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Digital Currency and Blockchain Weekly Round-Up – October 4th, 2019

Fri, 04 Oct 2019, 11:21 am UTC

Two lawmakers urge Fed to mull a digital U.S. dollar; Philly Fed president thinks digital currencies are 'inevitable'
Two U.S. congressmen, Rep. French Hill (R-Arkansas) and Rep. Bill Foster (D-Illinois), have asked the Federal Reserve to consider developing a digital dollar. In a letter sent to Fed Chairman Jerome Powell on Monday, the lawmakers stressed that the “nature of money is changing” and that Fed is capable and has the natural role to develop a “national digital currency.” Philadelphia Federal Reserve President Patrick Harker proposed a similar project, saying that issuing digital currency is “inevitable” for the central banks.

Seven EU member states sign MOU to cooperate and share best practices on blockchain technology
Seven European countries this week signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for cooperation and sharing of knowledge in the area of distributed ledger technologies. The group of seven countries, called the “Mediterranean seven” or “MED 7,” met in Malta on October 02 for the South EU Telecommunications Ministers Summit. The key focus was on the crucial role of emerging technologies for the development of the Mediterranean area.

Japan’s Financial Services Agency issues draft guidelines for funds investing in cryptocurrencies
Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) has published draft guidelines for funds investing in cryptocurrencies, CoinDesk reported. The FSA said, “It is anticipated that financial products that invest in crypto assets (virtual currency) will be formed in the future, but there are also indications that investment in crypto assets is encouraging speculation. The agency believes that it should carefully handle the formation and sale of investment trusts that invest in such assets.”

Russian Banking Association proposes taxing crypto mining as treasure
Russia could tax cryptocurrency mining activities, similar to how it taxes treasure findings or property, local news agency Izvestia report. The Association of Banks of Russia has reportedly proposed to legally recognize crypto mining as “an analogy of occupation of property or treasure.” This would essentially make cryptocurrencies taxable within the existing legal framework.

Uzbekistan hikes electricity tariffs for crypto miners by 3 times
The government of the Republic of Uzbekistan has increased electricity tariffs for cryptocurrency miners by 3 times. According to an announcement dated September 27, the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan has approved amendments to the rules for the use of electric energy.

Marudo: Venezuela to use crypto payments soon; opposition calls plan desperate subterfuge
Venezuelan President Nicolás Marudo confirmed reports that his country is planning to develop a bitcoin-based payment method and stockpiling cryptocurrencies as part of its international reserves. However, opposition leader Juan Guaidó is not too pleased with the move, saying that the initiative displays the regime’s “desperation.”

U.S. Department of Homeland Security awards $143k to Danube Tech for blockchain security solution
The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has awarded $143,478 to Danube Tech, a Vienna-based company, to develop blockchain security technology. In a press release dated September 26, the DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) said that Danube Tech was awarded the contract to develop blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) solutions to fulfill a common need across DHS missions.

South Korean government approves trial of blockchain-based mobile driver’s licenses
South Korea’s Ministry of Science and ICT has approved a project that aims to use a blockchain-powered ID solution for storing digitized versions of driver’s licenses, reported. In an announcement dated September 26, the ministry said that it has approved the three mobile carriers – SK, KT, and LG U+ – to test the blockchain solution in its regulatory sandbox.

Research Studies

  • KPMG study identifies loyalty programs as “ideal platform” to introduce blockchain-enabled tokenization

Company News

  • Vega secures $5M from Pantera, Xpring and others for decentralized derivatives protocol
  • DeFi portal InstaDApp secures $2.4M from strategic investors including Pantera Capital, Coinbase
  • Stripe-backed startup Rapyd secures $100 million for its 'fintech-as-a-service' API
  • Arrington XRP, ConsenSys Labs back “elastic sidechain network” SKALE’s $17.1M funding round
  • Blockchain startup BlockApps secures Series A funding led by Fitz Gate Ventures
  • Swiss Digital Exchange to launch ‘Initial Digital Offering’ in mid-2020
  • Ripple launches operations in Iceland with acqui-hire of crypto trading firm Algrim
  • Ripple's Xpring acquires Logos Network to build DeFi products
  • Blockchain and AI startup Core Scientific acquires Honeyminer creator Stax Digital
  • RSK maker IOVLabs buys Latin American Facebook rival Taringa
  • Nomura completes investment in LINE’s LVC, finalizes blockchain-based financial business alliance
  • Crypto investment platform B21 receives in-principle DLT License in Gibraltar

Digital Currency Initiatives

  • Coinbase, Kraken and others form Crypto Rating Council to help firms comply with SEC
  • OKEx announces global self-regulated organization initiative for crypto exchanges
  • Morningstar to offer ratings for crypto assets by end of 2019
  • SBI Securities, Nomura and others form self-regulatory body for STOs
  • Swiss SIX Exchange to list Swiss Franc-denominated crypto ETP
  • JP Morgan, Intel, and TrustToken alumni-led Global Currency Organization launches new USD Digital stablecoin
  • Broadridge likely to offer crypto post-trade services following Shadow Financial Systems' acquisition
  • Band Protocol rolls out BTC binary options dApp 'BitSwing' on ethereum blockchain
  • Wave Financial announces bitcoin derivatives yield fund, taps Fidelity Digital Assets for custody
  • Asset manager Stone Ridge to rival Bakkt, CME; files new bitcoin futures funds with SEC
  • WEG Bank AG to start processing crypto payments for retailers in 2020
  • Ripple’s Xpring launches developer platform to simplify integrating crypto, fiat payments into apps

Blockchain Initiatives

  • Terra’s blockchain network poised for mass adoption as payments dApp CHAI partners with BC Card
  • Tradeshift, Monerium complete transaction using smart contracts and licensed e-money with IKEA Iceland
  • Uruguay’s political party teams up with Æternity to use blockchain technology in internal voting
  • EnHelix launches blockchain-based energy commodity trading software based on Hyperledger Fabric
  • Chinese alcohol wholesaler Oranco to soon launch blockchain-based anti-counterfeiting solution
  • Carrefour deploys blockchain-based food traceability system to Camembert de Normandie
  • ConsenSys, WWF launch Impactio blockchain for transparent philantrophy

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