Cryptocurrency Weekly News Roundup (Sun 20th – Sun 27th April)

OKEx CEO Resigns to Join Rival Exchange Huobi

Li Shufie, otherwise known as Chris Lee has resigned from his position in OKEx and joined rival crypto exchange Huobi, barely few days after his resignation.

Before leaving OKEx, currently the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange, Lee was the CEO of the exchange and the CFO of parent company, OkCoin. He reportedly left to become the VP of international Business Development and Board Secretary in Huobi.

Effective from May 18, Lee is to begin his duties at Huobi which includes supporting the exchange's business development in countries like Japan, Korea, APAC, and the Middle East.

News of Lee's resignation and movement came as a shocker, considering the fact that OKEx recently outperformed rival crypto exchanges like Binance and Huobi, thus becoming the world's largest digital exchange in terms of trading volume.

Blockchain: Fighting Tax Fraud in Shenzhen

The government of Shenzhen through the Shenzhen Municipal Office of the State Administration of Taxation has entered into a partnership with tech firm, Tencent. According to an official announcement dated May 25, the partnership is geared towards establishing an "Intelligent Tax" Innovation Lab that will propose and implement modern tax management solutions, as well as combat tax fraud with the help of blockchain tech.

The newly established lab is expected to employ innovations from cloud computing, blockchain, artificial intelligence, and big data to solve current challenges with tax management such as buyers using fraudulent receipts to evade taxes or defraud people.

Deputy director of the Shenzhen Municipal Bureau of State Taxation, Li Wei, in commenting about employing blockchain tech and the partnership, said:

"The digital invoice based on blockchain technology has features such as complete traceability of the whole process and non-disruptive information, which consistent with invoice logic, can effectively avoid false invoices, and improve the invoice supervision process."

Adoption: Maersk Adopts Blockchain for Maritime Insurance

Transport and logistics giant, AP Moller-Maersk, popularly known as Maersk for short, has started using a blockchain platform for maritime insurance.

The platform, Insurwave was developed by EY and Guardtime. It uses decentralized ledger technology from Microsoft Azure and adopts global insurance standards.

The Seatrade Maritime News captured Lars Henneberg, the head of risk and insurance at Maersk, saying that "marine insurance takes up considerable resources for us… Moving it to [Microsoft Azure] is helping us automate manual processes and alleviate a range of inefficiencies and frictional costs in the way we have used to trade marine insurance." As part of plans to lower this cost, Maersk will be using Insurwave to manage 1,000 vessels and support 500,000+ digital ledger transactions.

It is important to note that the Insurwave blockchain platform has also been adopted commercially by XL Catlin, Willis Towers Watson, and MS Amlin. There are plans by EY and Guardtime to widen the application of the platform to global logistics, aviation, and energy sectors.

One Dead in ICO Publicity Stunt in Ukraine

In a rather sad turn of events, a publicity stunt for an upcoming Initial Coin Offering (ICO) of Ukrainian social network, ASKfm, ended in the death of one person.

The Financial Times Alphaville reporting on the incident noted that ASKfm had sponsored three crypto enthusiasts; Taras Pozdnii, Dmitrii Semenko, and Roman Gorodechnii, to climb Mount Everest in a stunt. The stunt involved placing a Ledger wallet containing 500,000 ASKfm tokens at the peak of the mount, while a second token with the same number of tokens was to be offered in a contest.

The tokens at the top of the mount is worth about $50,000 and it was a challenge to anyone who is brave enough to go get it.

Unfortunately, one of the accompanying members of the team, Lam Babu Sherpa, was reported to have died during the descent. Two possible causes have been referenced with regards to his death; snow blindness or physical exhaustion.

CEO of ASKfm, Max Tsaryk confirmed the incident to FT said, "we have become aware that a Sherpa who successfully assisted one of our sponsored climbers on a part of their journey, prior to assisting other non-related groups of climbers, later became missing:

The last official update we received was that the condition and location of the missing Sherpa was unknown and it was not our place to make public statements which could've resulted in false information being circulated."

Singapore Regulators Warn Crypto Exchanges & Halt ICO Sales

All across the world, regulators have been coming hard on crypto exchanges and ICO projects. This time, the Central Bank of Singapore has issued a warning to eight crypto exchanges over compliance measures. They have also ordered an ICO to stop distributing its tokens.

Singapore is working towards providing a permissive yet regulated business environment for blockchain and cryptocurrencies. The warnings were in line with this narrative, and exchanges "are responsible for ensuring that they comply with all relevant laws", said the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), in a press release.

The Assistant managing director of capital markets, Lee Boon Ngiap said: "The number of digital token exchanges and digital token offerings in Singapore has been increasing… We do not see a need to restrict them if they are bona fide businesses. But if any digital token exchange, issuer or intermediary breaches our securities laws, MAS will take firm action."

India Considers Taxing Cryptocurrencies as Intangible Property

The Central Board of Indirect Taxes in India is working on plans to apply an 18 percent tax to cryptocurrency transactions, making them subject to goods and services tax (GST). Under this new taxing, crypto exchange operations would be considered as intangible goods.

Sources told Bloomberg that: "Purchase or sale of cryptocurrencies should be considered as supply of goods, and those facilitating transactions like supply, transfer, storage, accounting, among others, will be treated as services."

Crypto Scams in Australia: How Much So Far?

It is not usual for crypto enthusiasts to get caught up in the euphoria of prices going up, thus forgetting that scammers are in the crypto space, which have been loosely described as a wide west.

However, according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), Australian consumers lost over $2 million to cryptocurrency scams in 2017. The Commission noted that the last quarter of the year marked the peak of scams. In December over $700,000 was lost to scams, a huge difference when compared to $100,000 between January and September.

This significant increase in the number of scams in late December can be linked to the sudden spike in the prices of cryptocurrencies. The Commission also identified that major scam schemes included ICOs, ransomware payments, and pyramid schemes.

Talao and DAOstack Partner to Take on the Global Freelancing Landscape

Traditional freelancing platforms have been said to be restricted and limited in their applications. Freelancers are without a doubt subject to the terms and conditions of these platforms. These centralized platforms are left to gain, at the expense of clients and freelancers. Talao and DAOstack have partners with the aim of decentralizing the "talent-on-demand" marketplace.

Talao is the first protocol and decentralized organization for freelancing, while DAOstack is creating a framework for decentralized governance. DAOstack will be providing the technical building blocks for Talao DAO to build an efficient, self-governing freelance platform.

The partnership will see Talao and DAOstack interact closely. Talao will be using the stack framework to govern freelancers, and their goal is to have 200,000 freelancers using the platform by the end of 2018. Both projects will also exchange tokens; DAOstack (GEN) and Talao (TALAO).

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Disclaimer: The information contained herein is not intended to be a source of advice and the information and/or documents contained in this website do not constitute investment advice.

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