Digital Currency and Blockchain Weekly Round-Up – August 23rd, 2019
Fri, 23 Aug 2019, 12:28 pm UTC
Cryptocurrencies used to buy fentanyl, other illicit drugs: White House
The White House has issued two advisories to warn that major cryptocurrencies are being used to buy fentanyl and other synthetic opioids. The advisories, addressed to financial institutions and digital private sector platforms, stated that “convertible virtual currencies” (CVC), including bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ethereum, and monero, are being used to purchase illegal substances in the dark web.
US Treasury blacklists crypto addresses of suspected Chinese fentanyl traffickers
The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has blacklisted several digital currency addresses that allegedly belonged to three Chinese nationals suspected money laundering and drug smuggling. OFAC identified Xiaobing Yan, Fujing Zheng, and Guanghua Zheng as narcotics trafficker under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act in a press release.
Indian Supreme Court grills RBI for cryptocurrency banking ban
India’s Supreme Court has criticized the country’s central bank and ordered it to respond to complaints on the ban of banking services to crypto-related businesses. The news came following the latest session of several hearings on Aug. 21, detailing the action taken by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
China may launch its central bank digital currency ahead of Facebook's cryptocurrency Libra
The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) is close to releasing its own government-backed digital currency, according to China Daily. The report further revealed that the upcoming central bank digital currency (CBDC) may have been inspired by Facebook’s cryptocurrency Libra.
Israeli regulator seeks to expedite licensing procedures for fintech and blockchain firms
The Capital Market Authority of Israel is seeking to fast track the licensing procedures for domestic fintech companies in order to encourage competition in the local market, Calcalist reported. The Capital Market Authority intends to prioritize blockchain and financial technology. As such, it has set up dedicated industry teams with fintech and blockchain experts for reviewing the applications and expediting the licensing process.
Sierra Leone launches blockchain-based National Digital Identity Platform
Kiva, a San Francisco-based non-profit organization, has announced the launch of Africa’s first blockchain-based and decentralized identity platform. Dubbed the National Digital Identity Platform (NDIP), the platform has been developed in partnership with the Government of Sierra Leone, the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Facebook's Libra to be discussed as U.S. delegates visit Switzerland
Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency will be discussed as a delegation of the U.S. House of Representatives will pay a visit to Switzerland in the coming days. According to local media outlet Soontag, six members of the House of Financial Services Committee will be meeting Swiss Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner Adrian Lobsiger to exchange their views on digital currencies, particularly Libra.
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