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Asia and Australia: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 5th to 12th July 2018

Asia and Australia

Welcome to our weekly roundup of all important blockchain and cryptocurrency news from around the world. Follow the latest developments in the cryptocurrency space continent by continent, country by country.

China

China loses 90% of control over crypto market: Local experts in China have claimed that the government has lost control of over 90% of the cryptocurrency market, according to the UK’s Daily Express.

The Chinese government is one of the far-reaching ones when it comes to cracking down on cryptocurrencies operating in the country, especially Bitcoin. But a series of local experts in the country are now claiming that the government has lost much of the control of the Bitcoin market. Cryptocurrency exchanges are still declared illegal in the country but that hasn’t stopped Chinese from trading in them.

Central bank vows to crush foreign ICOs targeting Chinese investment: The Chinese central bank has used harsh words for cryptocurrencies in a meeting of the Internet Finance Rectification Working Group.

Pan Gongsheng, the vice president of the People’s Bank of China, has targeted initial coin offerings and said:

“Any new financial product or phenomenon that is not authorized under the existing legal framework, we will crush them as soon as they dare to surface.”

While the move is hardly surprising, it shows the insecurity of the Chinese central bank towards new decentralized entrants in the online fintech market.

Bank warns against “mythologizing” blockchain technology: A Chinese banking regulator has spoken out against idolizing blockchain.

Fan Wenzhong, head of department of China Banking and Finance Regulatory Commission, made these anti-blockchain comments during a recent speech in the 5th Fintech Bund Summit in Shanghai this week. He said that blockchain was a significant innovation but people were close to mythologizing it. He said:

“…decentralization is not a new trend but a loop, because the earliest human transactions were without central authorities… blockchain is a useful innovation, but that doesn’t mean cryptocurrencies, which blockchain has given rise to, are necessarily useful.”

The Chinese government continues to frown on cryptocurrencies while being interested in applications of blockchain at state level.

India

Indian politicians fighting over $13.5 billion in alleged Bitcoin laundering: Indian politics is abuzz with recent scandals that involve the opposition party Indian National Congress accusing the ruling Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) of laundering over USD 13.5 billion in Bitcoin through the state of Gujarat.

Gujarat state is the home state of the current head of the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and that is what makes this accusation politically sensitive. The charge is that the Ahmedabad District Cooperative Bank and its director Amit Shah received INR 7.45 billion deposits in just five days and seven other districts also received deposits worth INR 31 billion. The Congress spokesperson said:

“There were reports of the state police blackmailing some businessmen in Surat for extortion and named a former BJP legislator as one of the kingpins.”

The INC person continued and said Bitcoin was used to launder and convert the money. Crypto trading has been banned by the Reserve Bank of India starting this week.

Japan

Japanese regulators upgrading crypto and exchange legislation: A local Japanese outlet named Sankei has reported that the Japanese Financial Services Authority (FSA) is looking to update the legal foundations based on which cryptocurrency regulations have been imposed in the country.

The report from last week shows that Japanese financial watchdog is considering to switch from regulating cryptocurrency exchanges under the Payment Services Act to the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act. Under the new move, the exchanges will be required to manage private and institutional assets in separate classes.

South Korea

South Korea to adopt G20 recommendations on crypto regulations: The South Korean government is now set to implement G20 recommendations, according to latest reports from The Korea Times.

The country pledged to implement the combined G20 effort in crypto regulations and the Financial Services Commission (FSC) is now revising its guidelines for cryptocurrency exchange operators.

An official from the FSC said:

“The FSC made revisions to its rules to apply strengthened policies in order to prevent or detect money laundering and illegal activities because the regulator isn’t opposed to cryptocurrencies.”

Government launches blockchain and crypto classification guidelines: The South Korean Financial Services Commission has introduced new guidelines for cryptocurrency regulations according to latest news from the Asian nation.

The wide-ranging classification includes a detailed report that presents over ten categories of decentralized applications, cryptocurrencies, exchanges and blockchain systems. The country has also imposed anti-money laundering rules on cryptocurrency settlements from 10 July.

