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Morning News: Google Bans Mining Extensions, Prof Wants Regulations

  • Google Bans Chrome Crypto Mining Extensions
  • IT Professor Calls for ‘Limited’ Crypto Regulations
  • E-Sports Giant Plans Blockchain Expansion
  • Police Wants to Hit Coinone with Gambling Lawsuit

Catch up on the most essential cryptocurrency and blockchain news stories breaking in Asia and the Americas while the rest of the world was asleep.

Google Bans Chrome Crypto Mining Extensions
Google has moved to ban cryptocurrency mining extensions for its Chrome browser. The company has announced that, effective immediately, no new mining extensions will be accepted onto the Chrome Web Store, while existing mining extensions will be phased out by June. The company says it has been forced to act by extensions providers who have hidden mining scripts in background processes of their products. Google’s extensions manager said, in an official post, “Approximately 90% of extensions with mining scripts that developers have attempted to upload to the Chrome Web Store have failed to comply with [our] policies.” Google says its policies allowed for mining extensions on Chrome on the condition that developers inform end-users that the extensions would increase computer power usage.

Top S Korean IT Professor Calls for ‘Limited’ Crypto Regulations
A leading South Korean academic has urged the government to refrain from imposing regulations on individual cryptocurrency investors, but says wider market regulation may become unavoidable. Kim Hyoung-joong, of Korea University’s influential Graduate School of Information Security, told newspaper Munhwa Ilbo, “Cryptocurrencies themselves need a certain amount of regulation, but it is not the role of the government to decide how people choose to invest their money. The government can take measures against cryptocurrency investors who evade taxes or launder money, but it should not concern itself with protecting people from market bubbles.” Kim also added that, despite recently implemented regulations regarding the use of real-name accounts, South Korea was still regarded internationally as a “holy land” for cryptocurrencies.

E-Sports Giant Plans South Korea-Chinese Blockchain Expansion
South Korea-based e-sports and gaming company Actoz Soft says it is planning to move into the world of blockchain business, issuing its own blockchain-powered tokens. Actoz Soft tokens will allow customers in South Korea, China and beyond to pay entry fees for gaming contests. The company, which is owned by Chinese software developer Shanda, says that the tokens will also allow viewers from around the world to watch pay-per-view e-sports events. Actoz Soft CEO Guo Haibin said, “This is not an Initial Coin Offering, but rather a platform that combines gaming, e-sports and blockchain technology.” The company is also set to invest up to USD 3 million in promising blockchain startups. Actoz titles include the Dragon Nest series and Legends of Mir.

Local S Korean Police Force Wants to Hit Exchange Platform with Gambling Lawsuit
Police in the South Korean city of Incheon are looking to embark on a potentially game-changing case against cryptocurrency exchange platforms that provide margin trading services. Per news outlet Incheon Daily, the city’s police force is attempting to put together a case against Coinone, one of the country’s biggest exchanges, accusing it of violating business and gambling laws. Coinone’s so-called margin trading services sees the exchange provide loans to traders with limited funds, allowing them to make larger-scale investments. A police official said, “With margin trading, cryptocurrency investors can increase their initial investments fourfold. We believe this form of money lending may be illegal, and are looking into the matter.” However, Coinone says that as, unlike most overseas-based exchanges that offer margin trading services, it does not charge interest on its loans, it has not broken the law. Incheon Daily says police hope to prove that Coinone has enabled gambling, which is illegal in all forms under Korean law, and will present its case to the prosecution “by the end of the month.”

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