Catch up on the most essential cryptocurrency and blockchain news stories breaking in Asia and the Americas while the rest of the world was asleep.
Facebook Bans Cryptocurrency and ICO Ads
Facebook has placed a ban on ads for cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs). The company’s Product Management Director Rob Leathern wrote that Facebook was “prohibiting ads that promote financial products and services frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices, such as binary options, ICOs and cryptocurrency.” Leathern added that Facebook wanted to “make it harder for scammers to profit from a presence on Facebook.”
American City Launches Blockchain Property Registry Pilot
South Burlington, a city in the state of Vermont has launched a pilot scheme in conjunction with blockchain property traders Propy to record the city’s property transactions. Propy, founded by Russia-born Natalia Karayaneva, last year made the news when it claimed to become the first enterprise to conduct a real estate transaction on the Ethereum blockchain network, allowing Michael Arrington of TechCrunch, an American online publisher, to buy an apartment in Kiev, Ukraine. Propy’s CTO, Alex Voloshyn said, “When [the South Burlington authorities] see that everything works great, they can just take their registry and throw it away.”
US Company Begins Blockchain-powered Fertilizer Trading
California-based food source assurance startup SafeTraces says it is set to become the first company to combine DNA barcode and blockchain technology to enable fertilizer trading. SafeTraces says it will begin its operations in a NATO member state, and is hoping to expand its operations to Africa, Asia and Europe. The fertilizer, says the company, will be traceable at every stage of its journey to the fields through a blockchain platform, used in conjunction with DNA barcodes that it says will be “stable” for two years – providing for fraud-free trading.
South Korean Plastic Surgeons Keen on Crypto
Media outlet News1 reports that some of South Korea’s leading plastic surgeons “are actively promoting” their acceptance of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to both Korean and overseas customers. The outlet reports that one “famous plastic surgeon” in the Gangnam District of Seoul, has “significantly increased” its patient numbers after announcing that its Chinese customers could pay for treatment in cryptocurrencies. Gangnam is South Korea’s unofficial plastic surgery capital, and is a hotspot for so-called “medical tourists.” News1 notes that cryptocurrencies are “widely known as an efficient payment tool for overseas customers” who would prefer not to disclose their spending habits.
Japanese High-schooler Charged with Crypto Theft
Police in Japan’s Aichi Prefecture have arrested a 3rd-year high school student from Kaizuka-shi, Osaka, on suspicion of stealing 14,800 yen (USD 136) in Monacoin. The student, identified as a 17-year-old male, used a virus to steal a cryptocurrency investor’s password and “illegally acquire” Monacoin funds, per police sources. The theft is believed to have taken place in October last year.
Monacoin, a currency based on a Japanese cat text character, was launched in 2013 and enjoyed a meteoric rise late last year, trading at 2,000 yen before tumbling with to a late-January rate of around 600 yen.