South Korea’s cryptocurrency exchange Zeniex will soon terminate its services due to a recent government crackdown on unauthorized platforms, a post by Zeniex reveals Friday, Nov. 9.

The crypto exchange, a joint project by South Korea and China which opened May 2018, states in the post that due to “recent issues,” they have “come to the conclusion that continuing to operate such a service will be difficult.”

While crypto trading has already stopped on Nov. 9, all other services will be stopped on Nov. 23.

Zeniex customers are asked to withdraw all their cryptocurrencies before the deadline, as the service will then no longer be available.

Furthermore, in a separate announcement, the company states that Zeinex cryptocurrency fund Zxg Crypto Fund No. 1, which in particular has been a subject to local regulator’s investigation, is also closing on Nov. 23. Initially, the company expected its ZXG token to be listed by international exchanges, but then the decision was then cancelled, according to the press release:

“We believe that ZXG Crypto fund No 1. will have difficulties to operate smoothly with such current pressure from the financial authorities.”

Zeinex and its Chinese partner, Genesis Capital, will return the funds invested in ZXG in Ethereum (ETH) on Monday, Nov. 12.

In late October, South Korea’s Financial Services Commission (FSC) warned investors about investing in unauthorized crypto exchanges and Initial Coin Offerings (ICO), as they fail to protect investors from risks according to Korean regulation.

As local finance newspaper Business Korea explained, the notification in particular mentioned Zxg Crypto Fund No. 1. The FSC stressed that the company had never been registered by the Financial Supervisory Service as required by South Korea’s Capital Market Act.

A Zeniex representative told South Korea’s main daily business newspaper, Maeil Business Newspaper, that the company was not obliged to register as it had raised less than 1 billion won ($884,500) in total. However, the FSC started the investigation against the company, citing a lack of ability to check whether the platform is operating as claimed.

Although in early 2018 South Korea was rumored to be about to impose a strong ban on crypto, the country then decided to regulate the area instead. Banning anonymous trading, forbidding minors and government officials from trading, and taxing exchanges substantially were among the measures announced by country’s government to control crypto-related activities. The government has since recently been lobbied by local lawyers to clear up its stance on crypto and elaborate a clear legal framework.

*This post is credited to Cointelegraph

The Government for South Korea has made an agreement to invest over $30 million in the budget for next year for the development of blockchain technology and industry related to distributed ledger tech, South Korea’s largest economic information service company Korea Economic Daily reported earlier in the week.

South Korea’s government had a meeting regarding Ledger tech and the technology behind blockchain with the participation of the Ministry of Science and ICT, the Democratic Party of Korea, the Ministry of Information and Communication and others. The Vice Minister of Health and Welfare announced during the meeting that the ministries came to an agreement to increase the budget for next year by three times to around $35 million.

As mentioned by CoinTelegraph, this year, the Ministry of Science and ICT received over seventy blockchain project application from around 41 institutions selected six final projects for their development in the public sector. For next year, the Ministry aimed to double the volume of selected projects to twelve, with three to four private-led blockchain projects as well.

The Ministry of Information and Communication will be leading the technical verification and consulting services for the blockchain startups next year.

It was mentioned by the second vice minister of the Ministry of Science and ICT that:

“Everyone agrees that the blockchain is a technology [that will] change the future. We basically need to grow in the market […] We will also need institutional and legislative support from the National Assembly [Korean parliament]. I look forward […] for the development of the blockchain industry in Korea.”

Prior to this, an organisation of the South Korean Ministry of Science and ICT, the Korea Internet and Security Agency already initially made revealed the plans of the government to spend just under $10 million to spread blockchain projects throughout the public and private sectors.

Last month, the national watchdog also known as Financial Services Commision in South Korea, warned that investing in digital currency funds could be going against the countries Capital Markets Act.

This shows that the country wants to make a bigger deal out of cryptocurrency and blockchain. By putting more money into the budget for blockchain it’s clear that they are eager to see more come from this technology

*This post is credited to Crypto Daily UK

South Korea’s leading virtual currency exchange Bithumb has partnered with Asian e-commerce giant Qoo10 to provide a cryptocurrency payment service, according to an official announcement Nov. 7.

