Weekly update: Important developments in cryptocurrency space

Another week, another great push forward for blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Across the globe, a great deal of attention is being placed on the ecosystems from everyday people to the highest levels of government. The evolution of crypto continues and a lot of activity shows that the future will be here sooner rather than later.

The Bittrex exchange is going to be forced out of New York, as much as it would have liked to remain due to failure to adhere to requirements of the New York Department of Financial Services. It had thought it had been given a pass as the department is reviewing its BitLicense procedures, but too many discrepancies related to a lack of compliance with regulations will require the exchange to exit.

The Marshall Islands, China, Canada—just three countries that are either launching or considering launching a digital currency. A group of German banks is also behind a campaign to see a digital euro offered. In the meantime, the Central Bank of the Bahamas is ready to take the plunge. It announced this week that it will expedite its plans to release its own digital currency, but hasn’t yet provided a concrete date.

AT&T is going to have to answer to another SIM-swapping lawsuit. It hasn’t been filed yet, but it more than likely will after Seth Shapiro, the head of strategy for VideoCoin, reportedly lost $1.8 million after two AT&T employees allegedly connived with criminals to help steal the funds. The two were paid less than $5,000 total for giving up personal information that facilitated the access and are now facing a few years behind bars.

The Bakkt crypto futures trading platform is now live and gaining strength. It was slow getting off the line, but has seen a lot of movement since. Now that it’s up and running, Bakkt wants to take the next step and is planning on introducing a consumer app sometime during the first six months of 2020. The app will make it easier for consumers to interact with digital assets and merchants will have access to a greater number of shoppers. The company also plans on launching a regulated options contract, which will be introduced in December.

Crypto mining equipment manufacturer Canaan has filed for a $400-million initial public offering (IPO) in the U.S. In doing so, it beat Bitmain to the punch after that company’s previous IPO attempts faltered. However, after Canaan announced its filing, Bitmain followed. Questions over Bitmain’s financial activity, and instability at the upper echelon, will most likely make its IPO approval difficult. Canaan, though, is confident that it will succeed.

One of the biggest stories of the week comes out of China, where it appears blockchain—and possibly crypto—is about to become the backbone of all industries. The country’s president, Xi Jinping, has stated that companies across China should start working toward adopting the technology and a central bank digital currency could be launched by the People’s Bank of China, the country’s central bank, soon. If so, it would become the first country to make the move and will set in motion an entire shift toward digital currency around the world.

A lawmaker in the U.S., Congressman Tom Emmer, believes the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is treating crypto companies unfairly. He is ready to draft a law that would afford certain protections to companies operating in the space and keep the SEC from continuing to maintain an overhanded approach to new product launches.

The Mt. Gox debacle is far from over. Nobuaki Kobayashi, the trustee charged with managing and facilitating payments to investors, has announced that the deadline to submit claims has been extended as a result of claims assessments and appeals against certain denials of claims. Andy Pag was apparently right.

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