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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

Mark Zuckerberg Snaps Back at Tim Cook’s Criticism of Facebook

In an interview earlier this week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg responded to criticisms thrown by Apple CEO Tim Cook against him in relation to the social network’s recent privacy scandal. In an interview with CNBC, Cook said that he wouldn’t be involved in such a situation when asked what he would do if he were in Zuckerberg’s position. Facebook is currently dealing with the misuse of data of around 50 million of its users by a political data-analytics firm Cambridge Analytica. Zuckerberg replied and pointed out that unlike Apple which only caters to rich people, Facebook offers a free service […]

Indonesia to Require Go-Jek, Grab to Register as Transport Business  

Indonesia to Require Go-Jek, Grab to Register as Transport Business  

The Indonesia transport ministry revealed this week that Go-Jek and Grab need to register as transport businesses. The requirement, which has to be completed within the next two months is expected to increase cost and scrutiny for both ride-hailing firms. Transport Minister Budi Karya Sumadi said in a conference that a new regulation requiring ride-hailing companies to get a license from his ministry for providing public transport has already been finalized. A license-holding company must ensure that its cars regularly pass a safety test, and its drivers have a special license for driving a public transport vehicle. Both firms have […]

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 […]

Smugglers Using Drones for Transport Caught in China

Smugglers Using Drones for Transport Caught in China

Chinese authorities revealed this week that they have arrested a smuggling group using drones to transport $79.8 million worth of smartphones from Hong Kong to Shenzhen. According to the Legal Daily, customs officers in Shenzhen caught 26 smugglers using drones to fly two 200-meter (660-feet) cables between Hong Kong and the mainland to sneak in refurbished iPhones. The criminals operated after midnight and were able to smuggle as much as 15,000 phones across the border in one night. Shenzhen authorities said in a press conference that it was the first ever case of smuggling using drones. China is currently the […]

Singapore Competition Watchdog to Probe Uber-Grab Acquisition

Singapore Competition Watchdog to Probe Uber-Grab Acquisition

Last Friday, Singapore’s competition watchdog said that it will be looking into the acquisition of Uber’s Southeast Asian business by its competitor Grab as it had reason to believe that the deal may have infringed the Competition Act. The Competition Commission of Singapore also proposed interim measures that will require Uber and Grab to maintain their pre-transaction independent pricing. This is the first ever occasion that the CCS had imposed such orders on any business in the country. Grab Singapore head Lim Kell Jay assured consumers and the commission that they have voluntarily committed to maintaining their fare structure and […]

Zuckerberg Disavows Facebook Memo Calling for User Growth at All Cost

Zuckerberg Disavows Facebook Memo Calling for User Growth at All Cost

Buzzfeed reported earlier this week that Mark Zuckerberg had disavowed an internal Facebook memo which said that the company needed to prioritize the addition of more users above anything else. The 2016 memo written by Facebook VP Andrew “Boz” Bosworth had not been previously reported and surfaced only recently partly because of the issues currently hounding the social network. Zuckerberg said in a statement that Boz had a tendency to say provocative things. He added that other Facebook employees, himself included, disagreed with the memo and did not believe that the end justifies the means. Boz acknowledged the authenticity of […]

Amazon Cuts Ties with Top Lobbying Firms

Amazon Cuts Ties with Top Lobbying Firms

Bloomberg reported last Friday that Amazon has cut its ties to top Washington lobbying firms Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP and Squire Patton, and replaced them with outsiders. Amazon hired Paul Brathwaite of Federal Street Strategies LLC and Josh Holly of Holly Strategies Inc as replacements a week after US president Donald Trump blasted the retail giant for not paying enough taxes, taking advantage of the USPS, and taking businesses from smaller retailers. Both firms are outside lobbyists who have previously worked with Airbnb Inc and Oracle Corp. Amazon is said to have 15 lobbyists, with another 15 […]

Sri Lanka Bans Facebook Social Media, Messaging

Sri Lanka Bans Facebook Social Media, Messaging

The Sri Lankan government reportedly shut down Facebook’s social media and messaging services in the country earlier this week, saying that it is being used to spread fake news and hate speech which promote deadly sectarian violence. The government says that the social network has not done enough to address harmful posts on its platform, and that a ban on Instagram, WhatsApp, and Facebook will help stem attacks on Sri Lanka’s Muslim minority. In an email response to CNBC, Facebook said that it has clear rules against hate speech and incitement to violence, and that it has already contacted the […]