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Wyoming County Moves to Put Land Records on Blockchain

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A county in the blockchain-friendly state of Wyoming is planning to put its land registry on a distributed ledger.

Teton County (pop. 23,265 ), which includes the town of Jackson and part of Yellowstone National Park, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Medici Land Governance (MLG). The startup,  majority-owned by Overstock.com’s blockchain investment arm Medici Ventures, will build the new registry on the Open Index Protocol (OIP).

The new system will keep track of land transactions, such as mortgages, releases of liens and similar records, starting from 1996, Overstock said in a press release Thursday, adding that it will preserve existing privacy protections and public access.

“The title information that is obscured for viewing on the current system will also be obscured from the blockchain-based system, but all public records will be available at the county clerk’s office,” the release says.

“We are proud to see Wyoming lead the way in implementing cutting-edge technologies, such as blockchain, into existing markets like land registry,” Sherry Daigle, Teton County’s County Clerk, said in the press release, adding that if the new system succeeds, it can be expanded into other Wyoming counties.

OIP indexes files from storage or distribution systems such as IPFS and others using the Florincoin blockchain.

“I’d heard Wyoming was working to proactively welcome blockchain and I wanted to support their efforts,” OIP co-founder Devon James told CoinDesk via a spokesperson. “I began attending Blockchain Task Force meetings and contributing to their public discussions, but I was particularly interested in their ‘Real Property Records on Blockchain’ initiative because the specification we’ve been working on for almost 5 years …is a worldwide public database where anyone can publish, read, display, sell or audit the records, making it a perfect fit for their use case.”

According to Caitlin Long, a co-founder of the Wyoming Blockchain Coalition and ex-chairman of the enterprise blockchain startup Symbiont, the project began as an initiative of state senator Ogden Driskill, who brought several county clerks and James to the table to discuss the collaboration.

Wyoming has been aiming to become a leader among states in supporting blockchain technology for a while: in March, the governor signed into law a measure exempting utility tokens with certain properties from securities regulations, and a litany of similar bills was introduced recently.

There are in total six bills regarding blockchain regulation now waiting to be heard during the next legislative session in January, Long said. “These bills were endorsed by joint committees and they have elevated chances to pass,” she told CoinDesk, adding:

“There will be more. This in an industry where nobody has leadership, and Wyoming moved to grab it.”

Long believes that the land initiative will be followed by others, and the next step for the state will be putting all its corporate registration and business records on a blockchain.

Medici Land Governance earlier this year announced a pilot with the government of Zambia to build a blockchain-based land registry for the African country. Medici Ventures owns 57% of the startup, and Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne owns the rest.

Wyoming image via Shutterstock.

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A New Bitcoin Exchange Point On the Colombian-Venezuelan Border Will Help Refugees

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A new cryptocurrency exchange service is available on the border between Colombia and Venezuela and its aim is to help refugees traveling across the Simon Bolivar International Bridge.

Visitors are now able to use the point-of-sale service with cryptocurrencies to buy goods. The POS is located in Santander, Colombia, just across the border from Venezuela. Panda Group created the payment alternative with refugees in mind. The group, a Columbian-Venezuela joint venture, announced the implementation of the new service through their Twitter account.

According to the data published by Coinatmradar.com, the service lets users exchange using bitcoin (BTC), bitcoin cash (BCH) and dai (DAI), and converts them into to Colombian Pesos (COP).

At the physical location – a small phone service provider in a mall called La Parada – customers can buy bitcoin with prices based on the Localbitcoins rate in pesos. The service will charge 10 percent above the market price and those who sell their bitcoins will do so for 5 percent more than the established market value.

This is not the first cryptocurrency service in the country. The Panda Group has already installed another five cryptocurrency exchanges in Colombia, most of them in the Colombian capital, Bogotá.

According to Panda CEO, Arley Lozano Jaramillo, their solutions are focused on helping the Venezuelan users and they announced the addition of a new service called Xpay.Cash to encourage adoption.

“This service is for all our brothers to pay directly in Cucuta with their cryptoassets and mitigate the loss of exchanging from BTC to COP, which represents a loss of at least 20%,” Jaramillo said.

Colombia has the highest rate of cryptocurrency investors in South America, next to Brazil. There are reportedly over 20 businesses accepting bitcoin payments in the country. The establishments are mainly focused in tourism, food and digital services.

