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Mt. Gox Trustee: Creditors Will Soon Receive Decisions Over Rehabilitation Claims

The trustee of Mt.Gox has announced that he has concluded the processing of creditors’ rehabilitation claims.

Nobuaki Kobayashi, trustee of the now-defunct Bitcoin (BTC) exchange Mt. Gox, has announced he has concluded the processing of creditors’ rehabilitation claims and that they will be notified of the results within days. The announcement was published in an English translation on March 19.

As previously reported, roughly 24,000 creditors are thought to have been affected by Mt. Gox’s 2011 hack and subsequent collapse in early 2014, which resulted in the loss of 850,000 BTC valued at roughly $460 million at the time.

Tokyo attorney Nobuaki Kobayashi, who was appointed to act as civil rehabilitation trustee to manage Mt. Gox’s bankruptcy estate funds, has notified the public that:

“On March 15, 2019, the Rehabilitation Trustee approved or disapproved rehabilitation claims regarding MTGOX Bitcoin exchange users’ rights to make claims against MTGOX for return of cryptocurrency and/or cash […] and submitted to the Tokyo District Court a statement of approval or disapproval.”

While an exact date for the notification and eventual prospective reimbursement is not given, the announcement outlines procedural details as to how creditors can find out the fate of their claims, according to the respective mechanisms that they used for their submission.

In fall 2018, Kobayashi had published a statement disclosing that he had liquidated almost 26 billion yen (about $230 million) in Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) over four months as of early March 2018.

These liquidations — which earned Kobayashi notoriety as “Tokyo’s Bitcoin Whale” for their allegedly adverse effect on markets — were formally halted when civil rehabilitation proceedings began in June 2018.

This month, former CEO of Mt. Gox Mark Karpeles received a suspended two and a half years jail sentence after being found guilty of tampering with financial records.

Karpeles was found guilty of mixing his personal finances with those of the exchange in order to conceal the platform’s losses to hackers. Karpeles was, however, acquitted of embezzlement charges, and will not serve the sentence unless he commits another offence within four years.

Also this month, a United States court denied Karpeles’ motion to stay a separate lawsuit, which accuses him of personal liability for investors’ losses, in light of the ongoing rehabilitation proceedings in Japan.

Controversial crypto figure Brock Pierce is meanwhile spearheading a “GoxRising” movement, claiming he can reboot the trading platform and expedite compensation for Mr. Gox’s creditors. Karpeles has scorned Pierce’s claims and alleged rights to relaunch the platform.

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Japanese Company Launches New Stablecoin Pegged to the US Dollar

A Japanese company has launched a ERC-20-compliant stablecoin that is pegged to the U.S. dollar and supported by major Ethereum crypto wallets.

A Japanese company has launched an ERC-20-compliant stablecoin that it says offers “absolute decentralization, maximum security and a reliable source of stability in the face of volatility.”

As its name suggests, USDDex is directly pegged to the United States dollar, helping traders to move their money into crypto without exposing themselves to the erratic price movements seen in other major digital assets such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.

The company believes that its stablecoin could become a viable alternative to fiat and trigger the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies, giving employers a safe way of paying their workers’ salaries while enabling consumers to make purchases with confidence.

USDDex firmly believes that 2019 is going to be the year of the stablecoin, citing research that suggests that the monthly trading volume of the first five such coins in the market has now exceeded $100 billion. Indeed, even major corporations are getting in on the action, with reports suggesting that Facebook is engaged in a top-secret project to launch its own.

The fixed rate of USDDex means that one of its tokens equates to $1. Adaptable to both centralized and decentralized exchanges, the firm says that its cryptocurrency is supported by most major Ethereum wallets, including MyEtherWallet, MetaMask, Ledger and Parity.

Presently, the company is also preparing to list on 20 exchanges, including HitBTC, Stellar, Bibox and Changelly.

Reliable and stable

The company says that every USDDex stablecoin is collateralized in excess, meaning that those who own this cryptocurrency are inoculated against wild price swings, irrespective of how the market behaves.

