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Russia retreats from crypto ban as it pushes rules for industry

Moscow moves to regulate crypto. OpenSea’s security struggle. Will China cool its metaverse mania?

Why India’s Bitcoin premium is now higher than South Korea’s

The RBI is casting a cloud of regulatory uncertainty over the local digital assets industry, but the nation’s Bitcoin premium shows India wants crypto. 

Law can’t cover crypto losses, China court reiterates

The high court of China’s southeastern Guangdong province has ruled cryptocurrency investment activities are not protected by law, further clarifying that crypto is not a legitimate currency in the mainland.  See related article: China customs seizes 49 second-hand crypto mining rigs for export Fast facts The Guangdong high court on Tuesday listed a crypto-related virtual […]

Axie Infinity breaks $4BN; China’s brewing metaverse frenzy

Axie Infinity breaks $4BN mark. Meanwhile, China’s brewing metaverse frenzy sees over 16,000 trademark applications.

Temasek leads $200M funding round in crypto firm Amber

Amber Group has secured US$200 million in a funding round led by Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund Temasek, raising the cryptocurrency platform’s valuation to US$3 billion.  See related story: Temasek-founded Affinidi launches new business unit to bring Web 3.0 to financial services to Southeast Asia Fast facts Existing investors including Sequoia China, Pantera Capital, Tiger Global […]

NFT credit card in the works for top S. Korean crypto exchange

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 […]

Why digital assets are poised to disrupt philanthropy

Charitable giving in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is growing by leaps and bounds. Michael B. Greenwald and Logan Weber explain the risks and benefits.
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Korea’s KB embraces crypto; China’s NFT fever

NFTs hit resale market in China despite criticism over speculation. Meanwhile, South Korean financial giant plans crypto funds.

Jump in NFT demand reflects crypto prices, right? Wrong

An asset bought and valued in crypto becomes decoupled from crypto prices, a split that reflects the differences between crypto investors and NFT buyers.

NFTs can upend the music business. Artists should take note

Blockchain technology allows musicians to sell songs directly and earn more per song, writes Adi Ben-Ari of Applied Blockchain.

India needs to make up its mind over crypto

Although India hoped that taxation would be a step toward regulation rather than a ban, the high tax rates and proposed rules seem to be geared toward dissuading crypto trading.

11 arrested in India’s five-year, $5.4M crypto scam

Indian authorities arrested 11 individuals over the weekend, connected with a crypto scam case that allegedly used the allure of high gains to dupe 2,000 investors out of US$5.4 million (INR 400 million), local media reported.  Fast facts Four of the accused were apprehended on Saturday after being on the run since March last year, […]

‘Extreme fear’: Bitcoin continues bear run, while Solana is up

Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, continues to tank along with other cryptocurrencies in the global market, with investor sentiment at “extreme fear” at Bitcoin’s Fear and Greed Index.  See related article: Bitcoin leads market-wide downturn as Russia fears rise Fast facts Bitcoin is currently down by almost 2% to trade at US$39,185. Bitcoin’s […]

South Korea’s largest financial group mulls crypto ETFs

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 […]

BIT Mining ditches Kazakh data center due to rocky power supply

BIT Mining, a Hong Kong-headquartered cryptocurrency miner, has terminated its data center construction in Kazakhstan due to an unstable local power supply, the company said in its quarterly report. See related article: Crypto mining’s Great Migration continues — out of Kazakhstan Fast facts BIT Mining now abandons a US$9.3 million pledge to a Kazakh data […]

Hong Kong’s metaverse ETF; Metaverse dating on the Moon

Hong Kong prepares to launch metaverse ETF, while India tries metaverse dating on the Moon.

Sandcastles in cyberspace and the rise of the metaverse

As businesses wake up to the potential of the metaverse, we ask The Sandbox’s Sebastien Borget whether its creator-driven promise will persevere.

Crypto market rebound is short-lived as Russia tensions loom

Investor relief at last week’s slight market rebound gave way to concerns over military tensions in Ukraine, sending crypto and traditional markets reeling.

