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Today in Crypto: Samsung Reportedly Partners with Bank of Korea on Offline CBDC Payments, G7 Discussing Crypto, China to Train 500,000 Blockchain Professionals

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

CBDC news

  • Tech giant Samsung Electronics reportedly partnered with South Korea’s central bank, the Bank of Korea (BOK), to conduct research on central bank digital currency (CBDC) for offline payments. The two signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on May 15, according to KBS World. The collaboration will see the two entities research the offline capabilities of the CBDC issued by the central bank.

Regulation news

  • The Group of Seven (G7)’s finance ministers and central bank governors announced they had discussed crypto asset supervision at a Saturday meeting in Niigata, Japan, ahead of the next week’s summit. They said that: “We will continue policy deliberation on digital money to harness the benefits of innovation such as payment efficiency as well as financial inclusion while addressing potential risks to the stability, resilience and integrity of the monetary and financial system. A reliable, stable, and transparent global payment system is a key foundation for our economic and financial activities, and [CBDCs] could have a substantial role to play in this context. […] Effective monitoring, regulation and oversight are critical to addressing financial stability and integrity risks posed by crypto-asset activities and markets, while supporting responsible innovation.”
  • The US Department of Justice (DOJ)’s head of crypto enforcement promised a crackdown on illicit behavior on digital platforms, saying the scale of crypto crime has grown “significantly” in the past four years, according to the Financial Times. Eun Young Choi, director of the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team (NCET), said the DOJ is targeting companies that commit crimes themselves or allow “for all the other criminal actors to easily profit from their crimes and cash out.”
  • The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) wants to revise a $22 million penalty set on crypto startup LBRY to $111,614, citing LBRY's “lack of funds and near-defunct status,” according to court documents.

Blockchain news

  • China launched a national blockchain research center and aims to train 500,000 blockchain professionals, The South China Morning Post reported, citing the state-run media outlet Xinhua. The research center, located in Beijing and approved by the Ministry of Science and Technology, will work with universities, research institutes, and companies to train workers and support China’s digital economy. It also aims to establish a national-level blockchain network that will connect existing blockchains in China and support other industries, it said.

Mining news

  • KuCoin Pool, a global cryptocurrency mining platform, announced the launch of Litecoin (LTC) and Dogecoin (DOGE) joint mining pool services. The service is designed to offer a more efficient and profitable mining experience for users, said the press release. “By leveraging the merged mining technology, miners can mine both LTC and DOGE without any additional effort or resources. This not only increases the overall mining rewards but also helps to secure the networks of both cryptocurrencies,” it added.

Investment news

  • Gold, US Treasurys, and Bitcoin (BTC) would be the top three assets should the USA fail to raise its debt ceiling and default on its debt, according to data from Bloomberg’s Markets Live Pulse survey conducted from May 8–12, with 637 respondents, including professional and retail investors. It found that Bitcoin is a more popular safe haven than the US dollar, the yen, or the Swiss franc. More than 50% of finance professionals would buy gold should the US government fail to avoid a debt default, with US Treasurys being the second and Bitcoin the third most popular alternative for retail investors.

Adoption news

  • Switzerland has the highest crypto adoption rate of all European countries, reaching 21% in 2023 – twice higher than UK, Germany, or France, according to the data presented by BitcoinCasinos.com. The Netherlands has the second-highest crypto adoption rate in Europe of 19%, 2% higher than the third-ranked Norway. Belgium and Ireland round the top five list, with 16% of their population using or owning digital coins as of this year, it said. Meanwhile, the UK and Germany hit a 12% crypto adoption rate in 2023, while France and Italy followed with 11%.