NASA, is funding a research program to examine the application of Blockchain technology for developing a spacecraft that could “think” for itself.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has awarded a new grant that supports the development of an autonomous spacecraft that could make decisions using Blockchain technology without human intervention, news outlet Space.com reported April 18.
Jin Wei Kocsis, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Akron, Ohio, received a $330,000 NASA grant to support her research. Kocsis said that the research program will examine the application of Ethereum-based Blockchain technology in developing a secure computing system to be used in deep space:
"In this project, the Ethereum Blockchain technology will be exploited to develop a decentralized, secure, and cognitive networking and computing infrastructure for deep space exploration… I hope to develop technology that can recognize environmental threats and avoid them, as well as complete a number of tasks automatically. I am honored that NASA recognized my work, and I am excited to continue challenging technology's ability to think and do on its own."
The system will reportedly use the underlying “smart contracts” technology to build a spacecraft that could “think” for itself, enabling it to automatically detect and dodge floating debris in a timely manner. Wei Kocsis hopes that with such technology, spacecraft will be able to complete more tasks, provide more data, and give scientists more time for information analysis, as they would no longer be be occupied with anticipating environmental threats.
The University of Akron didn’t disclose a timeline for when Wei Kocsis technology would be sent into the space. However, Thomas Kacpura, advanced communications program manager at NASA's Glenn Research Center, said this is the first time the center considered Blockchain applications in terms of space communications and navigation.
In February, Qtum, a decentralized Blockchain application platform capable of running “smart contracts”, announced that its “first ever space-based Blockchain node,” had been launched on a Chinese satellite.
IBM and Salon Media are piloting a proof-of-concept Blockchain product that aims to increase transparency and data security in digital advertising.
IBM and Salon Media are piloting a proof-of-concept Blockchain product created by AdLedger, a nonprofit consortium that develops shared ledger technologies for the digital advertising market, Marketing Dive reported April 18.
“The Campaign Reconciliation Project” leverages Blockchain tech to short-circuit intermediaries between advertisers, publishers and consumers, which currently render the industry vulnerable to high-tech ad fraud, such as bot fraud and domain spoofing. Targeting campaign reconciliation in particular, the Proof of Concept (PoC) records contractual conditions, publisher payments, and details about fulfilment of contractual terms in a shared system that is immutable and fully auditable, PRWeb further reports.
Chad Andrews, global solutions leader of advertising at IBM, wrote in AdWeek April 18:
“With a Blockchain backed peer-to-peer network, achieving transparency in the digital advertising supply chain is possible. But, ensuring its success will require the entire industry, including advertisers, ad tech providers, publishers and agencies to coalesce around a shared, auditable version of truth. Such a pact would facilitate a groundbreaking level of transparency across auditing, reconciliation, fraud detection, discrepancy management and payments.”
A recent report by Juniper Research estimated that digital advertisers will lose an estimated $19 bln to fraud in 2018, equivalent to $52 mln per day.
AdLedger is currently developing two Blockchain PoCs aimed at increasing transparency and data security for advertisers and publishers; one is a media campaign executed through its entire life cycle on a Blockchain, the second concerns General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance.
Salon Media recently sparked controversy when news broke it was offering visitors to its site the euphemistic option of allowing Salon to access a visitor’s “unused computing power” rather than seeing ads; essentially asking permission to mine cryptocurrencies on a visitor’s computer, without saying as much.
ICICI Bank, India’s largest private sector bank by consolidated assets, onboarded over 250 corporates to its Blockchain platform for trade finance transactions.
Indian banking giant ICICI Bank has consigned more than 250 corporates to its Blockchain platform for domestic and international trade finance transactions, according to a press release published April 17.
ICICI Bank started exploring Blockchain opportunities for their business in 2016. In June of that year, the bank created the position of Chief Technology and Digital Officer (CTDO) for that express purpose. In August 2016, the bank began implementing pilot transactions in international trade finance and remittance using a Blockchain in India.
Chandra Kochhar, MD and CEO at ICICI Bank, says that integration of Blockchain technology has the potential to streamline the documentation of trade by bringing stakeholders to a common platform:
“I envision that the emerging technology of Blockchain holds an immense potential to simplify the document-intensive trade transactions by bringing all stakeholders on a single platform. In another initiative, we are also collaborating with peer banks and other partners to create a comprehensive ecosystem in the industry using Blockchain and evolve common working standards to contribute to even greater adoption of this initiative.”
