Samsung Made a Special Chip for Mining Cryptocurrency (Engadget)
Samsung has a chip designed specifically for mining cryptocurrency. Rather than repurpose a GPU to do the dirty work, Samsung made an Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC), which is a specialized processor that is more efficient at mining than, say, an NVIDIA 1080 card. The company has entered into a distribution agreement with an as-of-now anonymous Chinese partner for distribution. As TechCrunch notes, this is significant for at least one reason: This gives the Korean company a way into the Chinese ASIC market, where local firms dominate.
South Korea SCRAPS Plans to Ban Cryptocurrency Trading as Seoul Uncovers Illegal Exchange (Express.co.uk)
Earlier this month, the country revealed plans to ban anonymous bank accounts in cryptocurrency trading from January 30. Following the announcement, a South Korean government official said: “The government is still discussing whether an outright ban is needed or not, internally.” However, today Seoul’s finance minister Kim Dong-yeon said: “There is no intention to ban or suppress cryptocurrency.” He went on to say how the government’s immediate task is to regulate exchanges.
Kodak Delays Launch of Cryptocurrency After Questions Arise Over Vetting Process (Democrat and Chronicle)
Kodak has delayed the initial offering for its new cryptocurrency. The KodakCoin venture was announced three weeks ago, with the company saying investors could start buying in on January 31. A statement posted at the KodakCoin website said more than 40,000 investors had signed up to participate in the initial coin offering. “Given the large interest in the KODAKCoin ICO and the steps we need to take to verify the ‘accredited investor’ status of each interested investor, we expect this process to take several weeks,” the statement said.
Crypto Exchange Bittrex Outlines Token Listing Criteria (CoinDesk)
Seattle-based cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex has today made public its criteria for listing and delisting tokens. Bittrex chief executive Bill Shihara had already provided some details of the exchange’s decision-making process during a panel at CES 2018, saying the company looks at whether a token is innovative, the team that developed it and its compliance with various legal statutes. A document provided exclusively to CoinDesk (see below), further breaks down the procedures followed by the exchange, starting with a preliminary review that requires groups to submit both logistical information about the token and identifying information about at least one of the developers behind the project.
Maduro Announces Pre-sale of Venezuela’s Oil-backed Cryptocurrency (RT.com)
Oil-rich Venezuela is officially joining the cryptocurrency craze. President Nicolas Maduro has announced the date for the pre-sale of a new “petro” cryptocurrency. The pre-sale date is February 20, and the country plans to replenish its depleted budget. “This is the moment to accelerate the entry of the petro, to have faith in what we’ve created and in the technological and intellectual capacity of our country,” Maduro said on state TV, as quoted by Bloomberg. “The petro will have a great impact, in how we access foreign currencies for the country and in how we obtain goods and services that we need from around the world.”
Revolut Launches Cryptocurrency Platform (FinExtra.com)
Revolut today announced the official launch of their much-anticipated cryptocurrency feature, allowing all Revolut customers to buy, hold and exchange cryptocurrencies in-app in seconds, as the innovative fintech continues to disrupt traditional banking and bring cryptocurrencies to the mainstream. All Revolut customers will now be able to join the waiting list and gain access to the exclusive cryptocurrency feature allowing users to buy Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ether in 25 currencies. In a further move to offer frictionless exposure to cryptocurrency, customers will be able to buy cryptocurrency in all 25 base currencies, eliminating foreign exchange fees for those looking to buy their cryptocurrencies in currencies such as Swiss Franc or Polish Zloty.