Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Ohio continues its efforts to attract cryptocurrency entrepreneurs with $100 million in new funding for startups, but that's not all of the important industry news this week.

Catch up quick: U.S. congressmen introduced bills to protect from cryptocurrency price manipulation, Venezuela will sell oil for Petro cryptocurrency in 2019, and a new document shows that the U.S. government is interested in tracking privacy coins.

U.S. congressmen introduce bills to protect from cryptocurrency price manipulation (Rep. Darren Soto, D-Fla., website)

  • Why it matters: The bills aim to address two critical issues: price manipulation, which has been one of U.S. regulators' biggest concerns, and whether U.S. regulations are enabling innovation compared to other countries. These are only the latest efforts in Congress to get regulatory clarity and move the digital currency industry forward.

Venezuela to sell oil for Petro cryptocurrency in 2019, says Maduro (CoinDesk)

  • Why it matters: Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has been pushing the country's cryptocurrency, the Petro, which is pegged to its oil and mineral reserves. Maduro's plan to move all oil sales to the cryptocurrency is an attempt to sidestep U.S. sanctions on the country.

U.S. government interested in tracking privacy coins, new document shows (CoinDesk)

  • Why it matters: Documents from the Department of Homeland Security show the agency wants to find ways to track digital tokens specifically designed with heightened privacy features in case of illegal activities. The agency's interest isn't a surprise — several years ago, federal agents analyzed bitcoin transactions to catch corrupt colleagues.

Go deeper

Postal workers' union endorses Biden

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The National Association of Letter Carriers, the union representing roughly 300,000 current and former postal workers, on Friday endorsed Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election, calling him "a fierce ally and defender of the U.S. Postal Service," reports NBC News.

Why it matters: The endorsement comes as President Trump has vowed to block additional funding for the USPS in the next coronavirus stimulus package, linking it to his continued baseless claims that increased mail-in voting will lead to widespread voter fraud.

Lawmakers demand answers from World Bank on Xinjiang loan

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

U.S. lawmakers are demanding answers from the World Bank about its continued operation of a $50 million loan program in Xinjiang, following Axios reporting on the loans.

Why it matters: The Chinese government is currently waging a campaign of cultural and demographic genocide against ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, in northwest China. The lawmakers contend that the recipients of the loans may be complicit in that repression.

Obama: Americans could be "collateral damage" in Trump's war on mail-in voting

Photo: Zahim Mohd/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama tweeted Friday that everyday Americans could become "collateral damage" if President Trump continues to attempt to slash funding for the U.S. Postal Service as part of his campaign against mail-in voting.

Why it matters: Trump linked his baseless claims that increased mail-in voting will lead to widespread voter fraud on Thursday to the current impasse in coronavirus stimulus negotiations.