Author Archives: John

Yakuza Involved in Japan’s Crypto Exchanges

Yakuza’s involvement in at least one of major Japan’s crypto exchanges has been confirmed. Japan has 16 licensed crypto exchanges, while at least one is involved with the organized crime.

Under the radar

Six of Japan’s biggest crypto exchanges have received bussines improvement orders from the country’s Financial Services Agency. The suspected exchanges include Bitflyer – Japan’s largest crypto exchange, Btcbox, Tech Bureau, Quoine, Bitpoint Japan, and Bitbank.

The exchanges received administrative penalty orders for the lack of proper operation of reliable business and countermeasures against terrorism financing and money laundering.

All of the exchanges must submit written reports by July 23rd. In the past, there has been only one similar case with Tech Bureau, which by this time have received their second business improvement order.

Yakuza involved in crypto exchanges

The FSA has confirmed that Japan’s organized crime group Yakuza is involved in at least one of the six crypto exchanges.

The information was revealed after the FSA’s investigation in companies’ security systems. They discovered that some crypto exchanges don’t update their databases for new individuals who sign up. The FSA recommended for the exchanges to cut all the ties with organized crime groups.

While the crypto industry is expanding in Japan, it is important for the local authorities to ensure that the crypto exchanges are running secure environments.

“Bitcoin controlled by Chinese” claims Ripple CEO

Ripple CEO, Brad Garlinhouse, has exposed his view regarding his main cryptocurrency competitor, Bitcoin, at the Stifel Cross Sector Insight Conference in Boston, where he took part as a guest of honor.

“Bitcoin has no hope of being a world currency”

In his interview he tackled Ripple as the main topic, however he also criticized Bitcoin Core as being controlled by the Chinese miners and having no hope of becoming a world currency.

He commented that the idea of Bitcoin becoming a world currency is absurd. However, many don’t share his view, including Steve Wozniak, who predicted that Bitcoin would become a primary currency by the end of next decade.

The Chinese control over Bitcoin

Garlinghouse explained that Bitcoin is inefficient, as long as the current transactions take over 45 minutes to settle. He highlighted that the Chinese are in power over Bitcoin with four miners controlling over 50% of the pools. He firmly stands assured that no country would accept a Chinese-controlled currency as the main one.

About the Ripple CEO

Brad Garlinghouse has been CEO of Ripple since 2015.  Prior to his business with Ripple, he worked in the investment area with such companies as SBC Communications, Yahoo! And AOL. Since the beginning of this year he has been trying to separate to concept of Ripple and XRP – the company from the virtual currency and denote them as different entities.

UK Company Releases Crypto Mining Bikes

UK company 50cylces has announced the release of bikes that can mine cryptocurrencies. They estimate that it will be possible to generate about $25 per every 1000miles.

First generation of crypto bikes

50cylces’ CEO, Scott Snaith, commented that the bike series isn’t something revolutionary, but they are the first kind to reward the riders with tokens.

The bike name is also known as ‘Toba’. The company believes that tokenization through the blockchain must be reached, and their decision plays a big role in bringing everyone closer to it.

The first batch of Toba bikes will be delivered in September. The users will be able to monitor their activity and balance through an app, while the bikes will have their own special private keys, which will make it possible to distinguish one bike from another.

Supported cryptocurrencies

At this stage, the cyclists will be rewarded in only one cryptocurrency, the Loyalcoin. The virtual currency is an exclusive token which users will be able to use in redeeming company’s products or exchanging for other cryptocurrencies.

The Loyalcoin has been around for two weeks and as for today, it accounts $0.004 with a $21 675 277 USD market cap.

While the company has the first e-bikes that mine crypto per covered distance, there have been quite many creative experiments in the past in which the users tried to recycle the energy used for mining.

Japanese Comic Spreads Awareness about Crypto Industry

Shonen Crypto (Crypto Heroes) is a comic representation of the world of cryptocurrencies. Editor-in-Chief Taro has released the first issue recently. It should draw more awareness to the events in the crypto industry and educate people about its vulnerabilities and benefits.

The new manga should popularize the crypto industry

Editor-in-Chief Taro, the creator of the comic, commented that the series will be more accessible to people, as the masses don’t usually concentrate in depth on articles related to crypto. He plans to spread the series to the Japanese society and teach the readers about the potential of the virtual currencies. While there are many scams around, he wants to tackle the subject and properly reintroduce the technologies that support cryptocurrencies.

