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Federal cryptocurrency bills and other crypto news this week

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.
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