Japanese Crypto Exchange Bitpoint Restarting Trade Services

Bitpoint is re-opening cash deposits and withdrawals in fiat currencies on August 6th following a safety assessment of the exchange’s cryptocurrency wallet. According to CoinDesk Japan, the hacked wallet is no longer in use and therefore not under threat.

Japanese crypto exchange Bitpoint is resuming some trading services following a $28 million hack in mid-July.

Margin trading services will begin August 9th. The exchange says margin trading utilizes a similar wallet to fiat withdrawals. Spot trading will open on August 13th.

Bitpoint confirmed later the stolen crypto assets included 1,225 bitcoin, 1,985 bitcoin cash, 11,169 ether, and 5,108 litecoin. Trading was quickly shut off by the platform thereafter including deposits and withdrawals.

Parent company Remixpoint Inc. said $23 million of the $28 million were customer funds. The method or group behind the hack has yet to be disclosed with an investigation ongoing.

On July 16th, Bitpoint said the 50,000 affected customers will receive funds back on a 1:1 basis.

South Korean Watchdog Plans Direct Supervision of Crypto Exchanges

A South Korean financial watchdog under the Financial Services Commission (FSC) is planning to more closely supervise cryptocurrency exchanges.

The agency in question, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), has said it will directly regulate crypto trading platforms, which currently are indirectly controlled via guidance given to banks, says a report in Business Korea on Wednesday.

For example, last year, the FSC amended the anti-money laundering rules applying to cryptocurrency exchanges, which was to be carried out by requiring domestic banks to tighten up monitoring of exchange-held accounts.

In today’s report, Lee Tae-hoon, director of administration and planning at the FIU, was cited as saying Tuesday that the Korean government will set up a licensing system for crypto exchanges, as recently recommended in new international standards issued by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The move would boost the transparency of cryptocurrency transactions, Lee said.

“If an amendment to the Act on Reporting and Use of Certain Financial Transaction Information, which reflects the FATF’s international standards for cryptocurrencies, passes the National Assembly, it will be possible to prevent money laundering through cryptocurrencies”, Lee explained at a public hearing on crypto transparency at the National Assembly.

Approval of the amendment would make regulations more effective “by shifting from the current indirect regulation through commercial banks to direct regulation”, Lee added.

According to a Wednesday blog post from crypto compliance solution provider Argos, the amendment may also bring in the controversial “travel rule”, meaning that exchanges would have to share information on parties when making transactions. This would pose a major problem for exchanges as crypto transactions do not include identifying data, the post says.

National Stock Exchange Becomes World’s First to List a Tokenized Security

Seychelles’ stock exchange has just listed a tokenized security for trading, becoming the first in the world to do so.

The exchange, MERJ, is licensed by the Indian Ocean nation’s Financial Services Authority as a securities exchange, clearing agency and securities depository (CSD), and is launching the token to represent its own equity.

Revealed exclusively to CoinDesk, MERJ said it will follow the listing by offering 16 percent of the tokenized shares in a public offering later in 2019. The exchange is also in discussion with “several companies” over potentially listing their tokenized shares on its platform.

Edmond Tuohy, CEO of MERJ, said:

“MERJ has fully leveraged its end-to-end ecosystem to deliver the world’s first publicly listed securities token. We are combining the best of the old world and the new to provide a key piece of missing infrastructure for the growth of digital assets.”

MERJ told CoinDesk it is using the ethereum blockchain to record the share register ownership, saying that, currently, “it is the best supported protocol for these purposes.”

Now seen on MERJ’s listings page, the tokenized security takes the ticker symbol “MERJ-S” and is currently trading at $2.42, with a stated market cap of $21,015,781.

More widely, MERJ also has plans to cut costs for investors and issuers by using blockchain technology to streamline a number of securities markets processes, including issuance, shareholder registers, compliance, distribution and voting.

“The technology creates an access point to the capital markets, which is particularly suited to the ‘mobile first’ ecosystems in many emerging markets”, the exchange said.

Founded in 2013, MERJ says that being licensed as an exchange, clearing house and CSD, it’s well placed to “deliver on the many benefits of tokenization.”

“Whether they’re issuing tokenized or traditional shares, companies are not going to want to go to a jurisdiction that doesn’t meet high international standards because it will attract greater scrutiny from global regulators”, said Tuohy. “We’ve spent three years working with our regulators to build a robust and compliant framework for issuers wanting to leverage the benefits of distributed ledger technology within a publicly listed environment.”

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