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Alibaba Accelerates in Blockchain Patent Race + More News

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Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.

Source: Adobe/zhu difeng

Blockchain news

  • More blockchain-related patents were published in the first half of 2020 than in all of 2019, a year that had already seen 3 times more blockchain patents published than in 2018, a new report by KISSPatent showed. Alibaba has published 10 times more patents than IBM this year alone, it added. However, IBM still owns the most blockchain patent applications, while the United States is the number one country with blockchain patents.

  • South Korea’s Shinhan Bank is set to use blockchain technology for its small business financing operations, per iNews24. The bank stated that it has obtained regulatory approval for its product, which it claimed will expiate the loan procedure for smaller firms. Shinhan added that blockchain technology will help reduce the number of in-person visits its corporate customers need to make to banks and other institutions – as well as speed up loan issuance and simplifying processes for all parties.

Stablecoins news

  • Tether’s market capitalization surpassed USD 15bn. “While it took five years to reach USD 5bn it took just 54 days to climb from USD 10bn to USD 15bn,” Paolo Ardoino, Chief Technology Officer at Tether, was quoted as saying in a press release.
  • The Libra Association appointed James Emmett as the Managing Director of Libra Networks LLC, the operating company subsidiary of the Libra Association, with effect from 1 October 2020. He previously held the Chief Executive role of HSBC Bank plc and Europe.

Regulation news

  • The Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC) said it has updated the jurisdiction’s bespoke Distributed Ledger Technology Providers (DLT) regulatory framework Guidance Notes. As well as offering further clarity on key areas, the amended guidance notes also update the risk framework to distinguish between virtual assets and virtual asset denominated instruments that are arguably higher risk, and require additional factors or on-boarding tests to be considered, it added.

DeFi news

  • The Prime Development Foundation today announced its preliminary launch of PrimeDAO, a decentralized prime broker for the open finance community. The blockchain-native decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) is coordinating and cultivating projects that promote safety, reliability, liquidity, and access to DeFi while using decentralized governance systems to avoid centralized appropriation of critical financial infrastructure, it added.

Mining news

  • The South Caucasian de facto state of Abkhazia “faces an energy crisis” as crypto mining efforts intensify in the region. Low energy costs have seen scores of miners set up shop in Abkhazia, putting a huge strain on the national grid, reported Jam News. The head of the state energy provider claimed, “The projected energy deficit for the rest of 2020 may amount to 704 million kW/h.” A government ban on mining has proved so far wholly ineffective, and could even be lifted in an attempt to improve communication between miners, energy providers and the government.

Crypto exchanges news

  • Web traffic to the South Korean crypto exchange Bithumb has shot up to almost a million a month, per August statistics released today. According to media outlet Chosun, EtherLab’s Crypto Asset Exchange Visitor Traffic Report shows that just shy of 1 million people accessed the Bithumb exchange site on PCs and mobiles in August – up almost 50% from June figures. Almost half that amount accessed Bithumb’s nearest rival Upbit.

Crime news

  • In a coordinated action with the US Department of Justice and the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) said it sanctioned two Russian nationals for their involvement in a sophisticated phishing campaign in 2017 and 2018 that targeted customers of two US-based and one foreign-based virtual asset service providers. American citizens and businesses were among the victims of this malicious cyber-enabled activity, which resulted in combined losses of at least USD 16.8m, they said.