CRYPTOCURRENCY

CBOE Withdraws Rule Change Request to List Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Fund

BITCOIN, COINTELEGRAPH, CRYPTOCURRENCY
The Chicago Board Options Exchange’s (CBOE) BZX Equity Exchange has apparently withdrawn its request for a rule change by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). According to an official notice published on Jan. 23, BZX withdrew a proposed rule change that would allow it to list a Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF).ETFs are securities that track a basket of assets proportionately represented in the fund’s shares. They are seen by some as a potential step forward for the mass adoption of cryptocurrencies as a regulated and passive investment instrument.
[Guest Post] FinTech’s effect on Financial Services in 2019

[Guest Post] FinTech’s effect on Financial Services in 2019

CRYPTOCURRENCY
by Stephen HarkeyFinancial technology (FinTech) solutions are expected to have an exceptional year in 2019, predominantly with new solutions designed to assist the unbanked and underbanked populations. According to media sources, there are suspected to be an estimated 1.7 billion adults across the world who do not presently enjoy access to traditional financial services. This equates to 31% of the adult populace who are not currently leveraging financial services, products and benefits from a traditional bank account. This means that 31% of the world’s adult population are unable to borrow money, lawfully save funds, or invest finances. They are simply not capable to gain access to the global money system that allows for economic freedom. What’s worse, because of their limited means to fin
Crypto Could Take 10+ Years to Regain 2017 High, But Then Will Be Mature: Cardano Founder

Crypto Could Take 10+ Years to Regain 2017 High, But Then Will Be Mature: Cardano Founder

BITCOIN, COINTELEGRAPH, CRYPTOCURRENCY
Crypto markets might need more than a decade to regain 2017’s price highs, but the industry will a “dramatically different ecosystem at that point,” according to top altcoin Cardano’s (ADA) founder, Charles Hoskinson. The industry expert made his comments in an interview with Cointelegraph at the Crypto Finance Conference, Jan. 17.Hoskinson compared crypto’s major growth spurt in 2017 with Amazon’s performance during the dot-com bubble. The entrepreneur — who is also the co-founder of Ethereum (ETH) — noted that it took 11-12 years for the internet giant to recover its all-time highs at the peak of the bubble. He argued that by 2011-2012, the firm was a “very much more mature company, much more realistic company.”According to Hoskinson, crypto as an industry could experience a similar grow
[Guest Post] Will Blockchain Help Streamline Data Management?

[Guest Post] Will Blockchain Help Streamline Data Management?

BLOCKCHAIN, CRYPTOCURRENCY
by Rae SteinbachThe digital age has obviously yielded major benefits for businesses. That said, keeping up with technological shifts can be challenging. A major struggle organizations often face is data management. Solutions businesses may have relied on in the past are no longer sufficient for managing large volumes of data. Even relatively new approaches, such as using third-party cloud storage providers, aren’t ideal. A business that entrusts a third party with its data must be confident that data is secure. This isn’t always guaranteed. On top of that, cloud storage systems can’t always be relied upon to perform quickly enough to meet the needs of customers. Organizations must consider stronger data management solutions that offer enhanced security and reliability. For example, your bu
Blockchain Startup to Boost Patient Safety and Prevent Overprescribing

Blockchain Startup to Boost Patient Safety and Prevent Overprescribing

BLOCKCHAIN, COINTELEGRAPH, CRYPTOCURRENCY
A blockchain solution has unveiled bold plans to make the United Kingdom’s medicine market safer by creating a system that prevents patients from ordering the same prescription from multiple pharmacies while stopping counterfeit drugs from making their way into the supply chain.MediConnect states that introducing new safeguarding for the public and the health care industry can save money and potentially lives. The motivation for the startup came after the company’s founders discovered the extent and impact of oversupply via the National Health Service (NHS) and private health care providers.A lack of data sharing means patients can make multiple prescription orders across several websites in a matter of minutes — an issue of concern for regulators given the growing levels of drug dependenc
Smart Contracts Don’t Necessarily Disrupt Traditional Contract Law, Expert Argues

Smart Contracts Don’t Necessarily Disrupt Traditional Contract Law, Expert Argues

