German Government Consults Industry About Blockchain Technology

The German government is consulting companies and industry groups that could become stakeholders in the country’s blockchain development, Reuters reports on Feb. 18. The unnamed companies and groups have reportedly been invited to supply recommendations from this week onwards. Reuters also cites unspecified government sources saying that it is still unclear if those recommendations will translate into regulation in the near future, but concrete results are currently being sought. According to the article, about 170 startups in Berlin are involved with blockchain or distributed ledger technology (DLT), and startups in…

Indonesia’s Commodity Futures Regulator Releases Regulation for Crypto Futures Market

Indonesia’s commodity futures regulator has established a legal framework for operating crypto and digital assets futures markets, according to an official press release published on Feb. 18. The Indonesian Commodity Futures Trading Supervisory Agency (Bappebti), which operates under Indonesia’s Ministry of Trade, has officially required multiple entities involved in crypto futures trading to seek regulatory approval and apply for registration before legally operating in Indonesia. The news follows the recent release of legislation that officially recognizes Bitcoin (BTC) and other digital assets as trading commodities. The Bappebti first greenlighted crypto…

CFTC Commissioner Brian Quintenz Suggests Creation of Crypto Self-Regulatory Organization

United States Commodity and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) commissioner Brian Quintenz has suggested that participants in the cryptocurrency industry should create a self-regulatory structure. Quintenz made his remarks during a Bipartisan Policy Center panel held on Feb. 12. More precisely, Quintenz said that because of the CFTC’s lack of crypto statutory oversight capability, he suggested that crypto “platforms come together to form some type of self-regulatory structure where they can discuss, agree to, implement, and hopefully examine or audit.” According to Quintenz, such an organization could carry out audits concerning…

Bitmain Announces Energy-Efficient ASIC Chip for Mining Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash

Chinese mining giant and ASIC hardware producer Bitmain has announced its next generation 7nm (nanometer) ASIC mining chip, according to a press release published on Monday, Feb. 18. The new mining hardware, BM1397, is designed for mining cryptocurrencies that use the SHA256 algorithm for their proof-of-work (PoW), such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). BM1397 requires less power for mining cryptocurrencies, representing a 28.6 percent improvement in power efficiency in comparison with the company’s previous 7nm chip, BM1391. The new chip will be used in new Antminer models —…

Guangdong Province to Use Blockchain-Based Electronic Tax Invoices for E-Commerce

The Guangdong Municipal Taxation Bureau will implement an electronic invoice platform based on blockchain for the e-commerce industry, local Chinese news outlet Southern News Network reported on Feb. 18. Guangdong Province, one the most populated region in China, has opened the first blockchain electronic invoice service for customers and merchants, planning to extend their experience to the large-scale e-commerce field. By using a blockchain-based electronic invoice platform, the taxation authority will reportedly improve the efficiency and transparency of the invoice services, the publication underlines. The news outlet then states: “Blockchain…

Exchange Hacks, Darknet and Money Laundering

Two prominent research papers have shed light on the latest crime trends affecting the cryptocurrency community over the past two years. Crypto analytics companies Chainalysis and CipherTrace released reports at the end of January that unpack some interesting data on the methods that criminals have used to steal and defraud users within the cryptocurrency and blockchain space. These reports paint an interest picture of the ever-changing cryptocurrency landscape and provides some food for thought about the use of crypto in criminal activity around the world. Exchange hacks and darknet trading…

Cryptocurrencies May ‘Upend the Digital World,’ Says Institutional Investor Consultancy

Crypto represents a sound investment for institutional investors in the long term, consultancy firm Cambridge Associates has advised, according to a Bloomberg report on Feb. 18. Boston-based Cambridge Associates, which specializes in pension and endowment consultancy, reportedly works with institutions that collectively advise over $300 billion, with $30 million under management. In a research note published today, analysts at the firm reportedly wrote that: “Despite the challenges, we believe that it is worthwhile for investors to begin exploring this area today with an eye toward the long term. Though these…

Coinbase-Supported Bitcoin Debit Card to Shut Operations in April

The Shift Bitcoin (BTC) debit card, which allows United States cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase users to spend BTC using a Visa debit card, is reportedly shutting down its operations. The development was posted to Reddit on Feb. 18, with the upload of an email purportedly from the Shift team. Shift, which launched in November 2015, was one of a steadily-increasing cohort of cryptocurrency debit cards, with multiple providers now issuing them in various countries. According to a screenshot of an email uploaded to Reddit and attributed to the Shift team, the…

Ethereum Client Parity’s Afri Schoeden Quits Social Media Amid Community Infighting

Afri Schoeden, release manager at blockchain infrastructure firm Parity Technologies, has withdrawn from social media amid a spate of infighting in the Ethereum (ETH) community. In a tweet posted on Feb. 17, Schoeden stated that “until further notice […] I will no longer respond on Gitter, Skype, Discord, Slack, Wire, Twitter, and Reddit.” Parity Technologies is a United Kingdom-based blockchain infrastructure provider, known primarily for developing one of the most well-known clients for Ethereum, also known as Parity. Parity’s forthcoming “Polkadot” protocol — a form of “para chain” that links…

Product Hunt Lists Educational Binance Academy as Third Most Popular Service

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance’s education portal has reached the top three most popular products on Y Combinator-backed exposure platform Product Hunt, the website’s listings revealed on Feb. 18. Product Hunt, which launched in 2013 to showcase up-and-coming products and services to mainstream consumers, currently holds Binance Academy as its third-highest ranking entity. Other cryptocurrency-related offerings include trading tool Robinhood and statistics and passive income generator Earn.com. Binance Academy debuted in December last year as a means of providing cryptocurrency traders with information on Bitcoin (BTC) and the cryptocurrency industry in general.…