South Korean media outlet New1 reported on Jan. 9 that cryptocurrency exchange Huobi Korea is preparing to purchase its shares from Huobi Global and change its name. About 72% of shares in Huobi Korea are owned by Huobi Global co-founder Leon Li. Huobi Korean chairman Cho Kook-bong would take over Li’s share in the Korean company. Cho is also the owner of a major crypto-mining operation in the country, according to News1.
umors of problems at Huobi Global had been circulating for weeks. It was one of the original partners for the city of Busan in its quest to become “the blockchain city of South Korea,” but it was dropped along with the four other global partners late last year. Li sold his share in Huobi Global to Justin Sun in October.
Huobi Korea was the country’s second-largest exchange at the time of its certification by the Korea Internet and Security Agency in January 2021. According to the News1 report, the Korean exchange was spurred into action by concern over the parent company’s proof-of-reserves report released in December. That report indicated Huobi Global had reserves of over $3 billion, but 43.3% of those reserves were in its self-issued Huobi Token. Huobi’s HUSD stablecoin became briefly depegged in August.
Huobi Global announced plans to relocate to Seychelles in early November and announced a strategic partnership with Poloniex on Nov. 30.
Turkish automotive company Togg announced a partnership with Metaco, a digital asset custody orchestration technology provider, to secure its open mobility ecosystem built on Avalanche.
Togg’s Mobility-as-a-Service platform (MaaS), a.k.a, Mobility Ecosystem, aims to deliver smart contract-powered use cases — including tokenization of mobility services, assessment of CO2 footprint and nonfungible token (NFT) ownership — for users in Türkiye and Europe.
The partnership with Metaco will see the use of its digital asset custody and orchestration platform, Harmonize, to safeguard the custody and governance of Togg’s digital assets. Sharing insights on the initiative, Togg CEO M. Gürcan Karakas stated:
“Blockchain-enabled digital tokens allow data and other assets to be stored and transferred in a fast, secure, and green way. By leveraging technology from Metaco, we make this possible.”
Hosted over IBM Cloud, Metaco’s platform provides Togg with total control of its encrypted data, workloads and encryption keys. According to the announcement, Harmonize is equipped with compliance standards used by Tier 1 banks dealing with digital assets.
German car manufacturer BMW recently onboarded two blockchain firms to improve its customer loyalty program in Thailand. On Dec. 29, 2022, BMW announced partnerships with blockchain infrastructure firm Coinweb as its decentralized architecture provider and BNB Chain for settling transactions.
The first phase of the initiative is focused on integrating decentralized tech into automating BMW’s daily manual operations. The project's second phase would see Coinweb develop a customized Web3 application for BMW’s customer loyalty program.
As the investigation into FTX continues, the crypto exchange’s former engineering chief, Nishad Singh, followed former FTX and Alameda Research executives Gary Wang and Caroline Ellison by reportedly meeting with federal prosecutors to cut a deal.
Singh attended a proffer session during the week of Jan. 2 at the office of the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Individuals may be granted limited immunity to share their knowledge with prosecutors at such meetings. Prosecutors likely sought to determine if Singh has valuable information to offer in the lawsuit against FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, according to a Jan. 10 Bloomberg report.
Bankman-Fried also faces campaign finance violations and prosecutors are interested in Singh’s knowledge about FTX’s political donations.
Singh made significant political donations over the years and could help prosecutors gain a better understanding of FTX’s political activities.
His cooperation could lead to him entering a plea deal if his information is determined to be valuable.
Singh could join Wang and Ellison as the latest FTX-linked executive to reach an agreement with federal prosecutors.
After Wang and Ellison entered pleas, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams issued a warning in December 2022 to those who participated in the misconduct at FTX and Alameda, saying, “come see us before we come to see you.”
It was reported on Jan. 5 that the United States Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating Singh for potentially having a role in defrauding FTX investors and users.
This comes after news in December 2022 that politicians and news organizations reportedly planned to return $6.6 million in donations from FTX, with three prominent Democratic groups having decided to return over $1 million to investors that had lost funds.
In a November 2022 filing, it was revealed that Alameda loaned $543 million to Singh, one of three related party loans given by the trading firm. The filing also revealed a $1 billion loan to Bankman-Fried and $55 million to the then FTX Digital Markets co-CEO Ryan Salame.
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