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Telecoms Giant Verizon Seeks Talent for Blockchain-Related Positions

Verizon is looking to hire blockchain developers and other professionals with blockchain fluency according to recent job listings. A search for “blockchain” on the career page for telecoms giant Verizon reveals that the company is actively looking to hire new recruits for blockchain-related jobs, including five blockchain developers. The Block highlighted the vacancies in a report on July 24. Verizon is apparently interested in creating a distributed network, as per the report. Additionally, the report specifies that a leading engineer at Verizon believes that hiring options are thin right now: “Google, Facebook, Microsoft, those guys are just taking the cream of the crop. [...] I have interviewed over 100 candidates in the last couple of years and it’s getting harder to find good calibre candidates in blockchain.” At press time, there are over three dozen blockchain-related positions open at Verizon. Out of these positions, there appear to be results for technology, marketing and str..

Swiss Data Protection Regulator Seeks Details on Facebook’s Libra

The Swiss data protection regulator is waiting for Facebook to provide it with particulars on data protection risks associated with the Libra digital currency. The Swiss data protection regulator is waiting for Facebook to provide it with particulars on data protection risks associated with the forthcoming Libra digital currency, Reuters reported on July 23. The Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner (FDPIC) — the competent authority for data processing by federal bodies and individuals in Switzerland — sent a letter to Libra Association on July 17, asking for details about Libra. The FDPIC stated: “The Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner has noted the remarks made by Mr. David Marcus at his hearing before a U.S. Senate committee. The FDPIC stated in his letter that as he had not received any indication on what personal data may be processed, the Libra Association should inform him of the current status of the project so that he could assess the extent t..

Gab Seeks $10M to Decentralize and Use ‘Free Speech Money’ Bitcoin

Gab has made a bid to seal $10 million in a Series A crowdfunding round that will enable it to decentralize and integrate bitcoin. Social media platform Gab has made a bid to seal $10 million in a Series A crowdfunding round that will enable it decentralize its infrastructure and integrate bitcoin (BTC) and Lightning Network payments. Founded in 2016, Gab has risen to notoriety due to a perception that it serves as an “echo chamber” for “extremist,” alt- or far-right views as it welcomes users who have been banned from sites like Twitter and Facebook for their alleged violations of hate speech rules. More broadly, the site targets a user base of libertarian, nationalist, populist or conservative leanings — or anyone who dissents from the content filtration, anti-disinformation, and data harvesting measures enforced by mainstream platforms or “Big Tech.” Gab has long presented its support of crypto as one of the company’s three pillars — these being unapologetic maximalism in regard ..

Report: Facebook Seeks BitLicense From New York State Regulator

Facebook is reportedly seeking a New York BitLicense to comply with state regulations pertaining to Libra. Social media giant Facebook has applied for a cryptocurrency business license to use its announced virtual currency Libra in New York, according to a report by Reuters on June 28 New York requires a special license for crypto operations called the BitLicense, which is a product of the state’s finance regulator, the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS). According to the report, Facebook has also been in contact with regulators in England and Switzerland, presumably to discuss the terms of Libra compliance. Facebook is reportedly aiming to launch Libra by 2020, and a spokesperson for the social media firm remarked: “The scrutiny that we’ve seen is something that we expected and welcome… We announced this early by design in order to have this discourse in the open and gather feedback.” However, the scope of regulatory compliance for Facebook’s aims may include t..

Circle and Coinbase’s Centre Seeks to Form Consortium to Promote, Issue...

Centre consortium founders Coinbase and Circle open invitations to other institutions wishing to issue USD Coin. Stablecoins have become rather frequently discussed in the news and social media over the past few weeks, especially with the news of the release of the Facebook-backed Libra coin. The current wave of stablecoin issuance could be attributed to the lack of liquidity in the cryptocurrency world. But even though the crypto market is now slowly recovering from a long bear trend, the ecosystem of stablecoins continues to expand even further. One of the most notable events in the stablecoin space was a recent announcement by Circle and Coinbase. After launching its own digital dollar — called USD Coin (USDC) — in September 2018, Circle (a Goldman Sachs-backed crypto startup) is now opening its doors to other institutions interested in issuing USD Coin. Circle partnered with crypto exchange and wallet company Coinbase to launch a consortium called Centre that will support and dev..

