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13/04/2018: Biggest Stories in the Cryptosphere

1. ‘UAE Blockchain Strategy 2021’ Is Launched

The Dubai Media Office has reported that Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, has launched a project called ‘UAE Blockchain Strategy 2021’. The project is part of their ‘Future Industry’ development plan, aimed at putting them at the forefront of innovative technology adoption. The government hopes to conduct 50% of federal transactions through blockchain technology by 2021. It is hoped that the new technology will save time and and cut costs. The change could help reducing the AED11 billion which currently being spent every year on document transactions and documents. Furthermore, the government will also launch an initiative to educate its citizens on blockchain.

2. Bank of America Wants To Improve Its Data Sharing System With Blockchain

Bank of America has filed a patent with the US Patent and Trademark Office for a blockchain-based data sharing system. The document was published by the agency on April 12th, but initially filed by the bank back in October 2016. The new system would assist with data validation, as well as ensuring a secure data sharing process. Cryptographic keys would be used on a private blockchain, and this would help to tackle the problems with data tracking and sharing. In the document, it was also discussed how the current data sharing system carries risks which would disappear with a blockchain-backed system. The news comes following Bank of England’s partnership with startup Chain, and the release of a Proof-of-Concept paper.

3. Bermuda Goes On With Crypto-friendly Regulation Plans

We previously reported on Bermudan Premier and Minister of Finance David Burt’s plan to create a regulatory framework which is crypto friendly, and can ensure the industry will flourish. The Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA) has now published a consultation paper discussing a potential anti-money laundering (AML) act. The financial regulator hopes to create regulations broad enough to cover the varied activities in the crypto industry. According to the proposal, firms involved with token sales and initial coin offerings would be required to gather and maintain consumers data. Companies launching ICOs would not be impacted by this act, as a separate one would be created afterwards. Bermuda’s Minister of National Security Wayne Caines even stated that regulations are necessary for the industry to grow. Lastly, a sandbox-like licensing scheme is also currently under investigation.

4. Yahoo Japan Set To Purchase 40% of Crypto Exchange Shares

Yahoo Japan is going to purchase a 40% stake in local crypto exchange BitARG. The acquisition will be made through Z Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary. BitARG Exchange Tokyo also released the news on its website. The exchange said that the acquisition will give them access to greater resources, especially in terms of tech and knowledge. Official figures have not been released yet. However, according to a source familiar with the acquisition, Yahoo Japan might fork out 2–3 billion yen ($18.5–27.8 million). Yahoo Japan’s announcement comes one week after brokerage firm Monex’s decision to buy all of Coincheck’s shares for 3.6 billion yen (33.4 million dollars).

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