Israel added to Binance’s list of global regulatory trouble spots

Israel’s capital market watchdog is asking major cryptocurrency exchange Binance for clarifications on its services in the country and licenses under which it operates, local media reported Thursday. See related article: Binance US under probe for ties with trading affiliates: report Fast facts Binance has stopped all Israel-focused activities and marketing, the Globes reported, citing […]

Biden to order crypto oversight: report

President Biden’s executive order directing agencies to devise a comprehensive strategy to regulate cryptocurrencies and other digital assets and examine a digital dollar may be issued next week, according to Yahoo! Finance. Fast facts The order, expected weeks ago, was delayed by a disagreement between the White House and the Treasury over its scope, Bloomberg […]

Korea’s crypto unicorns; Hong Kong’s e-CNY pilot

Korea’s crypto sector spawns two unicorns, meanwhile Hong Kong is set to be an idea cross-border e-CNY test city.

Two crypto exchanges reach unicorn status in South Korea

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 […]

How DeFi’s user interface problems are deterring widespread adoption

DeFi can put investors at risk if they don’t understand how it works, writes Korapat Arunanondchai. Here’s how to improve user experience.

Bybit to issue Oracle Red Bull’s fan tokens in $150M deal

Oracle Red Bull’s Formula 1 (F1) racing team announced on Wednesday a multi-year sponsorship deal with Singapore-based derivative exchange Bybit in what it claims to be the largest annual crypto sponsorship to date. Fast facts While the scale of the sponsorship hasn’t been disclosed officially, media accounts cited an unnamed source in reporting the deal […]

Pakistan’s crypto warning; Indian banks’ crypto reluctance

Pakistan’s State Bank governor warns crypto’s risks, also in India, banks show crypto reluctancy.

Prime time for crypto as Super Bowl ads make splash

Top blockchain and crypto news: Super Bowl score for digital asset exchanges. CryptoPunks holders face copyright conundrum. Hong Kong warns of NFT risks.

Philippines to provide residency through Oz token staking

The Philippines is offering residency in one of its special economic zones known as ecozones with low tax rates for users staking the utility token of Oz Finance, TOTOZ.  Fast facts The residency is offered at the Freeport Area of Bataan, one of over 400 operating ecozones in the Philippines, which is located across the […]

RBI is causing crypto hesitancy among Indian banks

India’s crypto tax plan was expected to bolster adoption, but the central bank’s hold on the banking sector puts a check on crypto-related services.

Pakistani central bank echoes RBI’s concerns over crypto

State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) governor Reza Baqir said in this year’s MASIC Annual Investment Forum that cryptocurrency risks far outweigh their benefits and threaten financial and monetary stability for developing countries. Fast facts The SBP recommended a ban on cryptocurrencies last month, with one of the nation’s largest banks quickly heeding the advice by […]

Warren Buffett invests $1B in Bitcoin-friendly Nubank

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway purchased US$1 billion of Brazilian neobank Nubank Class A stock in Q4 2021 while selling billions of dollars of stock in Mastercard and Visa. Fast facts Buffett’s holding company dumped US$1.3 billion and US$1.8 billion from Mastercard and Visa, respectively, according to a Feb. 14 filing with the U.S. Securities and […]

BSN to integrate Neo’s chain to bolster NFT issuance in China

China’s state-backed Blockchain-based Service Network (BSN) announced the addition of Neo’s Jiuquan Chain to its open permissioned blockchain ecosystem to support the legal issuance of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in the mainland. Fast facts Jiuquan Chain, powered by China-based Neo, will run as one of the 10 BSN open permissioned blockchains, as part of the BSN […]

HK watchdog’s NFT warning; DBS plans crypto expansion

HK watchdog’s sends out warning calling NFT a threat, meanwhile in Singapore DBS plans a crypto expansion

Bitcoin’s 30-day performance shows it’s not just another tech stock

As Bitcoin’s price movement began to mirror that of traditional markets, some likened it to tech stocks. Its recent price action shows otherwise.

DBS Digital Exchange hits new high in trading value

DBS Digital Exchange (DDEx), one of Asia’s first bank-backed digital exchanges, recorded over SG$1.1 billion (US$818 million) in trading value in FY2021, the company said in a press release on Tuesday. Fast facts DDEx is currently a members-only exchange that provides corporate and institutional investors, accredited investors, and family offices that bank with DBS, access […]

Russian-linked strains lead crypto ransomware in 2021: Chainalysis

Ransomware revenue in crypto in 2021 has been traced to strains connected to Russia with most of the extorted funds laundered through services that primarily cater to Russian users, blockchain forensics firm Chainalysis reported. Fast facts Around 74% of the over US$400 million worth of crypto ransomware revenue last year was directed to strains that […]

Alibaba and Canaan’s AI team up; Metahuman creates Valentine’s NFT

Chinese giant Alibaba and Canaan team up to work on AI. Meanwhile, Valentine NFTs are created by meta-human using auction data.

