The multi-faceted metaverse provides new channels for gaming, socialization, art exhibitions and more. Who’s leading the race and how?
South Korea’s Ministry of Science and ICT announced Sunday a KRW 223.7 billion (US$185 million) investment to build the nation’s metaverse ecosystem. See related article: South Korea wants to be the physical home of the metaverse Fast facts The ministry will use its war chest to develop the decentralized creator economy, nurture talents, and support […]
Around 30 South Korean crypto and blockchain firms have officially started partnering with CODE, a joint venture formed to meet the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) travel rule. See related article: What lies ahead for crypto regulations in 2022 Fast facts FATF’s travel rule is a global set of guidelines for virtual asset service providers […]
Dunamu, the operator of crypto exchange Upbit, signed a memorandum of understanding with credit card company BC Card on Monday to develop a non-fungible token (NFT) and metaverse-based credit card. See related article: South Korean crypto exchange acquires stake in major bank Fast facts Certain items purchased offline via the Dunamu BC Card will be […]
NH-Amundi Asset Management listed its second metaverse exchange-traded fund (ETF) Tuesday that will specifically invest in metaverse-related companies in the U.S. See related article: Hong Kong gears up for its first metaverse ETF Fast facts The HANARO U.S. Metaverse iSelect ETF follows 20 key players in the U.S. metaverse, virtual and augmented reality, and the […]
South Korea’s KB Asset Management launched a committee on Monday that will develop investment strategies for releasing digital asset products such as exchange-traded funds (ETFs). See related article: South Korean banks find workaround to cash in on crypto services Fast facts The ‘Digital Asset Management Preparatory Committee’ aims to be the first to launch digital […]
While the government cultivates the booming metaverse industry, experts say laws fail to protect youth from abuse within virtual and digital realms.
South Korea’s Hoseo University will issue non-fungible token (NFT) degrees and certificates to all 2,830 graduates of its 2021 batch at its graduation ceremony on Friday. See related article: Samsung-backed university to issue NFTs to select graduates Fast facts The university hopes the pivot from a paper-based degree to NFTs will improve access to administrative […]
Hong Kong-based blockchain unicorn Animoca Brands’ Japanese strategic subsidiary started operations on Tuesday to bridge the nation’s exclusive intellectual property (IP) with the Web 3.0 ecosystem. See related article: Animoca Brands valued at US$5B after latest fundraise Fast facts The subsidiary, Animoca Brands KK, is building a blockchain-powered platform for Japanese IP holders to launch […]
Two of South Korea’s top cryptocurrency exchanges, Upbit and Bithumb, are among the seven local businesses that achieved unicorn status last year, the Ministry of SMEs and Startups (MSS) reported on Tuesday. Fast facts The nation’s top four crypto exchanges dominated 96% of total deposits in the South Korean market, while exchange GOPAX is attempting […]
South Korean crypto exchange GOPAX revealed Tuesday it has partnered with Jeonbuk Bank to provide clients with real-name withdrawal and deposit accounts, qualifying the exchange to offer cash-to-crypto services. Fast facts After registering its new partnership with Korea’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), GOPAX is set to become the fifth digital asset exchange that offers Korean […]
A South Korean financial watchdog announced it will strengthen monitoring of new trade assets, including non-fungible tokens (NFTs), in its annual work plan released on Monday. Fast facts The Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) said it will prepare countermeasures against factors that cause damage to consumers in the rapidly growing digital assets market. Earlier this month, […]
South Korea’s Sungkyunkwan University will issue non-fungible token (NFT) certificates to three students who won in-school competitions at the institution’s upcoming online graduation ceremony on Wednesday. Fast facts Sungkyunkwan University said NFT certificates can be used any time as official proof of graduation without the risks of losing the original or fear of forged copies. […]
Seven executives of scam crypto exchange V Global were found guilty on Friday and sentenced to jail time — but it might not be enough to console victims.
