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  Suddenly, Bitcoin to Be Officially Legal in India
Posted by: admin - 06-22-2017, 08:22 AM - Forum: News From Cryptocurrency Market - No Replies

[Image: 725_Ly9jb2ludGVsZWdyYXBoLmNvbS9zdG9yYWdl...5qcGVn.jpg]
CNBC India has revealed that the Indian government committee has ruled in favor of regulating Bitcoin.
On April 14, Cointelegraph reported that the Inter-Disciplinary Committee within India’s Ministry of Finance was actively investigating the legal status of Bitcoin and considering the possibility of regulating the market.
Efforts of Indian Bitcoin exchanges
Over the past three years, the big three Indian Bitcoin exchanges including ZebpayCoinsecure and Unocoin operated with self-regulated trading platforms with strict Know Your Customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering systems in place, despite the lack of regulations in the digital currency industry and market.
The efforts of the Bitcoin exchanges in India to self-regulate the market allowed the Indian government to reconsider the Bitcoin and digital currency sectors, regardless of the criticisms by several politicians that significantly lack knowledge in cryptocurrency.
On March 24, Cointelegraph reported that Kirit Somaiya, a member of parliament of the ruling BJP in India, was harshly criticized for his description of Bitcoin as a Ponzi scheme.
In a letter to the Finance Ministry and the Reserve Bank of India, Somaiya explained that Bitcoin is a pyramid Ponzi-type scheme. However, Somaiya was criticized for his inability to understand the structural and fundamental difference between a Ponzi scheme and Bitcoin.
The legalization of Bitcoin in India
In spite of the negative attitude of certain politicians, the Indian government has come to a decision to regulate the market and provide an even playing field for Bitcoin exchanges that have allocated a significant amount of resources to standardize the market and industry.
Back in April, Mohit Kalra, CEO of Coinsecure, one of the largest Bitcoin exchanges in India, told Cointelegraph in an interview that the Indian government has finally started to take Bitcoin seriously and are considering the possibility of regulating the market.
Kalra said:

Quote:“Finally, something positive for the industry. Authorities are now taking this technology seriously. We have been trying to get their attention for years now. I am glad it's all happening at the right time. At Coinsecure, we are seeing a massive increase in the number of users and volumes. We are positive with what will happen in these coming three months.”

On June 20, CNBC India announced that the Indian government committee has ruled in favor of regulating Bitcoin and is currently establishing a task force to create various regulatory frameworks with the aim of fully legalizing Bitcoin in the short-term.
Prior to the announcement of the Indian government, Chris Burniske, ARK Invest’s crypto lead, noted that the trading volumes in India have been on the rise. Burniske previously revealed that the Indian Bitcoin exchange market is responsible for processing around 11 percent of Bitcoin-to-USD trades.

Quote:Hello #India?? we've been expecting you! Very curious to see where this goes for #bitcoin. h/t @BKBrianKelly pic.twitter.com/9uacy5GZH9
— Chris Burniske (@ARKblockchain) June 15, 2017

The legalization of Bitcoin in India is expected to further increase trading volumes and Bitcoin activities in India by significant margins.

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  Illinois Government Sponsors Month-Long Blockchain Hackathon
Posted by: admin - 06-21-2017, 09:11 AM - Forum: News From Cryptocurrency Market - No Replies

The state of Illinois is backing an upcoming blockchain hackathon.
The IBI Hack, a month-long virtual hackathon set to begin on 1st July, is being organized by the Illinois Blockchain Initiative along with blockchain technology startup Fulcrum. The event is open to students and recent university graduates from around the world, with all entries due on 31st July.
IBI Hack is part of the Illinois Blockchain Month, a month-long initiative that will see a series of educational events hosted across the state focused on the tech. The events are aimed at trying to teach people what blockchains are and what they can do. 
State governor Bruce Rauner said in a statement:

Quote:"Illinois is the state of innovation, and I am proud to see our young men and women getting involved in the Illinois Blockchain Initiative Hack. Empowering our youth is empowering the future of Illinois."

