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Your Morning News Update

  • Experts Warn NVIDIA and Others of Crypto Stock Danger
  • South Korean Exchanges to Face Massive Tax Bill
  • Sports Betting Suffers as Cryptocurrency Thrives
  • 236 Japanese Stores Now Accept Cryptocurrencies
  • Crypto Exchanges Advertising Drive Paying Dividends

Catch up on the most essential cryptocurrency and blockchain news stories breaking in Asia and the Americas while the rest of the world was asleep.

Financial Experts Warn NVIDIA and Others of Cryptocurrency Stock Danger
Forbes names NVIDIA, AMD and TSMC among five companies whose stock “could be hit by cryptocurrencies.” Officials at Susquehanna Financial Group and Morgan Stanley say they have “longer-term concerns about the sustainability” of AMD, NVIDIA and TSMC selling hardware to miners, with Ethereum-related developments possibly “eliminating GPU based mining in the next 12-18 months by changing to a new technology solution.” Overstock and Square, who accept cryptocurrency payments, could be set to suffer in the event of a bitcoin crash, per contributor Chuck Jones.

South Korean Exchanges to Face Massive Tax Bill
South Korean cryptocurrency exchanges could be forced to hand over a staggering 24.2% of their net profits for 2017, says the country’s Ministry of Finance. Authorities insist the country’s exchanges will have to foot outstanding corporate tax bills by the end March, followed by income tax payments a month later. Per news agency Yonhap, the government may also consider hiking the tax rate for Korean cryptocurrency exchanges at a later date.

Sports Betting Suffers as Cryptocurrency Thrives in South Korea
South Korea’s only official sports betting network, Sports Toto, has experienced a sharp financial downturn as more Koreans look to invest in cryptocurrencies instead of betting on football and other sports. Seoul Shinmun writer Jang Eun-suk claims that the government-regulated network only allows individuals to bet up to KRW100,000 (US$93) at a time, while there are currently no such restrictions on cryptocurrency investments.

236 Japanese Stores Now Accept Cryptocurrencies
Recent moves by some of Japan’s biggest retailers to accept cryptocurrency payments means that some 236 stores in the country now accept bitcoin and other currencies, per Segye Ilbo. Cryptocurrency can be used to pay for home appliances, entertainment, books, music, software, restaurants and beauty products in Japan. Electronics retailer BIC Camera and e-commerce/entertainment giant DMM are two companies that are now helping to set the trend by accepting bitcoin transactions. DMM also operates a cryptocurrency exchange platform.

Japanese Cryptocurrency Exchanges Advertising Drive Paying Dividends?
Aggressive marketing drives from Japan’s 11 government-approved cryptocurrency exchanges is one of the reasons why bitcoin mania is surviving recent price volatility, says Toyokeizai. The media outlet cites the example of trading platform Coin Check, which gained government approval in September last year and launched a major advertising campaign starring top-billing comedian Tetsurō Degawa in early December. Coin Check has seen a tenfold rise in the amount of new accounts opened in the wake of its campaign. Rival platform Zaif has also aimed to tickle investors’ funny bones – earlier this month it launched a video collaboration series with popular comic duo Kamaitachi on its YouTube channel.

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