Governments across the world remain divided on the real value of digital currencies and blockchain technology. The Tradefair team brings you the latest cryptocurrency roundup...
"If we want to overcome the corruption , the technology [blockchain] can be instrumental."
- Ivan Duque, President of Colombia.
Cryptocurrency investment never has an easy time, with opinion often split on its future and value. However, for many traders it remains an area of interest and excitement, whether they decide to purchase assets themselves or not. Here are some of the latest developments in the crypto world:
China adds pressure to crypto crackdown
Chinese authorities have increased pressure on domestic cryptocurrency activities, according to a report from CNBC. It comes after Beijing banned the sales of initial coin offerings (ICOs), despite supporting the underlying blockchain technology.
This may be because, although it has been primarily used for bitcoin, the technology actually facilitates any type of transaction between two parties without the need for a bank or other financial institution.
China used to be one of the biggest players in bitcoin trading but, as more pressure has come on the industry to regulate the technology, Beijing has distanced itself from it. However, the country - along with others - has been concerned about the use of blockchain for fraudulent activities.
It added further pressure when five government bodies - the People's Bank of China, the Banking Regulatory Commission, the Central Cyberspace Affairs Commission, the Ministry of Public Security and the State Administration for Market Regulation - issued an official statement about the dangers of illegal fundraising using the guise of cryptocurrencies.
Despite this, Chinese investors are still heavily involved in transactions through crypto mining.
New Colombian President embraces blockchain
Elsewhere, the new President of Colombia has announced that he has a strong interest in cutting-edge technologies, such as blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Speaking at the ANDICOM conference, President Ivan Duque said it would be his "obsession" to make Colombia the technological leader of the region, Bitcoinist reports.
He said applications of blockchain technology can be used to prevent corruption of public funds by keeping permanent records of transactions. It's perhaps no surprise that President Duque is embracing financial innovation so soon into his term as he previously worked in Inter-American Development Bank before turning his hand to politics.
He also suggested that IT companies would be exempt from taxes for the first five years if they can generate a specific number of jobs, which would presumably include crypto companies.
A bright future for cryptocurrencies?
A report from Forbes suggests that the best time for cryptocurrencies may be ahead. Results from a survey commissioned by Coinbase indicate that US students are twice as likely to hold crypto assets as the general population, implying that as this generation matures there will be a spike in crypto trading.
The study found that a fifth (18%) of US student respondents report owning or having owned bitcoin or some other cryptocurrency. This demographic is often seen as the leaders of technological innovation, with Facebook being predominantly surged in popularity thanks to young people.
Slightly fewer (17%) of students said they consider their knowledge of cryptocurrency and blockchain was very good, compared to just 9% of the general population. However, it comes after Coinbase's Chief Executive warned that commercial bitcoin adoption could take "quite some time".