Captain’s Log, September 11: China continues crypto crackdown, Visual Loft raises US$250K,

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Also, Malaysia leads world in getting news from WhatsApp and Singapore to trial mobile payments on public transport

China said to consider banning Bitcoin exchanges

The Chinese government is reportedly considering a ban on Bitcoin exchanges within the country. The potential ban would not outlaw Bitcoin as a whole, but it would make it illegal to buy and sell the cryptocurrency on domestic exchanges.

The crackdown was first reported by Caixin and the news dropped just a few days after China banned the Initial Coin Offering fundraising strategy.

Over the last week, the price of Bitcoin has fallen by about US$200, but to call it a crash would be wrong. As of publishing, the price of Bitcoin has actually gained about US$100 on Monday.

Visual Loft, and online e-commerce platform for glasses, raises US$250K

Visual Loft is an e-commerce marketplace that helps traditional merchants get online and sell their goods to the internet-savvy population. The company sells everything from standard specs to Ray Bans.

Over the last seven weeks, Visual Loft has raised S$340,000 (US$250,000) from a group of investors. The company is currently targeting Singapore because a vast majority of the city’s eyewear sales still occur offline.

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For prescriptions, if a customer simply provides their eyesight information, they are provided with a host of options for purchase. Furthermore, Visual Loft offers free eye checks for customers at any of its partner locations.

Malaysians lead the world in receiving news via WhatsApp

It is common knowledge these days that a large swatch of the global population gets their news via Facebook. However, another Facebook property is gathering steam as a news-distribution outlet and Malaysians may be leading the world in this trend.

According to the South China Morning Post, 51 per cent of Malaysians discovered, read and shared news using WhatsApp in a given week. This number is the highest in the world by a significant margin.

According to the article, Brazil came second at 46 per cent and Argentina was third at 39 per cent. The United States is significantly behind Malaysia, with only 3 per cent of people using WhatsApp as a news-gathering platform.

Facebook was still the most popular news distribution platform at 58 per cent.

JD.com enters joint venture with major Thai conglomerate

JD.com, the second largest e-commerce company in China, has entered into a joint venture with Thailand’s Central Group, a conglomerate that owns properties ranging from malls to restaurants.

According to the Bangkok Post, the idea behind the joint venture is to “fuel an e-commerce alliance”.

For Central Group, the group is keen to kickstart its entrance into a Thai e-commerce industry that is full of untapped potential. As for JD.com, they pitched themselves as a company that offers tight structure over their logistics to minimise the injection of counterfeits into their product offering.

“Chinese internet giants cannot enter Thailand directly because they need to understand local needs. Internet giants like Tencent acquired Sanook, and Alibaba acquired Lazada. But those deals joined two pure-play internet players, unlike the JD.com deal,” said researcher Jarit Sidhu in the article.

Singapore to trial mobile payment options for public transportation

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) in Singapore is expected to trial third-party mobile payments for public transportation in the near future, according to Channel News Asia.

As part of a pilot programme with Mastercard, people will be potentially be able to use Android Pay, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay in the first quarter of 2018. The LTA said it hopes to extend the service to Visa and NETS (the country’s debit system) starting next June.

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Rather than topping up a card or digital account, the new system would “skip the middle man” and transportation costs would be charged directly to the person’s bank account.

 

The post Captain’s Log, September 11: China continues crypto crackdown, Visual Loft raises US$250K, appeared first on e27.


Source: e27

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