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Senate Banking Committee Remains Open to Idea of Digital Dollar in Tuesday’s Hearing

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Not every U.S. lawmaker is on board with the idea of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) or digital dollar, but no one explicitly rejected it during a hearing of the powerful Senate Banking Committee Tuesday.

That’s probably the biggest takeaway from Tuesday’s hearing, where the panel heard from former regulator turned CBDC evangelist Chris Giancarlo, Paxos CEO Charles Cascarilla and Duke Law professor Nakita Cuttino as expert witnesses. 

The lawmakers present asked questions about financial inclusion, including what potential regulations or laws might make digitization easier and more accessible to the unbanked.

“The U.S. needs a digital dollar,” said Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.). “The U.S. dollar has to keep earning that place in the global payments system. It has to be better than bitcoin … it has to be better than a digital yuan.”

Other highlights of the hearing:

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Source: https://www.coindesk.com/senate-banking-committee-remains-open-to-idea-of-digital-dollar-in-tuesdays-hearing

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Himino To be Appointed as Japan’s Next FSA Commissioner

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Vandana Malik by Vandana Malik – 02:58 PM Jul 08, 2020
Himino To be Appointed as Japan’s Next FSA Commissioner


The Japanese government is all set to appoint Ryozo Himino as the next commissioner of Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA). Himino has earlier served as an International Financial Deputy Counsellor and is very well known among people internationally. It has been revealed that this new commissioner of FSA is a crypto enthusiast. It has been revealed that the official announcement regarding this appointment will be made this month only.

Back in September 2019, he was also appointed as the chairman of the Standing Committee of the Financial Stability Board, FSB. With this appointment, he has become the first Japanese to become chairman of this standing committee.

Himino is quite sympathetic to the crypto industry

Along with this news, it has also been revealed that Himino is a crypto-friendly person and is quite sympathetic towards it. Last year, during a seminar at the G20 meeting, he played quite an important role in inviting Blockstream’s Adam Back. The major purpose behind this was to make people aware of the potential that blockchain technology has. Along with this, different stakeholders also got a great opportunity to gather at the G20 summit. It has been seen that during that time, Adam Back was identified as the one who is willing to change the world through cryptography. He was named as a “legendary cypherpunk”.

Current FSA head is also crypto-friendly

It is not only that Himino is going to be the first FSA head who is crypto-friendly. As Toshihide Endo, current FSA head is also quite a big supporter of cryptocurrency and this has been seen many times. Anthony Pompliano, co-founder of Morgan Creek has also said earlier that FSA seems to be a quite big supporter of Bitcoin and Lightning Network. However, it has been seen that after the two recent crypto laws, FSA seems to get more strict towards the crypto industry. It has also cut down the leverage cap for the crypto margin trading.

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About The Author
Vandana Malik

Vandana MalikI have received my Master of Arts degree in English from GEHU, Dehradun. Currently working as a content writer with Agio Support Solutions and earlier worked as a news editor at Business News and Information Services Private Limited. An enthusiastic content writer, aims to bring a compelling yet informative content to the audience. Meanwhile, enhancing my own knowledge as well.

Source: https://www.cryptoknowmics.com/news/himino-to-be-appointed-as-japans-next-fsa-commissioner

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Signal downloads surge in Hong Kong amid free speech crackdown

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Private messaging app Signal has become the most downloaded app across both iOS and Android platforms in Hong Kong, following the adoption of a Chinese law that impacts free speech within the special administrative region.

Mobile app analytics firm App Annie reports (via Bloomberg) that the app has topped the charts for both Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store in Hong Kong, which has more than 7.5 million residents.

On Tuesday, Hong Kong began enforcing the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, following its passage in China’s National People’s Congress last week.

Effectively, the law limits permissible speech in Hong Kong, criminalizing any speech and actions that support the secession of Hong Kong from China, subverting government authority, working with outside governments, and anything else that falls under an increasingly-wide banner of terrorism. This also applies to online activities, as well.

