Messaging giant Line opens crypto exchange
Japanese mobile giant LINE has officially launched operations of its Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange BITBOX with support for 30 cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin & Litecoin.
The crypto-to-crypto exchange will be made available globally for all users – made available in 15 languages – with the notable exceptions of Japan and the United States, due to regulatory hurdles. With LINE’s new foray into the cryptocurrency space, CEO Takeshi Idezawa stated: “LINE has built its reputation on providing a great social experience for our users, and now we intend to bring that know-how to the world of digital tokens with our BITBOX exchange.”
IBM teams with Columbia University to launch blockchain research center
Technology giant IBM has launched a new research center through a partnership with Columbia University in a move aimed to boost blockchain application development and education initiatives.
The center is located in the Manhattan campus of Columbia University in New York City and will, among other things, incubate blockchain applications through a combination of academic and technical expertise, the firm said. A dedicated committee comprised of both Columbia faculty members and IBM research scientists will start reviewing proposals for blockchain “curriculum development, business initiatives and research programs” later this year.
World’s first bank-backed crypto exchange opens in Japan
The world’s first bank-backed cryptocurrency exchange is now open to the public. SBI Holdings said the service is now fully open for users aged from 20–70 who reside in Japan. The exchange, dubbed VCTRADE, supports yen-based trading pairs for Bitcoin.
Today’s public launch comes nearly two years after SBI Holdings first announced it would build the exchange in October 2016, with the platform receiving an operating license from Japan’s financial watchdog, the Financial Services Agency, late last year. The firm has said it has been working to raise levels of internal security to prior to launch.
US regulators approve Coinbase acquisitions enabling it to list security tokens
Coinbase, one of the most popular cryptocurrency platforms, said it got the green light from US watchdogs to move forward with a trio of acquisitions that will allow it to become one of the first federally regulated venues for trading digital coins deemed to be securities.
Coinbase has already been overseen by state regulators before, but this marks their first federal approval as they reach their goal of operating as a federally regulated broker-dealer. This allows Coinbase to work as a registered investment adviser, and offer an alternative trading system, thus widening the range of services it can offer to customers, and assets it can list on its platform.
The CFA exam is getting a crypto section next year
The notoriously difficult Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) exam is about to get that much tougher. Dubbed “the most brutal exam in the world of finance” by Business Insider, the three-part test covering several different areas of finance – all with a heavy focus on ethics – is about to add topics on cryptocurrencies and blockchain as examinable material in August 2019.
Stephen Horan, the managing director for general education and curriculum for the CFA Institute overseeing CFA exams, said on the matter: “We saw the field of crypto advancing more quickly than other fields and we also saw it as more durable… This is not a passing fad.”
Korean crypto exchange Bithumb eyes Japan and Thailand for expansion
South Korean exchange Bithumb has announced that it will open new offices in Japan and Thailand. Bithumb now awaits approval from the Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA) and the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Bithumb explained that it chose Thailand because the e-commerce and fin-tech industry is extremely active in the country. Bithumb might start its operations in Thailand as early as October 2018. Bithumb is optimistic that its Japanese application will be accepted and the new office will commence its service in Japan in February 2019.
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