Australia

Sugarcane farmers use blockchain to bolster profits: Australian farmers, particularly ones involved in the sugarcane industry, are becoming more active in blockchain development and adoption. Recently, Queensland Sugar Ltd announced a partnership with Queensland Cane Owners to build a blockchain application for sugar provenance.

The four-year project has already got a healthy funding of USD 2.25 million in a small farm grant from the federal government to increase food chain clarity in the system and meet standards. Other food industries are also expected to follow suit.

Crypto classification to tackle crypto taxation: Australia’s tax authority has said that it is going to track citizens who hide their cryptocurrency gains in offshore accounts according to latest reports.

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has published the latest guidelines on taxation of virtual currencies and is going to play an increasing role in regulating cryptocurrencies.

 

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Asia and Oceania: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 22nd to 28th June 2018

Asia and Oceania

Welcome to our weekly roundup of all important blockchain and cryptocurrency news from around the world. Follow the latest developments in the cryptocurrency space continent by continent, country by country.

Japan

Investors plea for lower crypto taxes: Japanese investors are lobbying for lowering of cryptocurrency taxes in the country that could be as much as 55% of the money earned by the people according to some estimates.

There are no special laws for cryptocurrency traders and according to the crypto tax rules; they are to be treated just like other traders who are charged according to various income brackets. Japanese government officials including Minister for Finance Fukushiro Nukuga and Deputy Prime Minister Tara Ase have said that any attempt to make special cases for crypto traders would be seen as unfair by the Japanese public and traders from other industries.

A petition with around 13,000 participants is hoping to lower the tax net for the crypto traders but there is no consensus in the government right now regarding the new taxation laws.

Bitcoin and blockchain seen as proponents of Japan’s next economic boom: Bitcoin and blockchain are seen as the source for the next industrial revolution in Japan according to financial services giant SBI Holdings’s Yoshitaka Kitao.

He made these comments during a blockchain conference in Tokyo this week. He also said that his company was a leading advocate for cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, investing over USD 460 million in AI and blockchain.

“There’s a lot of speculative demand around cryptocurrencies, which is why the price is going up so quickly, but people need to think about how these technologies are being used in real life and how they can improve people’s businesses,” said Kitao.

China

Court rules blockchain may provide legal authentication: In a major move, a court in the Hangzhou city in China has said that blockchain technology and its transactions can legally be accepted in courts as a legitimate piece of data with authenticity.

The court said: “We can’t exclude it just because it’s a complex technology. Nor can we lower the standard just because it is tamper-proof and traceable,”

The ruling could have a major impact on legal nature of cryptocurrencies as they are often not even accepted in courts due to non-recognition by the central bank.

Alibaba’s Jack Ma unveils blockchain-based payment system, challenges conventional system: Billionaire CEO of Alibaba Jack Ma has unveiled a new blockchain-based cross-border payment system that will reduce transaction costs from overseas payments.

Right now, the company has said that the system will help the Filipino population based in Hong Kong, China that sends an approximate HKD 4.4 billion (USD 560 million) annually back to their families in the Philippines.

“I have friends who are Filipino and they asked me when they could use Alipay to send money home because it was too expensive through banks, which charge too much,” said Ma.

The service will soon be available through Ali Pay wallets based in Hong Kong and could be used by other entities in the future.

Central bank working on new cryptocurrency: The People’s Bank of China and its digital research lab is working on a new type of cryptocurrency with 41 new patents being used in the creation of the cryptocurrency.

The central bank has previously rejected the idea of a cryptocurrency but the increasing number of patents being filed for new cryptocurrencies will complicate matters in the future. Chinese cryptocurrencies could be easily adopted around the world as it is the biggest exporter in the world.

South Korea

Hacked exchange BitHumb recovers $14 million in cooperation with other exchanges: In a major move, hacked cryptocurrency exchange BitHumb that reported tens of millions of dollars in stolen cryptocurrency has revealed that it has recovered USD 14 million of the stolen cryptocurrency by partnering with other exchanges in the country.

