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Morning News: Telco Giant's Token Economy Plan, AML Platform for ICOs

  • SK Telecom Outlines “Token Economy” Plans
  • PwC Testing Anti-Money Laundering Platform for ICOs
  • Bithumb Releases App “for Professional Investors”
  • S Korean Police Bust USD 28 Million Crypto Fraud Ring

Catch up on the most essential cryptocurrency and blockchain news stories breaking in Asia and the Americas while the rest of the world was asleep.

SK Telecom Outlines “Token Economy” Plans
South Korean telecommunications giant SK has outlined its vision of a countrywide “Token Economy,” based on blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies, per news outlet Asia Economy. Speaking at a company-wide seminar, executives spoke of creating a multi-business financial model with several partner companies, using digital tokens as customer reward initiatives. The company claimed these were more attractive than simply giving cash or discounts. An SK Telecom blockchain executive claimed, “We will try to gather several participant companies to create an ecosystem, which will let us enable a true transformation." Last year, the company’s IT services subsidy, SK C&C, launched a blockchain-powered logistics platform, positioning itself as the main Korean rival to Samsung’s SDS subsidy. The Samsung affiliate last year conducted the world’s first blockchain cargo shipment.

PwC Testing Anti-Money Laundering Platform for ICOs
Accountancy firm PwC is testing a blockchain analytics platform that may help Initial Coin Offering (ICO) investors avoid falling foul of money laundering and financial fraud. The platform will help trace coins after launch, and PwC says it will use AI technology to identify possible risks, alerting investors should coins risk being transferred to suspicious companies, businesses or jurisdictions. Media outlet South China Morning Post quotes PwC China and Hong Kong forensic services partner Eric Young as saying, “While on the blockchain ledger, one could track the amount of transactions that have been done using cryptocurrencies, there is still no way for the issuer of an ICO to trace its coins and know how these coins are being used.”

Bithumb Releases App “for Professional Investors”
South Korean cryptocurrency exchange platform Bithumb (the world’s seventh biggest exchange per market volume) has unveiled a new app aimed at professional investors. The company has been taking advantage of the government’s new tolerant stance toward cryptocurrencies, with a slew of new product launches. Late last week the platform announced it had struck a deal with three hardware manufacturers that will see it operate touchscreen cryptocurrency payment kiosks at restaurants. It has also announced the launch its own brand of Bithumb bitcoin ATMs. The latest development, called Bithumb Pro, is an Android mobile and PC app aimed at professional investors. Bithumb claims the new product’s features include heightened security and advanced monitoring functions. The solution, say developers, lets users automatically buy or sell cryptocurrencies if certain market conditions are met.

S Korean Police Bust USD 28 Million Crypto Fraud Ring
Police in the South Korean city of Busan have arrested 20 people on suspicion of allegedly swindling 3,745 small-scale cryptocurrency investors out of some USD 28 million. The alleged fraudsters are said to have claimed they were helping to set up a cryptocurrency exchange platform that would open in South Korea, China and the United States. The fraudsters held a series of bogus investment briefing sessions in an office building in the city. As part of the sting, cryptocurrency investors were told they would be able to double their money within 10 months of their initial investments in the bogus exchange. Police said the victims were “mostly office workers, housewives and college students,” and that the fraudsters spent their gains on luxury imported cars, 310sqm apartments and personal cryptocurrency investments.

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