Morning News: Upbit Kicks Out 5 Altcoins, Global Regulation Talks
Catch up on the most essential cryptocurrency and blockchain news stories breaking in Asia and the Americas while the rest of the world was asleep.
S Korean Exchange Discontinues Trading in 5 Altcoins, More to Follow?
South Korean cryptocurrency exchanges may “suddenly discontinue” their support for less-popular currencies, meaning investors now “need to make smart choices,” per newswire Yonhap. Upbit, one of the country’s biggest exchange platforms, has discontinued DigixDAO trading and all Metal (MTL) transactions except MTL to Korean won withdrawals. The move is a major blow to MTL, for whom Upbit transactions represented 20% of global trade in the currency. Upbit has also discontinued its support for FunFair, Mysterium and Rise (RISE) in the past month. In many cases, Upbit’s altcoin traders are being forced to transfer their funds to overseas exchanges, as no other South Korean exchanges offer trading in these five altcoins. The Korea Blockchain Association, which represents South Korean exchanges, says its members will “carefully review” the currencies they list at a meeting next month. Yonhap quotes an Upbit spokesperson as saying, “We are just trying to simplify our transaction processes. We are not discontinuing support for these currencies because we consider them to be unsafe.”
BitFlyer CEO: “Global Crypto Regulations Talks Will Take Place in March”
Yuzo Kano, the CEO of Japanese exchange platform BitFlyer, told Business Insider Japan that the country’s finance minister believes worldwide cryptocurrency regulation will be on the agenda at an upcoming G20 meeting. Kano says the matter will be discussed at the G20 Meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors, which will be held in Buenos Aires on March 19-20, with Japan’s finance chief, Taro Aso, in attendance. Kano also noted, “It is better to have exhaustive rules that control cryptocurrencies,” but also noted that the likelihood of cryptocurrencies being outlawed was remote. On China’s crackdown, Kano remarked, “When I was talked to a senior Chinese official recently, he told me: ‘China has not banned [crypto], it has only postponed it indefinitely.’
Blockchain Appoints Former Facebook, Google Engineer as VP
Wallet provider Blockchain has hired Peter Wilson, former head of Facebook and Google’s Seattle offices, as its new vice president of engineering. Wilson has also worked with Microsoft and has a total of 20 years of experience in the engineering field. Blockchain’s CEO stated, “Peter is an expert in scaling organizations and will be instrumental to these efforts.” Wilson said, “I’m beyond excited to join Blockchain and build an engineering organization in pursuit of a better financial future for all.”
Coinbase Vows to Refund Incorrectly Charged Users
American exchange platform Coinbase has admitted that some of its customers’ credit and debit cards have been incorrectly billed, but has pledged to issue full refunds. In a Twitter post, the company said, “We’re investigating an issue where some customers recently were charged incorrectly for purchases of digital currency with credit and debit cards. We have identified a solution and any future purchases will not be affected by this issue. We will ensure any customer affected by this issue is fully refunded for any incorrect charge.” Coinbase says that the issue stems from recent code changes and additional fees introduced by card companies.
Chicago Trader Accused of USD 2m Crypto Theft
An assistant trader in Chicago has been charged with cryptocurrency fraud. Police allege 24-year-old Joseph Kim, of Consolidated Trading, stole USD 2m worth of Bitcoin and Litecoin to cover losses he had incurred. The company says it has so far only been able to recover just over a quarter of the total amount stolen. If convicted, Kim could face up to 20 years in prison.