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The Drop: China Digital Yuan, Bitflyer, And More Crypto Asia News

April 23, 2020

The crypto markets were in the green as the market capitalization increased from $196.8 billion to $203.6 billion in the past 7 days. Bitcoin has managed to cross the $7,000 mark in the past week as it is currently trading at $7,120.

It was a week of new listings, delistings, scandals, and speculation on the pilot project of China’s digital Yuan.

China identifies four cities for digital Yuan trial

The screenshots of what appears to be a wallet app for China’s digital Yuan are rife on social media. The screenshot was first shared by the Binance’s executive director of M&A Ling Zhang before the cryptocurrency exchange’s CEO Changpeng Zhao retweeted the image.

Zhang says that the app can be downloaded in four cities – Shenzhen, Chengdu, Suzhou, and Xiongan – chosen to participate in the pilot project.

China seems to be speeding up the development of the digital Yuan despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic that has placed many parts of the world in lockdown. The Asian country initially moved at a snail’s pace to create a digital version of their fiat currency but began to accelerate the project when Facebook announced its Libra stablecoin project last year.

It was earlier reported that China has finished creating the currency’s basic functions and is now on drafting legal frameworks for the digital currency’s implementation.

Japan’s crypto exchange BitFlyer lists Brave Tokens for Trading

One of Japan’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges and largest bitcoin brokers in the world BitFlyer announced the listing of Brave Tokens for trading on its platform.

The exchange has taken four months to list a new token since it provided support for Ripple (XRP) in December last year.

The Brave token (BAT) was recently approved by Japan’s financial watchdog the Financial Services Agency (FSA) for trading. BAT is the native token of the decentralized browser Brave, a direct competitor to Google’s Chrome but pinning its hopes on user privacy.

According to TradingView, BAT was exchanging hands for $0.17049 on April 9 and the price has slightly fallen to the current price of $0.16662. The token has plunged around 7 percent in year-to-date (YTD) performance.

BAT is enjoying a string of listing in Japan. It was recently listed for trading on GMO Coin in March. Brave raised $35 million in less than a minute in a 2017 initial coin offering (ICO).

South Korea’ ICON cryptocurrency project introduces a new consensus algorithm

South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency project, ICON, unveiled a new consensus algorithm known as Loop Fault Tolerance 2.0 (LFT2). The new consensus mechanism improves the performance of blockchains.

ICON was founded in 2017 and has grown to become the biggest cryptocurrency project in South Korea. The project’s aim is to build a blockchain network that brings together autonomous online communities and private companies.

ICON is one of the top 10 most utilized blockchains with 120 validators across the world. The new consensus mechanism, which has been in research and development for three years, will be implemented before the end of the year.

ICON Project founder Min Kim expressed excitement at LFT2 and underscored that there is still more work to be done.

“We’re proud of our accomplishments with LFT2. This alone clearly shows why ICON is the top Korean project,” said Kim. “But, we still have a lot of work ahead of us. We’ve come a long way since then. LFT2 is hard evidence that ICON and Korea now have the technical prowess to innovate head-to-head with global blockchain projects like Ethereum.”

Huobi Korea delists Monero due to ‘poor volume and anonymity’

Huobi Korea announced that it is ending support privacy coin Monero (XMR) on April 9 due to “low trading volumes and anonymity functions. The cryptocurrency exchange gave users until April 15 to end trading, depositing, and withdrawing XMR on the platform.

However, Huobi Korea did not reveal if the decision to delist the privacy coin was partially inspired by the Nth case in which Monero was used to facilitate anonymous transactions for pornographic material. Media reports state that there is no conclusive evidence that Monero was used for illicit activities.

Sisa Journal reported that after Houbi’s delisting, Bithumb is the only remaining South Korean exchange offering support for Monero.

Authorities have long argued that privacy coins are preferred by nefarious actors to break the law because the criminals cannot be tied to their financial transactions.

The sexual exploitation scandal has attracted the attention of four cryptocurrency exchanges – Bithumb, Coinone, Korbit, and Upbit – who are all assisting law enforcement agencies to reveal the identity of the people involved in the scandal.

Despite the delistings and bad press coverage, Monero is up 27 percent in year-to-date performance and gained 5 percent in the past week, TradingView data shows.

South Korea urges blockchain firms to seize the ‘golden’ opportunity to gain ground on the U.S. and Europe

The Southern Korean government is pulling all the stops to urge the nation’s blockchain firms to gain ground on the U.S. and Europe in the tech race. The government plans to use its next budget to set aside money to fund blockchain-related projects.

According to local reports, South Korea’s Deputy Strategy and Finance Minister Koo Yun-cheol held a meeting with blockchain firms on April 17 aimed at identifying growth opportunities for the country.

Minister Koo said the government believes that the blockchain industry will score an annual growth rate of 80 percent. He elaborated on the need to preemptive action from the private sector with support from the government to be provided in stages.

“The technology gap [between South Korea] and advanced countries such as the United States and Europe will not be large for the next two to three years, so now is a golden time for [the tech race]. Please think of the best way to effectively support blockchain technology development to reduce the gap between South Korea and [Europe and the United States],” said Koo.

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