Chinese Media Criticizes OKEx for Illegal Advertisements as Bitcoin Surges Above $30K

On June 27th, the Chinese media outlet Beijing Business Daily published an article titled “Bitcoin’s Soaring Market Triggers Illegal Speculation Activities, OKX Resorts to ‘Indirect’ Marketing.”

Beijing Business Daily reporters noticed a resurgence in speculative activities related to virtual currency trading, following Bitcoin price climbing above the $30,000 mark.

The reporters observed that platforms such as OKX were running advertisements on certain cryptocurrency websites, offering “free Bitcoin upon registration.” Upon investigating further, the reporters found that clicking on the ad would redirect them to Okex’s trading platform. Users could register an account and undergo identity verification to proceed with purchasing cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. However, as of the time of reporting, the advertisement had been taken down.

Apart from illicit marketing activities by exchanges, scams and illegal fundraising schemes disguised as virtual currency ventures continue to proliferate. In response to this, the People’s Bank of China recently issued warnings titled “Beware of Risks Related to NFTs and Metaverse Speculation” and “Say No to Illegal Financial Activities in Virtual Currency (crypto or digital asset) Trading Speculation.” Analysts believe that consumers must remain vigilant, enhance risk prevention awareness, and actively steer clear of speculative activities such as virtual currency trading to avoid falling into related illegal and criminal traps.


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CITD to Issue HK$100 Million Bonds Utilizing Blockchain

China Information Technology Development Limited (CITD) (HKEX: 8178), a leading technology company specializing in AI and cloud technologies, has announced its plan to issue HK$100 million worth of Bonds using distributed ledger technology (DLT). The proposed issuance aims to revolutionize the bond market by leveraging blockchain and smart contract technologies.

The Bonds, with a maturity date set for June 27, 2053, will be documented using the Digital Ownership Token (DOT) standard and implemented through a binding Ricardian Contract. By incorporating all bond documents and smart contract codes into the Bond Security Token, CITD ensures that the Token itself becomes the security, providing greater certainty, efficiency, and security for bond holders. Moreover, this approach allows investors to directly hold and control their own securities, eliminating the need for a third-party custodian.

The use of DOT standard in the Bond Security Token sets a new precedent in the bond market, offering enhanced security and transparency compared to traditional paper-based bond offerings. The tokenization of debt instruments using DOTs enables a clear record of ownership and simplifies the transferability of securities. Additionally, the elimination of third-party custodians reduces risks associated with securities custody.

CITD’s decision to embrace DLT and the DOT standard aligns with its strategic vision for the development of Web3.0 and blockchain business. As the Hong Kong government actively supports the growth of Web3.0 and decentralized finance (DeFi) industries, CITD aims to leverage its expertise in digital transformation to pioneer innovative solutions in various sectors, including finance, healthcare, and logistics.

The issuance of the Bonds in the form of Bond Security Tokens is expected to generate capital more efficiently and cost-effectively, while showcasing the benefits of blockchain technology to potential investors. CITD’s approach eliminates intermediaries and enables direct deposit of tokens into investors’ wallets. Bond Security Tokens can be easily transferred and stored, streamlining bond transactions and offering a secure method for managing investments.

The yield to maturity of the Bonds is set at 3.73% per annum, which the Directors of CITD consider to be fair and reasonable compared to similar treasury yields. The terms and conditions of the Bonds have been reviewed by legal advisers, ensuring compliance with regulatory obligations in Hong Kong.

With an issue period from the First Issue Date to July 12, 2023, CITD will keep shareholders and potential investors informed of the outcome of the bond issuance. As the company expands into the Web3.0 space, it seeks to solidify its position as a leader in the emerging blockchain ecosystem, driving the widespread adoption of digital securities.


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Fireblocks Strengthens Support for Banking & Financial Institutions

Fireblocks, a leading enterprise platform for managing digital asset operations and fostering blockchain-based innovations, has announced the expansion of its secure MPC-CMP wallet and key management technology. The expansion includes the integration of support for Hardware Security Modules (HSMs) as well as public and private cloud services from Thales, Securosys, AWS, GCP, and Alibaba Cloud. This development allows banks and financial institutions to leverage Fireblocks’ robust security measures and cutting-edge technology stack to expedite their digital asset initiatives while adhering to risk, compliance, and regulatory requirements.

Fireblocks has established itself as a trusted partner for globally recognized banks and financial institutions, including BNY Mellon, BNP Paribas, ANZ Bank, NAB, ABN AMRO, BTG Pactual, Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, and SIX Digital Exchange. These esteemed institutions have leveraged Fireblocks’ solutions to create new digital asset custody, trading, clearing, and settlement services. They have also utilized Fireblocks for tokenization of various financial products, such as tokenized fiat, central bank digital currencies (CBDC), and carbon credits.