According to the press release, the Blockchain application developed by ICICI Bank enables all participants, both domestic and international, to view and track data in real time. They can also authenticate ownership of assets digitally, and implement trade finance transactions by means of a series of encrypted and secure digital contracts.
Earlier this month, Spanish bank Santander confirmed the launch of a Blockchain-based payment network. The system will reportedly cut costs and waiting times of international transactions.
In March, the Bank of England announced it was undertaking a proof-of-concept to examine how the renewed Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) service could be capable of interacting with Blockchain technology.
In apparent exit scam, German startup Savedroid founder posts a Tweet saying “over and out” аfter raising $50 mln in ICO.
The founder of German-based startup Savedroid has allegedly disappeared after raising a reported $50 mln through both an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) and private funding, according to local news outlet WirtschaftsWoche, today April 18.
CEO and founder Yassin Hankir apparently left the intention behind his disappearance fairly clear with the following tweet, posted earlier today, apparently in Egypt:
— Yassin Hankir #savedroidico (@YassinHankir) April 18, 2018
Savedroid’s ICO website now shows nothing but a fullscreen South Park meme:
Social media promptly reacted to the apparent exit scam, with self-described Bitcoin (BTC) alternative BitCoin ONE (BTCONE) posting on Twitter that if Savedroid turned out to be scam, they would donate 100,000 BTCONE to the victims. YouTube user Theo Goodman uploaded a video of today, reportedly of the empty Savedroid office, with a voiceover saying that he “can’t really confirm anything.”
Finance Magnates writes that Savedroid allowed people to participate in the ICO with 56 types of cryptocurrencies, as opposed to many ICOs, which only accept BTC and ETH.
According to what appears to be Savedroid’s only official online presence left standing with an explanation of what the startup is, subreddit /r/savedroid_ico describes Savedroid as “building a user interface that will make a cryptocurrency investment just as simple as a savings account. Our mission is to eliminate adoption barriers and make cryptocurrencies accessible for everyone!”
CEO Hankir, the sardonic Twitter poster, was interviewed about his “success” at the Deutsche Börse Fintech Hub in 2017, and the Deutsche Börse Venture Network also wrote about Savedroid’s self-reported 20 mln pound funding in 2017.
A German fintech founder close to Savedroid told WirtschaftsWoche that it is possibly a PR stunt, similar to what Tesla’s Elon Musk pulled on April Fool’s day.
A post earlier today on the /r/savedroid_ico subreddit writes that all of the admins have left the Savedroid ICO Telegram group as well. The Telegram group, which has over 51,000 members, appears to now have been taken over by different scammers and bots posting lists of numbers and the phrase “CANT HIDE, FEAR FOR YOU LIFE” over and over.
Today Cointelegraph reported on the five largest scams in crypto history, the highest of which is a Vietnamese outfit that allegedly stole $660 mln from investors through two ICOs, after which the operators went silent.
In the wake of the Pincoin/iFan ICO scams in Vietnam, we take a look at the five biggest cryptocurrency scams to date.
Cryptocurrencies have revolutionized the way the world looks at transactions – but they’ve also facilitated some monumental scams over the past nine years.
The success of Bitcoin and a number of altcoins jumpstarted an industry that is incorporating Blockchain technology in a number of innovative ways.
While the smartest minds have created some game-changing companies backed by the power of Blockchain and cryptocurrencies, nefarious minds have also jumped on the bandwagon, fleecing unwitting investors in elaborate scams.
ICOs fever spawns massive scams
Since Bitcoin’s inception in 2009, people have become increasingly enamoured with the idea of Blockchain technology. Over time, developers and business minds began creating their own solutions with this decentralized ledger technology.
This led to the development of Ethereum and other virtual currencies, with the former in part responsible for a boom in initial coin offerings (ICO) in 2017.
As an ICO is essentially a round of public finding and is typically launched by a tech startup which sells inhouse cryptocurrency tokens to prospective investors, these investors buy tokens in the hopes that company will launch its product and the tokens will grow in value.
An ICO is not unlike an initial public offering, which is when a traditional company makes its share available for purchase to the general public. In fact, this is where the ICO moniker stems from.
Given that there are no promises that an ICO will make good on its future plans, investors take a leap of faith when they part ways with their money. This of course has led to a plethora of scams billed as ICOs, which have seen thousands of investors left out of pocket.
