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12/02/2018: Biggest Stories in the Cryptosphere

1. In Dubai, 50 Luxury Apartments Have Been Sold In Bitcoin

Ultimo lingerie brand Founder baroness Michelle Mone and her billionaire partner Douglas Barrowman, Founder and Chairman of Knox, have just sold 50 Luxury apartments located in Dubai. The interesting part: buyers paid in Bitcoin. The apartments were part of the luxury development Aston Plaza and Residences, which is worth $325 million. The development is being constructed by Aston Developments, whose parent company is Knox Group-owned Aston Property Ventures. The flats range from 15 BTC to 41 BTC. Furthermore, the pair is launching a $75 million ICO, Equi Tokens which would be used on the Equi platform.

2. Gibraltar: World’s First ICO Regulations

Gibraltar could be the first country in the world to create a regulatory framework for ICOs. The government of Gibraltar, in conjunction with the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC), are reviewing rules which companies using this new fundraising method would have to follow. The rules will cover the promotion, sale and distribution of tokens taking place in the country. New introductions will be the notion of “authorised sponsors” as well as the amount of information companies will be required to provide to their buyers. The rate at which ICOs are growing prompted the government to take measures. The industry grew from €82 million in 2016 to $3.7 billion in 2017.

3. Abu Dhabi Financial Regulator To Consider Regulatory Framework for Crypto

On Saturday 11th, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) announced that a possible regulatory framework for cryptocurrency exchanges and intermediaries was currently under development. This means that they would become part of the financial zone. The project would be conducted in collaboration with industry players and professional bodies. The United Arab Emirates (UAE)’s capital previously adopted, in October of last year, a general approach, declaring ICOs a security and cryptocurrencies a commodity. However, it has now decided to take a more narrow approach. This might come as a surprise considering that the UAE Central Bank refused to consider cryptocurrencies as legal tender, and labelled them risky.

4. CME Group Wants to Facilitate Blockchain Modifications

In December of last year, CME Group filed a patent for a system which would facilitate the modification of Blockchain’s rules for developers, by removing the need for a consensus by the network’s nodes. Airline frequent flyer programs were brought up as an example of why there is a need for this type of system. If there was a necessity for a new KYC/AML program, and the majority of nodes refused to agree with the change, a fork would be required. Blockchain has great potential, but the level of difficulty involved when trying to modify it, and upgrade it, makes the technology less appealing for commercial use. The Segregated Witness (SegWit) is an example of upgrade which took months to be achieved.

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