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.
- London-based international money transfer service Azimo and Thailand’s Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) have partnered up and announced a new service delivering cross-border payments into Thailand powered by RippleNet, global payments network by Ripple, an American blockchain company focusing on payments technologies. According to the press release, Azimo launched its first service using Ripple’s On-Demand Liquidity solution (ODL) a month ago to send cross-border payments to the Philippines, with plans to expand to more markets in 2020.
- Open-source internet browser Brave has gained 1 million new users in March alone, according to a tweet by Brave’s head of marketing, Des Martin, who also stressed that this number has been reached in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Cryptocurrency portfolio tracker and tax calculator CoinTracker has surpassed 100,000 users and has signed up six new partners, with more to be announced in the coming months, says the company in their blog post. The new partners are Casa, Compound, Crypto.com, ErisX, IDEX, and Lolli, in addition to existing partnerships with Coinbase and Turbotax. Furthermore, CoinTracker says they’re helping users sync over 175,000 connected wallets and exchanges, and over USD 20 billion in cryptoasset transaction volume, while they’ve already helped users claim more than USD 600 million in capital losses on their taxes.
- Binance is launching a crypto mining pool. Following the report by Russian news outlet Coinlife, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao confirmed the news. Coinlife also said, however, that the exchange has already hired specialists, including those who previously worked at Bitmain, while the launch of the pool is expected in the second quarter of 2020.
- Coinbase USDC Bootstrap Fund has announced investments in an exchange built on Ethereum, Uniswap, and a savings game built on decentralized finance (DeFi) lending platform Compound, PoolTogether. For Uniswap, the USDC Bootstrap Fund has provided USD 1 million of liquidity to the USDC/ETH pool, while for PoolTogether, the Fund has provided USDC 100,000 as a pool sponsor, increasing the reward for USDC depositors.
- Latin America’s major crypto brokerage, XDEX, has announced that it is to close. In a blog post, the brokerage, which is based in Brazil, stated that it would close its doors in one month’s time. It also gave reasoning behind its decision, stating, “Entrepreneurship has always been a serious challenge, especially in unregulated markets. It is important to understand when it is time to stop.”
- South Korean crypto exchange Coinone is planning to go ahead with a new recruitment drive, and will not be derailed by the current coronavirus pandemic. Per media outlet EBN, the exchange is turning to high-tech solutions to fill new vacancies and is conducting interviews via video link. The company is hoping to branch out into the world of DeFi, and is hoping to make 20 new hires in the near future.
- Diginex, a digital asset financial services and advisory company, has hired Chi-Won Yoon as Chairman of Asia. The announcement says that Yoon has more than thirty years of experience in financial services, with a career that has spanned investment banking, wealth management, and asset management. Prior to joining Diginex, he served as the Vice-Chairman of UBS Wealth Management.
- Hong Kong-headquartered publisher of mobile games, Animoca Brands and its subsidiary TSB Gaming Ltd, a creator of world-building games, has sold out the third LAND Presale round for its forthcoming decentralized social multiplayer gaming platform, The Sandbox, within 5 hours. Per the announcement, the sale generated more than ETH 3,400 (USD 467,262) via the sale of 12,384 unique LAND parcels.
- Uzbekistan is set to launch a regulatory sandbox for cryptocurrency and blockchain companies, reports UZ Daily. The project, named the Uzbekistan Blockchain Valley, will see a number of crypto-related businesses given the green light to operate in the sandbox, including over-the-counter crypto trading providers, private or industrial mining ventures and cryptocurrency exchanges and wallet services.
- The South Korean government is set to step up its monitoring of cryptocurrency transactions and dark web transactions, per a ZDNet Korea report. The media outlet says the government’s IT policing agency, the Korea Internet & Security Agency (KISA), has begun developing data tracking technology for cybercrime activities such as fraudulent transactions that make use of cryptocurrencies. The Ministry of Science and ICT has also stated that it is to step up its technological response to the treats of digital sexual crimes and crypto-powered drug deals.
- A judge in New York looks to have rung the death knell for Telegram’s Gram initial coin offering (ICO), by ruling that a recent ban on token issuance pertains not only to the United States, but also overseas. Telegram had requested the court to clarify its verdict after the recent ban, and was hopeful of launching outside America. Some USD 1.27 billion of the private sale was raised from investors based outside the USA.
- Web-based code repository GitHub has joined hands with the Long Now Foundation, the Internet Archive, the Software Heritage Foundation, Arctic World Archive, Microsoft Research, the Bodleian Library, and Stanford Libraries on the GitHub Archive Program, with the mission to preserve open-source software for future generations. According to their website, a number of projects, including Bitcoin, will be archived in the 2020 Arctic Vault program. Multiple copies will be stored on an ongoing basis and across various data formats and locations, including a long-term archive designed to last at least 1,000 years, the website claims.
- Cyber-security firm Guardicore has found a long-running attack campaign which aims to infect Windows machines running Microsoft SQL (MS-SQL) servers. A malware botnet has been launching attacks against MS-SQL databases to take over admin accounts and install cryptocurrency mining scripts on the underlying operating system since May 2018, says the firm’s report. These Vollgar attacks originated in more than 120 IP addresses, the vast majority of which are in China, while the botnet is still active and infecting thousands of databases every day. The botnet is called ‘Vollgar’ as it mines Vollar (VDS) alongside Monero (XMR).