The law is designed to stifle protestors following a strong and sustained response by Hong Kong residents to perceived overreach in Chinese authority, with protests beginning in March 2019 and still continuing to this day. The law also limits the autonomy of Hong Kong, which has largely acted independently despite being a special administration region of China.

Signal is the latest app to gain favor in Hong Kong during the course of the protests and drafting of this new law. Messaging app Telegram saw surging downloads last summer, although many protestors moved on to other services, while virtual private network (VPN) downloads soared earlier this summer after China signaled its intent to limit speech in Hong Kong.

Tech companies such as Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Telegram, and Twitter have announced that they will stop providing user data to Hong Kong government officials at this time. Signal took the opportunity to remind everyone why the end-to-end encrypted private messaging service isn’t like those aforementioned giants.

“We’d announce that we’re stopping too, but we never started turning over user data to HK police,” reads a tweet from Signal, in response to a story about Telegram no longer working with authorities. “Also, we don’t have user data to turn over.”

Source: https://decrypt.co/35021/signal-downloads-surge-hong-kong-free-speech-crackdown

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Venezuela military seizes 315 ASICs from local Bitcoin miner

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It’s hard being a Bitcoin miner in Venezuela. Despite cheap electricity, and BTC mining being technically “legal” in the country, run-ins with the government are common for Bitcoin miners.

Earlier this week, the Venezuelan National Guard announced the seizure of more than 300 ASIC miners from a local entrepreneur who was trying to transport them to the town of Ciudad Guayana. The news was shared by the National Guard via Twitter.

According to the commander of the relevant district, Adolfo Rodríguez Cepeda, the military carried out a routine check on a truck that was attempting to pass through the Guayana Toll —a military checkpoint on the city outskirts.

Officials reportedly asked the truck’s driver for a permit, as there are currently driving restrictions due to the coronavirus quarantines still in place in Venezuela. The driver did not have the required permit, according to the military, so officials inspected his cargo and sought further documentation.

Once authorities found the Bitcoin miners, 315 Bitmain ASICS model Antminer S9, they asked the driver for the required legal paperwork to own and operate such equipment in the country, which he failed to provide, officials claim.

Officials then seized the equipment and referred the case over to the National Superintendence of Cryptoassets and Related Activities (Sunacrip), the public agency in charge of regulating Venezuela’s crypto industry.

The relevant parties did not respond to Decrypt’s request for comment.

The ordeal exemplifies the Venzuelan government’s love-hate relationship with crypto. Crypto mining remains a popular way for tech-savvy entrepreneurs in the country to earn US dollars (or their equivalent), and it has proven to be very profitable, since Venezuela has one of the cheapest electricity rates in the world.

In recent years, however, the government has cracked down on the practice, claiming that Bitcoin mining has paved the way for increased speculation on the value of the dollar and circumvention on the country’s financial controls.

At the same time, President Nicolas Maduro has promoted the use of the state-backed petro cryptocurrency, and made efforts to boost petro mining in the country. Maduro’s government has also created several legal instruments, some through executive orders while others through legislative action, that have given cryptocurrencies legal status.

Crypto mining was explicitly made legal in Venezuela, however to engage in the activity interested parties must register their business with the National Registry, just like any other entrepreneur would do before starting any business in the country. 

But the registry has been the source of alarm and frustration for crypto entrepreneurs in the country, as some fear that disclosing this type of income and activity might attract the attention of criminals and corrupt government officials and lead to extortion attempts or worse.

One such Bitcoin miner is Juan Blanco, who last year told Decrypt of his troubles with police in the country as a result of his mining business.

“I think I’m ‘marked’ by both the police and the community,” Blanco, who felt forced to move his mining farm, said at the time.

Yet for Blanco and many others, the potential rewards still outweigh the risks: “Venezuela is [still] the best place in the world to mine,” he said.

Disclaimer

The views and opinions expressed by the author are for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice.

Source: https://decrypt.co/35018/venezuela-military-seizes-bitcoin-miners

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