U.S. President Donald Trump has hired the prominent Bitcoin supporter Mick Mulvaney to be his new White House Chief of Staff.

Donald Trump is one of the most polarizing people on Planet Earth and whether you love him or hate him, it is beneficial for the crypto industry to have a major Bitcoin advocate whispering sweet nothings into the ear of the American President.

Donald Trump Makes Positive Appointment for Crypto Industry

Although Donald Trump might not top a list of the humblest people on the planet, he most definitely loves making money. Trump’s appointment of Mulvaney to the White House is a massive boon for crypto-fanatics.

Mick Mulvaney is a crypto supporter and fan. When he was working at the House of Representatives, Mulvaney, who is a South Carolina Republican, was one of the people who worked towards creating the Blockchain Caucus, which is a group of lawmakers that write and create new laws for emerging technologies such as cryptocurrency.

Donald Trump was upbeat when taking to his Twitter account to welcome Mulvaney and congratulate him on being named as Acting White House Chief of Staff:

Employing a Bitcoin Supporter

“Blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionize the financial services industry, the U.S. economy and the delivery of government services, and I am proud to be involved with this initiative.” -Mick Mulvaney. Image from Flickr.

Mick Mulvaney has knowledge of the inner-workings of blockchain and crypto in general. He helped the Blockchain Caucus to draft two new legislative acts that support the growth and evolution of the blockchain industry. The proposals were drafted to help increase the growth and support of blockchain innovation.

The House Resolution 1108 was proposed to increase research in blockchain technology to show Congress how to take a sensible regulatory approach to the industry’s newest technological innovations.

House Resolution 7002 was a proposal to amend the E-SIGN Act that was to “confirm the applicability of blockchain to electronic records, electronic signatures and smart contracts.”

To give you an idea of Mulvaney’s feelings towards Bitcoin, here is a statement he made at the time of helping to create the Blockchain Caucus:

“Blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionize the financial services industry, the U.S. economy and the delivery of government services, and I am proud to be involved with this initiative.”

Although U.S. President Donald Trump rightfully gets criticism from all quarters for some of his decisions, especially in terms of immigration and foreign policy, when it comes to emerging blockchain technology, he seems quite open to its potential.

The appointment of Mick Mulvaney to the White House by Donald Trump is a positive move for crypto-fans and aficionados alike.

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Enterprise Singapore, a government agency set up to develop the startup ecosystem, is supporting a new blockchain accelerator program called Tribe Accelerator.

Announced Tuesday by TRIVE Ventures, an early stage Southeast Asia-focused venture capital firm based in Singapore, the accelerator is being launched in partnership South Korea’s ICON Foundation, as a technical partner, and PwC Singapore’s Venture Hub.

Seeking to drive widespread adoption of blockchain technology across Asia, Tribe Accelerator aims to help startups achieve “real-world applicability and impact” beyond technical considerations like smart contracts and interoperability.
It further aims to provide a platform for traditional enterprises and government agencies to work alongside the upcoming blockchain projects.

“As the accelerator targets later stage startups past their Series A funding rounds, Tribe will offer significantly more value as it provides startups with access to its network of governmental and business mentors, technical support, technical talent and ultimately gain global exposure, which will help incubated startups translate their blockchain concepts into real products,” TRIVE partner Ng Yi Ming told CoinDesk.

The program is scheduled to officially launch in early 2019, the firm said, adding that, for the first batch of companies, it will not take equity or charge a participation fee.

“By working with Tribe Accelerator, we hope to create more innovative and disruptive blockchain startups to capture growth opportunities locally and overseas,” said Jonathan Lim, Enterprise Singapore’s director of startup and global innovation alliance, in an announcement.

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South Korea’s lawyers are lobbying the country’s government to step up its action and expedite a legal framework for cryptocurrencies, Reuters UK reports Nov. 8.

The Korean Bar Association, membership of which is required of all the country’s lawyers, has appealed to the government to take more swift action in the realm of cryptocurrencies, with Bar Association President Kim Hyun telling a press conference at the parliament that:

“We urge the government to break away from negative perceptions and hesitation, and draw up bills to help develop the blockchain industry and prevent side effects involving cryptocurrencies.”

