China Leads World in Blockchain Patent Applications

The blockchain is taking China by storm as companies in the country are lining up left and right to file patents related to the emerging technology — despite the country’s crackdown on ICOs, cryptocurrency mining, and trading.


Will China Lead the World in Blockchain Technology?

Chinese companies are taking blockchain technology very seriously.

According to data sourced from the World Intellectual Patent Organization by Thomson Reuters, more than half of 2017’s 400 blockchain-related patent applications came out of China. For comparison, the United States came in second with 91 applications.

As noted by Quartz, plenty of applications for patents don’t receive a seal of approval and even those that do don’t automatically see the patent’s vision crafted into an actual product. Nevertheless, patents are attractive to investors and provide useful market signals. As explained by Thomson Reuters’ Practical Law editor Alex Batteson:

They are a tool that can shut out competitors and provide first movers an advantage. Many of the largest companies in the tech world make the majority of their income from licensing patented technology.

Will China Lead the World in Blockchain Technology?

Changing of the Tides

China hasn’t been the most blockchain friendly country in the world, of course. The strict country has notably cracked down on Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), cryptocurrency mining, and digital currency trading.

However, Quartz notes that blockchain technology was “a surprisingly hot topic at the recent Two Sessions meeting,” and that the Chinese government is interested in creating its own digital currency secured on the blockchain.

Meanwhile, Chinese mobile phone manufacturers are racing to launch blockchain-related phones. March 16 saw the launch of Sichuan Changhong Electric Co., Ltd.’s R8 Unicorn, which is purportedly based on the proof-of-work consensus algorithm and supposedly allows users to record data on the blockchain while mining cryptocurrency. The newly-launched Lenovo S5 also claims to feature a blockchain-based payment space for secure transactions.

China is also home to the popular altcoins NEO – a blockchain platform and cryptocurrency often referred to as “the Chinese Ethereum,” designed to build a scalable network of decentralized applications – and Tron, a decentralized content entertainment protocol based on blockchain technology which aims to construct a global free content entertainment system.

Do you think China is set to become the world leader in blockchain technology? Let us know in the comments below! 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Pixabay

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Source: Bitcoininst

Mobile CryptoJacking on the Rise, Reveals Symantec Internet Security Report

Cryptojacking, the unauthorized use of computing resources for mining of cryptocurrencies, has caused massive disruption, with websites of high profile institutions like police forces, and servers of huge organizations being targeted.

A report released on March 28, 2018, by Symantec indicates increased instances of mobile crypto jacking.

Quantity, not Quality

However, even much smaller devices like your mobile phone can be susceptible to these malicious scripts.

Covert miners are nothing new, but browser-based crypto-jacking saw a 34,000 percent jump last year, according to Symantec, who claim that it was the largest trending attack of 2017.

Much of this has targeted mobile devices and personal PCs, which although might not seem very lucrative, having a limited amount of processing power, is made profitable by the sheer economy of scale.

Sherif Nabawi, senior director at Symantec Asia-Pacific, commented:

“It’s a game of mass – the more you infect, the more money you generate. [One] mobile phone or one computer running 24 hours might generate anything between 1 to 25 cents [But] if you multiply that by 100,000 infected devices, you get $25,000 overnight.”

What is profit for the thief, however, is a significant inconvenience for the victim. An infected device is rendered extremely sluggish with battery-life rapidly deteriorating and their CPU being maxed out.

Symantec stated in the report that the scripts could overwork the CPU to such an extent that it causes “batteries to overheat and devices [can] become unusable.”

This development can be a troublesome issue for individuals, but for organizations, it can be catastrophic.

Covert coin miners can put corporate networks at risk of shutdown, and run up astronomical bills for companies that are billed based on CPU usage.

The rise in crypto-jacking has corresponded with an increase in the general popularity of cryptocurrency.

As investors feel the FOMO, cybercriminals have rushed in to capitalize on the cryptocurrency craze, moving on from less profitable and increasingly crowded ventures like ransomware.

However, web browsers have begun to fight back, and late last year Opera announced anti-crypto mining measures would be integrated into their desktop web browser, a feature which has also since been incorporated into the mobile browser: A defensive move in the face of yet another invisible internet threat.

