The first half of the year has come and gone. The second half begins and the crypto industry looks set to continue where it left off.
Terrorists in Southeast Asia are showing a growing interest in cryptocurrency transactions. They have previously used digital assets but the recent surge in the use of cryptocurrency could be worrying for authorities. Kazakhstan is going ahead with its plan to develop a central bank digital currency. A South Korean scandal has left the country with plans to build an AI-based software that tracks dark web cryptocurrency transactions.
Terrorists Turn to Cryptocurrency in Southeast Asia
Terrorists in Southeast Asia have found cryptocurrencies to be a viable medium in facilitating transactions for their activities, the Diplomat reported. Terror groups linked to the Islamic State (IS) conducted their first cryptocurrency transaction in May, said the Philippine Institute for Peace, Violence, and Terrorism Research (PIPVTR).
The adoption of digital assets does not come as a surprise given the anonymity of cryptocurrencies. However, this case marks a significant push by their terror groups to fund terrorism in the region.
Japanese Blockchain Sector is on the Rise
The number of blockchain-related companies has grown by more than 30 percent, according to a report recently released by Monex Crypto Bank.
Monex Group, the parent company of Monex Crypto Bank acquired Coincheck in 2018 after the exchange suffered one of the largest security breaches in cryptocurrency’s short history.
64% of the firms are primarily involved in crypto and blockchain activities while the remaining 36 percent are not.
Coincheck co-founder Yusuke Otsuka pointed out that the gaming industry could be the unlikely third pillar of the crypto business in Japan. Exchanges and mining occupy the first two positions respectively.
“As the third pillar, I think Japan has a strong foundation of gaming,” said Otsuka.
Japanese Financial Giant Acquires Minority Stake in UK Crypto Market
Japanese financial giant SBI Holdings has agreed to acquire a minority stake in UK’s cryptocurrency market maker B2C2 in a deal worth $30 million.
They also announced a partnership that will see the two companies working together to offer additional services to the complex needs of their clients. Yoshita Kitao, the President and CEO of the Japanese financial conglomerate said they are working to create new innovative crypto products.
SBI is no stranger to the crypto market. It is one of the major partners of Ripple – the company behind XRP cryptocurrency – in Asia.
Kazakhstan Plans to Develop Central Bank Digital Currency
The Central Asian country of Kazakhstan continues to set its eye on the development of a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).
The country’s reserve bank, the Central Bank of Kazakhstan is currently studying the feasibility of issuing a national digital currency.
The Astana International Finacial Center (AFIC), a financial hub working with at least 235 companies from 26 countries, is overseeing the development of the digital currency. It will offer assistance in piloting the currency and the feasibility of the CBDC’s rollout.
“The main task of the central bank is to maintain inflation targets and financial market stability, and the digital currency solution is the second priority. The key is to ensure that the design of a digital currency system is consistent with the objectives of monetary policy,” said Zarenov, the advisor to the president of the central bank.
Apart from the CBDC, the country also plans to double its investments in digital currency mining by the end of the year.
South Korea to Track Underground Cryptocurrency Transactions due to Telegram Sex Scandal
The Korea Internet and Security Agency (KISA) is planning to introduce an artificial intelligence-based software to track cryptocurrency transactions conducted on the dark web. This development comes as a response to the Telegram Nth Room sexual scandal.
The dark web is the part of the internet that cannot be indexed by search engines.
The government has faced difficulties to solve the child porn case where people bought access to sexual video content involving minors.
Cho Joo-bin, the alleged ring leader, is under police custody but has refused to cooperate with the authorities. This has left the investigators in a difficult position as the majority of the transactions were conducted using the privacy coin Monero.
The tracking software will first go through a testing phase before its deployment in 2022.