The Shonen Crypto series will be released in about once a month from now on, in July 2018. The chapters are available only online, but they might be available in physical format sometime in future as well.

The Story

There are six parts in the first issue. The first one reveals the identities of the crypto heroes, who step into a fight against such fiat characters as EUR and USD.

In the later chapters, the Mt. Gox and Bitconnect events are depicted. Over the course of the story, different characters appear, giving investment advice, and teaching how to use different technologies associated with cryptocurrencies, which is illustrated through their own experiences.

The story evolves

Taro explained that in the later issues more characters would appear, and there will be attempts to ecranize parts of the story as the producing team has increased twofold. They plan to produce music and create animations about the characters in the story, which the readers might see very soon.

First Bank to Open Crypto Business Accounts in Switzerland

The Swiss Hypothekarbank Lenzburg has announced that they will be accepting accounts of businesses related to cryptocurrencies. It becomes the first bank in Switzerland with such an offering.

The Crypto Valley

Switzerland has always been ahead of many in its crypto findings. It even became a popular place for many investors to contribute to the new technology. Nowadays, in the city of Zug, a place known as Switzerland’s Crypto Valley has­ became the headquarters for many crypto startups.  It is a sort of a rival to the US’s Silicon Valley.

The progress and enthusiasm of people there have given roots for initiation of the first bank to accept crypto businesses.

Bank’s CEO Marianne Wildi commented that for their bank it is important to act strategically in technological areas to maintain trust from the blockchain sector of Switzerland.

She explained that they are cooperating with informed experts who have knowledge in crypto customs, which will help them make accurate arrangements with the customers.

Other initiatives

The Hypothekarbank Lenzburg became the first to accept crypto business accounts, however, there are others that have been already acting in the crypto sphere. Bank Frick of Lichtenstein offers its users cold storage on various cryptocurrencies, while Falcon Private Bank has claimed to be dealing with crypto asset management.

Satoshi Nakamoto’s statue project gains popularity in Kiev

A part of a global campaign that aims to build monuments of Satoshi Nakamoto around the world is believed to gain support in Kiev. Rumors suggest that the statue would be placed where Lenin’s used to stand and was brought down in December 2013.

The capital city of Ukraine, Kiev, might be chosen to host the monument of Bitcoin’s and blockchain’s initiator, Satoshi Nakamoto. Kiev is one of the most popular centers for blockchain supporters in Eastern Europe. The statue would be placed in the same spot where Lenin’s statue stood before it was destroyed by protesters during the Euromaidan demonstrations in 2013.

Now, on the Kiev’s main intersection, on the Khreshchatyk street and Taras Shevchenko Boulevard has become a popular place for political artwork. In 2014, a golden toilet was installed on the pedestal, which was viewed as a protest against the country’s past president, Viktor Yanukovych, who presumably had golden toilets in his estate.

Virtual reality to depict Satoshi

Meanwhile, there are rumors that the people behind the project will release a VR app first. It would show Satoshi’s monument when a smartphone’s camera would be directed on the pedestal. The Ukrainian company Raccoon World claimed that they will contribute in realizing the idea.

The Blockchain Republic

There is a global initiative to establish Satoshi monuments around the world. The people behind it want to establish a “Blockchain Republic”. Ukrainian entrepreneur Alexander Soroka has already donated one Bitcoin for the monument project.

The first crypto-related monument was erected in Kranj, Slovenja. The installation is a large logo of a Bitcoin placed in the center of a crossroad.

51% Attacks Alerts Proof of Work Teams

A series of attacks that swiped $18m worth of Bitcoin Gold, and a total of $3.5m worth of Verge has left many PoW teams alert.

It seems that the hackers have started using a strategy of manipulating the Proof-of-Work-based coins, which resulted in as much as 51% attacks.

PoW systems against attacks

The 51% attacks are characterized by hacks which take control of the coin’s hash rate before performing a series of fraudulent transactions.

In Verge’s example, the hackers exploited one if its five algorithms. It was enough to reduce the mining difficulty in order to manipulate the whole network. Bitcoin Gold ceded in an attack against its Equihash algorithm.

After the recurrent attacks, the developer teams jumped on the defense. The crypto-owners have been notified that their assets in Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum Classic and ZCash are protected because an attack would be much more expensive. For example, about $2.2billion would be necessary in order to initiate an attack on BTC.

Bitcoin Gold has become one of the targets due to its low hash rate compared to others.