According to ESET senior research fellow Nick FitzGerald, the crypto jacking trend looks set to continue:

“Globally, people are still interested and investing in cryptocurrency. As long as this continues, the value of these virtual currencies seems likely to continue to increase, so crypto jacking will continue as cybercriminals see this as easy money.”

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Source: BTC Manager

Cappasity Platform is Used to Create the World’s Largest Catalogue of Luxury Goods

TSUM.ru is the first company that has digitized more than 30,000 products in 3D using the Cappasity technological solution. TSUM.ru – an online platform for TSUM, the largest luxury department store in Eastern Europe and one of the biggest online platforms in the region.

Cappasity Inc., a developer of 3D product imaging solutions made especially for e-commerce, is pleased to announce that TSUM has already digitized more than 30,000 SKUs in 3D creating the biggest сatalogue of 3D product images in the world.

TSUM account on Cappasity – https://3d.cappasity.com/u/tsum

“We managed to increase conversion rate by almost 40 percent for products in categories which have been 3D digitized by Cappasity and have been clicked and viewed by visitors. 3D is the technology that allows us to be innovative and differentiate from our competitors, we are seeing stronger customer engagement,” said Andreas Schmeidler, Chairman of TSUM.

TSUM is the leader in the integration of new technologies in Eastern Europe and holds the leading position in sales in the luxury segment in Russia.

“Cappasity dedicates its efforts to the development of 3D digitizing technologies to help online retailers win over customers and decrease return rates thanks to true-to-life product imaging. The company’s products allow anyone to quickly produce high-quality 3D content and easily integrate it into a website or applications,” said Kosta Popov, CEO at Cappasity.

In comparison to traditional 2D photos, 3D images bring a brand new digital shopping experience. A buyer is able to rotate, zoom and look at the product from different angles, which brings them as close as possible to the product while shopping online. 3D images are proven to increase engagement and conversion over 2D photos by up to 40 percent.

About Cappasity

Cappasity Inc.’s mission is to make 3D imaging easy and accessible to everyone. From a business perspective, they strive to revolutionize the ecommerce space by bringing 3D product views and AR/VR shopping to the mainstream, improving the online retail experience for customers and boosting conversions for retailers. Cappasity has successfully raised $4.9 million from and launched its platform and 3D digitizing software in 2017.

About TSUM

Today TSUM, with its 70,000 square meters, is the largest department store in Eastern Europe. It offers ready-to-wear, shoes and accessories collections of the world’s leading fashion brands including Dolce & Gabbana, Valentino, Céline, Ralph Lauren, Kiton, Brioni, Ermenegildo Zegna, Tom Ford, Lanvin, Alexander McQueen, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Chanel, Fendi etc.; jewellery and watches by Rolex, Patek Philippe, Hublot, Chopard, Garrard, Graff, Mikimoto etc.; porcelain and homeware by Baccarat, Christofle, Lalique, Daum, as well as perfumery and cosmetics of the leading brands. Since 2002 TSUM is under the management of the Mercury Group – Russia’s largest luxury goods distributor, with more than 20-years’ experience in fashion retail.

Official website – http://www.tsum.ru

 

This is a paid press release. BTCManager does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. Readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company. BTCManager is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

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Source: BTC Manager

Summary on Tether and Where We’re At

In light of the most recent $300 million in currency. This is something that the entire Bitcoin community needs to worry about because all signs are showing that there’s a high likelihood that Tether will be forced to cease all of their operations in the United States at some point in the future.

Some may be tempted to respond by saying, “There’s no proof that Tether isn’t backed by real reserves!”

For those thinking this, please understand that this article has nothing to do with whether Tether is actually backed with a legitimate 1:1 reserve ratio to all of the tokens that they have issued over the last year. The main problem here is that Tether is essentially issuing a security.

But Everyone is Issuing One!  

The difference here, however, is that Tether has been issuing a security for the last year instead of over the course of a few weeks like most ICOs have. The specific security that Tether has issued is based on the U.S. dollar, which puts them squarely in the crosshairs of the Department of Justice (potentially) for other potential violations of federal law.  

