Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency

Bitcoin Startups Target Asian Remittances Market

Bitcoin Startups Target Asian Remittances Market

Even with the volatility and bubble-like appreciation of Bitcoin, observers are noting that there is an increasing number of startups in Asia leveraging the cryptocurrency as a business model. Startups like Bitspark in Hong Kong, and Bloom, Payphil, coins.ph and Satoshi Citadel Industries’ (SCI) remittance unit Rebit in Philippines are using Bitcoin as a transfer mechanism, rather than a currency, to capitalize on the millions of dollars sent monthly to and from countries such as Hong Kong, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Pakistan, Nigeria and Ghana. Some remittance shops say that they are able to charge customers 25-75% less without the banking […]

China Wants Blockchain Standard System ‘As Soon as Possible’

China Wants Blockchain Standard System ‘As Soon as Possible’

In a press release last March 12, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (IT) announced that it is seeking to complete a blockchain system at the soonest possible time. The country, which has already conducted a study on blockchain technology, will be setting up a committee for the promotion of a national blockchain and distributed ledger technology thru the Information and Software Services Division of the Ministry of Industry and IT and the China Electronics Standardization Institute. Observers note that China seems to be supporting blockchain technology even though it has banned initial coin offerings (ICO) and domestic and […]

Hacked Cryptocurrency Exchange Coincheck to Repay Customers This Week

Hacked Cryptocurrency Exchange Coincheck to Repay Customers This Week

Coincheck announced last week that it will be repaying Monday this week customers who lost funds in the hack that had hit the Japanese cryptocurrency exchange last January. In the face of sanctions from the government, Coincheck will be repaying around 46 billion yen ($431.6 million) to investors affected by one of the biggest cryptocurrency hack ever. It has also resumed normal trading and withdrawal last Monday. Japan watchdog, the Financial Services Agency, also took action against six other exchanges and ordered them to improve measures against risk and use of cryptocurrency by criminals. Source: Reuters

PBOC: Digital Cryptocurrencies Not Legitimate Form of Payment

PBOC: Digital Cryptocurrencies Not Legitimate Form of Payment

China’s central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan said last Friday that the country does not recognize digital currencies such as Bitcoin as legitimate forms of payment. Zhou added that China is paying close attention to blockchain technology, but some of its applications are growing too quickly and may have a negative impact on consumers. According to him, it may bring unpredictable effects on monetary policy transmission and financial stability. The country is seen to be maintaining its strong stance against Bitcoin and had clamped down on token-based fundraising rounds in the past few months.     Source: Reuters

Japan Financial Watchdog to Punish Cryptocurrency Exchanges

Japan Financial Watchdog to Punish Cryptocurrency Exchanges

Sources revealed last Wednesday that Japan’s Financial Services Agency will be handing administrative punishment notices to several cryptocurrency exchanges and may even issue suspensions for several businesses. It was not revealed which exchanges would be included, but it is said that the FSA will ask Coincheck Inc., GMO Coin and Zaif to raise their standards. Japan is the first country to implement regulation on cryptocurrency exchanges at the national level, with 16 exchanges currently registered with authorities. The FSA is currently investigating security shortcomings on all cryptocurrency exchanges after the Coincheck cyber-heist where hackers stole $530 million in NEM.   […]

UK Company Linked to Mt. Gox Hack

UK Company Linked to Mt. Gox Hack

The BBC revealed earlier this week that a London-based firm called Always Efficient LLP is being linked to the laundering of funds stolen from bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox. The Tokyo-based exchange was the victim of a hack a few years ago where it lost hundreds of thousands of Bitcoins. According to the FBI, the stolen cryptocurrency ended up in rival exchange BTC-e which is operated by Always Efficient LLP which is suspected to be a shell company. Upon further investigation, the FBI says that a Russian man named Alexander Vinnik may be behind BTC-e. Vinnik was arrested in July 2017 […]

Singapore Mulls Rules to Protect Cryptocurrency Investors

Singapore Mulls Rules to Protect Cryptocurrency Investors

Last Thursday, Singapore’s Central Bank said that it is studying if additional regulations are needed to protect cryptocurrency investors. Deputy managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore Ong Chong Tee said that they are currently assessing if more regulations will help protect investors. Aiming to be a bigger fintech hub in the region, the city-state has not made any moves to regulate virtual currencies, but has issued a warning to the public about investing in such volatile assets. Singapore does, however, impose anti-money laundering requirements on businesses providing virtual currency services. Source: Reuters

Cryptocurrency Trading in Malaysia to Require Full Identification

Cryptocurrency Trading in Malaysia to Require Full Identification

In an official press release, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) stated that all cryptocurrency exchanges must fully identify traders who use their service as dictated by the country’s new anti-money laundering legislation. The rule, which came into effect last February 27, instructs all exchanges offering crypto-to-fiat, fiat-to-crypto and even crypto-to-crypto trading to verify their customer’s identity via their government-issued ID. Operators must now perform “customer due diligence” or CDD before allowing the creation of new accounts, and trading on existing accounts where customers will be asked to provide information including their full name, address, date of birth, nationality, purpose of transaction, […]

EU Finance Chief Says Bloc Stands Ready to Regulate Cryptocurrencies

EU Finance Chief Says Bloc Stands Ready to Regulate Cryptocurrencies

Valdis Dombrovskis, EU’s financial services commissioner said Monday that the bloc will regulate cryptocurrencies if risks related to such assets are not addressed by the international community. Dombrovskis revealed that cryptocurrency will be also be discussed by G20 finance ministers and central bankers in Buenos Aires in March, and the EU may arrive at a decision on the issue later this year or early in 2019. The finance chief also remarked that policymakers seem to be hesitant to crack down on cryptocurrencies for fear of losing jobs and growth opportunities to other regions. Meanwhile, center-right member of the European Parliament […]

Hacker Returns 20,000 ETH Stolen from Coinbase ICO

Hacker Returns 20,000 ETH Stolen from Coinbase ICO

It has recently been reported that a large sum of funds stolen from Israel-based CoinDash had been returned, presumably by hackers who stole it during the ICO. In July last year a hacker was able to steal Ethereum from the ICO amounting to $7 million at that time. However, 10,000 had inexplicably been returned from the hacker’s address in September last year, then another 10,000 this week. CoinDash, which is set to launch its product today, says that the hacker’s actions will not affect the company’s vision. It had already previously contacted Israel’s Counter Cyber Terrorist Unit regarding the theft. […]