Cryptocurrency Mining Bill Dies Down After New York Union ‘Opposes’

Cryptocurrency Mining Bill Dies Down After New York Union ‘Opposes’

In its memorandum of opposition, the union said New York “should be embracing” crypto as it is “likely to be adopted” by traditional financial institutions and national governments in the near future.

A bill from New York that would have put a three-year moratorium on cryptocurrency mining in the state has come to its end in the lower house of the US state’s legislature due to the union.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers wrote a memorandum of opposition that argued that the bill unfairly “targets the use of a specific technology.”

While the union “strongly support(s)” the goals of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, the proposed law would prohibit a business simply based on whether it obtains the power from a generator behind the meter or from the grid, they said.

Not to mention, there are already sufficient and rigorous processes in place that are required for the approval of energy generators and centers before their construction, operation, and expansion, it added.

“The bill singles out a specific business model — actually it would stop the operation and expansion of a specific facility — and would allow other very similar models in the game industry to continue.”

The memorandum further states that the bill also “fails to take into account the valid benefits of the technology behind the industry.”

The officials may fail to actually see the benefits the crypto industry provides and the speed at which it is growing, but the construction locals pointed it out to them very clearly.

“While relatively new, cryptocurrency is becoming increasingly mainstream as a payment method and financial investment,” they said while noting that mining centers are the key element of cryptocurrencies’ security.

The union then goes on to point out that the technology here is “likely to be adopted” by traditional financial institutions and even national governments in the near future due to its inherent security.

Instead of singling out and treating one business differently than the others because of their end-user, “New York should be embracing emerging technology” and all the opportunities this new technology brings in terms of jobs and financial security.

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Author: AnTy

New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) to Mint NFTs of its Largest IPOs of 2021

New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) to Mint NFTs of its Largest IPOs of 2021

New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) has joined the non-fungible token (NFT) crowd by announcing the launch of NYSE First Trade NFTs.

The idea is to commemorate the moment a company gets listed on the NYSE and trading for the first time — a “major milestone.”

During the public debut of a company, the exchange processes over 350 billion orders, quotes, and trade messages across its markets shared NYSE president Stacey Cunningham in a LinkedIn post.

“Only one of those messages marks the NYSE First Trade: the exact moment a company became public, creating an opportunity for others to share in their success.”

“The NYSE First Trade NFT memorializes that unique moment in a company’s history.”

After being the first with Direct Listings and then being at the forefront of SPACs, NYSE wants to try its hand at digital art, NFTs — “a fun way to mark the instant a company joins our community.”

These NFTs memorialize a company’s First Trade using the blockchain’s digital ledger, providing irrefutable proof of authenticity and ownership.

“First Trade Slips” starts with six NYSE listings that will include the largest initial public offerings (IPO) of 2021 so far, Spotify, SnowflakeDB, DoorDash, Coupang, Roblox, and Unity3D.

These NFTs can be accessed on Crypto.com, which recently launched its NFT platform.

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Author: AnTy

New York is Pilot Testing IBM’s Blockchain-Based Health App to Track COVID-19 Vaccinations

New York is Pilot Testing IBM’s Blockchain-Based Health App to Track COVID-19 Vaccinations

New York set to pilot IBM’s blockchain-based health app across the state to confirm an individual’s vaccination or recent negative COVID-19 test. The app was first tested in a Brooklyn Nets basketball game earlier this month.

New York governor, Andrew Cuomo, announced a pilot program to test the Excelsior Pass, a blockchain-based health app developed in partnership with IBM Technologies. In a statement during the “NY Governor’s 2021 State of the State Address”, Cuomo stated the app would confirm a person’s vaccination status or recent COVID-19 test to “get back to normal.”

“The Excelsior Pass will play a critical role in getting information to venues and sites in a secure and streamlined way, allowing us to fast-track the reopening of these businesses and getting us one step closer to reaching a new normal.”

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Excelsior Pass, a blockchain-based health app developed by IBM (Image: NY Gov)

The app will be tested at the Madison Square Garden and Barclays Center events to help fast-track the reopening of public spaces and events in the state.

The app will voluntarily ask users to share their health status through their mobile phones, and the data is then encrypted and stored on a blockchain safely. Steve LaFleche, General Manager, IBM Public, and Federal Market, said,

“This solution can provide New York, and other states, a simple, secure, and voluntary method for showing proof of a negative COVID-19 test result or certification of vaccination.”

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Author: Lujan Odera

New York Attorney General Warns Against Crypto Investing, says It ‘Could Cause Devastating Losses’

New York Attorney General Warns Against Crypto Investing, says It ‘Could Cause Devastating Losses’

New York Attorney General Letitia James has issued a warning against investing in cryptocurrencies.

