New York Assemblyman declares creation of ‘First’ US Crypto Task Force

An assemblyman of this New York country (NYS) legislature declared in a Facebook post on Jan. 3 that the nation is going to have the state’s “initial” cryptocurrency job force.

From the article, Clyde Vanel, an NYS Assemblyman and Chair of Subcommittee on Internet and New Technologies, said that New York became the first nation in the USA (U.S.) to make a cryptocurrency task force directed at analyzing the law, usage, and also definition of electronic money. The Senate Andrew Cuomo signed the bill dubbed “The Digital Currency Study Bill” into law on Dec. 21, 2018.

Back in June, the bank’s committee of the NYS legislature voted to advance the bill to make an electronic money task force. The members of this task force — such as technologists, customers, shareholders, blockchain businesses and professors — made by the Senate, Senate, and Assembly will allegedly have to publish relevant reports by Dec. 15, 2020.

Also Read: Abkhazia Government cuts off the power of 15 Crypto Mining Farms

The analysis will examine the effects of regulations on the evolution of digital monies and blockchain businesses within the country, the usage of cryptocurrencies’ impact on local tax obligations, and also the transparency of their electronic money market.

According to the initiative,” Julie Samuels, executive director of a nonprofit organization representing New York City technology businesses, Tech: NYC, stated that”cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies will, undoubtedly, significantly impact finance and several different businesses throughout the world for a long time ahead.” Vanel said:

“New York leads the nation in fund. We’ll also lead in appropriate fintech law. The task force of specialists will help us hit the balance between using a strong blockchain business and cryptocurrency economic surroundings while at precisely the exact same time shielding New York investors and customers.”

Other nations in the U.S. have introduced laws to make government bodies to examine the possible effect of the blockchain and crypto businesses on state trade. Back in June, Connecticut governor Dannel Malloy signed SB 443 to legislation, which established a blockchain working team to examine the technology. The legislation also created time-frames for exploring and providing reports about the possible use of crypto from criminal actions.

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Abkhazia Government cuts off the power of 15 Crypto Mining Farms

The authorities of the Republic of Abkhazia has cut electricity to a cryptocurrency mining farm because of power concerns, state electrical utility Chernomorenergo RUE declared at a Facebook place on Dec. 31.

As per the statement,

Chernomorenergo cut electricity to 15 facilities with an entire capacity of 8,950 kilowatt-hours (kWh), which is supposedly equivalent to the energy consumption of 1,800 families. The cuts have been created as part of a collection of”temporary steps to restrict the usage of power by particular types of readers.” Chernomorenergo also notes that, after the reductions, owners of these mining farms revealed understanding and cooperation.

Regulators worldwide have voiced worries within the cryptocurrency mining business’s power consumption. In November, Norway finished power subsidies for Bitcoin (BTC) mining centers. Parliamentary Representative for the Socialist Left Party (SV) Lars Haltbrekken said that “Norway can’t continue to offer substantial tax incentives to the most filthy type of cryptocurrency output [Bitcoin] takes a great deal of energy and creates large greenhouse gas emissions internationally.”

Also Read: Fortnite Merchandise begins accepting Monero as a Payment method

From the United States, the Chelan County Public Utility District of the nation of Washington suggested a new power pricing arrangement for cryptocurrency miners intended to reduce the price of increased energy demand. The district”is Shifting (the speed arrangement ) in a manner that catches the price and shields the investment for those clients which are currently here and spent heavily in our system”

Since Cointelegraph reported at October, Bitcoin miner earnings for its first six months of 2018 had exceeded outcomes in 2017, but miners themselves saw small gain, based on weekly crypto socket Diar. At the time, the fees and rewards for BTC miners had reached $4.7 billion in the first 3 quarters of 2018, approximately $1.4 billion over the earnings in most of 2017. Miners allegedly still gained 54,000 Bitcoin monthly.

Also Read: Iran says Telegram Crypto Aspirations an Act against National Security

In December, Chinese miners allegedly became the largest short vendors of Bitcoin both locally and globally, after a higher variety of hedging operations at the present bear market. The acute cryptocurrency market decrease reportedly caused brand new creation miners to begin hedging their coins to prevent market risks

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Fortnite Merchandise begins accepting Monero as a Payment method

Retail Row, the product shop for the online video game Fortnite, has reportedly started accepting Monero (XMR) as a cryptocurrency payment choice, Monero tweeted on Jan. 1.

Fortnite is an online video game released in July 2017 and developed by Epic Games, which allegedly accounts for at least 125 million gamers worldwide. In October 2018, Epic Games has been appreciated at over $15 billion in its most recent funding round.

