Crypto exchange Gemini plans expansion in Asia and Australia

U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange Gemini is planning to expand its Asia-Pacific operations to cash in on the region’s growth, the bourse’s Asia-Pacific Managing Director, Jeremy Ng, wrote in a blog post this week. Fast facts The new expansion is to capture the growth of its Singapore office after it was first established last year, he wrote.  […]

Bank of Thailand denounces crypto anew, warns against use of crypto as payment

Solidifying its stance against cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, the Bank of Thailand declared yesterday that it does not support the use of cryptocurrency as a means of payment, likening crypto transactions to “barter trade” as the bank does not consider crypto legal tender. Fast facts Siritida Panomwon Na Ayudhya, assistant governor of payment systems policy for […]

France, Singapore complete cross-border CBDC test

The Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Banque de France today announced the successful completion of a wholesale cross-border payment and settlement experiment using multiple central bank digital currencies (m-CBDCs). Fast facts The experiment between the two central banks, supported by J.P. Morgan’s Onyx, simulated cross-border transactions and cross-currency transactions involving a Singapore dollar CBDC […]

Robinhood sees near-threefold rise in women users, COO says

Trading app Robinhood has seen a 369% increase in the number of women using its services in the past year, according to COO Gretchen Howard. According to a report by Business Insider, women now make up 30% of its customer base. Fast facts The result comes following Howard’s setting up of a task force to […]

Blockchain-based digital invoicing rollout continues apace in China

China’s blockchain-based digital invoicing systems are being increasingly put into large-scale use in major cities and provinces.  Fast facts Blockchain-based digital invoicing is being used in multiple sectors in Hainan Province, China’s only free-trade port. Digital invoicing systems are in use in 2,795 organizations, including courts, schools and banks, according to Securities Daily, a Chinese […]

Jamaican state digital currency set for launch next month

The Bank of Jamaica’s much-anticipated central bank digital currency will launch next month, according to a report by the Jamaica Observer. Fast facts Previously due to launch in May, the CBDC will initially be implemented through the National Commercial Bank — the biggest financial institution in the country — before being expanded to other banks […]

Israel authorities order seizure of cryptocurrencies from Palestinian resistance group Hamas

Israel’s National Bureau for Counter Terror Financing has issued a seizure order against 84 cryptocurrency addresses associated with Palestinian resistance group Hamas as it looks to confiscate holdings of Bitcoin, Tether, Dogecoin and other cryptos. Fast facts “This action comes after a sizable uptick in cryptocurrency donations to Hamas in May following increased fighting between […]

Spending on crypto-linked Visa cards exceeds $1B in first half of 2021

More than US$1 billion was spent on crypto-linked Visa cards in the first six months of 2021, according to a Visa blog post this week. Fast facts Apart from enabling customers to buy cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin using its cards, Visa has partnered with 50 crypto platforms on card programs — such as Coinbase, the largest […]

Argentina proposes allowing salaries to be paid in crypto

An Argentine lawmaker presented a bill this week to allow employees and those exporting services abroad to be paid in cryptocurrency, Yahoo News reports. Fast facts Congressman José Luis Ramón said that he presented this bill to allow Argentina’s people — whose local currency, the peso, currently suffers from roughly 50% inflation a year — […]

Chinese blockchain firm Easily Visible reveals US$1.7B loss

Chinese blockchain company Easy Visible has disclosed a loss of more than 11.52 billion yuan (US$1.78 billion) for 2020 in an annual report filed two months late. The loss equates to 1.74 times the company’s July 5 market value of 6.66 billion yuan. Fast facts On May 6 the company was suspended from trading on the […]

Iran crypto mining remains suspended amid blackouts

Iran has continued a suspension of cryptocurrency mining, with Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri urging all licensed miners to stop operating as the country continues to suffer power outages, according to a report by U.Today that cited a Farsi-language tweet by the Tasnim News Agency. Fast facts Jahangiri said the ongoing electricity supply problems could last […]