India government, central bank in ‘complete harmony’ on crypto: FM

The Indian government and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) are working in “complete harmony” and any decision on cryptocurrency will be made jointly, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in a press conference on Monday.  Fast facts Discussions on crypto have been ongoing between the government and the RBI — India’s central bank — even […]

Indian exchanges scramble to implement crypto tax by April 1 deadline

Exchanges say the crypto tax was announced without key directives. While exchanges await clarity, they struggle to figure out their role in the tax system.

Ethereum price expected to hit $7,609 in 2022: report

Ethereum’s price is expected to reach US$7,609 this year, although it is expected to end the year at around US$6,500, according to Australian fintech Finder’s panel of 33 crypto specialists.  Fast facts In the long term, the panel predicted that Ethereum’s price will reach US$10,810 by the end of 2025, and US$26,338 by the end […]

Cryptocurrencies are not legal in India, future uncertain: Union minister

Union minister Bhagwat Karad said on Saturday that cryptocurrencies are not legal in India and that their future is uncertain at the moment.  Fast facts Many investors and exchanges had viewed a decision to impose a 30% tax on cryptocurrency profits as a step toward validating the industry. Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, however, clarified last […]

Crypto exchanges compete in Super Bowl ad blitz

Advertisements for several crypto exchanges vied for the spotlight in this year’s Super Bowl, including one for Crypto.com that aired during the showcase halftime break. Fast facts Following a widely publicized ad featuring Matt Damon, Singapore-based Crypto.com’s new ad featured basketball star LeBron James talking to his younger self in 2003 insinuating the creation and […]

RBI chief’s crypto warning; Korean crypto execs jailed

Reserve Bank of India’s chief sends crypto warning. In addition, Korean crypto execs gets jailed

Collision or coexistence: Can CBDCs and crypto live side by side?

As more countries announce plans for central bank digital currencies, will that break crypto’s promise as the future of money?

Guilty verdicts handed down in S.Korea’s biggest crypto scam

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 refutes crypto hack allegation, claims the US made it up

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 […]

Crypto is ‘not even a tulip,’ India’s central bank chief says

Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das said in a press conference that cryptocurrencies have no underlying value and that they are “not even a tulip,” warning investors of its risks.  Fast facts Das’s comments come just over a week after India’s central government announced a 30% taxation plan on income from crypto assets as well […]

Will the growing regulatory heat on stablecoins stifle innovation?

As stablecoins face pressure to adopt traditional safeguards, the industry’s efforts to self-regulate should not be overlooked, writes Charlie Martin of Gro.

Binance to take $200M stake in Forbes

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, plans to take a US$200 million stake in Forbes through a private placement, making it one of the two largest shareholders of the 104-year-old business magazine. Fast facts The investment comes as Forbes seeks to go public on the New York Stock Exchange via a deal with a special […]

S.Korean gaming giant Netmarble partners with Binance for GameFi

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 plans IP metaverse; Russia’s crypto flip

Japanese gaming giant Bandai Namco plans on a metaverse with their IP meanwhile, Russia does a crypto flip.

Indian crypto tax creates more confusion than clarity for traders, exchanges

The announcement of a crypto tax dispelled fears of a ban but left exchanges wondering whether they may be hurt in the long run.

JPMorgan predicts $150,000 Bitcoin price in the long run

American banking giant JPMorgan predicts Bitcoin’s price will approach US$150,000 in the long term, strategist Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou wrote in an investors note cited by Bloomberg. Fast facts Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, is currently trading at about US$43,830, but JPMorgan pegs its fair value at around US$38,000, about 15% lower than its current […]

Crypto to be OK’d for circulation in Russia, as ban concerns fade

Russia’s central government agencies reached an agreement to regulate cryptocurrencies by mandating licenses for exchanges and taxing large transactions on Tuesday, shelving concerns of a blanket ban proposed by the central bank last month.  Fast facts Russian business newspaper Kommersant reported the government and the Bank of Russia are preparing a draft law by Feb. […]

PBOC pushes E-CNY standardization; CoinDCX hits 10 million users

PBoC pushes for e-CNY standardization, meanwhile Indian crypto unicorn CoinDCX hits 10 million users

AssangeDAO strikes crypto gold

WikiLeaks founder’s legal defense fundraising bonanza. Shiba Inu’s big new leap. NFT fever rises in China.

