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

Authorities launch major investigation into Bitcoin trading: The attorney general for the US district of New York has launched an investigation into one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in the country with big exchanges like Coinbase, Gemini and others under the radar for any financial wrong play.

The Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative could result in more regulations for these cryptocurrencies.

According to the prosecutor:

“With cryptocurrency on the rise, consumers in New York and across the country have a right to transparency and accountability when they invest their money… Our Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative sets out to change that, promoting the accountability and transparency in the virtual currency marketplace that investors and consumers deserve.”

Kraken refuses to share data: Crypto exchange Kraken has already locked horns in battle with the exchange openly saying that it won’t comply with the Attorney General’s requests for information if asked.

Kraken co-founder and CEO Jesse Powell’s Tweeted:

“The resource diversion for this production is massive. This is going to completely blow up our roadmap!”

Powell also said that his company’s decision to pull out from New York to “dodge this bullet” was well thought out because the district already requires a “BitLicense” from the New York State department of financial services. Several companies already have the license, including Coinbase, Ripple, Circle and bitFlyer.

StableCoin initiative in US raises more than $133 million from major VC firms: An American blockchain initiative called Basis (formerly Basecoin) aiming to provide a non-volatile cryptocurrency for the masses called StableCoin has raised more than USD 133 million in funding from a pool of major investors from VC funds including Bain Capital Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz.

The project was launched in 2017 to provide a coin that could become the basis of automated operations of a blockchain-based central bank. According to founder Nader Al-Naji, cryptocurrencies are now too much volatile to use and StableCoin is an attempt to bring much-needed stability in cryptocurrency markets.

Blockchain technology to help homeless Texans: Texas capital Austin is working on a blockchain platform that helps address the identity management crisis of its sizeable homeless population. The pilot program aims to become an identification platform for the government to provide financial and medical support to the city’s over 2,000 homeless population. Most of them face issues in accessing these services because of identity-related issues. The homeless population is increasing and could increase by over several thousands more.

The project is being financed by Bloomberg Philanthropies under a Mayors Challenge Program that is seeing 35 cities across the US being awarded pilot grants. The top city from this group will be eligible for a funding of USD 5 million for making the best social impact in their city.

Blockchain-based ID system will allow these homeless people to obtain the services they need to get back on their feet and become productive members of the society according to Austin’s chief innovation officer Kerry O’Connor.

 

Canada

Canadian companies moving to crypto mining from natural resources: Prominent Canadian companies Divestco and Bird River Resources have joined hands in a massive digital currency mining venture according to latest news from the Great White North. The partnership by these two companies is publicly listed and their specialities in different fields outside of fintech and cryptocurrencies showcase the growth of the cryptocurrency sector in the country.

According to Ty Pfeifer, Director of Bird River Resources: “Electricity is one of the largest expenses in running a commercial cryptocurrency mining operation… securing low-cost electricity through our joint cogeneration facility provides us with an impressive competitive advantage.”

The venture will compete with other Canadian companies looking to take advantage of low electricity prices for mining exploits.

 

Mexico

US billionaire with fortune in crypto dies in Mexico: Matthew Mellon, the US billionaire who made a fortune in digital currency has died in a Mexican rehabilitation centre, according to a press release from his family. Mellon had a history of drug addiction and is widely known as one of the early backers of the Ripple (XRP) digital currency. Mellon historically turned a USD 2 million investment into USD 1 billion as XRP went on to become the third largest cryptocurrency in the world.

 

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