Also, Tether has also printed approximately $2.5 billion worth of Tether tokens since they first began issuing them and they are already on record for receiving a subpoena from the CFTC. This information was released on January 30, 2018, and Tether has yet to issue a refutation of the report at the time of writing.

How is it a Security?

Below, is the formal definition of the term, ‘security,’ as defined in Section 2(a)(36) of the 1940 Securities Act passed in the United States.

Source: https://t.co/6cfLvVUPDz

As a rebuttal, several apologists for the Tether company have stated that they shouldn’t have to worry about the United States’ regulatory and federal bodies because Tether is not located in the United States.

However, information on their website appears to point to the contrary.

If you go to the ‘About Us’ section at the time of writing, here’s what you’ll see:

However, the author remembers looking at this page several weeks ago and seeing a U.S. location listed there. So, in order to perform due diligence, the author consulted the way back machine, which archives content posted on the internet with a webpage scraper dated all the way back to 1996.

This machine revealed that Tether did, in fact, have a U.S. location listed on their website as recently as November 2017.

Source: https://t.co/TG63e3ZFtJ

So What is the Subpoena For?

The subpoena, which sources allege was sent on December 6, 2017, during to the Tether Limited company, was sent by the CFTC, which stands for the U.S. Commodity Future Trading Commission.

Typically, they only send subpoenas in instances where they have a suspicion of wrongdoing. And even when there is a suspicion of wrongdoing, the CFTC will typically reach out directly to contact the alleged offenders and request that they volunteer information to them. It is only when this request gets ignored that they move forward with actually sending an official subpoena.

This issuance falls in line with the recent crackdown on ICOs by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which is a federal agency in the United States responsible for defining what qualifies as a security and subsequently regulating those things.

Source: https://www.wsj.com/articles/sec-launches-cryptocurrency-probe-1519856266

Another Kicker for Tether  

As mentioned above, Tether scrubbed any and all mention of a United States-based office from their website entirely.

However, this is unlikely to have any great impact on the United States’ investigation because they have some level of regulatory power in many of the jurisdictions that Tether claims to operate in. At the very least, if the United States really wanted to get them, then neither Hong Kong nor the Caribbean (where they claim to be established and originated, respectively) would be a suitable haven for the company.

What makes things worse for Tether is that their transition from the Bitcoin blockchain using Omni Layer to creating ERC20 tokens on the Ethereum chain without a formal announcement before announcing the reason for suddenly switch to another chain spontaneously shows an apparent and flagrant attempt to obfuscate their printing habits.

Thus, the image below applies to their situation perfectly:

Source: https://t.co/LkB9X0xAfE

Even BitMex came to the same conclusion in their study of Tether because they more than likely see the same issues that the author sees.  

Who is Behind Tether?

What Could the U.S. Do Against Tether?

In order to get a better idea of how/what the United States would do in the event that they do decide to apprehend Tether Limited for their printing of unauthorized securities in the form of tokens that are tethered to the United States’ currency, one must examine the case study of a ‘Liberty Reserve.’

Liberty Reserve  

“Liberty Reserve was a Costa Rica-based centralized digital currency service that billed itself as the ‘oldest, safest and most popular payment processor, serving millions all around the world.’”  

It also asserted that “the site had over one million users when it was shut down by the United States government. Prosecutors argued that due to lax security, the alleged criminal activity largely went undetected, which ultimately led to them seizing the service.”

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberty_Reserve

Below is an excerpt of how Liberty Reserve eventually met their doom at the hands of the United States’ government:

Tether Company

Here’s more good reading on Tether by a computer security researcher that specializes in investigating financial crimes from Berkeley. Some interesting notes from the piece:

Source: https://t.co/VTjqGz6xra

What are the Implications for Cryptocurrency?

If Tether is apprehended by the United States’ federal government, then it is more than likely that other exchanges that are trading/offering Tether would promptly be sent a cease and desist letter.

Based on what you can see above, the panic and insolvency that would ensue will (not could, will) cripple the whole cryptocurrency market.