While Bitcoin transactions are irreversible and addresses partially anonymous, people can trace their flow through blockchain ledgers and flag addresses through them that may lead to cryptocurrency exchanges. In this case, hackers must have sold cryptocurrencies or transferred them to other exchanges’ wallets, thus making them traceable.

Bithumb’s success with this method is quite unusual and could be the start of a new type of cryptocurrency accountability.

India

India to launch IndiaChain to boost blockchain in the country: The central government of India has announced a new blockchain project in the country.

The new project will support IndiaStack, a digital program aimed at digitizing the country of a billion plus population. IndiaChain is in its ninth month of development and is aimed at reducing fraud, speeding up enforcement of contract and increasing transparency of transactions.

Oceania

New Zealand

Blockchain company helping startups with decentralized apps: Blockchain company Centrality based in New Zealand has announced that it has created an infrastructure and marketplace for decentralized apps to help startups, according to Techwire Asia.

The co-founder of Centrality believes that his company can help level the playing field for new startups and help them collaborate with each other to remain sustainable.

Australia

Reserve bank praises Bitcoin but rules out national crypto: In a rare move, a top Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) official has praised the working of Bitcoin but has categorically stated that it would not start a national cryptocurrency like Petro according to a recent speech to Australian Business Economists.

Dr Richards, the head of RBA made these remarks while comparing Bitcoin’s credibility with Australia’s dollar. Richards even admitted that he had invested in cryptocurrencies a while ago and had been following cryptocurrency circles for the last five years. He confessed that he held admiration for its design but he ruled out any official role in the Australian economy of the cryptocurrency.

 

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Asia and Australia: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 8th to 14th June 2018

Asia and Australia

Welcome to our weekly roundup of all important blockchain and cryptocurrency news from around the world. Follow the latest developments in the cryptocurrency space continent by continent, country by country.

China

Bank to use blockchain for credit blacklist: Suning Bank, one of the biggest retailers in China has announced that it is testing a blockchain-based system that will allow it to reduce credit fraud.

The low credit scores will be recorded on the blockchain and and will be used in collaboration with other banks to reduce credit card and loan fraud. China is investing a lot in blockchain technology, especially in the banking sector to increase transparency.

Japan

Monero miners to face charges: Japanese police is investigating three suspected Monero miners involved in a crypto jacking case, according to latest reports by Japanese daily Mainchi.

The miners used a software called Coinhive, a Monero mining script in a crypto jacking conspiracy that set up websites to include the script that cause the visitors’ computers to slow down as their CPU was drained.

Criminal charges are expected to be placed on these individuals in a first for Japan.

South Korea

Crypto exchange suffers major hack: Latest news from South Korea reveals a massive hack inside CoinRail, one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in the country, as reported by Reuters.

Roughly USD 37 million in altcoins were stolen in the hack but the claim was not verified by the exchange company itself. The exchange’s ranking is 9oth in the world with as much as USD 2.5 million in daily trading volumes.

Bitcoin’s massive drop last week was also amplified by the exchange hack that resulted in prices touching the lowest levels since the year’s start. A renewed mistrust in exchanges is going to a concern for the future price of all major cryptocurrencies.

Banks initiate blockchain ID system: The South Korean Federation of Banks (KFB) has announced a new blockchain-based ID system called BankSign that will be implemented as early as July.

The new initiative is anticipated to replace to the outdated current system that has been in place for the last 20 years and has resulted in numerous fraudulent activities.

A spokesperson of the KFB said,”[It is] the first project co-developed by the local banking sector utilizing blockchain technology. While BankSign will start off by providing the service in the banking sector, we will work with the government and other public organizations to expand its usage.”

The project itself is built on the Nexledger blockchain developed by tech giant Samsung.

Thailand

Securities regulator enforces crypto rules: The Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand has announced new laws for cryptocurrency on 8 Jun that are seen as a milestone to legalize cryptocurrencies in the country.

The SEC Thailand’s decision is in contrast with other countries including China that has banned cryptocurrencies. It has instead declared cryptocurrencies as digital assets that are legal but need to be regulated.

As part of the legalization efforts, seven cryptocurrencies have been cleared for trading on cryptocurrency exchanges and they include Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, Stellar and Ripple.