Qoo10, the so called “Asian Amazon,” is a leading South Korean e-commerce company in pan-Asian markets such as Singapore, Hong Kong, China, and Indonesia. The press release notes that the partnership will expand the Bithumb cash payment service as a global payment method.

The two companies initially signed a contract in August and proceeded to work with the Qoo10 settlement service and Bithumb Cache system. Introduced by Bithumb this spring, Bithumb Cache is a password settlement service that allows Bithumb customers to convert their funds to use for payments with their password, as Cointelegraph reported Mar. 10.

Through this new partnership, it will become possible to purchase products from Qoo10 and pay for them using the Bithumb Cache. Bithumb’s press release states:

“The partnership with Qoo10 has made it possible for us to utilize the Bithumb cache beyond our home country and abroad for real life. We will continue to improve our services to improve customer convenience.”

Earlier this summer, eBay, a global e-commerce platform, had acquired Qoo10 for the total sum of $573 million, with the aim of increasing eBay’s international presence.

Last week, Bithumb partnered with U.S. fintech firm SeriesOne with the goal to open a securities token exchange in America, Cointelegraph reported Nov. 1.

According to CoinMarketCap, Bithumb is currently the number 76th crypto exchange, with a total 24 hour trade volume of more than $3,028 billion at press time.

*This post is credited to Coin Telegraph

Singapore-based BK Global Consortium has paid 400 billion won (approximately $350 million) for a majority stake in South Korean Bithumb, the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency exchange, according to a local news outlet.

BK Global Consortium is a blockchain investment firm under BK Global, a Singapore plastic surgery medical group owned by Kim Byung-Gun. The Consortium had held a minority position in Bithumb for a while and was the exchange’s fifth largest shareholder until today’s announcement.

The new deal will see the consortium acquire a “50 percent plus one share” of the holdings of Bithumb’s largest investors, BTC Holdings Company. The move, once finalized, would give the Consortium a controlling stake and make Kim the largest shareholder of Bithumb.

Bithumb is presently the largest digital asset platform in South Korea by trading volume. South Korea emerged as one of the hottest spots of the crypto market last year. Investors were so crypto-hungry that they had to pay a premium on every digital currency they purchased compared to investors in other parts of the world.

The Consortium, under the leadership of Kim, has plans to create a stablecoin for the exchange in the near future, according to the news outlet. There are also plans to launch a global decentralized crypto exchange (DEX) in partnership with blockchain firm One Root Network and a blockchain e-commerce payment system with the aim of reducing “virtual currency price volatility and settlement fees.”

Kim is increasing his stake in a cryptocurrency market that he is massively optimistic about. He founded an initial coin offering (ICO) consulting firm called ICO Platform in Singapore earlier this year, and he is also known as an early cryptocurrency investor.

This news comes on the heels of an announcement by the exchange’s shareholders who revealed the platform’s earnings, showing net profits of 39.34 billion won (about $35 million) in the first half of the year, despite a rocky June where the exchange lost $40 million to hackers.

*This post is credited to Bitcoin Magazine

While Canada has delayed its crypto regulation update until 2020, Jimmy Wales (founder of Wikipedia) and General Michael Hayden are joining other prominent leaders in the crypto space at Korea’s Block Seoul event. Could it be the East is winning the blockchain race, attracting the brilliant minds of the West while the Western countries become client states?

Blockchain in South Korea

South Korea is an extremely tech-savvy country that has heavily invested in its internet infrastructure. Samsung and LG have already established themselves as global brands in technology and consumer electronics. Seoul is ranked as the world’s “leading digital city” and a tech capital of the world. South Korea’s top two crypto exchanges (Upbit and Bithumb) are among the top 25 exchanges.

While Korea had its own ICO crackdown, its citizens were already deeply invested in blockchain, contributing to 14 percent of the global crypto market. South Korea lifted the ban later. Korea has taken it even further by potentially integrating blockchain in its voting system.

