Coin Desk

Lawmakers Pitch New Crypto Tax Payments Bill in New Hampshire

Coin Desk
A pair of New Hampshire lawmakers filed a bill this month that, if approved, would let state-level agencies accept cryptocurrencies as payment, including the state’s tax office. Representatives Dennis Acton and Michael Yakubovich introduced House Bill 470 on Jan. 3, which seeks to require New Hampshire’s state agencies accept cryptocurrencies for taxes and other fees through a third-party entity. If passed, the bill would give the state treasurer until Nov. 1, 2019 to develop a plan for these agencies to begin integrating such payments. Under current New Hampshire regulations, only U.S. dollars may be accepted by state agencies for payments at present, and any other currencies used would be returned to the sender. If the bill passes, it would allow these agencies to accept an undetermined
‘Decentralized Airbnb’ Starts Charging Fees as ICO Model Falters

‘Decentralized Airbnb’ Starts Charging Fees as ICO Model Falters

Coin Desk
Bee Token – a crypto startup seeking to create a decentralized home sharing platform – has begun charging fees for some customers as part of a pivot meant to boost revenues. It’s a significant development for the company, which raised millions in an ICO as an alternative to Airbnb that could cut costs for users by reducing fees and eliminating ads from online services. But Bee found that users haven’t been moving to its site fast enough. Now, the company, founded by Uber alumni, is moving to a more traditional path to sustainability, according to an interview with co-founder and CEO Jonathan Chou. The company announced the closure of its ICO in early February 2018, raising 5,000 ETH (roughly $4.5 million as the sale closed). Of the total supply of 500 million BEE tokens, 213 million are in
A16z-backed Startup Anchor Labs Launches Crypto Custodial Service

A16z-backed Startup Anchor Labs Launches Crypto Custodial Service

Coin Desk
A crypto startup has launched a custodial service for institutions that it claims is more secure than cold storage yet offers easier access to assets. Anchor Labs, which previously raised $17 million in a series A round backed by Andreessen Horowitz, Max Levchin, Khosla Ventures, Blackrock’s Mark McCombe, Elad Gil and AngelList co-founder Naval Ravikant, announced the launch of Anchorage, a digital asset custodian, on Wednesday. Anchorage says it can deliver “all the benefits of asset accessibility,” which include capturing the yield from staking a cryptocurrency, voting, confirming proof of existence and faster transactions. The company was co-founded by Diogo Mónica and Nathan McCauley, who previously worked on Square’s encrypted credit card reader and ran Docker’s security team. “Until
UK Financial Watchdog Plans Oversight of Security Tokens, Some Stablecoins

UK Financial Watchdog Plans Oversight of Security Tokens, Some Stablecoins

Coin Desk
The U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has set out proposed guidance for how crypto assets should be regulated in the country. In a consultation paper published Wednesday, the watchdog assigns the various crypto tokens into three categories and suggests whether these can be accommodated under existing rules overseen by the FCA – for example, as specified investments, financial instruments or e-money. Explaining the reasons for guidelines, the agency said that crypto assets carry risks for consumers and investors, and clarification of what is regulated and what is not would help firms wishing to operate compliant businesses based around crypto assets. In a statement, Christopher Woolard, the FCA’s executive director of strategy and competition, said: “This is a small but growing marke

Nasdaq Leads $20 Million Funding Round for Blockchain Startup Symbiont

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Enterprise blockchain startup Symbiont has closed a $20 million Series-B funding round led by Nasdaq Ventures with participation from Galaxy Digital, Citi, Raptor Group and others. The firm, which has kept a fairly low profile the last two years as the cryptocurrency market’s gyrations overshadowed the enterprise sector, previously raised a combined $15.4 million from a seed round in 2014 and Series A in 2017. Symbiont CEO Mark Smith told CoinDesk that the firm doubled its staff last year, and now has more than 60 employees. “We have been very good stewards of capital for the six years we have been in business. I think we have done more with less than anybody out there,” Smith said. “So it was time for us to do a bigger round and adding the Nasdaq as an investor and partner, and Citi as a

