Users of Taiwanese ASUS smart phones will be able to use their idle graphic cards to mine cryptocurrency through PayPal or WeChat accounts. Photo: iStock

Taiwanese internet gamers can become crypto miners: Taiwanese smart phone maker ASUS is now encouraging gamers to mine cryptocurrency during their down time. When players are not battling each other online they will be able to use their idle graphic cards to mine cryptocurrency through PayPal or WeChat accounts. ASUS partnered Quantumcloud to develop the mining software. The move follows the development by another Taiwanese phone maker HTC’s crypto-focused Exodus phone that promises interoperability between blockchains, features for DApps and a cryptocurrency wallet. The retail launch of the Exodus has been repeatedly delayed and industry reaction to it has been, to say the least, tepid. Wired magazine has called it “the phone that cryptocurrency fans will hate.”

Washington fines DJ Khaled and Floyd Mayweather Jr for ICO promotions: Two American personalities, DJ and record producer DJ Khaled, and the world’s richest ex-boxer Floyd “The Money” Mayweather have been fined by the US Securities and Exchange Commission for promoting initial cryptocurrency coin offerings (ICOs) without revealing they had been paid to do so. Mayweather earned $300,000 from three different issuers, while DJ Khaled failed to disclose a $50,000 payment. The two agreed not to promote securities, including digital ones, for several years with DJ Khaled banned for two years and Mayweather three. The duo returned their fees and also paid penalties on interest and fines. Involved with both celebrities was Centra Tech, a company that has been separately charged by the SEC for allegedly masterminding “a fraudulent ICO in which [it] offered and sold unregistered investments.”

The pay-for-play hype machine keeps churning on: When you are selling something that doesn’t physically exist, like a digital token, reviews or endorsements, from a championship boxer or a social media “expert”, are important and, indeed, have become a key part of the cryptocurrency sector. However most of them are paid for and essentially faked, according to a Reuters report. Reuters interviewed insiders who said social media personalities charge thousands for video reviews, research houses take payments in the coins they are meant to be analyzing and rating ‘experts’ are paid for writing supposedly independent reviews. The report calls this a “pay-for-play hype machine that churns out recommendations viewed by hundreds of thousands of hungry investors”, and points out that it only survives because it exists in a “regulatory gray area.”

Now Malaysia to regulate cryptocurrency: Many Asian countries are working to introduce formal cryptocurrency regulations and that now includes Malaysia. Guan Eng, Malaysia’s Finance Minister, told this week’s FinTech Conference that the country would be pushing regulation for cryptocurrency exchanges and ICOs in the first quarter of 2019. The announcement came after news that the Malaysian crypto Harapan Coin, promoted as the world’s first political fundraising platform on blockchain and cryptocurrency, has been put on hold until the new crypto regulations have been implemented.

Blockchain to build the future of African energy? According to the Nigerian tech innovator, Nsikak John, blockchain can help power a renewable energy revolution in Africa, where current demand for electricity far outstrips supply. John, writing for the World Economic Forum, says blockchain can establish an auditable encrypted ledger for energy consumption, credit histories and energy trading between households which, in turn, can allow consumers control over energy supply and use. Many analysts are saying energy is the next big sector to be transformed by blockchain.

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