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.

Canada

Two Canadian Crypto Firm Owners Fight USD 30 Million Fraud Accusation: Two Vancouver cryptocurrency firm owners, Lisa Angela Cheng of Anbex Group Inc. and Kevin Patrick Hobbs of Etherparty Smart Contracts Inc have been accused of fraudulent activity and swindling USD 30 million in initial coin offering. The British Columbian (BC)’s Civil Forfeiture Office claims that the couple raised money fraudulently by launching FUEL token as part of their businesses. The companies are undergoing RMCP investigation which revealed purchases of a three-bedroom townhouse, two Range Rovers, an apartment in Toronto, and a leased Lamborghini with the allegedly swindled money. Both owners deny all charges and vow to fight the allegations.

Canadian Town Approves Bitcoin Payment for Property Taxes: The Canadian town of Innisfil will now also accept Bitcoin as a payment option for property taxes. The technology shift will be implemented in collaboration with Coinberry Limited, and will make Innisfil the first Canadian town to adopt such a project. The option will make tax paying far more convenient for the locals, and is seen as a milestone step towards the country’s adoption of blockchain technologies. Currently, only Bitcoin will be accepted, but the authorities are also planning on integrating other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ripple.

USA

Ripple Founder Donates USD 25 Million Dollars to San Francisco State University: Founder of cryptocurrency company Ripple, Chris Larsen has donated USD 25M to his alma mater San Francisco State University (SFSU). The donation was delivered in XRP tokens to SFSU’s College of Business through RippleWorks, which is a private foundation offering support and advice to social entrepreneurs. Interim vice president for university advancement,  Venesia Thompson-Ramsay, thanked the tech entrepreneur, and termed the donation being made in crypto as a “ learning curve for everyone in dealing with cryptocurrency”. The donation will be used to finance an endowed chair in fintech and the Lam-Larsen Fund for Global Innovation.

SEC Publishes Framework for Digital Assets Investment Contracts: Deciding on the status of digital asset as an investment contract and security is now easier courtesy the framework published by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Development of the document titled ‘Framework for “Investment Contract” Analysis of Digital Assets’ was led by Valerie Szczepanik, senior advisor for Digital Assets and Innovation and Bill Hinman, director of the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance. It is to be noted that the framework is neither legally binding nor a regulation, but a mere guideline for token issuers and initial coin offerings (ICO) operators since the US Commission hasn’t officially approved it.

Bitcoin Spike Down to Public Distrust of “Irresponsible” Federal Reserve: Ikigai Asset Management founder and chief investment officer, Travis Kling, has criticised US Federal Reserve Bank’s constant changing of the interest rate and has pinned the sudden spike in Bitcoin’s value earlier this week on the growing public mistrust of the Federal Reserve. He termed Bitcoin as a hedge against the “irresponsible monetary and fiscal policy” of the US central bank and blamed the highly fickle interest rates policy for the loss of the public’s faith. Kling added that this mistrust would only increase, consequently benefiting Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, if the Central Bank doesn’t bring stability in their decision making.

Crypto Considered to Plug Legalized Cannabis Payments Hole in California: Two members of the state assembly in California from the Democratic party have filed a bill to allow buying of legal cannabis using Stablecoin rather than just fiat. Kevin McCarty and Phil Ting have furthered the bill and protested against US federal restrictions stating that they are out of tune with the legalised cannabis industry, making the use of digital methods of payments like cards or crypto next to impossible. In case the bill is passed, it would require a change in the state law to allow operators and customers to conduct transactions in stable coin.

Mexico

Santander to Study Fintech Firms in Mexico: Banco Santander has announced the launch of a new study on the financial tech companies in Mexico in collaboration with the Embassy of the United Kingdom in Mexico. The study, undertaken by research firm Endeavor, would examine “the challenges, prospects and opportunities for the development of the companies”. The study would offer recommendations to ensure the development of competition on a level playing field. The study also aims to reveal new opportunities for public policy development and the possible role of fintech innovations benefiting society in financial matters.

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