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21/02/2018: Biggest Stories in the Cryptosphere

1. Moscow Uses Blockchain To Create A More Transparent Democracy

Moscow has been using blockchain technology to improve the structure of its democracy. It started with the program “Active Citizen”, enabling the public to vote on topics such as the name of a new train, or the design of a ‘Moscow Doctor’ badge. Residents trusted the vote counting as a private version of the Ethereum blockchain, which allows the auditing of open-source results, was included in the structure of the program. The Strategy and Innovations Advisor to the CIO, Andrey Belozerov, hopes to eliminate the sense of distrust of the residents of the Russian capital as well as other governments. The program Active Citizen was also used to gather the opinion of the public on the Moscow Renovation program, a plan to innovate the city and turn it into a ‘smart city’. The project is currently planned until 2032.

2. 16 Crypto Exchanges to Launch a Self-regulatory Body in Japan

We previously reported on a self-regulatory body for the Japanese crypto industry being set up through the merger of the Japan Blockchain Association and the Japan Cryptocurrency Business Association. However, according to two sources, the plan has been abandoned. This prompted sixteen crypto exchanges to launch their own self-regulating body. This body is going to be registered with the Japan’s Financial Services Association (FSA). This info led some to assume that these sixteen exchanges could be the same exchanges which are already registered with the country’s financial regulator individually.

3. Bitfinex And Coinbase To Support SegWit

The two biggest exchanges in the world, Bitfinex and Coinbase, have announced they are going to support SegWit. Users will now be able to make payments and withdrawals in Bitcoin using wallets updated with ‘segregated witness’. This update of the Bitcoin blockchain has cut costs, sped up transactions, and increased the level of security. Coinbase first announced the move in December 2017. Investors and users were informed by Dan Romero, the Vice President and General Manager of the company.

4. Bitcoin Will Probably Become One of The Main Payment Methods, says PayPal exec

John Rainey, PayPal’s Chief Financial Officer, was recently interviewed by the Wall Street Journal and Bitcoin was one of the topics discussed. Rainey stated that they were one of the first companies to accept Bitcoin as a form of payment on their Braintree platform three years ago. He went on to say that currently, the currency’s volatility makes it too unpredictable for a seller to accept it, especially in terms of profit margin. However, he believes that there is a high chance it will become one of the main forms of payments in the future. On a similar note, according to a survey conducted by Paymentsense, a third of SMEs think the high street will start accepting Bitcoin payments by 2020.

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