Retail Row affirms crypto payments agency GloBee, allowing retailers to take cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC) and Ripple (XRP), whilst XMR is the sole digital money supported by the shop. Clients may make payments with a variety of conventional methods such as credit cards and PayPal.

Also Read: Iran says Telegram Crypto Aspirations an Act against National Security

Since Cointelegraph reported in October, cybersecurity company Malwarebytes discovered that scammers were utilizing malware targeting the Bitcoin (BTC) pocket addresses of Fortnite players. “Con artists” were supposedly sneaking malicious info theft code to downloads which seemingly guaranteed”free” season six Fortnite Android variations, among other”fictitious cheats, wallhacks and aimbots.”

Free V-Bucks (in-game money ) also hidden malicious bundles of code, according to the investigation. Malwarebytes found that bogus hyperlinks were encouraged via hackers’ YouTubestations, which redirected users that hide the malware.

In June, enterprise and network security firm Palo Alto Networks discovered that approximately 5% of XMR in flow was mined maliciously via crypto jacking. Monero allegedly had an”incredible monopoly” about the cryptocurrencies targeted by malware, using a total of $175 million mined maliciously.

Also Read: Indian Government delays Crypto Regulations, Uncertainty continues

The report also notes that the information doesn’t comprise web-based Monero miners or alternative miners they weren’t able to access, meaning the 5 percentage is probably too low of a calculation. XMR is up 3.27 percent over the afternoon and is currently trading at $47.46 at press time, based on CoinMarketCap.

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UK Regulators investigate 18 crypto firms for Fraud and Illegal Operations

More than a dozen companies in the cryptocurrency industry are under analysis from UK’s financial regulator, reports the Financial Times.

According to the firm book, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) revealed on Sunday that 18 companies were being investigated over their participation in promoting cryptocurrencies. Additionally, warnings and alarms were sent to some other dozen or so companies over suspicion they were participating in cryptocurrency investment scams.

On the other hand, the FCA has declined to identify the companies which are in the spotlight to avoid prejudicing the continuing investigations. Additionally, this is to prevent impacting the business operations of these firms involved negatively prior to a definite conclusion was reached.

Also Read: White Hat Hackers earned $878,000 from Crypto Bug Bounties in 2018 says report

Late last month, CCN reported that the FCA had opened inquiries to 67 companies that were involved in cryptocurrency dealings. The most recent data from the FCA indicates that queries on 49 companies were shut, with 39 of these companies being slapped with customer alerts.

In addition, ten of those companies had their probes closed following the FCA failed to find enough proof required to progress the instances since the companies had received warnings telling them they had authorization so as to continue operations.

Since CCN reported last month, part of the reason behind the gain in the number of probes came following the FCA was bombarded with complaints in the wake of decreasing cryptocurrency prices that had probably exposed fraud in the industry. At the moment, the manager of the strategy and rivalry in the FCA, Christopher Woolard was quoted as stating that the financial regulator had been concerned that unsophisticated investors were sold products that were complicated and did not pass the”smell test”

We are worried that retail buyers are being marketed complicated, volatile and frequently leveraged derivatives merchandise based on trade tokens with inherent market integrity problems.

Also Read: Vitalik Buterin hits Bitcoin SV and calls it a ‘Dumpster Fire’

Crypto Crash Eased Stress on Regulators

While the recession in cryptocurrency costs has led to more complaints into the FCA and thus increased strain, UK’s Ministry of Finance officials had another take a month noting that the bearish conditions had eased stress to take radical actions.

Afterward, the financial services deputy manager in the UK Ministry of Finance, Gillian Dorner, contended that the recession in the cryptocurrency marketplace had purchased the time and this could Help in coming with constructive policies Instead of hasty conclusions:

We wish to spend some opportunity to check at this in a little more depth and also make sure we have a proportionate approach.

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Bitcoin Exchange Huobi announces Post-Christmas layoffs

Chinese mining giant Bitmain Technology and cryptocurrency exchange operator Huobi Group have announced plans to lay off employees but for various reasons, per reports about the South China Morning Post (SCMP). Bitmain showed its goal in a statement offered by the SCMP, predicting that the layoffs a”minor alteration” because it restructures to construct a sustainable company after the recession in the marketplace.

The company added:

A component of this is having to focus on matters which are core to this assignment rather than matters which are auxiliary. As we proceed into the new calendar year, we’ll continue to double back on selecting the best talent from a wide variety of backgrounds.