The Illinois Blockchain Initiative was unveiled in November as part of a wide-ranging effort among state officials to tap the tech for public-sector applications. The initiative is backed by a number of state agencies, including the Cook County Registry of Deeds, which had previously looked at the concept of time-stamping documents with the bitcoin blockchain.
The hackathon represents the latest development in the blockchain experiments at the state of Illinois. Two weeks ago, several of Chicago’s largest enterprises have joined forces with the state government to launch a new blockchain center. In March, Illinois joined R3, the distributed ledger consortium that includes dozens of banks worldwide. 

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  Forfeit Your Bitcoin? Congressional Bill Draws Fire Over Border Check Rules
Posted by: admin - 06-20-2017, 08:46 AM - Forum: News From Cryptocurrency Market - No Replies

A group of US lawmakers wants to see cryptocurrency holdings declared at the nation's border – and advocates of the tech are pushing back.
Introduced last month, the Combating Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Counterfeiting Act of 2017 – which is actually the third iteration of a bill that debuted in 2011 – would bring a range of digital currency services under federal scrutiny, including those that provide transaction mixing services.
Yet, the provision that has attracted the particular ire of cryptocurrency advocates – especially those who prefer a regulation-light environment – is one that would make such holdings subject to disclosure requirements at US customs checkpoints. This means if a person trying to enter the country has more than $10,000 worth of bitcoin in their possession, under the proposed legal change, they would need to inform the relevant authorities.
Such requirements are already in place for payment methods like cash. But given the rising public profile of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, coupled with the perception among policymakers that they could be used to fund terrorist activities, is driving legislative efforts like the bill currently under consideration.
One observer, Joe Ciccolo of Canada-based BitAML, remarked that cryptocurrency has become the "new face in an old debate", going on to say that policymakers and law enforcement officials have long sought to expand the definition of what constitutes a "monetary instrument".
Ciccolo told CoinDesk:

Quote:"Earlier this decade, we saw a push to include 'prepaid access' such as gift cards. Law enforcement went so far as to pursue card readers to scan prepaid access devices for their balance. Now that digital currencies have gained traction, they've been included in the same conversation. As in the past, I suspect there will be strong opposition from across the financial services community."
Perianne Boring, president of the Chamber of Digital Commerce, a blockchain trade advocacy organization, said the legislation is "not necessary" given the existence of regulations from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), which require exchanges services to register as money transmission businesses and adhere to federal reporting requirements.
"While we encourage thoughtful and meaningful study of the prevention of cross-border financial crime, the storage of virtual currency carries different and complex considerations than those attributable to prepaid access," she told CoinDesk.
Asset grab
It's clear from the response that the frustration toward the measure isn't going anywhere. That anger surfaced in earnest over the past week or so in social media postings and fiery blog entries about the move.
One of the points of concern is a policy called 'civil asset forfeiture'. In the US, law enforcement officials have faced strong opposition to the rules, by which assets, particularly cash, can be seized if they are suspected of being connected to criminal activity. Proponents say it deters money laundering and – controversially – provides a funding means for police forces in the US.
Under the proposed bill, cryptocurrencies would be included in that definition, subject to confiscation by border agents.
The practice has drawn fire in recent years over instances in which innocent people have their funds taken from them, triggering legal processes that can play out for months or longer before any money is returned.
In one high-profile example in 2015, a US man had $16,000 in cash taken from him while he tried to relocate to Hollywood despite the fact that he wasn't suspected of a specific crime. And data published earlier this month by the Chicago Tribune illustrated how the policy tends to target lower-income residents who, if anything, are guilty of crimes of lower severity, if at all.
Investor and writer Simon Black, who pens the Sovereign Man blog, took aim at this aspect of the bill by declaring that, in the eyes of the US government, "bitcoin is evil" and should be up for grabs by border agents.
"So, theoretically if you leave the US with more than $10,000 in bitcoin or ether, you'd have to confess this fact to the authorities or otherwise face the aforementioned penalties, ie prison time, civil asset forfeiture, etc," Black wrote.
"HOORAY FREEDOM!" he added.
Fighting on
Thus far, the bill hasn’t advanced significantly since being introduced last month, public records show. On 25th May, the measure was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee for further consideration.
At press time, representatives for Senators Chuck Grassley and Diane Feinstein hadn't responded to CoinDesk requests for comment. The bill is also being sponsored by Senators John Cornyn and Sheldon Whitehouse, constituting a group of two Republicans and two Democrats.
But at least one person is moving to wage a war against the bill’s provisions: Theo Chino, who as profiled by CoinDesk last November, has waged a persistent campaign against the New York State Department of Financial Services BitLicense regulatory framework.
He told CoinDesk in an email that he has set up a webpage with the relevant contact information for the senators who are sponsoring the bill. Chino himself has been reaching out to offices in an effort to educate lawmakers on what he described as "misunderstandings of the technology".
"This 'over-criminalization' of bitcoin, based on common misunderstandings of the technology and its economic nature should be worrisome to the bitcoin and technology communities," he told CoinDesk.
The two main advocacy groups in Washington, DC – the Chamber of Digital Commerce and Coin Center – are said to be in contact with the relevant Congressional offices. Though it declined to comment on this story, Coin Center indicated on Twitter that it's reaching out amid the furor.
"We are aware of S 1241, are in touch with the relevant folks in Congress, and will post an analysis soon," executive director Jerry Brito wrote on Twitter.
Chino – who in an email called the bill a "sham" – spoke to the grassroots effort taking place, and said that he’s still reaching out to people who have posted on Reddit as part of a broader bid to get constituents to contact the senators involved.
"One call from a constituent has so much impact," he said.

