North America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 22nd to 28th June 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

Facebook goes back on crypto ad ban: Social media giant Facebook has announced that it is overturning an earlier decision to ban cryptocurrency ads on the social media network.

According to the company, new guidelines for ICOs and other coin projects will be adopted as they were adopted by other platforms including Twitter, Google and other major social media platform owners. Facebook will now check to see whether a coin project is registered and licensed before allowing it to run crypto related ads.

According to the extensive blog post: “In the last few months, we’ve looked at the best way to refine this policy — to allow some ads while also working to ensure that they’re safe… So starting June 26, we’ll be updating our policy to allow ads that promote cryptocurrency and related content from pre-approved advertisers. But we’ll continue to prohibit ads that promote binary options and initial coin offerings.”

Big money coming from ICOs is likely to be a reason behind the overturning of the earlier decision.

Floria to appoint cryptocurrency chief: Jimmy Patronis, the chief financial officer of the state of Florida, has said that a cryptocurrency chief will be appointed.

The GDP of Florida is around USD 1 trillion and establishment of a cryptocurrency chief will help protect the citizens from potential scams.

“We cannot allow the cryptocurrency industry to expand in Florida unfettered and unchecked with the potential for so many, including our large population of seniors, to be exploited. By taking an active, comprehensive and balanced approach, our state will provide an appropriate level of scrutiny for emerging digital asset technologies. It is absolutely essential that Florida create safeguards to protect our consumers from fraud,” said Patronis.

Crypto-related frauds have caused a lot of problems in the past and now the state is looking to right the wrongs by ensuring government oversight.

Texas saves money through Ethereum blockchain: Texas Public Utilities Commission is going to release a blockchain-based system to buy electricity and is hoping to save public money through it.

A native token called Grid+ token, based on the Ethereum blockchain, is being considered. Through this token, Texans can access wholesale energy markets and be smart about their energy purchases including solar.

Bahamas

Government set on launching state crypto: Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister of Bahamas Kevin Peter has announced at the Bahamas Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Conference that government will soon be launching a state-backed cryptocurrency in the country.

“The production of a modern fully digital payment service is the way forward for this era of governance. A digital Bahamian currency is especially important for the many Family Islands as they have seen many commercial banks downsize and pull out of their communities, leaving them without banking services. As an island nation, where transportation can be an inconvenience for many, especially the elderly, and costly, we must offer financial services digitally and securely,” said Peter.

Bahamas currency is directly tied to the US dollar, so a state-backed cryptocurrency could be a bold move by the tiny Caribbean nation.

Canada

Investment organization to propose regulations on crypto: Canadian Investment Industry Regulatory Organization (IIROC) has said that it is going to pursue a regulatory response to blockchain applications within the capital markets ecosystem.

The news came from a June 25 notice issued by the financial monitor that is a non-profit self-regulatory body that serves public interest and promotes level playing field in the financial capital markets.

As part of its vision, it stated: “The potential application of blockchain technology is poised to dramatically alter the very ecosystem that underpins the capital markets. Digital assets such as cryptocurrencies… have already begun to impact the capital markets in significant ways, as potential direct or indirect investments, or in the form of initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges, etc.”

The IIROC will focus on new regulatory advice in the near future and will present the draft to the government’s bodies later on.

Bitcoin mining eating up Canada’s electricity: Hydro-Quebec, one of Canada’s electricity providers has tripled prices for Bitcoin mining operations in the area as it embarks on a desperate attempt to stop companies aiming to set up mining operations in the country.

According to Hydro-Quebec’s official Jonathan Cote, more than 300 applications had been tabled with the company asking for an impossible 15,000 MW of power which is equal to almost 1/3 of the total installed capacity of the state.

“It’s really unprecedented. We have not seen any industry come here and so suddenly ask for so much power. People started really knocking at our door about this maybe last fall or winter. Within six months, we had all these requests… we have not seen any industry come here and so suddenly ask for so much power,” said Cote.

 

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