Bitcoins are Traded in Restaurants in Bengaluru and We Need to Get Regulatory Clarity Instead of Banning: Karnataka Minister

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Social Welfare minister, Priyank Kharge said that the Karnataka government is working on setting up an Innovation Authority under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister to protect consumer-friendly technology businesses that are operating in regulatory grey areas.

Along the sidelines of an interactive event, Kharge told news portal ET, “Most innovations that are happening today are not as per our policies. Technologies are fast changing and our policies are only trying to catch up. In such an environment, instead of banning a people-friendly business on the grounds that the regulations do not allow it, the Innovation Authority would intervene to come up with a quick policy framework.”

Kharge was the Information and Technology Minister under the previous government. When asked about the recent arrests of cryptocurrency exchange Unocoin founders he said, “We should come up with policies on priority so that business grows and economic becomes vibrant. For example, bitcoins are traded in restaurants in Bengaluru, and we will need to interact with the government and get a regulatory clarity instead of banning those technologies for which regulations are not yet in place.”

Kharge has always been very pro-blockchain and to a marked extent cryptocurrencies too. Earlier this year at an event and he had said, “Blockchain is a highly disruptive emerging technology and the goal of the event is to see how Blockchain technology can solve real-life problems. Today’s conclave is a gathering of truly exceptional minds on Blockchain from India and abroad and the idea is to see if blockchain technology can be used to help the government and its functions.”

On the occasion, Kharge had also highlighted the role played by the government of Karnataka to ensure all around development in the state and focus on job creation in core sectors of the state.

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Crypto Really Is Cool in Israel

Cryptocurrencies and blockchain tech have taken the stage in Israel. The country’s first dedicated cryptocurrency investment company has launched two funds, expecting to raise $50 million in assets under management. Moreover, an Israeli mining company eyes an public offering in Canada.

Bear Market? Whatever…

Despite 2018’s declining prices, Israel’s top leadership has long considered issuing a state-backed digital currency, especially as the country’s cryptocurrency sector seems to be thriving.

Reportedly, the country’s first dedicated cryptocurrency investment company targeting institutional and accredited investors, Silver Castle Ltd., has launched two funds. It expects to raise as much as $50 million In assets under management by the end of 2018.

Notes Eli Mizroch, CEO at Silver Castle:

We spent close to a year building robust infrastructure for managing other people’s money at the level of institutional grade with very, very high security.

The fund also takes pride in its team, which is comprised of financial experts such as Zvi Ziv – former CEO at Bank Hapoalim – the largest bank in the country by means of asset ownership as well as Gabriella Ravid, the former CEO and founder of the country’s largest investment fund Psagot Ofek Investment House.

More than $8.5 Million in Bitcoin Seized by Israeli Police

But Wait… There’s More!

On November 11th, Israeli cryptocurrency mining company Bitfarms announced in an official press release that it has initialized a regulatory process to investigate the prospect of going public in Canada. The company has filed a preliminary prospectus with Ontario’s Securities Commission to examine its arrangement with Bitfarms Canada, the company’s local subsidiary.

Speaking on the matter was Wes Fulford, CEO at Bitfarms, who outlined:

We are currently evaluating a listing in Canada as we endeavour to grow Bitfarms’ visibility, improve our access to capital and streamline expense. […] Our analysis suggests that Canada has one of the most active public markets in our emerging industry, with several blockchain infrastructure and cryptocurrency mining companies having listed and raised significant capital over the last twelve months.

Whether it’s a state-backed cryptocurrency or a public offering, Israel’s crypto future appears to be bright.

What do you think of Israel’s increasing involvement in the cryptocurrency world? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!

Images and media courtesy of Bitcoinist archives, Shutterstock.

IBM, Columbia University Launch Blockchain Accelerator Programs

Tech giant IBM has teamed up with Columbia University to launch a pair of technology accelerators as part of a broader push to spur blockchain development.

The IBM Blockchain Accelerator and Columbia Blockchain Launch Accelerator, announced Monday, will support 10 startups each, according to a press release. The two are part of the Columbia-IBM Center for Blockchain and Data Transparency, a collaboration between the groups launched this past summer to incubate blockchain applications.

IBM Blockchain Accelerator managing director David Post believes that the collaboration with the Ivy League institution will help the company supplement early-stage companies with the required technologies and social networks to grow their businesses.

“The possibilities presented by blockchain technology are seemingly endless, and we are seeing strong dedication by technical talent to build game-changing applications,” he added in a statement.

The IBM accelerator will be looking for companies significantly further along in terms of product development, specifically for companies “focused on building out an enterprise business network and client base for their blockchain application.”

In contrast, the Columbia Blockchain Launch Accelerator will be accepting applications from “pre-seed” or “idea stage” companies, which will receive support and training on how to build a blockchain startup. However the companies are required to have an affiliation with Columbia or a other recognized New York City-based University.

Both of the programs are scheduled to last about eight weeks on-site in New York City, though the later-stage companies will split their time between New York and San Francisco.

Photo via Shutterstock.

Source: Coindesk