News of the week

Facebook Plans Cryptocurrency Launch in First Half of 2019

Facebook is talking to exchanges about potentially listing a cryptocurrency. New York Times story published Thursday on several efforts to introduce native cryptocurrencies to widely used messaging platforms. Citing “four people briefed on the negotiations,” the Times reports that Facebook has told exchanges it expects to get a product out in the first half of 2019.

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Russia to Adopt Crypto Regulation by July

President Vladimir Putin has instructed his country’s government to adopt federal laws relating to cryptocurrency by July. Russia has earlier broadened the definition of “digital financial assets” to include cryptocurrencies. Putin’s latest order resembles one he made regarding crypto regulation last year.

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French President Believes Blockchain Could Put Europe at ‘Vanguard’ of Innovation

French President Emmanuel Macron has called for increased use of data technologies such as blockchain in the EU to boost the agriculture industry and address concerns over food traceability. Inaugurating the 56th International Agricultural Fair in Paris at the weekend, Macron spoke of the need to authenticate and track agricultural products amid growing consumer concerns over issues such as the recent Polish beef scandal.

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Ethereum Faces Software ‘Fork’

Ethereum, the world’s second-biggest cryptocurrency, was set on Thursday for major software upgrades that traders and analysts predicted would significantly reduce its supply. Ethereum is upgrading its network to cut the costs and complexity of interactions and communications on its blockchain. It will undergo two so-called “hard forks” during the evening, in essence creating a new version of its blockchain software that will give miners fewer incentives to spend time and energy producing fresh coins.

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Thai SEC Added 3 Cryptos for ICOs and Trading

The Thai Securities and Exchange Commission has updated the list of cryptocurrencies suitable for use in initial coin offering investments and trading pairs. In this statement, the commission informs the public that Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum Classic (ETC) and Litecoin (LTC) have been added to the list. Lastly, the statement also specifies that the presence of any given crypto asset in the list does not render it a legal tender.

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Moscow Government to Use Blockchain Tech in E-Voting for Parliamentary Election

The city council of Moscow has submitted a bill to use blockchain technology for an electronic voting system. The Moscow City Duma, a local parliament of the Russian capital city, plans to protect the process and results of electronic voting in the upcoming elections through the use of blockchain technology. The news was announced by one of the authors of the relevant bill, the deputy of ruling party United Russia Dmitry Vyatkin.

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