200-Year-Old Austrian Company Launches Crypto Hardware Wallet

Samuel Haig

A 200-year-old company in Austria has launched a cryptocurrency hardware wallet targetting businesses.

The device, called Chainlock, was released by YOUNIQX Identity, a subsidiary of Austrian State Printing House (Oesterreichische Staatsdruckerei, also known as OeSD) - a printing company that has operated since 1804. Currently, the company prints Austrian passports and provides secure identity solutions.

Chainlock Applies for Patent for Key Generation System

Chainlock purports to offer enhanced security through generating keys using a procedure for which it has filed a patent application that prevents everyone other than the wallet’s owner from viewing the key, including  YOUNIQX staff. The device also claims to be both heat and water-resistant.

Despite OeSD advertising the product as being operated “100% offline,” the hardware wallet can be used via the Chainlock app. The device takes the physical form of a thin piece of plastic that resembles a credit card in both size and shape.

YOUNIQX has partnered with Singapore-based Tokenize Exchange and Austria-based Coinfinity to also offer the Chainlock hardware wallet to consumers.

The company also seeks to target the burgeoning security token offering market, with the Chainlock release stating that the wallet is “the perfect token container for STOs pursuing a retail strategy.”

Austrian Regulator Against ‘Bitcoin Trader’ Investment Scheme

Earlier this month, Austria's financial regulator, the Austrian Financial Market Authority (FMA), issued a warning against crypto investment website, Bitcoin Trader.

The website claims to offer investors a guaranteed return of approximately $1,460 through their proprietary automated trading platform, also claiming that investors have generated seven-figure returns in 61 days.

According to the FMA, Bitcoin Trader does not hold the licensing required to accept funds from other parties for the purpose of management. The regulator describes the website as being comparable to multi-level-marketing schemes.

Austria Post Launches Crypto Stamps

During June, Austria’s postal company, Österreichische Post, launched a line of collectible cryptographic stamps.

Dubbed ‘crypto stamps’, the collectibles claimed to comprise “the world’s first” stamps to be authenticated by distributed ledger technology. 150,000 crypto stamps were issued, with a recommended retail price of € 6.90 (approximately $7.68).

The collectibles comprised two parts, with half of the stamp comprising functional stamp that can be used to send mail, and the second hosting the information required to authenticate the crypto stamp via blockchain.

FBI Arrests Russian Rapper for Crypto Laundering After Flaunting Wealth on Instagram

  • The FBI arrested Russian rapper Maxim Boyko on charges related to cryptocurrency laundering.
  • Authorities say Boyko, who has ties to now-defunct exchange BTC-e, was flaunting "substantial" sums of money on social media.

The Federal Burea of Investigation (FBI) has arrested a Russian rapper in the United States on charges of cryptocurrency laundering. 

According to a report by The Moscow Times, authorities arrested Maxim Boyko, 29, in a Miami condo on Friday. Boyko first came to the US with his wife and January and told customs agents his earnings came from bitcoin investments and rental properties in Russa. Boyko also operated several social media pages promoting himself as a rap artist under the alias Plinoffiical. 

The report claims Boyko’s Instagram page showed him flashing large sums of money, giving authorities a tip-off. 

In a request for an arrest warrant on Mar. 27, an FBI agent wrote, 

[Boyko’s] Instagram social media and Apple iCloud accounts include photographs of him with substantial sums of U.S. and foreign currencies dating back as far as 2015.

Authorities were able to trace the Russian rapper’s iCloud account to now-defunct crypto exchange BTC-e. According to the report, Boyko’s account had received almost $388,000 and withdrawn 136 bitcoin until the exchange was seized by authorities in mid-2017. 

The FBI alleges that Boyko is linked to an organized crime group by the name QQAAZZ which has facilitated the theft of “tens of millions of dollars.”

Boyko faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted. 

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