Bancor Seeks to Exclude US Users From Trading Over Regulatory Uncertainty

Developers will block U.S. IP addresses from being able to trade tokens from July 8, while other functionality will remain. Decentralized exchange platform Bancor plans to restrict United States residents from trading tokens on July 8, the company confirmed in a blog post on June 18. Citing a lack of clarity from regulators, executives said they took the decision to ban all users with a U.S. IP address from exchanging cryptocurrency. “This decision has been made in light of increased regulatory uncertainty; at this time, we believe this is the most judicious decision for all the members of our ecosystem,” the blog post reads. It continues: “This will enable the Bancor community and ecosystem to innovate faster and with greater clarity.” Bancor runs as a decentralized protocol using a P2P setup. While it is unclear what specific factor motivated the move, the regulatory situation involving another decentralized exchange (DEX), Etherdelta, in 2018 serves to illustrate the difficulties o..

Bank to Basics: USC Project Seeks to Disrupt Traditional Wholesale Banking

The Utility Settlement Coin (USC) project has the potential to disrupt the banking sector with crypto payments. On June 3, the Utility Settlement Coin (USC) project, one of the most ambitious crypto-based initiatives in mainstream finance, announced that it had taken the next step in its progression: the creation of a new company called Fnality International and the completion of a 50 million British pound ($63.2 million) Series A financing round. The momentum for USC has been growing since 2015, when the initiative was launched by financial giants UBS, BNY Mellon, NEX, Santander and Deutsche Bank, along with blockchain startup Clearmatics. It’s important to note that USC is not a digital currency that individuals can invest in or use to make payments. The essence of the USC project is to create blockchain-based cryptocurrencies to make it easier for international banks to settle various transactions between each other. According to Fnality, USCs are 100% fiat-backed currencies held i..

US Congressman Seeks Tax Clarity for Cryptocurrencies

A U.S. congressman argued that cryptocurrency transactions should be treated like fiat currency transactions for tax purposes. United States Congressman (R-N.C.) Ted Budd testified to the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee on purported issues with current tax laws on cryptocurrencies, as per a video of the testimony released on June 4. Congressman Budd argued that cryptocurrencies should have a de minimis tax exemption like foreign currencies. Budd commented that he cosponsored bill H.R.3708, or the “Cryptocurrency Tax Fairness Act,” which would extend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to treat personal cryptocurrency purchases like personal transactions in foreign currency, which are not taxed. Budd highlighted the fact that, since the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) considers cryptocurrency to be a type of property, cryptocurrencies do not currently qualify for a de minimis tax exemption. Instead, since they are properties, the IRS requires persons who use cryptocurren..

Global Securities Regulator Seeks Public Feedback on Regulating Crypto Trading Platforms

The International Organization of Securities Commissions has published a consultation paper on regulating crypto asset trading platforms. Global securities regulation standard setter, the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), has published a consultation paper on regulating crypto asset trading platforms (CTPs). IOSCO publicized the paper in an official news release on May 28. According to the news release, IOSCO’s membership regulates over 95% of the world's securities markets in more than 115 jurisdictions. The activities of the organization aim to develop and promote adherence to an internationally recognized, consistent standard for regulatory oversight and enforcement within the global securities sector. The new consultation paper — entitled “Issues, Risks, and Regulatory Considerations Relating to Crypto-Asset Trading Platforms” — solicits feedback from the public on a set of issues, risks and other central considerations that have been identified by..

Binance’s CZ Seeks Compensation From Sequoia for Alleged Reputational, Financial Damage

CZ is reportedly seeking damages from VC firm Sequoia Capital China for having ostensibly hurt his reputation. Changpeng Zhao, the CEO and founder of major crypto exchange Binance, is seeking damages from venture capital firm Sequoia Capital China for having ostensibly hurt his reputation and unjustly prevented him from raising capital during its now-dismissed legal challenge against him last year. A Binance spokesperson shared the news with Cointelegraph on May 23. Attorneys for Changpeng Zhao — better known in the industry as CZ — filed an application on May 20 with the Hong Kong High Court, seeking an inquiry into whether CZ “sustained any and what damages” as a result of the ex parte injunction order Sequoia obtained against him in December 2017. The injunction, later found to have been improperly obtained, had put a moratorium on any financing deals with other investors until March 1, 2018. CZ’s filing states: “Damages hearing on 25 June 2019 will determine entitlement to and sub..
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