Petro for Petrol, Karpeles’ Guilt, Cotten’s Ponzi, Frozen Bitmain + More News

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

Source: Adobe/Negro Elkha

Crypto adoption news

  • The Venezuelan government says that 15% of fuel payments at petrol stations were made in petro (PTR) in the first week of the government’s new plan to promote its state-issued, oil-backed token. Per Ultimas Noticias, that figure was 40% at gas stations operated by international companies, and citizens used biometric tech solutions to process their PTR payments.
  • A Twitter poll run by Japanese crypto exchange Bitmax – operated by chat app giant Line – found that bitcoin (BTC) was respondents’ favorite cryptoasset – although with XRP was just over half a percentage point behind. Some 1,500 people voted, with BTC accounting for 26% of the vote and XRP on 25.4%.
  • Singapore-based investment management firm Three Arrows Capital, partnered with Bitcoin mining pool Poolin in order to “provide users with compliant, secure and easy-to-understand financial products.” The first of these products should be available mid-June 2020 through the Blockin Wallet app.
  • A Japanese high court has upheld a guilty verdict on Mark Karpeles, the former CEO of the Mt Gox crypto exchange. The court, per Mainichi, ruled that Karpeles was responsible for manipulating digital data after the exchange’s devastating hack and subsequent collapse in 2014, but cleared him of embezzlement charges.
  • Failed Canadian exchange Quadriga CX operated like a Ponzi scheme, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) said, accusing the deceased founder and CEO Gerald Cotten of fraudulent conduct. E.g., he regularly moved clients’ crypto assets off the platform into his personal accounts, the OSC claims.
  • Two more people, Romanian nationals, have pleaded guilty for their involvement in an international, multi-million dollar scheme on June 11, making it fifteen people so far, said the United States Department of Justice (DoJ). They used a number of fraudulent methods to scam their victims out of BTC. In recent years, they laundered the funds through a Romanian crypto exchange Coinflux, the DoJ said.
  • Blockchain-based decentralized browser Brave announced that it detected fraudulent activities concentrated in a set of regions, and that they were caught before any BAT was paid out. In order to ensure their referral program continues for legitimate Brave referrers, after isolating a number of fraudulent referrers in specific countries, the program will be put on hold for new creators in China, Indonesia, Russia, Ukraine, and Vietnam.

Mining news

  • Bitmain‘s ousted Co-founder Micree Zhan halted the company’s Shenzhen subsidiary from shipping Bitcoin miners to its clients, according local media reports. Courier trucks were allegedly not allowed to enter the factory.

Blockchain news

  • Shenzen, China has claimed a blockchain standardization breakthrough, reported the Shenzhen Business Daily. Authorities stated that a national standards testing platform for companies wishing to roll out blockchain solutions would be forthcoming.
  • Russia’s Supreme Court announced that it will pilot a blockchain-powered voting platform, reported LetKnowNews. The solution has been developed by the Russian software giant Kaspersky.

Exchanges news

  • Gemini appointed Jeremy Ng as the Head of Asia Pacific Region. He will be responsible for shaping Gemini’s strategy in the region, developing products, hiring as part of building the team’s, physical presence in Singapore, etc. Ng previously served as Asia CEO at Leonteq, and worked at Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, and Morgan Stanley across Hong Kong and Singapore.
  • KyberSwap, a platform for converting ERC20 tokens, integrated decentralized oracle network Chainlink‘s Price Reference Data on Mainnet. This allows users to verify on-chain the price of assets when they are performing a token swap, and it increases security on KyberSwap, among other advantages, they said.
  • Seed CX announced it is shutting down to focus on its settlement infrastructure. Friday, June 12 is the last trading day on the exchange’s central limit order book. CEO Edward Woodford added that their settlement business now accounts for over 95% of the revenue.

Investment news

  • Decentralized Finance (DeFi) app Celsius Network launched a USD 15 million equity offering and sold out over two-thirds of its target in a matter of hours. At the time of writing, the campaign has raised over USD 10.8 million of the USD 15 million maximum, surpassing its minimum investment goal of USD 10.5 million.