North America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 10th to 16th August 2018

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

ICO scam slapped with $30,000 fine: The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued a USD 30,000 penalty for David T Laurance and his fraudulent ICO. Laurance was a director of a new coin project.

Laurance, previously the CEO of oil drilling company Tomahawk Exploration LLC, with whom he had been associated for over eight years, launched the ICO for new tokens of the oil drilling company called Tomahawk tokens. The ICO stated that the funds from the ICO would be used for oil drilling and exploration services in California.

The ICO overall failed to meet the USD 5 million target. An online bounty program of promotional activities thrived but was eventually shut down by the SEC. Laurance and Tomahawk have been given cease and desist orders and further action is being deliberated by the authorities.

Coinbase acquires San Francisco startup for decentralized login tech: Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange operating in USA, has acquired a local startup that was offering decentralized login solution to secure its verification and login processes.

The firm, Distributed Systems, Inc, was selected by the Coinbase company to utilize blockchain for verification purposes. According to Coinbase project manager B Bryne:

“Blockchain technology that powers cryptocurrencies offers a new way to let us all be “verified” everywhere we go on the internet, feeling safer about our interactions with others and opening the door to the experiences that require trust.”

Distributed Systems was a successful startup at the seeds round with millions of investments garnered from around the world.

Facebook to launch crypto?: The world’s largest social network Facebook may be looking to launch its own cryptocurrency, according to recent chatter from inside the company.

Earlier this year, the company created a blockchain research team led by David Marcus that was aimed at leveraging blockchain technology and possibly even cryptocurrency across the vast social media platform. Marcus was on the board of directors of Coinbase but has since then stepped down from his position.

Other sources also claim that the Facebook’s blockchain team has met with the Stellar team to discuss forking the Stellar cryptocurrency and blockchain to create a native Facebook cryptocurrency similar to Kin crypto tokens. The purpose of the rumored Facebook crypto token is still unknown.

Jamaica

Jamaican stock exchange set to offer crypto for trading: The Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) has announced that it will offer cryptocurrency trading services by the end of 2018.

The announcement came after the exchange signed a collaboration with cryptocurrency firm Blockstation. The latter will develop digital assets for JSE platform and JSE will then integrate them into its platform for trading purposes. Blockstation has been developing these assets in collaboration with the JSE for the last six months.

According to co-founder and chief architect of Blockstation Jai Waterman:

“Our mission is to provide a secure method of trading cryptocurrencies with broker-dealers and stock exchanges. We’re providing the stock exchange the technology for a broker-dealer network and repository, so that from end-to-end, their life cycle of trading – just like with securities – they can do the exact same thing with blockchain and cryptocurrencies.”

Canada

Blockchain and crypto improving finance and accounting in Canada: In addition to disrupting the fintech businesses, blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies are also improving accounting and finance functions in the country.

According to a Robert Half Finance and Accounting survey, both will become common in business transactions in the next five years. But to do so, financial professionals will have to expand their skillsets and put greater focus on inter-departmental collaboration with information technology.

 

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