Important Conclusions  

What people should take away from this article is that Tether being backed legitimately one-to-one is neither here nor there at this point. Even if they were 100 percent correct in their claim that they’re backed by the United States’ dollar completely, there is still a significant possibility that they, at the very least, are forced to pay very hefty fines for their failure to abide by the SEC’s regulation and federal guidelines.

When the shoe drops on this case, there could be a substantial shake-up in the cryptocurrency sphere.

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Source: BTC Manager

Arizona Just Approved America’s First Regulatory Sandbox for Blockchain Firms

FinTech firms in Arizona couldn’t have asked for a better gift from Governor Doug Ducey as the big man signed House Bill 2434 into law. With this development, Arizona has now become the first state in the United States to have a regulatory sandbox for FinTech firms.

Note that while this is the first-of-its-kind initiative in the US, industry-specific regulatory sandboxes are not a new concept. Many countries including the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Australia, and Singapore have rolled out such sandboxes in the past to enable startups and entrepreneurs to try out new products and services without being constrained by pesky regulations.

What are Regulatory Sandboxes?

In general, a startup has to spend hefty amounts from their limited funds in fees, legal costs, compliance costs, and other expenses to meet the regulatory criteria in each state they wish to operate. Not to mention the months it takes them to get over with the slow-moving process. This rather time-consuming process can be incredibly frustrating for businesses in the FinTech sector as technologies keep on evolving at a very rapid pace.

A regulatory sandbox, on the other hand, enables businesses to launch products and services on a temporary and limited scale. This approach is particularly effective while trying out innovative business models and products/services, which is often what FinTech firms deal in.

The sandbox allows entrepreneurs, startups, and even established businesses to test the commercial viability of their products and services without having to incur the burdensome regulatory expenses and restrictions.

The onus of administering the Arizona regulatory sandbox will be on the Attorney General’s office.

The Arizona bill also facilitates a separate provision for reciprocity which allows the Attorney General to enter agreements with other states with similar sandboxes. Simply put, it will allow Arizona sandbox participants to take advantage of the other sandboxes so long as similar benefits are extended to the participants of those other sandboxes. Attorney General Mark Brnovich stated in a press release:

“The idea of a regulatory fintech sandbox is not new, and while it’s being discussed at the federal level, Congress is moving at a glacial pace. Arizona has always been a state for big ideas, and this is just one more place where we are trailblazing in entrepreneurship and innovation,”

He added: “I hope to see the sandbox serve as a catalyst for capital investment in Arizona and provide opportunities for Arizona businesses and consumers to thrive.”

Key Aspects of Arizona’s Regulatory Sandbox for FinTech Firms

The key takeaways include:

  • The Civil Division of the Office of the Arizona Attorney General will administer the sandbox.

  • The Sandbox is likely to go live sometime in late 2018.

  • The program will run through July 2028.

  • Once approved, sandbox participants will be granted a period of 24 months to test their innovative products and services. This period may be extended up to one year upon request. Although, such extensions are likely to be exceptions rather than the norm.

  • The Office of the Attorney General will determine the application fees.

  • All applicants are required to provide detailed information about their products and services.

  • All sandbox participants must offer products and/or services targeted at Arizona consumers.

A Blockchain Revolution in the Making

Rather than coming off as just an arbitrarily passed law, this latest move by Governor Ducey is being widely viewed as yet another step by the Arizona government to project the state as a hotbed for FinTech innovation.

The state has been working on a slew of reforms to make it easy for FinTech companies to go about their business unhindered by regulatory roadblocks. Among other perks, the changes in policy – some already executed and some impending – is expected to boost its still-nascent but fast expanding homegrown blockchain and crypto industry.

In one such move, the state is making it legal for citizens to pay their taxes in bitcoin.

In another move with potentially far-reaching consequences, a proposed law that aims to offer institutionalized protection to operators of blockchain network nodes is inching closer towards the final approval. The bill HB2602, submitted to the House of Representatives on Feb 6, 2018, is crafted such that it would prohibit towns, cities, and countries from imposing unwarranted restrictions on the running of blockchain nodes in a residence.

Representative Jeff Weninger, the man behind the bill, claims that HB2602 is an important step towards ensuring that no regulatory stumbling block stands in the way of Arizona emerging as a blockchain hub.

