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Morning News: US Lawmakers Want Regulations, Bithumb’s Interpark Deal

  • US Congress Subcommittee Hints It May Regulate Crypto
  • Bithumb Launches Crypto Shopping Platform with E-commerce Giant
  • Coincheck Partner Invests in Crypto Monitoring App
  • Crypto Hackers Focusing on Ethereum Miners and Android Users

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.

US Congress Subcommittee Hints It May Regulate Crypto
American politicians have warned they may move to regulate cryptocurrencies at a congressional Financial Services subcommittee hearing on Initial Coin Offering (ICO) related matters. The subcommittee’s chairman Bill Huizenga said, per CNBC, that the hearing was “hello and not goodbye” to the issue of regulating what he called a “crypto craze.” Huizenga added, “Congress is not going to sit by idly with a lack of protection for investors.” Brad Sherman, a Democratic representative for California, had even harsher words. Sherman said, “Cryptocurrencies are a crock. They allow a few dozen men in my district to sit in their pajamas all day and tell their wives they're going to be millionaires.”

Relentless Bithumb Launches Crypto Shopping Platform with E-commerce Giant
It is all systems go for South Korean exchange platform Bithumb. Fresh from embarking upon a new advertising campaign and announcing multiple product launches – all in the space of a week – the company has now announced a deal with one of the country’s biggest e-commerce retailers, Interpark. Bithumb’s deal will see it launch a new members-only e-commerce site with Interpark’s Biz Market subsidy, allowing customers to buy products from venders in cryptocurrency, making payments to vendors from their Bithumb wallets. A Bithumb spokesperson said, per Yonhap, “We decided to strike this partnership so that our members could use their crypto funds more conveniently for online shopping.” Bithumb claims the new site will be live and integrated with its own platform before the end of the month.

Coincheck Partner Invests in Crypto Monitoring App
Japanese Coincheck partner Ceres has made an undisclosed but significant investment in LOGICA, a Tokyo-based cryptocurrency transaction monitoring service. LOGICA’s Coinboard app can collate data on cryptocurrency holdings and transaction history across multiple exchanges and wallets, and began operating in 2016. The move is Ceres’ second major crypto announcement this year. In late January, Ceres registered an application to launch a new cryptocurrency exchange platform through its subsidy Mercury. The country’s regulator is currently considering the application. Ceres, which is best known in Japan for its rewards point operations, also has interests in the world of cryptocurrency mining, per media outlet Nikkei.

Japanese Police: Crypto Hackers Focusing on Ethereum Miners and Android Users
Japan’s National Police Agency has warned that crypto hackers are targeting the country’s Ethereum miners and Android users. The police warn of a rise in malware and ransomware attacks on users of Claymore Ethereum mining software and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The police said reports of hacks on mining apps spiked in the middle of January this year. They also warned users to update their devices with the latest software patches and regularly change their passwords. Per Nikkei, a police spokesperson also warned of vulnerability in Android debugging software that has allowed hackers to install a cryptojacking program that covertly mines the Monero cryptocurrency for remote servers.

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