Block.one Continues Washington, D.C. Push; IoT Startup Attracts Big-Name Crypto Investors

The top daily news from the cryptocurrency and blockchain space:

  • Block.one continues push into Washington, D.C. with lobbying involvement.
  • Helium attracts big-name cryptoasset investors as it launches peer-to-peer IoT device.
  • Angel investor, former Google director marks first hire for Square Crypto.

At the time of writing, bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) are trading at $8,130.8 (+2.0%) and $260.3 (+4.9%), respectively. As for the MVIS CryptoCompare Digital Assets 10 Index, it is currently tracking at 4,043.3 (+0.5%).

Bitcoin Ethereum CryptoCompare

Block.one Continues Washington, D.C. Push as Lobbying Details Shared

Block.one – the publisher of the EOSIO blockchain protocol tied to the popular EOS (EOS) cryptocurrency – appears to be looking to influence blockchain policy conversation in the U.S. As initially reported on by The Block, the blockchain technology startup is cited as the client of lobbying firm Holland & Knight, LLP in a disclosure document filed in May.

The news follows efforts by the Hong Kong-headquartered Block.one over recent months to set up a new office in northern Virginia; a region that is adjacent to Washington, D.C. and home to various government institutions including The Pentagon (i.e., the United States Department of Defense headquarters) and the George Bush Center for Intelligence (i.e., the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)).

Helium Launches Blockchain-Enabled IoT Device, Raises $15 Million

Helium, a San Francisco-headquartered startup using blockchain technology to facilitate wireless connections, announced the launch of its Helium Hotspot product along with the closure of a $15 million Series C fundraising round.

Some big-name venture capital firms partook in the $15 million raise. This included Kyle Samani and Tushar Jain’s Multicoin Capital and Union Square Ventures (USV), who each co-led the Series C round. In a blog post appearing on Multicoin’s website, Jain noted the fact Helium marked “the largest private investment [Multicoin has] made.”

Although initially launching in the U.S., Helium intends to expand network coverage internationally, chief operating officer Frank Mong mentioned in a Medium blog post published Wednesday evening (CET).

Ex-Google Director Marks Square Crypto’s First Hire

Square Crypto, the crypto-focussed entity of the Jack Dorsey-led payments company, Square, announced angel investor and former Google director, Steve Lee, as its first hire.

Most recently, Lee served as a product manager for Bitcoin Operations Technology Group (Bitcoin Optech), a group dedicated to bringing open-source technologies and techniques to Bitcoin-using businesses. Notably, Square hosted Bitcoin Optech’s inaugural workshop in San Francisco in July 2018.

While at Google, Lee led product management for mobile applications, Google Maps, as well as Google’s location platform. He was also a co-founder of Google Glass.

IRS to Host Summit to Discuss its Cryptocurrency Taxing Approach With Crypto Firms

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has reportedly invited a number of cryptocurrency startups to a summit that’s set to be held on March 3.

In the event, which was first reported on by Bloomberg Tax, the agency will reportedly discuss with cryptocurrency firms how  it can “balance taxpayer service with regulatory enforcement.” The summit will include four 90-minute panels on technology, issues for crypto exchanges, tax return preparation, and regulatory guidance and compliance.

According to CoinDesk, an IRS spokesperson confirmed the summit is indeed taking place. Speaking to the publication Kristin Smith, executive director of the Blockchain Association advocacy group, said the agency has been looking to set up an event since at least last month. She added:

My understanding of the event is this is going to be something where the IRS is going to use this as an opportunity to learn from [participants] in the ecosystem but [it] may help inform IRS’s thinking.

The summit will be held at the IRS’s Washington, D.C. headquarters, and it’s worth pointing out the agency hasn’t explicitly said knowledge it gets from it will be used in its future guidance.

The development comes shortly after the Government Accountability Office (GAO), a U.S: Congress watchdog, published a report evaluating the IRS’s existing approach to cryptocurrencies. It noted the agency declined to adopt some recommendations that would help clarify its existing guidance.

Last year, the IRS released an update to their 2014 cryptocurrency tax guidelines, adding to it more control over capital gains, addressing hard forks, and more. The guidelines, however, raised questions when it came to airdropped cryptoassets, and didn’t address small transactions.

Featured image via Pixabay.