Afghanistan

Coders earn ETH by promoting new crypto projects: A non-profit company based in Afghanistan that gives young women coding lessons is partnering with a network that will allow these coding professionals to earn Ether for fixing issues in crypto startups and participating in bounties. A bounty is a simple job that results in reward of tokens for the person who does the job.

The startup, Code to Inspire (CTI), is partnering with The Bounties Network for this freelancing endeavor that will have a dual purpose of empowering women and promoting remote-learning in the mostly rural country.

Australia

Local tax office hunting crypto traders avoiding taxation: The Australian Tax Office (ATO) is on the hunt for unregistered cryptocurrency traders, according to latest reports coming from the country.

While Bitcoin appreciated several times over last year alone, a lot of money was made by ‘hodlers’ and traders in the cryptocurrency business but after the passing of crypto taxation regulation, the ATO is now on the hunt for all Bitcoin profiteers.

According to Liz Russel, senior tax agent: “There is a long-running debate over what cryptocurrency actually is – whether it’s an asset, currency or collectible – but the ATO has made it clear that it treats cryptocurrency as an asset. That means it’s subject to the same capital gains tax (CGT) provisions that apply to real estate and shares.”

 

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The post Asia and Australia: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 8th to 14th June 2018 appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Asia and Australia: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 1st to 7th June 2018

Asia and Australia

Welcome to our weekly roundup of all important blockchain and cryptocurrency news from around the world. Follow the latest developments in the cryptocurrency space continent by continent, country by country.

Asia

Japan

Fujitsu starts blockchain-based reward points system: Japanese tech company Fujitsu has successfully rolled out a new blockchain-based system for its promotional campaigns like reward points and discount coupons according to a press release issued by the company last Wednesday.

According to the company, the system is going to be deployed across Japan to create awareness among merchants regarding its rewards program and how the promotional activities can be based on blockchain technology.

South Korea

Crypto margin trading to be treated as illegal gambling: The Cyber Crime Division of the South Korea government has declared that margin trading service in cryptocurrency exchanges that are on offer on most systems is equivalent to illegal gambling. The move comes after three Coinone executives involved in margin trading were reportedly close to being arrested because of margin trading.

The groundbreaking announcement was announced after problems arose in the margin trading business of Coinone, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchange in South Korea. In the exchange, users could borrow as much four times as their deposits in the cryptocurrency exchange and could make money or lose some depending on the behavior of the markets.

Supreme Court rules crypto as assets: In a groundbreaking move, the Supreme Court of South Korea has overturned the decision of a lower court and declared that Bitcoin is a recognizable asset. 

The move came after a notorious case last year in which a 33-year-old child pornography suspect was found to have BTC 216 but the government couldn’t confiscate them because the law didn’t recognize them as “tangible assets”.

Vietnam

Government calls for crypto mining equipment ban: The Vietnamese finance ministry has announced that it is proposing banning cryptocurrency mining equipment imports in the country according to government sources.

The latest proposal is seen as a step towards a blanket cryptocurrency ban in the country as the country treats all non-cash payments as illegal and Bitcoin is not yet recognized as cash.

Indonesia

Supervisory board signals green light for Bitcoin futures: The country’s top securities regulator Indonesian Futures Exchange Supervisory Board (Bappebti) has finally designated cryptocurrencies as commodities and they are now available for trading in the future exchange according to latest reports from Coindesk.

The Bappebti was formed in 2005 to regulate the financial market in Indonesia. Jakarta Post posted the news that the governmental commission after an extensive four-month study cleared the way for Bitcoin futures trading in the country.

Philippines

Government looking to blockchain for tax collection: The Philippines department of finance is looking towards blockchain technology for improving tax collection and business improvement initiatives according to latest reports from the Pacific nation.

Paolo Alvarez, the DOF spokesperson said:

“Yes, of course, we are open to exploring blockchain. Secretary (Carlos) Dominguez is really pushing for the application of financial technology. He wants to harness fintech to improve business, for example, payment of taxes online.”

While this is vague, it may be seen as a positive development towards pursuing blockchain-based solutions.