Even though the rumors making the rounds in Chinese press says roughly half of Bitmain’s employees may find themselves jobless at the conclusion of the present restructuring, a Bitmain spokesman allegedly denied the proposals but refused to discuss the precise amount of workers that may be axed. Another anonymous worker, mentioned by SCMP, asserts that the lien would cover all Bitmain’s branches but he was not sure of the precise number of workers to be terminated.

Also Read: Hundreds of Crypto Projects depicts signs of plagiarism, fraud and unlikely returns

In like fashion, Chinese firm Huobi Group, that SCMP notes have over 1,000 workers, will be linking Bitmain about the chopping block since it attempts to reorganize its construction for the new year by cutting redundant workers. Contrary to Bitmain, Beijing-based Huobi Group has been quick to point out that it’ll continue to expand its group “because of its core companies and emerging markets.”

The sudden market crash has made it hard for many blockchain firms to be more sustainable, resulting in cutbacks and layoffs out of companies.

Before this month, since CCN reported, Ethereum manufacturing studio ConsenSys went through a type of restructuring since the company needed to axe60percent of its workforce in an attempt to enhance its business amid the bearish market.

“We have to keep, and sometimes recover, the slender and gritty startup mindset which made us that we are. We find ourselves inhabiting an extremely competitive world…We have to recognize what got us here would likely not catch us there, where’there’ is,” ConsenSys CEO Joseph Lubin wrote in a letter to his workers.

Also Read: Blockchain will survive a Cryptocurrency Apocalypse

Blockchain societal platform Steemit wasn’t spared either. Citing the collapse of this cryptocurrency marketplace, Ned Scott, CEO of Steemit stated the startup was shooting 70 percent of its own group imagining that it was getting hard to enhance the blockchain together with the”rising costs of running complete Steem nodes” and the lower “fiat yields” in their “automatic selling of STEEM.”

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As Bitcoin price drops, industry startups are forced to cut back

Around this time this past year, the purchase price of Bitcoin struck an all-time large of almost $20,000. Cryptocurrency fans everywhere whined about the riches 2018 would deliver, first coin offerings exploded and startups continued to pull listing amounts of venture capital. Fast-forward annually: Bitcoin is down 75 percent to a $3,700, sinking as fast as its meteoric rise, and business startups are paying the cost.

The most recent victim is Bitmain, a supplier of bitcoin mining equipment which quite recently filed its IPO prospectus into the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong. The business affirmed to CoinDesk this week which cutbacks would start imminently:

“There’s been some modification to our team this season as we continue to construct a long-lasting, more sustainable and scalable company,” a spokesperson for Bitmain informed CoinDesk.

He kept adding that,

“A component of this is having to actually concentrate on matters which are core to this assignment rather than matters which are “

Beijing-based Bitmain has not clarified exactly how a lot of its workers will be affected, though rumors which Bitmain has since denied — on Maimai, a Chinese LinkedIn-like platform, imply as many as 50% of their organization’s headcount could be set off. This information comes following the crypto mining giant confirmed it had shuttered its Israeli growth center, Bitmaintech Israel, putting off 23 employees in the procedure.

Bitmain applies at least 2,000 individuals, up from 250 in 2016, based on PitchBook, since the organization’s expansion has skyrocketed.

Also Read: Litecoin Foundation to sponsor UFC Title Fight in a bid to increase crypto adoption

“The crypto marketplace has experienced a shake-up at the previous couple of weeks, which has compelled Bitmain to analyze its various actions around the world and also to refocus its business in keeping with the present scenario,” Bitmaintech Israel mind Gadi Glikberg allegedly told his workers in the time of their layoffs.

Bitmain has increased over $800 million in venture capital financing from Sequoia, Coatue Management, SoftBank and much more. At a cost of $12 billion, it immediately jumped to eventually become the most precious crypto startup on the planet, exceeding Coinbase, that gained an $8 billion evaluation this autumn.

In its IPO filing, Bitmain reported greater than $2.5 billion in earnings this past year, up almost 10x about the $278 million it asserted for 2016. In terms of the first half of 2018, Bitmain stated it surpassed $2.8 billion in earnings. These are amazing numbers, yes, however, if Bitmain can sustain this sort of momentum was called into question, particularly because it gears up to go public in what is the biggest crypto-related IPO so far. The crypto marketplace, by nature, is inconsistent — a feature that is less than beneficial to public market investors.

Startups forfeit staff

Meanwhile, the Huobi Group, a crypto trading platform also headquartered in Beijing, is putting off a part of its 1,000 workers, also, as shown by a reporting the South China Morning Post.

