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Baidu Launches SuperChain + 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.

Source: iStock/zorazhuang

Adoption news

  • Chinese search engine giant Baidu launched its SuperChain, an ‘open network’ that provides users an environment for ‘fast’ deployment and operation of blockchain applications. According to Finance Ifeng, this is a service based on self-developed open source technology, which consists of nodes distributed throughout the country and is compliant with Chinese’s regulations. Meant for medium and small businesses, it’s also calculating flexible payment capabilities of resources such as storage, while reducing operation and maintenance costs and making trust links more convenient. Interested parties can also find online its white paper, blockchain explorer, and the GitHub page.
  • Eagle-eyed crypto enthusiasts in Venezuela have discovered that the country’s central Bank of Venezuela is running a node for a little-known altcoin named BolivarCoin. The token’s market capitalization is minimal, at under USD 76,000, but the central bank is thought to be experimenting with a wide range of crypto-powered solutions as part of a concerted government-led effort.
  • Grin and Grin wallet 3.0.0 have been released with a number of new features and are ready for use in advance of the upcoming hard fork in mid-January, says the privacy-focused crypto project. The hard-fork is scheduled on block 524,160, estimated for approximately January 15, 2020. The project is urging everybody to upgrade to 3.0.0 as soon as possible, as the 2.x series will stop working.
  • A report from Newspim has alleged that South Korean chat app giant Kakao delayed the launch of its crypto wallet – originally slated for late last year, now set for rollout in the first quarter of 2020 – due to regulatory issues surrounding Facebook’s Libra project and Telegram’s Gram token. Kakao, which has some 50 million daily active users on its KakaoTalk chat app platform, was hoping to integrate its Klip crypto wallet with KakaoTalk by the end of 2019. However, it appears the company is now looking to tread carefully in an effort to avoid regulatory difficulties. The company also spoke about listing its Klay token on a South East Asian branch of exchange Upbit several months ago – with no further announcements yet made on the matter.

Exchanges news

  • South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Korbit has announced the appointment of a new CEO. Per Digital Today, the new Korbit boss will be Oh Se-jin, the company’s former chief strategy officer. Oh joined Korbit in 2019, and has experience working in the traditional financial sector with Barclays and Bank of America Merrill Lynch. The move comes as the exchange’s operator NXC Holding, continues to restructure after its owner made a u-turn on plans to sell his business portfolio, which also comprises the Bitstamp exchange.
  • Bithumb has announced that it will create a 30-member blockchain and cryptocurrency research unit, reports Herald Kyungjae. The exchange says it wants to conduct R&D efforts into public blockchain transactions and look for ways to enhance cryptocurrency private key security. Bithumb says it is looking to add academic researchers and other IT experts to the team as it grows in the future.
  • Binance announced that its USD-backed stablecoin, Binance USD (BUSD), has been approved by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS).

Regulations news

  • In late December, the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority said that virtual asset services can’t be conducted in or from the Quatar Financial Centre (QFC), stating that until further notice the firms can’t provide an/or facilitate the provision of virtual asset services, or exchange, safekeeping, trade or deal in virtual assets.
  • Telegram lawyers have asked a United States court not to disclose the identity of its Gram token investors. The American Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is currently involved in a legal case with the chat app operator as it seeks to block the launch of Telegram’s much-vaunted TON blockchain mainnet and Gram token. However, a number of details about Telegram’s private investors have already been revealed in court and Regnum reports that the Telegram lawyers have asked the court to refrain from disclosing further details about the investors.
  • The SEC announced that Longfin Corp. CEO Venkata S. Meenavalli has settled with the regulator (pending court approval) and agreed to pay USD 400,000 in disgorgement and penalties to resolve the SEC’s fraud action against him. This concludes the SEC’s actions against Longfin, its CEO, and three other individuals in which the SEC has secured over USD 26 million of ill-gotten gains, says the press release, while the regulator plans to establish a Fair Fund to distribute money received from the defendants to harmed investors.