Blockchain News 9 January 2018

Blockchain News 9 January 2018

Cryptocurrency regulations proposed in Vermont

A state legislator in Vermont has proposed a bill to create a new regulatory framework for the use of blockchain technology.

In addition to mandating several reports on cryptocurrencies and blockchain, it notably outlines how the state could classify certain firms as “digital currency limited liability companies,” particularly those that operate their own networks.

Those companies would, if the bill is approved, be required to pay “in the form of its digital currency a transaction tax equivalent to $0.01” whenever a new unit of cryptocurrency is created, traded or transferred.

“A digital currency limited liability company is exempt from taxes otherwise applicable” reads the bill.

The new bill also calls for a “Fintech Summit,” which would bring together state and industry stakeholders to discuss how Vermont can promote the tech’s wider use. The state would devote $25,000 to help fund the event, under the auspices of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development.

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon regrets saying Bitcoin is a fraud

JPMorgan Chase Chairman & CEO Jamie Dimon said Tuesday he regrets past comments in which he called Bitcoin a fraud at a September banking conference.

At the time, Dimon said that he would fire JPMorgan traders if they traded in the crypto-currency.
“The blockchain is real. You can have crypto yen and dollars and stuff like that…” Dimon said in an exclusive interview with FOX Business.

The bitcoin to me was always what the governments are gonna feel about bitcoin as it gets really big, and I just have a different opinion than other people. I’m not interested that much in the subject at all.

US Federal Reserve Bank President: Bitcoin is not a credible competitor to the US dollar

Bitcoin and other digital currencies don’t represent a significant threat to the U.S. dollar, Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari said.

“I don’t see bitcoin as a credible competitor to the dollar in the United States of America, and the reason is the barrier of entry to you creating your own coin and me creating my own virtual currency … is zero,” he said during a public appearance in Minnesota.

Kashkari acknowledged that bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies may take on a greater role globally in the future, but he said for now they remain a question mark.

“So there’s all these new alt coins being created every day, and while you may say there’s only so many bitcoins that are going to be mined, if it gets muddled with all these other alt coins you can still have inflation, because you don’t know which ones to trust,” he said. “I just think this has a long way of going before we know how this shakes out.

Bitcoin futures market is open for Thailand’s investors

Phillip Securities Thailand has allowed Thai investors to speculate on bitcoin via an international global derivatives trading service, while Thailand’s market regulators are in consensus that the move is legitimate.

Such service offers bitcoin futures trading on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME).

Managing director Low See Kiong said some Thai investors are interested in bitcoin and able to accept the investment risks inherent in futures.

“Using bitcoin as an underlying asset on the CBOE and CME will lead to greater acceptance of bitcoin futures as they have reliable payment systems and are regulated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission,” Mr Low said in a press release.

“Since this [investment] product is under the supervision of a standardized regulatory body, a point of concern in this case is not about fraud or money laundering, but rather how this product has high risks,” said the statement.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has recently instructed the Finance Ministry to educate people about the risks of bitcoin investment.

Switzerland launches Blockchain task force

The Swiss government has launched a new group to cement its regulatory framework surrounding blockchain startups and ICOs.

Taskforce Blockchain – spearheaded by Finance Minister Ueli Mausrer and Economics and Education Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann – includes both federal and local officials, as well as members of various blockchain startups and legal representatives, according to a fact sheet.

The group will look at the legal guidelines surrounding ICOs and blockchain companies, while working with the State Secretariat for International Financial Matters – the federal body responsible for implementing financial market policy and representing the government’s financial interests across borders.

Schneider-Ammann praised the inclusion of blockchain companies in the conversation surrounding their legal framework.
He added: “Blockchain is becoming more important as a technology for many industries, not just crypto finance. What is needed is liberal regulation, which opens opportunities for Switzerland’s position while at the same time reducing risks.”

The Taskforce Blockchain’s first meeting will be on Jan. 12, 2018.

First pull request for MAST submitted

A long-standing proposal to bring “smarter” smart contracts to bitcoin’s main net has just taken one step closer to implementation.

Developers have submitted a pull request for Merkelized Abstract Syntax Trees (MAST), marking the first time this smart contracts proposal has been the subject of a pull request seeking its integration into bitcoin’s code.

These private smart contracts would allow users to define their own criteria by which a payment would process, enabling multiple factors to be considered by the program. The smart contracts would then execute on their own.

The combination of BIPs would also allow for these smart contracts to be stored in a compact manner on the actual bitcoin blockchain, meaning they would not take up a large amount of block space, or the amount of data that can be stored within each block of transactions.

If developers and the broader bitcoin community approve of the change, it could be added to bitcoin by way of a soft fork.

Blockchain News 9 January 2018

 A source