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Weekly Roundup (16-22 December)

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In another week of arrests and tighter controls in China, even the biggest companies are feeling the wrath of the nation’s law. Bitmain, whose rivals founder had just been arrested last week, now find themselves feeling the law. Other miners in China are also feeling the heat too. 

However, it has not all been doom and gloom. Cardano has had some good news as the results of the Shelley testnet begin to come in. Japan and China are teaming up for blockchain and Thailand has found a use case for the technology too. Here is a roundup of the top stories this week: 

1 Chinese Court Freezes Bitmain subsidiary’s Assets\

A court in Shenzhen, China has frozen Bitmain’s subsidiary assets worth around 4,718,710.68 yuan ($676,000). Shenzhen Century Cloud Core, which is completely owned by Bitmain has seen the court in Baoan reach the ruling due to the impending court case between the company and electrical component manufacturing business, Dongguan Yongjiang Electronics. The electrical company asked for the court to freeze the assets so that Shenzhen Core would definitely pay back the funds should they win in their trade dispute. Shenzhen Core can appeal this ruling. 

Last week in our roundup we pointed out that Zuoxing Yang, founder of Bitcoin mining rig manufacturer MicroBit had been arrested for embezzlement. Many believed this was linked to the ongoing battle between MicroBit and Bitmain over claims that Yang’s company had been plagiarising intellectual property, having been a former employee at Bitmain. 

2. Cardano’s Shelley Testnet hits 500 staking pools in Decentralization boost

Read our guide on Cardano and latest news here

After its much anticipated Shelley Testnet went live on December 13th, many at the Cardano foundation would have been worrying about the results and whether targets would be met. Well, if the latest results are anything to go by, many will be having a huge sigh of relief as Shelley continues to impress. The testnet has handed Shelley 500 staking pools, far greater than the initial hope of 100. This news is massive, considering that most tokens like Bitcoin only have a handful of pools, it illustrates the new phase in Cardano’s lifespan which should make them the most decentralized project in the industry. 

3. Thailand to use Blockchain for E Visa system

The SouthEast Asian nation of Thailand is turning to blockchain for their Electronic Visa on arrival system (eVOA) it was revealed this past week in a press release. The service will be available to five million visitors from 20 countries, targeted mainly at Indian and Chinese tourists. The nation has partnered up with Australian travel company ShareRing and Gateway Services who help them run the current service for the project. It is hoped that the new service will add to efficiency, protect the applicant’s security and speed up the process by using blockchain. 

The current system takes around one hour to process as it is done when travelers reach airports or borders. The applicant needs to bring papers and other documents, making it often a tedious time. But, with the new blockchain-powered service this should change. ShareRing is behind the technology which utilizes optical character recognition (OCR) and protects data by putting all the information on a single block. Each version is sovereign to each nation a ShareRing spokesperson said, making it possible for a roll out in other countries. 

4. Police in Hebei, China Seize 6,890 bitcoin miners

Police in Hebei, China have continued their electricity stealing crackdown and have seized a total of 6,890 bitcoin mining machines, a report from Jinse has said..Police in the province had been going around searching a large number of households and businesses and found electricity transformers rigged up to 1,906 bitcoin miners in a village in Shuangqiao Town, Kaiping District, Tangshan, Hebei. In a nearby village, 790 machines were also stealing electricity. The total search as of now has found 52 high-power transformers and seized 6,890 Bitcoin mining machines. Police said the crackdown will continue into the new year.

5. Japan and China blockchain minds make partnership

The Japan-China Blockchain Industry Association (JCBIA) was announced in Tokyo, Japan on December 16th according to a Jinse report. The association will look to bring blockchain minds from the two nations together and will aid businesses and enterprises from each country. Notable blockchain technology enterprise organizations such as FINWEX, Japan’s QE Group, Yili International Investment Co., Ltd., and the TREELION Foundation helped set up the group. Makihara Hideki, Member of the House of Representatives and Deputy Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry in Japan, Yoshiaki Harada, former Minister of the Environment, former Deputy Secretary-General and Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) were some other notable attendees.

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