Crypto and Blockchain News From Japan: Oct. 14–20 in Review


Cointelegraph Japan presents a weekly digest of selected cryptocurrency- and blockchain-related news.

The cryptocurrency- and blockchain-friendly country of Japan has seen a number of significant developments for the industries this past week. A self-regulatory organization has introduced guidance for cryptocurrency custodians, while a subsidiary of major financial services firm SBI Holdings will conduct compliance policies using blockchain technology. 

Here is the past week of crypto and blockchain news in review, as originally reported by Cointelegraph Japan.

Japan Cryptocurrency Business Association releases guidelines on custody

The Japan Cryptocurrency Business Association (JCBA) — a self-regulatory organization for the cryptocurrency industry in Japan — has released guidance for cryptocurrency custody operators. 

The JCBA issued guidelines for crypto custodians ahead of the introduction of the Fund Settlement Act. The organization distinguished the various responsibilities of cryptocurrency custodians and suggested that there should be a difference in the range of virtual currencies that can be handled based on the differences in business characteristics in those assets.

Decentralized gaming platform releases Japanese-language version

The Sandbox, a decentralized gaming platform, launched a Japanese-language dashboard. The platform allows users to create and monetize characters as non-fungible tokens (NFTs). 

Users use VoxEdit to create their own NFT assets and sell them on the marketplace for Sand tokens. Users can then create and host games and contests of various genres such as martial arts and racing.

SBI subsidiary establishes blockchain-based KYC and AML verification 

SBI Security Solutions, a subsidiary of SBI Holdings, has established a new company that provides solutions for Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) processes with blockchain technology. The new company was formed in a partnership between the SBI subsidiary and international IT firm NEC.

The new company will be called “SBI Digitrust” and will be capitalized at 300 million yen ($2,766,000), 66% of which will be invested by SBI Security and 34% by NEC. SBI and NEC have jointly conducted pilots using blockchain technology and intend to combine SBI Security’s cybersecurity knowledge and NEC’s biometric authentication and AI technology.

Bitbank cryptocurrency exchange nets 30% share of the domestic market 

Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Bitbank has released data showing that its average market share in domestic physical cryptocurrency trading volume is 30%. Citing data from the Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association, Bitbank COO Hiroyuki Mihara wrote that Bitbank’s domestic spot trading share during this period averaged 30.2%.

While 30% may seem impressive for a single exchange in a crypto-friendly country like Japan, it represents a decline in market share for Bitbank. Mihara attributed the decline to the fact that several trading pairs for crypto and yen (JPY) are not available on the exchange, including Ether (ETH)/JPY, Litecoin (LTC)/JPY, and NEM (XEM)/JPY.

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Crypto News From the German-Speaking World: Oct. 13–19 in Review


Cointelegraph presents a weekly digest of news from the German-speaking world, with help from Cointelegraph auf Deutsch.

The German-speaking world has seen another week of events in the crypto industry, with a new survey revealing that 27% of Germans are interested in using Facebook’s planned Libra stablecoin, which has been discussed all over the world since its announcement in June 2019. Despite existing criticism of Libra, global regulators do not plan to ban either Facebook’s crypto initiative or other stablecoin projects, the European Central Bank (ECB) director claimed earlier this week.

Here is the past week of crypto and blockchain news in review, as originally reported by Cointelegraph auf Deutsch.

Lykke launches utility token to bet against crypto markets

As reported by Cointelegraph auf Deutsch on Oct. 14, Swiss blockchain startup Lykke recently launched a new token designed to track the performance of the top 25 cryptocurrencies by market cap as well as to put bets on falling prices in the crypto market. Dubbed Short LyCI, the new Lykke’s utility token reportedly includes 73% of Bitcoin (BTC), 9.6% of Ether (ETH) and 5.9% of XRP.

Lykke founder Richard Olsen, who is also a co-founder of private financial services firm Oanda, noted that Short LyCI is a simple investment product to manage risks and hedge exposure during downturns on crypto markets.

Ormera, new platform for electricity billing

On Oct. 14, Swiss companies PostFinance and Energie Wasser Bern (EWB) announced the launch of Ormera, a new startup providing a tool for measuring and automatic billing of self-generated electricity. Based on blockchain technology, Ormera’s platform intends to cut administrative costs by supporting effective use of energy generated in decentralized production, EWB said in the announcement. 

Combining internet-of-things and blockchain components, Ormera targets energy supply companies, energy and real estate service providers and property management firms, the report notes.

Bauwens invests in Germany’s first provider of real estate tokens

German real estate giant Bauwens invested in the Foundation Group, which is known as the first-ever provider of real estate-based security token offerings regulated by major German financial authority, the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin). As reported by Cointelegraph auf Deutsch, Bauwens intends to expand its expertise in the new business field of digitizing real estate investments by investing in the Foundation Group.

Bundesbank board member: stablecoins underpin the importance of central banks

As reported on Oct. 16, a board member of the German Bundesbank recently declared that the emergence of stablecoins — cryptocurrencies pegged to fiat currencies to provide a stable value — underpins the importance of central banks. In a speech on Oct. 8 in South Africa, Burkhard Balz claimed that stablecoins benefit from a kind of indirect stability, which could be interpreted as a complement to the successful and stability-oriented monetary policy by central banks.

Libra news

On Oct. 18, Cointelegraph reported on a new survey showing that 27% of German people are planning to use Facebook’s planned cryptocurrency Libra. Powered by French online survey firm Toluna, the survey shows 73% of German residents have completely rejected Libra, with 42% saying that they do not trust Facebook, while 31% of respondents noted that they only believe in centralized currencies.

Also on Thursday, BaFin’s president Felix Hufeld expressed concerns over Libra, claiming that Facebook’s planned cryptocurrency sees a number of unresolved questions and represents a parallel currency created privately.

Despite existing concerns, global financial regulators are not planning to ban either Facebook’s Libra or other stablecoins, ECB director Benoit Coeure said in an interview on Oct. 17. However, Coeure stressed that such initiatives will have to meet high regulatory standards prescribed by the ECB.

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