Venezuela to Launch a ‘Crypto Casino’ in Caracas + More News
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.
- The Venezuelan government will create a “crypto casino” in the Hotel Humbolt de Caracas in the country’s capital. Media outlet Criptonoticias reports that the only cryptocurrency likely to be accepted in the casino is the state-issued, oil-backed petro token – although gamblers will be able to buy petro using other cryptocurrencies on site.
- The Australian Securities and Investment Commission has issued Raiz with a relief to operate a Bitcoin retail fund, which it intends to launch in the first half of this year, reported the AFR. Raiz a micro-investor best known for its "round up" offering, which enables customers to invest their virtual spare change automatically. According to its December numbers, Raiz has USD 445 million in funds under management from 211,000 paying customers, the report added.
- A South Korean provincial government has pledged to launch a blockchain-powered chronic disease management platform before the end of the year. Per Sports Seoul, the government of Gangwon Province, in the northwest of the country, hopes to use its new platform to allow patients living in remote areas to share vital health data with medics and health centers.
- The central Bank of Japan (BOJ) has released a report on blockchain scalability. The report’s authors do not put forward any solutions to scalability-related problems, but hope the report will serve as a useful primer for companies looking to adopt blockchain technology. The report highlights issues such as fragmentation and provides an explanation for terms like sharding.
- The Tezos Foundation released a faucet for the Tezos mainnet, which allows developers and users to request Tezos tokens for development and testing. To get the Tezos, a Tezos address needs to be entered. The faucet releases 0.01 Tezos every 10 seconds, the registered addresses are added to a queue with a maximum length of 10 addresses. Those that have received tokens from the faucet are blocked for 12 hours before they can be re-added to the queue, says the announcement.
- Tether (USDT) responded to the plaintiffs in three class action proceedings against it, who requested that the three actions be consolidated, as well as any actions subsequently filed in or transferred to the court. Tether says in an emailed statement they did not oppose the request to combine the "frivolous" claims, that none of the cases present meritorious claims, and that the research purporting to underpin the plaintiffs’ allegations is deeply flawed. Tether again denied that it or its affiliates ever used Tether tokens or issuances to manipulate the cryptocurrency market or token pricing.
- Telegram CEO Pavel Durov had been looking for ways to raise money in order to pay for equipment and considered an equity sale prior to turning to the 2018 token sale to get the needed money, say the documents by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC sued the company in October 2019, claiming that its Gram tokens were unregistered securities. The documents conclude with the section about Grams being securities upon launch, saying that Telegram employees and TON blockchain investors considered them securities as well, but also that Telegram didn't contact the SEC before the token offering started - that they filed for an exemption from registration requirements after the regulator learned about the offering and contacted the company.
- Japan’s Valu crypto trading service has decided to cease trading in March rather than apply for a license from the regulatory Financial Services Agency (FSA), reports Nikkei. The service, launched in 2017, allows customers to buy its own VA tokens, which are not available on exchanges but fluctuate in value like conventional cryptocurrencies. Customers have been able to buy VA holdings using mainstream tokens such as bitcoin. Under new laws, the regulator will require all crypto trading-related businesses to adhere to the same sort of regulations as those it imposes on exchanges.
- SEBA, a Switzerland-headquartered digital asset bank selling cryptocurrency services to clients, is planning to initiate its second-stage fundraising, less than six months after securing its banking licence from Switzerland’s Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) according to Financial News London. It plans to secure CHF 100 million (c. USD 103 million) from new investors, which include established financial institutions, family offices, and individuals.
- Argo, a London-headquartered provider of purpose-built platform for crypto mining, expects to report a 10-fold increase in annual revenues of approximately GBP 8.5 million (USD 19.47 million) for 2019, compared to GBP 0.76 million (USD 1.7 million) revenues in 2018. Furthermore, the company says that in Q4 it mined BTC 432 compared with BTC 426 in Q3.