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  F2Pool Announces Support For SegWit2x
Posted by: admin - 06-19-2017, 10:35 AM - Forum: News From Cryptocurrency Market - No Replies

[Image: 725_Ly9jb2ludGVsZWdyYXBoLmNvbS9zdG9yYWdl...5qcGc=.jpg]
With all the chaos and division around the looming August 1 deadline for UASF/UAHF scaling questions, companies and mining pools have been making statements for or against different positions. F2Pool is the next company to put their flag in the ground.
The announcement indicated F2Pool’s support of the New York Agreement, as well as SegWit2x. Echoing other recent industry announcements, F2Pool did indicate that the support is contingent on SegWit2x being technologically mature.
The group also made some statements regarding the nature of the scaling propositions that have been offered.
They indicated that scaling is effectively a software upgrade and that an upgrade should include a technologically mature software, an embracing by the community and a vote by the miners.

Quote:"F2Pool verbalized its support for miners, stating the “miners are, without doubt, the protector and guardian in the development of Bitcoin.”

SegWit2x
The support for SegWit2x is based on a belief that SegWit is both technologically mature and feasible since it has been successfully deployed on a number of wallets, as well as activated on Litecoin.
The move also ensured that F2Pool would not become a hindrance to the further development of Bitcoin. Undoubtedly, detractors will have some responses, but the move highlights the continued and increasing support SegWit may well receive as the deadline approaches.

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  El Jadida and attractive Rabat
Posted by: ericwatson239 - 06-19-2017, 09:31 AM - Forum: InvestorsCare - Lounge - Replies (1)

An instant in beautiful Marrakesh, visits to El Jadida and attractive Rabat are all included before you reach at the primitive capital of Morocco, Fez.( Cheap Holidays to Morocco ) With its convoluted Fes el-Bali beautiful Medina, 14th-century spiritual colleges and antique ramparts, Fez has the best-preserved old city in the Arab world. It is also home base to the great Qarawiyyin University, the eldest university in the world.

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  South Korean Government to Auction Off $518,000 Worth of Bitcoin
Posted by: admin - 06-16-2017, 08:36 AM - Forum: News From Cryptocurrency Market - No Replies

On June 14, Local publications including the Seoul Economic Daily revealed the plans of the South Korean government to auction of 216 bitcoins worth around $518,000 at the time of reporting, seized during a series of previous investigations into illicit financial activities.

The Korea Asset Management Corporation (KAMCO), an asset management arm of the South Korean government which oversees state-owned properties and taxes, announced in a press conference that digital currencies such as bitcoin can be auctioned off by the government because they are not considered as non-auctionable assets by the South Korean law.
A statement of a KAMCO representative translated by CCN read:

Quote:With the exception of currencies, assets and securities are auctionable by the South Korean government. Although it is the first auction involving a digital currency overseen by the South Korean government, investors and the public can consider bitcoin as an asset that changes in value over time.
More to that, a KAMCO representative told local publications that once seized, assets, securities and digital currencies such as bitcoin immediately become properties of the government. Through the utilization of a system called “on-bid,” law enforcement agencies and financial regulators can conduct direct auctions to the public to sell seized items from previous investigations, with the exception of the South Korean national currency and reserve currencies.