Here are five of the biggest ICO scams in history.
Pincoin and iFan
The most recent large-scale ICO scam grabbed headlines in April. Two ICOs, run by the same company operating out of Vietnam, are believed to have swindled around 32,000 investors of a combined $660 mln.
The company in question, Modern Tech, packed up its offices in Ho Chi Minh city last month, making off with investors money. The scam is believed to be the biggest in ICO history.
A number of investors protested outside the vacant offices in the city on April 8, after the company refused to process cash withdrawals. The city’s administration has ordered police to investigate the fraud.
Both ICOs have been classified as multi-level marketing scams. iFan was advertised a social media platform for celebrities to promote their content to fans. Meanwhile Pincoin was promising 40 percent monthly returns on investments made. The project claimed to be building an online platform encompassing an ad network, auction and investment portal and peer-to-peer marketplace built on Blockchain technology.
OneCoin has been the subject of a number of investigations over the past 18 months. Officially labelled as a ‘clear ponzi scheme’ in India in July 2017, it was fined €2.5 mln by Italian authorities two months later.
Cointelegraph has previously warned readers to stay clear of the operation, as OneCoin does not even operate a legitimate decentralized cryptocurrency. Furthermore it does not have a public ledger and its Bulgarian offices were raided in January with servers seized by authorities as international investigations and court cases continue against the company.
Scandals in countries around the world summed up the fact that OneCoin is indeed a massive scam.
In 2016, over $30 mln dollars were seized by Chinese authorities investigating the OneCoin operation in the country.
The company claimed to be officially licensed in Vietnam last year as well, but this was later refuted by the country’s government. More than five countries have warned investors of the risks involved for those choosing to invest in the company, including Thailand, Croatia, Bulgaria, Finland and Norway.
Long accused of being a ponzi scheme, Bitconnect discontinued operations in January in the wake of a cease and desist order from two American financial regulators.
Users exchanged Bitcoin for Bitconnect Coin (BCC) on the Bitconnect platform, launched in Jan. 2017, and were promised astronomical returns on their investments.
Furthermore the company ran a lending program, where users lent BCC out to other users to make interest depending on how much BCC they’d lent on the platform. There was also a typical, ponzi scheme referral system.
Nevertheless, the wider cryptocurrency was hardly sympathetic when the operation shut down its lending scheme and exchange platform.
A number of users have since launched a class action lawsuit against Bitconnect to recoup lost funds – amounting to $700,000 for their particular claim.
This particular ICO was nipped in the bud in Dec. 2017 after being labelled a typical return on investment ponzi scheme. Plexcorp was promising investors over 1300 percent return on investment per month before the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) ordered the company to stop operations.
Over $15 mln had been raised during the Plexcoin ICO. Luckily all of the funds were frozen by the SEC and founder Dominic Lacroix was jailed.
Interestingly, it was the first time the SEC stepped in and charged an ICO through its Cyber Crime Unit. Plexcoin’s offerings was also classed as a security, hence the SEC’s decision to press charges.
Having been endorsed by the likes of superstar boxer Floyd Mayweather and DJ Khaled, Centratech was thrust into the spotlight for its supposed Visa and MasterCard debit card service that would allow users to convert cryptocurrencies to fiat.
Two of the founders have since been arrested on fraud charges relating to the ICO, which raised around $32 mln, according to Ars Technica.
The SEC highlighted the extreme lengths the founders, Sohrab “Sam” Sharma and Robert Farkas, went to in order to dupe investors.
“The SEC also alleges that to promote the ICO, Sharma and Farkas created fictional executives with impressive biographies, posted false or misleading marketing materials to Centra’s website, and paid celebrities to tout the ICO on social media.”
The US regulator is looking to seek permanent injunctions, and intends to force Sharma and Farkas to return stolen funds with interest. The pair will also be barred from serving as company officers or directors, and be banned from participating in any securities offerings.
Investors need to wisen up
As these five scams show, fraudsters will go to extraordinary lengths to swindle unsuspecting investors.
It highlights a need for investors to do their due diligence when it comes to investment decisions.
Cointelegraph reached out to American investor and founder of Skill Incubator Chris Dunn for comment on the Pincoin and iFan debacle.Overall, Dunn believes that the cryptocurrency community needs to become more discerning towards new ICOs. If not, governments around the world are likely to take sterner stances towards cryptocurrencies in general.
