Crypto Briefs is your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptocurrency and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.
- Gemini Trust Company, a cryptocurrency exchange and custodian, said it launched Nakamoto, Ltd., a captive insurance company licensed by the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA) to insure Gemini Custody. Nakamoto allows Gemini Custody to increase its insurance capacity beyond the coverage currently available in the commercial insurance market, the company said. This insurance solution gives Gemini Custody USD 200 million in insurance coverage — “the largest limit of insurance coverage purchased by any crypto custodian in the world.”
- Binance may take a pause in Japan. The notice says that Binance.com will be phasing out the provision of services to Japanese residents and will gradually restrict transactions for them. All services are still available and no restrictions have been imposed yet, says the exchange. Binance did not respond to our request for comment.
- South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb is to take its USD 67 million tax bill dispute to the National Tax Tribunal, reports the Korea Times. The exchange wants to question the legality of the bill, which was revealed in December last year. Bithumb claims that cryptocurrency is not officially recognized as having value as a currency, meaning crypto transactions are currently exempt from all forms of taxation.
- The self-regulatory Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association (JVCEA) will impose new rules on its members, requiring them to clearly separate customer and company funds in their crypto exchange banking transactions and accounting, reports Fisco, via Gentosha. The JVCEA comprises all of the country’s licensed crypto exchanges and feels that certain members are not doing enough to provide clarity in accounting.
- Voyager Digital (Canada) Ltd., a licensed crypto-asset broker that provides investors with a solution to trade crypto assets, announced it will list three new stablecoins on its platform: Tether (USDT), USD Coin (USDC), and True USD (TUSD). The company says that deposits and withdrawals of all three stablecoins are available on the Voyager app, while Voyager plans to offer interest on stablecoin beginning February 1, 2020.
- The self-hosted bitcoin payment processor BTCPay Server has integrated the Liquid Network, Blockstream’s sidechain-based settlement network for traders and exchanges, into its software suite. Major Canada-based blockchain company Blockstream announced the news saying that merchants using BTCPay can allow their customers to leverage the Liquid Network for payments, which means confidential and fast settlement in Liquid Bitcoin (L-BTC) and other assets issued on Liquid such as stablecoins like Liquid Tether (USDt).
- Portugal has missed an EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD 5) crypto law enactment deadline, reports Criptonoticias. The EU had told member states that they must enshrine the AMLD 5 into their national legislation by January 10 this year, but the country’s Finance Ministry has not yet stated if and when it intends to adopt AMLD 5. The directive requires crypto exchanges and wallet services to identify their customers and inform authorities about customer activities on their platforms.
Digital fiats news
- J. Christopher Giancarlo, who stepped down as chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission last year, said he was creating the nonprofit Digital Dollar Foundation to study converting the dollar into a fully electronic currency based on blockchain, the Wall Street Journal reported.
- China’s Alipay and Ant Financial Services Group, both subsidiaries of the Alibaba business empire, will co-host and sponsor a blockchain conference to be held in April this year. The event will be held in Shanghai, per a press release. The companies state that they expect “30,000 visitors from all over the world” to attend, and claim the event will be “the world’s largest fintech conference.”
- South Korea’s Ministry of Science and the government-run Korea Internet & Security Agency have pledged some USD 29.6 million in blockchain investment for a number of select projects that will make use of blockchain technology. The projects are mainly private-public cooperative drives, and range from a welfare benefits payment platform to blockchain-powered soybean farming programs, reports ZDNet Korea.
- Auto giant Hyundai’s cryptocurrency and blockchain arm Hdac will co-develop a blockchain-based security solution to fight malware and hacking attacks, reports Junja Shinmun. The Hyundai subsidiary will team up with a South Korean firm named Inca Internet for the project. Inca specializes in online security solutions for gaming companies, public institutions, and financial firms.
- Kadena, a hybrid blockchain project led by two former leaders of JPMorgan’s blockchain wing, launched its public blockchain, the first to market as a sharded Proof of Work Layer 1 network. Per the announcement, this includes full transactions and the ability to write smart contracts, while the latest functionalities of the network complete Kadena’s hybrid blockchain platform.
- NBA Team the Sacramento Kings, in collaboration with ConsenSys, a blockchain software development firm, announced a new auction platform that facilitates live bidding on in-game sports gear using a ConsenSys-backed supply chain product called Treum. The press release says that fans will be able to participate in a live auction of game-worn gear during Kings home games. The Kings decided to auction off the starting guard Buddy Hield’s jersey from Wednesday’s game against the Dallas Mavericks, with the proceeds going to Hurricane Dorian relief efforts.