“There are extreme risks in investing in virtual or cryptocurrencies,” she said. According to her, it is imperative that they act to protect the wallets of the investors, and as such,

“I’m warning New Yorkers and investors across the country that investing in this unstable market is not prudent and could cause devastating losses.”

“What should New Yorkers invest in? The lottery? Dollars? How about negative-yielding bonds?” commented trader and economist Alex Kruger on her warning.

While the NYAG office is being bearish on cryptocurrencies, lately, banks like BNY Mellon, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, and Citi are indulging in the crypto market and releasing their reports on the market’s bullish future.

The same day, Cboe also filed with the SEC to list a Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund (ETF). Trader Jonny Moe said,

“It is beyond disappointing that the AG of the state that led financial innovation for the prior century is this shortsighted. NY continues to prove that they will likely not continue to be the world financial leader through the next century, and as a local, that’s sad to see.”

James especially directed her warning towards cryptocurrency trading platforms.

“Let this also serve as a warning to those facilitating these trades: If you don’t play by the rules, we will not hesitate to shut down your operations.”

These comments came after last week NYAG settled with Tether and Bitfinex with the companies not admitting or denying any wrongdoing.

“We’re ending Bitfinex and Tether’s virtual currency trading in New York,” she said at the time. “Those trading virtual currencies in New York cannot avoid our laws, period.”

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Author: AnTy

Andrew Yang Wants to Make New York a Hub for Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies

Andrew Yang Wants to Make New York a Hub for Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies

First Wyoming, then Miami, and now New York, cryptocurrency adoption is rapidly growing.

As we reported, Miami Mayor, Francis Suarez, is working hard on getting the city to lead in technology advancement, and as such, he had gone full-on Bitcoin by enabling the employees to be paid in Bitcoin, taxes and resident fees to be filed in BTC and even putting the digital currency in the city’s Treasury.

But New York might soon compete with Miami to attract the crypto crowd.

Andrew Yang, who is running a campaign to be New York Mayor, and according to a new poll released Wednesday, is actually commanding a double-digit lead in the Democratic primary for mayor, has some big crypto plans for the city as well.

In December last year, Yang, an entrepreneur, and former Presidential candidate, officially filed paperwork to run for New York City mayor. This week, he shared his intention to make the city a bitcoin hub if elected. Yang tweeted,

“As mayor of NYC – the world’s financial capital – I would invest in making the city a hub for BTC and other cryptocurrencies.”

Yang has previously praised cryptocurrencies and advocated for clear regulations surrounding the sector.

New York’s State Department of Financial Services actually introduced BitLicense for businesses dealing in digital assets and granted several during the period of 2015 and 2019.

However, the crypto community isn’t really in support of this license, and even a lawsuit has been filed against NYDFS to abolish BitLicense because it created a “complex and burdensome” set of requirements.

“End the bitlicense,” replied Neeraj K. Agrawal of crypto policy think tank Coin Center to Yang’s tweet on Wednesday.

“Have seen countless companies leave NYC as a result of the overly arduous process, or not enter the market in the first place,” voiced Elizabeth Stark, the co-founder, and CEO of Lightning Labs, in support of Agrawal.

Yang is not the only Bitcoin proponent who is running for Mayor; Bitcoiner Chamath Palihapitiya, as we reported, has also been running a campaign to be California’s governor.

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Author: AnTy

ConsenSys Quorum, an Ethereum-backed Ledger Protocol, Teams Up With China’s BSN

Situated in New York, and renowned as Ethereum’s globally-known ledger protocol, ConsenSys has announced that it will be partnering with the China-based Blockchain Service Network (BSN), bringing the enterprise ledger, Quorum, to China.

What sets this partnership apart from others is down to i. As part of this partnership, Quorum will be made available across 80 different cities within China; all of which operate as public city nodes of BSN’s network. Quorum was previously developed as an open-source protocol layer for enterprise applications. Quorum was also used early on by the investment giant JP Morgan.

Charles d’Haussy, ConsenSys’ Director of Strategic Initiatives, cited China’s rapid growth in importance as a hub for strategic innovation and enterprise blockchain technology:

“China is a great example of where enterprise blockchain is a strong play… What Ethereum is doing with ConsenSys Quorum is connecting people who are essentially migrating from the permissioned chain to the global chain.”

For Quorum, the announcement represents an interesting change in fortunes. From being designed as a high-security, privacy-centric blockchain solution by JP Morgan, it fell into relative obscurity for some time, before being re-housed by ConsenSys. Even now, Quorum is a name that is synonymous with the bank and investment entity, even in d’Haussy’s mind.

“Quorum was very much associated with JPMorgan, but there was also this open-source software which was available to many developers. It may not have been apparent, but there was this large audience of enterprise users, and we are now bringing to this ecosystem other products and applications from ConsenSys.”

