Značka: South Korea

Bank of Korea completes first phase of digital currency pilot

The Bank of Korea has successfully completed the first phase of its central bank digital currency mock testing started in August 2021. The South Korean central bank said that the first phase of its CBDC mock testing was completed in December while the second phase is currently underway, reported YNA news. The first phase of the mock test involved some of the basic functions of the sovereign digital currency such as distribution and issuance.The second phase of the central bank digital currency (CBDC) pilot would test real-world functionalities such as cross-border remittance, retail payments and offline payments. The bank stated:”We will confirm the possibility of operating various functions, such as offline settlements, and the application of new technologies, such as one intended to strengthen privacy protection during the second phase of the test.”Bank of Korea (BOK) is also looking to onboard financial institutions for the second phase, quite similar to what China is currently doing with its digital yuan. However, unlike China, BOK-issued digital currency would also focus on user privacy.The second phase is expected to complete by June 2022, after which the central bank plans to chalk out an official launch and commercialization plans. Related: Does a Fed digital dollar leave any room for crypto stablecoins?South Korea has thus joined the select group of nations that have either started or completed the pilot phase of their CBDC testing. As per data from the Atlantic Council, currently, 91 nations are working on their sovereign digital currency and only 14 nations have reached the pilot phase. World CBDC Development Tracker Source: Atlantic CouncilSouth Korea has become one of the leading crypto-compliant nations over the past few years and recently revealed its plans to become a world leader in the metaverse as well.  While China is currently at the forefront of the CBDC game, many European and Asian counterparts have accelerated their development plans to catch up with its pace.

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ICON commits $200M to interoperability incentive fund

The ICON Foundation announced plans to launch an interoperability incentive program for 200 million ICX, or approximately $200 million at the time of publication. The foundation supports the development of the ICON network, South Korea’s largest public aggregator chain. The foundation said that it hopes this program will incentivize the ICON community and its partner networks to adopt ICON’s Blockchain Transmission Protocol, or BTP.The incentive program aims to distribute up to 200 million ICX tokens over a period of five years, primarily funded by the ICX reserve allocation raised during the 2017 token sale. ICON intends to attract development teams in other ecosystems to explore BTP’s cross-chain communication opportunities.The majority of the proceeds are planned to go towards developing new high-quality use cases for the BTP technology, while a share of it will go towards incentivizing the long-term adoption of BTP within existing protocols and communities, according to the company.BTP integration is currently underway with many blockchains including Binance Smart Chain, Polkadot, Kusama, Moonriver, Astar Network, Edgeware, Acala, NEAR and Harmony. Related: $300M incentive program backs 100% rally in Harmony (ONE) priceICON claimed that its incentive program is the first fund dedicated entirely to interoperability. Min Kim, the founder of the ICON Project, said in a statement that the goal is “not to fragment existing development communities,” but rather to create collaboration opportunities between them within the layer-two ecosystem.Scott Smiley, head of strategy at ICON Foundation, told Cointelegraph that security and decentralization are not alone in leading adoption, stating:“We’re confident that once users and developers interact with BTP, they’ll recognize the value of a chain-agnostic, scalable and uniquely secure protocol. This incentive fund will give the market the “nudge” it needs in order to start the snowball of adoption.”Related: Austrian gin makers to use blockchain to guarantee bottles’ rarityICON recently launched ICON 2.0, introducing an upgraded core blockchain engine, support for Java smart contracts, the interoperability technology BTP and updated tokenomics.

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Coinone will stop withdrawals to unverified external wallets

South Korean crypto exchange Coinone has announced it plans to no longer allow withdrawals of tokens to unverified external wallets starting in January.In a Wednesday announcement, Coinone said users would have from Dec. 30 to Jan. 23 to register their external wallets at the exchange, after which time it would restrict withdrawals. The exchange specified that crypto users could only register their own wallets, and the verification process “may take some time” and could change in the future.According to Coinone, it planned to verify users’ names and resident registration numbers — issued to all residents of South Korea — to ensure crypto transactions were “not used for illegal activities such as money laundering.” Customers at the exchange likely won’t be able to withdraw funds to wallets without Know Your Customer, or KYC, safeguards. This restriction also applies to the popular hardware wallet Ledger. In March, the South Korean government implemented a previously passed bill that requires local crypto exchanges to meet requirements for a real-name account and ISMS authentication, as well as report on their operations within six months. Crypto users in the country will also see the implementation of a tax rule scheduled to go into effect in January — the rule would impose capital gains taxes on all crypto trading profits of more than roughly $2,300.Related: 30-somethings led crypto purchases at South Korean exchanges in 2021Many exchanges, including Bithumb, have since announced restrictions and stronger KYC and Anti-Money Laundering, or AML, checks in response to Korean lawmakers’ push to regulate crypto. However, Coinone will likely still accept wallets offered by exchanges already in compliance with KYC checks, which would include those from FTX and Binance.

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Upbit crypto exchange's blockchain sister firm raises $60M

Dunamu, the operator of major South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Upbit, is progressing with blockchain development as its blockchain arm Lambda256 secured new funding.According to a Dec. 15 announcement, Lambda256 raised 70 billion Korean won ($60 million) in a Series B round, valuing the company at over $300 million. The firm is focused on enterprise-grade chains for businesses, building on its own blockchain protocol called Luniverse.The funding round included major venture capital firms and individual investors like tech giant Hanhwa Systems, travel tech startup Yanolja, bikes manufacturer Daelim, DSC Investments, Shinhan Venture Capital, KB Investments and SBI Investments. Dunamu participated in the round as well.Some of the new investors, such as Daelim and SBI Investments, are clients or partners of Lambda256 for a number of solutions including a blockchain-based decentralized identity management system, Luniverse nonfungible tokens (NFT) and Luniverse’s blockchain consortium chain.The new funding will help Lambda256 further expand its Blockchain-as-a-Service products. “With the funding, we’re on a clear path to diversifying talent pools and accelerating our blockchain roadmap into various global ecosystems,” Lambda256 CEO Jay Jaehyun Park said.Lambda256 is a sister firm of Upbit, one of the largest crypto exchanges in South Korea, with a total daily trading volume of $4 billion, according to CoinGecko.Related: Korea’s FSC confirms that NFTs will not be regulatedLambda256 implemented its proprietary NFT technology for Upbit NFT, the crypto exchange’s NFT marketplace platform launched in November 2021. Earlier this week, Dunamu CEO Lee Sirg-oo reportedly announced global expansion ambitions, particularly referring to its joint NFT venture with South Korean entertainment company HYBE.In August 2021, Lambda256 aso launched VerifyVASP, a regulatory compliant solution targeting virtual asset service providers to ensure data integrity in compliance with the “Travel Rule,” Anti-Money Laundering regulations by Financial Action Task Force.

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