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Source: BTC Manager

Bithumb and Pay’s Join Forces to Make 6,000 South Korean Merchants Accept Bitcoin and other Cryptos

 

 

After months of rumors, speculation, and uncertainty, the cryptocurrency regulatory war in South Korea seems to be over, and confidence is gradually returning to the Korean digital currency space. Leading cryptocurrency exchange, Bithumb has inked a partnership deal with top mobile payment service Pay’s to facilitate cryptocurrency payments for over 6,000 outlets and merchants in the nation.

The Alliance

According to the Korea Times, the partnership deal which was signed on March 26, 2018, is aimed at making it possible for at least 6K shops to accept cryptocurrency payments before the end of the first half of this year. Also, the team will work hard to increase the number of cryptocurrency-supported merchants to 8,000 before the end of 2018.

That’s not all; the report also hints that at least 200 franchise brands are interested in the project, enabling digital currency hodlers to seamlessly pay with blockchain money using the Pay’s mobile payment app.

More Crypto Adoption

This move will undoubtedly increase the level of crypto adoption in the Asian nation, as all reservations in the hearts of investors fuelled by regulatory issues that threatened to cripple the Korean crypto ecosystem has evaporated. An official of the reputable crypto exchange has said that this latest development is in a bid to boost the use of virtual currencies in Korea and maybe globally. In his words:

“We have taken a landmark step. We will try hard to set up an environment in which cryptocurrencies are used extensively.”

A lot of good crypto news has been coming from South Korea Lately. Back in August 2017, BTCManager reported that South Korea’s most significant messaging and FinTech platform Kakao was planning to integrate bitcoin into its platform.  

Fast forward to 2018 and the Kakao crypto ambition is still alive as Asia Business reported two weeks ago that one of the largest conglomerates in Korea, Kakao, who owns the KakaoPay platform is putting preparations in top gear to make its cryptocurrency dream a reality.

In addition to adding established cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, ethereum, and some other altcoins to its platform, Kakao will launch own cryptocurrency by the end of 2018.

If all goes according to plan and Kakao Corp successfully integrates virtual currencies into its platform, it will enable over 12 thousand people who use the conglomerate’s services such as Kakao Taxi, KakaoPay and others to embrace the gospel of cryptocurrency. And very soon, the South Korean digital currencies industry may become as vibrant as that of Japan where thousands of retail shops, large merchants, hotels, and airlines have all integrated cryptocurrencies into their businesses.

Although the good news is yet to make any significant impact on the price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as the market is still battling to survive from the firm bear grip, however, 2018 might even be another excellent year for the entire cryptocurrency world.

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Source: BTC Manager

Crypto Hot Spot Japan Shows No Love for ICOs

Despite Japan’s position at the forefront of crypto-trading and regulation, there is one area in which they sorely lag behind. Although ICOs have exploded onto the world stage over the last couple of years, Japan has seen barely a handful.


No Regulation, No Good

Yesterday I suggested that it was perhaps because of the relatively strong regulatory framework that Japan was such a hot market for cryptocurrency. But as yet there are no clear guidelines relating to ICOs. Perhaps this uncertainty is one reason why they have yet to catch on in the country?

In a statement last October, Japan’s financial watchdog, the FSA, said that some ICOs would fall under existing regulations. However, it stated that these must be reviewed on a case by case basis.

Utility Token or Share?

An FSA official speaking anonymously to the Japan Times confirmed that a key deciding factor would be the intended use of the token. This is roughly in line with several other countries’ position on the matter.

If investors receive dividend-like rewards, these schemes are like investment funds which require a license to operate legally. However, tokens for use in payment systems would fall under the existing regulation for cryptocurrencies. Current exchanges could trade these as long as they receive government approval.

Japan's FSA on ICOs

Where There’s a Will

One way around this has been to list the tokens issued in the ICO on overseas exchanges. Tokyo-based Alis Co used this tactic when successfully raising 400 million yen ($3.6M) in their ICO last March.

CEO Yasahiru Masu said last month:

We were confident of our business plan… but we were surprised when we could actually attract that much money that quickly

He also claimed to have consulted the FSA before launching the ICO.

