legislator of Ukraine, called for the complete elimination of taxes on crypto by the end of 2020.

Derevyanko firmly stated that crypto has the potential to become one of the major markets of Ukraine and a driving force of the country’s economy.

“I believe we need to impose a moratorium on taxation of [the crypto] area for the next 10 years. We have to regulate and legalize this segment, which will become an engine for a new economy.”

Currently, both the opposing and the ruling party of Ukraine remain positive on the long-term growth of the cryptocurrency sector and blockchain technology.

The positive sentiment towards the new asset class in the country could lead to a sped-up process of implementing the policy drafted by the government to legalize cryptocurrencies within the next three years.

Falling Back Behind Japan and South Korea

Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Switzerland, the UK, and France as of late have shown significant progress in terms of regulation and infrastructure establishment to facilitate increasing demand towards the asset class.

While local experts remain optimistic regarding the three-year plan of Ukraine, some have expressed concerns in the timeframe of the initiative and that the period of three years could allow other emerging cryptocurrency markets to take first-mover advantage.

This post credited to ccn Images from Shutterstock

From Visa’s potential entry into the world of crypto to a new app bringing XRP to social media, here’s a look at some of the stories breaking in the blockchain metaverse.

Visa & Crypto

In a new interview with CNBC’s Jim Cramer, Visa CEO Al Kelly says Visa is prepared to implement cryptocurrency if need be.

“If we actually think that crypto starts moving from being more of a commodity to actually really being a payment instrument…

If it goes in that direction, we will move in that direction. We want to be in the middle, Jim, of every payment flow in the world regardless of how it happens or what the currency is behind it. So if we have to go there, we will go there. But right now, it’s more of a commodity than a payment vehicle.”

BitcoinNew data reveals Bitcoin adoption is on the rise in Canada.

According to a report from the Ontario Securities Commission and the Bank of Canada, the number of Canadians who own Bitcoin went from 2.9% in 2016 to 5% in 2017.

“The increase in Bitcoin ownership was seen more in certain demographic groups. The 18-to-24 age group, already one of the main users of Bitcoin in 2016, grew the most in ownership, from 6 to 14% in 2017. Most other age groups saw increased ownership as well, but the differences were usually not significant. The exception was the 45-to-54 age group, where ownership grew almost four times over from 0.9 to 3.5%.”

Ripple and XRP

In a new interview with the UK fintech outlet Bobsguide, Ripple’s head of strategic accounts says there’s little reason for Ripple to collaborate with the international payment network Swift.

“If you look at the value of Swift versus Ripple, it’s hard to see the incentive for us to collaborate. Swift may want to chat. They may see value in Ripple and the model that we’re developing.

I think it’s very important to keep things clean and focused. That’s how we’ve succeeded up until now. The entire stack we’ve created is fresh and new and free of legacy. It’s a very elegant proposition from top to bottom. We don’t really want to pollute that. Whether there’ll be some commercial arrangement, I don’t know.”

Meanwhile, the popular XRP Tip Bot just released an app for iOS and Android. The platform allows anyone to send XRP to users on Twitter, Telegram and Discord.

Tron 

Tron founder Justin Sun and Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao met up at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland to boost blockchain’s use in the non-profit sector of the economy.

At the World Investment Forum, Zhao unveiled his company’s new blockchain-based donation portal, the Blockchain Charity Foundation. Tron recently contributed $3 million in donations to the new initiative.

TRON Foundation

@Tronfoundation

TRON is proud to join @binance in discussing the implementation of blockchain innovation to the non-profit sector at the . Leaders @cz_binance and @justinsuntron are paving the way to utilize tech for social good. @UNDP https://finance.yahoo.com/news/binance-unveils-blockchain-based-donation-160000702.html 

EOS

Sign-ups are open for the next EOS hackathon. The event will be in San Francisco, from November 10th – 11th.

Block.one

@EOS_io

After a truly enjoyable experience meeting participants at the London EOS Hackathon, we’re thrilled to announce that our CTO Dan Larimer (@bytemaster7) will join the panel of judges at the next in San Francisco. Sign up here https://eoshackathon.io/events/san-francisco/ 

EOS Hackathon in San Francisco | EOS Global Hackathon

See you in San Francisco for the next hackathon at The Village on Nov 10-11, and join us in building the future of decentralized applications on EOSIO.

eoshackathon.io

Litecoin

A new video of Litecoin creator Charlie Lee on a panel at the Money20/20 conference in Las Vegas is now online.

Lee joins the founder of Elixxirto David Chaum to talk about privacy and security in the digital age.

 This post credited to Daily HODL  Image source: Daily HODL

Cybersecurity company Recorded Future has released a lengthy expose claiming that North Korea uses cryptocurrency to skirt U.S.-imposed economic sanctions alongside a shady network of collaborators and enablers in Singapore.

The company claims that in addition to mining coins like bitcoin and monero, North Korean leaders have also been involved in promoting cryptocurrency scams that have bilked investors around the world of millions of dollars.

North Korea’s Technology-Backed Evasion of Sanctions

North Korea’s use of cutting edge technology to get around the effects of economic sanctions imposed on Kim Jong Un’s regime is well documented. In September, CCN reported that Washington-based financial experts Lourdes Miranda and Ross Delston accused North Korea of using crypto mining and coin scams as means of generating revenue. Earlier this month, CCN also reported that a notorious North Korean hacker group called “Lazarus” is responsible for the theft of more than $571 million in cryptocurrency.

The Recorded Future report claims that North Korean leaders mine bitcoin and monero at a relatively small scale, with the bulk of their efforts in the cryptocurrency space from the first quarter of 2018 to date now focused on exploiting growing worldwide crypto awareness for the purpose of launching investment scams. Two coins in particular are identified as North Korean scam projects, namely HOLD coin and Marine Chain.