China

Blockchain “checks” to combat fraud being developed by China central bank: Digital Currency Research Lab by Di Gang in People’s Bank of China has announced that is going to use a system capable of issuing blockchain-based checks to combat check-related frauds in the Chinese market.

The tech was the result of a year-long effort initiated by the Chinese government to decrease fraud in the country’s sprawling fintech setup. The country has been suffering from check-related fraud for some time because of a large number of intermediaries that issue checks and it is difficult to legitimize the entire operation.

State TV claims blockchain 10 times more valuable than internet: The Chinese government is banking a lot on the success and application of blockchain technology with the state-run CCTV channel saying that blockchain could be “ten times as valuable” than the internet.

In an hour-long panel in Chinese language by host Chen Weihong, the panelists, including private and public blockchain innovators, termed the technology as exciting and futuristic that will have a lot of worth in the future.

Baidu develops ‘SuperChain’: Baidu has announced the successful development of a new blockchain protocol called SuperChain. The protocol will allow diverse applications of the technology in the future.

Baidu has been at the forefront of the blockchain revolution in the country. It is one of the most popular platforms in the world as 76% of Chinese searches taking place through its search engine rather than Google.

Brunei

Bitcoin as valuable as world’s most valuable currency, Brunei’s 10,000 dollar note: Brunei Darussalam is one of the richest countries in the world according to state wealth and as of right now with Bitcoin hovering around USD 7,420, the cryptocurrency’s unit worth is just about the same as the most expensive currency note: the 10,000 Brunei dollar bill issued first back in December 2006.

While Bitcoin has seen better days, even now the biggest cryptocurrency in the world is equal to the most expensive currency note. The total market cap is, however, less than the tiny East Asian nation’s riches.

Australia

Company loses $6.6 million in crypto: Australian company Byte Power Party has lost over USD 6.6 million worth of cryptocurrencies when a Singapore-based company Soar Labs tried to invest in it without actually paying for it.

The bizarre incident occurred when Soar Labs was found to have a backdoor in its contracts and reportedly froze the coins it had paid to the Byte Power company in exchange for buying 49% of their stake. When Byte Power started selling their coins, Soar found out and stopped the process through the backdoor. Soar will likely be facing criminal charges in the backdrop of this incident.

 

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The post Asia and Australia: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 1st to 7th June 2018 appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Asia and Australia: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 25th to 31st May 2018

Asia and Australia

Welcome to our weekly roundup of all important blockchain and cryptocurrency news from around the world. Follow the latest developments in the cryptocurrency space continent by continent, country by country.

China

President acknowledges impact of blockchain tech: Chinese Premier Xi Xinping has acknowledged the “breakthrough” impact of blockchain technology, according to latest reports from CNBC.

The Chinese head of state made these remarks at a meeting of Chinese Academy of Sciences and Engineering last Monday. The remarks by Xi roughly translate to: “A new generation of technology represented by artificial intelligence, quantum information, mobile communications, internet of things and blockchain is accelerating breakthrough applications.”

Blockchain is being widely adopted by Beijing but cryptocurrencies, exchanges and ICOs are banned due to a clash with conventional institutions.

Government forms blockchain standardization committee: China is at the forefront of advances in blockchain technology with the ministry of industry and technology verifying rumored plans of establishing a blockchain standardization committee.

The structure of the committee will be based on the model of TC 307, the International Standard Organization’s (ISO) own blockchain standardization initiative, according to a report by CoinDesk.

Li Ying, the head of IT Ministry information division said, “We have been working closely with the ISO and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). We should soon have our national technical committee for blockchain standardization ready within this year.”

Hong Kong

Government rules out native crypto: Hong Kong’s central banking regulator Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has dismissed claims that it will launch its own cryptocurrency in the near future.

Back in April 2017, the HKMA revealed its research for a central bank digital currency (CBDC) but the proposal is now being shelved. Joseph Chan, the head of Hong Kong Financial Services and Treasury said, “In the context of Hong Kong, the already efficient payment infrastructure and services make CBDC a less attractive proposition. The HKMA has no plan to issue CBDC at this stage but will continue to monitor the international development.”