There is also another boosting factor in Korea: games. The gaming industry is one of the most blockchain-friendly industries. According to Jared Psigoda, CEO of BitGuild, “gamers in particular understand cryptocurrency because virtual money has been a part of gaming for the last 10 years. For example, dating back to World of Warcraft, there was a $100 million market for buying digital gold.”

China’s stance

China is another major player in the crypto-sphere, hosting a substantial share of Bitcoin miners. In 2017, estimates suggested that 50 to 70 percent of all Bitcoin mining took place in that country. Despite strict regulation of cryptocurrencies, China has been significantly more bullish on blockchain. China’s president declared blockchain as “a part of technological revolution” and it is one of the first countries to mention the technology in a state-level policy.

“China is more centralized and top down than the US, but they see the value of the technology,” says Joyce Yang, CEO of Global Coin Research. “In China there are a lot of crypto companies and projects being built, although they are not allowed to market to the citizens, the products are being offered everywhere outside of mainland.” China has more blockchain companies than any other country on Earth.

As Kevin Hobbs, the CEO of The Vanbex Group explains: “Since September 2017 China has banned ICOs, prohibited crypto exchanges and blocked foreign exchanges.” Vanbex is a Canadian company with a great community in China. “That being said I was recently in China at multiple conferences and visiting with multiple blockchain companies and heard nothing but good things about the support the government is giving them. Their work ethic was incredible to see and their belief that blockchain is the future was very evident. I think those countries have a work ethic that gives them a competitive advantage and the ability to move faster to be ahead of the rest.”

Ironically, while some see China as a country of low-quality products, the flaw has actually lead to the birth and acceptance of at least two revolutionary technologies: chatbots and blockchain.

Chatbots were first introduced in WeChat, years ahead of Telegram and Facebook: the reason being numerous product safety scandals. Likewise, numerous counterfeit products have boosted blockchain’s acceptance in supply chains, where it is used to track the products and ensure they are genuine.

Impact of regulations

As regulations and bans kick in, blockchain companies look for safer alternatives. This has turned some territories like Gibraltar and Malta into bases for many ventures and ICOs. Switzerland managed to attract South Korean blockchain platforms ICON and HDAC, while Singapore and Hong Kong took advantage of the bans to become the region’s havens for ICOs and blockchain startups.

Hong Kong is taking blockchain development very seriously, and has announced that the Hong Kong Monetary Authority will be working with some of the biggest banks in the world to spearhead a new blockchain platform that will streamline trade finance.

State of blockchain in the US

While the United States dominated the early days of the internet, blockchains are truly cross-border, with millions around the world participating. While the US slowly tiptoes on the technology, rival governments are investing heavily in blockchain research and development. Ultimately, they may monopolize the industry and set their own standards, leaving the US to play catch up.

But, many still look at blockchain with skepticism. As an executive at a Wall Street firm who had been trying to position itself as a leader in the technology puts it, “[blockchain] became a solution in search of a problem.” Vermont was considering blockchain-based public recordkeeping, but a report found that a switch would have high costs and “very limited possible benefits.”

It seems that the US has already fallen behind the blockchain development curve. “The US generally moves slower, as there are not many bodies in the government who understand crypto, and the policymakers want to be more careful in approaching something they don’t understand,” explains Joyce Yang. “And frankly, I think out of all currencies out there, crypto and non-crypto, Bitcoin is the biggest threat to the global power and influence of the US dollar.”

*This post is credited to Entrepreneur.

While cryptocurrencies are more accessible than ever before, there’s still a long way to go until cryptocurrencies are perfectly regulated in most of the world’s countries. While Europe and America are still trying to figure out how to accurately and efficiently regulate cryptocurrencies, a wide array of Asian countries have been quick to enact laws, ground rules, and regulations.

Not only did Asian regulators understand the importance of the blockchain and cryptocurrencies, but most of the Asian banks have also become aware of the fact that the adoption of the underlying technology of blockchains is inevitable. Hence, most Asian country governments have understood the importance of protecting their monetary sovereignty while still allowing innovations to take place.

