January 29 – February 4, 2018 | South Korea, Starbucks & More Crypto News

North iQ Weekly Newsletter is curated to provide insights on digital asset industry developments, market announcements, and performance analysis.

South Korea Says No Plans to Ban Crypto Exchanges

January 30, 2018 – South Korea is one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency hubs and a trailblazer in terms of regulating the uncharted territories of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. Earlier this January, government officials made a few vague statements on the government’s official outlook on cryptocurrency. Rumours began to swirl, and many worried South Korea would follow in China’s footsteps and take an unfriendly stance towards cryptocurrencies. This consequently had a negative effect on cryptocurrency markets across the world.

This week, South Korea’s finance minister affirmed they will not be following in China’s lead. Cryptocurrency exchanges will not be banned or suppressed, however, regulations will be implemented to deter illegal trading and crypto crimes. Some reacted negatively to this news, preferring less government intervention in the crypto space. On the other hand, government regulations will likely improve exchange transparency and establish security standards that may prevent future hacks such as the Coincheck exploitation earlier this week.

Read the full article here.

Square Launches Bitcoin Trading

January 31, 2018 – Square Inc. is the latest major company to delve into the growing cryptocurrency market. Users of the popular payment ecosystem can now buy and sell bitcoin on the platform. The company said it would not add any additional fees for buying and selling the cryptocurrency, but it is only allowing customers to purchase a maximum of $10,000 worth of bitcoin per week. Analysts believe that this is a strong first step in integrating cryptocurrencies into regular consumer transactions. In 2017, Square had a gross  payment volume exceeding $50 Billion.

“We believe cryptocurrency can greatly impact the ability of individuals to participate in the global financial system, and we’re excited to learn more here” said the company. Square’s stock had a strong reaction to the news, shooting up 4% during intra-day trading on Wednesday.

Read the full article here.

US Regulators Subpoena Crypto Exchange Bitfinex, Tether

January 30, 2018 – One of the world’s largest crypto exchanges, Bitfinex, has been subpoenaed alongside Tether, a firm in close relationship to Bitfinex. Tether runs a cryptocurrency that they claim is backed by the US dollar, under the symbol USDT.

The coin has become a popular substitute for dollars on crypto exchanges worldwide, but regulators are skeptical of the firm’s claim that each of their coins is actually backed by one US dollar. Little of Tether’s accounting records have been made public or verified, forcing US regulators to take action. Crypto exchanges have also faced recent cyber security threats, whereas the underlying blockchain network continues to be secure.

Read the full article here.

Starbucks Plans to Implement Blockchain in Long-term Strategy

January 26, 2018 – Major companies are becoming eager to transition into effective and diversified payment systems. Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz reported that the famous coffee chain is planning to incorporate several cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies into their long-term strategy, but has no specific projects or investments yet. Starbucks has also claimed that it is currently testing a cashless store in Seattle.

The recent emergence of cryptocurrencies has brought forth new opportunities for companies like Starbucks as consumer behaviour evolves. By investing early and diligently, the company can stay ahead of the curve in payment processing. However, Howard Schultz claims that Bitcoin may not be the main contender when it comes to payment processing. Other digital currencies, such as Litecoin, offer faster transaction times, which is important for point-of-sale systems.

Read the full article here.

Bill Submitted to Make CryptoRuble Legal Tender in Russia

January 27, 2018 – In late 2017, Russia’s president Vladimir Putin had ordered for the issue of a regulated national cryptocurrency. At last, a draft law introducing a national cryptocurrency, the CryptoRuble, as an official means of payment in Russia has been submitted to parliament. The cryptocurrency, CryptoRuble, is now in sight of being legal tender in Russia.

It has been reported that the Russian cryptocurrency is to be taxed at a rate of 13% for realized gains. According to Russia’s Deputy Minister of Economic Development, the CryptoRuble is designed to become Russia’s “digital money in light of the digital economy”.

Read the full article here.

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This Weekly Cryptoasset Newsletter is for informational purposes only and does not constitute, either explicitly or implicitly, any provision of services or products by 3iQ Corp (“3iQ”). Investors should determine for themselves whether a particular service or product is suitable for their investment needs or should seek such professional advice for their particular situation.3iQ Corp. makes no representation or warranty to any investor regarding the legality of any investment, the income or tax consequences, or the suitability of an investment for such investor. All content is original and has been researched and produced by 3iQ unless otherwise stated therein. No part of the content may be reproduced in any form, or referred to in any other publication, without the express written permission of 3iQ. All statements made regarding companies, securities or other financial information contained in the content or articles relating to 3iQ are strictly beliefs and points of view held by 3iQ and are not endorsements of any company or security or recommendations to buy or sell any security. No securities regulatory authority has expressed an opinion about these securities and it is an offence to claim otherwise. By visiting and/or otherwise using the 3iQ website in any way, you indicate that you understand and accept the terms of use as set forth on the website and agree to be bound by them. If you do not agree to the terms of use of the website, please do no access the website or any pages thereof. Any descriptions of, references to, or links to other products, publications or services does not constitute an endorsement, authorization, sponsorship by or affiliation with 3iQ with respect to any linked site or its sponsor, unless expressly stated by 3iQ. Any such information, products or sites have not necessarily been reviewed by 3iQ and are provided or maintained by third parties over whom 3iQ exercises no control. 3iQ expressly disclaims any responsibility for the content, the accuracy of the information, and/or quality of products or services provided by or advertised on these third-party sites. The information contained herein, while obtained from sources believed to be reliable, is not guaranteed as to its accuracy or completeness and confers no right on purchasers. Past performance of cryptoassets is not indicative of future performance and should not be used to forecast any return that an investor may realize.

Fred Pye

Frederick T. Pye


Frederick T. Pye is the Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Director of 3iQ Corp. He is also the Chairman and Director of 3iQ Digital Holdings Inc. Mr. Pye is recognized for creating and promoting creative and unique investment products for the investment industry.

Mr. Pye has managed private client portfolios with Landry Investment Management and various other investment dealers. Prior to this Mr. Pye was Founder, President & Chief Executive Officer of Argentum Management and Research Corporation, a company dedicated to managing and distributing quantitative investment portfolios including the first long-short mutual fund in Canada.

He was also Senior Vice-President and National Sales Manager of Fidelity Investments Canada and an integral part of the team that saw assets rise from $80 million to over $7.5 billion in assets under management during his tenure. He also held various positions with Guardian Trust Company, which listed the first Gold, Silver and Platinum Certificates on the Montreal Exchange.

Mr. Pye obtained a Masters in Business Administration from Concordia University.