15/03/2018: Biggest Stories in the Cryptosphere

1. Coinbase Thinks That The US Regulatory System Is Hurting Innovation

Yesterday, March 14, the Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Securities, and Investment discussed cryptocurrencies and ICOs at a hearing called “Examining Cryptocurrencies and ICO Markets”. The main topics debated were the benefits these technologies could bring, as well as the creation of legal support for the parties involved, and how the regulatory system should deal with these innovations. Furthermore, Coinbase’s Chief Legal and Risk Officer Mike Lempres gave a testimony, calling cryptocurrencies and ICOs tools which could revolutionise the financial industry and the economy. He went on to say that a lack of understanding was the reason why the regulatory bodies are currently hurting technological innovations. According to Lempres, there is a need for regulations which are fair and effective, without being harmful.

2. Lightning Network Is Now Live

Lightning Network, a software aimed at making Bitcoin transactions cheaper and faster, has now gone live. After over a year of testing, Lightning Labs has announced the launch of an initial version, which firms such as Blockstream and Acinq will be able to work on, thanks to a network compatibility with their projects. The need for this kind of tech was caused by high transaction fees (up to $50) and long confirmation times. Furthermore, Lightning Labs has also communicated it would receive seed financing from figures such as Square, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, former PayPal COO David Sacks, and Robinhood co-founder Vlad Tenev.

3. Moscow’s Blockchain Voting Platform Is Expanding

We previously reported about Moscow utilising blockchain technology for its voting system with the program Active Citizen. The municipal government has now announced the launch of Digital Home, which allows people living in the same tower to report any problem or vote on anything related to the building maintenance. The service is powered by the program Active Citizen. The initiative will facilitate meetings among neighbours whose different schedules could make it harder to meet. Groups of neighbours can now even create pools to investigate what everyone in a residential property thinks about a certain topic. It has also been established that people tend to show a higher level of engagement when asked to get involved electronically, especially thanks to features such as geotargeting.

4. Funding Centre To Help Blockchain Flourish In China

The Global Blockchain Investment and Development Center (GBIDC), a funding centre aimed at helping blockchain flourish in China, is being launched by the Investment Association of China (IAC). Foreign capital has already been raised for the project. The public initially heard about the initiative through a document first released by IAC, and then authenticated by its Vice Chairman Liu Ren. The rising popularity of blockchain technology led the organisation to create a set of standards and raise funds. The investment association, which is led by the government National Development and Reform Commission, has not yet revealed if the funds will be sourced from the state or the private sector.

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