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 Bank of Ghana, the country’s central bank, is thinking about issuing a digital currency to complement the growth in electronic payment systems, such as mobile money, Bloomberg reported, citing Governor Ernest Addison. Mobile money transaction volumes increased to 1.4 billion last year from 982 million in 2017, he said. The bank will begin a pilot project and may issue an e-cedi “in the near future,” Addison is quoted as saying.
- Fireblocks, an institutional platform for moving blockchain-based digital assets, said it now moves more than USD 2.5 billion in crypto per month since launching out of stealth mode in June. Fireblocks has seen a 400% increase in customer growth in less than four months, while crypto transfer volumes are growing 150% month to month through the user interface and API.
- Blockchain platform Zilliqa (ZIL) announced an integration with crypto-asset risk management solutions provider Elliptic. Their goal is to bring greater security and anti-money laundering (AML) compliance to its ZIL tokens. Elliptic’s solutions will help provide ongoing actionable risk intelligence on ZIL, as well as StraitsX, a stablecoin initiative powered by Zilliqa and issued by Xfers, starting with XSGD, a token fully backed and pegged 1:1 to the SGD (Singapore Dollar), they said.
- Miami-based Bitcoin technology startup Bitstop said it partnered with Simon Malls, a major U.S. shopping mall operator, to install a fleet of Bitcoin ATMs to various shopping destinations. Bitstop recently installed five Bitcoin ATMs in California, Florida and Georgia.
- South Korea’s Ministry of Science and IT has opened up about its plans for the USD 383 million worth of funding for government-led blockchain research that Seoul has made available over the next six years. Per ZDNet, the ministry wants to prioritize consensus algorithm tech research, and says that, when it comes to mainnet development, consensus algorithms are as important as attaining high transactions-per-second (TPS) speeds.
- Peertec has become Kakao’s newest partner as the chat app expands its Klaytn blockchain network. Per Datanet, Peertec, which operates the GDAC crypto exchange, will also seek to list the Klaytn network’s Klay token on its platform.
- Citizens in Venezuela will be able to pay their gas, water and other utilities bills in the country’s state-issued Petro cryptocurrency. Per news outlet Aporrea, Caracas will let citizens make payments in the token via the Patria portal. Patria operators say the site will be upgraded from Friday, November 29 until Monday, December 2, when developers will be adding Petro compatibility to existing online payment services.
- South Korean regulators say they will seek opinions from the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry before pushing ahead with new crypto legislation. News FC reports that the Financial Services Commission will ask the industry for input before seeking final approval for two bill amendments, with parliament and the judiciary yet to green-light the legislation.
- CryptoCompare, a crypto market data aggregator, said it has partnered with MV Index Solutions (MVIS), the indexing division of U.S. asset manager VanEck, to launch a institutional Bitcoin (BTC) index.
- Researchers from the Slovakian software security firm Eset said that that the Stantinko botnet operators are now installing crypto malware on victims’ devices using Youtube and have been distributing a Monero (XMR) mining module via the platform. The report states that the botnet has been active since at least 2012 and had so far mainly targeted users in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan via click fraud, social network fraud, ad injection, and password stealing attacks.
- Telegram’s owner Pavel Durov is set to appear in court in the United States, reports Tass. Telegram is currently engaged in a legal dispute with the American regulatory Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which is blocking the launch of the chat app’s forthcoming Gram token. The news agency states that Durov has been called as a witness for the defense, and will likely appear in court on January 6 or 7 next year.
- In a move reminiscent to the 2017 Coinbase summons, a U.S. federal judge said that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will be able to proceed with a summons on the cryptocurrency exchange Bitstamp, but only if it narrows its request sufficiently, according to an order. This comes after the IRS’s 2018 decision to examine the 2016 return of taxpayer William A. Zietzke after he filed an amended return seeking a USD 15,475 refund for taxes paid on reported gains on his cryptocurrency transactions. Bitstamp was used for at least one Bitcoin transaction, but the taxpayer hadn’t disclosed that transaction to the IRS. The agency then served a summons on Bitstamp asking for information on Zietzke’s holdings, which he tried to block in a June 2019 petition, Bloomberg reports.
- Huobi Japan will help fund the restoration of a historical landmark in Okinawa. Per the Okinawa Times, the crypto exchange will also create a donations feature on its platform, allowing customers to contribute Bitcoin and altcoin funds for the restoration of Shuri Castle, a 500-year-old landmark that was badly damaged in a fire at the end of last month.