Another Venezuelan Bitcoin Spike as Banks Struggle + 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.
Peer-to-peer (P2P) bitcoin (BTC) trading appears to be on the rise in Venezuela after the country’s president Nicolás Maduro imposed strict coronavirus quarantine measures on the nation, with banks struggling to cope under the weight of financial pressure – already high in the country due to United States-led sanctions. Per CoinDance data, trading volumes at P2P platforms like LocalBitcoins is spiking, with banks foundering, according to Expansion – and the International Monetary Fund refusing to meet the country’s request for an emergency loan.
- Days after revealing it has co-developed a blockchain-powered vehicle and personal ID platform, motoring and financial giant Toyota’s Blockchain Lab has released a video extolling the virtues of blockchain technology. The 5+ minute video, shared to the company’s YouTube channel, sees Toyota claim that blockchain technology will transform the automotive industry, and will allow automakers, traders and owners to prove the reliability of their cars, use blockchain-powered platforms for the sale and purchase of vehicles, as well as manage vehicle data, run car rental operations and car-sharing program. Toyota also claims that parts suppliers and auto dealers will soon be making widespread use of blockchain technology.
- The South Korean city of Daegu has been awarded a public grant to fund a blockchain e-mobility platform that will help it boost the rate of electric vehicle (EV) distribution in the city. Per Shina Ilbo, the Ministry of Science and Technology and the government-run Korea Information Society Agency have agreed to co-fund the platform, with some USD 2.3 million worth of central government money already pledged. The move is expected to help the city boost its digitization efforts.
- Tether, the issuer of the most popular stablecoin tether (USDT), announced it has launched on the Bitcoin Cash network via the Simple Ledger Protocol (SLP), thus providing users with access to a chain.
- Modulus, a U.S.-based developer of trading and surveillance technology that offers white-label exchange solutions for cryptocurrencies, securities, global equities, futures/derivatives, etc., has announced that it has received c. USD 1 million in payments in a year of accepting bitcoin. Per the emailed press release, Modulus determined that they've seen success in accepting blockchain payments in Bitcoin, in partnership with BitPay, from clients for services provided surrounding the licensing and servicing of its proprietary white-label digital asset exchange.
- Ripple, an American blockchain company focusing on payments technologies, has partnered with DeeMoney, a Thailand-based fintech company specializing in digital cross-border money transfers, with a goal to enable faster and cheaper money transfers, making DeeMoney the first non-bank institution in Thailand to use Ripple’s global blockchain payments network, RippleNet. According to the press release, DeeMoney is currently using RippleNet to process inbound payments into Thailand, between the remittance corridors from South Korea, Indonesia, Singapore, Israel, and the Middle East and Gulf regions.
The Board of Directors of the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has conditionally approved the deposit insurance application submitted by Square, a payment startup founded by Twitter CEO and prominent Bitcoin supporter Jack Dorsey, related to its Industrial Loan Company (ILC) bank charter, to create a de novo industrial bank, thus enabling it to launch Square Financial Services, says FDIC press release. Per Square's announcement, Square Financial Services is expected to launch in 2021, operating independently, as a direct subsidiary of Square, Inc. Its primary purpose will be to offer small business loans for Square Capital’s commercial lending business, and to offer deposit products. Finally, Square has also received charter approval from the Utah Department of Financial Institutions, the company says.
- Hawaii has launched their first pilot program for digital currency, dubbed the “Digital Currency Innovation Lab,” as a joint effort of the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Division of Financial Institutions, and Hawaii Technology Development Corporation. The press release states that it's a two-year initiative that aims to achieve a more in-depth perspective of digital currency, but it also allows digital currency issuers to do business in Hawaii without obtaining a state money transmitter license while the pilot program runs. Regulators will use the insight they obtain through this program to guide legislation and determine the future of digital currency activity in Hawaii.
- Huobi DM, Huobi exchange’s derivatives trading platform, has announced the launch of a new liquidation mechanism to systematically minimize user exposure during times of severe market volatility. Per the press release, Huobi DM now provides partial liquidation, a new mechanism that gradually reduces a user's positions, instead of liquidating them in full at once, by liquidating a user's positions in stages and at margin ratios predetermined by the user's calculated exposure. The process also includes a circuit breaker function, stopping liquidation when large or unusual deviations between the liquidation price and market price are detected.
- Binance has launched peer-to-peer (P2P) crypto trading for Brazilian Real (BRL), Argentine Peso (ARS), Colombian Peso (COP), Mexican Peso (MXN), and Peruvian Sol (PEN). The blog post says that users can directly buy and sell BTC, ETH, USDT, BNB, and BUSD using these five Latin American currencies on the Binance P2P platform.
- Ukrainian police have unearthed an illegal 500-rig cryptocurrency mining “farm.” Per an official police announcement, forces in Mykolaiv, in the southern part of the country, found the rigs running in an abandoned farm, making use of energy from the local grid. Police say they were tipped off by local energy workers, who noticed irregularities in electricity consumption patterns. In a statement, officers said that the offenders could be punished with a jail term of up to three years.