Facebook’s Libra Pushed World to Reconsider USD as Global Reserve Currency: WEF

Major global economists credit Facebook’s Libra with pushing the world to start reconsidering the United States dollar as anchor currency.

At a Jan. 23 panel at the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, officials and financial experts discussed one of the most important mechanisms in the global financing system — the U.S.

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Hong Kong and Thailand Pilot DLT-Based Project for Cross-Border Payments

Hong Kong and Thailand’s central banks have stepped closer to implementing a joint central bank digital currency (CBDC) for cross-border payments.

On Jan. 22, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and the Bank of Thailand (BOT) officially announced the outcomes of a joint CBDC research project called Project Inthanon-LionRock.

Alongside publishing a joint press release,

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Six Major Central Banks to Collaborate on Digital Currency Research

The central banks of Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, European Union, Sweden and Switzerland created a group with the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) to jointly research central bank digital currencies (CBDC).

According to a press release published by the Bank of England on Jan. 21, the aforementioned institutions will share their experience with other group members as they study potential use cases for CBDCs in their respective jurisdictions.

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Cardano’s Commercial Arm to Help Uzbekistan Form Blockchain Task Force

The Cardano blockchain’s commercial arm, Emurgo, has partnered with the government of Uzbekistan to form a blockchain task force to develop regulations for security token offerings (STOs) and exchanges (STXs).

In a Jan. 20 press release, Emurgo revealed its new cooperation with the Uzbek government and Kobea Group &  Infinity Blockchain Holdings — the official Technology Advisory Agency for Uzbekisitan’s Digital Economic Development Project — aimed at the development of a legal framework for STOs and STXs in Uzbekistan.

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Top-5 Cryptos This Week (Jan 19): BSV, DASH, ETC, MIOTA, BCH

Most major cryptocurrencies have started the new year on a positive note. However, in the past 24 hours, the crypto markets are witnessing a sea of red. This shows that the rally has hit a roadblock, which could result in a minor correction or consolidation for the next few days.

Such a move will be healthy for the crypto markets because it will shake out the weaker hands.

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Swiss-Regulated Digital Asset Bank Plans $95M Capital Raise

Seba, a young Swiss-based digital asset bank holding regulatory licensing, looks to attempt a secondary capital raise to garner over $95 million in additional funds.

During the raise, Seba aims to secure 100 million Swiss francs, equivalent to $96.5 million, “from new investors, including financial institutions, family offices and individuals,” Financial News London wrote in a Jan.

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SEC's CryptoMom Wants US to Learn From Chinese Digital Innovation

The United States could learn from China’s innovations in digital currency, says Securities and Exchange commissioner Hester Peirce. 

Fielding questions via webcam at this week’s Crypto Finance Conference in Switzerland, the public sector leader known as CryptoMom, called for the U.S. to: 

“Learn from what other countries are doing and take the best of what they’re doing and reject the worst of what they’re doing.” 

China outpacing U.S.

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Telegram’s Legal Battle With the SEC Heats Up Over TON Bank Records

Telegram’s battle with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission became one of the most closely followed legal dramas of the crypto space in 2019. This was not only because it appeared to be the first time the Durov brothers’ relentless expansion faltered but also because the court case could have lasting implications for future fintech projects around the world. 

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Interview With Daniel Marco on the State of Blockchain in Catalonia

Several years ago, a blockchain strategy for Catalonia was revealed to the world, presenting a comprehensive outline of how a government — albeit a local one — can in time switch to being an e-government. Such a model would be backed by various blockchain systems that would accommodate the needs of the citizens for digital identities and voting,

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Singapore Crypto Consultant Kidnapped for $1 Million Ransom

Singaporean Mark Cheng was recently kidnapped in Thailand and tortured for a $740,000 ransom in Bitcoin (BTC), the South China Morning Post and others report on Jan. 14.

After transferring all his available funds of $46,000, he allegedly made a daring escape as his captors prepared to murder him.

Cheng was on a business trip to Thailand with associate Kim Lee Yao Wei when a group of masked men grabbed them and put them in a nearby truck,

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US Treasury to Complete PoC of Blockchain-Based Grants Payment System

The United States Treasury Department has almost completed tests of a blockchain-based grants payment capability as part of the exploration of how the tech can improve such operations.

As the Business of Federal Technology reported on Jan. 10, the Treasury Department launched a program designed to discover whether blockchain could provide more efficiencies into the operations of a blockchain-based grants payment system.

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Top-5 Cryptos This Week (Jan 12): BSV, DASH, LINK, BCH, LTC

The CME Group will launch its Bitcoin options contract on Jan. 13. The analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co. have spotted a 69% increase in open interest from year-end in CME’s existing Bitcoin futures contracts. 

They also noted that the number of large open-interest holders has picked up. This shows an increase in institutional interest before the launch of options trading.

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Japan Crypto Exchanges Face Imminent Margin Trading Limits: Report

Bitcoin (BTC) and cryptocurrency exchanges in Japan will face significant restrictions on margin trading as soon as this Spring, according to reports.

