News of the week

Bitcoin Drops to Lowest Level in over a Year

01 BitcoinPlunge

On Thursday morning, Bitcoin prices hit $5,300. That’s a dip of more than 15% in one day and a new low in 2018 for the popular cryptocurrency. According to Coinbase, Bitcoin was trading at $5,249 just before 10 a.m. ET on Thursday, representing not only its lowest point in 2018, but the lowest Bitcoin prices have been since early October 2017. Bitcoin’s 2018 high was reached very early in the year: $16,665, as of January 5. If you bought Bitcoin then, you’d be down 68% when prices hit $5,300 on Thursday. You’d be in even worse shape if you purchased Bitcoin when the cryptocurrency hit its all-time high of $19,539 on December 16, 2017.

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US Mining Company Leaves Sweden with $1.5M in Unpaid Electricity Bills

02 Sweden

Two mining companies with operations in Sweden have reportedly abandoned their facilities in Sweden’s county of Norrbotten. Miami-based miner NGDC ceased operations in the municipality of Älvsbyn after having its power cut by Swedish electricity supplier Vattenfal. It appers the company left the country with $1.55 million in unpaid electricity bills.

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Poland Agrees on 19% Tax for Cryptocurrency Transactions

03 Poland

The government of Poland recently prepared income tax regulations. The document needs to be approved by President Andrzej Duda. The updated framework, which includes provisions referring to cryptocurrencies, is expected to enter into force on Jan. 1, 2019. The government of Poland recently submitted amended income tax regulations for approval by President Andrzej Duda. The updated framework, which includes provisions referring to cryptocurrencies, is expected to enter into force on Jan. 1, 2019.

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Microsoft Releases Azure Blockchain Development Kit

04 Microsoft

Software corporation Microsoft has released a serverless “Azure Blockchain Development Kit”, which purportedly improves the capabilities of Microsoft’s Azure Blockchain Workbench. It contains features like off-chain identity and data, monitoring, and messaging application programming interfaces in a format that can be used to develop blockchain-based apps. The initial release will focus on three core objectives, such as “connecting interfaces, integrating data and systems, and deploying smart contracts and blockchain networks.”

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South Korea Province Launches ‘Special Committee’ to Create Blockchain Hub

05 South Korea

The government of South Korea’s North Gyeongsang Province, also known as Gyeongbuk, province has launched a “Blockchain Special Committee” with the goal of creating a blockchain hub in the region. The plan is to create a blockchain hub, inviting 40 domestic and foreign experts in the industry to consult, preemptively respond and establish strategies. This summer, the province’s government announced plans to issue its own local cryptocurrency, dubbed Gyeongbuk Coin, which will reportedly be accepted by merchants across the region.

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Russian Art Gallery Tretyakov Launches Blockchain-Based Patronage Project

06 Tretyakovka

Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow is launching a blockchain-based art patronage scheme. The project, dubbed “My Tretyakov,” allows individuals or enterprises to make a private donation to contribute to the digitization of an item from the gallery’s collection, thereby becoming the artwork’s patron. The system, developed with business innovation collective RDI Digital, uses blockchain technology to assign and manage the patronage structure. The system randomly selects which storage unit (electronic copy of an object of art) will be considered digitized with the help of a particular patron, and links the name to the object. The connection of the name or company name to the digitized exhibit is fixed using blockchain technology.

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