Cryptocurrency and blockchain continues to gain steam, despite losing value in the first quarter of 2018. New, big-name investors are dipping their toes in the crypto-investment waters, while companies continue innovating with blockchain technology.
Although some countries are making moves against cryptocurrencies and exchanges, other countries and states are loosening laws to be more crypto-friendly.
Here’s the crypto and blockchain news you missed this week.
by Brian Penny, Crypto Briefing
OTC exchanges are risky, but they’re increasingly being used for cryptocurrency trades in countries like the U.S., China, and India, where regulations and banking rules make them difficult to purchase. OTC marketplaces bypass government regulations (and even firewalls) to allow cryptocurrency trades. Several new OTC markets are popping up as governments around the world scrutinize the market.
by Josiah Wilmoth, CCN
George Soros announced he’s about to start trading cryptoassets, despite believing the market is a bubble. Keep in mind that it is indeed a bubble, but so were dotcoms, and some of the world’s largest companies (Amazon, Google, etc) were created during that bubble. Soros Fund Management is still weighing options, but is expected to make several large crypto-investments soon.
by Nikhilesh De, Coindesk
The Texas State Securities Board issued an emergency cease-and-desist notice on Thursday against Mark Moncher and his company, Financial Freedom Club. The website promises investors 8 percent returns and encourages fraud by explaining to potential investors how to hide their initial $2000 money transfers to the program. Money received was then invested in a California cannabis operation.
by Marie Huillet, Coin Telegraph
Governor Doug Ducey signed bill HB 2603 into law on April 3, allowing corporations to hold and share data on a distributed ledger. The bill was passed by both the Arizona House and Senate, and is one of three crypto-friendly bills introduced in February. HB2602 prohibits towns from restricting residential cryptocurrency mining, while HB 2601 recognizes a virtual coin as a digital representation of value. Arizona also allows residents to pay taxes with Bitcoin through SB 1091.
by Rakesh Sharma, Investopedia
A subsidiary of Foxconn Technology Group (the Taiwan-based manufacturer of Apple iPhones) is manufacturing a new blockchain phone. Dubbed “Finney,” it was designed by Sirin Labs in Switzerland and will use a proprietary operating system. The phone uses blockchain technology to enable a slew of standard and new features, and it’s expected to retail for around $800.
by David Z Morris, Fortune
Both the Reserve Bank of India and State Bank of Pakistan banned cryptocurrencies, their exchanges, and any businesses dealing with them. The clampdowns are meant to protect consumers from scams while cracking down on money laundering schemes. The bans are similar to moves made by U.S. credit card companies to restrict the purchase of cryptos with fiat currencies.
by Gertrude, Chavez-Dreyfuss
IBM joined the Sovrin Foundation, a non-profit building a global, decentralized, blockchain-based identity system. It will dedicate hardware, security, and network capacity to the effort as a “founding steward.” The network will use a distributed ledger to enable secure exchange of encrypted credentials to prove identity and is expected to be more widely available by mid-2018.