The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of South Korea’s Financial Services Commission has revealed plans to bring cryptocurrency exchanges under its direct regulation.
On August 7, Business Korea reported on the FIU’s decision to shift away from its current practice of regulating crypto exchanges indirectly by providing administrative guidance to domestic banks.
A shift away from indirect regulation
In order to bring crypto exchanges into the country’s regulatory system, an FIU official revealed on Aug. 6 that the South Korean government will introduce a crypto exchange licensing system, as recommended by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). This will reportedly enhance the transparency of cryptocurrency transactions.
At a public hearing held at the National Assembly Member’s Office in Seoul, Lee Tae-hoon — who serves as head of administration and planning at the FIU — stated:
“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 added that should lawmakers approve the decision to shift away from “indirect regulation through commercial banks to direct regulation,” oversight of the sector would be more effective.
Commentators reportedly noted that regulatory amendments would need to integrate existing stipulations, which hold that banks must issue real-name accounts to crypto exchanges. This would ensure that crypto exchanges adhere to the same know-your-customer and anti-money-laundering standards as traditional financial institutions.
Impact of FATF guidance
This week’s news aligns with recent unofficial reports that four South Korean crypto exchanges were facing stricter regulation as they attempted to renew their banking accounts.
The tightened requirements were reportedly imposed in the wake of the FATF’s new June 2019 guidance for strengthening control over crypto exchanges in order to better combat money laundering.
Amazon is looking to hire a software development engineer to develop an advertisement blockchain.
Amazon works on an advertising blockchain
Amazon posted a job offer on LinkedIn for a software development engineer for its Colorado team, who is supposed to work on an advertisement blockchain. The online retail behemoth aims to grow its advertisement business by leveraging its online retail data, industry-leading cloud services, and a fast-moving startup culture. The post declares:
“Our new team in Boulder, CO is looking for a Sr Software Engineer to work within our Advertising FinTech team focused on a Blockchain ledger, billing and reconciliation systems to provide data transparency on transnational financial data.”
An important role
The chosen engineer’s role will consist of requirements analysis, lead design, implementation and deployment of core components, interfacing with engineers and program managers. The position will also be responsible for the operational support and maintenance of the systems.
Furthermore, the engineer will also “have an opportunity to define the technical and architectural roadmap for the systems.” The company noted that it prefers candidates with experience in the advertisement, financial technology and blockchain.
As Cointelegraph reported in May, Amazon has been awarded a patent for generating Merkle trees as a solution to the Proof-of-Work algorithm. Still, the exact plans of the company remain unclear.
Public enterprise blockchain platform VeChain has partnered with Autralian winemaker Penfolds to release a case of blockchain-encrypted wine bottles for sale, as part of its Wine Traceability Platform (WTP) initiative.
More specifically, the launch of Penfolds Bin 407 in July marks the beginning of VeChain’s WTP phase 2, per a press release from VeChain on Aug. 6. The bottles from this case are reportedly available at the Waigaoqiao International Alcohol Exhibition & Trading Center, D.I.G.’s Flagship Store and the Sen Lan Shang Du in Pudong New District.
As per the press release, each bottle inside Bin 407 comes attached with an encrypted NFC chip. This chip reportedly contains the bottle’s product information on a blockchain, which can be accessed with a chip reader. These details reportedly include the bottle’s provenance information, which is verified by third-party auditors.
Blockchain for wine
A number of companies are beginning to issue blockchain verification systems for wine. As previously reported by Cointelegraph, the big four audit firm Ernst & Young announced that it’s Ethereum-based blockchain solution will be used to verify the authenticity of imported European wines in Asia. This solution would reportedly be implemented on the e-commerce platform Tattoo, for use by Blockchain Wine Pte. Ltd.
Near the end of July, the Chinese alcohol wholesaler and marketer also announced that it would be using a blockchain solution to verify its products. This solution purportedly makes use of proprietary anti-counterfeiting laser recognition for certification and blockchain technology for tracking.
On a slightly different note, retail giant Overstock announced its move into blockchain-based wine futures back in Oct. 2018. Overstock reportedly also intended to fight wine fraud, but in this case by means of developing a digital trading platform for wine futures. This would reportedly result in a secure supply chain that verifies wine industry products, they said.
Overstock founder and CEO Patrick M. Byrne commented on the company’s idea, saying:
“Like any economy, the wine industry has difficulty scaling its middlemen-heavy systems in parallel with the growing demands of an increasing global market. VinX’s steps in tokenizing wine futures while allowing wine enthusiasts to know without a doubt that the bottles they purchase are filled with authentic wines will position the entire industry as a model of a new global economy that replaces old boys’ networks with frictionless trust through technology.”