Referencing sources at Japan’s finance regulator, the Financial Services Agency (FSA), local English-language news outlet Japan Times revealed plans to limit margin leverage to twice the total of traders’ deposits.

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Price Analysis Jan 10: BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, LTC, EOS, BNB, BSV, XMR, TRX

Safe haven assets were dumped on Jan. 8, on reports that the US-Iran conflict might not escalate to an all out war. Cryptocurrencies, which had surged alongside gold and oil with also retreated from two-month high. However, the positive sign is that most major cryptocurrencies have held their immediate support levels, which indicates buying on dips.

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ECB President Pushes for a Central Bank Digital Currency

The president of the European Central Bank (ECB), Christine Lagarde, supports the bank’s active involvement in the development of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) to address the demand for faster and cheaper cross-border payments.

In an interview with French business magazine Challenges published on Jan. 8, Lagarde discussed the most likely threats to the global economy in 2020,

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Decentralized Aragon Court Now Onboards Jurors to Settle Real Cases

Decentralized management platform Aragon One has begun onboarding jurors for its decentralized Aragon Court set to be launched in mid-February.

Per Aragon’s official website, the company developed a community governed decentralized organization, with the objective of operating as a digital jurisdiction and an online decentralized court. By rolling out Aragon Court, the team behind the project aims to eliminate “traditional artificial barriers such as national jurisdictions or the borders of a single country” when it comes to adjudicating disputes.

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What Happens If the US Loses the Blockchain War?

While Mark Zuckerberg was fighting with the United States Congress over Facebook’s Libra, China took another step forward in the global technology race. President Xi Jinping called on his country to “seize the opportunity” in order to become a leader in blockchain technology as it tries to do likewise with artificial intelligence.

This could be an opportunity for China,

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2019 to 2020: Insiders, Outsiders and Experimenters in Crypto Regulation, Part 3

This is the final part of a three-part series covering the regulatory landscape for cryptos in 2019 and thinking about the prospects for 2020. The first two parts covered the “Insiders” of Europe, North America and the Pacific Rim, and “Outsider” nations such as China, Russia and India. This piece covers the prospects for the “Experimenters”: countries that have made efforts to foster innovation and welcome crypto projects to their shores.

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Who Got Gifts from Crypto Santa in 2019… and Who Got Coal

On Christmas Eve, Crypto Claus did his rounds after checking the list to see who was naughty and nice. But who got some lovely presents after making a positive impact in 2019 — and who got coal for setting the industry back? Here, we take a look at the people and businesses who have had a year to remember — and those who have had a year to forget.

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China Continues to Streamline Its Blockchain Patent Application Process

The National Intellectual Property Administration (NIPA) in China continues to clarify the guidelines for blockchain patent applications, which are set to become effective as of Feb. 1.

At the end of December 2019, the NIPA announced the revised guidelines to patent applications for new emerging technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, big data,

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2019 to 2020: Insiders, Outsiders and Experimenters in Crypto Regulation: Part 2

This is the second part of a three-part series that covers the regulatory landscape for digital currencies in 2019 and looks at the prospects of 2020. While the first chapter in the series looked at the “Insiders,” this installment covers the prospects for the so-called “Outsiders” — i.e., China, Russia, India and the developing world.

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‘Cryptocurrency Will Not Die’: Mainstream Media on Bitcoin in 2019

In late 2017, Bitcoin piqued the interest of millions of people hoping to capitalize on the ongoing frenzy and, as a result, drew the attention of various traditional media outlets. The press seemed largely skeptical about the concept of decentralization but proceeded to report on Bitcoin’s erratic price movement.

This year, as the space has become more regulated,

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The Financial System of the Future — Who Benefits From CBDCs?

In recent months, the race for the development of a central bank digital currency is gaining pace. The last signal was launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping, who publicly stated the need to invest public resources in blockchain, slated to be the core technology of the future. The euphoria of the Chinese market following the presidential declaration induced Mark Zuckerberg — who had been encountering considerable resistance from Western authorities since the beginning of the Libra project — to raise the alarm on an alleged Chinese overtaking of digital currency technology.

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Bitcoin 2020 — Blockchain's New Year Resolutions

Most of us believe in the “New Year — New Me” rhetoric: I’m going to lose weight, quit smoking, eat healthy, stop being lazy, spend more time with family and whatnot. Yet, losing weight usually only turns into losing motivation instead.

But then, it doesn’t really make sense to laugh at our absurdities,

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2019 to 2020: Insiders, Outsiders and Experimenters in Crypto Regulation: Part 1

In 2019, we witnessed crypto regulations leave the domain of stuffy legal pontification and enter the realm of geopolitics (as a stuffy legal pontificator, I have mixed feelings about this). We saw President Trump tweet about crypto regulations, as well as powerful international organizations express their agenda on how crypto should be regulated. We saw bold,

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