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Morning news: crackdown, ratings, rage, and 70-year-old investors

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 3 min read

Opinion: More Cryptocurrency Crackdowns to Follow Weiss Issues Cryptocurrency Ratings Record Number of Cryptocurrency Enquiries Investors Rage at Government Regulations

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.

Standard Chartered Chief: More China-style Cryptocurrency Crackdowns to Follow
Bill Winters, CEO of financial giant Standard Chartered, says he thinks widespread global government regulation is on the cards for cryptocurrency investors. He explains that the fact that central banks have no control over cryptocurrencies “is appealing for a big chunk of people,” but warns China and South Korea-style crackdowns could be on the cards elsewhere in the world. Winters also says Standard Chartered is “extremely interested in blockchain” and that the company is already a “leader” in the technology.

Weiss Issues Cryptocurrency Ratings, Fights “Korean” DDos Attacks
American independent financial ratings agency Weiss has been hit with a spate of cyberattacks it says came “from Korea” as it issued its eagerly awaited cryptocurrency ratings. The Weiss ratings placed ethereum and EOS ahead of bitcoin. No currency garnered a top score of A, but there were B ratings for both ethereum and EOS, with bitcoin receiving a “fair” rating of C+.
Weiss claimed bitcoin “falls short in two important areas: risk and technology,” although it admitted bitcoin was strong in terms of adoption and branding. The company admitted that it had been the victim of DDoS attacks “from Korea,” and stated, “We’re seeing a barrage of criticism on the web, especially from disappointed bitcoin and ripple fans.” Weiss also said, “Ratings are not a science. They are, and always will be, a work in progress.”

Japanese Consumer Advisory Services Dealing with Record Number of Cryptocurrency Enquiries
The number of Japanese people seeking consumer advice pertaining to cryptocurrency-related matters skyrocketed in 2017. Citizen advisory bodies across the country received over 2,000 enquiries. The figure increased threefold from 2016, when just over 600 cases of this sort were lodged, according to statistics released by the National Consumer Affairs Center of Japan (NCACJ).
The NCACJ said that at least 271 individuals claimed they had suffered very heavy financial losses due to price volatility. The organization explained that many people claimed they had had experienced technical issues while online trading, and that not even the elderly were exempt, with cryptocurrency-related advice being sought by citizens as old as 70. An NCACJ spokesperson explained, “It is dangerous to start trading in cryptocurrencies without understanding how they work, or how they are bought and sold.”

Tempers Fraying in South Korea as Investors Rage at Government Regulations
Media outlet Chosun Ilbo reports that South Korean investors, angered at the government’s recent moves to restrict the country’s burgeoning cryptocurrency markets, have been venting their fury. An organization calling itself the Korea Cryptocurrency Investors Citizens’ Alliance held a press conference, telling reporters, “We will not stand by and let the government continue with its anti-market policies, or sit passively while it rubs salt in the wounds of Korea’s three million or so cryptocurrency investors.”
Another cryptocurrency forum has drawn up a somewhat troubling “hit list” of Korean politicians and public figures who have spoke in favor of banning cryptocurrency trading. The forum members (perhaps ironically) called for the “assassination” of those on the list.
Meanwhile, campaigners continue to petition president Moon Jae-in, with some 5,300 active online petitions related to cryptocurrency regulations. Under Korean law, online petitions that receive 200,000 or more signatures must be answered with an official response from Cheong Wa Dae, the office of the president.