Trump’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions: ”Bitcoin is a big problem” – Bitcoin News

By C. Edward Kelso    October 20, 2017

President Donald Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, testified before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. The committee is given rather broad powers concerning federal criminal law and internet privacy. During a quick exchange, hours into the hearing, Mr. Sessions was asked about the “dark web.” His answers might foreshadow what’s ahead for digital privacy and bitcoin users.

More at: Trump’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions: ”Bitcoin is a big problem” – Bitcoin News

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Vladimir Putin Calls For Stricter Cryptocurrency Regulation – International Business Times

By Leigh Cuen    October 11, 2017

Russian president Vladimir Putin reportedly said cryptocurrency could pose “serious risks” during a meeting in Sochi with the nation’s top finance officials on Tuesday. “Cryptocurrencies are issued by an unlimited number of anonymous bodies,” Putin said, according to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. “Thus buyers of cryptocurrencies could be involved in unlawful activities.”

Putin warned the group, which included Bank of Russia Governor Elvira Nabiullina and Finance Minister Anton Siluanov, that cryptocurrency could be used for money laundering, tax evasion and funding terrorism.  However, many experts are still skeptical about claims cryptocurrency could have more nefarious potential than mainstream fintech tools for fiat currencies.

More at: Vladimir Putin Calls For Stricter Cryptocurrency Regulation – International Business Times

Artificial Intelligence: Govt works on a roadmap for emerging tech – The Economic Times

By Surabhi Agarwal    October 11, 2017

NEW DELHI: The government is looking at forming a comprehensive strategy to encourage and adopt emerging technologies such as Blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI) and Big Data Analytics.

The idea is not just to increase their usage in the official machinery but also to promote the increasing number of emerging startups in this space. The exercise will also look at defining possible regulatory frameworks to take care of the privacy as well as other regulatory aspects.

More at: Artificial Intelligence: Govt works on a roadmap for emerging tech – The Economic Times

Government and Startups are Partnering Effectively to Develop Blockchain in Nigeria – The Cointelegraph

By Iyke Aru    October 10, 2017

Blockchain activities in Nigeria is beginning to put the nation on a solid technical foundation. This is causing some to suggest that Africa stands to benefit more than any place in the world from the emerging technology.

The signs of a welcoming community are evident in the openness and unbiased approach of the nation’s government so far towards understanding the intricacies of the ecosystem. The Nigerian government is trying to map out a balanced operational environment where the most benefit can be achieved from the emerging technology.

More at: Government and Startups are Partnering Effectively to Develop Blockchain in Nigeria – The Cointelegraph

The CFTC Still Doesn’t Know What Constitutes Cryptocurrency ‘Delivery’ – CoinDesk

By Stan Higgins    October 9, 2017

The U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is reportedly still working to define when exactly a cryptocurrency can be deemed “delivered” due to the complexities of cryptographic key management.

Referencing past enforcement actions by the agency, CFTC Commissioner Brian Quintenz said at an event last week that officials at the agency are “working very hard to provide a suitable response to that question.” At the same time, he also raised recent media criticism of bitcoin, including the argument that it is a “fraud” as advanced by JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon.

Yet his comments on the rules for the delivery of digital commodities are perhaps the most significant, coming more than two years after the agency first said it would begin overseeing the trade of cryptocurrencies in the U.S. as commodities.

He said at the event:

“Would someone here like to tell me how to define the ‘actual delivery’ of a virtual commodity? The CFTC is working very hard to provide a suitable response to that question.”

More at: The CFTC Still Doesn’t Know What Constitutes Cryptocurrency ‘Delivery’ – CoinDesk

Kiwis embrace blockchain, despite bitcoin bottleneck – Stuff.co.nz

By Richard MacManus    October 9, 2017

One of the biggest tech trends of 2017 has been the rise of blockchain, the technology behind bitcoin.

But unlike with bitcoin, there are promising blockchain projects under development in New Zealand. That’s because our government and banks can’t use their red tape to stifle blockchain innovation, like they’re doing with bitcoin.

A very quick explanation of blockchain, if you’re unfamiliar with it. In a nutshell, a blockchain is a distributed database.

Bitcoin was the original use case. Every time someone trades bitcoin, it’s recorded onto the blockchain. A key benefit is that no one entity controls that data. As fellow columnist Mike O’Donnell explained, blockchain has an extra layer of trust because you’re not reliant on an intermediary.

More at: Kiwis embrace blockchain, despite bitcoin bottleneck – Stuff.co.nz

EU Report: Customs Agents Can’t Monitor Cryptocurrencies – CoinDesk

By Stan Higgins    October 6, 2017

A draft report being developed by two committees in the European Parliament, the EU’s legislative branch, highlights concerns over the ability of border agents to monitor the movement of cryptocurrencies.

The report “on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on controls on cash entering or leaving the Union and repealing Regulation”, dated September 29, largely deals with cash, as well as other payment methods such as prepaid cards.

According to the text, the report is being prepared by the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs.

More at: EU Report: Customs Agents Can’t Monitor Cryptocurrencies – CoinDesk