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Chinese Authorities Bust 8 Companies for Crypto Violations + More News

Chinese Authorities Bust 8 Companies for Crypto Violations + More News 101
Source: iStock/XiXinXing

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.

Regulation news

  • Authorities in Shenzhen, China, have cracked down on eight companies they suspect of conducting illegal crypto-related activities, including two unregistered exchanges. Despite a recent blockchain drive, the Beijing government has repeatedly warned that the measures it enacted in its crypto-crackdown of 2017 remain firmly in place. Per Sina, six companies in the province were accused of attempting to raise funds for tokens. An e-commerce platform that has partnered with a crypto company and a site that provides tokenized rewards for health-related activities were named as offenders.
  • A bill called the 'Crypto-Currency Act of 2020' was allegedly introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, which would provide a sweeping regulatory framework for digital assets including cryptocurrencies, claims Jason Brett, a former U.S. regulator with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, compliance examiner for the Making Home Affordable Program (HARP) with the Treasury. Its purpose is to clarify which Federal agencies regulate digital assets, to require those agencies to notify the public of any Federal licenses, certifications, or registrations required to create or trade in such assets, and for other purposes.

Stablecoins news

  • Market-leading South Korean telecoms company KT is set to unveil another local-government stablecoin. The new token will be issued on December 30 in Busan, country’s second-largest city and site of the country’s only blockchain regulation-free zone. Per Dong-a, Busan authorities and KT are planning to release USD 256 million worth of tokens, and say that department stores, restaurants, small businesses and supermarkets in the city will begin accepting the stablecoin immediately.

Exchanges news

  • The head of unnamed South Korean crypto exchange that media exchanges are calling the 10th biggest in the country has been cleared of embezzlement. The unnamed platform chief had been charged with using customer funds to fund his own extravagant lifestyle. However, per Yonhap, a Seoul court acquitted both the executive and the company, resolving them from blame. The exchange, which reportedly has 31,000 users, had been accused of paying out a whopping USD 14.1 billion worth of corporate clients’ Bitcoin (BTC) funds to individual customers.
  • Bitfinex partnered with Mercuryo, a cryptocurrency wallet and payments provider, to offer credit and debit card payments to customers of the exchange. According to Bitfinex, starting today, customers can use their credit or debit cards to purchase cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Tether (USDT), Ethereum (ETH) and other ERC20 tokens listed on Bitfinex.
  • Japan’s Monex Group, operator of the Coincheck crypto exchange, as well as securities trading platforms in Japan, United States and Hong Kong, has released the results of its annual investment survey. Monex found that there has been a 4.5% rise in Chinese individual cryptocurrency investors this year and a 2% rise in Japanese individual crypto investors, but a fall in American-based crypto investments – with over 5% few of investors in the USA choosing to keep cryptocurrencies in their portfolios.
  • Bitcoin-only company Bull Bitcoin launched “Recurring Buy” - an automated BTC dollar-cost averaging tool. Their Canadian customers can use it to create an automated schedule that will buy Bitcoin every day using the funds in their account balance and send the Bitcoin directly to their Bitcoin wallet straight away, says their CEO.
  • Blockchain.com, a major crypto wallet, says that Brits can now turn their GBP into crypto in three steps and in five minutes, via the UK’s Faster Payments Service (FPS). Per the announcement, people need to sign up for an account at the provided link, fill in bank details and select the deposit account. Once the transfer is in the account they can buy BTC.

Technology news

  • The CEO of Coinbase, Brian Armstrong, has been granted a U.S. patent for a system that lets users make cryptocurrency payments with an email address linked to a corresponding wallet address. It takes 48 hours for the transaction to be cleared after a user makes a request to send crypto to an email address and the system automatically transfers it. The patent talks only of BTC, while the system would also include a featured exchange facility for users to make in-app BTC trades using fiat currency from a linked bank account.

Libra news

  • The Engineering Team behind Facebook's Libra project came out with the Libra Core Roadmap #2, highlighting three main focus points: 1) delivering mainnet features in priority order, 2) defining launch criteria for going from Libra pre-mainnet to mainnet, and 3) educating and including the Libra community so that they can be valuable contributors to the Libra project, the blog post says.

Mining news

  • After a drop of 0.74 % two weeks ago, the Bitcoin mining difficulty saw a rise of 0.56% to 12.95 T on December 19, according to the information provided by major Bitcoin mining pool BTC.com. It is currently estimated that the difficulty will rise by another 0.98% to 13.08 T in 13 days when the next adjustment is expected to happen.
  • The second largest producer of Bitcoin mining equipment, China-based Canaan, has partnered up with liquidity provider GSR to offer its clients risk management products to protect themselves against volatility in bitcoin prices. Per South China Morning Post, GSR will offer, through Hangzhou-based Canaan’s strategic partner Interhash, customised financial instruments such as swaps and collars, which could help the clients avoid losses or boost their returns on inventory. GSR said that c. USD 3 billion of BTC is expected to be mined globally at current prices in 2020, and Canaan’s clients will account for USD 256 million of that.

DeFi news

  • One of the major DeFi (decentralized finance) applications in the Ethereum ecosystem, Synthetix, announced that the Synthetix-Chainlink integration is now live on Ethereum, providing decentralized price feeds. By offloading data feeds to Chainlink’s decentralized oracle networks, Synthetix assets will be driven by tamper-proof inputs, says the post.
  • The Maker Foundation said that venture capital funds Dragonfly Capital Partners and Paradigm have acquired USD 27.5 million worth of MKR, which is c. 5.5% of the total MKR supply. Both will actively participate in the decentralized governance of the Maker Protocol, while the funding will support Maker's efforts to bring DeFi to China and other Asian markets, says the Foundation.
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