The week in review: Asia bullish but miners taking stock ahead of halving

Crypto never sleeps and though much of the world has come to a standstill, there are still big things happening in the space. We’ve got the headlines, you’ve got the eyeballs. Put them to use on these ⬇️.

China CBDC nearing completion?

According to a Global Times report on Tuesday, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) has completed the basic development of a digital yuan.

Citing “industry insiders,” the report claims that the central bank has worked alongside private companies including Alipay, and is now drafting relevant laws to circulate the new currency.

The insider pointed to a move by Alipay – the financial arm of Chinese tech giant Alibaba – to publicise five patents related to China’s digital currency earlier this year.

“Judging from the patents, the first step of technological development has been basically completed,” the insider was quoted as saying in the report.

The PBoC’s digital currency has been in the pipeline for some time now. Earlier this year, the PBoC said the digital currency is “progressing smoothly” and that its “top-level” design has been completed. “We will continue to steadily advance the development of legal digital currencies” in 2020, the central bank said at the time.

South Korean bank to launch crypto custody service

South Korea’s biggest bank, KB Kookmin, is set to launch crypto custody service for digital assets.

According to a report from local news outlet Digital Today on March 27, the bank filed a trademark application for KBDAC ” – KB Digital Asset Custody – with the Korean Intellectual Property Office at the end of January.

According to CoinTelegraph, the “application refers to trading, consultation and management of digital assets like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH). It also specifies virtual asset consignment, settlement and transactions with fiat currency.”

South Korea recently firmed up its Anti Money Laundering rules – has the move heralded a fresh push for crypto by major players in the country?

Bitcoin’s mining difficulty sees the second-largest drop in history

Are miners adjusting before the halving? Bitcoin’s mining difficulty, an indicator of competition among Bitcoin miners, has seen the second-largest decline in the network’s history. Despite Bitcoin’s recovery in price after a flash drop caused by COVID 19, mining difficulty fell by around 16% to ~13.90 trillion on March 26, as compared to 16.55 trillion in the previous cycle recorded on 9 March.

There have also been unusual sales movements. Miners have recently sold more coins than they generated, according to the miner’s rolling inventory (MRI) figure, a measure created by crypto data company ByteTree to track the changes in inventory levels held by miners.

The 21-day rolling MRI stayed above 100 during the whole recent recovery from lows below $4,000. An MRI above 100 means miners are selling more than they mine and running down inventory, while a below-100 MRI reading indicates miners are amassing inventory by selling less than they mine.

Cheating in chess? Blockchain fixes that

Organisers of the 2020 Chess Candidates Tournament have suggested blockchain as a potential answer to cheating in the sport. The tournament has been postponed amid Corona chaos, presumably giving organisers time to mess about with new technologies, but when it does eventually take place it will see eight grandmasters compete for the right to take on world champion Magnus Carlsen. It will now take place online, which presumably opens more avenues for cheating.

Ilya Merenzon, CEO of World Chess, the tournament organiser and the official commercial partner of the International Chess Federation (FIDE), told Cointelegraph “We are working on the anti-cheating engine that may record over one hundred data points for each move — its timestamp, players’ biometrics, chess engine evaluation, etc. Storing this data in the decentralised database would make a lot of sense.”

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