It’s Monday, which means it’s time for a roundup of the weekend’s cryptocurrency and blockchain news.
Here’s Moonday Mornings.
1. Japan’s Financial Services Agency is reporting a 36 percent drop in the number of cryptocurrency related inquiries in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to the previous quarter, Brave New Coin reports. This is despite the recent news that cases of cryptocurrency related money laundering had increased dramatically in 2018 over 2017. Reports state this is to be expected in a cryptocurrency bear market, as on the other hand, the number of inquiries into legacy financial systems has remained consistent. Or it might be that the market has got up to speed on cryptocurrency and will only need the FSA’s input when new technological developments or regulations are released.
2. Two men have been arrested in Hong Kong on a suspicion of conspiracy to defraud, local news reports. One of the pair is thought to be Wong Ching-Kit, the notorious psuedo-baller who threw money off a roof in one of Hong Kong’s poorest areas. It appears the two perpetrators did the classic scam of making false claims at investment seminars. Local news reports that one victim lost over HK$1.1 million ($140,000) to the scam. HK$5 million ($630,000) worth of assets have been frozen while authorities investigate.
3. Even though Malta is being hailed as the world’s “blockchain island,” it seems not all is a rosy as it sounds. Despite the government’s push for supportive cryptocurrency regulations, the nation’s banks are taking a different stance making it difficult for startups to open business accounts, the Times of Malta reports. Malta-based banks are politely declining the business of startups on the basis that it’s outside of their “risk appetite.” It sounds fair enough: even if the country supports the blockchain, it doesn’t mean banks have to as well. That’s the free market for you.
4. Yet another bank is getting into the blockchain game. Standard Bank of South Africa is setting up to launch a “private permissioned blockchain payment system” to facilitate overseas trades for its institutional clients, Finextra reports. It basically means big businesses that pay each other through the bank can now do it on the blockchain. Based on Hyperledger Fabric, the bank is looking to have the system live by the end of the year. With the recent launch of JP Morgan’s JPMCoin, it seems like 2019 is starting to become the year banks go big on blockchain.
5. And finally… maybe you’re a little envious of all these “investors” who seemed to be in the right place at the right time and made a killing on cryptocurrency investments? Well, this might take the edge off. A purple Lamborghini Huracán Performente, worth around $400,000, owned by Bitstocks chief executive was found crashed and abandoned in a ditch just north of London, UK, ABC news reports. Hudson claims he lost control on “standing water.” Luckily for Hudson help swiftly arrived as celebrity car customizer, Yianni Charalambous, used his own Lamborghini to block the road as Hudson’s vehicle was pulled from the ditch. I mean sure, wait a week to see a Lambo and two come along at once. Thankfully no one was injured in the incident.
Well there you have it, another weekend of cryptocurrency and blockchain news caught up with. Drive safe hodlers.