BlockFi Snaps up Execs From AmEx & Credit Suisse; Tokenized Pet Care + More News

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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: Adobe/Андрей Яланский

Career news

BlockFi Snaps up Execs From AmEx & Credit Suisse; Tokenized pet care

  • Major US-based crypto lending startup BlockFi has announced two new hires – executives from American Express and Credit Suisse. Per the emailed press release, Wittney Rachlin is joining the company as Chief Growth Officer and David Olsson as Global Managing Director of European and Asian markets. Rachlin will focus on several areas of the business to drive growth, including marketing, business development, and the launch of products in the payments space, such as a Bitcoin rewards credit card set to launch later this year. Olsson will be responsible for growing BlockFi’s institutional services overseeing business development, risk management and sales strategy, across European and Asian markets, the company says.

Adoption news

  • A Klaytn partner company has developed a tokenized pet care platform. The company, named BlockPet, says it is now beta testing a blockchain-powered app that it says will allow dog owners to earn cryptoassets when their pet animals complete specific “missions” with their owners, reports media outlet Fn News. Klaytn blockchain network is operated by South Korean chat app giant the Kakao Group.
  • Crypto adoption is rising in Mexico, per a report from Mimorelia. The news outlet points to volume data from peer-to-peer (P2P) exchanges such as LocalBitcoins, where fiat Mexican peso trades climbed by 40% in the third week of April, with a total of BTC 56 traded on the P2P platform. The same media outlet also points out that a recent survey found that up to 78% of surveyed Mexicans have expressed a willingness to buy cryptocurrencies. The report speculates that should the government fail to restore public confidence in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, citizens could turn to crypto en masse.
  • Kyber Network (KNC), an open-source, on-chain liquidity protocol, has partnered up with StakeWith.Us, a Singapore-based blockchain infrastructure company building staking-based protocols for retail and institutional clients. Per the press release, the partnership complements Kyber’s Katalyst Upgrade that is planned to go live at the end of Q2, 2020, and will enable convenient KNC token staking and KyberDAO participation.
  • Zcoin (XZC), a privacy-oriented digital currency, has revealed the details of its upcoming block reward allocation for the next four years, ahead of the project’s September halving. According to the announcement, the reward of XZC 12.5 per block is divided as follows: miners 50% (XZC 6.25), Znodes 35% (XZC 4.375), and development fund 15% (XZC 1.875). They also established the Zcoin Reserve Fund – a separate fund that can only be called upon in specific circumstances or with community approval.
  • Ryde, Singapore’s ride-hailing firm is introducing a new payment solution on June 2020, to enable users to pay with cryptocurrency. Per the emailed press release, Ryde users can top up their RydePay wallet using bitcoin (BTC) and convert it for RydeCoins at market rates to pay for their trips. One RydeCoin is currently valued at one Singapore Dollar.
  • CEO of crypto financial services firm Circle, Jeremy Allaire, has announced the Money Movement – a live show that aims to explore ideas and issues related to and surrounding digital money. Per the announcement, The Money Movement will be running every Thursday, available on The Money Movement YouTube channel, on, and through certain podcast channels.

Regulation news

  • Blockchain technology companies using a South Korean government-created regulatory sandbox could be forced to continue to pilot their services and products within the controlled environment for up to four years, reports Hanguk Kyungjae. The media outlet believes that the government will wait to see how pilot programs develop before deciding whether or not to create regulatory frameworks for them to operate in real-world scenarios – meaning they could be forced to operate with the sandboxes until Seoul has passed judgment on their efficacy, a process that might not be complete until 2024.

Investment news

  • NEAR, a blockchain project for running decentralized applications (dapps), has closed a USD 21.6 million token sale led by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, with participation from Pantera Capital, Electric Capital, Blockchange, Libertus Capital, and Distributed Global. According to the press release, the funds will be used for the strategy rollout, which they hope will result in the platform becoming community-governed. NEAR has also announced the early launch of their production mainnet, so developers can begin deploying applications to the platform.

Crime news

  • Experts say that police investigating the Telegram Nth room case may struggle to identify all the people who paid cryptocurrencies to view explicit rape and sexual exploitation videos featuring underage women. Police are trying to identify people who paid to watch videos by tracing payments made to crypto wallets owned by Nth room admins. Per media outlet Maeil Kyungjae, South Korean IT experts say that although efforts to trace payments made using domestic exchanges that use real-name banking ramps may bear fruit, those made from exchanges based overseas may be “as good as untraceable.”