Japan: Demographic Shift Sees Younger Folk Flock to Crypto + More News

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Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.

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Exchanges news

  • Japanese crypto exchange bitFlyer has reported that there has been a shift in the demographic of its user base, with more people in their 20s using the platform. Per a press release published by Coin Post, the exchange – one of Japan’s biggest – says that 34% of its customers are aged in their 20s. Two years ago, the biggest user group was people in their 30s (32%). Now, it says, thirtysomethings represent 28% of its user base. The exchange added that an increasing number of young people were first-time investors, turning their backs on more traditional tools like the stock exchange.

Crime news

  • Five men have been arrested in Japan over a suspected USD 48,000 crypto fraud case, reports Mainichi. The men are all in their 20s, per a police announcement, and are said to have run a fake bitcoin (BTC) trading bot program from October 2018 to May 2019, promising users that they would make huge returns on their stakes.
  • Konstantin Ignatov agreed to cooperate with law enforcement agencies and, if need be, testify against his sister in court as part of a settlement deal, Law360 reported. The deal will see him dismissed from civil litigation. Ignatov was a part of an alleged USD 4 billion-heavy Ponzi scheme, OneCoin, which was founded, among other people, by his sister Ruja Ignatova, currently on the run. Late last year, he pleaded guilty to charges of money laundering and conspiracy to commit wire fraud in a separate case, and is facing 90 years in prison.
  • Former Chief Security Officer at Uber, Joseph Sullivan, is being accused of giving hush money to hackers who broke into the company system and stole sensitive data. According to an announcement by the US Department of Justice, Sullivan allegedly used the company’s bug bounty program to give USD 100,000 worth of bitcoin (BTC) to hackers in 2016, who stole the drivers’ license numbers of roughly 600,000 Uber drivers, as well as private information for roughly 57 million users. He has been charged with obstruction of justice and misprision of a felony.

Blockchain news

  • Chinese banks are becoming increasingly keen to register blockchain patents, per Hoxun. The media outlet quotes analysts in the Middle Kingdom as stating that many public and private sector financial institutions want to accelerate blockchain innovation. The analysts state that banks fear they will otherwise end up being charged copyright or patent fees from R&D-focused tech firms who try to beat them to the punch.

Game news

  • A new interactive minigame app that aims to educate players on the topic of blockchain has been announced. Called The Adoraboos, the app is now available for both Android and iOS devices. The app’s goal is to “fill the gap caused by school disruptions due to COVID-19” and is designed for players of all ages.

Business news

  • Crypto lending company BlockFi has raised USD 50 million in its Series C funding round, the company confirmed in an announcement yesterday. The round was led by Morgan Creek Digital, while other participating investors include Valar Ventures, CMT Digital, Castle Island Ventures, Winklevoss Capital, etc. The company said it would use the funds to further grow the business.
  • DIA, the open-source decentralized finance (DeFi) oracle platform, has raised USD 15 million for the project, they said in an announcement. The funding round was conducted through a private sale, as well as the bonding curve distribution – essentially a token sale. Roughly 10,000 investors participated in the seed round, including names such as Outlier Ventures, TRG, and Jun Capital.
  • Cryptocurrency and security token exchange INX announced its Initial Public Offering (IPO). The company said it plans to kick things off on or around August 24. A total of 130 million tokens will be released, each costing USD 0.90. It plans to use a part of the net proceeds raised for the development and operation of INX Trading Solutions, a regulated solution for the trading of blockchain assets,and for the establishment of a cash reserve fund.