Kraken has bought a trading startup called Crypto Facilities in a deal described as a "nine-figure” acquisition, CoinDesk reported. Through the deal, users of Kraken will be able to use a unified trading interface to open positions and trade spot. Kraken CEO Jesse Powell told the outlet that the acquisition would bring its developer headcount to above 100. It would also “accelerate Crypto Facilities by enabling us to add more assets. We plan to launch more contracts in the medium-term, and Kraken also has plans to launch more assets,” he said.
In other news, an Ohio man has been charged for taking digital currency belonging to more than 50 victims in 2018 through a SIM-swapping scheme, CoinDesk reported. The man allegedly connected the mobile phone numbers of victims to his own iPhone, which enabled him to gain access to their digital currency and Google accounts. As a result, he was able to get around two-factor authentication (2FA) security requirements. The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office said in an announcement that “the indictment represents the first prosecution for SIM swapping by authorities in New York.”
On another note, Bitfury has teamed up with the Commons Foundation to set up bitcoin mining in South America, CoinDesk reported. The operations, which will take place in Paraguay, will use BlockBox AC mining devices, and be powered by the Yacyreta and Itaipu hydroelectric plants. (As it stands, the country reportedly only uses about 50 percent of their outputs.) A Commons Foundation advisor, Sandra Otazú Vera, said per the outlet that the country is looking into “creative ways to use emerging technologies, like blockchain and cryptocurrencies, to benefit their economy and their citizens.”
In other news, The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) wants a tool to keep tabs on blockchain, CoinDesk reported. The agency is reportedly looking for companies that can give information for blockchain ledgers through a format that is “easily reviewable.” The SEC is looking for vendors to reply by the middle of February, and its aim is to “monitor risk and improve compliance” in regard to digital currencies.