SEC and CFTC Give Testimonies at Senate Hearing on Virtual Currencies

Today, February 6, 2018, the prospects for coherent U.S. regulation on cryptocurrencies became a little more clear, as were the impasses that were frustrating progress on the issue. The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs (the “Committee”) heard joint testimony from the heads of both the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

Mexico’s Vicente Fox Invites the Blockchain Community to Join His “Yellow Revolution”

Former President of Mexico Vicente Fox was part of a panel discussion at the Blockchain Economic Forum in Singapore on February 5, 2018, and had a number of insights on blockchain technology generally and how Mexico might make use of it to help curtail corruption and rein in the drug trade. While President Fox openly admitted that he doesn’t understand blockchain technology that well at this point (learning more about it was a big reason he went to the conference), he does see the incredible potential for the use of a platform that democratizes data for the good of all.

NIST Blockchain Report Examines the Tech Behind the “Hype”

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has issued a report titled “Blockchain Technology Overview.

Indian Government Turns Fiat Currency War on to Cryptocurrencies

The cryptocurrency marketplace in India is facing a siege from multiple parts of the government as several incidents amount to a buildup of the Narendra Modi–led government’s actions on regulating cryptocurrencies. If the reports out of India are true, the IMF’s “fastest growing country among emerging economies” may have to meet its 7.

South Korea Moves to Regulate Domestic Bitcoin Trading, Exchanges

Since late November 2017, South Korea has looked to regulate cryptocurrency trading in domestic exchanges, including Bithumb, Coinone and Korbit,  The Korea Herald reports.
Baltic Nations Agree to Support DLT Development

Baltic Nations Agree to Support DLT Development

Government officials in the Baltics have struck an accord that includes a commitment to support the development of technologies like blockchain. In a newly released Memorandum of Understanding, the finance ministries for Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania agree to cooperate on a number of actions to expand and develop their economies – a process which, as the document outlines, would include the promotion of distributed ledger technologies (DLT) to aid in capital market innovations.
European Commission to Assess Potential of EU-Wide Blockchain Infrastructure

European Commission to Assess Potential of EU-Wide Blockchain Infrastructure

The European Commission (EC), the economic bloc's legislative body, is launching a study aimed to assess the feasibility and potential of an EU-wide blockchain infrastructure. The study, which is set to cost €250,000, will focus on whether blockchain can assist the commission's objective of creating the conditions for a reliable, transparent and EU law compliant "data and transactional environment." In a call for tenders, the EC said: "This study will assess, in the first place, if, when and how blockchain technologies may help public authorities to deliver European services and implement policies in an optimised way.
More Blockchain Pilots Needed, Says US Treasury Official

More Blockchain Pilots Needed, Says US Treasury Official

A government official involved in the US Treasury's investigation of distributed ledgers is pushing for further testing of the technology. In an article published in the Journal of Federal Financial Management this week, Craig Fischer, who serves as program manager for the Office of Financial Innovation and Transformation (FIT), part of the Treasury's Bureau of the Fiscal Service, offered a broad overview of the tech, writing that its potential application could lead to advances in data and information sharing.
US Logistics Agency Launches Blockchain Sector Mapping Tool

US Logistics Agency Launches Blockchain Sector Mapping Tool

The U.S. government agency in charge of logistics is taking the next step in its effort to better understand blockchain. Through its Emerging Citizen Technology (ECT) program, a blockchain analysis effort first announced in September, the General Services Administration (GSA) this week opened to contributions from industry members, according to a post on its website.
US State Department Seeks Blockchain Boost Amid $10 Billion Reboot

US State Department Seeks Blockchain Boost Amid $10 Billion Reboot

The U.S. agency that oversees foreign affairs is looking seriously at blockchain. That's according to John Sullivan, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State, who encouraged the State Department and its private sector partners to embrace the technology as a way to "advance diplomacy and development objectives" at the [email protected] forum held Tuesday in Washington, D.
Council Staffers Fired for Bitcoin Mining in Crimea

Council Staffers Fired for Bitcoin Mining in Crimea

Two IT workers employed by an authority in Crimea were fired late last month after they were reportedly caught mining bitcoins at work. RIA Novosti reports that the two unnamed individuals were employees of the Council of Ministers of Crimea, part of the disputed territory's executive branch. The news service indicates the workers installed mining software on computers owned by the council, though the report didn't state how long the operation had been in place.
Government Staffers Fired for Bitcoin Mining in Crimea

Government Staffers Fired for Bitcoin Mining in Crimea

Two IT workers employed by the government of Crimea were fired late last month after they were reportedly caught mining bitcoins at work. RIA Novosti reports that the two unnamed individuals were employees of the Council of Ministers of Crimea, part of the territory's executive branch. The news service indicates the workers installed mining software on computers owned by the council, though the report didn't state how long the operation had been in place.
CFTC Chair Giancarlo: Embracing Blockchain Is in the National Interest

CFTC Chair Giancarlo: Embracing Blockchain Is in the National Interest

Blockchain is in America's "national interest." That's according to J. Christopher Giancarlo, chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), who issued the bold proclamation in remarks at a gathering of government technology executives in Washington, D.C. Wednesday morning. But while the blockchain industry has been encouraging regulators and government agencies to embrace the technology for years, this acknowledgment might have more oomph behind it.