Chinese firm shut down by central bank for trading cryptocurrencies

China’s central bank has reiterated its ban on cryptocurrency trading and yesterday said it had ordered a company in Beijing suspected of offering software services for crypto trading to shut down as part of an ongoing nationwide crackdown on the crypto industry. Fast facts A Beijing office of the People’s Bank of China and a […]

South Korea holds firm on AML compliance for banks serving crypto exchanges

The chief of South Korea’s main finance sector regulator has spoken out again against banks that have requested exemptions from anti-money laundering compliance rules in their contracts with cryptocurrency exchanges. Fast facts Eun Sung-soo, the chairman of the Financial Services Commission said yesterday: “Banks should use their own judgement to make decisions and apply for […]

Crypto.com inks partnership deal with martial arts company UFC

Mixed martial arts organization UFC and Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange Crypto.com today announced a partnership that will see Crypto.com become UFC’s first global official fight kit partner. Fast facts Apart from Crypto.com’s logo placement on UFC fight kits, Crypto.com will, as UFC’s cryptocurrency platform partner, have a brand presence inside the Octagon during all pay-per-view […]

Hackers demand $70m in Bitcoin ransom from US software company Kaseya

A ransomware attack on U.S. software company Kaseya has likely affected between 800 and 1,500 businesses around the world, the company said in a statement on Monday, as the group claiming responsibility for the attacks demands US$70 million in Bitcoin to release user’s data. Fast facts Cybercrime group REvil, which is linked to Russia, claimed […]

Ethereum’s London hard fork to launch Aug 4

Ethereum’s long-awaited London hard fork — which earlier was expected to go live this month — is now going to launch on August 4 between 13:00 UTC and 17:00 UTC with block 12,965,000, Ethereum developer Tim Beiko said in a recent blog post. Fast facts Following the successful release of its three testnets, Ropsten, Goerli and […]

Huobi’s public blockchain expands with Animoca, CoinMarketCap and DeFi projects

Huobi Eco Chain, an open-source, decentralized public blockchain, today announced 11 new partners, including Hong Kong-based blockchain gaming company Animoca Brands and crypto data website CoinMarketCap — which is owned by Huobi rival Binance — that will run validating nodes to improve the stability and decentralization of the network. Fast facts Other new validators include […]

CoinShares acquires Elwood’s Global Blockchain Equity Index

CoinShares, Europe’s largest digital asset investment firm, today announced that is acquiring Elwood Technologies’ Exchange Traded Fund Index Business and its equity research unit in a US$17 million equity swap. Fast facts The deal will see CoinShares adding over US$1 billion in assets under management through the Invesco Elwood Global Blockchain Equity UCITS ETF, which […]

Cryptocurrency tax holiday gets South Korean lawmaker’s vote

A legislator from the ruling Democratic Party of Korea today announced a proposal to defer tax on virtual assets for one year, after which income derived from cryptocurrencies would be treated as financial investment income for tax purposes. Fast facts Noh Woong-rae proposed deferring the levying of tax on income from crypto transactions until January […]

Bitcoin exchange data suggest selloff’s peak has passed

The supply of BTC held on exchanges has hit its lowest point since January, suggesting the worst of the coin’s selloff is over, according to data from crypto analytics firm Santiment. Fast facts Santiment tweeted yesterday: “The 6-month low is a promising sign, as it generally will indicate there is a decreased risk of more […]

Pavilions hotel chain to begin accepting crypto as payment

Global resort group Pavilions Hotels & Resorts will allow its customers to use crypto to book stays as of tomorrow, its managing director for Asia has told Forkast.News. Fast facts Scot Toon said Pavilions had partnered with British payment service Coindirect to allow guests paying in more than 40 cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Ethereum, to […]

