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Major Japanese Crypto Conference off, Consensus Goes Virtual + More News

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 2 min read

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.

Source: iStock/RusN

Coronavirus news

  • Due to the coronavirus outbreak, one of the largest crypto conferences, Consensus 2020, initially scheduled to take place in May in New York, “will now be a completely virtual experience, where attendees from all over the world can participate online at no charge,” Coindesk announced, adding that “If you already purchased a ticket to Consensus 2020, we will be issuing full refunds.”
  • Also, one of Japan’s biggest cryptocurrency and blockchain conferences has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Per an official announcement, the TEAMZ Blockchain Summit in Tokyo was due to take place in late April, but has now been pushed back to the end of September. Organizers wrote, “We are duly concerned about the safety and security of those attending the summit, speakers and sponsors.”

Regulation news

  • The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) told crypto firms to provide coronavirus preparedness plans. “An institution’s preparedness plan should be sufficiently flexible to effectively address a range of possible effects that could result from an outbreak of COVID-19, and reflect the institution’s size, complexity and activities,” they said.
  • South Korean lawyers say they have been inundated with inquiries about compliance and licensing-related matters after the country’s parliament passed a new cryptocurrency-related amendment. Under the terms of the law, exchanges will need to meet special banking requirements and apply for regulatory permits. Per Herald Kyungjae, a number of lawyers working with blockchain and industry 4.0 companies believe that crypto exchange-related M&A deals will take place in the near future – with an industry shake-up likely.

Adoption news

  • PumaPay (PMA) announced that it integrated PullPayment Protocol with Pornhub Premium, allowing users of this major adult site to manage their monthly and one-time Pornhub Premium payments through the PumaPay Mobile Wallet app.
  • The Venezuelan government recently gave away one of its petro tokens each to all of the country’s doctors. In a televised address, the country’s president Nicolás Maduro said he had decided on the giveaway to celebrate National Doctors Day, which was on March 10. The government claims that its oil-backed petro coin is worth some USD 60.
  • However, a financial expert says that the petro will fail as a currency precisely because it is pegged to the price oil. Per El Universal, Blockchain Hub CEO and university professor Luis Gilberto Caraballo says that oil’s own market volatility – as evinced by price fluctuations in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak – will naturally undermine any currency pegged to it, damaging its credibility.

Crime news

  • Latin America is becoming a hotspot for cryptocurrency-powered money laundering, per a report from IntSights and quoted by El Economista. The report’s authors claim that criminal gangs prefer to make use of unregulated crypto exchanges and wrote, “Organized criminal groups and drug cartels in Latin America are taking advantage of technological advances in the sphere of digital banking and money transference.”