Blockstream Expands Sattelite Service to Asia-Pacific Region
Bitcoin Users in Africa, America and Europe could use the Lightning Network without having access to the internet since August 2017. Back then, Blockstream launched its satellite service. Now the service has expanded to the Asia-Pacific region. The service is aimed at emerging markets where access to the internet is limited. However, it also proves useful in the case of network interruptions.
China Works On a Centralized Digital Currency
The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) has reportedly hired blockchain developers and economists for its Digital Currency Institute in Beijing. The Institute already declared in October that it aims to create its own digital currency to ‘protect’ China from Bitcoin as PBoC’s deputy governor Zhou Xiaochuan said. Reportedly, the goal is to create a currency that lowers maintenance costs compared to Bitcoin or the traditional banking sector and that is traceable and controllable.
Japan Plans to Reclassify Bitcoin & Co. as ‘Crypto Assets’
Japan’s Financial Services Agency (JFSA) plans to reclassify cryptocurrencies. Currently, Japan classified Bitcoin and altcoins as ‘property value’. However, explicitly not as an ‘asset’ or ‘currency. Therefore, banks and investment companies were not allowed to deal with cryptocurrencies.
Now the JFSA wants to classify cryptocurrencies as ‘crypto assets’. As Japan gave out licenses to exchanges on which primarily Japanese citizens dealt with cryptocurrencies as an investment. Further implications of this reclassification will likely follow regarding licenses and taxation.
Blockchain Skills Are On High Demand On LinkedIn
As of December 13th, 2018, a quick glance at the LinkedIn jobs opening page reveals that Blockchain skills are in high demand from startups and established firms. This is a wakeup call to all individuals seeking to diversify their career options or to earn more to delve into Blockchain technology training in order to fill these growing vacancies.
Hong Kong Finetunes Its Crypto Regulation
Hong Kong has become China’s hub for the emerging crypto economy as China has banned most trading and investing opportunities involving cryptocurrencies. To cope with the emerging market Hong Kong is finetuning its regulations.
Hong Kong will allow the creation of investment funds that involve Bitcoin & Co. However, if these funds contain more than 10% of its assets in cryptocurrencies, a special license will be necessary and only professional investors will be able to invest in them. The administration of Hong Kong will give startups a platform to test their projects in a ‘sandbox’ before filing for licenses. Further regulation, involves stricter enforcement of KYC and AML regulations.