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26/01/2018: Biggest Stories in the Cryptosphere

January 26th 2018

1. $6 Million Building in Tokyo To Be Sold with Bitcoin

A Tokyo real estate company has decided to sell a building in Bitcoin. This is the first time this has happened in Japan. The sale price is 547 BTC, which equal $6 million. Yokozawa Yuske, CTO of the Japanese real estate startup Yitanzi, stated in an interview with South Korean media company MK that the increasing number of people investing in cryptocurrencies, and wanting to spend their profits on properties, led the company to the decision to sell buildings using cryptocurrencies rather than fiat currencies. There are also people wanting to sell their properties for Bitcoin. This is due to the difficulty of purchasing large amounts of cryptocurrency on exchanges. Furthermore, this kind of transaction usually involves high fees. However, selling in Bitcoin avoids these fees.

2. China’s Central Bank Contemplates Issuing Digital Currency

People’s Bank of China, the Chinese central bank, may issue its own digital currency. However, blockchain technology could be left out of the project. The Vice Governor Fan Yifei discussed the desire for a central bank digital currency (CBDC) with local media company Yicai. Yifei wants to differentiate this potential digital currency from decentralised cryptocurrencies, as this one would remain centralised. Ensuring the bank’s liability is the main reason for this decision. Furthermore, he believes that this move will decrease the public’s interest in private cryptocurrencies. Transactions would go through the bank, allowing them more oversight to catch illegal activities. However, a prudent approach will be adopted towards smart contracts.

3. Stock Trading App Robinhood to Support Bitcoin and Ethereum on its Platform

The stock trading app Robinhood has recently revealed it will start supporting Bitcoin and Ethereum. Its users will be able to trade the cryptocurrencies with no commission or transaction fees. The service is going to be available from February, but it is already possible to track cryptocurrency prices and news. It represents a new competitor for Coinbase, which delivers a similar service, but with fees of 1.5 to 4 percent. Initially, only customers located in California, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana and New Hampshire will be able to benefit from the service. The cryptocurrencies will be kept in cold storage, offline. Lastly, there are not going to be minimum or maximum investment requirements, or withdrawal limits.

4. Tennessee is Opening to Blockchain Technology

On Wednesday, legislators located in Tennessee disclosed that blockchain signatures could soon be accepted as legal electronic records. The Nashville Post reported that the Tennessee General Assembly met with local stakeholders to evaluate the possibility. The bill was initially submitted by legislator Jason Powell two weeks ago. Similar documents have also been submitted in Florida and Nebraska. Change Healthcare’s Product Development Director Emily Vaughn was present at the time of the announcement, and said that using blockchain technology to improve the state’s legal system carries great benefits.

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