According to sources, the cyber investigation department of the South Gyeonggi Provincial Police Agency arrested 33-year-old Ahn for operating an illicit website or a marketplace. In South Korea, any form of gambling is strictly prohibited and web-based marketplaces that distribute inappropriate content are banned by the government.
Ahn operated an illicit web-based marketplace which accepts bitcoin for payments. Investigators of the South Gyeonggi Provincial Police Agency arrested Ahn and seven individuals suspected of co-operating the marketplace with Ahn. During the investigation, the local police seized 216 bitcoins, which increased in value by around 2.4x within a two-month period.
Although the South Gyeonggi Provincial Police Agency and KAMCO did not reveal additional details in regard to the web-based marketplace Ahn launched and operated, it is likely an online gambling platform or pornography site, two types of websites that are strictly banned by the South Korean government. During the press conference, KAMCO told reporters that bitcoins that will be auctioned off later this year will most likely be sold at lower rates in comparison to major bitcoin exchanges such as Bithumb, Korbit and Coineone, the three largest bitcoin exchanges in South Korea.
Since the beginning of 2017, the South Korean bitcoin exchange market has transformed into a major bitcoin exchange market after overtaking the Chinese, European and Japanese bitcoin exchange markets in terms of daily trading volume and market share over the global bitcoin exchange market. In consideration of the explosive demand toward bitcoin and other digital currencies and assets such as Ethereum, Ripple and Ethereum Classic within South Korea, it is unlikely that the bitcoins at the auction will be sold at a substantially lower rate than the South Korean bitcoin exchange market rate. However, because the auction begins with a relatively low base price, representatives of KAMCO predict the 216 bitcoins to be sold at a much lower rate than the trading price listed on exchanges including Bithumb, Korbit and Coineone.
Once auctioned, KAMCO stated that 3 percent of the auctioned amount will be considered as a fee and the rest of the amount will be returned back to the South Korean treasury.

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  Australian Politician Calls for Bitcoin Scrutiny in Fight Against Terrorism
Posted by: admin - 06-15-2017, 12:36 PM - Forum: News From Cryptocurrency Market - No Replies

A major Australian politician is calling for the government to increase its oversight on bitcoin.
In a speech Tuesday, first reported by The RegisterAustralia's opposition leader Bill Shorten suggested that government regulations on bitcoin should be more stringent to mitigate the chance it could be used illicitly by terrorists and cybercriminals.
Shorten, who leads the Australian Labor Party argued that as criminals are already seeking to "obscure their financial deals", and that digital currencies could become a prime target for exploitation when paired with the anonymity afforded by the dark web.
Shorten said:

Quote:"We must target this threat head on. As terrorists adapt their methods and seek to hide online, we must ensure our agencies have the tools, resources and technology so terrorism has no place to hide.
The comments are the latest sign out of Australia that the government is beefing up its efforts to regulate and control encryption services.
Earlier this month, both Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and attorney general George Brandis went public with their belief that the pervasive use of encryption is proving problematic for law enforcement.
Further, the developments come amidst a wave of new increased attention for the more negative use cases of bitcoin. Following major ransomware attacks, law enforcement discussion now appears more active and critical of the emerging technology.

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  Ethereum Google Searches Rise Above Bitcoin For the First Time Ever
Posted by: admin - 06-14-2017, 10:08 AM - Forum: News From Cryptocurrency Market - No Replies

