China Shuns Bitcoin; More Google Censorship?

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CHINA’S CRACKDOWN

Chinese regulators issued a warning on December 27 about the rise of virtual currency trading activity as its central bank gears up to launch its own state-backed cryptocurrency. Despite President Xi Jinping’s October statement in support of blockchain technology, Chinese leaders do not appear to be willing to relinquish control and power by welcoming decentralized cryptocurrencies to the country.

“The currency is not for speculation,” Mu Changchun, head of the People’s Bank of China’s digital currency research institute, said of the bank’s plans for its forthcoming currency that it hopes citizens will adopt in favor of bitcoin.

CRYPTO MARKETS

Holiday trading volumes were light for cryptocurrencies, as bitcoin remained in a narrow channel around $7,000. Bitcoin did see a 4% bump Thursday night after the U.S.-ordered killing of a top Iranian military official sent shockwaves of geopolitical uncertainty through the Middle East.

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SOURCE: MESSARI. PRICES AS OF 4:00 P.M. ON JANUARY 3, 2020.

UNITED NATIONS EXPLORES BLOCKCHAIN

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres touted blockchain as an essential tool for the future of the organization that generates $50 billion in annual revenue. The UN hopes to use blockchain technology to be more transparent with donors about how its money is spent and reduce waste in its supply chain.

“For the United Nations to deliver better on our mandate in the digital age, we need to embrace technologies like blockchain that can help accelerate the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals,” Guterres said in a statement provided exclusively to Forbes.

One example that the UN has already put into action: partnering with Mongolia and its farmers in a pilot project to export sustainable cashmere using an ethereum-based blockchain.

YOUTUBE CRYPTO VIDEOS VANISH

Hundreds of bitcoin and cryptocurrency-related videos disappeared from YouTube around Christmas. Chris Dunn, an influencer with 210,000 subscribers on the platform, tweeted that YouTube cited “harmful or dangerous content” and the “sale of regulated goods” when it took down his videos.

Although YouTube quickly said the purge was an error and all the videos would be reinstated, it continues a pattern of resistance from Google against cryptocurrencies. The search engine giant, which owns YouTube, banned cryptocurrency advertising for most of the summer before relenting in September and also suspended Ethereum mobile wallet MetaMask from the Google Play Store.

BLOCKCHAIN 50

Forbes’ first Blockchain 50 list last year highlighted the steps 50 major enterprises are taking to adopt blockchain technology. With so many new blockchain projects launching since that list was published, we want to know which companies deserve to be added to this year’s list and which ones should stay on for the second time. Submit your nominations through this form by January 8.

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