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New Crypto Rules in New York + More News

New Crypto Rules in New York + More News 101
Source: iStock/TexPhoto

Crypto Briefs is your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptocurrency and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.

Regulation news

  • The New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) issued their 'Proposed Guidance Regarding Adoption or Listing of Virtual Currencies,' which will modify the approval process for listing new cryptocurrencies. General public is invited to comment on two updates:
    1. A proposed DFS web-page that will contain a list of all coins that are permitted for the Virtual Currency Business Activities of the VC licensees, without the prior approval of DFS, which list may be updated from time to time, as long as such listed coins have not been subject to any modification, division, or change after their listing on the DFS web-page;
    2. A proposed model framework for a coin-listing or adoption policy that can be tailored to a VC licensee‘s specific business model and risk profile to create a firm specific coin listing or adoption policy that, if approved by DFS, will enable the licensee to self-certify the listing or adoption of new coins in addition to those listed under 1 above, without DFS’s prior approval.
    Coins currently contemplated for the list include Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Litecoin (LTC), Ripple (XRP), Paxos Standard (PAX), and Gemini Dollar (GUSD).

Adoption news

  • Hardware wallet developer Ledger has announced that is has begun staking support for the Tezos (XTZ) token via its Ledger Live app. In an official blog post, Ledger stated that its “users can now grow their assets through staking Tezos,” adding that staking options were now available both for mobile and desktop versions of the software.
  • Sportswear giant Nike has received a patent for a system that will allow it to tokenize footwear using the Ethereum blockchain – essentially granting customers crypto rewards for buying Nike shoes. Per a filing notice posted with the American Patent and Trademark Office, Nike says that it will generate unique IDs and create ERC 721-protocol tokens for certain footwear releases. Nike plans to grant its buyers access to the tokens after they have made their shoe purchases.
  • Hotel booking service Travala.com started accepting Gemini Dollar as a form of payment. The service says that GUSD became the first major stablecoin to be accepted on Travala.com.
  • Japan’s GMO Internet, one of the country’s most active mining and cryptocurrency trading operators, has released demographic data about its users. Per an official release, GMO says that in 2019, there was a rise in the number of female cryptocurrency owners, with women now accounting for 24.1% of its account holders – a rise from the 2018 figure of 16.3%. The company says that a larger number of younger customers have opened accounts in 2019, with an unspecified rise in the age 20-29 demographic.
  • Blockchain technology group, Bitfury, has partnered with and acquired a strategic position in the Shyft Network, a data aggregation and identity network, to launch a global identity ecosystem for governments and businesses. Per the announcement, the Shyft Network will launch with two major initial use cases:
    1. A FATF (Financial Action Task Force) Travel Rule compliance solution, enabling cryptocurrency exchanges to safely and compliantly share customer data when transferring funds;
    2. A digital identity framework to be deployed by governments, with the first official deployment in partnership with the Bermudian government.

Investment news

  • The American Securities and Exchange Commission’s legal action against chat app Telegram has unearthed information about investors in the latter’s TON mainnet and Gram token. All details about TON investors had been kept under wraps before the SEC’s intervention. But per RBC, SEC legal paperwork shows that the TON investor group includes individuals based in the CIS region, Israel and Russia, as well as the United States. Individual investors include the likes of WordPress creator Matt Mullenweg, Foursquare founder Naveen Selvadurai, Yelp chief Jeremy Stoppelman and Hong Kong-based fashion tycoon Silas Chou.
  • Digital Asset, the company behind the open source DAML smart contract language, has raised USD 35 million in Series C funding from new and existing investors, bringing the total amount raised since it was founded in 2014 to USD 150 million, says the company. The funds will be used to accelerate the adoption of DAML across multiple industries, expand the number and variety of DAML-enabled partner products and fund new products designed to enhance the DAML developer experience, specifically project:DABL, a cloud-based prototyping and production environment for DAML applications, they said.

Exchanges news

  • Crypto exchange OKEx said it has sealed a partnership with blockchain-powered electronic contract platform developer FirmaChain. OKEx added that customers would be able to use OKEx’s OKB token to make purchases on FirmaChain. The exchange noted that it would also list FirmaChain’s FCT token on December 18, 2019, with FCT deposit services available as of December 11, and FCT spot trading against Tether and Bitcoin beginning on December 18, with withdrawal services opening a day later.
  • Huobi Korea says it has partnered with cryptocurrency information disclosure platform Xangle. Hanguk Kyungjae reports that the exchange claims the partnership will help prove the transparency of its activities. Xangle – which is headquartered in Seoul – earlier this year sealed a similar deal with Coinone, one of South Korea’s biggest crypto exchanges.
  • Kraken will launch their new staking service on December 13, allowing users to leverage Proof of Stake (POS) holdings to safeguard crypto networks and obtain financial rewards, the exchange says. Among other things, Kraken says that the users will start earning rewards instantly, with no waiting or lockup periods, and with a 6% return staking Tezos, while they assume responsibility for safeguarding the staked assets.
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