Wisly Wednesday Industry News — 15 September 2021
It’s been another exciting week in the crypto world with some thought-provoking developments that are sure to dominate talk amongst crypto circles. Walmart dismisses fake crypto announcement; South Korea closely monitoring crypto exchanges that are set to close; El Salvador imposes penalties on non-crypto businesses; and Magnum Real Estate to accept BTC for Manhattan properties.
Walmart dismisses fake crypto announcement
Walmart has dismissed reports that it would soon be accepting digital currency, Litecoin, after a recent announcement that caused Litecoin’s value to jump by more than 30%. In a press release on Monday soon after the US stock market had opened, Walmart appeared to announce that it would be accepting LTC — sending investors in a tailspin.
The fake press release was published on the communication service GlobeNewswire, which provides a platform for announcements to be disseminated. The news seemed authentic enough for the Litecoin Foundation’s Twitter account to throw its support behind the announcement. Walmart only got wind of the announcement when reporters contacted them for confirmation of the news.
While some news outlets had already published information gathered from the press release, Walmart was quick to pour water over the fire by releasing a statement confirming that the announcement was false and that there was no partnership with Litecoin. GlobeNewswire subsequently withdrew the illegitimate press release and reiterated that it had enhanced authentication steps to prevent such isolated events from reoccurring.
This appears to be a classic case of a pump and dump scheme where the perpetrators of the hoax would have made a healthy profit in no time. Incidents like this are likely to advocate for stricter regulation of the crypto industry that facilitates billions of dollars of unregulated trade — making pump and dump schemes all the more appealing for fraudsters. Wisly will keep you updated on the latest.
South Korea closely monitoring crypto exchanges that are set to close
The Korea Financial Intelligence Unit is closely monitoring all crypto exchanges that are on the verge of closing shop in the country. The unit falls under the umbrella of South Korea’s financial regulator, the Financial Services Commission (FSC), which requires all crypto exchanges to register with them by 24 September 2021.
Crypto exchanges in the country that fail to register with the FSC must inform users by this Friday that they will no longer be in operation. In cooperation with the police and financial institutions, the FSC hopes to prevent unlicensed crypto exchanges from stealing funds from user accounts prior to the shutdown.
According to authorities — of the 63 crypto exchanges operating in South Korea, 24 have not applied for licenses, and users have been advised to withdraw their funds from their accounts or risk losing them. All crypto exchanges in South Korea are required to have certification for their information security management systems, and banks are instructed not to allow money transfers to uncertified exchanges. Keep an eye on Wisly for the latest developments.
El Salvador imposes penalties on non-crypto businesses
With El Salvador’s Bitcoin adoption finally made official, there have been many changes to the previous financial system in the country, with authorities working hard to ensure that BTC usage reaches all parts of the country. In light of that, El Salvador plans to penalise those businesses that refuse to accept BTC payments from users.
Soon before Bitcoin became legal tender in the country, legal counsel to the Presidential House in El Salvador — Javier Agueta — stated that all businesses in the country are mandated to accept BTC payments from customers, a failure of which could see sanctions imposed. To make this possible, all El Salvadorian businesses are required to have a Bitcoin wallet to facilitate crypto transactions — although they have a choice of receiving the transaction in Bitcoin or US Dollars.
President Bukele chose to focus on the positives of his country’s BTC adoption by emphasising the importance of breaking from tradition and advancing technology. He optimistically remarked, “Like all innovation, the process of Bitcoin in El Salvador has a learning curve. Every road to the future is like this and not everything will be achieved in a day, or in a month. But we must break the paradigms of the past. El Salvador has the right to advance towards the first world”.
Magnum Real Estate to accept BTC for Manhattan properties
In another ground-breaking deal for the US commercial market, New York-based Magnum Real Estate will soon be accepting Bitcoin for Manhattan retail property purchases. The properties in question are situated within a luxury residential project in Manhattan and are three ground-level shops that are valued at $29 million or about 640 Bitcoin on today’s prices.
Located on 385 First Avenue, the retail properties span an incredible 9,000 square feet of space, with buyers having access to immediate cash flow as the properties are currently occupied and generating income from existing businesses. The sale of these properties marks the first major income-generating asset to be offered for BTC purchase.
Managing partner of Magnum Real Estate, Ben Shaoul, couldn’t contain his excitement as he said, “We are a pioneer in bitcoin transactions and see a path where many more transactions can be done using blockchain. I expect about two or three additional transactions in bitcoin this year for Magnum.”