North Korea’s foreign affairs ministry wrote on its website Tuesday that the U.S. is behind the claim that the socialist state hacked millions of dollars worth of cryptocurrency. Fast facts The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) warned that it considers the act of spreading rumors about a “non-existent” cryptocurrency theft to be a serious […]
Netmarble revealed Thursday that it has formed a strategic partnership with Binance to establish a global blockchain gaming ecosystem. Fast facts Binance will provide its blockchain platform and tech infrastructure to Netmarble. Netmarble will build a new sidechain on the Binance Smart Chain (BSC) for developing GameFi and an initial game offering (IGO) on the […]
Bandai Namco is investing 15 billion Japanese yen (US$130 million) into building an “IP Metaverse” with its array of games and content, the Japanese entertainment conglomerate announced on Tuesday. Fast facts “Through the IP Metaverse, we will establish communities among Bandai Namco and fans, as well as among fans themselves,” the company wrote in its […]
Kakao Games announced Tuesday that Friends Games, its subsidiary, will now become Meta Bora to focus on blockchain-based games and entertainment supporting its Bora cryptocurrency. Fast facts “We will work our hardest to help the development of the Web 3.0, such as in blockchain and the metaverse, by integrating Kakao Games’ game industry network and insight […]
Bithumb, one of South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, says it will distribute digital art non-fungible tokens (NFTs) for traders who meet the criteria every time South Korea wins a medal at the Beijing Winter Olympics. Fast facts Held jointly with blockchain-based sports content platform 300FIT, the NFTs will be accessible to traders who have transacted […]
Japan’s largest bank, Mitsubishi UFJ Trust (MUFJ), plans to issue a yen-pegged stablecoin in 2023 for instant settlement of securities transactions, according to Nikkei Asia. Fast facts By accelerating the settlement process, Mitsubishi UFJ hopes to cut costs arising from settling securities transactions by fiat, which usually takes a few days to process. Japan’s Financial […]
North Korea has been funding its nuclear and ballistic missile programs with profits from cyberattacks on crypto exchanges, Reuters reported, citing a confidential United Nations (U.N.) report. Fast facts “According to a member state, DPRK cyberactors stole more than US$50 million between 2020 and mid-2021 from at least three cryptocurrency exchanges in North America, Europe […]
The beloved Pinkfong Baby Shark franchise is getting its own blockchain-based play-to-earn (P2E) game, set for a worldwide release in the first half of this year, South Korean developer CityLabs announced on Thursday. Fast facts The Baby Shark Bubble Pong Friends game has been teased as a bubble-shooter puzzle game where players transact in cryptocurrencies […]
Hong Kong’s financial regulators released new guidelines on Friday that restrict retail investor access to financial products that invest directly in digital assets. Fast facts In a joint circular released by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), the regulators placed sales restrictions on non-derivative products such as crypto […]
South Korean game developer Netmarble announced its crypto and play-to-earn (P2E) strategies at a press conference on Thursday, including plans to issue its own cryptocurrency. Fast facts Netmarble CEO Kwon Young-sik said the company is preparing to issue and list a crypto token that would act as a key currency for Netmarble games. Netmarble has […]
South Korea’s media regulation agency has launched a council to discuss user protection on the metaverse, including the issue of sexual harassment targeting minors. Fast facts The council, under the Korea Communications Commission, consists of 30 professionals in media, law, technology and industrial management, and will discuss issues in the metaverse such as violence, sexual […]
Boston Consulting Group (BCG), one of the Big Three global management consulting firms, says the South Korean crypto market will be worth around 1,000 trillion won (about US$835 billion) in 2026, while calling for a brand new regulatory framework. Fast facts The number comes from BCG Korea’s Future of Asset 2022 report, which said South […]
Thailand’s financial authorities have unveiled a plan to issue regulations that would “limit the widespread adoption of digital assets as a means of payment for goods and services” in a bid to protect the country of 70 million people. Fast facts Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ministry of Finance (MOF) and The Bank of […]
The tech-savvy nation is deemed a prime environment to grow the metaverse. What comes next, and will some be left out by a digital divide?
South Korean police have provided global police agency Interpol with information on a crypto-related voice phishing case after receiving a purple notice on two international crimes that victimized locals, according to local media reports. Fast facts Last May, an individual was reported to be disguised as a public prosecutor to convince a victim to buy […]
South Korea’s statistics bureau announced on Sunday that it will include virtual assets in its annual household finances report, which can set the stage for incoming crypto tax rules next year. Fast facts Statistics Korea (KOSTAT) will sample 20,000 households on their crypto holdings valued on March 31, but the survey results will not be […]
The top contenders jockey for position on initial coin offerings and other blockchain-based innovations. How did crypto become a critical factor in the race?
South Korea’s science ministry announced on Thursday a five-year strategy to lead the global metaverse race. Fast facts South Korea aims to produce 40,000 experts in the metaverse field to propel the nation into the ranks of the five leading nations in the global metaverse market. South Korea’s Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT) said […]
Hyundai Card vice president Chung Tae-young said on Wednesday the rise of NFTs (non-fungible tokens) and the metaverse is helping crypto to move past the Dutch tulip mania stage. Fast facts “Although there might be ups and downs, it seems cryptocurrencies are passing the ‘Dutch tulip stage,’” Chung wrote in a Facebook post. Hyundai Card, […]
Presidential candidates from South Korea’s democratic and conservative parties have said on Wednesday that initial coin offerings (ICO) should make a comeback in the nation, as crypto continues to be a key theme in the March elections. Fast facts ICOs have been banned by financial regulator in South Korea since 2017 in a booming cryptocurrency […]
Malaysian exchange will offer equity tokens representing direct shares on the blockchain, claiming it will be the world’s first fully regulated equity-token IPO.
