Welcome to Thursday, here’s what you need to know in tech today.
1. The possible bitcoin creator Steve Wright is under criminal investigation. The Australian Federal Police, alongside the ATO, have been reviewing claims for millions of dollars in tax by Wright. They want to work out how much bitcoin Wright has, and see whether it matches the tax claims. Interestingly, they believe he is not the creator of the bitcoin and created the hoax to distract authorities from his tax issues. But by now, the ATO is going to have a tough time getting onto Wright as it’s believed he has fled the country, possibly to England. The Australian has more.
2. The Microsoft Band 2 ships today in Australia. After being on sale exclusively at Microsoft’s flagship store in Sydney since December, Microsoft’s fitness wearable goes on sale across all your expected retail chains today for $379.99. It’s a very interesting device, sitting somewhere between a Fitbit and Apple Watch, with a strong focus on fitness apps but also packing smartwatch features. Certainly worth a look.
3. The boss of Australia’s peak ICT Agency has laid down a new mantra. Australia’s largest innovation group is putting a strong focus on supporting the entrepreneur ecosystem with a new program called D61+, which they are hoping will solve problems for startups and create new local technology industries. It’s all about advancing R&D, with a focus on government and startups. There’s more here.
4. Telstra is looking to Estonia and Israel for its future plans. The AFR has a good piece about senior Telstra executives visiting Israel and Estonia to meet with key players in some of the world’s fastest growing tech hubs. Telstra wants to become a tech company, not just a traditional telco, and is in the region to investigate the cyber security and potential services it could sell to companies and the government back home.
5. SmartTrans has been killing it in China. This Aussie payment startup whose board is chaired by Australia’s former ambassador to Beijing has just posted its fourth consecutive $1m-plus month of revenue from its Chinese customer base. The fintech company’s share price has rallied this week after it posted a record revenue of $3.69 million in China during Q2.
The company acts as a payment platform that enables Western companies to enter the Chinese e-commerce market. It allows companies to have charges for things like in-app purchases added directly to their mobile phone bill.
Have a great day, you can catch me on Twitter.