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04/07/2018: Biggest Stories in the Cryptosphere

1. Report Siding With Blockchain Released by UK Housing Minister

A report on blockchain was released today by Eddie Hughes, the UK Housing Minister. The politician is calling for the government to adopt the technology to empower its citizens and improve the whole society. The document listed security and efficiency as the main selling points of this technology. Estonia was used as an example to follow. Hughes called the country a world leader in distributed ledger technology (DLT). It was also noted that the British Government Office for Science published the paper ‘Distributed Ledger Technology: beyond blockchain’ back in December 2015. Therefore, it is not a completely foreign concept for the country. Hughes believes that the government should take a step forward by appointing a Chief Blockchain Officer and set a goal of 1% annual efficiency saving (£8 billion) by integrating blockchain technology in its operations.

2. Malta PM Confirms Three Cryptocurrency Bills Soon To Be Passed

Malta Prime Minister Joseph Muscat confirmed during a press release today that three cryptocurrency bills are currently set to pass in parliament. The bills are called: Malta Digital Innovation Authority Bill, Technology Arrangements and Services Bill, and Virtual Financial Assets Bill. Cryptocurrencies, ICOs, blockchain, and exchanges are all discussed in the potential regulations. The third and last reading will take place on Wednesday evening; while the second reading was one week ago. Parliamentary Secretary for Digital innovation and Finance Silvio Schembri added that he believes the blockchain sector will be the backbone of the country’s economic growth for the next 4–5 years.

3. 40% Of Companies In FCA Sandbox Are Utilising DLT

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has released the list of companies which are part of the regulator’s Sandbox in Cohort 4, and BlockEx is proud to be included. These companies will be able to “test innovative products, services or business models in a live market environment, while ensuring that appropriate protections are in place”. Out of the 69 applications, 29 were successful. 40% of them are using distributed ledger technology (DLT). Even if in a limited number, firms conducting tests related to cryptoassets were also accepted. In fact, FCA is interested in finding out if consumers can benefit from this technology without security being compromised.

4. Euro Pacific Capital CEO Schiff Believes In Digitised Gold More Than Bitcoin

Euro Pacific Capital CEO Peter Schiff and ShapeShift Erik Voorhees were part of the Bitcoin Event, discussion panel hosted at the Soho Forum. The topics of conversation were Bitcoin and blockchain. It was debated if Bitcoin had the potential to become widely adopted as well as its similarities and differences with other assets, including gold and fiat currencies. Voorhees believes that Bitcoin will eventually replace fiat currencies while blockchain technology will become an integral part of governments’ structure. On the other hand, Schiff thinks that the fact that Bitcoin is not backed by a physical asset means that it cannot be adopted on a mass scale. Instead, Schiff believes that digitised gold is the future. Mainly because of the metal’s irreplaceable value. He went on to say that the US Dollar managed to gain trust because it was initially backed by gold and that, therefore, being able to quantify the value of Bitcoin in terms of gold is fundamental.

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