Japanese digital currency plans expected to take shape next year, lawmaker says

Japan’s plan to launch a digital yen is likely to come into sharper focus in late 2022, a lawmaker overseeing the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s digital currency strategy has told Reuters.  Fast facts The Bank of Japan launched the first phase of a central bank digital currency experiment in April. It hopes to move to […]

Barclays bank blocks customer payments to Binance

British lender Barclays is preventing its customers from making payments to Binance following a regulatory crackdown on the crypto exchange by the country’s Financial Conduct Authority last month, the Financial Times reports. Fast facts The bank said the move would not impact customers’ ability to withdraw funds from Binance, and that it would continue to […]

Bitcoin and Ethereum see positive institutional investment flows as Grayscale adds Cardano to large cap fund

Institutional sentiment appears to be shifting back to being positive toward crypto as crypto investment products saw inflows of US$63 million for the first time in five weeks, according to a report by CoinShares, Europe’s largest digital asset investment firm. Previously, there were four straight weeks of crypto fund outflows. Fast facts: “For the first […]

IBC Group to move all its crypto mining out of China

In the wake of crackdowns on crypto mining in China, investment firm IBC Group has announced it plans to shut all BTC and Ethereum mining operations in the country and relocate elsewhere.

TWICE, 2PM K-pop agency JYP plans foray into NFTs

JYP Entertainment, a South Korean entertainment conglomerate that counts K-pop acts including 2PM and TWICE among its stars, has unveiled a plan to partner with blockchain company Dunamu to set up a non-fungible token platform dedicated to K-pop. Fast facts JYP’s partnership with Dunamu, the operator of Korea’s biggest crypto trading platform, Upbit, will involve […]

Cardano expands access to ecosystem with Nexo and Orion partnerships

Input Output Hong Kong, one of the companies behind the Cardano blockchain, is expanding the Cardano ecosystem through partnerships with Nexo, a cryptocurrency lending platform and decentralized finance liquidity aggregator Orion Protocol. Fast facts Input Output Hong Kong is partnering with Nexo to integrate ADA — the native cryptocurrency of the Cardano blockchain — to the […]

South Korean crypto exchanges tighten personal trading rules for employees

Three of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in South Korea have tightened restrictions on virtual currency trading by their employees in a move designed to comply with the nation’s crypto regulations. Fast facts Bithumb announced that starting this month, it had banned its employees from trading cryptocurrencies using Bithumb accounts. The exchange has made employees sign […]

Philippine bourse eyes role as crypto exchange

The Philippine Stock Exchange wants to be the country’s platform for trading crypto assets when regulators issue rules to govern the sector, according to a report by CNN Philippines.  Fast facts Stock exchange President and CEO Ramon Monzon said the bourse’s management had first discussed the idea of setting up a domestic crypto exchange two […]

Wuhan incubator plan aims to boost blockchain sector

The Bureau of Economics and Information Technology in the Chinese city of Wuhan plans to cultivate more than 100 blockchain companies within three years. Fast facts Authorities in Wuhan issued a document outlining the blueprint, according to which rewards of up to 2 million yuan (about US$309,000) and blockchain technology research program subsidies of 500,000 yuan (US$77,250) […]

Marathon Digital boosts Bitcoin production 17%

Marathon Digital Holdings mined 265.6 Bitcoins last month, a 17% increase over the previous month, according to a company press release. Fast facts That mining increased the company’s holdings to 5,784 bitcoins with an estimated market value of US$206.1 million. The total includes a bulk purchase of 4,182 bitcoins the company bought in January for […]

Crypto ‘Michelin Guide’ to rate tokens in South Korea

The Korea Institute of Virtual Asset Valuation, launched last month, is set to release its first report in July 15, evaluating 10 domestic cryptocurrencies. The new non-profit organization is aiming to provide information to help protect investors from buying crypto coins based on misleading disclosures. Fast facts At the end of every month, 10 domestic […]