Tel Aviv Stock Exchange’s EVP and Head of Clearing, Orly Grinfeld, expressed their satisfaction with Fireblocks, citing the successful deployment of their digital treasury bond initiative, Project Eden, in just five months. Grinfeld highlighted Fireblocks’ ability to meet their compliance and security requirements while efficiently streamlining the operations involving primary dealers, including renowned international banks such as Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, and JP Morgan.

To ensure seamless integration into existing IT infrastructure and security policies of financial institutions, Fireblocks now offers expanded support, including:

  • HSM support with an open interface, enabling utilization of leading providers like Thales and Securosys, among others.
  • Enhanced support for cloud-based secure enclaves, including AWS Nitro, GCP, and Alibaba Cloud SGX, in addition to existing support for Azure SGX.
  • The capability to host all MPC key shares across multiple servers in on-premises data centers and cloud environments.
  • New cloud data centers in the European Union, Switzerland, and Hong Kong, complementing Fireblocks’ existing cloud data centers in the United States.
  • Dedicated single-tenant cloud environment for increased security.

Fireblocks’ collaboration with BNY Mellon also emphasizes their commitment to digital asset innovation. Sarthak Pattanaik, CIO of Digital Assets, Treasury Services, Clearance and Collateral Management at BNY Mellon, expressed their enthusiasm for leveraging Fireblocks’ services to address the needs of their institutional clients.

Michael Shaulov, Co-founder and CEO of Fireblocks, emphasized the business-centric approach taken by Fireblocks since its inception. Shaulov highlighted the company’s understanding of risk requirements at an architectural level, enabling them to expedite customers’ transition from proof-of-concept to production. Over the past three years, Fireblocks has successfully facilitated the entry of 50 banks into the digital asset space, showcasing their dedication to providing optimal infrastructure support for banks and financial institutions entering the market.

Fireblocks offers various components that contribute to the success of banks and financial institutions in launching digital asset products. The Fireblocks Network serves as a vital foundation, connecting a wide consortium of regulated financial institutions that have integrated digital assets on the blockchain. This connectivity grants immediate access to exchanges, market makers, and other distribution partners, such as private banks and fintech platforms. Fireblocks APIs facilitate seamless integration with leading core banking systems like Temenos, Avaloq, and FIS, expanding the ecosystem’s reach.

Additionally, Fireblocks’ tokenization capabilities enable end-to-end lifecycle management of tokenized assets, encompassing smart contract management, minting and burning, distribution, and custody across public, private, and permissioned blockchains. This grants banks full control over their digital assets during interactions with counterparties. The platform’s powerful Policy Engine further enhances security by allowing owners to govern workflows within the Fireblocks console, mitigating internal collusion, human error, and external attacks. Compliance partners can also be integrated directly into the Policy Engine, automating transaction screening workflows to meet evolving regulatory requirements and address industry threats.


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Haru Invest Responds to Customer Inquiries Regarding Asset Losses and Distribution Plans

Accroding to Haru Invest’s latest update, it has received numerous inquiries in recent weeks from concerned members regarding the status of their assets and the company’s plans moving forward. In response to these inquiries, Haru Invest has released an official statement addressing the most common questions and concerns raised by its valued customers.

One of the primary concerns raised by members relates to the extent of losses incurred at B&S, a partner asset management firm entrusted with Haru Invest’s funds. Haru Invest acknowledges that determining the exact amount of losses at B&S is still an ongoing process. However, they assure their customers that they are working diligently to assess the remaining assets and will provide a comprehensive update as soon as the exact amount is known.

Furthermore, Haru Invest clarifies that assets entrusted to internal asset management teams and other partners are being returned. At present, no losses have been detected in these areas. Once all assets under management have been returned and the credits and debts finalized, Haru Invest will be able to provide an approximate percentage of losses.

Addressing concerns about the distribution of remaining assets, Haru Invest outlines its plan to sequentially return assets under management by each management team. However, given the complexity of the process, the exact timeline for distributing the remaining assets is currently uncertain. Haru Invest is considering multiple rounds of distribution and promises to provide a more detailed plan as the legal proceedings progress.

Haru Invest also acknowledges inquiries regarding the distribution plans for Earn Plus and Earn Explore. They state that providing a clear answer is challenging at this stage, as the size and percentage of investment losses have yet to be finalized. However, Haru Invest assures its customers that they will be promptly informed once a decision has been reached, taking into account both the legal process and the distribution of customer assets.

In response to questions about receivership and sale, Haru Invest confirms that their priority is to recover and return customers’ assets. They are also contemplating the sale of the company’s assets to cover losses. In addition, Haru Invest is actively taking steps to reduce operating costs, thereby preventing further asset losses and outflows.

