Morning News: Exchange Raids in Japan, Internet Giant’s Crypto Mine
Regulators Prepare to Raid Japanese Exchanges DMM Opens Kanazawa Cryptocurrency Mine Coinbase US Users Face Tax Probe NVIDIA’s Growth Fueled by Mining Vanity Fair Columnist Slams Forbes Crypto Rich List
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.
Regulators Prepare to Raid Japanese Exchanges
Japan’s cryptocurrency exchanges are braced for raids on Friday or even over the weekend as the country’s regulatory body, the Financial Services Agency (FSA), looks to flex its muscles. The agency was granted sweeping powers last year, allowing it the right to demand documentation, spot-check or raid exchanges’ offices. In the wake of last month’s Coincheck hack, the FSA (which is also investigating Coincheck) has ordered exchanges to report on their security networks, asset management and corporate governance policies. With several of the exchanges filing unsatisfactory or “vague” reports, the FSA is now set to act, with raids likely at a minimum of two exchanges, per media outlet Mainichi. Should the FSA find violation of laws or regulations is found, it can issue “administrative punishment” measures, ranging from improvement orders to full suspension.
DMM Opens Kanazawa Cryptocurrency Mine
E-commerce and internet giant DMM has opened a new cryptocurrency mine in Kanazawa, in Japan’s Ishikawa Prefecture. The mine will be mining bitcoin, ether and other currencies, and the company plans to allow members of the public to tour the Kanazawa center “as a showroom.” DMM says that it plans to use its earnings from its mining operations to fund its blockchain ventures. Fuji Television Network’s Houdoukyoku media arm quotes the mine’s lab leader as saying, “The assets we acquire here will be invested into our smart contract business operations. We are hoping to generate a steady influx of money from our mining efforts.”
Coinbase US Users Face Tax Probe
SlashGear’s head editor says America’s Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is “currently aiming at Coinbase” in its investigations into tax evasion. SlashGear quotes an American magistrate as saying, “Many Coinbase users may not be reporting their bitcoin gains. The IRS has a legitimate interest in investigating.” The IRS has assembled a team of 10 investigators who will “build cases against tax evaders who use cryptocurrency.” Don Fort, the IRS’ head, stated, “It’s possible to use Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies […] to facilitate tax evasion.”
NVIDIA Posts Record Earnings with Cryptocurrency Mining Spurring Growth
Hardware manufacturer NVIDIA has posted record earnings in its fourth quarter report, declaring USD 2.91 billion in revenue, a rise of 34% on Q4 2017, and an increase of 10% in the previous quarter. The company said that cryptocurrency mining was a “driving” factor in the company’s meteoric growth. Colette Kress, NVIDIA’s Chief Financial Officer, said, per Reuters, “Strong demand in the cryptocurrency market exceeded our expectations. While the overall contribution of cryptocurrency to our business remains difficult to quantify, we believe it was a higher percentage of revenue than the prior quarter.”
Vanity Fair Columnist Slams Forbes Crypto Rich List
Vanity Fair writer Maya Kosoff says Forbes’ Richest People in Cryptocurrency list, published earlier this week, is already “hopelessly” inaccurate. Kossoff writes, “As soon as the list was published, major cryptocurrencies like bitcoin saw their values plummet, rendering it immediately out of date.” The writer added that the Forbes list was “necessarily based on guesswork, thanks to [cryptocurrency investors’] secretive and often paranoid nature.”