Bitcoin Handout, Mining Difficulty, Estonian CBDC Research + More News
Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.
Crypto adoption news
- Blockchain advocacy group Chamber of Digital Commerce Political Action Committee (PAC) will be contributing USD 50 worth of bitcoin (BTC) to the campaign of each member of the US Congress in a bid to raise awareness about cryptocurrencies, and to give congresspeople a chance to interact with blockchain technology and digital assets. According to the press release, this new "Crypto for Congress" initiative will also provide a toolkit, as well as online educational training, to assist them engage directly with cryptocurrencies. The initiative is supported by members of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus including pro-cryptocurrency Representatives Darren Soto and Tom Emmer, they added.
- The Estonian central bank, Eesti Pank, said that it has struck key deals with two IT firms as part of a “multi-year research project” into a proposed central bank digital currency (CBDC) launch. The bank said, in a press release, that it had penned deals with a domestic blockchain firm named Guardtime and the UK-based SW7 Group to “research how technologically suitable the Estonian e-government core technology is for operating a CBDC.”
- More South Korean exchanges are set to join the crypto staking craze. Per the Electronic Times, market leaders Bithumb and Upbit have both made official announcements regarding the imminent launch of new staking services – and have been followed by Neofly, the crypto subsidiary of gaming giant Neowiz. The latter is offering a staking service for Kakao’s klay token. Others are expected to follow suit soon, although an industry official claimed that a lack of regulation on the legality or otherwise of staking means that the trading platforms are essentially taking a leap of faith.
- Bitfinex has announced today staking rewards for cardano (ADA). Per the emailed press release, ADA joins EOS, cosmos (ATOM), v.systems (VSYS), and tezos (XTZ), already available for staking on the platform. Staking enables customers to earn rewards up to 4.3% per year by depositing and holding ADA tokens, the exchange claimed.
- The operators of the Shanghai legal system’s blockchain-powered notary platform said the service has already handled more than 3,000 cases. According to media outlet Jiemian, around 40 firms have registered to use the service since it went online earlier this year, with banks, other major financial institutions and “large companies” processing some 2,200 legal documents on the paper-free platform. A similar platform has also been developed in Suzhou.
- Bitcoin (BTC) mining difficulty, which is the measure of how hard it is to compete for mining rewards, has remained almost unchanged during the adjustment on October 4 - it slipped by 0.09% to 19.30 T from 19.31 T.
- Los Angeles- and London-based investment management company Wave Financial Group has expanded its team with a number of new hires, aiming to meet the demand for its digital asset wealth management treasury services and fund product offerings, said the emailed press release. They hired: former Soreco Trading commodity broker and BitBull Capital partner Constantin Kogan as a Managing Director; California-registered investment advisor Jack Lu as a Client Service Analyst; and investment and risk management analyst Uyanga Batbold as a Trading Analyst.
- Italian payments providers Nexi and Sia are set to finalize a merger that will create one of Europe’s largest fintech groups in terms of merchants servicing, with a market valuation of some EUR 15bn (USD 17.65bn), reported The Financial Times, citing three people involved in the negotiations. Nexi is focused on the Italian market, while SIA generates a third of its revenue abroad, with its biggest domestic client being UniCredit.
- Companies that facilitate ransomware payments to cyber actors on behalf of victims, including financial institutions, cyber insurance firms, and companies involved in digital forensics and incident response, not only encourage future ransomware payment demands but also may risk violating regulations, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control warned in an advisory, issued last week.