What is Web 3.0 and how will it shape the crypto future?

By returning data ownership and reshaping human-machine interactions, the third generation of the internet promises an interconnected future.

Memecoins prove their staying power, despite industry skepticism

Last weekend’s rally shows there is still life left in memecoins. Industry insiders weigh in on where they stand in the long run.

US seizes $3.6B worth of Bitcoin stolen in 2016 Bitfinex hack

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has seized over US$3.6 billion worth of Bitcoin linked to crypto exchange Bitfinex’s hack that occurred in 2016, as the country ramps up efforts to combat crypto crime. Fast facts The DOJ said Tuesday in a statement that it has arrested two individuals for allegedly laundering proceeds of 119,754 […]

Kakao Games rebrands subsidiary to focus on crypto, blockchain, Web 3.0

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 […]

Bybit teams up with Cabital for more fiat-to-crypto options

Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange Bybit has teamed up with Cabital, a Hong Kong-based crypto wealth management platform, to offer users more fiat on-ramp pathways to buy crypto. Fast facts Bybit said Tuesday in a statement that through the partnership, its users can use EUR and GBP to buy crypto on the Bybit platform and transfer crypto […]

Bithumb goes for Olympic gold; India crypto tax questions

South Korean crypto exchange Bithumb goes for Olympic gold, meanwhile in India clouds cast over crypto tax questions

Exchange to drop NFTs for each S.Korean medal at Beijing Olympics

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 […]

Polygon raises $450M led by Sequoia Capital India

Ethereum layer-2 scaling solution Polygon has raised US$450 million from several big name investors including Sequoia Capital India, SoftBank, Galaxy Digital and Tiger Global, boosting its war chest as demand for its services grow.  Fast facts Polygon is one of the most prominent Ethereum scalers whose tools allow developers to create decentralized apps (dApps) and […]

Japan’s Mitsubishi UFJ to issue yen-pegged stablecoin: report

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 gains from cyberattacks; Russia crypto mining tax?

North Korea is benefits financially from the crypto cyberattacks. Also, is Russia looking to tax crypto mining soon?

India’s digital rupee to run on state-backed e-wallets

The Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) digital rupee will run on a government-mandated electronic wallet that will allow the central bank to be the middleman between merchants and customers, a top government official told the Press Trust of India.  Fast facts The government official said the nation’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) is likely to […]

Indian crypto investment turns to armed robbery, over $267K looted

An Indian auto parts dealer became the victim of a US$267,000 cryptocurrency scam after local police closed the case on what was determined to be a hoax call on Friday, local media reported.  Fast facts 29-year-old victim Vinay Jain told police on Saturday that he had been robbed by the accused who had promised him […]

North Korea funds missiles with cyberattacks on crypto exchanges: Reuters

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 […]

Crypto donations rise by 1,558% on The Giving Block in 2021

Charitable donations on crypto philanthropy platform The Giving Block rose by 1,558% in 2021, the company announced in its annual report. Fast facts The Giving Block’s crypto donation volume increased in each quarter of 2021 and surpassed US$69 million in total donations, with an average of US$10,455 worth of crypto per donation. As cryptocurrency is […]

US taxpayer rejects IRS refund for staking rewards

A U.S. taxpayer fighting the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) over whether newly created tokens are taxable income announced Thursday that he has rejected the government’s offer of a refund in order to force the government to clarify its policy. Fast facts On Thursday, Joshua Jarrett shared on Twitter that the IRS had offered him a […]

$10M in NFT money laundering, fraud likely to grow in 2022: report

The two most popular NFT-related crimes, money laundering and wash trading, resulted in illicit profits of US$10 million in 2021, according to a report released Wednesday by blockchain forensics firm Chainalysis. Fast facts While the US$10 million of global NFT criminal activity is relatively small, Chainalysis reported a spike in the use of illicit funds […]

India crypto tax: Exchanges cheer, investors jeer

A 30% tax doesn’t legalize cryptocurrencies but exchanges no longer worry about a ban, while investors would pay taxes at twice the rate of other asset gains.