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South Korea Aims to Put Trade Finance on the Blockchain by 2021

Trade finance in Korea is headed to the blockchain according to a CoinDesk Korea story and other local press reports. The transition could be completed by 2021, while foreign-exchange transactions are set to be conducted using the technology within months. In terms of trade finance, relevant documents will be shared on the blockchain so they can be accessed by financial institutions while export bonds will be made available in the same way so that banks can …

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Facebook-Led Libra Forms Governing Council After Big-Name Departures

GENEVA — Twenty-one organizations have signed the Libra Association charter, days after a slew of high-profile defections from the cryptocurrency project started by Facebook. The Libra Association also named its board of directors and formalized the consortium’s executive team following a meeting in Geneva, Switzerland. Facebook still remains a key player in the project with Calibra CEO and former Facebook blockchain lead David Marcus taking a seat on the five-person board. Other board members include …

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CME Says Bitcoin Futures Gaining Interest From Big Investors

CME Group, the Chicago-based exchange operator, said its bitcoin futures contracts grew in popularity last quarter, with the number of open contracts up 61 percent from a year earlier because of growing demand from institutional investors. Open interest, or the number of outstanding positions, rose to 4,629 contracts, up from 2,873 in the third quarter of 2018, CME said Monday in a statement. And despite the quarter’s 25 percent drop in bitcoin price, according to …

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SEC Draws on Investor Communications to Halt Telegram Token Launch

To justify halting the launch of Telegram’s long-awaited $1.7 billion blockchain project, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) relied heavily on communications obtained from investors. In September, the regulator contacted U.S.-based investors, requesting information about what details were being shared by the company to support the TON token offering, according to Yakov Barinsky, CEO of the crypto-focused investment bank HASH CIB, who represents clients in the U.S. and Russia who invested in TON. “I know that …

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5 Top Car Makers Enter Field Trials for Automatic Blockchain Payments

A group of major automakers are about to hit the road with the first field testing of a blockchain-based vehicle identification network next month in the U.S. As reported by Nikkei Asian Review, BMW, General Motors, Honda, Ford and Renault are working with the Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI) on integrating the system to automatically make payments on typical commuting runs without the need for cash or credit and debit cards. By assigning vehicles unique identities that …

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Switzerland’s ‘Crypto Valley’ Is Bringing Blockchain to Zurich

Switzerland’s “Crypto Valley” is centered on Zug, a tiny, semi-infamous tax haven hamlet known for harboring embargo-breaking oil trader Marc Rich in the 1980s, tax shells in the 1990s and tech companies in the age of bitcoin. Zug and its Silicon Valley-esque moniker are 30 minutes’ drive south of Zurich. But if a new partnership between Zug’s crypto lobbyists and Zurich’s tourism czars pans out, the Crypto Valley could soon expand northwards. Zurich is full of …

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South Korea’s Blockchain ID Service Raises $8 Million in Series A

ICONLOOP, a South Korean blockchain startup that provides digital identification services, received its first venture capital investment through an $8 million Series A funding round, the company said. ICONLOOP is a subsidiary of DAYLI Financial Group, one of the largest fintech companies in Asia. The financing round was led by the quasi-government agency Korea Technology Finance Corporation (KOTEC). Another six investment companies, including T.S. Investment, also backed ICONLOOP in this round. Proceeds will be used to …

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CoinDesk’s On Tap Meetup With CoinDesk Japan Is Happening Tonight In Tokyo

We’ll see you tonight at our Tokyo On-Tap event produced in cooperation with the amazing team at CoinDesk Japan. The event will be held at DevilCraft Hamamatsucho (〒105-0013 Tokyo, Minato City, Hamamatsuchō, 2 Chome−13−12 ライズウェルビル 1F) at 6pm. It’s a very informal meetup without an agenda. We just want to meet and talk. All CoinDesk readers are invited and we hope to learn about your work in crypto, your startups and your ideas. Please fill out …

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The IRS Will Now Ask if You Own Crypto in the Most Widely Used US Tax Form

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has updated the main form individual U.S. taxpayers use to report their income to include a question about cryptocurrencies. Following the release earlier this week of the IRS’s long-awaited guidance for reporting crypto-related income, the IRS on Friday circulated a draft of the new Form 1040, Schedule 1, Additional Income and Adjustments to Income. The draft was shared in an email to tax software companies, which the agency also shared with journalists. …

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SEC, CFTC, FinCEN Warn Crypto Industry to Follow US Banking Laws

The heads of three U.S. financial regulators warned the cryptocurrency industry to abide by banking laws in a joint statement published Friday. The statement, signed by Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman Heath Tarbert, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) Director Kenneth Blanco and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Jay Clayton, “reminds” actors in the crypto space that they must comply with various banking and financial services laws in the U.S., regardless of what they …

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