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Crypto Strengthens in New York, MIT Develops Data-lite Token

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 2 min read

Cryptocurrency-related developments are coming thick and fast in the United States – with New York’s financial regulator approving two more traders and academics at MIT claiming a major technological breakthrough.

Source: iStock/PeskyMonkey

The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) has handed what have been dubbed as “BitLicenses” to Robinhood and LibertyX. The former will now begin commission-free cryptocurrency trading in seven tokens throughout New York State over the coming months. Robinhood Crypto is already available in over thirty states. LibertyX, based in New Jersey, operates cryptocurrency ATMs, and states it is the first recipient of a BitLicense to allow customers to buy digital tokens from conventional ATMs.

Per an official release, Financial Services Superintendent Maria Vullo stated, “Today’s approvals add to the growing list of responsible virtual currency providers who recognize and appreciate how a comprehensive regulatory framework fosters a competitive marketplace that benefits both consumers and industry.”

The DFS has already issued licenses to the likes of bitFlyer USA, Circle, Coinbase and Square.

Meanwhile, a group of graduate researchers at MIT (the Massachusetts Institute of Technology) claim to have developed a new cryptocurrency that is 99% less data-intensive than conventional tokens like Bitcoin.

The researchers claim that the nodes used to verify transactions for its token (named the Vault) only need to process a fraction of the data required for transactions for coins such as Bitcoin. Per an MIT news outlet, the researchers built the Vault on a network named Algorand, which was masterminded by MIT Engineering Department professor Silvio Micali. The professor claims his network is “secure, decentralized and more scalable than other cryptocurrencies.”

One of the researchers is quoted as saying, “Currently there are a lot of cryptocurrencies, but they’re hitting bottlenecks related to joining the system as a new user and to storage. The broad goal here is to enable cryptocurrencies to scale well for more and more users.”

The team is set to report on its developments in more detail at a symposium to be held next month.

Also, as reported, MIT is among American universities currently working on a “cryptocurrency to top Bitcoin,” with financial support from hedge fund Pantera Capital. Academics from several institutions, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University and University of California, Berkeley have teamed up to create a digital currency that they claim can solve what they see as Bitcoin’s biggest problem: scalability. However, not everyone is convinced that this project is needed in the first place.