North America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 27th March to 5th April 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.

United States

Ripple may be willing to pay to be listed on US cryptocurrency exchanges: Ripple is so far not listed on some of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in the US and is reportedly willing to pay millions of dollars for these listings according to a report published by Bloomberg. Ripple is currently the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency but still eyes the US market as one of the biggest and most lucrative, and is willing to pay top dollar to be listed.

GDAX, the largest US cryptocurrency exchange from Coinbase and Gemini, the exchange owned by the Winklevoss twins of Facebook-ConnectU settlement case, are two exchanges eyed. Ripple is reportedly offering as much as USD 100 million to GDAX and USD 1 million to Gemini for getting the coin registered on their exchanges.

The success of Bitcoin Cash after successful listing on GDAX/Coinbase is the basis of this move. Ripple is listed on almost all cryptocurrency exchanges in the world including Bittrex, Bitfinex, Binance and all other cryptocurrency exchanges but GDAX and Gemini have not listed it on their website due to its centralization issues, with more than half of the native currency XRP controlled by the parent Ripple company itself.

Wall Street analyst estimates that US households owe USD 25 billion in taxes on cryptocurrency: According to latest tax directives, US crypto investors owe more than USD 25 billion in gain taxes according to senior Wall Street analyst Thomas Lee. According to the stockbroker, this massive tax liability will force most Americans to sell their cryptocurrencies and will impact cryptocurrency trading indices around the world.

“This is a massive outflow from crypto to USD and historical estimates are each [unit] of USD outflow is [a] USD 20-25 impact on crypto market value,” said Lee.

Ultimately, Bitcoin may find a more stable footing after the 17 April tax day deadline, according to the financial analyst.

US tax code a problem for cryptocurrency traders? The updated US tax code that was passed by the US Congress earlier this year might be a sizeable issue for cryptocurrency holders around the USA according to Coin Center, a non-profit research and advocacy center focused on public policy. Jerri Berrito, an executive director at Coin Center is recommending US Congress to pass what is being called de minimis exemption for cryptocurrency transactions, the same way a few other currency transactions are being allowed on some currencies.

Cryptocurrencies could be treated as personal foreign currency transactions so you may not be required to report these transactions based on Berrito’s proposal. So, the USD 25 billion in taxes may never be levied if this proposal is passed, even if for a temporary period.

Founder of cryptocurrency backed by Floyd Mayweather arrested: Founders of cryptocurrency Centra that was being backed by Floyd “Money” Mayweather were booked with fraud by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The ICO raised over USD 32 million mostly because of backing by boxer Floyd Mayweather. Founders of the cryptocurrency, Sohrab “Sam” Sharma and Robert Farkas, were arrested because ICOs are currently banned by the SEC due to fake securities risk. The project aimed to release a crypto debit card backed by Visa and Mastercard. SEC is alleging that Centra had no contact with either company.

Canada

Canada’s Bank of Montreal to block cryptocurrency transactions: Bank of Montreal has decided to block cryptocurrency transactions according to latest reports on CoinGeek. The move comes off as a surprise as the same Montreal Bank is offering transaction services to TMX, the operator of Toronto Stock Exchange that has launched a cryptocurrency trading desk recently, becoming the first stock exchange to do so.

Volume of Bitcoin transactions gaining momentum on Localbitcoins.com: The volume of popular Bitcoin selling/buying platform localbitcoins.com has increased recently despite the recent tanking of Bitcoin price since the start of the calendar year. Recently, there are has been a renewal of interest in the premier cryptocurrency with weekly trading volume jumping up by almost CAD 2.5 million following a CAD 3.5 million increase in previous weeks.

Ontario securities regulator: ICOs have fundamental issuesCanadian territory Ontario’s securities regulator OSC has raised concerns regarding cryptocurrencies. According to the recent development covered by Coindesk, the OSC has flagged token sales but is refraining from banning them altogether without feedback. The OSC praised new tokens as a new financial tool but also said that it noted certain market risks that were too extreme:

“This innovation is driving more complexity in financial markets and products and creating a risk that consumers may not understand what they are buying. Initial offerings of digital currency and similar instruments can raise fundamental issues about the scope of securities regulation, At the same time that they present significant investor protection issues.”

Mexico

Mexico government testing blockchain to track public contracts bids: In an effort to fight corruption in government circles, the government is working on a blockchain-based project called HACKMX to track bids for public contracts according to the latest news from Coindesk.

According to Mexico’s national digital strategy coordinator Yolanda Martinez,“With blockchain applied to public contracts we’ll be able to know whether a company that provides services to the government is trustworthy.”

 

 

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