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Kraken launches Kusama Parachain Auction platform as KSM defies downtrend

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U.S. cryptocurrency exchange Kraken has announced a “first-of-its-kind” Parachain Auction Platform enabling clients to participate directly from the exchange.

In a blog post on June 8, Kraken revealed the new platform will enable users that qualify to pledge support for Kusama projects vying for a Parachain slot by staking Kusama’s KSM tokens.

The rewards for contributors who support a winning bid vary and can include referral bonuses, early participation bonuses, and airdrops.

Polkadot’s multi-chain ecosystem will use sharded sidechains to process transactions in parallel. These Parachains are acquired in the auction process whereby projects try to outbid each other for the right to use the slot for 48 weeks with KSM tokens. Kusama is the testing and development network often dubbed Polkadot’s “Canary network.”

Only 100 Parachain slots are expected to be available, but this may change through protocol governance votes over time.The post stated:

“For Kusama auctions, the project with the most KSM bonded to support its bid, at the time the auction snapshot is taken, will generally be able to claim the auctioned parachain slot.”

The platform is not available to residents of the US, Canada, Japan, and Australia.

In its first Parachain auction, Kraken will allow clients to support the bids of at least two projects, starting with Karura and Shiden.

Karura is a DeFi hub and stablecoin platform for the Kusama network offering a crypto-collateralized stablecoin, a decentralized exchange, access to liquid staking, and an EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine) compatible blockchain.

Shiden is a smart contract layer for the Kusama network upon which developers can design and build new DApps. It will be a cross-chain platform that also supports Ethereum and layer two protocols.

As reported by Cointelegraph, Polkadot creator Gavin Wood has proposed June 15 for first the Kusama Parachain auction. Following the first five weekly auctions, Wood recommended a pause to evaluate the performance of the network before commencing another batch of auctions.

In late March Acala Network was the first project to secure a Parachain slot on Polkadot’s Rococo testnet. On May 17, Polkadot announced that Kusama was finally ready to host Parachains.

The impending auction launches have given a boost to Kusama’s KSM token which has defied the market slump and surged 28% over the past fortnight. According to CoinGecko, KSM is up 12% over the past 24 hours, trading at $410 at the time of writing.



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South Korean crypto exchanges banned from handling coins they issued themselves

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The increased regulatory scrutiny that befell South Korea’s cryptocurrency space in recent times appears to have extended to include exchange tokens.

Exchange tokens are tokens issued by a cryptocurrency exchange that usually offer some benefit to the holder, either through reduced trading fees, regular token burns or other means.

According to a report by Arirang on Thursday, cryptocurrency exchanges are being prohibited from handling any coins or assets issued by themselves. The law also extends to any assets issued by family members, spouses or distant relatives, and is expected to come into effect on June 26.

Businesses which fail to comply with the new regulations could have their operations suspended and face fines of up to $88,000.

South Korea’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) recently contacted 33 cryptocurrency trading platforms to inform them of an upcoming field consultation due no later than Sept. 24. In the week or so since, one Korean exchange, Upbit, delisted a handful of coins, and issued strident investment warnings on another 25 assets, representing 14% of all coins listed on the exchange.

Moving forward, Upbit no longer accepts inbound deposits for the 25 coins mentioned in the warning and has said it will further review the assets to decide whether or not to delist them completely. The deadline for its final decision on the tokens is Friday, June 18.

Related: Korean banks will need to classify crypto exchange clients as ‘high risk

South Korea’s attempts to tighten its grip on the cryptocurrency industry within its borders has seen regulators demand Information Security Management System certificates from crypto trading platforms, essentially acting as a license to operate. Of 20 exchanges with the certificate, 11 have already either delisted tokens, or issued warnings similar to Upbit’s.

Given that many exchange tokens don’t operate on a proprietary blockchain, the legal definition of what it means to “handle” tokens issued by an exchange may be stretched in the coming days and weeks, as South Korea’s coin clean-up continues.