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INDUSTRY UPDATES & INSIGHTS

September 4, 2020

Brazilian CBDC by 2022 | KYC-By-Blockchain | India’s Crypto Boom | Miners Arrested Over Electricity | $16M BTC Phish | Tracing Monero

  • Brazil Could Release a Central Bank Digital Currency in 2022
  • Shinhan Bank and IconLoop Form Partnership to Develop Blockchain Product 
  • Indian Crypto Market Booms Despite Uncertain Regulatory Future 
  • Arrested Crypto Miners Stole Over $600K+ in Electricity 
  • Quick Read: Man Scammed for $16M in Bitcoin

President of Brazil’s Central Bank Sees CBDCs as the Future of Finance

Roberto Campos Neto, president of Brazil’s central bank, said Wednesday that his country could be ready to issue a central bank digital currency as early as 2022.

“To have a digital currency, you need an instant payment system that is efficient and interoperable; an open system, where you can create competition; and a currency that has credibility, is convertible and international,” said Neto.

The central bank has plans to introduce PIX, an instant payment system, in November. Brazil’s parliament is expected to vote on a proposal to modernize the country’s exchange rate system before month’s end.

Brazil’s newly-formed CBDC working group is studying the potential impacts of a national digital currency, and will present its findings in six to twelve months.

Why It Matters: Campos Neto called CBDCs the consequence of a modernizing financial system—not the cause. We can expect additional nations to begin to accelerate CBDC initiatives in coming months as the global pandemic forces digitalization and touchless payments.

Read the full story in Correio Braziliense:

https://www.correiobraziliense.com.br/economia/2020/09/4872772-banco-central-ve-espaco-para-moeda-digital-no-brasil-em-2022.html

Major Korean Crypto Firm ICONLOOP Partners with Shinhan Bank for Blockchain Product 

ICONLOOP, a top Korean crypto blockchain firm, has announced a partnership with Shinhan Bank—the country’s second-largest commercial bank.

This agreement will allow ICONLOOP to issue a KYC certificate accessible on its native blockchain by using the firm’s blockchain-based decentralized identity (DID) service. The service allows users to remotely open a Shinhan bank account using just their mobile app, eliminating the need for paper documents and other extensive compliance demands, the release said.

Jong-hyup Kim, the founder of ICONLOOP, commented: “This issuance of compliance certification with Shinhan Bank is of great significance because it is the first commercialization of DID services used in the financial sector in Korea.”

Why It Matters: This development comes as the Korean government is touting a massive investment in blockchain technology. Recently, $400 million was allocated to research blockchain technology, including a committee to test the feasibility of a digital won. Advancements in distributed digital identity have the potential to revolutionize finance and create easier, broader access to financial products by reducing KYC friction.

Read more in Decrypt here:

https://decrypt.co/39927/korean-crypto-firm-partners-with-major-bank-for-blockchain-product

Indian P2P Crypto Exchanges See Increases in Use Despite Uncertain Regulatory Future 

According to data collected by peer-to-peer (P2P) marketplaces Paxful and Localbitcoins, P2P exchange transactions in India saw all-time highs over the first week of August despite official opposition and an uncertain regulatory future for cryptocurrencies in the region.

This uptick in transactions is likely a result of the Indian Supreme Court ruling earlier this year, which deemed a 2018 order by the Reserve Bank of India to be unconstitutional. The order in question forbade local banks and other financial institutions from providing services to crypto exchanges and investors.

According to Nischal Shetty, CEO of Indian cryptocurrency exchange WazirX, “The 2018 restrictions imposed by the RBI made it difficult for Indians to convert rupees to crypto and vice versa. Since the ban was lifted, however, several crypto exchanges have been able to create direct banking channels for local currency deposits and withdrawals, thus contributing to the surge in P2P trade.”

Why It Matters: Amid the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Indian economy, digital asset investments have become a valuable hedge against fiat market uncertainty. The surge in P2P trading has led some like Ashish Singhal, CEO of CoinSwitch, to suggest that it would be in the Indian government’s best interest to create a progressive regulatory environment. In reference to the anti-crypto bill currently in the works by the Indian government, Singhal added, “Considering that a lot of positive developments have taken place globally since this bill was drafted, there is a very good chance that the bill will not get passed in its current form.”

Read more in Cointelegraph here:

https://cointelegraph.com/news/indian-crypto-p2p-market-size-triples-despite-regulatory-uncertainty

Malaysian Authorities Arrest Crypto Miners That Stole $600K+ in Electricity

On September 1, Malaysian state officials put an end to a three-year-long crypto mining operation that had stolen more than $600,000 worth of electricity.

“We found that illegal wiring was installed so that electricity was supplied directly and not through the TNB meter,” said Nazlin Alim Sadikhi, a regional director with the country’s Energy Commission.

Sadikhi explained that the group’s largest crypto mining rigs consisted of over 100 individual mining devices and had been operating nonstop for three years. The perpetrators of this scheme only paid $7 to $14 monthly for electricity but consumed over $20,000 worth of power per month.

Why It Matters: Illegal cryptocurrency mining operations are common in Malaysia, especially those that steal electricity by rerouting local power lines. An engineer from the power firm Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB), Mohd Satari Mohamad, told Cointelegraph that “authorities had raided 90 similar installations in 2020, totaling 288 since 2018.” In another article last year, Cointelegraph estimated that TNB had lost more than $25 million in siphoned electrical costs as of June 2019. These arrests are another step towards ensuring the crypto economy is safe for consumers, trusted by investors, and accepted by governments.

Read more in Cointelegraph here:

https://cointelegraph.com/news/malaysian-authorities-arrest-crypto-miners-for-600k-power-theft

Quick Read: Sybil Attack on Electrum Wallet Holder Results in $16M Lost

A Bitcoin holder on Github reported that they lost 1,400 bitcoins from an Electrum wallet after being prompted to update security settings. Electrum responded to news of the attack, saying that the exploit has been a known vulnerability since 2018, and that the user was susceptible to the attack because they were running an outdated version of the wallet software. Read the full story from International Business Times (and install your updates!):

https://www.ibtimes.com/man-loses-16m-bitcoin-electrum-wallet-scam-3037777

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