Blockchain News 31.08.2018

Japanese giant Rakuten acquires a Bitcoin exchange for $2.4M

Japan’s biggest online retail giant Rakuten has announced its foray into the cryptocurrency sector with its acquisition of crypto exchange “Everybody’s Bitcoin” in a $2.4 million deal. Rakuten, Japan’s biggest online retail giant, said it expected cryptocurrency payments in e-commerce as well as offline retail and peer-to-peer payments to “grow in the future” and had been planning to enter the sector as a conglomerate.

It added: “In order to provide cryptocurrency payment methods smoothly, we believe it is necessary for us to provide a cryptocurrency exchange function, and have been considering entry into the cryptocurrency exchange industry as the Rakuten Group.” Everybody’s Bitcoin, launched in March 2017, is the unlicensed cryptocurrency exchange that was slapped with a business improvement order following an on-site inspection by the Financial Services Agency, Japan’s financial regulator, in April of this year. Everybody’s Bitcoin is “working to implement improvements” and plans to “register officially” with the FSA, Rakuten said.

Russian watchdog is developing a cryptocurrency tracking tool

The Federal Financial Monitoring Service “Rosfin” is reportedly developing an analytical tool for tracking cryptocurrency transactions, under the guise of an “anti-financial crime” system. It’s worth noting that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin that governments perceive as anonymous tools to fuel financial crimes may become the subject of continuous auditing. This crypto-tracking tool would receive and process information on Bitcoin wallets and transactions. The crypto information would become a part of a full-fledged investigative report on suspects, which would also include their names, bank accounts, credit or debit cards details, as well as mainstream transaction records.

Rosfin-monitoring is keen to have a crypto-analytics feature integrated into its finance monitoring system. Bitcoin’s architecture allows one to find transactional links between two wallet addresses through Merkle tree mechanism. One can see an entire chain of transactions from point A to point Z through rich visuals. Law enforcement can identify the culprits by deanonymizing the wallet address of one of the suspects. Overall, the measure has been received as helpful to some extent in catching individual sites, servers and people involved with nefarious activities, but could prove shortsighted for a global peer-to-peer network.

Bitcoin mentioned on Eminem’s new album

Bitcoin and cryptocurrency have taken another step toward mainstream awareness with a mention on US rapper Eminem’s new album “Kamikaze” — a sign that Bitcoin is slowly penetrating to different levels of society and out of the financial, fintech bubble it’s largely existed in for the last 10 years. In the 9th track on the album, “Not Alike” — featuring Royce Da 5’9′ — Royce claims: “Remember everybody used to bite Nickel, now everybody doing Bitcoin.”

Public awareness seems to be a major driver of the Bitcoin price. The mention on Eminem’s album is significant as it suggests not a get rich quick scheme nor a way to sell illicit goods online, but rather something that “everybody [is] doing” — that it’s as common as knowing you bite the metal coin to test its quality.

Blockchain News 31.08.2018

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