The past week has seen more details on two much-anticipated projects which could arrive in 2020, the Chinese digital Renminbi and Ethereum 2.0. Yet another financial giant is turning to blockchain and is infamous FCoin finally making a run for it? Here is our summary of the top five stories this week.
1. Foreign UpBit users struggle to withdraw funds
A Jinse report has claimed that many Chinese customers are experiencing difficulties withdrawing Korean Won from UpBit since December, with the exchange banning all foreigner withdrawals even with up to date Know Your Customer (KYC) details.
Some have suggested that the hack in November was the catalyst for this decision, with foreigner funds being used as potential collateral. Yet the official line and most likely reasoning is the outcome of the Bithumb tax scandal. In December last year, Bithumb was fined by the National Tax Service (NTS), with the organization withholding tax worth 80.3 billion won, or $70 million. Fearing they too had broken the new regulations, UpBit, decided to hold all transactions for foreigners.
2. China’s Central bank reveals opinion on blockchain
The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) and the research team behind it, the Digital Currency Research Institute, has commissioned a report on blockchain. Written by experts such as project head, Changchun Mu, the report states that blockchain is not yet ready for implementation on a major payment system.
The report said: “The blockchain at the cost of synchronous storage and co-calculation of a large amount of redundant data, sacrifices system processing efficiency and some of the customer’s privacy, and is not yet suitable for high-concurrency scenarios such as traditional retail payments.”
3. FCoin shuts down amid Ponzi Scheme fears
Chinese exchange FCoin has shut down and many customers now worry that the company was nothing more than a Ponzi scheme. The news came out last week via a blog post in Chinese. FCoin’s founder Zhang Jian told users that they can not pay back the 7,000-13,000 BTC ( $67 million to $125 million) that they owe them, due to internal issues. He did say that he would attempt to reimburse those at a loss through his own money and other businesses.
4. HSBC makes Digital finance shift
Major worldwide bank, HSBC, is cutting 35,000 jobs and is reportedly shifting its attention towards digital finance. The bank has experienced major losses in annual profit and will now have to let go of thousands over 2 years. HSBC is hoping a digital transformation can increase efficiency and productivity. They are set to launch a blockchain-based custody platform called Digital Vault and will digitize paper-based records.
5. Buterin Reveals details on Ethereum 2.0
Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum founder, spoke to CoinTelegraph this past week to reveal some more details about the hotly anticipated Ethereum 2.0. Setting out the plan for the project, Buterin said this year would see Phase 0 and will see an independent proof-of-stake network arrive online. Currently, according to Buterin, “A lot of optimization is currently underway with Phase 0, which we will continue to refine over the next few months.”The future phases will look to tackle scalability and once the version is up and running smoothly, then the original Ethreum 1 will join.