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

US crypto market becoming more competitive: The US cryptocurrency market is becoming more and more competitive, with recent moves by some to increase regulatory clarity and compliance with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Coinbase has initiated negotiations with the SEC to become a fully-licensed brokerage firm. The move will allow the exchange to have increased number of assets in its portfolio and thus achieve the regulatory approval that no other exchange has achieved before. Similarly, other exchanges are catching up and even ICOs are working hard to get approved by the SEC.

Tech tycoon McAfee launches own currency: British-American tech tycoon John McAfee has announced the launch of a currency on his own name that is set for a release within a few weeks. The crypto-backed fiat coin is named McAfee coin and the move is a series of pro-crypto moves by the billionaire self-proclaimed “crypto dad”.

It is yet unclear how his own coin will be received by the investors because personal coins have never been a big hit in the crypto space because of reliance on blockchain and consensus rather than personality-driven show coins.

Nasdaq considering crypto exchange: According to latest reports from New York by FX Empire, Nasdaq has announced that it will consider operating a cryptocurrency exchange in the near future. Bitcoin, Litecoin and Stellar are likely to become the main attractions of the new exchange as Nasdaq has put its weight firmly behind these three top coins.

These three cryptocurrencies were singled out because they “may be able to withstand future market turmoil if it transpires”. The news is nothing new as many stock exchanges around the world are considering opening a cryptocurrency trading desk like the ones in Canada and Japan.

According to CEO and President of Nasdaq, Adena T Friedman: “Certainly, Nasdaq would consider becoming a crypto exchange over time… I believe that digital currencies will continue to persist it’s just a matter of how long it will take for that space to mature.”

Nasdaq’s entry into the cryptocurrency market will lend more legitimacy to the cryptocurrency market in conventional financial circles.

Marshall Islands

Marshall Islands breaks away from US Dollar: The Marshall Islands has launched its own cryptocurrency and officially broken away from the US dollar, according to a news piece on The Verge.

Even with the move, it is difficult to see how the freely-associated tiny nation will adopt its cryptocurrency to continue trade and international obligations in the current system where countries simply don’t accept cryptocurrencies officially.  The currency is called The Sovereign (SOV) and in all probability, the 53,000-strong population in the city will continue using the USD in the near future.

According to David Paul, the minister-in-assistance to the President of the Marshall Islands: “As a country, we reserve the right to issue a currency in whatever form it is, whether in digital or fiat form.”

President Hilda Heine said, “This is a historic moment for our people, finally issuing and using our own currency, alongside the USD. It is another step of manifesting our national liberty.”

Canada

Exchanges push for regulatory clarity: Top Canadian cryptocurrency exchanges and startups are urging lawmakers and officials to provide greater clarity to the running of cryptocurrency startups to make things easier for them, according to Canadian media sources.

A number of local crypto startups and figures are lobbying for enhanced clarity regarding cryptocurrencies. John Weinberg of Shyft, a company developing ID verification systems based on Blockchain was of the opinion: “Until you have regulators come out and say, ‘This is what you have to do,’ as an exchange, you’re kind of guessing and hoping for the best, which is a big problem.”

Cole Diamond, the CEO of Coinsquare crypto exchange said, “We want to be regulated because ultimately we want to be able to provide certainty to our customers that we’re not some fly-by-night trading platform, that they can trust us.”

Regulatory clarity is essential because of frequent self-contradictory approaches used by governments to regulate cryptocurrency and Canada is no exception.

 

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