The South Korean crypto context has historically been one of the world’s most dynamic, although a more stringent regulatory stance from the government as of late 2017 has had a palpable impact. However, this fall, reports that the country’s so-called “Kimchi Premium” — when demand drives crypto prices in Korea well above the global average — is re-emerging suggests that the interest in the crypto sector remains unabated.

The Korean Bar Association’s intervention comes at time when local investors are keenly awaiting the possible announcement of a government decision in November over whether or not to repeal the country’s China-style ban on Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), which has been in force since September 2017.

The country’s government is taking a winding path to finally cement its stance toward the crypto and blockchain sector; as Reuters today notes, the government has emphasized it intends to finalize blockchain regulation only after a rigorous study.

There have been mixed signals throughout fall from domestic regulators, with Korea’s Financial Services Commission (FSC) recently issuing a warning that crypto funds may be in violation of the country’s Capital Markets Act, and the FSC chair, Choi Jong-Ku, reaffirming his negative stance towards ICOs in particular.

Nonetheless, Choi Jong-Ku has recently declared that that crypto exchanges should face no issues with banking provisions, as long as they have adequate anti-money-laundering (AML) safeguards in place and apply robust know-your-customer (KYC) checks.

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The government of Thailand has announced plans to adopt distributed ledger technology to fight tax avoidance.

Director-general Ekniti Nitithanprapas said the Revenue Department intends to use blockchain to verify whether taxes were paid correctly and to speed up the tax refund process.

Thai Government Announces Plan to Use Blockchain Technology to Improve Tax Collection System

The head of the Revenue Department of Thailand has said that the use of disruptive technologies such as blockchain and machine learning for the purpose of improving the tax collection system was his priority, the Bangkok Post reported.

While blockchain will be used to verify taxes and speed up tax refunds, machine learning will be used in the fight against tax evasion by tracking tax fraud and creating more transparency.

Thailand has shown an open-minded approach to blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies throughout the years. Tax-wise, the government of Thailand collects 15 percent capital gains tax levied against profits made from the buying and selling of digital tokens, according to a new tax legislation. There is also a 7% value-added tax, but according to Apisak Tantivorawong, the government’s Finance Minister, most investors are exempted from it.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the country’s financial watchdog, has announced a regulatory framework for initial coin offerings (ICOs) taking effect from July 16, 2018. Digital token issuers must be registered with the Thailand SEC before putting digital assets on sale.

Only high net-worth investors, venture capital firms, private equity companies, and other institutional investors, are allowed to acquire unlimited units of digital assets in ICOs, according to the Thai regulator, which has jurisdiction over the space, according to a recent Royal Decree. Retail investors are limited to buying tokens worth less than 300,000 baht ($9,050).

Following the new ICO rules, the SEC has reported that around 50 prospective initial coin offerings have shown interest in securing a license from the regulator and 3 of them have followed through with an application. The SEC secretary-general Rapee Sucharitakul also said that around 20 companies were seeking to operate officially as a digital asset exchange. Bithumb, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency operators, has announced that it successfully obtained approval from the regulator.

In late October 2018, the Thai SEC released a warning to investors regarding what it describes as “renegade ICOs,” which are heavily advertising in the region through multiple means despite being unregistered with the SEC. The “renegade” coin offerings include Every Coin, Orientum Coin (ORT Coin), OneCoin and OFC Coin, Tripxchain Coin (TXC Coin), TUC Coin, G2S Expert ICO, Singhcom Enterprise ICO, Adventure hostel Bangkok ICO, and Kidstocurrency ICO, according to the statement.

The Securities and Exchange Commission requires ICO projects to apply for a license before a token sale.

“The ICO acceptance criteria may include due diligence and screening of funders from dishonest people. The source code of the smart contract will automatically be enforced against the contract. After the sale, the SEC publishes a copy of the statement on the SEC website,” the regulator stated.

Investors, however, are not banned from investing in “renegade ICOs.”

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