“The crypto community needs to promote financial education and ethical investment practices, otherwise governments will over-regulate and stifle real innovation. The most effective way to protect investors is through education. Investors need to learn how to evaluate investment opportunities, quickly spot scams, and know how to manage risk.”
ICOs not cut from the same cloth
Sadly, scams like these are a blemish for cryptocurrencies in general. While they operate in isolation, the fact that they ride on the cryptocurrency wave smears the wider community, which is driving innovation in a number of spaces.
It provides a focus point for skeptics to attack cryptocurrencies, when in fact these scams are anything but legitimate ICOs and cryptocurrencies.
What the greater public and authorities need to avoid is assuming that ICOs are all cut from the same cloth. Undoubtedly, there are criminals looking to take advantage of the hype of a new technology. However that does not take away from the sterling work of some of the brightest minds in the IT industry.
Chinese police have arrested four suspects in an allegedly fraudulent crypto scheme in the northwestern city of Xi’an that cost investors $13 mln.
Police in China’s northwestern city Xi’an have arrested a primary suspect and three accomplices for a suspected cryptocurrency “pyramid-scheme” that is alleged to have defrauded over 13,000 investors of ¥86 mln ($13 mln), local news reported April 18.
The chief suspect, identified by his surname Zheng, allegedly began preparations for the scheme in October 2017, which used an altcoin called Da Tang Coin (DTC) and is linked to Hong-Kong registered firm DTC Holding.
The firm is alleged to have promoted the scheme – which according to its description in reports may actually be more like a ponzi-scheme – widely, visiting Phnom Penh, Xi'an, Ningbo and other cities, promising investors ¥80,000 yuan (~$13,000) profits per day, as long as they invested ¥3 mln ($480,000) upfront in purchases of DTC coin, sold at ¥3 ($0.50) per token. According to local news reports, suspects succeeded to attract a high volume of investments over a very short period, between 15 and 28 of March, 2018.
Police also noted that the company hired a “foreign-looking” man to give themselves the aura of a Blockchain startup with international backing. Profits were promised from future DTC listings on established crypto-exchanges, and investors were assured the coin would soon have real-life applications in education and retail payments, according to the local news source.
Last year, over 47,000 people were duped by a fraudulent cryptocurrency multi-level marketing (MLM) scheme (similar to a pyramid-scheme) in China, leading to 37 arrests as of August 2017. In January this year, China’s Public Ministry of Public Security released a notice that outlined their agenda to “purify cyberspace” of crypto-related MLM schemes.
New proposed stable cryptocurrency project Basis raises $133 mln from big name VC investors.
The US-based Blockchain project Basis (formerly known as Basecoin), which claims to provide a non-volatile cryptocurrency or stablecoin, has recently raised $133 mln in funding from big name investors, according to an official blog post published today, April 18.
Basis announced today that they had raised $133 mln in private placement from a slew of major venture capital players, including Bain Capital Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz.
Basis was launched in 2017 as a cryptocurrency startup that aims to provide a stablecoin by means of automated operations carried out by Blockchain-based "algorithmic central bank”.
Though Basis co-founder Nader Al-Naji told Techcrunch about his early Bitcoin (BTC) devotion, recalling how he began mining bitcoins on his college campus in 2012, Basis developers aim to make their coin antonymous to the scarce and highly-volatile Bitcoin. On their site the company claims “cryptocurrencies have been too volatile for mainstream use.”
Other investors in the project’s fundraising round include such names as GV, Stanley Druckenmiller, Kevin Warsh, Lightspeed, Foundation Capital, Wing VC, NFX Ventures, Valor Capital, Zhenfund, INBlockchain, Ceyuan, and Sky9 Capital.
The project’s developers declined to comment on the expected date of the cryptocurrency’s launch.
Basis is not the first company that has been focused on creating a stable cryptocurrency. Such project as CoinoUSD, NuBits,and Tether have attempted to develop a stable digital currency that is pegged to the US dollar.
In March, Cointelegraph reported that a group of financiers had raised $30 mln to create a fiat-pegged stablecoin called Saga. Earlier in January, Havven project was reported to launch the “world’s first” token sale for a decentralised stablecoin platform.
Andreessen Horowitz was also among high-profile VC investors to fund Blockchain securities platform Harbor, who yesterday, April 17, announced they had raised $28 mln in a funding round.
What to expect for the future of banking and fintech
Bitcoin captured global curiosity when its’ value skyrocketed in 2017. Yet, financial institutions have been slow to add operational value to the crypto market.