South Korea

BitHumb bans 11 countries, South Korea accuses North Korea of $650 million Bitcoin heist: South Korea’s largest crypto exchange Bithumb has banned users from 11 countries, including North Korea, following startling revelations regarding Pyongyang’s cryptocurrency jacking.

Other countries banned in the move include Herzegovina, Ethiopia, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Sri Lanka, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Vanuatu and Yemen.

North Korea’s spy network and hackers have been accused of striking over 100 banks across the world with some USD 650 million stolen.

National Assembly proposing bill to lift ICO ban: The South Korean National Assembly has been moved to lift a ban on domestic Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). The move comes eight months after all cryptocurrencies were banned following the discovery of fraudulent activity.

South Korea is one of the biggest cryptocurrency promoters in the world with big exchanges, innovative Blockchain companies and other decentralized fintech startups operating in the country. The move to re-allow ICOs to function will likely attract more investment into the local cryptocurrency market.

Japan

Crypto learning centers thriving: Crypto learning centers and educational establishments are thriving in Japan, among other East Asian nations, according to Bitcoin.com. More than 80% of total Bitcoin trading took place in East Asia.

A number of banks have also joined the movement and some banks even offer accounts in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Financial watchdog bans private cryptocurrencies: The Japanese financial watchdog Financial Services Agency (FSA) has banned pro-privacy and privately-operated cryptocoins, according to latest reports published on CoinDesk this week.

The move will affect popular coins including Monero, Dash, Augur’s reputation token and ZCash. All of these currencies offer increased privacy as compared to other tokens. The reason behind the move is said to be a crackdown on illicit coin trading.

Philippines

Filipino blockchain project to bring banking to the unbanked: The Union Bank of Philipines and US-based startup ConsenSys will see the 35 million unbanked Filipinos come into the banking fold through blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

According to Finance Secretary Carlos G Dominguez, “Over 86 percent of Filipinos remain unbanked to this day. That is an intolerable ratio of the population excluded from the financial mainstream… We cannot have a new economy with an ancient banking system.”

Australia

Brisbane airport approves crypto payments: Australian city Brisbane’s international airport has announced plans of cryptocurrency payment options at its passenger terminals, according to reports by NewsBTC.

Passengers will be able to use Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dash and other cryptocurrencies to pay for their tickets at various places inside the airport. According to Roel Hellemons, the General Manager of Strategic Planning and Development, “This is just the beginning for us as we hope to expand the digital currency option across the business.”

Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are becoming popular choices for Australian investors and many see Bitcoin as a viable currency of the future.

 

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Asia and Australia: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 4th to 10th May 2018

Asia and Australia

Welcome to our weekly roundup of all important blockchain and cryptocurrency news from around the world. Follow the latest developments in the cryptocurrency space continent by continent, country by country.

Thailand

Government levies taxes on crypto despite opposition: Thailand is the latest country to levy taxes on cryptocurrencies despite opposition at home. Thai blockchain associations were against the aggressive tax policy and the move follows the regional trend of crypto taxes after Australia and other nations levied taxes on crypto gains.

The ministry of finance had already released plans to introduce taxes for cryptocurrency trading and investment.  Thai digital currency associations voiced their concerns regarding the move and the minister responded but the move eventually took place.

The proposed 15% tax is considered stifling for the growth of cryptocurrencies and blockchain space. In addition to this basic levy, a 7% value-added tax is also levied on all cryptocurrency trades. The legislation is still in its infancy and the government has no infrastructure in place to audit the crypto taxes.

Stock exchange launches crowdfunding blockchain: The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) has announced the launch of a decentralized crowdfunding platform based on blockchain to facilitate small businesses and enterprises in the country.

The platform is named LiVE and has plans to provide a complete startup ecosystem which will also provide the necessary education for new businesses to get easier access to institutional investors as well. More than 50 companies are targeted to join the program.

China

Police announce blockchain-based evidence storage: The Chinese ministry of public security has announced the development of a blockchain application that stores evidence from police investigations safely and securely for long-term. The tech was patented at China’s Intellectual property office back in November 2017 and it automatically takes police data and stores it in cloud storage.