South Korean public broadcaster KBS launched a recreation of its Seoul studio compound on Naver’s Zepeto metaverse on Tuesday, to promote coverage of the upcoming March 9 presidential election. Fast facts Visitors can enter and experience the digital replica of the broadcaster’s news studio, stage sets, take quizzes about the election, stroll around the history […]
South Korean lawmaker Lee Kwang-jae announced on Sunday that he has started accepting political donations in cryptocurrencies. Fast facts Donors can use Bitcoin, Ethereum, Kakao’s KLAY, media industry-focused NEWS, and payments-focused Paycoin, while receipts can be issued as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), according to Lee’s website. The first donor was an anonymous professional from the blockchain […]
State-backed hackers from North Korea stole cryptocurrencies worth about US$395 million last year across at least seven cyber attacks, according to Chainalysis, a blockchain data company. Fast facts Several of the attacks were likely led by Lazarus, a group of hackers believed to be backed by North Korea’s primary intelligence agency, the Reconnaissance General Bureau, […]
Prosecutors in South Korea are demanding life sentences for seven former executives of a now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange who were charged with defrauding investors of just under US$1.9 billion. The executives are not yet convicted, and the trial judge will deliver a verdict on Feb. 11. Fast facts The executives of V Global allegedly took about […]
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) based on a wildly popular fantasy action digital comics series backed by South Korean internet giant Kakao have sold out soon after launch on Wednesday. Fast facts The NFTs, launched by Kakao Entertainment, are based on webtoon Solo Leveling, which has amassed a whopping 14.2 billion views globally since its launch in […]
Developers adopt NFT technology to promote staple video game franchises, but reaction from a number of gamers has been negative.
Klaytn, a public blockchain platform under South Korean internet giant Kakao, announced on Monday five partnerships to drive plans to become a global blockchain benchmark for the increasingly competitive gaming and metaverse space in 2022. Fast facts Klaytn is partnering with Japanese tech giant GMO Group, Indonesia’s Innovation Factory, NFT marketplace East NFT, U.S.-based entertainment […]
Sega, the Japanese gaming giant, has vowed to backtrack on its NFT (non-fungible tokens) plans if fans continue to criticize the project. Fast facts (Update removes mention of Mortal Kombat)
Gaming metaverse the Sandbox announced the partners for its upcoming Hong Kong-influenced virtual cultural hub.
The ability to display, buy and even mint NFTs is seeping into mainstream products from South Korea’s largest corporations.
In South Korea, a new presidential administration will be chosen in March. Here’s where the four major candidates stand on Korea’s booming virtual asset space.
In South Korea, virtual asset investors with more than 500 million Korean won, or approximately US$418,935, worth of crypto assets in overseas accounts must report to their regional tax authorities beginning in 2023. Fast facts According to a new year guidebook by the Ministry of Economy and Finance, any resident or domestic corporation with overseas […]
Yosuke Matsuda, president of Square Enix — the game developer behind Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest and Kingdom Hearts — recently reiterated the company’s blockchain ambitions while acknowledging ongoing concerns about the new trend. Fast facts In a new year’s letter posted on the company website, Matsuda emphasized that incorporating blockchain technology into gaming holds “the […]
A regulatory hurricane swept away half of South Korea’s crypto exchanges in 2021. Who are the survivors — and are there larger lessons for the rest of the world?
Japan’s financial conglomerate SBI Holdings announced a joint investment in Singapore’s virtual asset exchange Coinhako with Switzerland-based Sygnum Bank. Fast facts The investment is made through a fund formed in Singapore named the SBI-Sygnum-Azimut Digital Asset Opportunity fund. SBI expressed certainty in supporting Coinhako’s international expansion and other startups that have growth potential in the […]
Yusaku Maezawa, founder of Japan’s largest online fashion retailer Zozotown, tweeted about turning a photo he took in space into a non-fungible token (NFT), saying it may be the very first NFT to be issued from space. Fast facts Named “Rendezvous,” the NFT includes a photo that Maezawa took while the Russian Soyuz MS-20 he […]
An investor who received $1.25M in Bitcoin by accident will not be criminally penalized, raising questions on the legal status of cryptocurrencies.
Asia’s gaming giant Nexon’s US subsidiary supports cryptocurrencies for players in buying items inside its popular online games.