The common denominator among places where governments and banks have restrained digital markets is the lack of transparency and control they have in exchanges. Many research initiatives launched by global fintech leaders remain in developmental stages, while government officials and financial actors grapple with the learning curve of the new technology.
The two biggest crypto concerns of global banks are debt liability from customers who have no protection from market volatility; and security risks associated with unregulated exchanges, such as terrorism funding, scam operations, money laundering and other financial crimes.
Market observers attribute the severe fluctuations in market price to the haphazard restrictions that ill-equipped governing bodies have placed on virtual transactions. Governments and banking executives have leveraged Anti-Money Laundering (AML) laws and “Know Your Customer” (KYC) requirements, among other existing regulations, in order to gain more control and transparency in transactions since the disruption of cryptocurrency in financial markets.
Contrary to restricting crypto exchanges, financial institutions have embraced the revolutionary potential of Blockchain. Over 90 central banks across the globe are engaging in research and development of the technology. Various platforms have been co-opted by banks in an effort to make operations more secure and efficient. Blockchain networks could eliminate high structural costs of financial services, provide a shared ledger that minimizes risk for banks, and strengthen regulatory reporting of banking activity.
Tax authorities, securities and exchange agencies, creditors, and national governments all have a stake in the unregulated crypto market, whether voluntarily or not. In response, leaders from every sector have made a concerted effort to address the new industry, and have promised forward-looking, well-informed strategies to develop regulations as the market evolves.
The role of financial institutions in the tech marketplace is still undetermined, but examining the evolutionary relationship between the two can give an idea of what to expect for the future of banking and fintech.
The list below is based on thorough news research, but in no way can be considered as complete.
The Chinese government has cracked down on crypto activity and suggested banks suspend services to clients using the currency. Fiat-exchanges and ICOs were banned last September as authorities continue with a strict and critical approach to crypto dealings.
The governor of the People’s Bank of China voiced criticism of virtual currency in a recent press conference where he announced regulators would apply more scrutiny to crypto exchanges out of concern that market speculation will threaten the stability of domestic markets.
In early March, internet financial regulators blocked social media accounts on Wechat, a messaging platform that connected China to overseas crypto exchanges. The government also bans cryptocurrency advertising on social media. Intense regulation and internet monitoring in China has pushed various trading operators to leave the country for crypto-havens like Hong Kong, Japan, and Singapore.
However, some high-ranking Chinese authorities acclaim Blockchain technology and have floated the idea of establishing state-controlled asset trading platforms, but may still exclude cryptocurrencies. Over 225 Blockchain patents were filed in China in 2017, the most in comparison to any other country.
Other tech innovators are not fazed by the intense regulatory obstacles in China and in some places have received funding from local governments for Blockchain initiatives. The Chinese government launched the Blockchain Industrial Park in Hangzhou, which may spend upward of $2 billion on Blockchain projects, 30% of which is expected to be funded by the government.
The Japanese crypto industry is the biggest in the world, according to a report from the Japanese Cryptocurrency Business Association. The report reveals there are over 3.5 million active crypto participants in the country and trading volume of Bitcoin hit $97 million in 2017.
The Japanese government passed legislation in April 2017 that requires exchange operators to report cryptocurrency transactions in an effort to ensure banks are in compliance with AML regulations. The crypto community is more cooperative with the government after one of the worlds largest crypto hacks was orchestrated in January on Japanese-based exchange platform, Coincheck.
The fourth largest bank in the world, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, has since announced plans to issue its own cryptocurrency to provide secure exchanges and stabilize market fluctuations in Japan.
In early April, a government-backed research group proposed guidelines and regulations to legalize ICOs. The guidelines have potential to become law in a few years’ time—a notable position, given that Chinese and South Korean governments banned ICOs completely. The proposal recognizes ICOs as securities, similar to the SEC’s approach in the U.S.
Other developments in the crypto market of Japan include the bank Consortium’s recent release of a domestic payments mobile app powered by Ripple technology. The creators of Ripple also partnered with the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority and Western Union to use the system for payment and settlement transactions between customers.
Financial regulators in South Korea share concerns similar to China and Japan, and opened an investigation into local banks compliance with AML and KYC guidelines in March after the country has seen a rapid growth of crypto markets in the last six months. Korea’s Financial Supervisory Commission first examined corporate bank accounts last December and banned anonymous trading and required registration of trading accounts under real names.
