Crypto regulations in UK could be two years off, says top law firm

For better or worse, wide-scale cryptocurrency and blockchain adoption, particularly buy-in from corporate investors, will come down to regulation. If words from leading law firm Reynolds Porter Chamberlain (RPC) UK are to be believed, here in the UK we might be waiting some time. One of the firm’s legal directors, James Kaufmann said that it could take two years for cryptocurrency regulations to be introduced, with estimates based on a “best case scenario” where the House of Commons...

India’s government could be working on its own cryptocurrency

The Indian government is rumoured to be exploring the creation of its own digital currency, despite having taken a hardline stance on cryptocurrency-related activity in recent months. As reported by Quartz India, senior government officials from the country’s finance ministry met at a private panel, and quotes obtained from the meeting suggest a cryptocurrency could be on the agenda. “We are evaluating the government-backed cryptocurrency and crypto-token,” said one of the panel...

Mayor of Seoul commits $108m to blockchain-powered smart city initiatives

The mayor of South Korea’s capital Seoul, Park Won-Soon, has committed to investing $108m (£83m) towards developing blockchain hubs within the city. Park’s announcement came amid a diplomatic visit to Zurich, where he announced plans to create two business complexes in Seoul which would become home to 200 blockchain-based companies by 2021. These hubs would also serve to train more than 700 experts in the technology over the course of the next five years. “There’s no doubt...

UK gov makes ground on Digital Street blockchain land registry plans

If you’ve ever been through the process of buying a house, you’ll be well acquainted with just how convoluted and inefficient the whole affair is. It stands out as particularly archaic in an increasingly on-demand digital economy, where goods and services can be traded more or less seamlessly. It’s timely then, that the UK government’s HM Landing Registry is moving forward with research into how the property buy-sell process can be overhauled with the use of new technologies,...

Smart Dubai launches blockchain-based payments for government

The Dubai government’s department of finance has partnered with Smart Dubai to launch a blockchain-based payment system to handle transactions “accurately and in real time”. It forms part of the government’s mission to become the first “blockchain-powered” government by 2020. It’s currently working with IBM, Consensys and Smart Dubai’s Government Establishment (SDG) arm on some 20 different use cases for the technology to enhance operations. Launching the ‘Payment...

China to ban 124 offshore cryptocurrency exchanges in continued crackdown

China is readying to block 124 offshore cryptocurrency exchanges still available to domestic users as part of the government’s wider crackdown on activities related to digital money, according to the country’s state media. The Chinese financial authorities affiliate news site Shanghai Securities News (SSN) reported that the government will block access to websites operated by foreign cryptocurrency exchanges that provide trading service to Chinese citizens. The People’s Bank of...

South Korea to invest £700m into blockchain technologies by 2019

The South Korean government plans to invest one trillion won (£693m) into innovative technologies including blockchain and AI (artificial intelligence) by 2019. The figure, disclosed in a government release on Tuesday, would represent an 80% increase on similar spend this year, while the government said it would invest a further £6-£7.5bn in the same area within the next five years. The initiative forms part of the country’s five-trillion-won (£3.46bn) ‘Growth Innovation Plan’,...

World Bank to launch first global blockchain bond for sustainable development

The World Bank has appointed the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) to lead the creation of the first bond built on Ethereum blockchain technology. Making the announcement last week, the World Bank said it would be “the first bond globally to be created, allocated, transferred and managed through its life cycle using distributed ledger technology”. Dubbed bond-i, an acronym for Blockchain Offered New Debt Instrument - and a nod to Sydney’s renowned tourist beach - the bond is...

State of West Virginia pioneers blockchain voting for US military overseas

The US state of West Virginia is launching a blockchain-based biometric voting app for members of the military serving overseas, giving troops the opportunity to vote in the midterm elections in November. As reported by Bitcoin News, the project is the result of a partnership between West Virginia state and the Boston-based blockchain startup Voatz and follows successful trials on primary elections within the state earlier in the year. The secretary of state for West Virginia, Mac...

Bitcoin value recovers 3% following delay in pivotal SEC ruling

The price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies fell 10% yesterday (August 8), following a decision by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to delay a major ruling that, if successful, could see token prices rocket. It related to an application for a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) - a financial product that tracks the price of an asset - backed by blockchain startup SolidX and investment firm VanEck, in what would be the first exchange-traded product of its kind in the...