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This week’s round-up features a colorful selection of bitcoin stories but we’ll start with the possible explanation for recent market dips. Most cryptocurrencies dropped in price over the period, following developments with depressing effect on traders. In Japan, Mt. Gox’s bitcoins stored in court ordered wallets have moved again, while in South Korea, the largest exchange Upbit has found itself under investigation for suspected fraud.
Markets React to Disturbing News from Japan and Korea
The prices of leading cryptocurrencies dropped this week, with some recovery across the board on Sunday. The negative trend was probably determined by some notable developments in Asia, powerful enough to influence the mood of traders. Just as Bitcoin (BTC) looked poised to storm the $10,000 psychological threshold, the ghost of notoriously hacked cryptocurrency exchange Mt. Gox reminded bitcoiners it isn’t done with them yet. Tokyo-based court appointed trustee of the remaining bitcoin to be distributed among creditors, Nobuaki Kobayashi, seems ready to flood the market, again. According to Blockchain.info, over 8,000 coins from two court ordered cold storage wallets have been recently shifted. As soon as the news broke, BTC prices plummeted.
South Korean media reported that the country’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Upbit, is under investigation on suspicions of fraud. The exchange confirmed the news in a statement and tried to reassure its customers that their assets are kept securely, while “all transactions and withdrawals are operating normally.” Reports suggested that Upbit is suspected of transferring customer funds from their cryptocurrency exchange account to a representative or executive account. Acting on that information, Korean prosecutors have conducted search and seizure against the company, securing computer hard disks and accounting records. Upbit is currently the world’s fourth-largest crypto trading platform.
China to Publish Monthly Crypto Report
The Chinese government has decided to keep a close eye on decentralized currencies, despite all crypto bans it has imposed so far. Beijing authorities are set to publish a regular monthly analysis of over two dozen crypto assets in the form of the new Global Public Chain Assessment Index. “This independent analysis of cryptocurrencies and global public blockchain technology demonstrates the confidence of the Chinese Government in the technology, and will act as a guide,” according to a government press release. Almost 30 cryptos will be analyzed. The coins included in the index are expected to conform to certain standards like having an independent main chain and an open block browser.
China is also working to develop a national standard for blockchain technologies and applications. The new system should be completed and introduced by the end of 2019, according to reports by state-controlled media in the People’s Republic. Initially the blockchain standard will include basic standards, business and application standards, process and method standards, credible and interoperable standards, and information security standards, but the scope of its applicability will be expanded in the future.
Localbitcoins Changes ToS to Comply With EU Law
The popular peer-to-peer exchange Localbitcoins has updated its Terms of Service (ToS), noting that the changes have been introduced mainly due to regulations in the European Union. The new ToS of the Helsinki-based trading platform highlight certain identification requirements. In some situations users will be required to submit a copy of ID, although identity verification is not yet implemented as a mandatory procedure for all traders. The company has detailed some of the situations in which identification will be necessary. These include trading over certain volume limits, cases of account hacking/recovery, and fraud investigations. The new terms will be enforced on May 25.
Facebook Mulls Own Token,