Banking and Finance

European Blockchain Partnership Signed by 22 Countries

European Blockchain Partnership Signed by 22 Countries

According to a press release earlier this week, 22 countries have signed a declaration that seeks to create a European Blockchain Partnership during the European Commission’s (EC) Digital Day 2018 held last April 10. The Partnership will serve as a vehicle for Member States to exchange experience and expertise in preparation for the launch of EU-wide blockchain applications. The move, along with the pursuit of AI development, is part of a push by EU to become a world leader in digital technologies. The states which have already signed are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Latvia, […]

Filipino Couple Nabbed in 900 Million Bitcoin Scam

Filipino Couple Nabbed in 900 Million Bitcoin Scam

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa announced last Tuesday that they have arrested a man and a woman who had scammed more than 50 investors out of their Bitcoin which amounted to a total of 900 million.     Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) chief Director Roel Obusan said that the couple ran a pyramid scheme with a company called “NewG” where victims were promised a payout every 15 days. The two were able to bait a number of investors using middlemen due to the Bitcoin hype. The PNP CIDG said that they have already filed […]

Israeli, Foxconn to Make World’s First Blockchain Smartphone

Israeli, Foxconn to Make World’s First Blockchain Smartphone

Earlier this week, Swiss-Israeli tech firm Sirin Labs announced that a subsidiary of Foxconn, FIH Mobile Ltd., will be manufacturing its Finney blockchain smartphone. The Finney will be designed to store and use digital currency securely. It will be able to convert tokens to use decentralized applications without having to obtain different tokens through an exchange. Sirin had already raised $157.8 million through an initial coin offering to support the development of its open source blockchain smartphone and blockchain personal computer. The company aims to sell around a few million units this year through stores in Vietnam and Turkey where […]

South Korea to Release Cryptocurrency Tax Framework by June

South Korea to Release Cryptocurrency Tax Framework by June

It was reported last March 25 that South Korea’s Ministry of Strategy and Finance will be releasing a taxation framework for cryptocurrencies as early as June. A spokesperson from the ministry said that while they do not a have a specific time frame, they may announce the virtual money tax in the first half of this year. However, any taxation would only start in 2019. The country’s cryptocurrency task force is reportedly proposing a transfer income tax that levies taxes on profits from crypto sales and said that that other income taxes may be imposed for temporary or irregular income […]

BSP Issues Warning After Malaysia Central Bank Cyber Attack

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas governor Nestor Espenilla said last Saturday that they have issued an alert to local financial institutions after learning of a cyber attack that had hit Malaysia’s central bank. Bank Negara Malaysia said that hackers made falsified wire-transfer requests over their SWIFT bank messaging network, but no funds were lost and payment and settlement systems had not been disrupted.   Espenilla said that although they are aware that banks already have their own standard operating procedure, the BSP is still issuing a reminder since information sharing is part of enhanced defensive protocols against cyber-crime. Source: Reuters

Intel Files Patent for Bitcoin Energy Reduction Solution

Intel Files Patent for Bitcoin Energy Reduction Solution

Intel had reportedly filed a patent for a Bitcoin (BTC) mining hardware accelerator intended to reduce the power needed for mining cryptocurrency. The patent was filed September last year, but the application was released just last March 29. Intel says that the optimization can yield up to 35% energy usage improvement. While Intel’s patent application pertained to ASIC implementations for “convenience,” it was noted that the system could apply to “any other logic device including processors, SoCs, and FPGA platforms. The patent is the latest in Intel’s forays into blockchain and cryptocurrency. Last year, the chip giant had already partnered […]

Malaysian Central Bank Thwarts Cyberheist

Malaysian Central Bank Thwarts Cyberheist

The central bank of Malaysia said last Thursday that it was able to prevent an attempted cyber attack with the intent to steal funds via fraudulent wire transfers. Bank Negara Malaysia revealed that the attackers made falsified wire-transfer requests over the SWIFT bank messaging network, but did not say if they were able to identify the attackers or their methods. Tom Kellermann, a former member of the World Bank security team, pointed out that the bank’s failure to identify and apprehend the criminals means that adversaries who wish to exploit the system are still at large. Meanwhile, the Society for […]

China Central Bank Confirms Crackdown on Cryptocurrencies

China Central Bank Confirms Crackdown on Cryptocurrencies

A senior official of China’s central bank said last Thursday that the PBoC has already outlined its agenda for the coming year and revealed that it will be reinforcing regulation both internally and with external parties to “rectify different kinds of cryptocurrencies.” PBoC vice governor Fan Yifei confirmed that they will be cracking down on virtual currencies to protect the integrity of the yuan. It was noted that the vice governor’s statements on cryptocurrencies follow those previously made by other officials. The bank’s former governor Zhou Xiaochuan also issued some critical statements against cryptocurrency and the perceived risks it poses […]

Google Reveals Two Blockchain Projects After Banning Cryptocurrency Ads

Google Reveals Two Blockchain Projects After Banning Cryptocurrency Ads

Google revealed earlier this week that it is currently developing two separate blockchain projects. The search giant made it known a few weeks after banning ads related to initial coin offerings and cryptocurrency. According to Bloomberg, anonymous sources in the company told them that Alphabet will be using blockchain technology to create a “tamper-proof” auditing system and a cloud operations platform. It had already filed a patent for the “tamper-evident” ledger in September 2017. It was noted, however, that Google’s new policy would effectively ban the company’s project on AdWords. The company has not yet commented on the implications that […]

Japan Regulator Warns Binance, CEO Cries Foul

Japan Regulator Warns Binance, CEO Cries Foul

Nikkei reported yesterday that Japan’s Financial Services Agency is expected to send a warning to a major cryptocurrency exchange for operating in the country without a license. Nikkei said that the FSA may file criminal charges against Hong-Kong based cryptocurrency exchange Binance if it does not suspend its Japan operations. However, CZ, the exchange’s CEO, called the report ‘irresponsible’ and revealed that they were already engaged in constructive dialogue with the FSA and have not been given any mandates. Binance is believed to be the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange, and it is said that a significant number of investors in […]

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