Similar to China’s approach, ICOs were criminalized in late 2017, but the Korean government may adapt investor protection policies similar to the U.S. SEC for ICOs to be allowed in the future.
However, South Korea is among the most progressive countries in regard to crypto policies, which are seen as efforts to protect the industry. The South Korean Ministry of Strategy and Finance recently announced it would release tax framework by June.
The government banned officials from owning or trading cryptocurrencies in March out of concern for insider trading and corruption. Since the government has applied more scrutiny to exchanges, two senior executives from an unnamed crypto exchange were charged with embezzlement and fraud.
The Korean Blockchain association, which was officially established in June 2017, is a self-regulatory group comprised of 33 crypto exchanges. The association’s mission for self-regulation came after many exchanges had difficulties complying with various rules the Korean government outlined in January.
The Securities and Futures Commission in Hong Kong warned various crypto platforms in February that exchanges and ICOs will be subject to stricter scrutiny.
Financial regulators in Hong Kong take a more lenient approach to policing the crypto market in comparison to their Chinese counterpart. However, the severe influx of crypto-investors to Hong Kong after China banned fiat exchanges last year presents uncertainty to how Hong Kong will address intense demand from Chinese businesses.
Certain ICOs may qualify as Collective Investment Schemes (CIS) by the SFC in Hong Kong and must be vetted and registered before accepting investors. Similar to the U.S. SEC, ICOs are considered securities and must comply with established securities laws.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong and Singapore established a Blockchain alliance which nearly 20 banks have joined. The trade network between the two competing crypto-hubs will make transfers of currency and documentation more efficient.
The Singapore Fintech Association and the Fintech Association of Japan announced plans to collaborate and “bridge the gap” between the countries’ booming crypto industries, before the director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore reaffirmed commitment to ‘Project Ubin’ in March, a Blockchain network used for international payments.
Cryptocurrency transactions are largely unregulated in Singapore, but the central bank reported in March that they are assessing the market to determine if investor protections are necessary.
The central bank maintains a complaisant environment for Blockchain tech development but warns investors of the risk associated with volatile cryptocurrencies from market speculation. Further, financial authorities considered plans for more regulation out of fear that issues with cryptocurrency may undermine Blockchain acceptance.
‘Project Ubin’ first partnered with R3 in 2016 to experiment with potential alternatives for financial operations using distribute ledger technology. China and Singapore have since successfully carried out the first commodity trade of gasoline using a Blockchain system.
The call for more regulation mirrors the trend of other Asian countries’ financial authorities who have recently reconsidered regulatory policies for the volatile market.
Similar to Singapore, Taiwanese financial authorities are open to experimentation with Blockchain tech for internal uses. The central bank plans to incorporate the technology with services in the capital city, Taipei, to create a ‘smart city.’
In contrast with China’s strict ban on crypto activity, Taiwan allows exchanges and ICOs. But the Central Bank of China recommended that Taiwan warns investors of potential risks and monitor exchanges for compliance with AML laws.
Thailand’s Finance Ministry plans to collect a 15 percent capital gain tax on cryptocurrency profits, which was proposed in early March.
The legislation addresses guidelines for transactions and ICOs and will require crypto operators to register with financial authorities. But the government does not plan to further restrict or ban the crypto industry in Thailand.
India’s largest private bank, HDFC, banned the purchase of cryptocurrency via debit or credit card in order to “protect customers” from market fluctuations in March.
India’s finance minister announced the country does not recognize Bitcoin as a legal tender and licensed crypto entities will be penalized if they continue to operate. India is one of the top global tech leaders, but there is a little understanding of the crypto market in the country — although people have taken an interest in the underlying Blockchain technology.
The ban sparked controversy within the domestic crypto industry that fears the strict regulation will cause “brain drain” and underdevelopment of Blockchain tech in the country.
In contrast to the strict ban on operations, The Reserve Bank of India announced plans to experiment with its own digital currency on April 5, after meeting with the Monetary Policy Authority.
Crypto exchanges in Malaysia are now required to identify traders after the government enacted AML legislation in February. Regulators emphasized the need to restrict the criminal use of the virtual marketplace.
Domestic banks in Malaysia have partnered to experiment with scalable uses of Blockchain tech. Malaysia has one of the most progressive plans for regulation of Blockchain and virtual currency and has already enacted legislation which sets standards for virtual exchanges.