More than 800 trading pairs are also supported, enabling users to switch from Ethereum, Bitcoin, XRP, EOS, Litecoin and hundreds of others to USDDex with ease.

USDDex is available here

In a video explaining its vision, USDDex executives argue that stablecoins are essential if crypto is going to be used on a widespread basis, as right now, prominent coins and tokens only prove beneficial to speculative traders.

Ayako Nakamura, the company’s chief marketing officer, explained: “USDDex introduces the breakthrough technology and the possibility to develop an independent, transparent and potentially more stable monetary policy than ever before. The priority in the corporation is interaction with leading decentralized exchanges.

“The highest level of estimated reliability is provided by open-source code — proved by a repeated comprehensive security audit as well as open information of each USDDex token. Everyone can review this information.”

An experienced team

USDDex’s CEO and founder is Hitoshi Shibata. The entrepreneur — who is part of a working group on blockchain integration into Japan’s banking sector — started the business after leaving a 15-year career at Mizuho Financial Group. According to the company’s website, he “successfully developed and implemented complex economic projects for governmental and private organizations” while serving in this role. He believes that decentralized stablecoins are going to represent the next big breakthrough in the crypto industry — and in the past, he has invested in blockchain projects including 0x and Binance Coin.

He is joined by Naoki Sakamoto, the chief operating officer; Masaki Hatano, chief technology officer; Jiho Hong, chief information officer; and Ayako Nakamura as CMO. Tatsuo Okuda, Naoki Tamura and Satoko Kudo all serve in an advisory capacity.

The company raised funds in a closed round in December 2018, and says this initiative exceeded expectations after achieving its target in a matter of hours. An additional sale of limited amount of USDDex stablecoin with 45 percent bonus is launching on March 19, one month before the stablecoin is officially offered to the public. The company says its main goal “is the open and active participation of the crypto community in the life of the project.”

Learn more about USDDex

Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.

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Japan Introduces New Regulations for Cryptocurrency Margin Trading

The Cabinet of Japan has reportedly approved new regulations in regard to cryptocurrency margin trading.

Japanese financial regulators have reportedly introduced new regulations for cryptocurrency margin trading, local news agency Nikkei reported on March 18.

The Cabinet of Japan, the executive branch of the country’s government, has reportedly approved draft amendments to Japan’s financial instruments and payment services laws, limiting leverage in cryptocurrency margin trading at two to four times the initial deposit.

Margin trading is the use of borrowed funds from a broker to trade a financial asset, thus forming a collateral for the loan.

The new rules — which are reportedly et to come into force in April 2020 — will require cryptocurrency exchange operators to register within 18 months of that date, which will purportedly enable the Financial Services Agency (FSA) to introduce relevant measures in regard to unregistered cryptocurrency “quasi-operators.”

Following promulgation of the new regulations, entities dealing cryptocurrency will ostensibly be monitored similarly to securities traders in order to protect investors. Additionally, cryptocurrency operators will be divided into groups to identify those engaged in margin trading and those issuing tokens through initial coin offerings (ICOs).

With this move, regulators reportedly aim to secure investors from getting caught up in Ponzi Schemes, as well as encourage legitimate companies to practice offerings as fundraising tools.

In January, the FSA revealed that it was considering the regulation of unregistered firms that solicit investments in cryptocurrencies. The development is reportedly a bid to close a loophole in the country’s existing regulatory framework, in which unregistered firms that collect funds in crypto rather than fiat currencies remain in a legal gray zone.

Back in August 2018, the commissioner of the FSA said that the agency wants the cryptocurrency industry to “grow under appropriate regulation” in order to find the “balance” between consumer protection and technological innovation, noting:

“We have no intention to curb [the crypto industry] excessively. We would like to see it grow under appropriate regulation.”

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Japanese Court Finds Ex-Mt. Gox CEO Guilty of Record Tampering

The former CEO of the now-defunct Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox has received a suspended jail sentence after being found guilty of tampering with financial records.

