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ShapeShift Acquires Portis, McAfee's New Coin, Coincheck Re-arrest + More News

ShapeShift Acquires Portis, McAfee's New Coin, Coincheck Re-arrest + More News 101
Erik Voorhees, CEO of ShapeShift. Source: ShapeShift.com

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.

Exchanges news

  • Crypto exchange ShapeShift said it acquired Portis, an Israeli startup that built the Web3 wallet SDK for developers of crypto applications. The exchange integrated Portis’ wallet SDK into the new ShapeShift.com platform last November and now they'll be able to unify the Portis wallet with ShapeShift users.
  • Huobi Group has announced the launch of Star Atlas, which the press release describes as a proprietary on-chain analytics tool to monitor on-chain crypto transactions for illicit activities.
  • Binance has launched peer-to-peer (P2P) trading for Indian Rupees (INR) and Indonesian Rupiah (IDR). Starting today, INR and IDR users can directly buy and sell BTC, ETH, BNB, USDT, and BUSD on Binance.com or the Binance mobile app, says the announcement.
  • Japanese crypto exchange DeCurret has unveiled a plan to issue USD 25 million in shares to third parties. The platform operator says, in an official release, that it wants to use the cash injection as part of a plan to “enhance transaction services for existing [cryptocurrencies].” It also says it hopes to boost the “expansion of [cryptocurrency] and settlement services.”

Privacy coins news

  • Crypto advocate and IT security entrepreneur John McAfee has announced his new proof-of-stake privacy coin dubbed GHOST. Per his tweet, the new privacy coin will be tradable against major cryptoassets, such as BTC, ETH, and BCH, through atomic swaps on the McAfeeDex exchange. He said that he has no plans of adding XRP.

Crime news

  • Police investigating the 2018 hack on Japanese crypto exchange Coincheck have re-arrested a 39-year-old man from Osaka in connection with the theft of around USD 400 million worth of NEM’s XEM token. Per NHK, the man is an office worker who police had previously charged with dealing in stolen XEM. They now believe they have enough evidence to link him to a suspected USD 9.3 million dark web deal involving stolen XEM that have been traced back to the Coincheck raid. The man is believed to have told police he did not know that the tokens were stolen. Investigators have recently made two other arrests.
  • In the US, the FBI expects a rise in scams involving cryptocurrency, as fraudsters are leveraging increased fear and uncertainty during the COVID-19 pandemic. The FBI advises people to be on the lookout for an increase in the pandemic-related cryptocurrency fraud schemes, including: blackmail attempts, work from home scams, investment scams, and paying for non-existent treatments or equipment. Though there are legitimate entities that accept crypto payment, pressure to use it should be considered a significant red flag, says the FBI.

Blockchain news

  • Japanese electronics giant NEC is set to use blockchain technology to power a new IoT management platform. Per Monoist, the company is hoping to roll out its solution, which also makes use of AI advances, in July this year. NEC says that the platform will help reduce the risk of cyber-attacks on IoT-powered devices, helping safeguard data passed between devices, and help identify and plug potential leaks.
  • Calls for blockchain-powered voting are growing in South Korea, which is going ahead with a general legislative election despite ongoing coronavirus fears. Early voting has begun ahead of tomorrow’s main vote, making use of conventional voting booths and paper ballot papers. But, per Today Korea, there is now an “urgent” need for blockchain-powered systems that would allow citizens to vote from their mobile phones. However, experts claim that the costs of introducing a suitable platform could be prohibitive, with one estimate stating the move could set the country back around USD 329 million.
  • Chiliz, a digital currency for sports and entertainment platform, has announced that they're working on a blockchain-based solution and a COVID-19 immunity community initiative, which would allow soccer fans to return to stadiums and watch live matches, dubbed Socios Pass. Per the blog post, this is an ID and immunity verification tool that will use blockchain technology and QR codes.
  • Land management technology tools developer Medici Land Governance (MLG) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Carbon County, Wyoming, US, to develop a blockchain-based land records and information platform in 2020. Per the press release, the blockchain-based registry assures immutability of records and indicates a clear chain of title. The registry will serve as an archive to Carbon County’s current systems, while the system will use MLG’s technologies, policies, and programs to track, record, and make available to the public certain information related to real property for management purposes.

DeFi news

  • Crypto interest earning platform Celsius Network has reduced its minimum loan request to USD 1,000 in the wake of the effects the Coronavirus has had on the market. According to the press release, Celsius members can borrow USD or stablecoins including USDC, TUSD, USDT, GUSD, and EOS against their digital assets, with annual rates begining at 3.47%, while members can receive discounts by completing their monthly payments in the platform's native CEL token.
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