Russia Is Getting Serious About Blockchain, but Remains on the Fence About Cryptocurrencies

Last week, an annual forum featuring Russia’s top people from the economic sector was held in St. Petersburg, and cryptocurrencies were a hot topic there. Notably, government agents and state-controlled businesses were vocal about their interest in blockchain, but seemed to distance themselves from digital tokens. Meanwhile, the regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies is still missing in the country, despite the fact that local authorities have been tasked to prepare the needed amendment a while ago. So, where is Russia heading in terms of crypto and blockchain? Brief introduction to Russia’s…

Appetite for Blockchain Tech Builds Among Korean Banks, but Without Crypto

In recent weeks, major South Korean financial institutions have rolled out a number of services incorporating blockchain technology, especially in the areas of Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures and security. Fintech has become a buzzword for local banks trying to keep up with the change of the times. The banks, however, are not looking into an important part of blockchain, which is digital assets, says one influential Korean advocate of alternative currency. In order to assess the Korean blockchain space, it is important to understand how the trend affects existing…

New Report Reveals Details of Telegram’s TON Blockchain

A new report on the Telegram Open Network (TON) by Russian research agency Aton — published today, June 14, on Cointelegraph — reveals new details about one of the most anticipated projects in the crypto space. TON is a blockchain platform developed by encrypted instant messaging service Telegram, which is widely regarded as one of the primary means of communication within the blockchain and crypto community. The blockchain network reportedly aims to gain wide usage due to the active, crypto-friendly Telegram community. According to the report, TON will facilitate internal…

A Guide to Special Economic Zones for Crypto, From China to Switzerland

Last week, Russian officials revealed plans to build a major financial center on an island in the Far East, which would cater to cryptocurrencies, among other things. Notably, the creation of special economic zones for crypto has been an enduring idea both in Russia — similar proposals have been previously made in regard to Crimea, a territory that is claimed by Russia — and the rest of the world. Here’s the list of countries that have been establishing special hubs for cryptocurrencies and blockchain on their soil. Bolshoi Ussuriyskiy offshore…

Conglomerates’ Deep Pockets Continue Blockchain Growth in South Korea Despite Crypto Ban

Unlike in other countries, where startups are at the heart of blockchain development, the South Korean blockchain landscape has “chaebols,” large, family-owned business conglomerates in Korea, at its heart. Just about every month, reports and announcements of large South Korean companies — including Samsung, Naver and NHN, just to name a few — entering into the blockchain space emerge. Still, South Korea is one of the most advanced markets in the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry. The first indication comes from how dominant Korean exchanges were during the crypto bull run…

What We Know About Facebook’s Forthcoming Cryptocurrency

Over the past few months, it appeared that Telegram has been comfortably leading the clandestine race between major social platforms that have been quietly working on their native crypto tokens, with its Telegram Open Network (TON) making strides toward its October 2019 launch deadline. The latest avalanche of news from Facebook, however, makes this lead look less convincing, as it becomes apparent that the social media giant’s blockchain project is also well underway. After a series of indirect cues suggesting that Facebook’s long-rumored fintech initiative is in motion, a massive…

Is Bitcoin’s Increasing Anonymity a Threat to Privacy Coins?

It’s no secret that Bitcoin isn’t actually anonymous, despite what various outside observers of crypto might claim. It is, in fact, pseudonymous, as its transactions are vulnerable to being traced to specific individuals by governments and intelligence agencies with enough determination and knowhow. However, in recent months, the privacy it offers users has been steadily increasing, given that a number of coin-mixing services and add-ons are successfully providing more and more users with the anonymity that Bitcoin itself doesn’t quite furnish on its own. But with Bitcoin’s improving privacy, the…

Navigating Country-Specific Cryptocurrency Trading Restrictions

At the start of June 2019, reports emerged that Binance DEX’s website was blocking users with IP addresses from 29 countries. This news immediately caused confusion with some commentators, using it as an opportunity to reaffirm their stance that Binance DEX is not truly a decentralized exchange (DEX). However, as it turned out, the initial reports were somewhat inaccurate, as the geoblocking only applied to Binance.org — the website for the DEX platform. Traders could still access the DEX via some supported wallet apps, bypassing the need to go through…

Money Laundering and Crypto Discussion

One of the main themes to be discussed at the G-20 Financial Ministers and Central Governors Meeting this weekend has to do with money laundering and cryptocurrency. What kind of agreement would be a surprise? Even for the purpose of introducing Anti-Money Laundering (AML), should we allow our financial privacy to be compromised? Alexander Zaidelson, the CEO of Beam, shared his views with Cointelegraph. A new agreement on crypto and AML? Jiji Press, a major Japanese publication, recently reported that there will be “a new kind of agreement as to…

Life of Luxury: Fashion Turns to Blockchain

Although once confined largely to agriculture, blockchain technology is now making major inroads into the luxury goods supply chain market. Thus, Consensys recently announced a new platform with French multinational luxury goods conglomerate LMVH and the technology behemoth Microsoft to verify the authenticity of luxury goods. Luxury brands trial blockchain Although many products in the luxury goods market are renowned status symbols found in expensive city center stores the world over, the components of their products can originate in the most far-flung corners of the globe. The nature of globalized…