Asia and Australia
Welcome to another weekly blockchain news roundup from around the world. Here we present to you all the latest Bitcoin news continent by continent and country by country.
Chinese Firm Mines Bitcoin Secretly, End up Losing USD 23 Million: After suffering colossal losses of USD 23M due to secret crypto mining activities, a Chinese construction company, Huatie, has sold off its subsidiary, Huatie HengAn, at merely 10% of the original valuation. The subsidiary was sold for USD 2M, after being valued at USD 25M only a year ago. Huatie HengAn allegedly bought 36,500 pieces of hardware listed as “servers” from manufacturers Canaan and Ebang and allegedly used them for mining crypto instead of construction.
South Korea Banks to Open Payment Network to Fintech Firms by December 2019: In a bid to encourage swift adoption of crypto technologies, Banks in South Korea have agreed to open their payment networks for all fintech firms by December this year. Currently, the payment networks are only accessible by the banks themselves, but this initiative will lead to as much as 10 times lower charges for database access by the fintech firms. The action will also allow the customers to access all their banking accounts using a single application and make payments.
Ex-Top 3 South Korea Exchange Closes Shop: Once standing amongst Korea’s top 3 exchanges, Coinnest has announced the cessation of all operations in South Korea, blaming lowered demand for trading and hostile regulations for the demise. The website displayed notice announcing the discontinuation of activities this week and asked all users to withdraw their funds before the 1st of May 2019. The company has lowered withdrawal fees and the minimum threshold permissible to simplify the outflux.
Japan Regulator Urges Improved Security for Offline Crypto Custody: The Japanese cryptocurrency exchanges will be required to beef up the security of their cold wallet storages, as per a Reuters report. The report states that the Financial Services Agency (FSA), the Japanese financial regulator, has concerns about the security levels of some exchanges and has warned them about the potential risks of internal thefts from the cold wallets. The proposed solution involves having multiple people in charge of the cold wallet while being placed on rotational shifts.
“Bitcoin Girl Thailand” on the Run From Thai Navy after Seastead Debacle: The Bitcoin Girl Thailand, Supranee Thepdet, with her boyfriend and American Bitcoin investor Chad Elwartowski are apparently on the run after being accused of violating Thailand’s national security, a charge that could carry lead to even a death sentence. The fiasco began after the couple constructed their unique waterbody home known as a “seastead” in international waters, located 12 nautical miles from the shoreline of Thailand’s tourist island. The army insists that the couple “did not seek permission from Thailand” and are now looking to remove the USD 150,000 seastead from the water citing danger to shipping.
RBI Sandbox to Promote Fintech, Blockchain, Excludes Crypto: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has issued a ‘Draft Enabling Framework for Regulatory Sandbox,’ that will provide a requirements guideline for the ever-expanding fintech sector in India. This is the result of a committee titled Inter-Regulatory Working Group on FinTech and Digital Banking in India set up in 2016 which was tasked to assess the implications of fintech on the country’s economy and provide an appropriate regulatory framework.
India Retail Payments Corp Considers Blockchain: The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has announced that it will use highly scalable blockchain solutions to improve accessibility and reliability of digital payments in the country while aiming to create the “best payment network globally”. NPCI stated that they intend to develop a highly scalable blockchain solution using an open source technology, that would enable bidders to propose solutions for a DLT application in payments.
Australia’s First Government-Funded Blockchain Incubator Gets One Up on State Rivals: South Australia’s first crypto lab has just received government funding and now hopes to catch up with other states such as New South Wales and Victoria. The new lab, set to open in September has been awarded AUD 170,00 as part of the Federal Government funding that will allow 10 blockchain startups to create a workspace and hire mentoring services. South Australia is fast catching up with its state neighbours, especially after the ADC Global Blockchain Summit last month.
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