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North America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 14 – 20 December 2018

North America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 14 - 20 December 2018

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North America

Welcome to another weekly blockchain news roundup from around the world. Here, we present to you all the latest Bitcoin news, continent by continent and country by country.

United States

Coinbase transfers Biggest amount of Cryptocurrency: The United States’ largest cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has done a transfer that is the biggest in the history of cryptocurrency. With 15 million Litecoin (LTC), 8.3 million Ether (ETH), and 870,000 Bitcoin (BTC) transferred, the total value stood at USD 5 billion at the time. The transfer was done internally, moving funds from one of its cold storages to another even secure one to fend off any hacking attempts.

Token Taxonomy Act Introduced in House: A bill introduced by pro crypto Florida Democrat Darren Soto and Republican Warren Davidson will see SEC’s role in crypto regulation come to an end. SEC has had a history of coming down hard on ICOs, where it sees the crypto tokens being offered as securities.

The SEC Chairman Jay Clayton had previously announced that cryptocurrencies and ICOs will be officially classified as securities by the regulator. The bill, if passed, will be hailed by the crypto community which feels stifled and threatened by the undue pressure of the SEC.

Western Union Hints at Cryptocurrency Support: The American financial services company has recently hinted on supporting cryptocurrencies in the future. Western Union Global Money Transfer President Odilon Almeida has said “Cryptocurrency might become one more option for a way for assets to be exchanged between people and countries. If that happens we would be ready to launch,” and that the money transfer company is in the perfect position to start the services. Western Union has already partnered with Ripple Labs to establish whether using blockchain is feasible.

Taxing Software Node 40 being Used:  With still a lot of confusion on how to file crypto related tax gains in the U.S., many have turned towards Node 40. The Node 40 software integrates user wallets and exchanges into itself and over the year calculates the exact amount that needs to be reported and actual tax to be filed.

The use of specialized software indicates that many crypto users and traders still do not have clarity on exact taxes to be paid. This can lead to the wrath of IRS as it begins to clamp down on crypto trading.

Pro Bitcoin White House Chief of Staff Appointed: With General John Kelly leaving the White House Chief of Staff position, President Trump has hired Mick Mulvaney, Director of the Office of Management & Budget as acting White House Chief of Staff. Mulvaney is a staunch supporter of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. He is the driving force behind Blockchain Caucus, the lawmaker group pushing for laws to make it easier for cryptocurrency and blockchain adoption.

The hiring, though hailed by every crypto enthusiast, has had others stumped. Days before the presidential election, Mulvaney had called then-presidential candidate Trump a “terrible human being”.

Facebook Considering Stablecoin A report by Bloomberg has revealed that the social media giant Facebook is actively working on a stable coin that it intends to use in its messaging app, WhatsApp. Facebook had created a blockchain development team earlier this year. It is being led by David Marcus, the former Vice President of Facebook Messenger app division. Recently, the team had 5 openings, seeking to expand and recruit people from data science and even marketing.

The job descriptions had been vague, not exactly telling the nature of the work involved. However, the Bloomberg report clarifies at least one direction – the stable coin, reportedly, will be available in the Indian market first, where expats remitted USD 69 billion last year according to World Bank data.

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