Year: 2017

Estonia Is One Step Closer to Creating a Digital Nation

Estonia is well on its way to realizing its dream of building a global nation supported by its e-Residency program and its own cryptocurrency.

Digital currencies have definitely taken 2017 by storm. Massive price increases, mainstream adoption and just an overall interest in the benefits of blockchain technology have been some of the key highlights of this year.

It’s not just investors hoping to capitalize on these benefits though, governments can also see the…

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Verizon store slated to open in Martinsburg

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Verizon’s largest exclusive authorized retailer is opening a Martinsburg store, a first for the nation’s largest wireless provider.

The retailer, Victra, anticipates the opening of the store at 14679 Apple Harvest Drive to occur in the spring of 2018, spokeswoman Sarah Cronin said earlier this month.

There will be a community grand-opening event around that time, Cronin said.

The store will join an Aspen Dental office in a 7,500-square-foot building that is under construction in front of the Lowe’s home improvement store in Martinsburg.

Victra earlier this month also posted management and staff positions for a Hagerstown store on its website, but it wasn’t clear as of Friday where that location might be.

Formerly known as A Wireless, North Carolina-based Victra has more than 1,100 Verizon-branded retail stores in 47 states, according to its website.

The opening of the Martinsburg store comes as Verizon has separately applied for permits to install communications equipment on multiple cell towers in Martinsburg and the Hagerstown areas, including at least a handful of sites since May of this year, government records said.


Ivy Playground for Bitcoin: Experimenting With the Future of Bitcoin Smart Contracts

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Local boxer Drake Banks aims to make it big | Community sports

Drake Banks didn’t have to wait for Santa Claus to come to town. He had himself a Merry Christmas of his own doing.

On Dec. 5-9, the 17-year-old from Homosassa was in Salt Lake City competing in the USA Boxing Elite and Youth National Championships.

On the final day, Banks won the championship bout for the Youth Male 201+ pounds division. That pushed him to the number one national ranking within the weight class.

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“It was definitely satisfying in a good way to cap off the year, especially right before Christmas,” Banks said. “It’s almost like a Christmas gift in a way.”

This was no ordinary victory for the young pugilist. As tournament champion, he garnered an invite to work at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs and a spot on the national team, meaning he’ll get to compete internationally next year.

“He’s basically on track to be a United States Olympian,” said his father, Don Banks, owner of Citrus County Boxing Academy. “All this really is just leading up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. That’s the goals, first of all, and then probably pro after that.”

Boxing has become a Banks family affair. Don Banks used to compete in martial arts, then his eldest son, Gauge, decided to take up boxing. His daughter, Angelina, followed that lead and became a national champion back in 2010.

All the while, Drake was learning the sweet science and waiting his turn.

“He’s been in the gym since he was 8 years old. So he’s just grown up with it,” Don Banks said. “He’s gotten more experience, bigger, faster, longer than everybody else. He’s kind of leading the pack at this point.”

“Lot of sacrifice and a lot of hard work,” Drake Banks said. “Like…


Central bank issues notice banning Bitcoin in Bangladesh

Bangladesh Bank has banned the use of Bitcoin, a virtual cryptocurrency, in Bangladesh by issuing a circular on its website.
The circular read that Bitcoin is not an authorised and legal currency in any other country in the world.
“Transaction with this currency may cause a violation of the existing money laundering and terrorist financing regulations,” the circular further read.
However, the notice does not carry any indication on how the regulation would be enforced.
The circular…

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Israel may ban bitcoin, cryptocurrency companies from Tel Aviv listing

Israel’s markets regulator will propose a ban on companies based on bitcoin and other digital currencies from trading on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

Shmuel Hauser, the chairman of the Israel Securities Authority, told the Calcalist business conference he will bring the proposal to the ISA board next week. If approved, it would be subject to a public hearing and then the stock exchange bylaws would need to be amended.

“If we have a company that their main business is digital currencies we…

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Israel banking on ‘digital shekel’ cryptocurrency?

The Finance Ministry and Bank of Israel are considering issuing a digital currency, a possible response to the frenzied cryptocurrency and bitcoin craze.The digital shekel would record every transaction by mobile phone and make it more difficult to evade taxation, according to a finance official who spoke to The Jerusalem Post on condition of anonymity.For several months now, regulators have been examining the possibility of a state-sponsored currency, and the government could review a tentative legal framework in January. The digital shekel would be identical in value to the physical shekel currently in use.With cash, you make a transaction immediately, unlike with a bank transfer or check, which takes a few days to clear. Digital currency would act similarly to cash by not passing through a bank-clearing system, but rather changing hands immediately.“You can imagine that instead of giving you a piece of paper saying the Bank of Israel on it, I can send you a piece of digital code that was issued by a central bank,” the official said, with the digital currency being stored in a digital wallet.It is unclear where the digital wallet would be located – either in a Bank of Israel account or on your mobile phone. And if somebody stole your phone, what would happen to your digital wallet? It is possible that central banks may see digital currencies as a threat, undermining the centralized bank-clearing system. In that light, state-sponsored digital currencies may be an attempt to compete with decentralized cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. It remains to be seen how digital currencies will affect the lives of consumers.


With bitcoin running on blockchain technology – a digitized and decentralized public ledger that allows you to reliably authenticate transactions – the Bank of Israel is also looking into incorporating blockchain into its operations.Yet…


Estonia Reveals Plans for State-Sponsored Cryptocurrency, Estcoin

Estonia will join the likes of Venezuela and Russia as the next country to introduce its own national coin.

Plans for estcoin began back in August as part of Estonia’s e-Residency. The program is an internet platform that allows Estonian citizens or non-nationals contribute to domestic businesses and tech sector growth.

As detailed in a blog post by e-Residency managing director Kaspar Korjus, estcoin would exist primarily for use on the e-Residency platform.  Korjus envisions that…

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Estonia Inches Closer to National ‘Crypto Token’ Launch

The Baltic nation of Estonia is moving closer toward the potential launch of its own crypto token.

In a blog post published today, Kaspar Korjus, managing director of the country’s e-Residency initiative, set out three possible use cases for the token –  dubbed “estcoin” – that have been arrived at since the concept was first aired in August. As Korjus noted in his blog post, the concept quickly went viral as speculation swirled that Estonia might become the first country with…

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Danish central bank head issues stark warning on ‘deadly’ bitcoin

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – Potential investors in bitcoin should steer clear of a dangerous gamble and not complain to financial regulators if things do go wrong, Denmark’s central bank governor warned.

FILE PHOTO: Virtual currency Bitcoin tokens are seen in this illustration picture, December 8, 2017. Picture taken December 8. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

“You should stay away (from bitcoin). It is deadly,” central bank head Lars Rohde said in an interview with state…

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