This will help solve the problem of falsified records and fake evidence, according to Chinese authorities since blockchain technology can help data become tamper-proof. Criminals will no longer be able to easily hack into the government databases and wipe out the records.

600 Bitcoin mining rigs believed to be from Iceland seized in China: Police in the city of Tianjin, China have seized a record 600 Bitcoin mining rigs in a raid, which is the same number of machines that were reportedly stolen in Iceland heists back in December and January.

The mining operation had caused a short circuit due to stealing power from the national grid after authorities found out that there was a sudden 28% increase in power consumption on one line alone.

India

Crypto exchanges challenge banking restrictions in top court: Indian cryptocurrency exchanges have challenged the central bank’s decision to stop facilitating the transactions of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

This is the third challenge to cryptocurrencies in the market and the most severe as all banking services have been blocked off to the crypto exchanges and they include big local names like Coindelta exchange, Koinex exchange, Throughbit Exchange and CoinDCX.

The petitions will likely be heard in India’s top court on 11 May 2018.

Taiwan

Binance CEO sees ICOs as future of VC: The CEO of popular cryptocurrency trading platform Binance has stated that he believes initial coin offerings (ICOs) are the future of venture capital investments. Changpen Zhao, the CEO believes that the digital crowdfunding method is not just a “good-to-have” option but a genuine future for the system.

Binance is currently based in Taiwan after previous operations in China and Japan.

South Korea

Regulators positive about crypto: The new head of the Korean State’s financial watchdog Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) Yoon Suk-heun has made some encouraging comments regarding the future legislation around cryptocurrencies.

He at least admitted that cryptocurrencies have “some positive aspects” and could have a part in the future. This seems that the confrontational situation has so far dialed down below the 38th parallel since last September’s ban when regulators had “serious doubts” about cryptocurrencies.

The top regulator also said, “there are a lot of issues that need to be addressed and reviewed. We can figure them out but gradually.”

Japan

FSA crackdown on anonymous exchanges and crypto businesses on the cards: Japan continues its love-hate relationship with cryptocurrencies with the Financial Security Agency (FSA) mulling actions against anonymous cryptocurrency exchanges and startups in the country.

It is also trying to see the exchanges delist currencies like ZCash, Monero and Dash, something that goes far beyond the normal crypto regulations that we have gotten used to in the Land of the Rising Sun.

Indonesia

Private and public sectors encouraged to apply blockchain technology: The South East Asian country is encouraging both the private and public sectors to invest in blockchain technology to solve complex problems that are plaguing the country including storage and application of data according to latest reports from Reuters.

The country is a challenge to administer as 250 million inhabitants are spread over a total of 17,000 islands. The Financial Services Authority has assembled a team and they are investigating the applications of the technology for the future.

Singapore

Physical Bitcoin smart banknotes launched: Singaporean Bitcoin startup Tangem has announced a physical Bitcoin banknote at a popular shopping center in the island state. The banknotes are available in denominations starting from BTC 0.01 btc onwards. Each note has a chip that cost the company USD 2 to make and it stores the private keys.

It is the first hardware solution in the form of banknotes with certification for its entire hardware and electronics according to EAL6+ and EMVCo standards. The company is committed to “radically improve the simplicity and security of acquiring, owning, and circulating cryptocurrencies for both sophisticated and incoming users”.

Tangem has a presence in South Korea and Southern China, Taiwan, Russia, and Israel.

Australia

Government earmarks $700 million for blockchain research: The Australian budget has recently unveiled an allocation of USD 700,000 for the blockchain Space to “to investigate areas where blockchain technology could offer the most value for government service”.

 

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Asia and Australia: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 27th April to 3rd May 2018

Asia and Australia

Welcome to our weekly roundup of all important blockchain and cryptocurrency news from around the world. Follow the latest developments in the cryptocurrency space continent by continent, country by country.

The Korean Peninsula

Korea peace treaty inscribed in blockchain: The historic Korea peace declaration by North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and South Korea’s Moon Jae-in on 27 April 2018 was immutably recorded on the Ethereum blockchain. The move was done by Ryi Gi-Hyeok, a prominent South Korean game developer, after the two leaders met at the demilitarized zone on the border.

