Morning News: Japan Set to Police ICOs, ‘Nakamoto’ Accused of Theft
Japanese Regulator Wants ICO Legislation “Inventor” of Bitcoin Accused of Fraud Minister: “S Korean Gov’t Still Divided over Crypto” S Korean Police Nab Death Threat-issuing Crypto Blackmailer Goldman Sachs-backed Company Buys Poloniex
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.
Japanese Regulator Wants ICO Legislation
Japanese regulatory body the Financial Services Agency (FSA) is considering introducing new legislation to help it police ICOs. No laws currently specifically govern ICO issuance in the country, and the FSA says that as the number of new ICOs being launched in the country may force it to act. Per media outlet Sankei, the agency says many in the country have been duped by fraudsters both at home and overseas – and wants the power to suspend, shut down or prosecute ICOs and those issuing them. The FSA has previously spoken out against the dangers of unregulated ICOs, claiming, “There is a risk that the products and services the issuers of ICOs promise to deliver are not provided.”
“Inventor” of Bitcoin Accused of Fraud
Bitcoin “inventor” Craig Wright has been accused of taking over USD 5 billion in cryptocurrency from the estate of his business partner, the now-dead bitcoin pioneer Dave Kleiman. Wright, who claims to be Satoshi Nakamoto, the founder of bitcoin, allegedly “backdated contracts and forged signatures” to acquire some 1 billion in BTC, as well as a host of blockchain technologies following the death of his partner. The case has been brought by Ira Kleiman, the brother of Dave Kleiman, who died in 2013. Wright and Dave Kleiman formed Florida-based cybersecurity company W&K Info Defense Research in 2011.
Minister: “S Korean Gov’t Still Divided over Crypto”
Hong Nam-ki, South Korea’s minister of the Office for Government Policy Coordination has claimed that the government is divided over cryptocurrency. Speaking at a National Assembly committee meeting, Hong explained, “Thus far, we have focused primarily on securing transparency and preventing illegal cryptocurrency-related activities. However, there is still a difference of opinion within the government about how to deal with cryptocurrency companies, and we are yet to agree a unified stance regarding cryptocurrencies themselves. It’s an ongoing process.”
S Korean Police Nab Death Threat-issuing Crypto Blackmailer
Seoul police have apprehended a man who sent death threats to apartment-dwellers, demanding that they sent him USD 15,000 in cryptocurrency. Per broadcaster JTBC, the man sent letters to 70 households in affluent districts in Seoul, threatening to kill a member of the addressee’s family unless his victims sent payments to his cryptocurrency wallet. Police traced the letters to a post box in South Gyeongsang Province, and were able to use CCTV footage to identify the man – whom they have identified as a failed cryptocurrency investor in his late twenties. In his letters, he told householders that he knew they were rich enough to pay up, as they “could afford to live in Seoul apartments.”
Goldman Sachs-backed Company Buys Poloniex Trading Platform
Mobile payment provider Circle Internet Financial has sealed a deal to buy America’s Poloniex cryptocurrency exchange platform. The full details of the transaction have not been disclosed, but Fortune magazine claims it may be worth some USD 400 million. Per CoinMarketCap, Poloniex is the world’s 18th biggest exchange platform in terms of trade volume. Circle’s backers include financial giant Goldman Sachs, as well as General Catalyst and IDG Capital Partners.