Weekend recap: Baidu and Tencent join China’s national blockchain committee

It’s less than a month until the halving and the world is still cuckoo for crypto. China’s blockchain committee is taking shape, the EU is considering its position, and Litecoin is making movies. Who’d have thought? Get all the details, and more, below.

China announces Baidu and Tencent executives to join its national blockchain com­mit­tee

The central gov­ern­ment of China has announced who will take seats as members of its national blockchain commit­tee.

The com­mit­tee is being set up to work on setting industrial stan­dards for blockchain technology. It’s chaired by Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) deputy minister Chen Zhaoxiong, and includes five vice presidents – all government staff. In total, the committee has 71 members, drawn from across 15 notable companies and universities, including Baidu, Ten­cent, Huawei, Peking Uni­ver­sity, Tsinghua Uni­ver­sity, Fu­dan Uni­ver­sity, and more.

The announcement follows a recent report by New York-based research firm, CB Insights, which shows that Chinese startups are starting to substantially increase their blockchain-related investments. In 2019, the percentage of deals enacted by US startups fell to 31%, while China’s market share grew to 22%.

Tomer Weiss, co-founder and head of partnerships at Upright, told CoinTelegraph: “I think that China sees the potential of blockchain for enterprises to understand better, track and get an insight about the financial activity of individuals and business since the announcement of Xi [Jinping] about blockchain, there are a lot of investments.”

EU Parliament says Europe should move to cover regulatory ‘blind spots’ for crypto assets

The European Parliament Research Service has published a new study in which they have highlighted a number of areas for concern when it comes to crypto.

In the report, researchers argue that the Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD5) framework the EU adopted in May 2018 is now outdated when compared to higher international standards such as that of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). They note that there were now some legislative “blind spots” concerning the supervision of crypto assets in the European Union, and recommended the creation of a new regulatory body.

“Newly mined coins are by definition ‘clean’, so if someone (e.g. a bank) is willing to convert them into fiat currency or other crypto-assets, the resulting funds are also clean. A first regulatory step could be to try to map the use of this technique and subsequently, if it effectively proves an important blind spot, to consider appropriate countermeasures.”

The report also brought up the issue of stablecoins and the potential risk they pose to financial stability and monetary policy. It reads: “As regards to financial stability, various risks can be identified. When a global stablecoin is backed by safe assets, purchases of such assets could cause a shortage of high-quality liquid assets in certain markets, leading to instability. When a global stablecoin is perceived to be a better store of value than a local fiat currency, citizens could collectively run to such a coin in times of financial turmoil, leading to domestic financial instability.”

Halving interest sees record increase

The buzz around the forthcoming Bitcoin “halving” next month seems to be hitting peak levels.
Data from Google Trends as of April 14 indicates that this year’s peak of interest in the event is 16% higher than back in 2016, the last time that halving occurred on the network.

Does the added interest tell us anything about what will happen to Bitcoin post-halving?

Litecoin launches movie

The Litecoin Foundation has history when it comes to big marketing moves, working with Miami Dolphins and UFC in the past. So its foray into the world of cinema shouldn’t come as too great a surprise. The cryptocurrency, which sells itself as the silver to Bitcoin’s gold, is credited as executive producer for a new horror flick starring Jackass co-creator, Johnny Knoxville.

Check out the trailer for yourself.

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