Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.
- Fiat-to-crypto exchange OKCoin said it will suspend bitcoin cash (BCH) and bitcoin SV (BSV) trading on March 1 because of the platform’s “commitment to protect Bitcoin.” OKCoin CEO Hong Fang said that the company feels “very disturbed by the copyright claim and threat of legal actions that Craig Wright is waging against the open-source community.” “If we continue to allow trading of BSV on our platform, we run the risk of implicitly supporting such an attack on the open-source nature of Bitcoin, which is highly destructive to the Bitcoin ecosystem (and the crypto ecosystem as a whole),” Fang said. As for BCH, she only said that “some may feel tricked or confused by the branding ambiguity between these assets and Bitcoin.” “Should the BSV and BCH communities listen to the broader market and choose to rebrand away from Bitcoin in pursuit of their own path, we would be very happy to revisit our decision and change our stance on these assets,” the CEO concluded. OKCoin is owned by OKGroup, the owner of the major crypto-to-crypto exchange OKEx.
- Canada-based Evolve Funds Group Inc. announced the launch of the Bitcoin ETF (EBIT). EBIT has closed its initial offering of units and begins trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange today, they said, adding that investors in EBIT will directly own bitcoin in a cold wallet.
- Also, Canada-based CI Global Asset Management announced today that it has filed and obtained a receipt for a preliminary prospectus for CI Galaxy Bitcoin ETF (BTCX). The preliminary prospectus is still subject to completion or amendment, they added.
Crypto adoption news
- The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) wants to establish Thailand as the first country to welcome cryptocurrency holders by targeting Japanese tourists in the initial phase, the Bangkok Post reported. The TAT is conducting a feasibility study on implementing digital currency at tourism destinations, it added.
- KPMG, BitGo, and Coin Metrics have announced a combined offering and the commercial launch of Coin Metrics’ FARUMTM to enable BitGo’s clients to monitor and manage public blockchain network risks. “The combined offering will collapse implementation cycles and deliver capabilities for financial institutions and banks to help them offer crypto and digital assets products with confidence leveraging execution supported by established experience in system integration, risk, compliance and control patterns,” the companies said in an emailed announcement.
- Bitcoin mining hardware manufacturer Ebang International Holdings Inc. said it raised USD 70m in a previously announced best-effort follow-on public offering. The Company intends to use the net proceeds from the offering primarily for research, development, production, and sales of ASICs and equipment related to cryptocurrencies, expansion of its cryptocurrency mining business as well as establishment and operation of cryptocurrency mining farms, and general corporate purposes, which may include working capital needs and other corporate uses, they added.
- Chinese Geely Holding Group, the owner of Volvo and other car companies, and Concordium, a developer of business-focused, non-permission-based public blockchain, announced a joint venture that “will allow Geely and Concordium to offer businesses and customers access to new blockchain platform-based business models and user dapps [decentralized apps] for all industries, including the automotive segment.”
- The Russian Central Bank is reportedly warming to the idea of commercial banks in the country to issue stablecoins. Per Finmarket, the Central Bank’s First Deputy Governor Olga Skorobogatova told a meeting of financial industry leaders that “discussions” are ongoing on the matter and would “definitely be continued.” She said that although there were “more questions than answers” when it came to matters pertaining to “investment, interaction, equality and more,” the Central Bank would continue to look at “the benefits and the pros and cons” of stablecoin issuance. As previously reported, the government-affiliated commercial banking giant Sberbank is hoping to roll out its own stablecoin as early as spring this year.
- Two men have been arrested in Gujranwala, Pakistan, for their involvement in what is being reported as Pakistan’s first bitcoin robbery, geo.tv reported. Two Swiss and German citizens visiting Lahore on business had been taken hostage at gunpoint by the suspects, it added, claiming that Rs14.7m (USD 92,000) worth of cryptocurrency was stolen.
- Further details have emerged about the police investigation into the 2018 Coincheck hack. As previously reported, prosecutors this month indicted 13 men and one company on charges of handling stolen NEM (XEM) tokens police say they knew had been raided in the USD 530m hack. Bunshun reported that “the majority” of the men, aged between 20 and 49, were “high income” individuals with “high social status,” and their number included “doctors and company managers.” At least one of the group is thought to have taken part in a NEM swap with another unnamed token for a deal worth around USD 64m. However, the report’s authors noted that the whereabouts of around two-thirds of the stolen tokens are still unknown. The police unit investigating the incident is partially made up of former hackers with expert knowledge of cybercrime.
- The Chinese government has identified what it said is a bogus blockchain association on a new list of fake official bodies. Per NDB, the Ministry of Civil Affairs has published a list of 10 “suspected illegal social organizations” that are posing as bona fide, Beijing-approved bodies. The number includes the “Chinese Blockchain Committee” (literal translation, and not be confused with the National Blockchain Committee), which the ministry said is not affiliated with any government organ. The ministry warned the public to “beware of being deceived” by individuals claiming to be members of the body, and said it was beginning a preliminary investigation into the organizations named on the list.
- By permitting even a portion of transactions to occur anonymously, Bitcoin ATM operators leave the machines vulnerable to abuse by those who want to exploit the technology for nefarious purposes, the New Jersey State Commission of Investigation said. Without capturing verifiable identifying information on its customers, their cryptocurrency transactions on the devices are virtually untraceable, which puts law enforcement at a distinct disadvantage when conducting investigations into suspicious activity, they added.
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