In contrast, Blockchain Service Network (BSN) was a relatively new initiative; having been established by Red Date Technology, a blockchain-based software company, along with China’s UnionPay, China Mobile, back in April 2020. Comprised of UnionPay and China mobile, BSN consists of a number of cloud environments and portals within China. What makes BSN such a valuable initiative comes from its connections to the Chinese government; being backed through the National Development and Reform Commission.

Simply put, BSN has been rapidly positioned as a major blockchain initiative within the country’s ‘Digital Silk Road,’ with BSN has deployed over 108 public city nodes in China. Over 88 cities and public cities are connected to this ecosystem as nodes across the world.

For BSN, this partnership would enable it to “substantially accelerate” its rollout to more cities worldwide, according to Red Date Technology CEO and Executive Director of the BSN Development Association,

“After the launch, BSN will include Quorum in BSN’s training programs in 2021 to substantially accelerate the enterprise adoption of blockchain technology and Ethereum-based solutions in China.”

In order to ensure global application, Red Date’s CEO added that the partnership would include longer-standing interoperability between the two blockchain protocols. Permissioned blockchain solutions, d’Haussy explained, represented the best start to any technical journey including large firms, but that it would very much be a long-term undertaking.

But d’Haussy continued on to say that small and larger-scale suppliers lack the connection they once did, and are more receptive to blockchain technology as a means of re-establishing that same connection.

“China’s industries, which are a global network of large and small suppliers, are not integrated as they were in the past… They are jumping on coordination tools such as blockchain.”

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Author: James Fox

NY Investment Firm, AllianceBernstein Says Investor Portfolios Should Hold 1% to 10% BTC

  • New York investment firm praises Bitcoin (BTC) as an alternative to gold in investors’ portfolios in the long term.
  • Bitcoin’s lower volatility makes a case for the top crypto as a “store of value and medium of exchange.”

One of the top New York investment firms, AllianceBernstein, is finally switching its calls on Bitcoin, stating investors need to own about 1% to 10% of the crypto in their portfolios. The multi-billion investment firm had previously cautioned investors from the top crypto due to BTC’s volatility and regulatory risks.

In the latest research note to the company’s investors, first mentioned on Coindesk, Inigo Fraser Jenkins, co-head of the portfolio strategy team at Bernstein Research, the research arm of AllianceBernstein, stated the current global changes in policies, investment environment, and diversification benefits is key to their change in sentiments on Bitcoin.

Previously in 2018, shortly after BTC hit an all-time high, the investment firm dismissed the coin as an investment asset, advising their clients against adding the coin to their portfolios. With BTC retesting all-time highs again on November 30, the asset manager “admits” that BTC has a role in asset allocation and diversification.

The current global pandemic has seen BTC register a less volatile price movement since a shocking dip below $3,500 back in March, the note stated. Jenkins states that the lower volatility in BTC during this period makes the asset “more desirable” for the long term investors – showing properties similar to gold as a store of value.

According to the note, during the pandemic, Bitcoin has witnessed a higher correlation with other assets, showing its promise as an investment asset. Bitcoin’s correlation with gold and the S&P 500 index reached an all-time high as BTC performance resurrected after the March crash. Jenkins said,

“From a narrow empirical point of view, the downward shift in [volatility] of bitcoin makes it more desirable, but its increased correlation points the other way.”

Notwithstanding, the research also states BTC protects the investors from inflation in a similar manner to gold. To this effect, BernsteinResearch compared the two assets. Despite BTC not “exactly moving in a way that would counteract inflation in a given fiat currency, it behaves as stores of value similar to gold.

The note advises investors to place about 1% to 10% of their portfolio in BTC following the crypto’s monthly return performance. While 1% could seem low compared to other assets, BTC is “empirically significant.” Jenkins wrote,

“The resulting allocation to bitcoin is low, but then within this simple optimization framework the allocation to some other asset classes is zero, so in that context, bitcoin seems to empirically be potentially significant.”

Jenkins’ research, however, does not give Bitcoin a free pass as an investment asset. The note lists inherent risks the cryptocurrency can face, such as government regulation, illicit use, and environmental concerns arising from mining as the currency’s adoption grows.

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Author: Lujan Odera

SkyBridge Capital Wants to Invest in Bitcoin & Digital Assets, Reveals SEC Filing

New York City-based global investment firm SkyBridge Capital founded by Anthony Scaramucci has filed Form 424B3 with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Nov. 13. As per this amendment, the $3.6 billion fund of the company will start investing in Bitcoin.

“The Company may seek exposure to digital assets (as defined herein) by investing in Investment Funds that provide exposure to digital assets,” and in companies that provide technologies related to digital assets or other emerging technologies.

The fund wishes to hold long and short positions in digital assets, known as “virtual currencies” and “cryptocurrencies” with no intrinsic value other than as a method of exchange, reads the amendment.