Change is a-Comin’

Since then, of course, we have seen the loss of 57 billion yen (half a billion dollars) during the Coincheck hack in January. This has prompted an FSA research panel which will consider (among other things) ICO regulation in the coming months.

The FSA are aware of the benefits of ICOs and believe the key is to eliminate ‘bad’ ICOs through regulation. The anonymous official said:

While we warn that there is potential for fraud with ICOs, they make it easier for startups to raise money… We need to balance the merits of ICOs and consumer protection.

Certainly, it will be interesting to see what happens once regulations are put into place, and Japan finally has the chance to catch the ICO-mania that has gripped the rest of the crypto-world.

Do you think ICOs will gain more traction in Japan once clear guidelines and regulations are in place? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Nikkei, Wikimedia Commons

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Source: Bitcoininst

Newegg Enables Cryptocurrency Payments for Canadian Customers

Newegg Enables Cryptocurrency Payments for Canadian Customers

On March 28 the popular online electronics merchant Newegg announced its now allowing residents from Canada the ability to pay for goods using cryptocurrencies. Through its partnership with the payment processing firm Bitpay, the company feels its the right time to offer Canadian customers the ability to pay for items with the digital currencies BCH and BTC.

Also Read: Steven Seagal Karate Chops Bitcoin ICO Goodbye

Broadening Acceptance of Bitcoin to Our Customers in Canada

Newegg Enables Cryptocurrency Payments for Canadian CustomersThe e-commerce store Newegg has accepted BTC in the U.S. since 2014 and was one of the earliest electronics merchants to take cryptocurrency for payments. According to the firm’s recent announcement since then digital currency transactions have represented a “growing stream of purchase transactions.” Following this trend, Newegg states that is now offering Canadian customers the ability to pay with BCH and BTC. The firm details that cryptocurrencies have grown more popular over the last year with “increasing mainstream awareness.” Danny Lee, Newegg’s CEO explains during the announcement:

In 2014 Newegg was among the first major companies to offer customers a bitcoin payment option — Since that time the value of bitcoin has skyrocketed and customers holding bitcoin have considerably more purchasing power — We believe the time is right to broaden our acceptance of bitcoin to our customers in Canada.

Cryptocurrency Traction in Canada

Canadian cryptocurrency users will have access to Newegg’s variety of computers, electronics, games, office supplies, and more by utilizing Bitpay’s payment processing software. When purchasing an item users are directed to an invoice that allows them to choose between the BTC and BCH networks.

Newegg Enables Cryptocurrency Payments for Canadian CustomersThe payment service provider Bitpay says they plan to facilitate all cryptocurrency transactions in both the U.S. and Canada for Newegg. The Atlanta based company’s API also allows Newegg customers paying in BCH and BTC the ability to get a refund. Bitpay CEO and co-founder Stephen Pair says the firm has seen a lot of action within the Canadian borders.

“We’re seeing a lot of traction in Canada, and we’re happy to see Newegg extend its bitcoin payment option north of the border,” explains Pair.

What do you think about Newegg offering crypto-payments for customers in Canada? Let us know in the comments below.


Images via Shutterstock, and Newegg. 


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Source: Bitcoinnews.com

Cryptocurrency Miners Help Keep Tiny Swiss Village Alive

The Swiss village of Gondo on the Italian border was once a haven for gold miners. Now, after decades of economic stagnation, it’s become a hot spot for miners of digital gold.


Over 100 years ago, the southern Swiss village of Gondo was famous on the European continent for its gold mines. These days, the tiny Alpine location is becoming famous for its cryptocurrency mining operations.

Gondo only lays claim to a population of roughly 50 people but has become the site of a cryptocurrency mining gold rush — not entirely dissimilar to what took place nearly a century before. “What we are doing is very much like the gold rush back in the day,” Alpine Mining’s 26-year-old chief executive Ludovic Thomas told AFP from his undisclosed mining operation in a windowless, secure bunker.

“It is very interesting from a historical perspective,” Gondo’s deputy president, Paul Fux, told AFP. He added, “We had gold mines that were famous all over the world. Now we have a new breed of miners.”

