Politician to Form Blockchain-powered Party + 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.

National Assembly Building in Seoul. Source: iStock/AaronChoi

Blockchain news

  • Former presidential candidate, tech entrepreneur and leading South Korean politician Ahn Chul-soo will create a new political party that uses blockchain technology for its operations, per Chosun. Ahn, the founder of AhnLabs, the nation’s leading antivirus and security company, says the new party will use a blockchain-powered platform for voting, accounting and budgetary matters – in an effort to boost transparency.
  • Scaleable privacy network Aztec announced its launch on Ethereum, saying it’s live on mainnet. The announcement states that users can incorporate zkDai into their dapp (decentralized application) using the network’s SDK (Software Development Kit). Over the coming six weeks, Aztec says they’ll release other zk (zero knowledge) tokens onto the network, while in two months’ time they will remove restrictions so that users can make private custom assets from scratch.
  • Incognito, a blockchain-agnostic privacy solutions provider, announced a collaboration with blockchain platform Zilliqa, in order to enable anonymity for transactions made using the platform’s native ZIL token. This, claims the announcement, will include access to pZIL, a 1:1 private version of the ZIL token, and immediate liquidity for pZIL which will be listed on decentralized exchange Incognito pDEX. The Incognito-Zilliqa bridge will allow ZIL holders to transact on the Incognito sidechain, enabling privacy for their token.
  • Enterprise blockchain firm Insolar announced the commercial launch of its MainNet on February 3. Key components of the Insolar MainNet include the launch of its native XNS coin, Insolar Wallet, Insolar Explorer, and a “third-party audited architecture with the storage and speed necessary for real-world enterprise application deployment.”

Exchanges news

  • South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb has signed a cooperation deal with one of the country’s leading tertiary education providers, the elite Korea University, based in Seoul. The two parties will begin conducting joint research on cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, reports Munhwa Ilbo. Researchers will also look into anti-money laundering (AML), Know-Your-Customer (KYC) and securities token offering (STO) technology.
  • Japanese exchange operator LastRoots will change its name to OK Wallet to promote its OK-branded crypto products. The company runs the c0ban exchange, which won an operating license from the regulatory Financial Services Agency late last year. Per Crypto Watch, the operator, which has previously received investment from the likes of SBI, has also had appointed a former Financial Services Agency and Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission official in a senior management role.
  • Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange bitFlyer launched its zero-fee trading campaign for BTC/USD trading pair for its existing and new U.S. customers. The blog post states that the feature has been implemented on bitFlyer’s advanced trading tool, bitFlyer Lightning, while the campaign’s end date is to be determined.

Regulation news

  • A South Korean financial regulator’s research may determine the future of South Korean crypto legislation, per a report from Bloter. The media outlet claims that an agency that answers to the Financial Services Commission has been working in conjunction with leading researchers at the Seoul-based Kyung Hee University – and says that the joint report will likely be published later this month, with the government especially keen to learn of its findings.
  • NITI Aayog, a policy think tank of the Government of India, has released its national blockchain policy draft paper, explaining a number of use cases of blockchain in the country to stakeholders, including policymakers, regulators, industry, and citizens. Their goal is to make various blockchain concepts easier to understand, and also to form a national plan of action concerning blockchain.

Adoption news

  • Tokyo-based gaming and mobile contents giant Mobile Factory is set to launch a cryptocurrency-powered mobile game in summer this year, reports Nikkei. The company has developed titles such as Station Memories, and also runs a number of mobile advertising services. As previously reported, the company has recently struck a partnership deal with BlockBase, a Japanese startup that plans to launch an exchange marketplace for Non Fungible Tokens (NFTs).
  • Jack Mallers, creator of Lightning Network wallet ZAP announced Strike – an application sitting on top of our infrastructure piece Olympus, which allows user to make Lightning payments with their bank account or debit card. Per the blog post, to use Strike, a user needs only a debit card or bank account, without a wallet, node, channels, swaps, liquidity management, etc.
  • The chair of the U.S. Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Heath Tarbert, said recently that he predicts Ethereum (ETH) futures coming to the U.S. market. He stated that he sees Bitcoin and Ethereum as commodities that fall under the CFTC, but also that he wants the U.S. to be the leader in terms of digital assets and blockchain technology.
  • Users of the recently launched Microsoft Edge will be offered a new option to surf the web without accidentally downloading crypto miners. Eric Lawrence, principal program manager at Microsoft, tweeted that the upcoming feature would target the sources that infect sites or online ads with crypto-mining code, optionally blocking downloads that contain potentially unwanted, but not technically malware code, as it’s more advanced than SmartScreen and Safe Browsing which also block malware.
  • Defunct company Centra Tech, which had sold USD 32 million of cryptocurrency in an initial coin offering (ICO) in 2017, argued at the Florida federal court that that it owes far less than almost USD 3 million the court granted the investors that sued the company over its alleged fraudulent ICO. Law 360 reports that the company claims that the value of owed bitcoin should be calculated at the time of the purchase not at its highest point.