Blockchain 

SBI Reports Financial Results, Recognizes Ripple for Cross Border Payments

Japanese finance giant SBI Holdings has released its nine-month financial report today, Jan. 31. In the report for the period ending on Dec. 31, 2018, SBI notes Ripple’s potential for cross-border payments. SBI outlines the implementation of technologies by Ripple (XRP) and blockchain consortium R3 as a major part of its strategy to enable a global standard for financial operations such as international payments and trade finance. In the section titled “Business Area Separation of Ripple and R3,” SBI featured Ripple as an entity “specializing in international remittance,” while R3…

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Blockchain 

CEO of Telecoms Giant Swisscom’s Blockchain Unit Steps Down

The CEO of the blockchain advisory unit of Swiss state-owned telecommunications company Swisscom has unexpectedly left the firm, according to a press release on Swisscom’s website, Jan. 30. As major local news outlet Swissinfo reported the same day, news of Daniel Haudenschild’s reportedly sudden departure from Swisscom Blockchain came just a day before the executive accepted the position of president of the Crypto Valley Association. Speaking in comments to Swissinfo, Haudenschild said the two moves were unconnected. The CEO declined to comment further on his decision to leave Swisscom, only…

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Bitcoin 

CBOE Re-Applies With US SEC to List Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Fund

The Chicago Board Options Exchange’s (CBOE), along with investment firm VanEck and financial services company SolidX, has re-applied with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for a rule change to list a Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF). VanEck digital asset strategy director Gabor Gurbacs announced the public filing on Jan. 31. CBOE had initially withdrawn its request for a rule change to list a Bitcoin ETF on Jan. 23. A CBOE spokesperson told Cointelegraph that the decision to withdraw its request was the result of the U.S. government…

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Blockchain 

Seoul City Gov’t Launches ‘Blockchain Governance Team’ for State Services

The Seoul Metropolitan Government has launched the Seoul Blockchain Governance Team to explore the benefits of blockchain in administrative services, Yonhap News reports Jan. 31. According to the report, the members of the team are researching the potential of blockchain applications in various government services, including online voting system. Specifically, the working group intends to address systems of integrated management, digital document verification and automatic sub-contract payment. The team consists of 100 employees between the ages of 21 and 77, including developers, association executives, project makers, corporate representatives as well…

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Bitcoin 

New York Financial Regulators Grant BitLicense to Bitcoin ATM Operator

The New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) has granted a virtual currency license, or BitLicense, to Cottonwood Vending LLC, according to an official tweet on Jan. 31. Cottonwood Vending is a Bitcoin (BTC) ATM operator with terminals in New York City and the surrounding area. According to the tweet, the granting of such licenses “continues to advance responsible innovation in New York’s fintech industry.” Bitcoin ATMs, or BTMs, are touchscreen kiosks that enable users to deposit cash and either buy Bitcoin, or to scan their mobile wallet, sell…

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Bitcoin 

Florida Appeals Court Reinstates Felony Charges for Unregistered Bitcoin Sale

A United States appellate court in the state of Florida has reinstated charges against a man who sold Bitcoin (BTC) to an undercover police officer, local media Miami Herald reports on Jan. 30. According to the report, the Third District Court of Appeal ruled that a judge who dismissed charges against the defendant, Michell Espinoza, was wrong. Espinoza is a website designer who was charged with allegedly transmitting and laundering $1,500 worth of BTC without a money transmitter license. At the initial trial in a Miami-Dade circuit court, the defense…

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Ethereum 

Bitcoin Hovers Under $3,450 as All Top Cryptos See Moderate Losses

Thursday, Jan. 31 — all of the top 20 cryptocurrencies are reporting moderate to heavy losses on the day by press time. Bitcoin (BTC) is hovering under $3,450 again, according to Coin360 data. Market visualization from Coin360 At press time, Bitcoin is down just 1 percent on the day, trading at around $3,449, according to CoinMarketCap. Looking at its weekly chart, the current price is lower than $3,593, the price at which Bitcoin started the week. Bitcoin 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap Ripple (XRP) has lost nearly 3.4 percent in…

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Blockchain 

Blockchain Capital Leads Funding Round for Crypto Compliance Startup TRM

United States-based investment firm Blockchain Capital has led a seed funding round for  blockchain compliance startup TRM, a press release from the firm reveals Jan. 31. TRM announced today that it had a closed a funding round totalling $1.7 million. Tapas Capital, Green D Ventures, The MBA Fund, and “strategic angel investors” also participated in the round. According to TRM, the company is going to spend the funds on scaling its engineering talent and expanding the capabilities of its platform. Based in San Francisco, the firm has developed a so-called…

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Blockchain 

Global Pharma Giant Merck Wins US Blockchain, AI Patent for Product Authenticity

Merck, the world’s oldest operating pharmaceutical firm, has won a blockchain patent from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Cointelegraph auf Deutsch reported Jan. 30 The German multinational has developed a system that uses a combination of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and blockchain tech to establish the authenticity of unique physical objects. As Merck reports in a press release Jan. 30: “The new technology uses machine learning to link physical objects to a blockchain through their own unique identifiers or ‘fingerprints‘.” According the firm, the new patent describes a…

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Ethereum 

Under Fire: Kik Is Gearing Up for a Fight With the SEC

Canadian-based social media startup Kik is gearing up to challenge a proposed enforcement action from the United States Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) over a fundraising initiative in 2017. The American securities regulator believes that Kik’s Token Distribution Event (TDE) two years ago violated securities laws. The company raised $97 million during its fundraising phase, a princely sum for a platform that has garnered millions of users since its inception. Following the SEC’s recommendation of an enforcement action in November 2018, Kik was served with a “Wells Notice,” a letter to…

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