04 Jun 2020 · 4 min read
OKEx to Double Staff, Bitfinex Untethers Allegations + More News
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.
- OKEx said they plan to open new offices in unspecified regions and they have already started recruiting "blockchain professionals" as the major exchange aims to double the number of their employees in two years. The company also launched a Beacon Program in the European regions to support those who are interested in the thriving world of blockchain and crypto, which also serves as an opportunity to nurture potential talents for OKEx. At the end of 2019, OKEx reportedly had around 1,000 employees.
- Today, Bitfinex, Tether, and their related entities rejected "blatantly false allegations" made in an amended consolidated class-action lawsuit filed in the Southern District of New York. Both companies have been accused of manipulating the bitcoin (BTC) market. "Even after taking three full months to amend their complaint, the plaintiffs' allegations remain untethered to either the facts or the law," Stuart Hoegner, General Counsel for Bitfinex, said.
- Some 200 account holders at Japanese crypto exchange Coincheck appear to have fallen for a sophisticated phishing scam that made use of a domain account exploit, per an official release, an issue that has led the exchange to temporarily suspend withdrawals. The exchange says that a third party actor accessed a Coincheck account held at domain registration service Onamae, and used the exploit to send fraudulent phishing emails – ensnaring at least 200 customers.
- There has been a sharp rise in bitcoin (BTC) trading in Russia in the past few months, per data from Russia-based exchanges, RBC reported – confirming earlier reports that coronavirus lockdown has driven Russians to crypto. Exchanges said that in March, April and May, they saw a significant increase in the number of new accounts bitcoin opened and increased user activity. The number of registered traders in April 2020 on some exchanges rose to double the number that were using the platforms in December 2019, the report said without providing numbers.
- Blockchain-based supply chain management platform VeChain (VET) has partnered with China-based subsidiary of Walmart, Sam’s Club, to trace food products sold by the shopping chain. Per the announcement, Sam’s Club will use a modified version of VeChain’s ToolChain platform, as well as software and hardware sensors and Internet-of-Things (IoT) technologies to automatically upload data from the company’s supply chain onto the blockchain. Meanwhile, customers can scan the QR code on a product and get information on its origin.
- Splinterlands, the popular dapp on the Steem (STEEM) network, has decided to move to Steem's rival blockchain Hive, which was launched following Justin Sun's acquisition of Steem's popular content sharing platform Steemit. The move was announced in a tweet.
- Hester Peirce, aka 'Crypto Mom', one of five commissioners with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has been nominated for another term, according to a White House announcement. Her current term expires on June 5, while renomination would add five more years to her service as a Member of the SEC.
- The Japanese financial regulator, the Financial Services Agency (FSA) has warned companies dealing in crypto to report their activities to the regulator – or risk breaking the law. The FSA tweeted a reminder that recently amended legislation calls for all companies, including brokerages and consultancies providing crypto-related services must register their activities, or risk breaking the law.
- Hedge fund and information marketplace Numerai has closed a USD 3 million token sale of its native token, NMR. As they announced in a tweet, the participants included Union Square Ventures, Placeholder, Coinfund, Dragonfly Capital and others. The funds will be used for the development of Numerai's information staking protocol Erasure.
- South Korean telecoms giant SK says it is set to expand its local stablecoin operations, per Hanguk Kyungjae. The business group’s SK C&C system integration and IT services arm says it will issue a “digital coin” that can be purchased using local government-issued stablecoins – common nationwide in the country. SK has co-issued a number of these local stablecoins, as has its biggest telecoms rival KT. The company says that its SV (Social Value) “digital coin” will be redeemable against a range of goods – presumably at SK outlets and partner stores.
- The Kyrgyz parliament is set to pass a crypto mining tax bill, per an official announcement on the government’s website. Kyrgyzstan – with its relatively low winter temperatures and low energy prices – has been an increasingly attractive destination for many mining ventures. However, the government says that it wants to impose a tax rate of 15% on miners’ profits, with a draft bill now set for its first reading in parliament.