Trump’s New Addition to the SEC Increases Chances of Bitcoin ETF
The new member of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Elad Roisman, who has been appointed by Trump is a big plus for the votes to approve a BTC ETF. Commissioner Roisman is the third person that has been selected by Trump for the SEC. Roisman is a big supporter of regulating digital assets and he recently shared his approval at a Senate Banking Committee hearing, a few months ago. Roisman is among another commissioner who is all for the Bitcoin ETF, Commissioner Hester Peirce. Peirce was also appointed by Trump, and proclaimed through a formal dissent her disagreement with the rejection of the Winklevoss ETF in July of 2018. The SEC has already denied 9 applications, this includes Winklevoss, Cameron, GraniteShares, Direxion, and ProShares proposals.The anticipated Bitcoin ETF was submitted by VanEck/SolidX and decisions will be made by March 2019. The opinions of both commissioners will be great factor for the ETF.
A Majority of Americans are Aware of Bitcoin
Millenials are in the know when it comes to Bitcoin, and a study reveals that almost 80% of Americans are aware of it. More than 50% of Americans prefer using digital assets over the USD. Most people know about Bitcoin, and Ethereum comes in second place. The study was conducted by YouGov Omnibus. Specifically, more men were aware of cryptocurrencies in comparison to women. It is interesting to see the demographics surrounding digital assets, the ratio of those who are aware of it is increasing and this further confirms that cryptocurrencies will be used everywhere eventually. We cannot deny the fact that this is a global phenomenon!
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Why the Big Four Accounting Firms Care About Blockchain
In the world of accounting audits and financial assurance, only the Big Four matter. Deloitte, EY, PwC, and KPMG are the masters of the universe. The Big Four accounting firms have a firm oligopoly over the provision of tax, accounting, consultancy, and audit services to almost all big companies across the globe. All publicly listed companies must open their books to external auditors to satisfy financial regulators. The blockchain is often touted as the biggest revolution in accounting since double-entry bookkeeping. Therefore, it stands to reason that blockchain will cause seismic changes for the Big Four, and the way they do business with their clients.
India Will Be Accepting Crypto Tokens for Metro Fares
The government of India has announced that they will be launching crypto tokens for the purpose of their own financial transactions, despite a banking ban that was placed on cryptocurrencies. A governmental committee is researching the benefits of the usability of digital assets and how its acceptance can be good for their economy. To be more specific, they will be looking at the use of the specialized blockchain-based crypto via a tokenized representation of a fiat currency. They are looking at how it can be substituted for things like metro cards. This is a more public use for the tokens. A representative of the committee explained that it can be beneficial for private use as well, such as using it for air mile loyalty programs. The IMC (Inter-Ministerial Committee) was first created in 2017 by the Ministry of Finance. The committee includes India's taxation authority, better known as India's Department of Economic Affairs (DoEA) and an array of other ministries including reps from India's central bank and the country's largest financial institution. The purpose of creating this committee, is so they can measure the status of digital assets in domestic and international markets and also look into regulatory frameworks. The whole process is taking time for the committee, as they experienced a ban placed by India's central bank that prohibits servicing to all digital currency companies.
Patent Filed by IBM for Blockchain Technology System
Latest news in crypto world is on IBM, a giant in the tech industry that has filed for a patent for the management of a blockchain database system. IBM's purpose in doing this is that they would like to build a dependable tampering discovery system (IDT-DS). The prospective system will identify any errors in data that is stocked in a database linked with the primary database. The patent was originally filed last year on December 22nd, in accordance to the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). In 2018, the USPTO has already awarded six patents in relation to distributed ledgers. A blockchain data management system is not a shocking venture by IBM, as they are dealing with sensitive information that they want to protect. IBM is a firm believer in blockchain technology and they believe that blockchain can help with a, "new generation of applications that ensure reliability, transparency, and efficiency". IBM also participates with an array of Hyperledger tools such as: Explorer, Cello, Caliper, and Composer. IBM's decision has already attracted millions of dollars in investments and has started competition with other giant corporations.
