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US Treasury believes Libra could be used for Money Laundering or Financing Terrorism

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The 77th Secretary of the US Treasury had in a Press Conference held in the White House made known government position on the Facebook attempt into cryptocurrency. In the Conference, the Secretary expressed the concerns over Facebook Libra and Calibra saying it could be used for money laundering or financing of terrorism.

Facebook has since last year 2018 been preparing for its move into cryptocurrency by hiring engineers, a move after it had place a ban on crypto ads a year before. In June 2019, the social media giant released its white paper outline its goal to build a new financial system using the blockchain with massive corporations ranging acting as validators.

The attempt to create its “globalcoin” attracted backlash from the crypto community and as well as countries of the world which say the move as a threat to their local currency. Chiefly amongst the latest move by a foreign nation is the India’s decision to have nothing to do with Libra within its sovereign borders.

Facebook upon releasing the Libra white paper received a correspondence from the US Congress signed by Maxine Waters amongst others asking it to halt Libra or risk the emergence of a new Swiss financial system that is too big to fail. Congress requested Facebook to appear before it. The date is set for July 16, however, and top US officials are expressing their position on the Libra and its fate appears hanging.

The 45th Leader of the free world has few days ago said the Facebook Libra will have “little standing”. A comment which US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin credited as the President’s personal opinion and not that of the State. However, in the Press Conference today, the Secretary said the Treasury has very serious concerns Libra could be used for money laundering or financing terrorism.

“……..the overall goal is to maintain the integrity of the financial system and protect it from abuse.” – Steve Mnuchin

And as cryptocurrencies has been exploited by many players to facilitate illegal activities such as cybercrime, tax evasion, illicit drugs, human trafficking, While the US government welcomes innovations that may improve the efficiency of the financial system and expand access to financial services, Libra poses a threat to the financial stability and integrity of the US financial system.

Facebook is currently trading as at press time at $203 showing a closing loss of 0.47% after opening at $204 and reaching a height of $205.53 today.

 

 

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Top Blockchain Projects with Highest Development Activity in July, 2019

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Cryptocurrency and Blockchain industry continues to see increasing growth as differing players come unto the industry leveraging the technology to solve problems or to better existing solutions.

 

As the industry continues to grow with various projects coming up to provide ingenious products as solutions to society’s challenges, these projects are heavily invested by funds of investors and as such, keeping them on watchlist to see their progress is of great importance to investors and to other cryptocurrency and blockchain enthusiast who would need the solutions for various reasons.

This is why I have compiled the top 10 most active projects in the month of July taking data from State of the Dapp and Consensys.

There are various ways to monitor the activity of a project, this can be achieved by looking at their code repo, social media activity, market activities etc.

This list is compiled using the level of activities they had made in the month of July on github. It should be understood the level of activity on github is not definitive indicator of a project’s success since some projects that has completed their product do not need to be updating their github.

 

Top 10 Projects With Highest Github Activities

  1. Status

According to data from State of the Dapp, Status tops the list with the highest developer activities on Github. In a space of 30 days in July, 2019, Status had made 6666 events. An impressive feat which may not come as a surprise to those familiar with what they are building. Status is a messenger, crypto wallet, and Web3 browser built with state of the art technology.

  1. Storj

Storj is a decentralized cloud storage network. It is the second in this list haven made 5633 commits in the last month of July. Storj is working towards the launch of the final phase of its alpha named Beacon. Storj is an open-source platform that leverages the blockchain to provide end-to-end encrypted cloud storage services.

  1. Aragon

Aragon makes number three on the list. In the month of July made 3779 commits on github. The project Aragon “empowers you to freely organize and collaborate without borders or intermediaries. Create global, bureaucracy-free organizations, companies, and communities”.

  1. Cosmos

Reporting over 20% reduction in its commit in the previous month, Cosmos made 3492 commits on github in the month of July. This makes it the top 4 in that month.

 

  1. Ox

With tens of projects using the Ox software, Ox boasts of high dapp activities. This must have made it increase its activity over 75% resulting in 3268 commits on Github.

 

  1. Gnosis

Prediction platform based on the Ethereum blockchain, Gnosis has remain steady in its activity. In the month of July, it reported github repository commits of 3211, though a little less than the previous month of June.

  1. IoTex

Iotex claims to be a privacy-centric blockchain platform to power the “Internet of Trusted Things”. The IoTex Mainnet is the origin of the internet of Trusted Things, where any physical and virtual things are able to exchange information and value at global scale.

In July, it was able to make 3199 github events thus putting it on the top 7 projects.

 

  1. Origin Protocol

Origin Protocol is a platform for creating decentralized marketplaces on the blockchain. It was able to in the month of July make 2966 commits.

  1. High Fidelity

Topping number 9 is the virtual reality platform High Fidelity. It reported a 2855 events last month.

  1. Augur

Augur is a decentralized oracle and peer to peer protocol for prediction market that is free, public, open source software. It is a set of smart contract written in Solidity that can be deployed on the Ethereum blockchain.

In July, Augur made 2280 events on github making it the 10th project in the industry with highest activity on github for the month of July 2019.

 

Nothing remains the same in cryptocurrency industry. As someone once told me, a year in the traditional financial markets is like few minutes in crypto. These projects could have been displaced. However, what matters is that they are producing results and advancing daily.

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United States Finds Potential Use for Blockchain In The Energy Sector

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In a report titled Bitcoin, Blockchain, and the Energy Sector, the US Congress has released a report via its Congressional Research Service detailing potential applications of blockchain technology in the country’s energy sector.