Huobi, that is endorsed by Sequoia and ZhenFund, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Additionally, Brooklyn-based ConsenSys before this month confirmed it had been laying off 13 percent of its own 1,200-person employees. The organization, active in the crypto ecosystem, incubates and invests in decentralized software built on the Ethereum blockchain.

ConsenSys creator and crypto billionaire Joseph Lubin composed in a letter to workers about the layoffs.

“Excited as we’re around ConsenSys 2.0, our first step in this direction has become a tough one: we’re streamlining several areas of the company including ConsenSys Solutions, spokes, and heart solutions, resulting in a 13% decrease of net associates,”

At length, Steemit, a distributed program designed to benefit content creators, laid off 70 percent of its own employees only days before, citing poor market conditions.

Also Read: Bank of America discloses New Blockchain Patent targeting cash handling

“We believe that Steem could be undoubtedly the finest, and cheapest price, blockchain protocol for both software and the improvements which will result from this new leadership will ensure it is much better for program sustainability,” creator and chief executive officer Ned Scott wrote in a statement. “But, so as to make sure that we may continue to enhance Steem, we will need to get prices under control to stay economically sustainable. There is nothing I desire more than to endure, to maintain steemit.com functioning, and also keep the mission alive, to create wonderful communities.”

Downsizing after phases of rapid expansion — that lots of crypto startups experienced throughout that the Bitcoin flourish — is just natural, but can these companies continue to survive periods of intense volatility without crashing entirely? 1 thing is sure: If the purchase price of Bitcoin sinks further and further, “staff alterations” in crypto startups big and small will probably be inevitable.

Tip by Shanon Belversky
Inputs from Robin, Writer at ExFold Media Inc.
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Litecoin Foundation to sponsor UFC Title Fight in a bid to increase crypto adoption

The Litecoin Foundation will host an event of this Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) combined martial arts business, based on a statement printed Dec. 26.

In the announcement, the base said it has come to be the”Official Cryptocurrency Partner” of the UFC light heavyweight title fight between Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson. The Litecoin Foundation said that the sponsorship is part of its attempt to enlarge the adoption of electronic currencies, stating:

“With institutions and brands continued to push cryptocurrency and blockchain, this is just another sign of the technology moving closer towards mainstream”

Also read: Bank of America discloses New Blockchain Patent targeting cash handling

Litecoin (LTC) premiered in 2011 by former Coinbase engineering manager Charlie Lee. The money is a proof-of-work currency using a restricted supply of 84,000,000 LTC. Litecoin isn’t centrally managed, but the Litecoin Foundation develops its own network. Lee is also the managing director of the base.

In 2017, the worldwide sports marketplace was appreciated approximately by $557 billion, while North America was the largest area in the sports marketplace that year, using a 33 percent market share, based on market research and intelligence business that the Business Research Company. Raising capital through enlightenment purportedly brings new patrons into the current market, together with cryptocurrency-related support slowly expanding thus far.

Back in December, Brazilian premier league football team Atletico Mineiro started a buff token dubbed “GaloCoin” predicated on Footcoin — a stage for producing usefulness replicas on the Ethereum blockchain. Atletico’s token enables fans to buy game tickets, official clothes, and take part in reduction programs.

Also Read: KuCoin Crypto Exchange removes 10 Tokens as they fail to fulfill listed Criteria

Back in September, French soccer team Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) partnered using blockchain stage Socios.com to establish a token ecosystem. The token will enable the club to start a Fan Token Offering (FTO) that gives fans access to branded Saint German club tokens. The tokens will include voting rights and may also confer VIP standing and/or rewards for their holders.

In June, the world’s biggest crypto market Binance made an undisclosed investment to blockchain-based esports voting platform chiliZ.

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Increase in Blockchain revolution despite crypto crash

This had been the year cryptocurrencies dropped to the ground — the wreck was so acute that parallels are drawn together with the dot-com bust at the beginning of the millennium.

Bitcoin is down 80 percent from just under $20,000 12 months back to approximately $3,500 in December. Similar drops have been listed by other cryptos like ethereum.

The factors for the bust are well rehearsed: Improved regulatory supervision, particularly from the united states and China, the development of scams connected to a proliferation of cryptocurrencies found via first coin offerings (ICOs), along with disagreements among cryptocurrency’s programmers about how to upgrade the underlying applications.

However, interviewees told that the economy would recover and that, as the dotcom boom went on to make Amazon, so the entire world of cryptocurrencies should not be composed.