While having a limited history, these extremely volatile assets are typically “not issued or backed by any government, bank, or central organization.” These digital assets may trade on unregulated exchanges or are outside the US and can be shut down permanently.

It further says these assets shouldn’t be expected to be correlated or connected to traditional economic or market forces as they could decline rapidly, to even zero.

“Investment Funds may invest in digital assets without restriction as to market capitalization or technological features or attributes (including lesser-known or novel digital assets known as “altcoins”) and may invest in initial coin offerings, which have historically been subject to fraud.”

The investment may be in part or whole in digital assets or technologies that are “highly disruptive, and the future successes of such technologies are highly uncertain.”

Because of being a nascent space, the companies to be invested in maybe “rapidly eclipsed by newer and more disruptive technological advances that render current digital assets or technologies outdated or undesirable.”

Covering the regulatory aspect, the report says, it is “undefined and rapidly developing” and subject to “significant uncertainty.” This means the federal, state, or foreign governments may restrict the use and exchange of digital assets at any time, which could further limit investment funds’ ability to pursue investment strategies in digital assets or cause digital assets to lose significantly, or all, of their value.

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Author: AnTy

NYDFS Directing Banks & Crypto Companies to Address Risks of Climate Change

The New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) sent out a letter to banks, firms, and cryptocurrency businesses to pay attention to the financial risks associated with climate change, incorporate them into their business strategies, and develop ways to disclose and mitigate those risks.

This letter followed the same guidelines issued by the agency for the state’s insurance providers last month.

NYDFS is the only US member of the Network for Greening the Financial System, an international group of central banks and regulatory agencies that is focused on climate-related financial risks.

The letter noted that the US gross domestic product (GDP) sees damage of 1.2% with each rise of one-degree Celsius in global temperatures. As such, those communities that are hit harder by climate change can then lead to an increase in default rates, reduced lending activity, devaluations of assets, and losses.

As for the cryptocurrency businesses, it pointed out how studies suggest the environmental impact of mining digital currencies like Bitcoin can be substantial — annual consumption of energy is equivalent to Venezuela’s electricity usage, and carbon footprint is to that of New Zealand’s.

“The energy cost for mining virtual currencies is sizable compared to the value of the virtual currencies,” said Linda Lacewell, NYDFS Superintendent, in the letter.

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The agency wants digital currency firms to consider being more transparent about the location and equipment they use in Bitcoin mining, which is energy-intensive.

“DFS is developing a strategy for integrating climate-related risks into its supervisory mandate,” the letter concluded.

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse called this step from NYDFS “pivotal” and said instead of exacerbating the problem; Bitcoin needs to use more energy-efficient assets as it gains the attention and support of big and mainstream companies.

“XRP was built specifically to use negligible amts of energy,” chimed in Ripple CTO David Schwartz.

“The less it costs to start and run a node, the less decentralized a system will be if you think people being able to use it trustlessly going forward is important to decentralization,” added Schwartz on XRP being hard to audit “because it’s too expensive and nobody cares.”

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Author: AnTy

Coinbase Pro to List Balancer (BAL) and Ren (REN) In A Push Towards The DeFi Ecosystem

  • Coinbase announces the launch of Balance (BAL) and Ren (REN) trading on its professional exchange.
  • New York state and U.K residents locked out from trading the new tokens.

In an announcement on October 1, Coinbase revealed two new listings – Balancer (BAL) and Ren (REN) – expected to start trading on Coinbase Pro starting October 6 officially. The latest move shows Coinbase’s commitment to the decentralized finance world following the listing of over 10 DeFi tokens in the past three months, including Uniswap (UNI), Band Protocol (BAND), and Compound (COMP).

According to the listing statement starting Oct. 1, Coinbase’s professional trading exchange, Coinbase Pro, will be accepting REN and BAL token deposits. Trading these new DeFi tokens is expected to launch on Tuesday, 6th Oct at 9 AM Pacific Time (PT) if enough liquidity requirements are reached.

At launch, trading of Balancer and Ren will be paired with Bitcoin (BTC), and the dollar (USD) – BAL/USD, BAL/BTC, REN/USD, and REN/BTC – with more pairs are set to be added in the future.

The balancer is an Ethereum-based automated market maker (AMM) that lets users provide liquidity to the trading pool and receive trading fees as rewards (in BAL tokens) for being a liquidity provider. REN is a native token that enhances the transfer and swapping of tokens across blockchains.

As is custom for Coinbase, the trading of REN and BAL will launch in four phases – transfer-only, post-only, limit-only, and full trading. Trading of REN and BAL “will be available in all Coinbase’s supported jurisdictions, except for New York State and the U.K.,” the blog post reads.

More details will be provided by the exchange as the trading launch date nears.

Recent Coinbase News:

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Author: Lujan Odera