Agora Helps Sierra Leone Use Blockchain To Oversee Results of a National Election, a World’s First
According to CoinDesk, Agora, a Switzerland-based blockchain voting startup, used a private, permissioned blockchain to oversee the results of a national election in Sierra Leone in real-time. After election workers count and record the hand-written votes on the private blockchain, Agora will then provide the results to the nation’s election administration. Agora acknowledges this is only a first step in utilizing blockchain in democratic processes, as manual vote counting provides opportunities for fraud.
Japan’s Financial Services Agency Suspends FSHO and Bit Station Exchanges for One Month
Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) have suspended two cryptocurrency exchanges in an attempt to strengthen security in the cryptocurrency exchange market. According to MarketWatch, the FSHO and Bit Station exchanges have ceased operations for one month. The FSA disclosed that it discovered one of Bit Station’s senior employees used a customers’ Bitcoin for their own purposes.
U.S. SEC Provides 13 Questions To Help Cryptocurrency Investors Assess Legality of Any Exchange
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) provided 13 questions to help cryptocurrency investors to assess whether a trading platform provides SEC investor protections. According to Forbes, if the exchange does not provide protections, the SEC asserts that the exchange is illegal.
- Do you trade securities on this platform? If so, is the platform registered as a national securities exchange?
- Does the platform operate as an Alternative Trading System? If so, is the ATS registered as a broker-dealer and has it filed a Form ATS with the SEC?
- Is there information in FINRA’s BrokerCheck® about any individuals or firms operating the platform?
- How does the platform select digital assets for trading?
- Who can trade on the platform?
- What are the trading protocols?
- How are prices set on the platform?
- Are platform users treated equally?
- What are the platform’s fees?
- How does the platform safeguard users’ trading and personally identifying information?
- What are the platform’s protections against cybersecurity threats, such as hacking or intrusions?
- What other services does the platform provide? Is the platform registered with the SEC for these services?
- Does the platform hold users’ assets? If so, how are these assets safeguarded?
D.C. Blockchain Summit Highlights Opposing Viewpoints on Blockchain Use Cases in Government and Cryptocurrency Regulation
According to CoinDesk, James Sullivan, the deputy assistant secretary of services at the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration, suggested that cooperation between the private and public sectors will be important to facilitate blockchain adoption in the United States. At the D.C. Blockchain Summit in Washington, DC, he also “expressed support for the use of blockchain within the trade finance chain, particularly for smaller companies with fewer resources.” Other attendees and speakers showed differing viewpoints on blockchain use cases in government, cryptocurrency regulation, and oversight over ICOs.