Here is our list of Asian countries that have fully, partially, or slightly adopted blockchain:

Japan

Our list starts with Japan, one of the most influential Asian countries when it comes to a great deal of things, including the adoption of cryptocurrencies. Not only is Japan one of the most crypto-friendly countries (and one of the earliest adopters of crypto), but it’s also the place where Satoshi Nakamoto, the mysterious pseudonym associated with the creation of the Bitcoin platform, is believed to have started his operations.

The first major regulatory intervention took place after the Mt. Gox crash in 2014 and, thanks to a very lenient and business-focused government, cryptocurrency operations have been since thriving in Japan. For example, in April 2017, Bitcoin has been recognized as a legal tender in Japan. 2017 was also the year in which Japan’s Financial Service Agency (FSA) approved 11 exchange operators. The government has set up a legal framework through the PSA (Payment Services Act) that legalizes the use of cryptocurrencies as an official payment method.  Nowadays, the crypto scene is pretty much vibrant in Japan.

China

China’s start with cryptocurrencies can be described as nothing short of enthusiastic, which led to dramatic rises in Bitcoin prices, among others. Back in the “olden” days, China was considered a haven for cryptocurrencies, and Chinese exchanges accounted for almost 90% of the daily trading volume for Bitcoin alone.

As faith would have it, the Chinese government has cracked down upon both crypto exchanges and mining operations within the country. In 2017, the People’s Bank of China also banned initial coin offerings (ICOs) within the country. The government’s pressure was so high that various Chinese crypto exchanges either relocated or stopped accepting Chinese currency.

Thanks to the cheap electricity in China, crypto mining was extremely popular (some estimate that 70% of all Bitcoin mining took place in China). In the following months since the government’s decision, many miners left the country and set up operations in Canada, Iceland, and other crypto-friendly countries. Unsurprisingly, this major change has affected the global crypto market and has even led to a crash.

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are not fully banned in China, but the government did rule that cryptocurrencies cannot be used as a legal currency in the country. In the middle of what might seem like a fiasco, the Chinese government has made its stance on cryptocurrencies quite clear, meaning that it understands the importance of such technologies. China is already looking towards introducing its own version of Bitcoin to substitute the national currency.

South Korea

South Korea has seen its fair share of cryptocurrency innovations and has recently made various headlines. For the last couple of years, South Korea emerged as a slightly crypto-friendly country. Last year, South Korea was the third biggest market for Bitcoin trading and the largest market for Ether trading in the world. This was until January 2018, when the government followed the example of China and cracked down on the virtual exchanges. The government even issued various official statements regarding the ban of cryptocurrencies and pointed at the fact that they are used for various criminal activities and money laundering. Even though the government’s stance has softened since January, there’s still no guarantee that South Korea will ever become the crypto force it once was.

Thailand

While regulators from all around the world still have various problems when it comes to categorizing cryptocurrencies, Thailand has stepped forward as one of the most prolific ecosystems for crypto adoption. Earlier this year, authorities have issued an emergency decree that resulted in the creation of the Digital Asset Business Decree. It defines both crypto and digital tokens, and it introduces a tax so that the government can benefit from the growing industry.

Even though Thailand still has a lot of work until its regulations will be perfectly accurate and relevant, the country does a good job at formalizing the process of crypto exchanges and ICOs. One interesting aspect is the fact that all ICOs and trades must be paired with one of seven officially acknowledged cryptocurrencies.

Taiwan

As some Asian crypto countries seem to prefer to tighten the rules, Taiwan is yet another country that might become a safe haven for cryptocurrencies. The Taiwanese government’s view on cryptocurrency can be viewed as “neutral.” Slowly but surely, Taiwan continues its journey towards becoming an important crypto hub in the Asian scene, with more banks developing their own cryptos and with various trading platforms already in the game.

Indonesia

After maintaining a firm stance against cryptocurrencies for quite some time now, Indonesia’s government has recently legalized crypto trading. Various important figures within the nation’s government have also hinted at the fact that cryptocurrency exchanges might be subjected to various regulations as well.

