* AirSwap, a decentralized cryptocurrency trading platform announced a new partnership Tuesday that will tokenize New York’s real estate markets. AirSwap will partner with FINRA-registered broker dealer Propellr. In a statement, AirSwap said their main goal is to reduce time to complete secondary market transactions of private securities from months to days.
* Alive Casino is building a blockchain platform that allows users to participate in VR online gambling. Based in Costa Rica, Alive Casino is currently in the process of selling 15% of its AL tokens in order to raise the necessary funds to develop the platform. AL tokens have a value of USD$0.015/token and can be purchased with ETH, with a maximum purchase cap of 75 ETH.
* The Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade), the country’s trade agency, and the Australian Digital Commerce Association are jointly sending a delegation of domestic blockchain startups to visit some of China’s largest fintech companies this week. China is one of the world’s leaders in innovative blockchain technology, having filed over 10% of the world’s blockchain patents.
* Authorities from US states Illinois and Arizona are asking India’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to seize property of promoters of Bitcoin investment firm BitConnect. The two US states are accusing BitConnect of being a Ponzi scheme, having raised approximately USD$5.6 billion from investors. India’s Criminal Investigation Department also claims BitConnect is suspected of money-laundering.
* After Bitcoinist reported Tuesday that investment bank State Street will back stablecoin Gemini Dollar, the Bitcion Foundation’s Charlie Shrem said solid stablecoins are going to serve as a bridge for mainstream investors that will span decades. Shrem elaborated, saying stablecoins’ biggest accomplishment is eliminating the risks associated with high volatility digital coins.
* A Canadian town in the Ontario Province is paying hackers a ransom in Bitcoin in order to get its computer network working again. The town of Midland had its computer systems breached and infected with ransom malware that encrypted files at the beginning of this month. Although critical services, like waste management ad fire response, were not affected, the town has begun paying the hackers Bitcoin in exchange for the decryption keys.
* CoinDesk is reporting that there is a new major competitor for Bitmain. Bitewei, a Shenzhen-based mining chip manufacturer led by the former director of design at Bitmain, Yang Zuoxing, raised CNY40 million (USD$20 million) to bring to mining hardware to market. Bitewei and Bitmain have been battling over the past 2 years in regards to intellectual property designed by Yang.
* Researchers from China’s Xi’an Jiaoton University published a report Wednesday saying at least 4 in 5 altcoins have stolen and plagiarized about 90% of their code. The report examined 488 digital currencies and found the code underpinning 405 digital coins (83%) yielded a ‘similarity score’ of between 90% and 100%.
* A variety of blockchain funds, exchanges, and startup have come together to form the Blockchain Association, a lobbying group for the crypto industry. Reported Tuesday, some founding members include Coinbase, Polychain Capital, Protocol Labs, and Digital Currency Group. One of the association’s first hires is Kristin Smith, former Senate aide. The Blockchain Association will specifically focus on lobbying for tax laws and know your customers/anti-money laundering regulations.
* Japanese telecom company, Softbank Corporation, has completed a proof-of-concept (PoC) for a blockchain that would allow peer to peer mobile payments across different carriers. Announced early Wednesday, the technology is the product of a partnership with blockchain startup TBCASoft, and Synchronoss, a publicly traded company that works with a communications protocol in Japan called Rich Communication Service.