Report: 2018 Blockchain Investing/Spending at its Highest
A tax consulting firm, KPMG known to be one of the biggest in the world, revealed that spending and investors interest (venture capitals and ICO fund rounds) has been at its peak. In 2018, investors are more active in mature companies, rather than spending time on new firms such as startups. Asia has stood out when it comes to fintech spending, but the U.S. holds the record and top spot for investments specifically in blockchain. Bitmain is an enterprise in the ASIC mining industry, and is based in China. They are looking to also set up shop in Texas and Washington state. The U.S. has appealing regulations for businesses that are either mature or startups. Although there are constant crackdowns on ICOs that aren't following the rules, KPMG's findings also stated ICOs are continuing to be of interest to investors and investments around the world. Fintech funding is already beating its record from 2017, and is on its way to beat its 2015 record. This sums up to $57.9 billion that has already been spent in the first half of 2018. This is great news for blockchain technology and investors who feel more comfortable with the growth of the fintech market.
How Siacoin (SC) Is Gearing Towards the Future
The competition to develop a better, decentralized cloud storage solution powered by blockchain technology is fierce. In this article, we highlight Siacoin (SC) and the Sia project team’s efforts to change the decentralized cloud storage landscape. We will also examine how this project is changing the cryptocurrency mining industry with Sia mining. Why Cloud Storage on the Blockchain? There are a variety of reasons for building a cloud storage solution on the blockchain. In recent years, data privacy has become a growing concern for many netizens. For the most part, large tech companies have used centralized data for profit, while individual users receive none of these earnings. Decentralized solutions aim to give users greater privacy control and prevent large-scale data mining.
Digital Asset Market Crash Causes Bitcoin to Decline
The price of Bitcoin has plummeted to the mid $6,000 range. The crypto market as a whole has dropped since late July, by over 30%. The demand for cryptocurrencies has become less, and market activities have slowed down. If the volume of BTC does not pick up in the next few days, it is likely that the cryptocurrency will drop even more. Analysts believe that BTC has dropped because of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) decision to postpone the approval of a BTC exchange-traded fund (ETF) of SolidX and VanEck. Korea and Japan, the top crypto exchange markets, claimed that BTC will go back to previous highs with the approval of the first Bitcoin ETF. Big time traders in these countries have huge followings on social media, so they pretty much gave false hope, which caused overreaction of the market to delay the approval of SolidX and VanEck BTC ETF. Another theory, is that big time traders who intended to sell big portions of BTC in the last few days, did just that. The decision of the SEC caused a short-term panic mode sell-off. All of the theories above, are a cause of the SEC's decision. However on the bright side, if a rejection of the BTC ETF has caused a negative impact on BTC's price, an approval will cause an immense positive impact on BTC's price. Let's see what happens!
Citi and Barclays Testing Out IBM’s New Blockchain Application
Barclays and Citi are among a few financial institutions that are trialing IBM's new Blockchain App Marketplace. IBM has partnered with a settlement institution, CLS, and they are trialing a platform by the name of LedgerConnect. The app will allow banks, fintech companies and startups, and software vendors, to share, set up, and consume blockchain softwares. Hyperledger and IBM have designed the platform. LedgerConnect will act as a blockchain bazaar for the financial sector, and this will also speed up the process of innovations in the ecosystem. LedgerConnect is looking to cut costs, offer robust and safe solutions, and reduce risk. LedgerConnect will only be using Hyperledger Fabric applications via backing by other technologies like Quorum, the public Ethereum blockchain, and R3's Corda. IBM performance and security tests are administered on the blockchain applications prior to being certified. This is a win-win for both banks and vendors. Banks will have the access to a marketplace of blockchain apps that have already been verified and tested. Vendors will be able to work on a platform where they can distribute their products to these financial institutions. A couple of the apps have already been released on the marketplace. Openrisk has their collateral and margin management apps featured on the marketplace. Apps such as KYC and mPhasis are already being piloted to be released on the marketplace. Once the proof of concept (PoC) is completed and the regulatory approvals have been acquired, CLS and IBM plan to expand their horizon on the blockchain apps they want to offer.

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