BLOCKCHAIN, COINTELEGRAPH, CRYPTOCURRENCY
Blockchain-based smart contracts indubitably fall subject to private international law, a legal expert has argued in a post published to Oxford University’s Business Law Blog today, Jan. 23.Giesela Rühl — a professor of Private International Law and co-director of the Centre for European Studies at the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, Germany — entitled her analysis “The Law Applicable to Smart Contracts, or Much Ado About Nothing?” As the title implies, the report argues that the presumed friction between smart contracts and established legal precedent may be over-exaggerated.Professor Rühl opened her argument with the observation that:“[T]he initial hopes that smart contracts will free the exchange of goods and services from national laws do not seem to come true. Indeed, the class

Bitfury Launches Set of Tools to Drive Lightning Network Adoption

BITCOIN, COINTELEGRAPH, CRYPTOCURRENCY
Blockchain technology firm Bitfury Group has released a series of new tools for merchants and developers in a bid to drive wider adoption of the Lightning Network (LN). The launch was announced in a blog post from Bitfury’s LN engineering team, “Lightning Peach,” Jan. 23.Bitfury’s new LN-related offerings span an open source LN-enabled Bitcoin (BTC) wallet, a hardware LN payments terminal and e-commerce software for merchants, a host of developer tools, and a public LN node to facilitate users’ creation of LN payment channels.The Lightning Network is a second-layer solution to Bitcoin’s scalability limitations, which works by opening payment channels between users to keep the majority of transactions off-chain, turning to the underlying Blockchain only to record the net results.Valery Vavi
Ripple and Major Beijing University Launch Blockchain Research Scholarship

Ripple and Major Beijing University Launch Blockchain Research Scholarship

BLOCKCHAIN, COINTELEGRAPH, CRYPTOCURRENCY, RIPPLE
A major Chinese research university has launched a blockchain research scholarship with the support of Ripple, according to a press release published on Jan. 18.In collaboration with blockchain payments firm Ripple, the Institute for Fintech Research at Beijing’s Tsinghua University (THUIFR) has announced the Blockchain Technology Research Scholarship Program (BRSP). The program reportedly intends to bring together the best graduate students in China in 2019 to study global blockchain regulations and industry development.Participants in the new educational program will reportedly have access to advanced knowledge in the blockchain space, as well be able to take part in corporate events and visits.Ivy Gao, Director of International Cooperation and Development at THUIFR, stressed that the BR
Bitcoin Wallet Xapo Leaves Hong Kong for Switzerland Due to ‘Opaque’ Regulations

Bitcoin Wallet Xapo Leaves Hong Kong for Switzerland Due to ‘Opaque’ Regulations

BITCOIN, BLOCKCHAIN, COINTELEGRAPH, CRYPTOCURRENCY
Major global Bitcoin (BTC) wallet Xapo will relocate key business operations from Hong Kong to Switzerland, according to Swiss news agency Swissinfo on Jan. 21.Speaking at the World Web Forum in Zurich, the wallet’s president Ted Rogers revealed that the main purpose of the move was the search for a better crypto regulatory environment.According to Xapo’s president, Hong Kong used to be thought of as “the holy grail of crypto regulations,” but that in fact the jurisdiction has “become more opaque.”Rogers argued that he always considered Switzerland “the right place” for blockchain and crypto-related projects to flourish, stating that Swiss regulators are “smart, interested and sophisticated in dealing with the financial markets.”According to the report, Xapo’s geographic transfer of operat
UK Financial Regulator Releases Consultation Paper on Crypto

UK Financial Regulator Releases Consultation Paper on Crypto

COINTELEGRAPH, CRYPTOCURRENCY
The United Kingdom’s financial regulator has published a consultation paper titled “Guidance on Cryptoassets” today, Jan. 23.The stated goal of the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) paper on cryptocurrency is to provide more regulatory clarity on the subject for market participants. The consultation period on crypto, which the paper initiates, is scheduled to end on April 5, 2019, after which a policy statement with final guidance is set to be released.In its introduction to the paper, the FCA declares that the final version is meant to “help market participants to understand whether the cryptoassets they use are within the regulatory perimeter.” The regulator explains:“This will alert market participants to pertinent issues and should help them better understand whether they need to be