03/01/2018: Biggest Stories in the Cryptosphere

  1. High Demand for Blockchain Developers in Switzerland

The demand for Blockchain developers is so high in Switzerland that companies are offering salaries of up to $180,000. Eidoo CEO Thomas Bertani, based in the country, believes the situation is due to two main reasons: Switzerland’s reputation as one of the most expensive countries in the world, and the lack of highly skilled labour. The industry is relatively young, so this is not hard to believe. The country seems to struggle to fill its vacancies despite being one of the countries which adopted the most open approach to ICOs and cryptocurrencies. ICO companies with bigger budgets manage to hire the few highly qualified developers, leaving smaller companies to struggle.

2. Egypt’s Top Religious Law Officer Speaks Against Bitcoin

The Grand Mufti of Egypt — Shawki Allam — recently discussed cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin in particular. He stated that the level of risk involved makes trading with this type of currency prohibited under Islamic law. His statement has been classified as a fatwa. A fatwa is a nonbinding interpretation of an issue related to the Islamic law. This makes Allam the first eminent religious leader to comment on the cryptocurrency phenomenon, but not the first one to label it un-Islamic. In November of 2017, the Turkish government said Bitcoin was not appropriate for Muslims. In that instance, a lack of regulation and association with criminal activities were the main cause for the statements.

3. Blockchain Voting May Fail to Find Interested Users

Despite initially being at risk of being replaced by Blockchain, central securities depositories (CSDs) are now actively involved in the technology. The distributed ledger technology is being employed to revolutionise proxy voting. The main concerns with the current system are the frequent delays, and the fear your vote may not be counted. Blockchain technology would fix these issues, as well as removing intermediaries. However, what CSDs are now realising is that not every company seeks more transparency. In Russia, a similar product was launched previously, but stock issuers wanted greater control than blockchain allows, and the product was not a success. As a solution, there is now the possibility of the product being marketed to other countries or ICO companies. The voting system revolution by blockchain may take longer than first expected.

4. Law Firm to Appeal Korean Government’s Bitcoin Regulations

The South Korean government recently announced it would introduce new regulations regarding Bitcoin trading. Among the main changes, there was a ban on trading anonymity, a feature which has led to many discussions over the years. The local law firm Anguk Law Offices has now launched an appeal against the move. In the appeal, they cited a lack of legal grounds, and a breach of property rights. The latter was supported by the fact that cryptocurrencies are considered a property and not actual currencies. Therefore, they should be freely traded. Furthermore, drafts of follow-up appeals are being filed on behalf of cryptocurrency exchanges and investors, as there is a chance exchanges could be closed down.

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