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  • Experts Discuss Blockchain and Democracy and The ‘Freedom of Money’ at BlockShow Americas
    by Ana Alexandre on August 20, 2018 at 7:04 pm

    Blockchain and crypto experts convene in Las Vegas to debate and discuss ideas on blockchain applications in governance, finance, and other topics. BlockShow Americas 2018 kicked off this morning in Las Vegas, gathering over 1,500 attendees and 80 speakers from the blockchain industry from more than 50 countries worldwide to discuss the hottest topics that affect the blockchain community. Today, the Main Stage brought into focus governmental initiatives, blockchain’s impact on major industries, and the latest updates on technological and legal aspects, while the Second Stage provided a forum for ideas and conflicting opinions, where companies and global experts challenged each other’s positions. The conference hosts industry leaders and professionals, who shed light on the disruptive nature of blockchain in the fields of AI, advertisement, real estate, and more. Johanna Maska, Ex-Head of White House Press Advance for President Barack Obama, delivered a speech on the possibility of building democracy with blockchain. Herb Stephens, co-founder and treasurer at Democracy Earth Foundation, also spoke at the conference about blockchain-powered democracy. Stephens argued that “corruption exists in centralized databases. We are moving from corruptible to incorruptible.” Dmitry Matskevich, CEO and co-founder of Dbrain added: “Democracy is about inclusion of minorities and  those without access including to technology. Ability [sic] to distribute the power from majority to minority.” Bobby Lee, board member of the Bitcoin Foundation and co-founder of cryptocurrency exchange BTCC, spoke about the “freedom of money.” According to Lee, financial institutions and regulators currently “have absolute control over your money.” He said: “For me the crypto revolution is about freedom of money. Like freedom of speech.” The famous Bitcoin advocate also outlined the top four mistakes to avoid in crypto investment; indecisiveness in investing, not buying enough, selling after a small gain, and selling after a panic crash. The conference continued with debates on how proper regulation can foster blockchain development, featuring both industry players and tax, law, and accounting experts. Julian Zegelman, angel investor and founding partner at TMT Blockchain Fund, argued that the industry has been experiencing “jurisdictional agnosticism.” Discussing challenges for Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), Naeem Aslam, CMA at ThinkMarkets and columnist at Forbes, said that “price stability is the key factor for ICOs and regulations.” Andrew L. Rossow, attorney and Adjunct Law Professor, commented: “It starts with just being smart. Make sure you are protected. Not always believing in what you are seeing.” Stay tuned to Cointelegraph for more news from BlockShow Americas 2018. […]

  • Bitcoin Cash Use in Commerce Sees Significant Decrease
    by Ana Alexandre on August 20, 2018 at 6:51 pm

    After analyzing 17 leading crypto exchanges, analysts found that Bitcoin Cash use in commerce has significantly decreased. A review of payments received by the world’s 17 largest crypto exchanges has shown that Bitcoin Cash (BCH) use in commerce has decreased, according to blockchain analytics firm Chainanalysis, Bloomberg reported August 20. A group of analysts from Chainanalysis found that BCH payments dropped to $3.7 million in May from $10.5 million in March, while the volume of Bitcoin (BTC) payments was estimated $60 million in May, down from a high of $412 million in September. Kim Grauer, senior economist at Chainalysis, said in a phone interview with Bloomberg: “There are fewer users of Bitcoin Cash, fewer holders.” This year, the BCH price decreased by 75 percent, while BTC dropped by about 55 percent. Grauer sees “concentrated ownership” as the reason for the low BCH adoption rate, where almost 56 percent of the cryptocurrency is controlled by 67 wallets that are not located on exchanges. Between 10,000 and 100,000 BCH are held by two wallets. Grauer said it is possible that “the wealthiest holders are the ones sending a lot of the traffic to merchant services.” BCH appeared a year ago after a hard fork from the BTC blockchain. While the launch of BCH caused controversy in the community, BTC.com vice president of business operations, Alejandro de la Torre told Cointelegraph about the importance of the fork: “The ability to make forks while keeping the community aligned was a great achievement. By providing much greater bandwidth per block by first increasing to 8 MB and then again to 32 MB. This additional room is more than what is needed right now, but BCH seems to be looking ahead and getting ready to process high volumes of traffic. The greater block size also enables BCH to store more information in each transaction, giving the blockchain space to write smart contracts on-chain at low costs.” According to data from Coinmarketcap, even with the recent decline BCH is still the fourth largest cryptocurrency, with a market capitalization over $9 billion. At press time, BCH is down almost 9 percent and is trading around $522. […]

