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DNotes Global Announces Its DNotes Digital Currency Is Now Listed For Trading On
The recently upgraded version of DNotes will join major cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ether, and Litecoin, as well as a host of altcoins that are actively traded on the exchange. “With DNotes 2.0, we’ve accelerated our push to achieve real adoption of digital currency on a global scale” says DNotes co-founder Alan Yong. “As part of that effort, DNotes has added a new blockchain transaction invoice system that attaches an invoice number to any DNotes transaction – something that was specifically designed to simplify digital currency adoption for merchants who might otherwise be forced to use third-party solutions to manage crypto transactions. We’ve also improved our CRISP savings program and will be adding other new features in the near future.”

Denmark Joins EU Blockchain Partnership
Denmark plans to implement blockchain in shipping. Brian Mikkelsen, the Danish Minister for Industry, Business and Financial Affairs, said Denmark will be “the first country in the world [to] use blockchain technology to register ships in the Danish ship registers.”

Slovenia Opens First Bitcoin City
Coingeek is featuring a story on the first ‘Bitcoin City. It’s located just outside of the Slovenian capital in Ljubljana. “The huge former shopping destination stretches over a massive 475,000 square metres and has over 500 retail stores. The complex dubbed ‘BTC City’ also received a boost of late when the country’s outgoing Prime Minister, Miro Cerar visited the site. He added a certain common touch to proceedings by buying a cup of coffee using a cryptocurrency payment gateway.”

GMO Unveils Japan’s First-Ever Bitcoin Mining Rig
CCN reports Tokyo-based tech services company GMO Internet has this week unveiled the first bitcoin mining rig wholly-developed by a Japanese company.

Image courtesy of Carty Sewill,

Bitstamp, the world’s oldest currently-operating cryptocurrency exchange, is set to be purchased by a South Korean gaming firm that is looking to carve out a central role in the nascent blockchain industry.

Nexon, whose headquarters are now located in Japan, will likely acquire Bitstamp for $350 million, reports Business Insider, who cites three sources involved with the discussions.

The Luxembourg-based Bitstamp was founded in 2011, and it currently holds the distinction of being Europe’s only licensed cryptocurrency exchange. The firm regularly ranks among the world’s 10-15 largest exchanges as measured by daily trading volume, in part because it is one of a relatively low number of trading platforms equipped to offer fiat trading pairs.

In January, Bitstamp CEO said that the exchange had 3 million registered accounts and 500,000 active users, though this latter number may have declined over the past several months due to the lull in the market.

Nexon, meanwhile, released its first PC game in 1995 and remains a major player in the South Korean and Japanese PC and mobile gaming markets, though the firm also has offices in the US, Taiwan, and Thailand.

Some of the company’s better-known titles include South Korean and Japanese versions of Counter-Strike and FIFA Online, as well as Riders of Icarus and the MapleStory franchise.

Assuming the two parties ink the deal, Bitstamp will be the second cryptocurrency exchange Nexon has purchased in the past year alone. In September, the firm acquired a majority stake in Korbit, which at one time was South Korea’s second-largest cryptocurrency trading platform, at a $150 million valuation.

It will also be the industry’s third major cryptocurrency exchange acquisition in 2018.

In February, Circle acquired US cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex, which posts lower daily trading volumes than Bitstamp but nevertheless managed to command a reported $400 million from the Goldman Sachs-backed fintech startup.

Earlier this month, Japanese brokerage firm Monex acquired Tokyo-based exchange Coincheck — which in January succumbed to the largest cryptocurrency exchange theft in history — for approximately $34 million.

Featured Image from Pixabay

The price of bitcoin has surpassed the $8,800 mark, rising 6 percent within the last 24 hours. Trading volumes across the major cryptocurrency exchanges have also increased beyond $26 billion for the first time in a while.

Upward trend.

Last month, bitcoin tested the $9,200 mark, but it didn’t take long before it fell to $6,500 after failing to sustain the momentum to bounce off $8,200.

Based on the fluctuations in the price the market has witnessed in recent weeks, it is quite likely that bitcoin will test the $9,200 mark again as it did last month, and it could even surpass it. A movement above the $9,200 level it reached late March could see bitcoin price entering the $10,000 region before April ends.

