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09/03/2018: Biggest Stories in the Cryptosphere

1. ICOs Raise $1 Billion For Three Consecutive Months

It has been a period of uncertainty, marked by disputes and calls for further regulations, for the crypto market. However, Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) still managed to raise $1 billion for the third consecutive month. January was the best month, with a figure of $1.56 billion, while in both December and February $1.2 billion was brought home. 2018 has been a great year for ICOs so far, considering that the amount raised in the first two months of the year equals half of the figure for 2017. The top three sources for funds raised are the US, China and Lithuania (in that order). The last two have actually already raised more 2018 so far, than they did in the entirety of 2017.

2. China’s Bank Governor Acknowledges That Cash Could Become Obsolete

Zhou Xiaochuan, China’s Central Bank Governor, has stated that despite a lack of interest in the creation of a national cryptocurrency, he acknowledges that cash could become antiquated in the future. Xiaochuan shared his thoughts at the annual Two Sessions conference, which took place in Beijing. He continued by adding that a cryptocurrency owned by the central bank would remove the risk of speculation, something he thinks decentralised cryptocurrencies would not be able to do. The People’s Bank of China perceives digital currencies in general as an opportunity to cut costs and speed up the payment process. It was also discussed how the financial sector should be serving the ‘real economy’.

3. EU Wants To Be a Global FinTech Hub

The European Commission has published a press release depicting its action plan to create a more ‘competitive and innovative financial market’. According to the document, the EU should take advantage of its single market, with the main goal of becoming a global hub for fintech companies. Blockchain was listed as one of the technology advances the financial market should take advantage of. By focusing more on the future, they would be able to create a Capital Markets Union and a Digital Single Market, both important objectives. Five of the 23 elements which compose the institution’s Action Plan are an EU FinTech Laboratory, EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum, the promotion of a digitisation of information from EU listed companies, the improvement of cybersecurity through information-sharing workshops, and a ‘best practices on regulatory sandboxes’ blueprint.

4. South Korea’s Largest Hotel Booking Website To Accept Cryptocurrency Payments

Yeogi Eottae, South Korea’s largest hotel booking service, is soon going to accept cryptocurrency payments thanks to a partnership with Bithumb, the biggest crypto exchange in the country. However, it has to be noted that Yeogi Eottae is not the first company to collaborate with Bithumb, as we previously reported of the collaboration between the latter and local e-commerce platform WeMakePrice. Customers will now be able to pay on the platform using any of the cryptocurrencies listed on the exchange. Bithumb said they were enthusiastic about the idea of cryptocurrency payments becoming more mainstream, like in Japan and the US.

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