Vietnam to launch cryptocurrency pilot

Vietnamese Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính has asked the country’s central bank to pilot a cryptocurrency program from 2021 to 2023, English-language newspaper Việt Nam News reports. Fast facts The plan was signed off in Prime Minister’s Decision No. 942/QĐ-TTg on the country’s broad development strategy of moving towards digital government. It also encompassed artificial […]

Coinbase seeks ‘hundreds’ of engineers for India tech hub

Despite uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrency regulation in India, Coinbase — the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States — is stepping up its expansion plans in the world’s second-most populous country and home to fast-growing projects such as Polygon and Instadapp. Fast facts Coinbase is looking to build out its India tech hub, which was announced […]

Mintable closes $13M series-A, set to integrate Ripple XRP Ledger

Mintable, a Singapore-based non-fungible token platform, this week closed a US$13 million series-A funding round, with U.S. payments technology company Ripple Labs investing. Fast facts Mintable, currently built on the Ethereum and Zilliqa blockchains, enables users to create, buy and sell NFTs using fiat or cryptocurrency. Mintable intends to use the fresh capital to scale […]

Crypto exchange Binance in regulators’ crosshairs as scrutiny mounts

As countries step up their implementation of the Financial Action Task Force’s standards, the list of regulators that have Binance in their crosshairs just keeps growing longer. Fast facts Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission today filed a criminal complaint against Binance — the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume — for operating a digital asset […]

Chinese ‘smart city’ to give away 3 million e-CNY to promote exercise

The Chinese city of Xiong’an, a prototype so-called smart city, has launched a new round of digital yuan giveaways. Fast facts Unlike previous giveaways, which have been based on a lottery system, authorities are handing out 3 million yuan in e-CNY based on the number of steps people walk in a bid to encourage fitness. […]

Musk sells memecoin fans another pup with Baby Doge

Elon Musk has once again sent a coin’s price skyward with a simple tweet; this time more than doubling the price of the memecoin Baby Doge by inserting its name into the lyrics of popular children’s song, “Baby Shark”. Fast facts Replacing the title of the song with the name of the coin, the tweet […]

Japan’s SoftBank Invests US$200m in Brazilian crypto exchange

Japanese conglomerate SoftBank’s Latin America fund has plowed US$200 million into Brazilian crypto exchange Mercardo Bitcoin, according to a Reuters report. Fast facts The investment is SoftBank’s largest in Latin America to date, and brings the valuation of Mercardo’s parent company, 2TM Group, to US$2.1 billion, making it the eighth-most valuable fintech firm in the […]

South Korean finance watchdog warns banks over crypto AML compliance

The chief of South Korea’s main finance sector regulator has said that no banks will be exempted from anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism compliance when they sign contracts with virtual asset trading platforms. Fast facts According to South Korea’s crypto exchange regulations, crypto trading platforms must acquire contracts with local banks to provide their […]

Huobi to impose tighter OTC trading restrictions

Crypto exchange Huobi yesterday issued an announcement in simplified Chinese saying that it would implement a “T+1” withdrawal freezing time for all over-the-counter trades, meaning that traders can transfer cryptocurrency out only 24 hours after depositing it. In some cases, the freeze will last up to 36 hours.  Fast facts At present, the announcement appears […]

Crypto exchange Coinbase to launch crypto app store in international strategy

Nasdaq-listed Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States, announced today its plans to expand its business internationally as it seeks to improve its asset-listing process and build a crypto app store. Fast facts: “We’re seeing crypto quickly mature from its initial use case of trading bitcoin to the trading of thousands of new […]

Blockchain data cruncher Chainalysis raises $100M to expand in Asia Pacific

Chainalysis, the blockchain and cryptocurrency data analytics firm, announced today that it has raised US$100 million in a Series E funding round with a US$4.2 billion valuation. Fast facts: Headquartered in New York, Chainalysis provides blockchain-based software that enables governments and businesses to detect and prevent cryptocurrency crime and money laundering. Chainalysis’ series E round […]

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