Japanese Regulators Grant Cryptocurrency Exchange License to Coincheck

Japan’s finance regulator, the Financial Services Agency (FSA), has granted full permission for cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck to continue operating in the country. Cointelegraph Japan reported on the development on Jan. 11, quoting an official communique. Coincheck, which was hacked in January 2018, losing altcoin tokens worth $530 million at the time, now joins the slowly increasing number of officially sanctioned exchanges serving the Japanese market. The step is a milestone for the exchange and for online broker Monex Group, which bought Coincheck for a nominal $33.5 million in April. According…

South Korea Government Approves Seven out of 21 Cryptocurrency Exchanges’ Security Policy

Some of South Korea’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges have passed a government security audit, but the majority could be exposed to attacks, local tech news outlet ZDNet reported on Jan 10. Bithumb, Coinone and Korbit, in addition to four other major exchanges, satisfied investigators during the audit, which took place between September and December 2018. Of the tranche of 21 platforms involved, however, the remaining 14 failed to meet the criteria for suitable security procedures. South Korea previously had one of the world’s most active cryptocurrency trading economies before regulatory upheaval…

The First Cryptocurrency to Use Mimblewimble Privacy Tech Is Now Live

Today marks the debut of a new cryptocurrency, called Beam – one of two highly-anticipated privacy coins implemented with the so-called “mimblewimble” protocol. The mimblewimble protocol, which is touted as a way to make transactions confidential and virtually untraceable, first appeared in the summer of 2016, and has been widely anticipated ever since. While another cryptocurrency, called Grin, was first theorized for the protocol at the end of 2016, Beam, which was conceived of only in March 2018, launched ahead of Grin, today at 1:40 UTC. Yet Grin developers have…

BitTorrent Is Launching Its Own Cryptocurrency on the Tron Network

BitTorrent, which pioneered peer-to-peer technology for sharing files on the internet, is creating its own cryptocurrency. Issued by the Singapore-based BitTorrent Foundation, the new BitTorrent Token (BTT) will run on the tron protocol, developed by Tron, which acquired BitTorrent in June of last year. The file-sharing software company claims to have 100 million users. Justin Sun, founder of Tron and CEO of BitTorrent, said in a press release: “In one giant leap, we can introduce blockchain to hundreds of millions of users around the world and empower a new generation of content…

E-Commerce Giant DMM Quits Cryptocurrency Mining Business

Japanese e-commerce giant DMM.com is reportedly in the process of withdrawing its cryptocurrency mining business in the country, just months after it set up the operation in early 2018. A news report from Nikkei on Dec. 30 said DMM made the decision on the withdrawal in September 2018 as the overall cryptocurrency market slump led to deteriorating profitability for its mining business. The report added the withdrawal process, including the sale of its mining machines, could continue until the first half of 2019. Founded in 1999, DMM is one of the largest…

China’s New Cryptocurrency Ratings See BTC Slip While Embattled EOS Maintains Number One

China has released its latest government-sponsored rankings of major cryptocurrencies, placing Bitcoin (BTC) in 18th while awarding the top spot to blockchain platform EOS (EOS). The rankings were released in a press release on Dec. 21. China’s Center for Information and Industry Development (CCID) under the Country’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology creates the rankings, which first appeared in May this year. Now listing a total of 34 top cryptocurrencies by market cap on the premise of “basic tech,” “applicability” and “creativity,” the results have frequently courted controversy, especially…

US Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Impose Sanctions on Iranian National Cryptocurrency

United States lawmakers have introduced a bill to levy further sanctions on Iranian financial institutions and the development and use of the national digital currency. HR 7321 was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Mike Gallagher on Dec. 17. In a bid to combat money laundering and terrorism-related activities, the “Blocking Iran Illicit Finance Act” calls for sanctions on the Iranian financial sector and on the development and use of the national cryptocurrency. The act specifically prohibits transactions, financing or other dealings related to an Iranian digital currency,…

US Lawmakers Seek Sanctions Against Iran’s Cryptocurrency Efforts

A bill introduced this week in Congress takes a hard line on Iran’s efforts to develop its own cryptocurrency. U.S. regulators have warned in recent months that Iran’s government wants to use a sovereign cryptocurrency, similar to the petro in Venezuela, to evade economic sanctions. Portions of the Blocking Iran Illicit Finance Act, introduced by Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wisc.), call for a report on Iran’s efforts to create a sovereign cryptocurrency. A corresponding bill was submitted in the Senate by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). The proposals call for sanctions against those who…

Facebook Cryptocurrency | Is the Tech Giant Developing a Stablecoin?

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is reportedly developing a cryptocurrency that will let users send money via its WhatsApp messaging app. The new cryptocurrency would launch first in India—a country with over 200 million Whatsapp users and the world’s leader in sending money home. Facebook Cryptocurrency According to Bloomberg, the company is creating a stablecoin, a digital currency that is pegged to a fiat currency—often the US dollar. These types of cryptocurrencies are supposed to be less volatile than regular cryptos. Though not nearly at a launch stage, sources say that Facebook is…

Facebook is Developing a Cryptocurrency for Transfers in WhatsApp

Facebook is reportedly making a cryptocurrency for users of the messaging service WhatsApp, Bloomberg reports on Dec. 20. The token will purportedly be used for money transfers made within the app, and will focus on the remittances market in India. Citing sources familiar with the matter, Bloomberg states that Facebook is developing a stablecoin. The sources further stated that the coin will not be released anytime soon, as Facebook is still working on a strategy for custody assets i.e. the asset to which the stablecoin will be tied. The Indian…