North America

Welcome to our weekly roundup of all important blockchain and cryptocurrency news from around the world. Follow the latest developments in the cryptocurrency space continent by continent, country by country.

USA

Goldman Sachs considering cryptocurrency trading services: US investment bank Goldman Sachs’ chief operating officer David Solomon has said that clients are asking to trade in cryptocurrencies and the bank is considering the possibility.

Goldman Sachs is one of the biggest investment banks in the world with assets worth USD 1 trillion and has toyed with the idea of cryptocurrencies before. The COO maintains that the bank must “evolve its business” and adapt to the environment.

The entry of Goldman Sachs could reshape the entire crypto community as it will signal the arrival of the first heavy player from the fiat world into the crypto community directly.

Coinbase CEO “enjoying” low Bitcoin prices: The CEO of Coinbase, Brian Armstrong, has said that he is enjoying the low prices of Bitcoin and has detailed benefits of low prices of Bitcoin during extended periods in a series of Twitter posts this week.

Armstrong showed historical data of the Bitcoin price behavior in 2013, 2014 and 2017 and has said that the up and down nature of the most popular cryptocurrency is nothing new.

He Tweeted, “After many years of this, I’ve come to enjoy the down cycles in crypto prices more”, while justifying this by saying it rids the market of people who are in it for “the wrong reasons”.

He also urged the community to shun any irrational pessimism regarding the cryptocurrency.

Executive Branch to disclose crypto holdings: According to the US Ethics Office, the Executive Branch now must disclose its crypto holding to the public, according to latest guidelines released on 18 June 2018.

The OGE also said that the cryptocurrency may pose a conflict of interest for Executive Branch members because of the nature of their work as they can positively or negatively influence the coin prices just through announcements. The new guidelines could ultimately mean that Executive Branch members would have to stay away from cryptocurrencies to avoid future trouble.

Senate candidate not able to accept $130K in Bitcoin campaign donations: A US Senate candidate from the Republican party, Austin Peterson from the state of Missouri, has said that he was forced to return a donation of USD 130,000 worth of Bitcoin due to campaign finance laws.

Crypto donations are still subject to much confusion in the country as some states have legalized it while others have not. The Federal Election Commission has also stated that the Bitcoin donations are legal except in cases when it exceeds the legal limit allowed.

This isn’t the first time Peterson has had to turn over his cryptocurrencies with two USD 250,000 donations also returned from his campaign office due to similar problems.

DHS piloting blockchain tech to secure borders: The US Department of Homeland Security is working on a pilot blockchain program to help secure US borders and it has said that it will give away USD 800,000 as part of the Silicon Valley Innovation program to integrate key infrastructure already in place.

The project originally started back in 2016 when tech firm Factom was given an initial USD 200,000 and it has been working on the integration process for some time. US border agents will have increased connectivity and reliance with the new tool.

With increased focus on the border security by the new Trump administration, there is going to be more innovation in the sector in the coming years.

Montana county postpones Bitcoin mining suspension: The US county of Missoula, Montana has postponed any ruling on whether to close down Bitcoin mining in the region.

The postponement was done following an admission of lack of information by government circles advocating for the ban. A public hearing also concluded that the lack of data meant that the ruling would not satisfy all of the concerns. The people advocating for the mining farms argued that the farms provide valuable employment opportunities.

Canada

Bitcoin pioneer buys Canada’s biggest condo: Crypto pioneer and Bitcoin baron Anthony Di Lorio has said in an email that he has purchased one of the biggest condominiums in Canada.

The condo cost the Bitcoin billionaire CAD 28 million at the Regis Toronto Residences, former Trump International Tower and Hotel downtown. The condo is a sprawling 16,178-sq-feet property and the transaction was completed by InnVest Hotels.

Canadian utility company to make Bitcoin mining rigs bid for electricity: Hydro Quebec has said that it is going to set aside 500 MW of electricity from its grid for cryptocurrency mining and this power will be available for mining companies who present the best bid.

The starting bid is set at 1 cent per kilowatt above the local price tag for domestic consumers. The move is seen as an attempt to both control the widespread mining operations and profit from them. The process, however, will not just be based on the monetary bid submitted by the companies. Hydro Quebec has said that it will consider other perimeters including high paying jobs created.

 

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