Rye coded the two Ether transactions, including the Panmunjom Declaration, one in English and the other in Korean. He explained:

“I just thought it took too long for the South and the North to give way to each other… After finding out what I could contribute to this historic achievement as a developer, I found the Panmunjom Declaration on the Blue House homepage and recorded it on Ethereum.”

He has further plans to launch a website to keep all important historic records in permanent, immutable storage on Ethereum.

Samsung posts record-breaking quarter thanks to crypto mining surge: South Korean tech giant Samsung’s investment into ASIC chips for Bitcoin mining seems to have paid off as the company posted a record operating income for the first quarter of 2018 and a profit of $14.5 billion.

Vice president, investor relations, Robert Yi was of the opinion:

“In the semiconductor business, earnings increased significantly year-over-year thanks to favorable memory market conditions driven by a strong demand for server and graphics memory as well as earnings improvements in both System LSI and foundry businesses led by increasing demand for chips used in flagship smartphones and cryptocurrency mining”.

Bank of Korea considering blockchain as part of cashless society concept: The South Korean cryptocurrency scene is exploding after Samsung announced record profits from ASIC chips sales and now the Bank of Korea is considering cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology as part of its “cashless society concept”.

The bank has announced the official launch of its cashless society project on its 2017 Payment Report, according to a post from TokenPost on 1 May 2018.

Japan

Crypto enquiries tripled in 2017: The Japanese Financial Security Agency (FSA) has released figures of cryptocurrency enquiries and they have gone up by more than three times since the same time last year. Over 3.5 million people have been trading in cryptocurrencies in Japan and the new figures confirm the massive spike in public interest in cryptocurrencies since the course of last year.

What is interesting is that most of the enquiries were from the 40s and 50s age groups and were regarding the legitimacy of ICOs and the security of the exchange platforms. It seems the older Japanese generation is also getting into cryptocurrencies.

Taiwan

Binance more profitable than Deutsche Bank: Binance, one of the biggest exchanges in the world, has outperformed the mighty Deutsche Bank in terms of profitability, according to latest figures from both of these organizations. Binance posted a profit of USD 200 million between January and March, while Deutsche Bank only recorded net gains of USD 146 million, significantly under a targeted USD 456 million amount.

Binance was originally founded in China but since then moved to Japan before eventually settling in Republic of China (Taiwan).

Singapore

Singapore fast tracks patents and crypto ride-hailing: The Singapore government has just announced its Fast Track Fintech initiative that is aimed at accelerating the patent approval process for fintech areas including cryptocurrencies and blockchain-based payments.

The development was announced by Low Ling, the senior parliamentary secretary for ministry of trade and industry. His office said:

“The incorporation of blockchain technology to improve the security and efficiency of clearing and settlement across borders for transaction and payment is deemed as a Fintech invention.”

Hong Kong

Government finds crypto not implicated in financial crime increase: The Hong Kong government’s investigation into criminal activity has revealed that criminals are still more likely to use conventional methods of money transfer rather than cryptocurrencies to move black money from one place to another.

Normally, cryptocurrencies are blamed for most of the money laundering efforts in criminal circles but this investigation proves that conventional systems are more likely to be used in this space than cryptocurrencies.

Australia

UNICEF announces mining project to help fund education: UNICEF Australia has announced a cryptocurrency mining initiative in which computing resources from donors will be used to mine cryptocurrency which in turn will be used to raise fiat money to invest in education.

The project is called the Hope Page and will be used to mine the cryptocurrency Monero using donors’ computer processing power that can be anything from powerful ASIC miners to a regular PC with GPU.

UNICEF launched a similar project back in February to help the Syrian civil war crisis.

Stock exchange okays plan for blockchain: The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) has announced plans to replace its old clearance and settlement system with a blockchain-based alternative as early as 2020.

The idea had been in the pipeline for some time since 2015 but the decision arrived back in December last year when the stock exchange announced plans to become the world’s first stock exchange to employ blockchain technology.

The post Asia and Australia: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 27th April to 3rd May 2018 appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.