20/02/2018: Biggest Stories in the Cryptosphere

1. Cryptocurrency Transactions Backed By South Korean Government

Concerns over a possible ban implemented by the government of South Korea have finally been put to rest. The Head of Financial Regulator and Watchdog has made two important announcements. Cryptocurrency trading will be backed by the government, while banks will be encouraged to ease transactions with exchanges for their customers. The latter is due to the reluctance of these financial institutions to provide cryptocurrency traders with virtual bank accounts. Furthermore, Choe Heung-sik, the country’s Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) Chief, has stated that the government will actively help the industry flourish in the country, with the inclusion of Know Your Customer checks(KYC).

2. $4 Million In Bitcoin Traded Every Week In Nigeria

We previously reported about the Nigerian Senate launching an investigation into Bitcoin. Despite the government’s concerns, it has now been reported that $3.8 million (1.389 billion Nigeria Naira) are being traded on a weekly basis, through 13 local exchanges. Many have argued that the government should reevaluate its position, and take advantage of this new innovation. Analysts said that before the implementation of any ban, there should be an understanding of the topic. The 13 Nigeria-based exchanges have peaked in December of last year, trading $5.4 (N1.95). Additionally, Emeka Okoye, Software Developer and Chief Architect at Cymantiks Nigeria, thinks that the government’s hostility will only lead to further speculation and volatility. According to Okoye, because of the potential this technology has, the government should embrace it, rather than push it underground. However, he clarified that he does not believe Bitcoin will replace fiat currencies. Still, it will facilitate the transfer of money.

3. Nicolas Maduro’s Cryptocurrency Petro Has Officially Launched

Venezuela hopes to alleviate the issues caused by hyperinflation and US sanctions with the launch of the infamous oil-backed cryptocurrency Petro (PTR). The Superintendent Carlos Vargas has previously announced the first phase of the sale taking place today, February 20th. He went on to say that it was expected for investors from Turkey and Middle Eastern countries such as Qatar, to take part in the sale. The plan is to find the right customers, and then rely on the secondary market trading. However, many believe that a clampdown on citizens’ freedom has created trust and transparency issues for Venezuela. Lastly, the Director and Senior Economist at Longview Economics, Harry Colvin, has expressed doubts over the project being successful.

4. Cryptocurrencies Might Be Safe From Property Taxation

A tax bill calling for the exemption of cryptocurrencies from state property tax has been issued in the state senate of Wyoming. The piece of legislation enlists the items which should be immune. Called Wyoming Senate Bill 111, it was issued by Senators Ogden Driskill, Tara Nethercott, and Chris Rothfuss, with the help of representatives Tyler Lindholm, David Miller, and Jared Olsen. The ‘ayes’, ‘nays, and ‘excused’ were respectively 26, 3, 1. The news comes following reports of a bipartisan movement calling for crypto regulations in the US.

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