The China Banking Association says the platform has been designed to standardize and digitize interbank transaction information for trade and financial products. Photo: iStock
On September 4, 2017, the People’s Bank of China shut down local crypto exchanges over escalating concerns that unregulated assets, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, allowed PRC residents to bypass the country's strict capital controls. Photo: iStock

Chinese investors losing faith in blockchain? As global cryptocurrency markets continue to plummet, Chinese investors might be losing the will to put money into blockchain. According to Forbes, there is a wide shakeout in the blockchain community in China, with some start-ups finding it increasingly difficult to gain access to capital as investors grow skeptical and increasing numbers of other blockchain ventures closing down. The world’s tech sector will watch with considerable interest, as the consistent China line before this has very much been about how Beijing is going full steam ahead to build a world-beating blockchain empire.

Top US hospital partners Korean blockchain organisation for patient data: The renowned Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) has formed a blockchain partnership with MediBloc, a Korean distributed ledger organisation. MGH, the training hospital for Harvard Medical School, will work with MediBloc on enhancements for standardized data exchange and network stabilization for health data sharing. Distributed ledger is making strong headway into healthcare, particularly in the US, with data storage, and in China, with vaccine and medicine tracking.

Japanese money launderers don’t need crypto: Only 2% of Japan’s 340,000 money laundering cases this year involve cryptocurrency. However, as the Japan Times points out, even though only 6,000 cases of suspected crypto-linked money laundering cases were reported to police from January to October this year, that still represents a dramatic rise from the 669 cases reported from April to December last year.

Bitcoin Jesus says Japan comes first: Roger Ver, popularly known as “Bitcoin Jesus” for his aggressive predictions on cryptocurrencies, told Bloomberg that investors have to embrace uncertainty when investing in cryptos. He also singled out Japan as a global crypto leader because Japan’s Financial Services Agency has turned over regulation to the industry itself, and not bureaucrats, which has allowed the country to move ahead with real market governance.

Lagarde says blockchain can revolutionize privacy and freedom: Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) used a speech for a Kissinger Lecture in Foreign Policy and International Relations in Washington DC this week to reinforce the need to use blockchain to revolutionize privacy and freedom. Lagarde, who also spoke in Washington about the international system’s changing landscape and, intriguingly, the need for “continued creativity in US leadership”, said blockchain can help find “creative ways to build a better, safer system for the long-term.” This, she said “is a common good we must choose to support.” Lagarde has become a strong supporter of blockchain in recent months and even told last month’s Singapore FinTech Festival that governments should consider creating their own cryptocurrencies to create payment platforms that are “immediate, safe, cheap, and potentially semi-anonymous.

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