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US States Issue Warnings Over Cryptocurrency Investments

The American states of Idaho and Alaska have both issued warnings over investments involving cryptocurrencies.

Idaho’s Department of Finance warned its people on Thursday to deal cryptocurrency investments with caution. It said that a survey by the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) has reported that 94 percent of state and provincial securities regulators believe that bitcoin and other digital currencies involve “high risk of fraud.”

Gavin Gee, director of the Idaho Department of Finance, said that unsuspecting investors get tempted by the recent wild price fluctuations and speculation surrounding cryptocurrencies and rush into investments that they don’t understand fully.

Gee said:

“Cryptocurrencies and investments tied to them are high-risk products with an unproven track record and high price volatility. Combined with a high risk of fraud, investing in cryptocurrencies is not for the faint of heart.”

Cryptocurrencies are susceptible to cybersecurity breaches or hacks and the high volatility of such investments makes them unsuitable in sizable amounts for many investors, the cautionary note stated.

The Department of Finance also reminded investors to keep an eye out for common red flags of investment fraud, including unsolicited offers, unlicensed sellers and guarantees of high investment returns.

The state of Alaska has also released a statement urging investors to view digital currencies with caution.

Kevin Anselm, director of the state’s Division of Banking and Securities, said that cryptocurrencies “aren’t a typical investment.” She emphasized that people have to understand the risks of investments, such as hacks or fraud, and what the offerer is giving in return, a local news media report said.

Anselm added that there has been a rise in reports of Alaskans being asked to buy new cryptocurrencies.

Warning light image via Shutterstock

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How City in Idaho Joins Global Municipalities That Endorse Blockchain

The city government of Boise, Idaho has signed a partnership with local Blockchain startup company ULedger. This alliance is intended to develop various use cases for Blockchain within the city’s technological infrastructure.

According to the city’s chief information officer (CIO), Darrin Harris, the city government is excited to become among the first cities in the world to adopt the technology to practice due to its revolutionary features.

“Blockchain is a transformative technology and through our relationship with ULedger, we are excited to become one of the first city governments to bring Blockchain and its many benefits to practice. We are looking to ULedger, and its stateless Blockchain protocol to mitigate data and security risks, improve data integrity and continuity, streamline process and deliver a first in class experience to the citizens of Boise.”

Other governments around the world adopting Blockchain

Meanwhile, other municipal governments around the world are also assessing the various possible applications of Blockchain technology in their operations. In China, the local government of Chan Cheng District in Foshan City, Canton Province has utilized a prototype Blockchain-based platform called Intelligent Multifunctional Identity (IMI) for the registration of local residents during an election.

In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the local government of Dubai announced in March 2017 that it partnered with several organizations as part of its plan to adopt Blockchain systems in all government departments and operations by 2020.

Among these governments’ partner companies are technology firm IBM, which serves as Blockchain strategic partner, and New York-based Ethereum startup ConsenSys, which was tapped as Blockchain city advisor.

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Idaho City Inks Development Deal with Blockchain Startup

The municipal government for Idaho’s state capital, Boise, has inked a deal aimed at exploring public-sector blockchain use cases.

According to an announcement, the Boise government is to work alongside local blockchain company ULedger in a joint endeavor expected to experiment with various use cases for the technology within the city’s technological infrastructure.

Home to just 225,000 residents, Boise claims it is one of the first city governments to move towards implementing blockchain technology in a public and direct way.

Darrin Harris, who serves as the city’s chief information officer, said in a statement:

“Blockchain is a transformative technology and through our relationship with ULedger, we are excited to become one of the first city governments to bring blockchain, and its many benefits to practice. We are looking to ULedger, and its stateless blockchain protocol to mitigate data and security risks, improve data integrity and continuity, streamline process and deliver a first in class experience to the citizens of Boise.”

Though an early mover within the U.S., other municipalities throughout the world have looked to blockchain for possible uses.

In China, for example, a local government used a prototype blockchain-based voting solution in June to support one of its elections. And, back in March, Dubai announced new partnerships as part of its plan to put all government documents onto blockchain systems by 2020.

Boise on the map image via Shutterstock

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