Dubai-based investor and entrepreneur, Najam Kidwai, a board-adviser into Fusion.org, a non-profit base that aims to build up blockchain infrastructure for crypto finance, told that innovations had time to grow and cryptocurrencies were not any distinct.

He added:

“Change Has to Be controlled, but if You’re doing

Everything, new technologies needs to improve the user experience, that is the concept of technologies to make life simpler.”

In the meantime, he called, institutional cash will flow into”the crypto area,” even as retail investors take fright. Banks and hedge funds were looking at cryptocurrencies, also constructing compliance and risk infrastructure to encourage trading,” he explained.

Chris Beauchamp, a senior market analyst in London-based IG Group told:

“They (cryptocurrencies) are not doomed, they are simply not likely to change the world immediately. Bitcoin still has the heft to stay a part of the monetary world, but others will likely evaporate or evolve over time, such as the airlines and automobile companies of old”

Regardless of the cryptocurrency crash, many observers concur that blockchain, the technology which underpins the new paths, will continue to spur private and public expenditure, and perhaps nowhere more than at the Gulf.

Here, there are some significant improvements in 2018. Abu Dhabi-headquartered Al Hilal Bank has completed a blockchain-based trade to get an Islamic bond worth $500 million; Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) is collaborating with IBM to pilot a blockchain distribution chain system; and KSA’s central bank has signed a deal with US fintech firm Ripple to conduct a pilot project to assist banks to repay payments with blockchain.

Kidwai stated:

“Cities such as Dubai have bet quite heavily on the blockchain. A good deal of evidence of concept work is happening as Dubai wants paperless authorities, thus there’s an initiative here known as Smart Dubai, driven by the ruler of Dubai. There’s a need for speed and transparency in government”

In its heart, blockchain is a rather simple idea. It is a ledger of cubes of info, like transactions or arrangements, which are saved across a network of computers. This info is saved chronologically, may be looked at by a community of consumers, and isn’t normally handled by a central authority like a lender or a government. Once printed, the data can not be altered.

Also Read: Alex Pack thinks that Bitcoin crossed a major milestone this year

Gartner analyst Rajesh Kandaswamy told that though speculators had poured billions to cryptocurrencies, that did not”invalidate the inherent blockchain tech”.

“Blockchain could enable several parties in a supply chain to socialize with no middleman — and also for many records to be procured in 1 area. That allows for additional streamlining, more efficiency and cost reductions,” stated Kandaswamy.

Abdul Nasser Al Mughairbi, electronic unit director for Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) stated that blockchain will”improve our business processes using a shared, secure and transparent ledger.

“Blockchain is assisting us monitor, irrefutably, each molecule of petroleum, and its worth, in the well to the last client,” he said.

He added:

“Every day you will find big and intricate production and bookkeeping transactions among all our companies…which have to be accounted for. Until now this was a laborious process but the blockchain program we’ve developed is streamlining this in 1 platform.”

Running costs could be cut through”eliminating time-tested and time-consuming processes.”

The blockchain is a game-changer in oil and gas trades, ” he explained.

Despite massive growth in embryonic and pilot projects between blockchain, Gartner’s Kandaswamy stated to his knowledge there was”very few large-scale investments” from blockchain by businesses. True, blockchain become the number one search phrase when people looked in the Gartner site.

But queries were more about fascination surrounding the tech and”not about devoting funds.”

He added: “Our customers are fighting to determine where blockchain would make sense in their small business. After I did a webinar this past year, businesses were stating’lack of company case’ was the number one difficulty. They wanted to understand how blockchain can do things better than other technology already on the market.”

But he stated that there were several exceptional selling points appearing with blockchain. For instance: The capability of different parties within an ecosystem to possess exactly the exact same feeling of evidence, data stored in one point that could not be tampered with.

Surely, blockchain does not seem like going away anytime soon. Walmart recently became among the first merchants to describe the way that it’s going to use the technology. The business stated it would require carrot providers to upload information about their meals to blockchain in a year. Large firms like Accenture, Facebook, Google, IBM, and Microsoft are creating innovative products and services according to blockchain’s digital-ledger open source technologies.

Last month, Amazon stated it might offer blockchain for programmers utilizing its cloud-computing services.

The international market for blockchain-related merchandise and services is approximately $700 million and is estimated to exceed $60 billion yearly in 2024, based on Wintergreen Research.

IBM and Microsoft are major worldwide blockchain growth jobs in 2018, according to Wintergreen.

Kandaswamy reported a distinction ought to be made between a people blockchain program and a personal one. The latter was for internal company procedures, for example, IBM’s program enabling location and monitoring of marine shipments. The bigger battlefield centered on people blockchain.