Psychological threshold.

Investors highlighted the $10,000 mark for bitcoin in November last year was both a psychological threshold and a key milestone. They predicted it would surge substantially, way before it got to $10,000. Bitcoin was relentless towards the ending of last year.  After breaking the $10,000 ceiling – it rose to $14,000 and eventually to $20,000, where the decline started.

Since the corrections of February this year, and the series of regulations in recent weeks, the market has struggled to hold forth any form of stability. As always, the price of most altcoins and tokens have taken a cue from bitcoin which has been battered since the turn of the year. Regional exchanges in Japan and South Korea have not been spared either as both have witnessed a decrease in trading volumes.

The new trend in the price of BTC is an ideal position for the currency to rally round for both the short and mid-term, given that more people are getting aware of cryptocurrency as adoption has increased.

Kraken, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in operation, has just announced that it will be ceasing its operations in Japan for the time being.

The move is as a result of increased regulations and sky-high operational costs in the Japanese cryptocurrency market.

In a report Bloomberg published, Kraken stated:

“Suspending our services for Japan residents will allow us to better focus on our resources to improve in other geographical areas.” They reassured their numerous customers by adding: “This is a localised suspension of service that only affects residents of Japan and does not impact services for Japanese citizens or businesses domiciled outside of Japan”.

For a while now, Japan has been cited as the hub for crypto activity by the cryptocurrency community. A large number of Japanese organizations have been hopping on the cryptocurrency bandwagon. Internet companies have shown growing interest in dipping into the rising market. As an example, Yahoo Japan recently announced the acquisition of a cryptocurrency exchange.

Along with companies, it seems the general public has warmed up to the sector as well. R25 conducted a survey where it was reported that approximately 14% of Japanese males within the age bracket of 25 to 30 own cryptocurrency.

Even while the Japanese public’s acceptance of cryptocurrency is on the rise, increasing government regulations have cropped up after the $560 Million hack of Coincheck. Several calls have been made by investors and members of the public for increased scrutiny of the exchanges to prevent a future occurrence.

The Japanese Financial Services Agency made a move towards protecting the industry by requiring licenses for exchanges and a higher level of security. This led to a lot of closures as some exchanges couldn’t meet these demands.

Kraken, on the other hand, obtained the necessary authority to operate in Japan without a license but the American-based company was never a crowd’s favorite.

Over the course of its 3-year existence in Japan, Kraken was never able to reach the volume it required to justify its existence in Japan. As of April 17th, the BTC/JPY pair accounted for a measly 0.9% of the exchange’s total volume, minuscule when compared to the BTC/USD pair’s total volume.


Embattled cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck may soon be under new management.

The Tokyo-based exchange, now enshrined in infamy following a $530 million hack in January, will reportedly be acquired by Japanese brokerage firm Monex in a deal worth “several billion yen.”

The news was first reported by regional media outlet Nikkei, whose sources said that Monex would likely replace the current management team — who oversaw the exchange at the time of the record-setting theft — and overhaul the cryptocurrency exchange trading platform.

“We are considering the acquisition,” Monex announced in a statement, adding that plans have not been finalized.

Monex stock soared in response to the rumors, closing at 424 JPY after opening at 337 JPY — a single-day gain in excess of 25 percent.

Source: MSN Money

As BlockExplorer reported, Coincheck’s security measures were found in the wake of the hack to be woefully inadequate, which explains why the hackers were able to make off with such a large amount of funds.

The country’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) ordered Coincheck and several other exchanges to enhance their systems to comply with FSA regulations, but some platform operators have found these improvement orders to be more than they can manage.

“The deal with Monex suggests Coincheck deemed it difficult to comply with the regulatory requirements and rebuild its operations without external support,” the Nikkei report said.

At least five Japanese cryptocurrency exchanges have already informed the FSA that they will cease operations, while the agency has reportedly told several others that they must voluntarily shut down or face enforcement action.

Despite the gravity of the hack, Coincheck does not appear to have been insolvent. The company has already begun compensating users who lost funds during the hack, at a rate of approximately 89 JPY per NEM token (XEM). Though somewhat less than market value at the time of the hack, this is more than triple the current NEM price.

Featured Image from Pixabay