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Blockchain Patents, COVID-19 Crypto Scams, Shelved Coin + 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.
- A total of 35 global multinationals have applied for a combined 212 blockchain patents in China, including the likes of Sony, Mastercard, Intel and Walmart, reports the Global Times. Mastercard has been responsible for almost a quarter of that number, lodging a whopping 46 “payment methods, payment software and payment security”-related applications since 2017. Despite this flurry of activity, the same media outlet reports that “virtually none” of these companies have followed up with commercial blockchain-related ventures.
- South Korean crypto project ICON (ICX) has unveiled a new consensus algorithm that should improve the performance of blockchains, called Loop Fault Tolerance 2.0 (LFT2), says the press release. It explains that LFT2 has proven performance improvements over Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance (PBFT) consensus popular amongst newer cryptoassets, in the areas of scalability and network bandwidth.
- Blockchain solutions provider and the publisher of the EOS blockchain platform, Block.one, says that, as an EOS token holder, it believes that staking systems will be a critical component of the future tokenized economy, and that it will begin staking and voting its EOS token position this May. Per the announcement, in the coming weeks, Block.one will use its voting stake to begin highlighting and voting for candidates, potentially in rotation.
- A Japanese business school has teamed up with a blockchain technology provider to roll out what the two parties say are the nation’s first blockchain-powered graduation certificates. In a press release, Tokyo-based LasTrust stated that its cloud-based platform will be used to issue 55 graduates of the Business Breakthrough management college, also based in the Japanese capital, with blockchain-powered certification, accessible via smartphones.
- Busan University has become the latest South Korean college to offer blockchain education at a tertiary level. Per Yonhap News, the university has been selected by the Ministry of Science and ICT, which will co-support a blockchain training program, with a fund of USD 2.5 million to be made available over the next four years. The university says it hopes the new department will see at least 10 students per year gain “masters’ degree or above” qualifications in blockchain and fintech-related subjects.
The total daily value sent to cryptocurrency scams dropped 61% between March 13 and March 31, though it has recovered some since then, according to blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis. However, they stressed that while the COVID-19 pandemic hurt investment scams and Ponzi schemes, it’s giving others who favor email spamming tactics new coronavirus-related stories they can use to try and fool their victims.
- Binance has revealed information of a 2018-2019 fraud case it found itself a part of. In late 2018, a Korean cryptocurrency project was a victim of a listing fee scam and lost ETH 3,995 (currently USD 623,220) in funds. They reported this to Korean law enforcement agencies, who discovered that a suspect gained access to the victims emails, found that they're trying to list a currency, then posed as a Binance representative, and promised to help the project with the listing on Binance for a fee. Majority of the stolen funds were received by the Binance user "B.K." Per a request by Korean law enforcement in early 2019, Binance transferred back the stolen funds from B.K.’s account to the victim, writes the exchange in a blog post.
Crypto adoption news
- South Korean bank Woori has shelved its digital currency issuance plans, per a report from Digital Today. The bank first unveiled its WibyCoin token release plan back in 2017, with the currency slated to enter the pilot stage this year – with employees issued the token as part of an internal testing phase. However, the same media outlet reports that no such pilots have been issued and that factors such as the coronavirus pandemic have derailed the bank’s once-ambitious commercialization plans.
- 'The Bitcoin Fund' launched by Canadian asset manager 3iQ, has been listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. According co-founder and CEO at crypto exchange Gemini, Tyler Winklevoss, history has been made, as this is the first public Bitcoin fund to be listed on a major global stock exchange. He added that Gemini was selected as the custodian for this fund.
- The Greenidge Generation power plant in New York’s Finger Lakes region, which also mines Bitcoin (BTC), has sold 106 Petahash of computing power to an undisclosed buyer, as part of its first ‘Bitcoin hashpower contract’ aimed at U.S. institutional investors, according to their press release.