Even though Asia seems to have a very nice fascination with cryptocurrencies, it’s worth keeping in mind that this is a relatively new technology and that it’s quite normal for governments to have hesitations or make mistakes when it comes to regulating cryptos. At the time of this writing, Asia has a fairly balanced crypto situation with countries such as Japan that fully embrace the technology, others like South Korea that are becoming more and more restrictive, and some like India that seem to be very much confused about the whole condition.

*This post is credited to UseTheBitcoin

 

South Korea’s tryst with cryptocurrencies has clearly made an impact on other countries with Uzbekistan and Belarus tying up with the South Asian country to improve their cryptocurrency industries.

Just a few days back, Uzbekistan had released a new presidential circular that legalized the trading of cryptocurrency assets in the country. The circular came in the wake of an earlier decree that was released by the Asian country which had started the groundwork for legalizing cryptocurrency trade. Shavka Mirziyoyev, the President of Uzbekistan has been quite the trailblazer for the country in the fintech industry making trade policy implementations and market shake-ups a priority.

The Uzbek government has taken the help of the Korean Blockchain Business Association [KOBEA] to learn the inner workings of the cryptocurrency sector and to ensure proper implementation of the required protocols. The country was also in the news for trying to develop ‘ Uzbekistan Revolution 4.0’, a state-funded project that aims to integrate the blockchain industry and cryptocurrency industry with Uzbekistan’s development model.

KOBEA also plans to start a blockchain academy a mining program within the country thereby taking mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies to a new level. According to reports, Uzbekistan is following the trail of another country in Europe this time, Belarus. Alexandar Lukashenko, the president of Belarus has gone ahead and stated that the government is out to ensure that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin [BTC] and Ethereum [ETH] can help in making transactions more seamless and safer.

Belarus’ governmental body, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe [OSCE] has also been in the news for upping the ‘technology ante’. The OSCE had put forth a draft resolution titled “ On the digital economy” which was passed in the committee to raucous applause.

South Korea’s efforts to propagate the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies has been lauded across the world with the country passing a new bill that would protect cryptos such as Bitcoin and XRP just a few months back.

Hong Seong-ki, the virtual currency response team head at South Korea’s Financial Services Commission had stated:

*This post is credited to AMB Crypto

Funkeypay, a blockchain technology applied to Social Network Services (SNS), gets industry attention

The emergence of Internet shopping mall has created a sensation in the industry, and it has become so widespread that the term “Internet shopping mall” now equates to “shopping mall”.

The industrial revival of the Internet shopping mall is now leading the explosion of economic growth, creating synergies and expansion of business communication through social network services. People’s reliance on social network services is growing beyond the reach of the Internet chat and e-mail in the past, and attempts to link transactions directly to SNS have become a big challenge in the industry.

An example is a service that allows people who want to sell on various platforms such as Auction and Gmarket to freely trade with people who want to buy.

In response to this technological trend, venture company called FunkeyPay, which aims to link SNS with direct commerce, is recently drawing attention.

World’s first business model to combine blockchain technology with API technology

It has applied the world’s highest level of security to payment API technology which was used for FinTech, P2P, and blockchain technologies. The combination of these technologies provides differentiated marketing and payment services that have not previously been experienced.

Dr. Watler Tonetto, who is recognized as a blockchain expert in Southeast Asia and Europe, is currently working as Vice President of the Global Blockchain Research Application Foundation (GBRAF). He commented on this matter, “When I think about this from the perspective of API, Funkeypay has a different, unique open API with TicketSocket Korea. It gives easy access to other applications and the ability to purchase things.”

He concluded, “The blockchain technology of Funkeypay and the API composition of TicketSocket are very special.”

An asset type model with already-existing ecosystem that does not require pioneering a new market

“Among those who have come to me for business proposals were companies with skills that were really difficult to refuse. However, in the end, we had to turn them down for reasons that their outstanding technology was still difficult to be used and commercialized right away. In fact, in this respect, Funkeypay, who already has an ecosystem called SNS, has a really attractive business advantage.”

