Home Analysis & Opinion Weekly Roundup (9-15 December)

Weekly Roundup (9-15 December)


This week has seen even more big news coming from Asia. Yet another major hack has hit a top company in the continent. The internal disruption at Chinese mining giants Bitmain has continued. China is continuing its blockchain with a rather unusual use point and a huge trainer/sneaker giant may be making crypto moves. 

Here is a roundup of the top five stories of the past week:

1.VeChain gets hit by a hack

VeChain was hit by a huge hack last week worth $6,600,000 as the hacker redirected 1.1 billion VET tokens into a personal wallet from the VeChain Foundation’s buyback wallet. In an event which VeChain put down to human error, the company saw 2% of the total to tokens disappear. 

Who was behind the hack is not yet clear, but according to the VeChain post about the incident it stemmed from internal misconduct after a member of their finance team revealed the buyback account private key, something the audit team failed to notice. The Singapore based company who has worked with the likes of BMW and Walmart said it will be keeping a close eye on the wallet address that the funds were sent too. Following the announcement the token fell around 4% with the market cap plummeting to $320 million.

2. Blockchain to be part of China’s new Digital Court System

China is using blockchain to settle cases a report by Xinhua news has said. Various cities courts are reportedly using blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) with 3.1 million Chinese litigation activities settled between the months of March and October using the technology, with the system dubbed smart internet courts. One million citizens and 73,200 lawyers are registered with the smart court system.

First rolled out in 2017 in the city of Hangzhou, the internet court have been used in other areas like Guangzhou since then. Currently, the system is used for rulings but a human judge is used for the fairness. However a spokesperson for the court said, “we are heading toward a future when we can see an AI judge sitting at the podium.” 

3. Bitmain’s rival MicroBT owner arrested for embezzlement

Jihan Wu (left) and Yang Zuoxing (right). Yang has been arrested for embezzlement, are Bitmain involved? (Source: Median.com)

Bitmain’s mining rival MicroBT has seen their CEO and founder arrested in the company’s home city of Shenzhen, China it was revealed by Caixin news this Sunday. Yang Zuoxing was arrested by Nanshan Police last Thursday on allegations that he embezzled around 100,000 yuan ($15,000). 

Some have suggested that rivals Bitmain may be involved, especially with Yang’s previous association. The MicroBT founder used to be a staff member at Bitmain but left under a cloud and founded MicroBt. Btmain then sued Yang for infringing on a patent, something which was quashed in October 2018. Yet reports suggested Bitmain had requested it to become a criminal case. Whether this is linked is not yet known. 

4. Central Asian Countries make Blockchain advancements

Central Asia increasing blockchain usage.

Central Asian countries are turning to Blockchain for their governance. A report by Jinse looked to highlight the various ways the central Asian nations have taken to the technology behind cryptocurrencies. Pointing to Afghanistan’s usage of blockchain in the medical field and Uzbekistan who made a digital trust which is dedicated to blockchain research in 2018.

However, in terms of cryptocurrencies the situation is a little bleeker. Pakistan, much like their Indian neighbours has banned the use of cryptocurrencies. However, the nation does intend to release its own national crypto by 2025 and this ban is about to be read in the high court. Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan have gone against miners in their nations, raising higher taxes and electricity prices. However, Kazakhstan has taken a largely different approach by handing the miners tax exemptions and is  looking to regulate the cryptocurrency industry in the nation.

5. Is Nike making Crypto moves? 

Nike is reportedly making crypto moves

Nike has received a patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for their shoes to become tokenized on the Ethereum network it was revealed this past week. The shoewear and fashion megabrand hope to make unique IDs and create ERC 721 tokens for particular shoes. 

This crypto move would allow a trademark of sorts for shoes and record information. The token can record aspects of the individual trainer, owners can set limits to how many times it can be reproduced and features which allow the shoe to be looked after by a third party. The “Cryptokicks” idea certainly has legs, with there even being talk of Nike releasing their own cryptocurrency, something other major companies have been doing in the past year or so. The patent also mentions a wallet feature too.

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