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.
- A British financial regulator has hinted that its cryptocurrency anti-money laundering (AML) policing will go above and beyond the measures undertaken in other AMLD5-adhering nations – stating that it will also scrutinize wallet services, operators of initial coin offerings (ICOs) and initial exchange offerings (IEOs), as well as cryptocurrency ATMs. Per a speech from a senior investigations official at the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the regulator stated, “We apply the same AML standards that we expect of businesses operating in traditional financial services to the [crypto] economy.”
Digital fiats news
- The Bank of Japan’s deputy governor Masayoshi Amamiya has poured scorn on the idea of introducing a central bank digital currency (CBDC) in Japan – claiming that digital fiats are not beneficial for countries with “advanced” payment systems, but would better suit economies such as the Bahamas and Cambodia. The deputy governor stated, in a speech delivered at the Bank of International Settlements, “The currency systems and the payment and settlement systems of [advanced] economies are operating safely and stably. They cannot simply jump into new technologies, or actually, they should not.”
- South Korea-based crypto exchange Huobi Korea says it is on track to meet the South Korean government’s information security management system (ISMS) certification criteria. Per EDaily, the exchange says it has been beefing up its security network with preparation to meet the ISO27001 security standard. According to recently approved rules, South Korean exchanges will need to adhere to ISMS protocols in order to obtain an operating permit from the regulatory Financial Intelligence Unit.
- Bittrex Global has announced the official launch of new products and features. According the announcement, this new offering includes credit card support, conditional orders on mobile, and a referral program where customers can earn rebates by inviting new users.
- Japanese delivery giant Nippon Express has announced that it will partner with Accenture and Intel Japan on a new blockchain-powered transport/logistics network. The delivery company wants the new network will be operational by 2021, per Nikkei. Nippon Express says blockchain technology solutions will help eliminate counterfeit goods and can boost transparency and efficiency in logistics.
- The government of Venezuela has announced that people who want to use the petro – the state-issued, oil-baked cryptoasset – will need to link their petro wallets to bank accounts at the central Bank of Venezuela, reports Ultimas Noticias. The state crypto agency says that the entire application process can be managed online. However, this will likely mean that the hundreds of merchants still waiting to be recompensed for petro payments dating back to January will likely need to sign up for bank accounts.
- Digital wallet startup Argent has raised a USD 12 million Series A, led by Paradigm, as its first investment in Europe, and backed by Robert Leshner, founder of Compound, as well as the existing investors: Index Ventures, Creandum, and firstminute. Per the announcement, the startup will use the funds to continue improving their wallet, its security, and growing the team.
- Development studio Horizon Blockchain Games has raised USD 5 million in new funding led by Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian’s Initialized Capital, with backing from ConsenSys, CMT Digital and Regah Ventures, as well as the existing partners Golden Ventures, DCG and Polychain. The blog post states that the funds will be used to deliver their first game to market and continue to build and evolve their blockchain infrastructure for open and standardized virtual items.
- A blockchain trade finance platform unveiled by the People’s Bank of China has received special funding for research and development projects, worth CNY 32.35 million (USD 4.7 million), over the next three years, reports Global Times. The article cites industry insiders who said that the funding would help drive the growth of the blockchain trade finance platform, the most supported and highest-level blockchain project at the national level. Since its launch in 2018, more banks and companies have started working with the platform and by mid-January, it linked 44 banks and 1,898 companies, and processed more than CNY 90 billion (USD 13 billion) in transactions, the Xinhua News Agency is cited.
- Medici Ventures, blockchain accelerator of online retailer and technology company Overstock.com, Inc., has purchased an additional USD 5 million of equity in GrainChain, a commodities tracing platform that uses smart contracts to open up liquidity for low-income farmers, to further grow its agricultural blockchain platform. According to the press release, Medici Ventures is joining Eden Block and other investors in this latest round of funding for GrainChain, which resulted in USD 8.2 million in capital for the company, and this follows Medici Ventures’ initial investment of USD 2.5 million in GrainChain in 2018.