Welcome to another weekly cryptocurrency news roundup. This week we will present the latest news from across the world country by country. Next up is Asia, Middle East and Australia.
Chinese government considering blockchain for data storage features: The Chinese National Audit Office has reportedly begun to test blockchain technology to support its current data storage capacity. The office is part of the 29 different ministries or cabinet departments in the country and follows a trend of Chinese government initiatives to use the technology for effective governance.
China is already a world leader in blockchain with Chinese innovators holding the largest number of patents in the space, more than US and Japan combined. The most populous state has already invested USD 1.6 billion in different blockchain projects in government funding through its blockchain fund.
While China continues to play hardball with cryptocurrencies and trading, the underlying technology has always been seen as worthwhile by the government due to its enormous potential in governance.
The current infrastructure in the Chinese national data office has already caused a data bottleneck as it is required to store every piece of data reported at provincial and municipal levels. The office sees blockchain as a viable solution to the data problems.
China’s #MeToo movement uses Ethereum blockchain to fight internet censorship: Following the ban on the #MeToo movement in China, Chinese students have started using the Ethereum network to send coded messages in an attempt to evade the country’s internet censorship. Beginning with an anonymous address on the Ethereum blockchain posting itself a transaction on 23 April, the contents are now being shared and permanently stored in the public domain.
The letter was written by Yue Xin, a student from Peking University near the capital and described unfair treatment she received from the university when she attempted to follow up on a sexual harassment case she experienced in the institution two decades ago which resulted in a female student tragically committing suicide.
More and more students have joined in and have started using the Ethereum blockchain to send these messages.
Shenzhen investing heavily in blockchain space: During a Shenzhen blockchain expo by the China Electronic Commerce Association in Shenzhen city, the government has revealed that it is now backing a considerable blockchain investment fund in the city. The funds are over CNY 500 million (some USD 80 million) and the move comes after the city of Hangzhou launched a similar initiative to promote blockchain technology.
In Hangzhou, a sizeable USD 400 million is available, provided by the Hangzhou city government to open a Blockchain Industrial park in the city. It already has ten blockchain projects from across the world working in it.
Japanese blockchain power sharing project to use solar power to reduce emissions: Solar power is a new energy trend as well as a necessity to make the world greener and emission free. A new power-sharing blockchain platform backed by Japanese energy and tech companies has been launched to decrease the reliance on carbon emissions through an emphasis on solar and other renewable resources.
The Japanese blockchain community feels that the current solar setup is not built for scalability and the new system hopes to incentivize Japanese to invest in clean energy sources to start the next stage of customer-customer trading in energy. Large-scale investment will eventually lead to an overall reduction in carbon dioxide emissions as well.
In-browser cryptojacking increasing in Japan: According to recent figures from Nikkei Asian Review, Japan is the most susceptible nation to a particular type of hacking called in-browser cryptojacking. The reason is widely seen as a consequence of the country’s wide adoption of cryptocurrencies.
Biggest South Korean cryptocurrency exchange pushing towards more user-friendly future: South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchange has stated that it is now committed more than ever to create positive cryptocurrency environment that is user-friendly and can be used as easily as fiat money.
Bithumb, the exchange in question, has announced partnerships with South Korean e-commerce platform WeMakePrice, local hotel booking platform Yeogi Eottae and other companies to offer this much-needed experience to its community.
The exchange in a statement to the Korean newspaper HanKyoReh said it would “…integrate cryptocurrencies to eliminate intermediaries like banks and financial service providers for merchants.”
South Korea is seen as rivalling its neighbor Japan where many businesses already accept Bitcoin as payment.
Philippine senator calls for tougher crypto-related offences: Filipino senator Leila de Lima is pushing for a tighter control of government over cryptocurrencies as well as tougher punishments for criminals involved in cryptocurrency related crimes in the country according to the official website of the Philippines State Senate.
On Sunday she suggested: “Knowing that virtual currency resembles money and that the possibilities of using it are endless, a higher penalty for its use on illegal activities is necessary.”
Phillippines has seen a dramatic surge in cyber crimes ever since Bitcoin’s price surged but it has also attracted legitimate investors as well.
Dubai sets goal of becoming global tech player in banking, tourism and art through blockchain: Emirates NBD, the small gulf nation’s major bank, has announced that it is now able to tackle check-related fraud in the country using a blockchain system called Cheque Chain.
Blockchain technology is being viewed as a serious concept that will help UAE realize its dream of 2020 that seeks to establish it as a leading destination for global travel, business and events of all sorts.
Taiwan pushing for greater Bitcoin transparency: Along with the European Union, Taiwan is also working on making cryptocurrencies transparent and secure. According to the country’s Central News Agency, the country’s minister for justice Chui Tai-san has said that Taiwan plans to enforce its new money laundering legislation by the end of this year.
The regulator FSC has also identified bank accounts associated with Bitcoin trading platforms as “high-risk clients”. Transactions above a certain threshold may be flagged in the future.
Australian cryptocurrency startup Power Ledger starts project in Japan: Last Tuesday, the Australian cryptocurrency startup named Power ledger has announced that it has signed a deal with Kansai Electric Power Company (KEPCO) in Japan to start a test of distributed energy systems in the country.
Power Ledger is an Australian cryptocurrency network that allows people to monetize from home-based energy systems like solar panels and increase the appeal for cleaner energy options available to the public.