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Deconomy 2019: Roubini vs. Buterin

Vitalik Buterin and Nouriel “Dr. Doom” Roubini will face off next week in what is sure to be an entertaining session of the Blockinpress Deconomy Forum.

After an October Twitter scuffle in which Roubini called Buterin a “dictator for life,” in reference to Buterin’s perceived influence over Ethereum, Buterin hit back with a critique of the credit Roubini has received for predicting the housing bubble bust of 2007/2008. They will debate in person for the first time over the value and meaning of digital currency — a topic on which they couldn’t have more differing views.

It will be one of many unique programming aspects at Deconomy 2019, one of Asia’s most well-regarded blockchain events, returning this year to a larger venue in Seoul’s 4,000 seat Jangchung Arena. The event may also serve as a litmus test for broader sentiment and momentum for crypto in Korea. Perceived sentiment of the market in Asia got a boost in March with buzzy conferences in Hong Kong, and Deconomy has perhaps the most intriguing set of international speakers participating, including Andreas Antonopoulos, ConsenSys’ Joseph Lubin, Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) creator Philip Zimmermann, economist Jeffrey Tucker and Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao.

Still, real-world action speaks louder than any conference and the past year has seen both a step back and a step forward for the crypto market in South Korea. A collapse in retail interest in the country has coincided with the collapse of crypto prices globally, but enterprise adoption and crypto consumer product rollouts from leading tech companies in the country have progressed, as evidenced by a recent report that the leading exchange Bithumb would be laying off 50 percent of its staff coming on the same day as Kakao announced the launch of a crypto wallet for its messaging app that’s used by 44 million Koreans.

Along with Kakao, virtually every major Korean conglomerate has made a crypto play — from Samsung’s blockchain wallet rollout in the Galaxy S10 to Hyundai’s effort in coordination with IBM blockchain to improve its supply chain finance ecosystem. The country is rightfully seen by many as producing some of the best tools for mainstreaming the adoption of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.

With tracks on “Financial Applications of Blockchain” and “Blockchain Technology,” the programming will be a mix of enterprise, distributed ledger technology and cryptocurrency applications content, with the regulatory side of the industry also getting attention through government participation.

“We invited such blockchain solution enterprises to the Deconomy forum in order to explore the latest industry trends and seek new business opportunities with all who attend the event,” Deconomy organizer Jeff Paik said of the programming.

Browser Extension Lets Users Shop on Amazon With Lightning Network

Source: CoinDesk

The crypto payment processor Moon has announced that users can now leverage a Lightning Network wallet to pay for Amazon purchases through its browser extension. The extension also enables e-commerce payments with litecoin, ether and bitcoin cash through Coinbase accounts.

FinCEN Takes First-Ever Enforcement Action Against Cryptocurrency Trader

Source: FinCEN

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has assessed a civil money penalty against a peer-to-peer bitcoin trader for violating anti-money laundering (AML) regulations, its first enforcement action against a cryptocurrency exchanger. According to the agency, the exchanger failed to register as a money services business and failed to report "suspicious transactions," among other violations. The exchanger has been assessed a $35,000 fine and is now prohibited from providing money transmission services.

2019 Investments in Crypto and Blockchain Startups at $850 Million

Source: Reuters

According to data compiled by Pitchbook for Reuters, venture capital investment in crypto and blockchain startups has reached $850 million so far this year.

EEA Launches 'Token Taxonomy Initiative'

The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance has announced a "Token Taxonomy Initiative" to develop universal definitions for tokens to encourage their interchangeability across blockchain platforms. Members of the initiative include Microsoft, R3, ConsenSys, IBM, EY, Accenture and Intel.