News of the week

Wall Street Boss: Bitcoin is ‘Here to Stay’

01 Wall Street Boss

Bitcoin lose 40% of its value in two weeks, and its woes have caused many to doubt the future of cryptocurrencies. However there are confident traders with New York Stock Exchange chairman Jeff Sprecher among the more optimistic. Bitcoin has over the last three days climbed back over $4,100 mark after falling as low as $3,600 last week.

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Despite Bitcoin Crash, Amazon Continues to Embrace Blockchain

02 Amazon

Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy unveiled two new blockchain products at the conference in Las Vegas. The company will offer Quantum Ledger Database and Managed Blockchain for developers using its cloud-computing services. AWS is responding to demand from existing customers. He pointed to mortgages, health-care records, supply chain tracking and vehicle history records as common customer use cases. Amazon Quantum Ledger Database, or QLDB is made for customers to replicate a copy of their blockchain network activity. Amazon’s new product will support two popular existing blockchain platforms — Ethereum and Hyperledger Fabric.

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‘Bitcoin’ Again Became a Popular Search in Google

03 Google

Google revealed the weekly number of worldwide searches for the keyword “bitcoin” has reached levels not seen since the first week in April. While the exact number of searches accrued so far this week is not clear, data from Google reveals ‘bitcoin’ searches in the past three days alone made up 17 percent of its all-time-high weekly search volume set from Dec. 17-23, 2017. At that time, the cryptocurrency was trading around its record high near $20,000.

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VanEck Partners with Nasdaq for ‘Crypto 2.0’ Futures Contracts’ Launch

04 VanEck

Investment management firm VanEck partners with one of the biggest stock exchange to bring a host of new cryptocurrency financial products to market. Gabor Gurbacs,VanEck’s director of digital asset strategy, announced the move to “bring a regulated crypto 2.0 futures-type contract” to the market. According to Gurbacs, they work “with the [Commodity Futures Trading Commission] to bring about new standards for custody and surveillance.

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Ohio State in US to Accept Bitcoin for Taxes

05 Ohio

State treasurer Josh Mandel said that Ohio is looking to attract blockchain start-ups with its new acceptance of bitcoin for taxes. This week, Ohio partnered with BitPay to became the first state to accept cryptocurrency for business taxes. Companies can go to OhioCrypto.com, enter their tax information, then third-party payment processor BitPay verifies the transaction on blockchain. It converts the cryptocurrency to U.S. dollars, and then transfers those dollars to the state of Ohio.

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Malaysia to Enact Crypto Regulation in 2019

06 Malaysia

Malaysia will enact regulations for cryptocurrency and Initial Coin Offerings in Q1 2019. Fminister Lim Guan Eng, who said Wednesday said the country’s regulator, the Securities Commission (SC), had updated him with a timeframe for the new rules. The move will form “part of the SC’s efforts to facilitate alternative fundraising avenues and new investment asset classes”. Malaysia has taken a piecemeal path to regulation of its domestic cryptocurrency industry, originally beginning the process in late 2017. Authorities have sought to control the sector in the meantime, Lim telling parliament that entities wishing to issue cryptocurrencies must consult the country’s central bank, Bank Negara Malaysia.

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