What the CFTC Chairman Actually Said About Ether Futures and Ethereum 2.0

U.S. regulators are not yet sure about what to make of ethereum’s impending transition to a staking-based protocol.

Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman Heath Tarbert, who recently declared his view that the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization is a commodity that could support a futures market, said this week his agency is still evaluating whether this will remain true after ethereum upgrades its network sometime in the coming year.

Speaking at CoinDesk’s Invest: NYC conference on Tuesday, Tarbert said the CFTC and its sister agency, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), were both “thinking carefully” about the forthcoming Ethereum 2.0 upgrade which is designed to replace the coin’s current proof-of-work (PoW) model for transaction validation.

Read more:https://www.coindesk.com/what-the-cftc-chairman-actually-said-about-ether-futures-and-ethereum-2-0

Alibaba’s Ant Financial Starts Pre-Launch Testing of Business Blockchain

Ant Financial, the fintech arm of Chinese tech giant Alibaba Group, has launched the testing stage for its blockchain network aimed to support small and medium-sized businesses.

Speaking at the World Blockchain Summit at Wuzhen, China, Jieli Li, senior director of technology and business innovation at Ant Financial, said the tech underlying its Ant Blockchain Open Alliance is set to go live three months after the testing period, according to a report from Sina Finance.

Read more:https://www.coindesk.com/alibabas-ant-financial-starts-pre-launch-testing-of-consortium-blockchain

FBI Director: Cryptocurrency Is ‘Significant Issue’ for Law Enforcement

Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray says cryptocurrency is a “significant issue” that is likely to become a “bigger and bigger” problem for the law enforcement agency.

Speaking in front of the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Tuesday, Wray responded to questions from U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) about cryptocurrency, law enforcement and terrorist deterrence, saying:

“We are looking at it from an investigative perspective, including tools that we have to follow the money even in this new world that we’re living in.”

Read more:https://www.coindesk.com/fbi-director-cryptocurrency-is-significant-issue-for-law-enforcement

Malaysian Thieves Drill Through Wall to Steal 85 Crypto Machines

Malaysian authorities have apprehended five men charged with stealing 85 bitcoin machines. The police captured the men in a police raid on Nov. 2.

The Sun Daily reports that four men and one woman rented a building in Seremban, Malaysia, adjacent to a warehouse storing the bitcoin machines. The five drilled through the concrete wall connecting the two buildings. All the suspects were friends without past criminal records, The Sun writes.

Worth $10,300 each, the machines were most likely bitcoin mining rigs, although local police did not specify.

Read more:https://www.coindesk.com/malaysian-thieves-drill-through-wall-to-steal-85-crypto-machines

Digital Travel Firm Webjet Has Launched Its Booking Verification Blockchain

Digital travel agent Webjet has launched its long-in-development blockchain-based platform in a bid to remove disparities in hotel booking data.

Working in conjunction with Microsoft through the firm’s Azure blockchain-as-a-service sandbox since 2016, Webjet said Thursday the new Rezchain application will address hotel reservation snafus and overcharges by looking for data mismatches in real-time between customers, hotels and booking agents, and sending alerts if any are found.

Read more:https://www.coindesk.com/digital-travel-firm-webjet-has-launched-its-booking-verification-blockchain

US Prosecutors Charge Founder of ‘IGOBIT’ Token With Fraud

U.S. prosecutors charged Asa Saint Clair, the president of a nonexistent United Nations affiliate, with fraud Wednesday, alleging he defrauded investors using the IGOBIT digital token.

Prosecutors with the Southern District of New York alleged that Saint Clair lured investors to buy into the “World Sports Alliance” using his IGOBIT digital currency, promising investors equity the in organization from 2017 to September 2019.

Read more:https://www.coindesk.com/us-prosecutors-charge-founder-of-igobit-token-with-fraud

Ether on Lightning Is the Latest Bridge Crossing Crypto’s Great Divide

Ethereum developers are using the Lightning payments network to build bridges into the bitcoin ecosystem.

The venture-backed crypto startup Radar, best known for its decentralized exchange (DEX) relayers for 0x, just launched a service called RedShift, which allows people to pay a lightning invoice from an ethereum wallet.

Read more:https://www.coindesk.com/ether-on-lightning-is-the-latest-bridge-crossing-cryptos-great-divide

FATF Releases Guidance on Global Digital IDs as Use Cases Grow

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) wants financial institutions to prepare for the global expansion of digital identification systems.

FATF published its draft guidance on digital identity Thursday, for governments, regulated entities and other stakeholders to enforce anti-money laundering (AML) and counter financing terrorism (CFT) regulations.

The intergovernmental organization aims to address emerging security and transparency issues as the process of financial transactions become more digital, according to the guidance.

On its website, FATF listed a number of questions acting as “areas of focus,” requesting private stakeholders to provide feedback via email by Nov. 29, 2019.

Read More:https://www.coindesk.com/fatf-releases-guidance-on-global-digital-ids-as-use-cases-grow

Bitcoin Needs ‘Real Use Cases’ to Become Digital Gold, Says ICE Chief

Bitcoin might become “digital gold,” but first it needs to be used more in everyday business, Intercontinental Exchange’s chief executive said.

During a quarterly earnings call Thursday, ICE head Jeffrey Sprecher said that he sees use in transactions as the prerequisite to bitcoin becoming a long-term store of value. The company’s Bakkt subsidiary, which runs a bitcoin futures market, announced this week that it is developing an app for consumers to buy goods from merchants, beginning with Starbucks.

Read more:https://www.coindesk.com/bitcoin-needs-real-use-cases-to-become-digital-gold-says-ice-chief

Bitcoin and M-Pesa: Why money in Kenya has gone digital

When thinking about the future of money, many of us now invariably have thoughts about bitcoin. Where is it going? What role might it play in our financial lives? No matter what you think about it, bitcoin is great for starting a debate on where digital money is heading.

Africa is a place where bitcoin has major potential. But what you might not realize is how important electronic money already is to countries there such as Kenya. First, a little economic information about this East African nation. Kenya is one of the region’s largest economies with a GDP of $41 billion dollars. Fifty percent of its people live below the poverty line. Approximately 75 percent of people work in agriculture. According to the CIA World Factbook, on Kenya, “low infrastructure investment threatens Kenya’s long-term position as the largest East African economy.”

Read More:https://www.coindesk.com/bitcoin-and-m-pesa-why-money-in-kenya-has-gone-digital