Wednesday’s blockchain news, from Asia and beyond
Price manipulation allegations from the States and Korea, blockchain phones that don't contain any blockchain and the rather odd Rhino Coin
Washington starts criminal investigation into alleged Tether/Bitcoin price rigging: Bloomberg is reporting what most of the crypto world already knew. The US Justice Department is investigating “whether last year’s epic rally was fueled in part by manipulation, with traders driving it up with Tether.” As Bitcoin and other crypto prices plummet, Bloomberg says federal prosecutors have homed in on suspicions that a link between Bitcoin, Tether and crypto exchange Bitfinex might have been used to illegally move prices. This, most certainly, is one to watch.
HTC’s new blockchain phone misses global debut: HTC’s new blockchain phone was supposed to make its global debut at a TechCrunch Shenzhen event. Except it didn’t. So when Techcrunch did eventually get hold of the Exodus 1, they were curious to see what was on offer. Back in August, when it was first announced, the phone promised interoperability between blockchains, features for DApps and a universal crypto-currency wallet. TechCrunch write that the prototype they saw holds very little of that yet and say the device now is a “stepping stone” to something, hopefully, more elaborate.
OKEx hits back at claims it manipulated markets: South Korean exchange OKEx has hit back at claims that it manipulated markets by adjusting Bitcoin Cash (BCH) futures settlements. The world’s second-largest crypto-currency exchange, OKEx rejected the claims made by “Amber AI” via a Medium post. Amber AI claimed to be a Hong Kong-based institution. “These are completely false allegations and the defamatory statements have caused serious damages to OKEx’s reputation. We will disclose the evidence required to the court to prove that OKEx is not involved in the alleged trading when deemed necessary,” OKEx said in a statement.
New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) to launch digital assets exchange: The Bakkt digital assets platform run by NYSE is planning to launch in January 2019. It will feature products that “represent a critical shift in the evolution of crypto markets,” said CEO Kelly Loeffler in a Medium post, who added that Bakkt is “focused on every aspect of delivering an institutional grade crypto warehouse solution and believe this is a significant step in building confidence in this asset class.”
Can the ‘Rhino Coin’ crypto-currency help save Africa’s rhinoceroses? Crypto-currencies may be something of a dirty word right now, but the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies is reporting that South African ranchers are using a virtual currency to fund protection of the threatened animals. South Africa has an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 white and black rhinoceroses, but with poachers killing more than 1,000 rhinos a year, private rhino owners are going broke guarding against heavily armed poaching syndicates. Rhino Coin was launched and is based on the hope that the “international rhino horn trade ban will one day fall away, and that horn can then be sold at a stupendous mark-up in Asia.” How this will help rhinos survive is open to debate.