03/04/2018: Biggest Stories in the Cryptosphere

1. South Korea’s Capital Seoul To Launch Own Cryptocurrency

Seoul, the capital of South Korea, is currently working on its own cryptocurrency, which will be called S-coin. The city’s mayor Park Won-soon announced the project while being interviewed by Coindesk Korea. He said that S-coin will be used to fundraise for social benefits programs, and maybe as a payment method for the city’s construction project contractors. Won-soon went on to say that Seoul is one of the cities at the forefront of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and that a ‘Blockchain master plan’ will be released by the city. Even if not the first, Seoul could be the biggest city to issue its own cryptocurrency. Last year, Dubai announced emCash, an encrypted digital currency which the public will be able to use to pay for several services. Previously, we also reported on the Marshall Islands’ plan to launch a state-owned cryptocurrency, and the Californian city of Berkeley’s tokenised bonds initiative.

2. Top Blockchain Executive Amber Baldet Leaves JP Morgan

JPMorgan Chase & Co has just lost Amber Baldet, its blockchain program lead. It was announced on Monday that the top executive has left her position in order to found her own venture. Baldet was in charge of the Blockchain Center of Excellence and helped the financial services company adapt to the emerging technology. She was also behind the development of Quorum, a blockchain aimed at firms creating business applications. Blockchain Center of Excellence’s Senior Product Manager Christine Moy will now take on the role. The news was released through an internal bank memo, which was sent by top executive Umar Farooq.

3. Brokerage Firm Monex Could Take Over Coincheck

Japan-based brokerage firm Monex has released a press release to announce that it is currently considering the option of taking cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck under its management. Monex wants to purchase a majority stake in Coincheck and reconstruct the whole exchange. Following the announcement, Bitcoin’s price grew by 5% to $7,355, while Monex shares rose by 35%. Koichiro Wada and Yusuke Otsuka, respectively the Founding President and the Chief Executive Officer, are likely to step down once the change of management takes place.

4. Australia’s Crypto Exchange Regulations Come Into Effect Today

A new set of regulations for crypto exchanges has come into effect in Australia today. The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) has published a list of obligations on its website, which exchanges operating in the country now have to follow. AUSTRAC refers to these operations as Digital Currency Exchange (DCE) providers. They will now need to follow anti money laundering (AML) and counter terrorism financing (CTF) laws. In order to do so, exchanges will be required to establish an AML/CTF program to deal with these kinds of risk, along with assessing customers’ identities, and report any dubious transactions, and those above $10,000, to AUSTRAC. Records will need to be kept for seven years. Furthermore, DCE providers have a ‘policy principles’ period of six months, during which the AUSTRAC CEO will be able to take action against them if these regulations aren’t followed.

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