Lastly, customers seeking reassurance regarding their compensation for losses inquire whether they must pursue legal action. Haru Invest clarifies that they are currently reviewing and preparing measures to return customer assets. They emphasize that not filing a lawsuit will not hinder customers from receiving compensation as long as their legal rights are acknowledged.

As previously reported, in a letter to Haru Invest members, CEO Hugo Lee expressed “regret for any delays in updating customers, Lee clarified that the focus was initially on assessing the extent of damage and formulating recovery plans. He emphasized the company’s commitment to transparently sharing the current situation and progress with members through continuous communication channels.”


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Japan’s FSA Joins MAS’ “Project Guardian” as First Overseas Regulator

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) of Japan has announced its participation in the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS) “Project Guardian” initiative. This collaborative project, which was established by MAS in May 2022, aims to explore the feasibility of applying digital technologies to various asset classes while ensuring financial stability and integrity.

Under the terms of the cooperation framework, the FSA will join Project Guardian in an observer capacity, leveraging its expertise and knowledge to contribute to the project’s objectives. The initiative focuses on conducting pilot experiments, including asset tokenization, in sectors such as fixed income, foreign exchange, and asset and wealth management.

Mr. Leong Sing Chiong, Deputy Managing Director of MAS, expressed enthusiasm for the FSA’s participation, emphasizing the importance of public-private collaboration in fostering a responsible and innovative digital asset ecosystem. He welcomed the opportunity for increased cooperation with the FSA to support global efforts in this area.

Mr. Mamoru Yanase, Deputy Director-General of the Strategy Development and Management Bureau at the FSA, expressed delight at joining Project Guardian. He acknowledged the growing complexity of the decentralized financial ecosystem and the need to address emerging risks. Mr. Yanase also recognized the potential of blockchain technology, including web3, as a powerful driver of innovation. He expressed eagerness to collaborate with MAS, traditional financial institutions, and fintech firms to enhance knowledge in this rapidly evolving field.

The participation of the FSA in Project Guardian is a significant milestone, highlighting the international cooperation and commitment to exploring the potential of digital assets. As governments and financial institutions worldwide recognize the transformative power of blockchain and digital technologies, initiatives like Project Guardian are instrumental in developing robust frameworks and fostering innovation in the digital asset space.

According to MAS, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) of Japan is the first overseas regulator to join “Project Guardian.” MAS stated, “MAS is also pleased to welcome the Japan Financial Services Agency (JFSA) as the first overseas financial regulator to join Project Guardian. This paves the way for MAS and the JFSA to collaborate on digital asset innovation and best practices for asset tokenization, while safeguarding against risks to financial stability and integrity.”


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Riot Acquires Next-Gen Miners from MicroBT, Boosting Mining Capacity

Riot Platforms, Inc. (NASDAQ: RIOT), a prominent player in the Bitcoin mining and data center hosting industry, has made a groundbreaking move by entering into a long-term purchase agreement with MicroBT Electronics Technology Co., LTD. This landmark deal involves the acquisition of 33,280 state-of-the-art Bitcoin miners manufactured in the United States by MicroBT. The agreement also includes an option for Riot to purchase an additional 66,560 miners on the same terms.

Upon full deployment in 2024, the initial purchase of 33,280 miners is expected to increase Riot’s self-mining capacity to an impressive 20.1 exahashes per second (EH/s). The order consists of the M56S+ and M56S++ models, renowned for their high hash rates and energy efficiency. With a weighted average efficiency of 22.5 joules per terahash (J/TH), these miners are designed specifically for immersion cooling systems, perfectly suited for Riot’s Corsicana Facility.

Jason Les, CEO of Riot, expressed his enthusiasm for the partnership with MicroBT and the acquisition of these cutting-edge Bitcoin miners. He emphasized their power and efficiency, specifically designed for immersion cooling systems. Les added that the new miners would contribute an additional 7.6 EH/s to Riot’s self-mining capacity, further enhancing the company’s already strong fleet efficiency ahead of the upcoming Bitcoin halving.

Beyond the impact on Riot’s mining operations, the collaboration with MicroBT marks a significant milestone for the Bitcoin mining industry. By manufacturing the miners domestically, Riot and MicroBT are strengthening the United States’ supply chain and providing more options for domestically produced Bitcoin miners. MicroBT will manufacture these miners in Pittsburgh, PA, creating new employment opportunities and contributing to the local economy.

Riot’s expansion plans, coupled with the confidence displayed by MicroBT and other mining companies, highlight the positive outlook on Bitcoin’s future. This news follows Hut 8’s recent announcement of securing $50 million from Coinbase Credit to support growth initiatives and enhance financial flexibility. The continuous growth and investment in the mining sector demonstrate a strong belief in the long-term potential of Bitcoin.


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