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Morning News: 2nd S Korean Crypto Suicide, Mitsubishi Crypto Plan

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 3 min read

Bitcoin Crash Takes Ultimate Toll on S Korean Investors Crypto Asset Protection Plan Crypto Rich List Goldman Sachs Prediction Online Bank Testing Blockchain Solutions South Korean Gov’t Official Cleared of Insider Trading

Catch up on the most essential cryptocurrency and blockchain news stories breaking in Asia and the Americas while the rest of the world was asleep.

Bitcoin Crash Takes Ultimate Toll on S Korean Investors
South Korea’s bitcoin slump has claimed another victim. Police in the capital have confirmed that a 30-year-old man found dead in his home in central Seoul appears to have taken his own life following a “failed” cryptocurrency investment. The man, an employee at an IT company with no history of depression or mental illness, had told family and acquaintances that he wanted to invest 10 million won (around USD 10,000) in cryptocurrency. The case is the South Korea’s second suspected cryptocurrency-related suicide to have come to light in the space of a week. Meanwhile, broadcaster Channel A reports that the number of South Koreans seeking psychiatric help as a result of bad cryptocurrency investments is skyrocketing. Channel A quotes a counselor as saying, “There are more and more people calling us regarding issues like these. My clinic is now dealing with about 10 cryptocurrency-related cases a day.” A family lawyer also adds, “There are certainly a lot of married couples out there who are now considering divorce due to investments that have gone wrong.”

Mitsubishi UFJ to Offer Crypto Asset Protection
Mitsubishi Group’s financial services arm, Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation, has announced that it will begin offering a new product designed to safeguard cyptocurrency holdings. The company says the new product will afford customers asset protection status on cyptocurrency, providing the same level of security as might be afforded to pension funds or real estate holding. The company says that this means customers’ cryptocurrency holdings would be covered, even in the event of an exchange platform declaring bankruptcy. Mitsubishi says it will begin offering its new product from April.

Forbes Publishes Crypto Rich List
Forbes has released its first-ever list of the “richest people in cryptocurrency.” The media outlet says it based its numbers on investors’ “estimated holdings of cryptocurrencies, post-tax profits from trading crypto-assets and stakes in crypto-related businesses,” with some “providing proof” of their holdings. Some of the names on the list include Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin, Bitfury CEO Valery Vavilov, Binance’s Changpeng Zhao and Upbit/Dunamu chief Song Chi-hyung.

Goldman Sachs Predicts Cryptos ‘Will Crash to Zero’
Goldman Sachs has predicted a bleak future for cryptocurrencies. Steve Strongin, head of the company’s global investment research team, believes that that most cryptocurrencies have “no intrinsic value” and most “will likely crash to zero.” Strongin was more upbeat on the future of blockchain technology, however, claiming it “clearly has a role” in the world of financial transactions.

Japanese Online Bank Testing Blockchain Solutions with Fujitsu and Tech Bureau Subsidy
Online bank Japan Net Bank has begun testing a blockchain pilot scheme to see if it can incorporate the technology into electronic contract approval flows. The bank will test the cloud-based K5 blockchain infrastructure developed by Fujitsu and its Fujitsu North America subsidy, and tests will run until the end of March. Japan Net bank is also collaborating on blockchain-powered, paperless proof-of-contract (POC) administration pilots with Mijin, a blockchain subsidy operated by Japanese cryptocurrency exchange platform Tech Bureau. Linux Foundation-affiliated Hyperledger is also taking part in the project.

South Korean Gov’t Official Cleared of Insider Trading
A Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) employee accused of selling off large amounts of cryptocurrency just before the government announced its decision to regulate cryptocurrency trading in South Korea has been cleared of any wrongdoing. The man made a large sale on the eve of the government’s announcement, and was accused of “insider trading” by opposition party politicians, drawing public ire from all spheres. After an internal investigation, however, the FSS said it could find no proof that the employee had any knowledge of the government’s intentions when the sale was made. The employee claimed that he made the sale as a supervisor had warned his department to refrain from cryptocurrency trading. A senior FSS spokesperson admitted, “There is no denying that this was a controversial case – it certainly garnered a lot of public opinion.”