Lotte Cinema, one of South Korea’s largest movie theater chains, is giving away NFTs (non-fungible tokens) of the movie “The Matrix Resurrections” to people who reserve tickets to the latest addition in the popular science fiction series that depicts life in a simulated reality. Fast facts In collaboration with Warner Bros. and NFT tech startup […]
Metaverse platform Spatial assembled a Series B funding round worth about US$25 million, with new investments from Maven Growth Partners, Pine Venture Partners, South Korea’s KB Investment, Korea Investment Partners, Mirae Asset and others. Fast facts With the Series B, Spatial gathered an accumulated investment amount of over US$49.6 million. Investors from past funds included […]
Legendary Japanese manga artist Tezuka Osamu’s beloved “Astro Boy,” which was first published in 1952, has been made into NFT (non-fungible token) collectibles, one of which was listed on OpenSea for auction. Fast facts With the help of NFT solution startup double jump.tokyo, Tezuka Productions launched its first official NFT art project — “From the […]
South Korean video game developer WeMade revealed today it has invested in Kasa, a blockchain-based digital asset-backed securities (DABS) trading platform with a focus on prop-tech — where information technology is applied to real estate economics. Fast facts Kasa is a platform where users can invest in commercial buildings with small amounts of money, similar […]
Fast facts Blockchain-based payment platform Danal Fintech announced a new service plan that will allow BMW vehicles to be purchased with Paycoin (PCI) in its new partnership with Samchully Motors, the domestic dealer of the luxury automobile line. The recent announcement makes the first case in South Korea where an automobile can be paid in […]
Gamers and developers gather at the annual Digital Entertainment Leadership Forum to discuss how video games may evolve in the future.
The transaction, using the Hedera Consensus Service network, bypasses intermediaries, lowering fees.
Hong Kong-based venture capital (VC) firm Chiron Partners announced Wednesday the launch of a US$50 million fund to support the Terra blockchain ecosystem. Fast facts Chiron Partners will use the fund, namely the Chiron Terra Fund I (CTI), to invest in innovative projects built on the Terra ecosystem, such as decentralized finance (DeFi) applications and […]
South Korea’s National Tax Service (NTS) recently launched an intensive tax investigation into blockchain and crypto venture capital firm Hashed, while its CEO denies any involvement in slush fund raising or tax evasion, according to local media reports. Fast facts Hashed confirmed that it had cooperated with the 4th Bureau of Investigation from the Seoul […]
Four of Japan’s virtual currency firms established the Japan Metaverse Association (JMA) yesterday with aims to promote metaverse technology and improve the framework for implementing user protection measures. Fast facts The Japan Metaverse Association aims to help the country become a forerunner in the race toward the metaverse by collecting and sharing essential information from […]
Meta’s South Korea representative says the country has one of the best environments for the metaverse business to thrive in, at its first press conference in Korea after rebranding from Facebook. Fast facts At Meta Korea’s VR (virtual reality) art media showcase, Jung Ki-hyun, the country director, said South Korea is accommodating to the metaverse […]
Lee Jae-myung, the ruling Democratic Party’s candidate for the 2022 South Korean presidential election, says cryptocurrency is already an integral part of the lives of Korean citizens and the country needs to be a leader in virtual assets. Fast facts At an invitational lecture at Seoul National University’s finance and economics seminar, Lee said that […]
South Korean game shares fell sharply, just a few weeks after announcements of new NFT metaverse ventures sent the shares up.
Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) is planning a legislative proposal for the upcoming year to restrict the issuance rights of stablecoins to banks and wire transfer companies, according to a Nikkei Asia report. Fast facts The FSA’s decision to limit the issuance is meant to lower risks for stablecoin users, as FSA-authorized banks and wire […]
Experts expect more disruption as the crypto industry matures and a younger generation places different values on status and job security.
Japan’s mobile game Elemental Knights Online is planning to release Gensokishi Online -META WORLD-, which is its newest version incorporating elements of play-to-earn, user-generated NFTs (non-fungible tokens), and the metaverse. Fast facts Gensokishi Online’s “Meta World” metaverse will allow players to purchase land and freely edit in their creations, such as buildings and characters. The […]
Signaling a growing interest in business opportunities in the interactive virtual world, KRAFTON, one of South Korea’s major game developers, quietly invested 5 billion Korean won (around US$4.2 million) in Naver Z back in July. Naver Z, under internet giant Naver, services the fast-growing Zepeto metaverse platform. Fast facts KRAFTON told local media that its […]
Astar Network won Polkadot’s third parachain slot auction today. Polkadot will launch Astar Network and four other parachains on its platform on Dec. 17. Fast facts “This is a huge step for the entire Astar ecosystem, since we have been developing the network for more than 2.5 years to become a Polkadot parachain,” said Sota […]
With economic security as a top priority, the Kishida administration anticipates the release of competing CBDCs.