Ripple Partners With Chinese University for Blockchain Research Program

Coin Desk, RIPPLE
Ripple has partnered with a top Chinese university for a blockchain research program. The Institute for Fintech Research (THUIFR) at Tsinghua University in Beijing announced last week that the scholarship program would focus on global regulatory policies and blockchain development. Selected students will also get to participate in corporate visits and events. Ivy Gao, director of international cooperation and development at the university, said that the initiative is aimed to provide students a “comprehensive view” of global blockchain regulatory policies, adding that he believes it would help students with their “future research or career in the field of blockchain technology.” Eric van Miltenburg, Ripple’s SVP of global operations, said: “The program’s goal – to provide students with opp
Seed CX Launches Spot Bitcoin Trading in Bid for Big-Money Investors

Seed CX Launches Spot Bitcoin Trading in Bid for Big-Money Investors

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Seed CX has taken its first big step to bring institutional investors to the crypto space. The Chicago-based exchange startup announced Wednesday that it had launched a bitcoin spot trading market for its major clients, offering a regulated platform with “a deep book of liquidity.” Interested clients can access the market through a web API, a graphical user interface or the financial information exchange (FIX) protocol, according to a press release. Seed CX, which has raised $25 million since its inception in 2015, is now offering a licensed exchange for institutional trading and settlement. At some point in the near future, it will begin offering a market for crypto derivatives regulated by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). “We’re offering truly institutional level sup

Gold Price May Offer Clues About Next Big Bitcoin Move

BITCOIN, Coin Desk
Bitcoin (BTC) traders could get cues from an apparent negative correlation that has developed between bitcoin and gold prices. Gold picked up a strong bid at $1,196 on Nov. 13 and jumped to $1,300 on Jan. 4, possibly due to a sell-off in the weakening U.S. dollar. The greenback was down against most currencies in last two months of 2018 on growing speculation that the Federal Reserve (Fed) could decrease or pause interest rate hikes in 2019. Bitcoin, however, did not benefit from that broad-based sell-off in the dollar. The cryptocurrency instead saw a revived bear market with a convincing move below $6,000 on Nov. 14 – a day after gold found takers around $1,200 per ounce. That price action indicates that the two assets are inversely correlated. Validating that argument is the 90-day corr
Pennsylvania Clarifies That Crypto Exchanges Are Not Money Transmitters

Pennsylvania Clarifies That Crypto Exchanges Are Not Money Transmitters

Coin Desk
Pennsylvania’s Department of Banking and Securities (DoBS) has clarified that crypto exchanges and service providers do not require a money transmission license to operate. The DoBS published the new guidance for the U.S. state’s crypto industry on Wednesday, following a number of enquiries from businesses, it said. The department explained that as bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are not “money,” the Money Transmission Business Licensing Law or the Money Transmitter Act of Pennsylvania does not apply to crypto trading platforms. According to the act, only fiat currency or the U.S. government-issued currency is considered money. “To date, no jurisdiction in the United States has designated virtual currency as legal tender,” the department said. The act states that parties conducting the
Bitfury Releases Merchant, Developer Tools for Bitcoin’s Lighting Network

Bitfury Releases Merchant, Developer Tools for Bitcoin’s Lighting Network

BITCOIN, Coin Desk
Blockchain technology firm Bitfury has released a suite tools aimed to drive adoption of bitcoin’s lightning network. Although the network is still under development, Bitfury announced a comprehensive product list to support the tech on Wednesday, including an open-source lightning wallet and hardware and software tools for merchants and payment processors to accept payments. It also released developer tools and a public lightning network node called “The Peach” to let bitcoin users open or create payment channels. The product bundle is designed to make using the lightning network “easier for vendors and consumers to use,” Bitfury said. A layer-2 payments technology that debuted on bitcoin early last year, lightning enables transactions with near-instantaneous confirmation speeds without h