Bitcoin At The Border

The ATM installed in Villa del Rosario City is connected to the Venezuelan border by the state of Tachira. The states are only separated by the Simon Bolivar International Bridge, one of the most heavily traveled borders used by Venezuelan refugees.

The refugee situation has also sparked a focus on the cryptocurrency, mainly for humanitarian aid purposes.

On the other hand, the last point of sale with cryptocurrency was implemented in Cúcuta, another border location with an growing Venezuelan population. The state also has a Bitcoin ATM, one of forty-two in the country.

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Fidelity-Backed Crypto Analytics Firm to Integrate Twitter-Based Crypto Sentiment Feed

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Crypto analytics firm Coin Metrics partnered with Social Market Analytics (SMA) to collaborate on a feed of real-time sentiment towards cryptocurrency based on social media data, according to a press release on June 17.

The new partnership intends to collect and analyze data posted by crypto community on social media in order to provide a new tool to help crypto traders to track social media sentiment data to build their portfolio strategies.

The new product will initially target sentiment data solely on social media giant Twitter, Coin Metrics CEO Tim Rice confirmed to Cointelegraph, adding that the firms are currently not considering integration of the service into Facebook.

Specifically,Coin Metrics will incorporate the product into market data platform, called the SMA cryptocurrency Sentiment Feed, providing calculated metrics of data on Twitter, according to a report by crypto media outlet The Block. In the report, Rice said that the calculation algorithms would include relevant tweets and calculate “19 different aggregate sentiment metrics down to snapshots of one minute.”

Social Market Analytics is providing social media-powered predictive data analytics to traditional capital markets participants in various markets, including stocks, forex, Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs), futures, among others. Since its establishment in 2012, SMA has been a Twitter Finance partner, the firm’s CEO Joe Gits stated in an email to Cointelegraph.

Meanwhile, Coin Metrics is backed by major American investment management company Fidelity in February 2019, which participated in a $1.9 million funding round in February 2019.

Earlier today, social media giant Facebook released the white paper for its long-anticipated cryptocurrency and blockchain-powered financial project known as Libra stablecoin.





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Bitcoin Falls Near $9,000 as US Stock Market Sees Gains

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Monday, June 17 — most of the top 20 cryptocurrencies are reporting moderate losses on the day by press time, as bitcoin (BTC) falls Near $9,000 mark again.

Market visualization courtesy of Coin360

Market visualization courtesy of Coin360

Bitcoin is currently down about 3% on the day, trading around $9,045 at press time, according to Coin360. Looking at its weekly chart, the coin is up around 11%.

Bitcoin 7-day price chart

Bitcoin 7-day price chart. Source: Coin360

As Cointelegraph reported earlier today, bitcoin surpassed one million daily active addresses on June 14, according to blockchain statistics website CoinMetrics.

Ether (ETH) is holding onto its position as the largest altcoin by market cap, which currently stands at $28.2 billion. The second-largest altcoin, Ripple’s XRP, has a market cap of $18.1 billion at press time.

Coin360 data shows that ETH has seen its value decrease by about 2.27% over the last 24 hours. At press time, ETH is trading around $265. On the week, the coin has also gained almost 6.8% of value.

Ether 7-day price chart

Ether 7-day price chart. Source: Coin360

XRP is down by just over 0.43% over the last 24 hours and is currently trading at around $0.430. On the week, the coin is up about 6.7%.

XRP 7-day price chart

XRP 7-day price chart. Source: Coin360

Yesterday news broke that major money transmission network MoneyGram has entered into a strategic partnership with blockchain-based payments firm Ripple.

Among the top 20 cryptocurrencies, the only ones reporting gains are binance coin (BNB), which is over 1% up, and DASH, which is up over 2%.

At press time, the total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies is $282.8 billion, over 11.6% higher than the value it reported a week ago.

As Cointelegraph reported earlier today, Social media giant Facebook has released the white paper for its long-awaited cryptocurrency and blockchain-based financial infrastructure project.

In traditional markets, the United States stock market is seeing gains so far today, with the S&P 500 up 1.17% and the Nasdaq up 1.73% at press time. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), on the other hand, has lost 0.46% on the day at press time.

Major oil futures and indexes are mixed movements today, with WTI Crude up 3.99%, Brent Crude up 2.43% and Mars US down 0.83% at press time. The OPEC Basket is up 0.57% and the Canadian Crude Index has seen its value increase by 5.57% in the 24 hours by press time, according to OilPrice.





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