Cryptocurrency Weekly News Roundup (Sun 27th – Sun 03th June)

Adoption: India's TRAI to Test Blockchain in Fighting Telemarketing Spam

Spam messages are without a doubt pesky. In order to tackle telemarketing spam in India, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is exploring blockchain solutions to prevent unsolicited messages in the telecoms industry.

According to a report by Business Standard, TRAI was affirmative that blockchain can help regulators track telemarketing spammers who are able to bypass the system. They do so by using unregistered 10-digit phone numbers. The chairman of the regulatory body, RS Sharma, explained that:

"Blockchain will ensure two things — non-repudiation and confidentiality. Only those authorized will be able to access details of a subscriber and only when they need to deliver service… [and in cases where consent] is misused... the subscriber will be able to revoke consent whenever they desire through a TRAI app."

The chairman also noted that subscribers in India currently receive about 30 billion commercial messages every month, many of which are unwanted. Up to 230 million people have registered for TRAI's "Do Not Disturb" registry, which has been in effect since 2010. However, the current systems have not been able to crack down on telemarketers. It is expected that by bringing in blockchain, this problem can be solved.

Upcoming $300 Million ICO by Beats Headphones Inventor

A filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of the US has confirmed that headphone manufacturer, Monster Products Inc. has applied to launch an enormous Initial Coin Offering (ICO) of $300 million.

The manufacturer which had earlier signed away its right to the Beats headphones, has plans to release 500 million "Monster Money Network (MMNY)" tokens in its ICO action. This is equivalent to 60% of the entire tokens.

The proceeds from the ICO will be used to create am Ethereum-based platform, which supports the use of MMNY tokens.

Considering the fact that regulations are tightening in the US and Canada with regards to fundraising, and consumers have launched some customer lawsuits against some ICOs for failing to distribute tokens, Monster's SEC filing has factored in delays in issuance of tokens beyond two years. It reads,

"The holders of the Tokens may convert all or part of their Tokens to Common Stock of the Company at a ratio of four Tokens to one share of Common Stock in the event that (i) our Tokens shall not have become publicly tradable on June 30, 2020 or (ii) our Tokens shall have ceased trading publicly due to certain governmental enforcement actions on June 30, 2020."

Adoption: DNB ASA to Explore Possible Applications for IOTA's Tangle

IOTA has been on the news for both positive and somewhat negative reasons. However, this time, they are on the news for a positive reason. Norway's largest bank, Den Norske Bank (DND ASA) signed a memorandum of understanding with the IOTA Foundation. This will allow both parties to cooperate and explore possible applications of IOTA's Tangle system, in the financial sector.

According to Head of distributed ledger (DLT) at DNB, Lasse Meholm, the collaboration is geared towards better understanding the technology and finding possible use cases. Meholm noted that:

"Among other things, the technology is designed to handle hundreds of thousands of microtransactions per second. We will not let go of the market associated with this ecosystem that arises around these transactions."

In response to the country's rather stiff stance on cryptocurrencies, one of IOTA's founders, David Sonstesbo is positive on the outcome of this relationship. He added that:

"I hope and believe it. The IOTA Foundation will contribute to separating useless crypto-projects from the serious ones."

Laws & Taxes: FSA Probes Crypto Exchanges Over AML Compliance

Japan's Financial Services Agency (FSA) has been on the heels of crypto exchanges in the past few months. This may not be unrelated to Coincheck's recent hack. According to a report dated June 1, this time, the Agency has issued business improvement warnings to twelve domestic crypto exchanges.

The primary concerns of the warnings are on compliance to Anti-Money Laundering (AML), and Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements. The agency noted that crypto exchanges need to do more to confirm the identity of their customers and prevent fraudulent individuals from trading. Additionally, the FSA raised concerns about separating customer assets from that of exchanges.

Laws & Taxes: Bithumb Exchange Bans User Accounts From 11 Countries

In a bid to comply with standard AML practices, the fifth largest crypto exchange in the world, Bithumb has ban users from 11 countries, effective from May 28.

According to a press release by the exchange on May 27, they confirmed that citizens in Non-Cooperative Countries and Territories (NCCT) will no longer be able to use their services. Affected countries include Iran, Iraq, Ethopia, Tunisia, Serbia, and Sri Lanka.

New account applications from these regions are no longer accepted, while older accounts are expected to leave the exchange by June 21.

Bithumb in trying to explain their actions noted that:

"NCCT users will be prevented from using the exchange so that cryptocurrency is not used to fund international terrorism… We will strictly enforce our own rules and protect our investors, and we will actively cooperate with the authorities."

World's First Crypto Clinic for Trading Addicts

In what may come across as a joke, a Scottish hospital, Castle Craig Hospital in Peeblesshire is treating people addicted to crypto trading.

Experts in the hospital in speaking to Evening Standard noted that crypto trading can become a form of addiction because traders can become obsessed with the minute-by-minute fluctuations of the market.

Chris Burn who is a gambling therapist at the hospital was quoted saying:

"The high risk, fluctuating cryptocurrency market appeals to the problem gambler. It provides excitement and an escape from reality. Bitcoin, for example, has been heavily traded and huge gains and losses were made. It's a classic bubble situation."

ICOs May Become Legal Again in South Korea

In September 2017, South Korean government placed a ban on ICOs in the country. However, the country is working towards reversing this ban, according to local news media, Business Korea.

A National Assembly committee has been set up to look into what has been dubbed the 'Forth Industrial Revolution', and examine the legal basis of cryptos in the country. Excerpts from the committee reads:

"We need to form a task force including private experts in order to improve transparency of cryptocurrency trading and establish a healthy trade order, …We will also establish a legal basis for cryptocurrency trading, including permission of ICOs, through the National Assembly Standing Committee."

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