  • Blockchain Startup Closes Multi-Million Dollar Funding Round Led by SoftBank, Baidu
    by Molly Jane Zuckerman on August 20, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    A blockchain startup formed by Nebulas Labs and an alliance of ex-Googlers has secured a multi-million dollar investment round led by SoftBank. Blockchain marketing platform Atlas Protocol (ATP) has concluded a seed investment round of several million dollars led by SoftBank China Venture Capital (SBCVC), according to an August 20 press release. The multi-million dollar investment round, whose final amount was not disclosed, also included participation by Baidu Ventures (BV), Danhua Capital, and Fenbushi Digital. Atlas Protocol was formed by Nebulas Labs and the xGoogler Blockchain Alliance (xGBA), with co-founder of Jide Technology and the “first engineer” of Google Adwords Jeremy Zhao, as well as Professor Ronghui Gu of Columbia University, acting as technical advisors for Atlas Protocol, according to the press release. ATP plans to develop a blockchain ecosystem and “construct a new paradigm of interactive marketing.” The press release states that ATP allows for the ranking of “onchain targets' value and enabl[ing] value circulation through tokens,” with the use of the ATP Smartdrop service application. The xGoogler Blockchain Alliance was formed in April of this year to to create a community for all ex-Google employees interested in blockchain. In June, Chinese Internet giant Baidu had announced it was developing its own blockchain protocol aimed at reducing mining energy consumption. […]

  • Huobi Launches New Service to Streamline Token Listing Application Process
    by Ana Alexandre on August 20, 2018 at 5:37 pm

    One of the largest crypto exchanges Huobi has launched a new product designed to ease the token listing application process. Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange Huobi Group has launched a new product designed to streamline the token listing application process. According to a statement shared with Cointelegraph, the new service, which Huobi developed to provide a more transparent listing process, is called the Huobi Automated Listing Platform. Per the announcement, projects that want to list on Huobi Global or an autonomous digital asset exchange Huobi HADAX, will have to register and submit specific documentation about the project. The announcement states that the Huobi Automated Listing Platform “will not automatically list any token or coin that applies.” Upon passing the verification process, applicants will receive a unique login account, which provides access to submit, edit, amend, and review documents and status of the token listing. Projects that fail to pass the verification will be provided with a reminder notification of re-application to HADAX 2.0 and assistance in registering on the newly launched platform. Projects that decide to re-apply will have to follow specific application and listing rules. The announcement also states that later this year, Huobi is looking to launch the Huobi Blockchain Project Show Center within the Huobi Automated Listing Platform, which will provide users access to reports, videos, and live broadcasts. In July, Huobi Group launched Huobi Cloud, which allows users to build over-the-counter (OTC) and digital asset exchanges on top of Huobi’s existing platform. Partners will also be able to use the order integration and wallet systems, as well as the asset management and clearing system of the Huobi Global platform. That same month, HBUS, the U.S. “strategic partner” of Huobi, confirmed the release of its API for “experienced traders” in some U.S. states. The product was geared to high-volume users who required live pricing data and other tools. In addition to price tracking, the API also offers historical price data, support for margin trade customization support, setting buy and sell limits, and retrieving trade history. […]

  • South Korea: Blockchain Law Society to Launch in Order to Develop Legal Framework
    by Helen Partz on August 20, 2018 at 5:22 pm

    South Korea’s Blockchain Law Society will be launched on Aug. 24 to develop blockchain legislation and coordinate various fields of society. A group of South Korean blockchain experts will set up a law-based agency to explore the technology and apply it in various areas of society, local news outlet Yonhap News reports August 20. According to the announcement, the association, dubbed the “Blockchain Law Society,” is set to be officially launched in South Korea this Friday, August 24. The blockchain-focused organization aims to develop a legal framework for applications of distributed ledger technology (DLT), as well as to establish cooperation between various fields such as “economics, computer engineering,” and business. The Blockchain Law Society will utilize the efforts of experts from different spheres, such as legal bodies, universities, and other industry specialists in order to study the legal aspects of the new technology and to develop legislation for regulating blockchain, Yonhap News reports. Earlier this year, the Korean Blockchain Association (KBA) announced an internal self-regulatory framework for its 14 member crypto exchanges, including such major requirements as operating clients’ holdings separately from their own and publishing regular finance reports. In July, three South Korean ministries — the National Statistical Office, the Ministry of Science and Technology, and the Ministry of Information and Communication — revealed a collaborative initiative to set up new industry classifications for domestic blockchain industry standards. Recently, South Korea also announced plans to promote blockchain technology along with other seven fields of the domestic economy, planning to invest 5 million won or roughly $4.4 billion next year. […]

 

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