Ethereum became the most searched for digital currency in the United States yesterday, rising above bitcoin for the first time ever, in a potential sign that a shift may be underway.
[Image: google-searches-ethereum-above-bitcoin.png]Ethereum google searches rise above bitcoin for the first time ever.
Google searches for ethereum briefly overtook bitcoin in the United Kingdom as well, ranked higher in Singapore more consistently, while South Korea has seemingly fallen in love with ethereum.
[Image: south-korea-ethereum-far-higher-than-bitcoin.png]Google searches for ethereum in South Korea rank far higher than for bitcoin.
Worldwide, Google searches for bitcoin remained higher, but while the top countries searching for it are places like Bolivia, Nigeria, Ghana, Colombia, far richer countries are searching for eth.
The top ranking countries for ethereum are places like Singapore, Australia, Netherlands, Switzerland, with the United States, Germany, UK and Canada, as well as South Korea, all in the top 20.
The discrepancy is interesting because it may suggest information has simply not yet reached countries like Ghana, a developing nation lacking much banking infrastructure which bitcoin promised to provide.
Unfortunately, bitcoin’s transaction fees are now higher than what a middle class Ghanan or Nigerian earns in a day, with the currency now unsuitable even for international remittance.
So a switch appears to be underway from bitcoin to ethereum which has far lower fees and plans to scale onchain to as good as unlimited capacity, potentially making it appealing to developing nations.
But it is ethereum’s breakthrough smart contracts invention that has grabbed the imagination of more developed countries such as Austria and Netherlands.
Nethereland’s national grid is piloting the use of blockchain technology for better management of energy supply and demand misbalances, while Royal Dutch Shell and other energy giants have joined forces to launch an ethereum blockchain initiative.
In South Korea, Samsung has joined the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance, while in Japan, Toyota is piloting the use of ethereum’s blockchain for self-driving cars.
So, simple bitcoin like payments are just one aspect of Ethereum, but even there the currency is making inroads as Pastebin becomes the first prominent service provided to accept eth for payments.

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  $150 Million: Tim Draper-Backed Bancor Completes Largest-Ever ICO
Posted by: admin - 06-13-2017, 10:04 AM - Forum: News From Cryptocurrency Market - No Replies

An initial coin offering (ICO) for a blockchain project called Bancor has set a new industry record, raising approximately $153m in ether, the native currency on the ethereum blockchain, as part of a crowdsale that concluded today.
Data shows a smart contract connected to the sale had collected more than 390,000 ether by the time it ended at 18:00 UTC, an amount worth $152.3m at current prices. As such, the figure is higher than even the funding raised by The DAO, the notorious failed fundraising project that made headlines last year when it lost the millions of the $152m in investor funds it raised in a similar sale.
Overall, 79,323,978 Bancor network tokens (BNTs) were created as part of the ICO, with the top token holders now possessing 83.96% of the tokens, or 66,601,702 BNT. Fifty percent of the total tokens, or 39,661,989 BNT, were sold to the public, while the remaining 50% were allocated for future use.
The ICO attracted 10,885 buyers, according to available data, with more than 15,000 transactions sent to the address for purchases during the sale. One buyer went so far as to purchase 6.9m BNT, or roughly $27m, in the sale.
[Image: Bancor-Token-Holder-Allocation-728x459.png]
Launched in 2017, Bancor, overseen by the Bprotocol Foundation, has been pitched as a platform designed to make it easier for users to launch their own blockchain tokens.
Of the remaining funds, a blog post by the company states token capital will be directed toward partnerships, community grants, public bounties and project advisors.
[Image: Token-Allocation-and-Use-of-Proceeds.png]
Issues with the sale
As with past sales of this kind, the ICO was accompanied by reports that the ethereum network faced significant transaction loads, resulting in delays for buyers.
However, the project itself was adversely affected by long wait times on ethereum.
According to the Bancor website, an initial funding target was set at 250,000 ether, though this figure was not hard-coded into the smart contract deployed. As a result, a transaction sent on the ethereum blockchain in an effort to change the contract and limit the crowdsale in length did not work as desired.
Due to network disruption and delays holding up this transaction, the company said the crowdsale ended up continuing longer than initially desired. Overall, it lasted an two additional hours as a result of the delay.
Posts on social media further suggest that at least some users saw transaction issues during the sale. One thread on Reddit drew complaints about transactions being dropped as long as 35 minutes after they were sent to the ICO address.
Some participants who spoke to CoinDesk also said that they had experienced delays in transacting, including one who had issues moving their ethers off an exchange for the purposes of participating in the ICO.
One exchange operator went so far as to argue that the ICO had increased transaction congestion, colorfully remarking that larger ether buyers were disrupting the sale.
Notable investors
Another factor contributing to the frenzy is that, as sale was getting underway, Bancor revealed it had attracted new and notable investors.
Among those announced to be contributing funds was investor Tim Draper of VC fund Draper Fisher Jurvetson. Though new to the ICO space – he previously backed the Tezos project ahead of its yet-to-be-held offering – Draper has invested in a number of bitcoin startups in the past few years.
In 2014, Draper made headlines when it emerged that he had bought 30,000 bitcoins during US government auction, later picking up an additional 2,000 BTC during a second sale. As part of the funding, Draper will also be joining the project as an advisor.
The Bancor sale was also backed by Blockchain Capital, an investment firm that focuses on startups in the space.
According to a blog post published today, Blockchain Capital is making its investment via its BCAP token, which it launched earlier this year.
'Insane' speculation
In the blockchain community, the reverberations of the sale were felt far and wide among market observers, many of whom expressed disbelief at the funding totals raised.
Some commentators, when reached by CoinDesk, simply responded by calling the investment 'insane'. Likewise, when asked if the total raised was related to project's fundamentals, Jaxx director of business and community and bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem simply responded: "No."
Even proponents of the token sale model found fault with the sale.
Nick Tomaino, a former business development manager at Coinbase and principal at Runa Capital, remarked that he hadn't been following the project due in part to the level of hype that it had attracted.
In particular, Tomaino took issue with how the project popularized news about investments in its token supply, noting the blog post that advertised investor Tim Draper's personal contribution.
"Posting that the day of a token sale is not something that many teams really building something valuable would do," he told CoinDesk. He later added that he doesn't rule out founding teams, though, and that Bancor could well succeed in the face of doubts about its long-term value.
Still, others took it as a positive sign of market maturity. Among those to comment on the sale was JoyStream founder Bedeho Mender, who suggested that the raise had given him some pause, stating:

Quote:"As someone actually building a decentralized application on bitcoin, it really makes me think what I am giving up in terms of community support and funding by staying on the platform."
Representatives for Bancor did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
ICO boom
The blow-out sale follows other offerings in recent weeks that have generated significant activity, putting new attention on the token sale model as a method of project capitalization.
More notable entries have included web browser startup Brave, which raised $35m at then-current ether prices in just under seconds. Gnosis, an ethereum-based prediction market, also attracted a bevy of speculators for its $12.5m sale in April.
Indeed, the ICO model has emerged as an alternative to traditional venture capital in recent months, though some observers have questioned whether the speculative frenzy taking place today is a healthy one.
Others still have criticized ICOs as vehicles for scams that take advantage of an uninformed public's thirst for big gains in emerging technology.

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  US State Department Offers Blockchain Development Internship
Posted by: admin - 06-12-2017, 11:35 AM - Forum: News From Cryptocurrency Market - No Replies

Over the past few years, private investors have poured billions of dollars into blockchainresearch. More recently, national governments have begun to explore potential distributed ledger applications. To this end, The U.S. Department of State has launched Blockchain@State, a working group created to “research applications of Blockchain or distributed ledger technologies in U.S. foreign policy.”

According to the project proposal, the department recognizes that blockchain technology is a disruptive force that could benefit many industries. Like many private sector innovators, the creators of Blockchain@State believe that although the concept originated with bitcoin, its applications extend far beyond digital currency.

Quote:Blockchain is not just for bitcoin. And it’s not just for the private sector.
The purpose of the project is to use this technology to improve and transform government functions such as international diplomacy.
Blockchain@State Internship
Blockchain@State is seeking an e-intern to assist the project by researching developments in blockchain technology. His or her primary task will be to monitor academic, news, and blog articles published about distributed ledger technology and prepare bi-weekly briefings for Thomas Debass, the department’s Director for Innovation and the Acting Special Representative for Global Partnerships.

State is offering the internship through the Virtual Student Foreign Service (VSFS), a program that connects students with federal employees to collaborate on innovative projects. The project lists no specific applicant requirements aside from basic research, writing, and political analysis skills, although it states the ideal applicant:
Quote:will have an interest in technology and foreign affairs as well as excellent communications skills.
Interested students can apply for the project from July 2-26 at USAJOBS.gov.
Other Government Blockchain Research
The United States is not the first government to seek to capitalize on the possibilities of the blockchain. Australia’s chief scientific research organization recently released two reportsrecommending increased research and development into trustworthy blockchains. The Russian state-owned bank Vnesheconombank (VEB) also plans to test a project management system based on the blockchain.

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