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Bitcoin News Summary – January 21, 2019

Here’s what happened this week in Bitcoin in 99 seconds.

Mining giant, Bitmain, is closing another office in Amsterdam and they are also halting its mining operation in Texas. While bad for Bitmain, these developments are actually improving decentralization in the Bitcoin mining space. Currently, only the mining pool controls more than 11% of the total hashrate.

South Korea’s government will offer tax breaks to its blockchain companies. Blockchain companies in the country will receive between 20 to 40% tax relief on their R&D expenditure, encouraging innovation.

Speaking of tax, Denmark’s tax agency will be examining the records of local crypto exchanges to ensure that their users are paying taxes on crypto profits.

New Zealand crypto-only exchange, Cryptopia, have been hacked after being offline for a full day.  Trading is suspended while police investigate the hack, which seems to have affected ETH and ERC-20 tokens in the exchange’s hot wallet. Total losses are unknown at this stage but are estimated to be in the millions of Dollars.

Coinstar kiosks in grocery stores across the US will begin vending Bitcoin vouchers. Thousands of Coinstar machines will accept up to $2,500 in paper Dollars for Bitcoin purchases.

Finally, ShapeShift’s CEO, Erik Voorhees, revealed that in 2018 his exchange had assisted law enforcement agencies around the world with information requests on transactions. Shapeshift recently changed its policies to require identity verification for KYC purposes. Competing quick exchangers without KYC include and Changelly.

That’s what happened this week in Bitcoin. See you next week.

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