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Financial Services Dip into Crypto Mining as Japan Implements Stricter Regulation on Crypto Margin Trading

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The cryptocurrency industry received a major vote of confidence after Japanese financial behemoth SBI Group launched a subsidiary to focus solely on cryptocurrency mining. China, an important market for the crypto industry due to the availability of cheap electricity, has ruled that dealing with virtual currencies, STOs, and ICOs is illegal. Huobi Global has unveiled a new platform for launching premium crypto projects.

Japan regulators adopt a tough stance against cryptocurrency margin trading

Japanese regulators have approved new draft amendments that implement stricter regulations on cryptocurrency margin trading.

The Nikkei Asian Review reported that regulators want to cap the leverage at two to four times the initial deposit.

The report further stated that all cryptocurrency exchanges that offer margin trading are mandated to be registered with the Financial Services Agency (FSA) within 18 months after the new rules go into effect in April next year.

Per the report, the financial regulators have arrived at this decision in order to monitor the activities of cryptocurrency exchanges and protect users.

By any standards, Japan can be seen as a crypto haven after coming up with progressive crypto regulations despite witnessing several exchange hacks that resulted in investors losing a big chunk of their money.

China rules that virtual currencies, STOs, and ICOs are illegal

China continues to tighten its regulatory approach on cryptocurrencies and related activities. The Beijing Finance Industry Association published a notice that deems virtual assets, ICOs, and STOs as illegal.

The new laws came into effect on March 21 and the agency has promised to take immediate against those who break the new rules.

The notice is targeting the so-called research groups and social media platforms that claim to “issue money for money.”

The agency notes that speculative trading has so far been lucrative, prompting several businesses claiming to be crypto-focused to engage in online and offline and offline activities. However, the notice pointed out that they are not fully based on blockchain technology but are only riding on the wave.

“Such activities are not really based on blockchain technology, but take the opportunity to speculate on the concept of blockchain, which seriously disrupts the normal financial and economic order and brings social risks,” reads an excerpt from the notice.

Japan: Financial giant SBI ventures into cryptocurrency mining

Cryptocurrency and its related activities continue to attract main institutions from traditional tech and financial industries.

Japanese financial behemoth SBI Group announced on March 22 that it is creating a new subsidiary that will develop cryptocurrency mining chips.

The financial group has previously created several spin-offs dealing with multiple aspects of the crypto industry and has now launched the SBI Mining Chi Co. (SBIMC) to flex its muscles in the crypto mining industry.

“The Group has practiced its cryptocurrency mining business […] overseas and has now decided to expand its business scope to the manufacturing of mining chip itself and development of mining systems, through SBIMC,” reads part of the notice.

The new cryptocurrency mining subsidiary will be headed by Adam Traidman, an experienced entrepreneur who spent a considerable amount of time in the semiconductor and related industries.

The group used a subsidiary to mine Bitcoin Cash but ended the operations after concerns were raised.

SBI joins the cryptocurrency mining race mainly dominated by Chinese players that include Bitmain, Ebang International, and Canaan Creative.

North Korea dissidents turn to cryptocurrencies to spark a revolution to dethrone Kin Jong-un

An organizing dissident group calling itself Cheolima Civil Defense is planning to topple Kim Jong-un and his government – and they plan to do so using cryptocurrencies.

The revolutionary group will sell visas to those who want to enter the new country and prospective residents can use Ether to pay for the visas.

The group plans to sell 200,000 visas and each visa costs 1 Ether. The dissident group will raise around $27.6 million or $3 billion Japanese Yen (at the rate of 1 Ether = $138) if all visas are bought.

First for Japan: Teen hacker arrested for stealing cryptocurrencies worth $134,000

In a first of its kind, an 18-year old Japanese teenager was arrested and dragged to court for allegedly stealing ¥15 million ($134,300) in cryptocurrencies. He is accused by the police of hacking a cryptocurrency website last year.

This is the first time the Asian country has pressed legal charges against cryptocurrency hackers.

The accused teenager has not been named to protect his identity because he is a minor. It is believed between August and September last year, the teen hacker breached Monahappy, a website that allows users to store the Monacoin virtual currency.

He used Tor software, a browser that allows users to browse anonymously, but the police managed to nab him after analyzing communication data he left on Monahappy servers.

The police claim that the hacker has admitted to the charges leveled against him and is quoted as saying: “I felt like I’d found a trick no one knows and did it as if I were playing a video game.”

He exploited a vulnerability in the website that allowed him to transfer funds to other users knowing fully well that it would cause the system to malfunction.

The hack reportedly left about 7,700 people affected and they will be reimbursed by the website.

Japan has become a home to some of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency hacks totaling more than $1 billion.

Coincheck to forcibly buy BSV tokens from investors and compensate them in Yen

Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck is involved in another scandal after it decided not to distribute Bitcoin SV (BSV) tokens to its holders following the contentious November 2018 Bitcoin Cash hard fork that triggered a massive sell-off.

The exchange has also declared that it will reimburse BSV holders in fiat, a move that has drawn widespread outcry from traders and those involved in BSV development. Though the exchange has not yet publicized when it plans to do so, there is a possibility that token holders may be compensated below market value.

The move has also angered Calvin Ayre, a big supporter of BSV and believes that the latest development is nothing but robbery.

“This is just robbery…the exchange will keep the BSV so its forcing the sale to Yen.  They know BSV is going to take over the world so want a position. I would be calling my lawyer,” tweeted Ayre.

The exchange’s decision to sell BSV may cause the digital asset’s price to drop.

Coincheck was the victim of a major hack last year that resulted in the loss of more than $500 million in NEM currency. The exchange decided to reimburse the affected clients with cash payments.

Huobi Global introduces a token launch platform

Singapore-based blockchain firm Huobi Global announced on March 20 that it is unveiling a new platform for token launch. Known as Huobi Prime, the platform follows in the footsteps of Binance cryptocurrency exchange that has so far held three consecutive and successful token launches.

Per the press statement, Huobi Prime is designed for both retail traders and deep-pocked investors. The new platform is powered by Huobi Token, the native token of Houbi. Listings on the new platform will happen in three rounds and each round will last half an hour.

Huobi Group founder and CEO Leon Li, a former computer engineer at Oracle, said that the new platform is an indication that the company is addressing customer needs.

“We’ve designed it from the ground up to be a more innovative, direct, and responsive way to access up and coming new tokens,” said Li.

China: Crypto giant Bitmain planning to 200K units of mining equipment

Cryptocurrency mining giant Bitmain is planning to install 200,000 units of mining equipment in various mining farms in an attempt to benefit from low-cost hydroelectric power.

A source familiar with the matter told CoinDesk that the crypto mining firm is planning to install the units and take advantage of lower electricity costs during the summer season after the southwestern parts of China experienced excessive rains.

It is believed that the company will set up equipment worth between $80 million and $100 million.

The firm has reportedly entered into negotiations with a number of local firms in need of mining equipment. The company is looking forward to deploying a variety of its equipment including the new AntMiner S11 and S15 and those from the old assembly line such as the AntMiner S9i/j.

The latest developments come after the firm shut down its Israeli-based data center and laid off its market after the effects of the bear market came into full effect last year. The Chinese-based mining giant suspended its operations in Texas, U.S. in January this year.

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