The deputy president also admitted he had no idea what Thomas and his business associates were talking about when requesting permission to start their mining operation in Gondo. “I had never heard the word blockchain before,” Fux told AFP, “I had to google it.”

Swiss Based

Now, Thomas is looking to expand operations in the Alpine village — which has been largely welcomed by the village that saw a torrential downpour destroy various buildings and kill 13 inhabitants in 2000. Since the disaster, Gondo has struggled to survive, with tourism virtually non-existent and the village serving as merely a pit-stop for truckers.

Gondo’s inhabitants are happy to have cryptocurrency miners joining their community. Fux told AFP, “They have already survived a first winter, which is not easy.” Thomas, likewise, claimed that the villagers “are happy to see young people, that life is coming back.”

Still, Gondo — which reportedly “houses no school, shop, bakery or cafe” — may not be able to accommodate Alpine Mining’s growing needs. The village has only one single electrical transformer, of which a full third goes directly to Alpine Mining. Explained Thomas:

Mining is often compared to the gold rush. Right now, there is a crypto rush. We’re not prepared to wait six to eight months for a new transformer.

What do you think of cryptocurrency mining as the new gold rush? Do you think villages with power to spare could benefit from incentivizing cryptocurrency mining operations? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, PxHere

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Source: Bitcoininst

Five Cryptocurrency Exchanges in Japan Throw in the Towel

Five Cryptocurrency Exchanges in Japan Throw in the Towel

Five cryptocurrency exchanges in Japan are closing after their operators reportedly withdrew their applications with the Japanese financial regulator to operate crypto exchanges. They are in the process of returning clients’ cash and crypto holdings.

Also read: Japan’s DMM Bitcoin Exchange Opens for Business With 7 Cryptocurrencies

Five Exchanges Cease Operations

Five Cryptocurrency Exchanges in Japan Throw in the TowelFive cryptocurrency exchange operators in Japan have withdrawn their applications with the Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA) to register their crypto exchanges, Nikkei reported on Thursday, adding that “More are expected to follow, as the FSA has given several exchanges a chance to voluntarily close before ordering them to do so.”

Tokyo Gateway and Mr. Exchange have withdrawn their applications; both were ordered by the agency on March 8 “to improve their data security and other safeguards after they were found to be lacking,” the publication noted. The two withdrawals follow three others by unregistered operators – Raimu, Bitexpress and Bit Station. The news outlet elaborated:

The companies will leave the exchange business after returning clients’ cash and cryptocurrency holdings.

Five Cryptocurrency Exchanges in Japan Throw in the TowelMr. Exchange issued a statement on Thursday, writing “We have made efforts to improve items that were pointed out” after receiving a business improvement order from the FSA. However, the company decided that it would be difficult to comply with the necessary requirements, and eventually elected to withdraw the application to register a crypto exchange. Mr. Exchange explained, “We are currently discussing procedures for smoothly returning customer assets.”

FSA Tightens Oversight

Five Cryptocurrency Exchanges in Japan Throw in the TowelSince the payment services act went into effect and legalized cryptocurrency as a means of payment in April, crypto exchanges are required to register with the FSA. So far, 16 exchanges have been registered including Bitflyer, Quoine, GMO Coin, Zaif, Bit Bank, SBI Virtual Currencies, and Bit Arg Exchange.

In addition, 11 others are allowed to operate while their applications are pending. This number does not include the five exchanges that have withdrawn their applications. Among the 11 is Coincheck which suffered a massive hack in January and lost 58 billion yen worth of the cryptocurrency nem.

Following Coincheck’s hack, the regulator began scrutinizing crypto exchanges heavily. All exchanges were inspected; on-site inspections were conducted on all unregistered operators. “These exchange operators are required to have data security and other systems on par with those at the 16 registered exchanges,” the news outlet wrote, adding:

The FSA’s probes have so far found problems with corporate governance and internal controls. Some operators see little prospect of meeting the agency’s standards.

The FSA recently ordered a temporary suspension of two crypto exchanges and issued business improvement orders to five others.

Do you think more Japanese exchanges will withdraw their applications? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Mr. Exchange.


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Source: Bitcoinnews.com