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Bitcoin was along for the ride this week as tensions between the U.S. and Iran alternately escalated and deescalated, moving sharply higher to almost $8,500 after news reports of Iran’s missile attack on U.S.-led forces in Iraq early on Wednesday, then falling back to just under $8,000 following President Trump’s comments downplaying the situation.

Predictably, bitcoin followed other traditional safe-haven assets, including gold and the Japanese yen.

At the beginning of the crisis, it was widely reported that the bitcoin price in Iran had soared to around $24,000—this was based on a common misunderstanding of exchange rates in Iran.


Last month, audit and consulting giant Ernst & Young announced the release of its new blockchain technology to the public. It’s part of the firm’s effort to get public networks ready for enterprise blockchain adoption, and the new release is another step in its advocacy of public blockchain network infrastructure as opposed to permissioned and private networks.

EY blockchain lead Paul Brody makes a persuasive argument as to why the firm is attempting to fix the shortcomings in public networks as opposed to getting behind private networks as its peers such as IBM and Accenture have done, pointing to the challenge of adoption and on-boarding associated with private networks. Put simply, it’s hard to get organizations to join them.


The blockchain and crypto community is ringing in the new year to a level of legislative and regulatory attention that would have been hard to predict a year ago.

Since this time last year, Facebook launched the Libra project, Fidelity Investments announced a series of new crypto initiatives and the U.S. Federal Reserve Board revealed that it is working on a crypto-like project known as “central bank digital currency.” More than 200 new crypto projects were launched by technologists both in the U.S. and abroad, And the price of bitcoin rose 300% off its floor before settling in at an average price that is still more than double the late-2018 low. The lesson? We may be in the early innings of crypto, but there is a major league game ahead and there will certainly be new rules.

Click here for three insights about the year to come from Coinbase Chief Legal Officer Brian Brooks.


China’s central bank says it has completed ‘top-level’ design of digital currency [The Block]

North Korean Hackers Now Using Telegram to Steal Crypto: Kaspersky [CoinDesk]

Bitcoin Daily: Deribit Crypto Exchange Flees Netherlands’ Tight Regulation; Illinois Now Recognizes Blockchain Contracts As Legally Binding [PYMNTS]

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