According to the report dated 9th of August, 2019, the US legislators examined the current state of the cryptocurrency industry with emphasis on cryptocurrency mining.

The report discussed the requirements of mining cryptocurrency using Proof of Work POW consensus, saying it requires “substantial energy“. The energy is to operate the devices computing the calculations required to maintain the integrity of the blockchain and to thermally regulate the devices for optimal operation.

Quoting estimates of power consumption in 2018, it says energy usage range between 2500 MW and 7670 MW and this comparably is nearly 1% of electricity generating capacity in the United States.

On Co2 emissions impact as a result of mining cryptocurrencies, the report maintains that “opinions differ”.

As the demand for energy to mine cryptocurrency increases, the governments of the world are developing policies to respond to the growing demand for power as there has been various mention of power theft as a result of some form of restrictions owing to the burden the mining facilities are putting on the power infrastructure.

It should be recalled that few weeks ago, the Iranian government legitimize cryptocurrency mining as an industry in the country. The study highlighted States that are attractive to miners such as Canada, Georgia etc.

In spite of the energy demands of the mining of cryptocurrency in the United States, the report highlighted the government’s efforts to improve the energy efficiency of mining operations.

And despite the challenges of cryptocurrency mining to the energy sector, the report presented the opportunities for blockchain technology such as electric vehicle charging infrastructure and distributed energy resources amongst others the report said.

Image Credit: house.gov

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Special Adviser to the Governor, Akwa Ibom State As A Guest Speaker in the Unveiling of Africa’s First Cryptocurrency ATM Card At The SIN3 Conference in Akwa Ibom

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A Special Adviser to the Akwa Ibom State Governor MefLyn Anwana made a guest appearance on the Steemit in Nigeria Blockchain Conference holden in the Capital city of Akwa Ibom  State, Uyo on the third day of the Steemit in Nigeria  Conference.

The conference which is themed “Gearing Nigeria for the Blockchain/Cryptocurrency Space” is scheduled to hold from the 6th of August to the 11th of August with exciting, informative and transformative sessions.

The First Africa Cryptocurrency ATM Card was unveiled in the third day of the Steemit in Nigeria Blockchain Conference. The Cryptocurrency Card is a product of BitFXT Technologies, owner of Bitfxt.com cryptocurrency exchange.

The BitFXT Cryptocurrency ATM Card enables cryptocurrency users to utilize their digital assets in their everyday lives.

Speaking on the blockchain and cryptocurrency technology in Nigeria, MefLyn Anwana said “Nigeria has been pre-exposed to Blockchain and Cryptocurrency, but only few people are fully integrated into this fast growing sector”.

She expressed the non-encouraging approach of the nation to the ingenious technology of blockchain in spite of advancement by other nations.

Commenting on blockchain and politics, today there are serious concerns world over ranging from unemployment, terrorism, armed conflicts etc however, she believe the answer does not belong to any part of the political divides but a consensual, conscious and concerted effort made to advance humanity. The reality is that the humans are living through a technological revolution and blockchain is one of the most amazing technologies.

Aspiring attendees, she said speaking on the digital revolution “this revolution will give huge opportunities to the people who get it and who understands it early” and when blockchain is integrated in Nigeria,” we will have a change in the digital paradigm of our country. Financial institutions, schools, private and public enterprises will adopt and introduce blockchain and cryptocurrency in their various units”.

MefLyn Anwana concluding said history is marked by the rise of new technologies and the creativity they unlock. This is our moment as a country, this is our time. Welcome to the future.

Steemit in Nigeria is currently ongoing in the Capital City of Uyo.

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BitMinutes Announce A 2 Million Naira Prize for Bitminutes Registered Agents in Nigeria Ahead of its Mega Event in September.

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Bitminutes via its Facebook Page had announced few hours ago the official launch of its Mega event coming up in September 14th, 2019 where registered agents will  stand the chance of winning over 2 million naira cash prize and gifts items.

BitMinutes are prepaid mobile minutes that provide financial services to over 2 billion consumers in 70 countries. Micro-loans are too small/unprofitable for banks, so consumer pay high interest rates. BitMinutes turn any corner retailer into the corner banker, offering micro-loans at 50% discount to current rates.

Having identified the challenges of access to fund via transfers in rural areas and inability to access micro-loans from banks and non-banks lenders with higher interest rates, BitMinutes aims to provide unmatched financial services to 2 billion people providing “prepaid minutes” usable in over 4 billion cellphones on 300 carrier network in more than 100 countries as at today.

BitMinutes utilizes the Ethereum and/or Ripple Blockchain in recording transactions to achieve trust. It employs smart contracts to create Smart Loans.

Trusted Agent Network (TAN) Agent helps bring affordable, secure, mobile phone-based financial services to communities that lack traditional banking services. As a TAN agent, an individual becomes a local financial center sharing financial services.

TAN Agents sell BitMinutes. BitMinutes can be used to call anywhere worldwide and can be sent to any phone worldwide. Users will be able to use BitMinutes to pay bills, or transfer to other people.

As a TAN Agent, an individual is expected to enjoy increase business traffic flowing to their businesses, have the ability to issue guaranteed consumer loans and receive low interest loans based on TAN Score.

To be part of BitMinutes, Agents must hold some BitMinutes in Escrow to qualify.

To qualify and stand a chance to win in the September, 14 upcoming events, registration as a TAN is imperative or for free users, they would need to migrate from a free user to a TAN Agent. The Promo is already on and is expected to terminate a on the 7th of September, 2019, a week to the Mega Event. The event is scheduled to hold in Lagos, Nigeria at White House Hotel, 23A Toyin Street, Ikeja. Time is 12 noon.

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