HOLD Coin, also previously known as Interstellar, HUZU and Stellar (not to be confused with XLM) used a fraudulent staking scheme to collect investor money, having been variously listed and delisted across a number of exchanges before disappearing with all funds.

Marine Chain on the other hand, was part of a more sophisticated scam that runs right to the heart of the North Korean government’s ability to consistently diminish the effectiveness of UN-imposed economic sanctions that would ordinarily cripple the regime. Billed as a tokenisation framework for maritime vessels, an investigation by Recorded Future into Marine Chain revealed a complex network linked to Singapore with potentially far-reaching implications for cybersecurity in Southeast Asia.

The Singaporean Connection

According to information gleaned from LinkedIn, an advisor called HyoMong Choi and the CEO of Marine Chain, Captain Jonathan Foong Kah Keong are the key figres in Marince Chain’s fradulent activities. Capt. Foong reportedly has connections to Singaporean companies that facilitate North Korean activities designed to circumvent U.N. sanctions. Activities these companies have been involved in include manipulating flag registries for three countries to give prohibited North Korean vessels the ability to sail under flags of convenience.

This means that more than just being a run-of-the-mill cryptocurrency scammer, Capt. Foong is actually part of the key strategy employed by the North Korean regime to skirt sanctions that should ordinarily make it the most isolated regime on earth, and keep itself in power. The appearance of Capt. Foong in the context of North Korean crypto scams is significant of a wider pivot in the regime’s criminal activities as it looks to harness the possibilities presented by a new wave of technology including blockchain technology.

This post credited to ccn Image from Shutterstock.

Beijing Sci-Tech Report (BSTR), China’s oldest media publication covering the tech industry, has announced it will offer subscriptions payable with Bitcoin (BTC), local media outlet Guangming reported Sunday, September 30.

An evidently rare occurrence from China, were government pressure has forced crypto exchanges and Initial Coin Offering (ICO) operators to halt activities over the past year, BSTR says it wishes to promote blockchain and crypto use through “practical actions.”

“[S]ubscribers can pay subscription fees to the specific bitcoin receiving address of the newspaper to complete the subscription,” Guangming confirms.

The product on offer is an annual subscription to the publication’s ‘Tech Life’ magazine, which costs 0.01 BTC (about $65).

Chinese authorities continue to clamp down on trading and promotional operations related to cryptocurrency, Cointelegraph reporting on fresh efforts to tackle overseas platforms by blocking access to them online in August.

At the same time, owning and investing in cryptocurrency is not officially illegal.

Responding to queries about the BSTR move on social media, Chinese cryptocurrency news commentator cnLedger underlined the fact that by offering a Bitcoin subscription, the publication was not breaking the law.

“Owning and investing in crypto is not banned,” it wrote.

“Otherwise Jihan (Wu, CEO) of Bitmain and Leon (Li, CEO) of Huobi would be among the first ones to get fined/caught. Thousands if not millions would have been arrested already (large amount of OTC tradings).”

 

This post credited to cointelegraph  Image source: Cointelegraph

Blockchain technology continues to thrive in India. In contrast, the stance toward cryptocurrencies remains negative and unfriendly. So much so that major crypto exchanges like Zebpay were forced to shut down.

Cryptocurrency Exchanges in India Forced to Close Shop

The situation regarding crypto in India continues to deteriorate. A lack of proper regulations, as well as a generally negative stance toward blockchain technology has led to cryptocurrency exchanges being forced to terminate their services.

Due to the Central Bank of India’s diktat, other banks of the country are not allowed to undertake any transactions even remotely related to cryptocurrency trading. According to Zebpay’s blog post, this situation has damaged the Zebpay’s business, but it has also ‘crippled’ its customers’ ability to transact business in any meaningful way.

Since the exchange was not able to find an alternative way to conduct its business, it is now forced to shut down. Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) remains unsympathetic to the exchange’s troubles. This negative stance towards cryptocurrencies has only intensified after the price surge of late 2017. In fact, the bank issued a ban on lenders in April 2018, ordering them to immediately cease all business dealings that include cryptocurrencies.

The RBI was then taken to court because of this decision, but the country’s supreme court has yet to rule on the matter. The process will likely take quite a lot of time, which cryptocurrency exchanges simply cannot afford. As mentioned, Zebpay, and likely other exchanges as well, attempted to find an alternative way to conduct their business, but to no avail.

Blockchain Technology Continues to Thrive

In contrast to the cryptocurrency situation, it would appear that India is still very supportive of the blockchain technology itself. The country’s NSE (National Stock Exchange) has announced tests of a new use case for this technology. According to their announcement, they plan to introduce e-voting via blockchain for various companies listed on their platform.

The project’s pilot will involve connecting the regulator with companies, as well as the RTA via blockchain. Right to vote will be tokenized, and the evaluation of this test will be based on auditability of various on-chain actions and the complexity of conducting the entire process.

NSE’s Sankarson Banerjee has stated that blockchain’s immutable nature can ensure complete transparency of each action taken by network participants. In addition, synchronization of the process of vote counting will be possible in real time thanks to the smart contract framework. Such features will ensure the creation of a new environment where corporate governance and compliance will be significantly improved.

The blockchain used in the voting process will be created through the use of Elemential platform’s Hyperledger framework.

Elemential Lab’s CEO, Raunaq Vaisoha, also commented on the pilot by stating that blockchain will enable an immutable trail of all activities in real time. This is seen as a significant move toward clear and highly transparent corporate governance. It will also present a new standard that other companies will be aspiring to achieve.

 

This post credited to News BTC  Image source: News BTC