North America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 22-28 December 2018

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North America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 22-28 December 2018

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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.


Lawmakers Looking to Revisit Definition of Cryptocurrencies to Favour Cryptocurrencies: Two Congressmen in bipartisan legislation are aiming to ease restrictions of cryptocurrencies in the country by aiming to revisit one of the oldest securities definition in the country.

A new bill presented in the House of Representatives introduced what is called the Token Taxonomy Act that reiterates support for cryptocurrencies by declaring that they do not fall under the securities law. The bill was co-sponsored by Warren Davidson (R-Ohio) and Darren Soto (D-Florida).

According to Congressman Davidson:

“In the early days of the internet, Congress passed legislation that provided certainty and resisted the temptation to over-regulate the market. Our intent is to achieve a similar win for America’s economy and for American leadership in this innovative space,”

It is yet to be seen how the bill will fare in the House as support is polarized for cryptocurrencies right now due to lack of knowledge and consensus among lawmakers.

Government Believes Drug Money Moving Via Crypto: The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has recently stated that Mexican cartels are using cryptocurrencies and Asian banking channels to shift funds across the country. The DEA announced these latest developments in a recent hearing in the US Capitol on Drug money and Mexican drug cartels.

Despite the extraordinary claim by the DEA, it is believed that cryptocurrencies still facilitate a tiny portion of the $2 trillion worldwide illegal drug business and its associated money laundering activities. The total cryptocurrency market cap is less than $150 billion and that shows that fiat channels are still working overtime to serve this illicit trade.

Government Working to Undercut Iranian Cryptocurrency Usage: After banning several bitcoin addresses allegedly connected to Iranian authorities, the American government is now looking to introduce new regulations to stop any Iranian plans for launching its own borderless cryptocurrency. 

A new bill called Blocking Iran Illicit Finance Act has been tabled in the House and aims to block any foreign nationals involved in the support and development of the alleged Iranian cryptocurrency project. The move comes after Iran announced earlier that its sanctions-defying cryptocurrency project was ready to be deployed.


Ripple Looking to Gain Foothold in Mexico: Ripple is working to increase the outreach of its cryptocurrency and have the Mexican market well within its sights. According to Ashish Birla, a senior executive at Ripple’s Product Development Team, the foray into the Mexican market will result in on-demand liquidity on an instant basis in the country. Birla is currently working on xRapid platform developed by Ripple for this purpose.

According to Birla:

“That’s such a big deal is because you don’t need to have the expensive capital tied up in Mexico. You can use xRapid for on-demand liquidity, instantly sourcing liquidity and delivering your payment into Mexico. One of the really exciting things about xRapid is that not only did we get the product launched not technically but we got it live in Mexico. We gotta live in the Philippines as well.”

Birla believes that increased regulatory clarity and its launch into more specific corridors will help customers in adoption and benefit the overall Ripple network in its quest for developing a blockchain ecosystem across the world.

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