24 Aug 2020 · 3 min read
Japanese Government Urges Blockchain ‘Cooperation’ + More News
Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.
- The Japanese finance minister and deputy prime minister Taro Aso has addressed the country’s blockchain industry, asking for the sector’s “cooperation,” and speaking about the regulatory outlook for the industry. Per Japanese media outlet Coin Post, Aso told a Tokyo-based blockchain conference, “Some members of the blockchain community may still be hostile to regulators because of the belief they may slow innovation due to a lack of technological understanding. We need to work together to find the best ways to use this technology using optimal governance.”
- An Indian national, 24-year-old Rahman, was identified as the buyer of USD 27,000-worth of drugs, which he allegedly paid for in bitcoin (BTC). According to local media, the youngster bought the drugs online from Frankfurt, and had planned to pick them up at the Foreign Post Office in Chamarajpet. Furthermore, it was said that this wasn’t the first time he had done such a thing, buying drug MDMA before and selling it at local parties.
- Russian post-COVID 19 economic revival plans will include training unemployed citizens in specialty areas including blockchain technology, reported Izvestia. The government has earmarked almost USD 40 million of funding from the treasury to secure the program, which could see 110,000 citizens trained in blockchain and other skills before the end of the year.
- A South Korean religious group says it is using a blockchain platform to donate equipment, provide aid to “stressed-out and overworked frontline medical workers fighting the coronavirus pandemic.” Per South Korean media outlet Christian Today, the initiative was launched in March this year and has already seen “health supplements” and over 46,000 protective face masks delivered to medical staff in Daegu, the nation’s fourth-biggest city and the early epicenter of the pandemic in the country.
- Major cryptocurrency exchange Binance announced Build for Bharat, a hackathon and business accelerator program which aims to bridge the gap between blockchain and mass adoption in India. Creators, innovators, and “BUIDLers” from all over India are invited to come and build unique and creative products that utilize digital assets and blockchain technology, said the announcement.
- One of the world’s oldest and biggest cryptocurrency exchange companies, Bitstamp, is moving away from London, and into Luxembourg. Trustnodes reports that the company claimed how regulatory requirements and operational efficiency challenges forced it to move out of the UK. The company's services will not be affected, and its users don’t need to do or change anything. The company’s Twitter account already shows Luxembourg as its location.
- Cryptocurrency exchange and derivatives trading platform Bitmex is blocking Ontario, Canada residents from accessing its network. In a short announcement posted on the company blog, it was said that as of September 1, 2020, Ontario residents will no longer be able to place orders that would open a new position or increase an existing open position, while open positions will continue, but must be closed before January 4, 2021. The company said the restrictions were mandated by the Ontario Securities Commission and that it supports regulators’ efforts to establish standards for cryptocurrency products.
- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) published a short, two-minute video in which it explains what cryptocurrencies are and how they operate. In the video, the IMF claims cryptos are faster, cheaper and allow for the unbanked to participate in the global economy. It also mentions five risks that need to be "countered" for widespread adoption, these being the fact that crypto payments could be fully anonymous, ability to "lose passwords", volatility, inability to process large amounts of transactions quickly, and no widespread acceptance.
- News of a local property being sold for the Chinese Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) are not true, per employee at the central bank cited by the local media. According to Sina, who cited the employee, the Chinese cryptocurrency is in testing phase which only includes smaller retail transactions and does not include large volume transactions.
- Chris Larsen, co-founder of digital remittance company Ripple, argued in a recent op-ed that the US could lose a “tech cold war” it’s currently waging against China if it doesn’t take digital payments more seriously. Discussing the idea in more detail on The Hill, Larsen argued that China already has “near-ubiquitous use of digital payments, piloting state-controlled digital Yuan,” and “has the largest concentration of crypto miners,” all of which could lead to the US losing its global economic leadership.