1. 3% of Americans Ready to Use Blockchain Banking

According to a survey conducted by FOTON, an ICO-funded blockchain banking product that will not materialize until March based on funding efforts, 3% of American Internet users across age groups are ready to use a blockchain banking product or app today. The survey was presented to 5,000 American Internet users earlier in December. Read more at CCN.

2. Bitcoin ATMs Doubled This Year

For a markedly bearish year, 2018 turns out to have been pretty good for the spread of cryptocurrency teller machines. The number of bitcoin ATMs around the world has approximately doubled in the past 12 months. More than 4,000 devices in almost 80 countries are now exchanging fiat money for digital coins. Read more at Bitcoin.com.

3. Ron Paul: Abolish The Federal Reserve, Embrace Bitcoin

Former US congressman, Ron Paul, has been bashing the Federal Reserve again after it raised interest rates a quarter of a point. The renowned Bitcoin fan, called for the Fed’s abolition, saying that the free market should dictate interest rates. Read more at Bitcoinist.

4. Nigeria: Crypto Experts Call for Regulations to Help the Industry Grow

Cryptocurrency experts in Nigeria have recently called for “urgent regulations” on cryptocurrencies so the sector can gain the public’s trust, and become beneficial for the country’s economy. Luno, a South-African based crypto startup that operates in 40 other countries, has reportedly claimed that regulations will strengthen blockchain banking solutions and cryptocurrency-related operations in the country. At an event called Luno Meet in Lagos, country manager Owenzie Odia argued regulations will help cryptos’ popularity surge. Read more at CryptoGlobe.

5. GPU Producer Nvidia Worst Performer in S&P 500

The drastic decrease in crypto mining profitability has hit GPU producers like Nvidia hard. In Q4 2018, the firm experienced a massive sell-off of its shares, cutting the stock price by 54 percent and making it the worst performer in the S&P 500. From 2016 to September 2018, Nvidia’s market value markedly increased from $14 billion to $175 billion as demand for its GPUs in artificial intelligence (AI) and cryptocurrency mining grew. In May, the firm reported its profits from crypto mining for the first time while forecasting a two-thirds drop in sales to miners for Q2. Read more at CoinTelegraph.

6. Customers Can Now Pay With Cryptocurrency At a Brazilian Supermarket Chain

A supermarket chain on the northern coast of Rio de Janeiro, in the Rio das Ostras municipality, now gives customers the option to pay with cryptocurrency, according to local news outlet Portal do Bitcoin. Oasis Supermercados has two stores and a total of 90 employees. Customers can pay with bitcoin, litecoin, and bitcoin cash, according to administrator Douglas Andrade. Read more at CryptoGlobe.

7. US Telecoms Giant Comcast to Make Blockchain Software Available in 2019

American global telecommunications conglomerate Comcast aims to make its blockchain initiative Blockgraph commercially available in 2019, according to a press release published Dec. 21. “Comcast is currently working with NBCUniversal to test Blockgraph’s capabilities with plans of incorporating it into its addressable offering in early 2019,” states the release. Read more at CoinTelegraph.

8. Israel’s Central Bank Seeks Public Input in Crypto Regulation Initiative

According to a statement released by the Bank of Israel, there is a need to monitor developments in the digital assets space and understand their implications on financial stability, economic activity and on the financial markets. Per the press release, the input from stakeholders and other interested parties will be useful in formulating recommendations that will be instrumental in the drafting of regulations. Read more at CCN.

9. US Lawmakers Seek Sanctions Against Iran’s Cryptocurrency Efforts

Portions of the Blocking Iran Illicit Finance Act, introduced by Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wisc.), call for a report on Iran’s efforts to create a sovereign cryptocurrency. A corresponding bill was submitted in the Senate by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). The proposals call for sanctions against those who knowingly provide Iran with funding, services or “technological support, used in connection with the development of Iranian digital currency.” Read more at CoinDesk.

10. Belgian Authorities Update “Blockchain Blacklist” With 14 New Exchanges

The Belgian Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) has updated their ongoing list of businesses reported to operate cryptocurrency scams. With this most recent addition of 14 websites the “blockchain blacklist” has now expanded to 113 websites to avoid. In March, the Brussels Times reported that Belgian tax authorities had started hunting for cryptocurrency investors. “Anyone speculating on the cryptocurrency market must pay tax of 33% on gains made, and declare these within the section ‘miscellaneous income’ on their tax return,”. Read more at CryptoGlobe.