Different measures have been launched in response to attacks. Maidsafe proposed a new consensus mechanism, while Binance has increased the number of confirmations for depositing Equihash-based coins.

The alert remains

There will still remain a big risk for the coins based on Proof of Work.  Some teams have already set up scripts to be notified of any suspicious changes in the coin hash rate. High measures will continue to be implemented to prevent similar scenarios to those that happened to Verge and Bitcoin Gold.

Japan’s Mitsubishi Bank to Launch Own Cryptocurrency

The Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group has announced the launching of their own cryptocurrency by 2019.

MUFG the crypto token

The Japanese bank will launch the crypto token under the name of MUFG by 2019. The bank is one of the top-five banking institutions in the world, and it will become the first time that a bank has launched its own crypto token.

The announcement came out as the bank seeks to participate in discovering issues in crypto trades, while the customers would be making conventional purchases.

With MUFG coin, the bank will target 100 000 users that would use it for casual shopping, with products ranging from food to clothing and more.

A better cryptocurrency?

Last year, MUFG’s president Nobuyuki Hirano has claimed that the bank is trying to combat the current issues of banking systems vs virtual currencies, and create a “highly useful currency”.

The bank pinpoints that they are in tight control of the whole crypto circulation. Hirano’s claim was highly likely addressed to BTC’s inconsistency, which the MUFG would counteract.

MUFG is not the only one

Japan has recently seen more business adopting the idea of cryptocurrencies. Yahoo! Japan have initiated their crypto exchange plan, while DMM has already launched one.

The Mitsubishi United Financial of Japan Group has $2.5 trillion in assets and is the largest financial group in Japan. Their expansion in the crypto space is another hint that the country might become very crypto centered in the future.

China Uncovers Fake Cryptocurrencies

A Chinese government-backed industry organization, by the name of the National Committee of Experts on the Internet Financial Security Technology (IFCERT), have published a report mentioning 421 discovered fake cryptocurrencies.

The report contains cryptocurrencies which have been discovered up to April 2018. 421 cryptocurrencies have been found to be fake, from which 60% are deployed overseas.


The discovery arose concerns about their adoption and schemas that promise investors high revenues. These virtual currencies don’t have a code that they can be certified on. Neither do they have a traceable blockchain that keeps track of transactions and other information.

Uncertain groups and individuals control the fake cryptocurrencies. They manipulate the price changes, which creates the illusion of real trade activities. The warning signs appear when the users want to withdraw cash, but the transactions fail to go through.

The ones behind

It is almost impossible to find out who the individuals behind the fake cryptocurrencies are. IFCERT have commented that the platforms are often deployed overseas, which makes it difficult to recoup the losses for the victims.

While none of such currencies have any real information about them, they remain to coexist among all.

271 from 1450 are fake ICO’s

The Wall Street Journal has recently found out that 271 from the total of 1450 initial coin offerings were fake. The reports account investments of over $1billion in these ICOs, with many firms already vanished from the crypto scene.

Pineapple Fund Receives $55 Million in Crypto Donations

An anonymous donor has issued a final donation to the Pineapple Fund summed at $55 Million.

The previous year, in mid-December, during the all-time-high of cryptocurrency markets, the donor claimed that he has so much Bitcoin that he wants to donate 5,057 BTC to charitable organizations. In total, the amount accounted at $86 million. The rise of BTC in the recent years has offered him more money than he could spend. The anonymous donor noted that money doesn’t matter when you have a lot of them.

Pineapple Fund is a website initiated for supporting the nonprofit organizations. Any of the organizations can apply for donations.

Pineapple Fund’s final donation

The anonymous sponsor claimed on a Reddit post that he will be issuing his final donation of $55 million. The organizations that received donations include The Water Project, Multidisciplinary Association of psychedelic studies (MAPS), and the Bitgive Foundation. The amount of donations per organization goes up to $5 million. The Open Medicine Foundation (OMF) has received the final donation.

MAPS research the medical, cultural and legal contexts for people who benefit from uses of marijuana and psychedelics.

OMF studies complex chronic diseases aiming to provide effective treatments.

Both organizations were among the few to receive a maximum of $5 Million in donations.

Community appreciation

Many answers from the community have praised the anonymous donor for incredible generosity. Some users noted that from many people that have got there with cryptocurrencies, only a few have positively impacted so many lives.

Pine noted that it might be back in a couple of years.

Meanwhile, there are crypto projects that concentrate on charitable donations. These include Crypto Charity Fund, Clean Water Coin and Eat BCH.