South Korea Announces USD 680M ‘Digital New Deal’ + 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/Marzky Ragsac Jr.

Blockchain news

  • The South Korean government has announced a USD 680 million spending plan on a post-COVID 19 “Digital New Deal,” which includes blockchain-related spending pledges. Per the Chinji Ilbo, over USD 20 million of the funds will be used to train blockchain and AI experts.
  • The China Guangfa Bank‘s blockchain-powered cross-border payments system has “gone live” in the Pearl River Delta (Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao) area, reports Chinanews. A number of provincial and city authorities in the country have been pursuing similar projects, but the news outlet reports that GF Bank effort is significant as it marks one of the first occasions that a major joint-stock commercial bank has attempted to move its cross-border operations onto a blockchain platform.

Crypto adoption news

  • South Korean tech giant Kakao says 157,000 of its KakaoTalk chat app users have activated the app’s new crypto wallet feature. Per a report from Hanguk Kyungjae, the company says that “Non-fungible Token (NFT) cards” are now in the pipelines and will soon be released on the wallet named Klip.
  • International money transfer firm Azimo, headquartered in the Netherlands, reportedly confirmed using Ripple’s On-Demand Liquidity (ODL) offering for a corridor between the UK and the Philippines. Allegedly, it recorded more than USD 1.5 million in volume in just a day.
  • Bitcoin (BTC) is, by far, the most popular cryptocurrency in Africa and South America. A newly released interactive map from Blockchain Center shows that 94.7% of all crypto-related searches in Kenya are about Bitcoin. Brazil is second with 92.6%, followed by Chile (89.8%), Ecuador (89.4%), Nigeria (89.4%), South Africa (89%), and Argentina (87.7%). Eastern European countries Ukraine, Serbia, and Russia dominate among the altcoin countries.
  • A Turkish real estate agency now supports payments via Bitcoin and has recently brokered a sale of a villa in the tourist city of Antalya. Called Antalya Homes, the company said the outbreak of the coronavirus forced businesses to digitally transform and accept new forms of business and payments. The villa was sold for an equivalent of USD 1.25 million and is currently the highest valued Turkish property sale ever made in BTC.
  • Digital securities platform for enterprises and financial institutions, Tokensoft, has announced its teaming up with New York-based Signature Bank to create a real estate security token platform. The goal of the platform is to allow clients to purchase and sell real estate easier.
  • The Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI), the development department of Saudi Arabia’s Islamic Development Bank Group, is partnering up with the Samsung-backed enterprise blockchain provider Blocko. The goal of the joint effort is to create a blockchain-based smart credit management system, reports. It is allegedly based on the Aergo (AERGO) hybrid blockchain and will operate in a way which will motivate users to repay their loans on time.
  • Kazakhstan is planning on attracting more than USD 700 million in crypto-related investments within the next three years, local media reported. The country’s Minister of Digital Development, Innovation and Aerospace Industry Askar Zhumagaliyev discussed the topic at the country’s upper house of Parliament, the Senate. He said that the country already has 14 cryptocurrency mining farms, further stating that western countries are making significant progress in the field of cryptocurrency and blockchain.
  • The Dash (DASH) cryptocurrency is now, “in a matter of speaking”, backed by gold. This was recently stated by Amanda B. Johnson, Dash Investment Foundation Supervisor, the media reported. This came as a result of the Dash Investment Foundation buying physical gold as means of its Dash to gold rebalancing strategy.
  • Alex Masmej, a startup founder who launched a for-profit DAO (decentralized autonomous organization) offering loans against digital items (NFTs) called Rocket, is now letting people who own enough of his personal token ALEX decide which habit he will try to add to his daily routine next. There are four choices available, including not eating red meat, getting up early in the morning, or jogging for five miles. (Learn more: Tokenization Getting Personal With New Opportunities and Old Dangers)

Mining news

  • It’s payday for the miners who processed one out of three unusually high Ethereum (ETH) transactions. After waiting four days for the person(s) who paid USD 2.64 million in transaction fees for the second transaction, worth approximately USD 86,400, to reach out, blockchain innovation company Bitfly said the Ethermine pool will distribute the fee.

Career news

  • A former member of the US Department of Defense, Microsoft and Bakkt, Adam Healy, is joining crypto lender BlockFi as the company’s Chief Security Officer (CSO). Announcing the news in an emailed press release, BlockFi said Healy is joining “at a pivotal time to enhance its products for retail and institutional-grade clients.”

Crime news

  • MBC, one of South Korea’s biggest broadcasters, says it has fired a reporter it believed had paid around USD 578 worth of cryptocurrency to the operator of the Telegram Nth room chatroom in an attempt to gain access to explicit rape and sexual exploitation videos featuring minors. Per Hangyoreh, the broadcaster says the reporter “violated employee regulations,” although he claimed he planned to join in order to “report on the story.” The police are investigating.