The above statement is an evaluation of Funkeypay by David DH Kim, a business developer and Director of DAO Consulting. As David DH Kim stated, Funkeypay is an asset type ICO model that does not require creating a new market.

The service is provided on SNS, as already-existing ecosystem. Therefore, it is under development to be immediately applicable and utilizable.

There is no need to pay astronomical costs to create an ecosystem. Rather, most assets are used as security guarantees for safe transactions.

It doesn’t stop with online services, they extend to offline services, thus the potential expansion of the ecosystem in the future is beyond imagination.

Funkeypay’s CEO Dr. Jung Jong Ki states, “SNS as a service market is already in full swing, but as a commercial transaction market, it is in early stages and will grow rapidly in the future. And Facebook will most likely be the first to gain control of the market.”

Meanwhile, Funkeypay held technical presentation meetups in Seoul (July 12), Shenzhen (June 30) and Ghaungzhou (July 7) China and Japan (August 4). Many cities in Vietnam and China are currently requesting more meetups.

Funkeypay is a global cryptocurrency P2P payment platform that applies to Social Network Services. There are about 3 billion active SNS users worldwide. And the number is growing every year. While the service aspect of SNS has developed and matured over the years, commerce is in its beginning stages. Funkeypay will enable seamless and active payment services on SNS platforms through combining blockchain, P2P advertising and Fintech. 

*This post is credited to StreetInsider

South Korea’s “Blockchain Technology Development Strategy” Course

As the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry gains traction across the world, the concepts of this groundbreaking innovation will begin to permeate into a multitude of facets of society. Most recently, it seems that the 21st century’s most influential invention has seeped into post-secondary education in the form of university-level blockchain-centric lectures, courses, and research.

As per a report from South-Korean outlet Kinews, relayed by The Next Web’s cryptocurrency column, the South Korean Ministry of Science And Technology has just made its first steps towards crafting its “first batch of blockchain specialists.”

On Monday, the ministry’s information and communication departments divulged that it had hosted its first ever lecture on distributed ledger technologies (DLT). This is reportedly the local government’s first move to roll out a “blockchain technology development strategy” course that is backed by a supposed 100 billion Korean Won ($90 million USD) investment from forward-thinking regulators.

As per local media, the course has currently undertaken 42 students, who were selected via an amassment of applications and interviews to determine the best candidates for this fully-fledged course. Following the first lecture, students will need to work through six months of eight hour days that consist of tutelage, learning the ropes of the tech and more activities that are intended to put the 42 scholars through the wringer.

The students, located in the Walton Blockchain Research Center in Seoul, expressed their excitement for their participation in the course, noting that they were ready to be the first individuals to lead the development of the domestic blockchain industry.

After the completion of the training program, the Seoul-based course intends to put the scholars straight to work, hopefully putting the skills they learned to the test in real-life scenarios and bona fide cryptocurrency/blockchain firms. Speaking on the matter, Wang Sang Hyeong, the secretary general of the Walton Group, stated (roughly translated):

“We will provide a one-stop shop for employment and business startups, as well as education for the professional training of employees, and we will strengthen the building of a healthy block-chain ecosystem.”

As South Korea is undoubtedly one of the DLT hubs of the entire world, it didn’t come as a surprise to some that the local government would openly endorse this move with such a substantial investment.

Worldwide Interest In DLT-Related Education Surges 

Last week, Coinbase, unarguably one of the most influential cryptocurrency-focused companies in the world, released a report highlighting the current state of crypto in “higher education.” According to data gathered by the firm, over 42% of the world’s 50 foremost universities offer some sort of academically endorsed blockchain-related course. Moreover, 70% of universities offer one cryptography related class, which may relate to DLT in some way, shape or form.

Although many would never think of taking such a course or are past that stage in their lives, this figure reveals that nascent crypto industry is more far-reaching than some would originally think. As now that it has permeated into higher education, it has the potential to branch out into a variety of industries in the future.

*This post is credited to EthereumWorldNews