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.

Japan

Honchu village launches own crypto: The Japanese village of Nishiawakura in the Aida district has announced that it will be launching its own cryptocurrency.

The small village in the Okayama prefecture is known for its beautiful landscape, feudal castles and museums, and will be launching its own coin through an ICO. It is part of a growing belief in smaller Japanese administration units to become self-maintaining entities within the economy and secure independent financing resources and encourage development.

According to a village statement: “We plan to advance according to the revised fund settlement law… in line with the self-regulation rules on the management and finance by the Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Industry Association.”

The village had been considering the opportunity since last year and has also announced that it has found a blockchain provider for the new move and that it isn’t going to be Ethereum or Waves.

Exchange association set to ban insider trading and anonymous crypto: The Japanese Virtual Currency Exchange Association is going to introduce new laws regarding insider trading in the space, according to Nikkei Asian Review.

The association consists of over 16 licensed cryptocurrency exchanges and it is a mode of self-regulatory mechanism adopted by the Japanese crypto industry. The move will see penalties and possible bans for infringement or cryptocurrency insider trading in the space.

According to the publication: “…exchanges will be required to keep their quoted rates from widely deviating from the prevailing market rates. Exchanges would also need to introduce circuit breakers to halt trading should a currency’s value suddenly surge or plunge.”

Further measures for private coins will also be announced in the future.

South Korea

Exchange Bithumb reports $31 million hack: The world’s sixth largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume Bithumb has confirmed earlier reports that it was hacked. The exchange reported a loss of around KRW 35 billion (around USD 31 million) and has since ordered a stop to withdrawals and deposits before further measures can be taken.

Bithumb is one of the largest exchanges in South Korea with a daily trading volume at around USD 400 million and over 37 cryptocurrencies can be traded on the platform. The hack raised new concerns regarding the security of the top cryptocurrency exchanges that are more centralized than ever.

This was the second time a South Korean exchange was hacked in June 2018 alone, with Coinrail the previous victim.

No plans to launch central crypto: The South Korean central bank has announced that it has no plans of launching a state central cryptocurrency.

The announcement comes after reports coming in recently that South Korea was looking at the feasibility of such a move and a task force was also reportedly set up by the government for this purpose. The latest statement by the Bank of Korea puts cold water on these speculations but there could be a long-term plan at work for this move.

Turkey

Turcoin denounced as Ponzi scheme: Turcoin, which was credited as Turkey’s alternative currency and token, is now being denounced as a Ponzi scheme. The founders have reportedly fled Turkey and stole about TRY 100 million (Turkish Lira, worth some USD 21 million) worth of funds collected from 10,00 investors across the country.

The scam ICO ran for over nine months since its inception and it duped investors into investing in the new coin that could one day become Turkey’s national cryptocurrency. The move was controversial, to say the least because it never had the backing of any government channel whatsoever.

India

Legislator named in Bitcoin extortion probe: A former Indian legislator has been named a “proclaimed offender” by a local court related to a USD 1.3 million Bitcoin extortion case.

The Indian Express reported that former MLA Nalin Kotadiya failed to respond in the court case despite several summonses and the Crime Investigation Department (CID) hadn’t been able to serve him a warrant because of this no-show.

Now, the court has toughened its stance and the legislator has now been proclaimed as a “proclaimed offender”. Jatin Patel, another person of interest has been named co-accomplice in this case.

Cambodia

Government bans “unlicensed cryptocurrency”: The Cambodian government has issued a public statement that has put a blanket ban against cryptocurrencies in the nation.

The statement was signed by the National Bank of Cambodia, the Cambodia SEC and the top police official in the country and jointly says that cryptocurrencies without license are all illegal. There is no official clarification on the licensing part, so the move effectively delegitimizes all cryptocurrencies in the country. The government also failed to give a satisfactory answer on existing cryptocurrencies in the country.

Australia

Bitcoin billionaire’s spouse missing: According to The Mail Online, the wife of a Bitcoin billionaire has gone missing and the case is baffling police. Madeline Biggaton, the missing woman is the wife of John Biggaton, the Australian director of cryptocurrency exchange BitConnect which is already under investigation and has since been shut down.

BitConnect has long been considered as a Ponzi scheme because of its unrealistic return rates and has also received cease and desist letters from two American state governments. The disappearance of the wife of the Australian director adds to the mystery of the case. So far not a lot is known regarding Mrs Biggaton’s whereabouts.

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