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Shopify Joins Facebook’s Libra Project + More News

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 3 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.

Libra news

  • Canada-headquartered e-commerce giant Shopify said it has become a member of the Libra Association. “As a member of the Libra Association, we will work collectively to build a payment network that makes money easier to access and supports merchants and consumers everywhere,” the company said.

Exchanges news

  • Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) clarified that a major cryptocurrency exchange Binance is not based in Malta. According to the statement, “Binance is not authorized by the MFSA to operate in the cryptocurrency sphere and is therefore not subject to regulatory oversight by the MFSA.” Nevertheless, the Authority is investigating whether Binance has any activities in Malta that do not fall under its regulatory umbrella.
  • Chinese users of the South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Upbit say that they have been struggling to access their accounts and make fiat withdrawals in Korean won since December 2020, per a report from Jinse. The news outlet says Chinese users say they have found it impossible to pass the Upbit-issued KYC protocols, which were updated late last year. Upbit claims that the restrictions have been introduced due to taxing issues and they promised to do their “best to enable withdrawals for the foreign members who have completed the KYC.” Readers may recall that Upbit’s biggest rival, Bithumb, was hit with a bill of around USD 67 million from the South Korean tax authority in December last year. The authority charged Bithumb for outstanding tax it said was due from foreign users’ transactions.
  • Coinbase announced the listing of Kyber Network (KNC) token on the Coinbase Pro platform. The exchange is planning to launch the trading on Monday, February 24, at 9 AM PST.
  • Huobi Japan is the latest exchange to issue coronavirus-prevention work measures. Per a press release, the exchange says that it is encouraging its employees to use work-from-home programs where possible to prevent the possible spread of the coronavirus, and will look to reduce the number of business trips, conferences, meetings and seminars it sends staff on. Company meals are also being dissuaded. As previously reported, rival platforms such as GMO Coin and TaoTao have already embarked on similar programs.

Digital fiat news

  • Sweden’s central bank, The Riksbank, has announced the launch of a year-long pilot for its digital cash project, e-krona. The solution is designed to work as a complement to cash and will make use of the blockchain technology provided by the Fortune 500 company Accenture.

Adoption news

  • Paxos Trust Company, a New York-based firm specializing in digitizing and mobilizing assets, announced the launch of the Paxos Settlement Service. The service provides the ability to bilaterally settle securities trades directly between broker-dealers and constitutes the first live application of blockchain technology for listed U.S. equities.
  • South Korea’s Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries will look to use blockchain technology to boost the nation’s ports and logistics sector. Per newspaper Munhwa Ilbo, the ministry says it wants to use blockchain technology to upgrade port and logistics operations, making them compatible with smart factory facilities. The ministry says its plan will “increase import and export logistics competitiveness,” moving the nation from its current global logistics ranking spot of 25th to 10th by 2030.

Mining news

  • Riot Blockchain, Inc, a NASDAQ listed cryptocurrency mining company, announced an updated strategic priorities map for 2020, which includes targeted focus on bitcoin mining and its related opportunities. As such, the company is considering to divest the limited assets associated with the company’s digital assets exchange RiotX, citing the risks related to the competitive and regulatory landscape, as well as cybersecurity risks.

Investment news

  • Investor LD Capital has spoken about entering the nascent South Korean blockchain sector in earnest. The company, which is based in Shanghai, China, said, per media outlet IT Biz, that the “South Korean market has very high potential growth,” and wanted to “focus on the South Korean market.” The investor has already invested around USD 300 million in some 200 crypto projects.