Hard Fork is back up and running on all cylinders. It’s the first Moonday Morning of 2019 and that means that there’s a lot to catch up on.
Let’s take a look at what we missed while we were away over the holidays.
1. It turns out that popular online game Fortnite’s foray into accepting cryptocurrency was actually all just a mistake. According to Epic Games developer and founder Tim Sweeney on Twitter, the company wanted to open a merch store, but somewhere along the lines Monero payment was enabled by the store’s payment processor. I guess we’ll have to stick to old-fashioned money for now.
2. Cryptocurrency hardware wallet manufacturer, Ledger, just released an updated version of its Nano wallet, called the Nano X, at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Unlike previous Ledger Nanos, the X is equipped with Bluetooth giving it the ability to link directly to mobile phones. It should help make moving cryptocurrency from your Nano a little easier, as previously Nano users had to connect the device to a computer before transactions could be processed. Users will now be able to use a mobile app to check their Ledger Nano X’s balance, and send and receive coins.
3. A fake news website posing as the “NZ Times” has been using the face of ex-Kiwi Prime Minister, John Key, to promote a shady cryptocurrency business. The website published an interview with Key about his interest and beliefs in Bitcoin, only all links diverted to a website for startup Crypto Revolt, local news reports. It’s not the first time we’ve seen celebrity faces used to push cryptocurrency on the masses, in September last year Texan regulators had to go after a company claiming Barack Obama had endorsed its cryptocurrency.
4. The state of New York is putting together a cryptocurrency task force in attempts to improve the regulation of the market. The group will be made up of consumers, investors, blockchain companies, academics, among many others. The members will be recruited by the governor, Senate, and assembly, Verdict reports. The task force will serve to advise the government on everything from the energy efficiency of mining and the impact of cryptocurrencies on tax regulations.
5. The Republic of Ireland is cracking down on illicit cryptocurrency holdings and is implemented new anti-money laundering laws, the Irish Mirror reports. The new Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Amendment) Bill 2019 has been given the go ahead from the cabinet. The new laws will help the gardai crack down on criminals using cryptocurrencies to launder and hide their ill gotten gains.
6. Ethereum-focused development house ConsenSys and computer hardware manufacturer AMD announced a partnership last week which will see the firms try to find ways of making the blockchain scale better. The partnership, known as W3BCLOUD, plans to develop specialist hardware that is more capable of processing blockchain workloads, in the cloud. Indeed, it might be a wise move from AMD, seen as sales of its consumer grade hardware used for cryptocurrency mining have been waning. But it won’t go into the market without competition, last year Intel filed a patent which claimed to make cryptocurrency mining more efficient, and theoretically, more profitable.
Well there you have it. That’s another weekend’s blockchain and cryptocurrency news caught up with; 2019 is officially underway.
Published January 7, 2019 — 10:05 UTC