Mark Karpeles — the former CEO of the now-defunct Bitcoin (BTC) exchange Mt. Gox — has received a suspended jail sentence after being found guilty of tampering with financial records. The news was reported by Bloomberg on March 15.

The Tokyo District Court has reportedly found Karpeles guilty of mixing his personal finances with those of the exchange in order to conceal the platform’s losses to hackers. He received a two and a half years jail sentence, which he will not have to serve unless he commits another offence within four years.

The court however acquitted Karpeles of alleged embezzlement stating that:

“The charge of electronic record tampering is true and deserves punishment, but there’s no criminal evidence of embezzlement.”

As previously reported, Mt. Gox was hacked in 2011, with around 24,000 creditors reported to be affected. The subsequent collapse of the exchange in early 2014 led to loss of a reported 850,000 Bitcoin (BTC), valued at roughly $460 million at the time (~$3.3 billion at press time).

While the fraud and embezzlement charges were not related directly to the theft, Karpeles’ conduct in the wake of the platform’s hack has sparked suspicion. In summer 2015, just before the charges were brought against him, Karpeles purportedly found 200,000 of the missing BTC in a cold storage.

Bloomberg cites the court as stating that it could not “look lightly upon the criminal responsibility of the defendant,” accusing Karpeles of causing “massive harm to the trust of his users”:

“[T]here is no excuse for the defendant, who is an engineer with expert knowledge, to abuse his status and authority to perform clever criminal acts.”

Since his trial commenced in July 2017, Karpeles continues to maintain his innocence and has accused the Japanese justice system — which, as Bloomberg notes, has a 99 percent conviction rate — of unfair treatment. He claims to have been interrogated for months without access to legal representation and “bullied” into signing a confession.

As reported, earlier this month a United States court denied Karpeles’ motion to stay a separate lawsuit, which accuses him of personal liability for investors’ losses, in light of rehabilitation proceedings in Japan.

In February, Karpeles dismissed the so-called “GoxRising” movement, spearheaded by controversial crypto figure Brock Pierce, who has claimed he can reboot the trading platform and accelerate compensation for Mr. Gox’s creditors.

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Japan: Hacker Involved in 15 Mln Yen Crypto Theft Referred to Prosecutors

An 18-year-old cryptocurrency hacker was reportedly referred to prosecutors in the Japanese city of Utsunomiya for the theft of 15 million yen worth of cryptocurrency.

An 18-year-old hacker was referred to prosecutors in the Japanese city of Utsunomiya for stealing cryptocurrency, local news outlet Japan Today reported on March 14.

The cybercriminal allegedly hacked Monappy, a digital wallet which can be installed on a smartphone, and stole 15 million yen ($134,196) of cryptocurrency between Aug. 14 and Sept. 1 of last year. The hack reportedly affected more than 7,700 users.

The hacker reportedly used the Tor software that enables users to anonymize web traffic. However, the police identified the hacker by analyzing the communication records stored on the website’s server. According to Japan Today, the hacker admitted to the allegations.

The attacker submitted multiple cryptocurrency transfer requests to his own account, which overwhelmed the system and allowed him to direct more funds to his account. After that, he transferred the coins to another cryptocurrency operator, received dividends and spent the money.

As Cointelegraph Japan previously reported, there was no impact on the cold wallet, which held 54.2 percent of Monappy’s total balances, and no user information, such as email addresses and passwords, was stolen. The company subsequently announced compensation for the lost funds.

The alleged hacker’s identity is reportedly being kept anonymous due to his status as a minor. In Japan, a minor is a person under 20 years of age.

In 2018, over 7,000 cases of suspected money laundering tied to crypto were reported to Japanese police. More than 7,000 suspect transactions reportedly betrayed various red flags — such as being linked to user accounts held under different names and birth dates, but with an identical ID photo.

On a global scale, exchange hacks have been the most lucrative modus operandi for cyber criminals in 2018, having generated close to $1 billion in revenue. Following an initial hack, the cybercriminals often move stolen funds to a plethora of wallets and exchanges in order to cover their tracks.