Forkast.News is now Forkast Labs

Hong Kong makes apt testbed for e-CNY cross-border use

The city’s global reach, Hong Kong dollar and mainland ties make it a good fit for Chinese authorities to trial e-CNY international payments.

Animoca Brands’ new Japan arm aims to connect fans in Web 3.0 world

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 […]

Indian media giant’s Fully Faltoo NFTs sell out in 48 hours

Indian media staple Viacom18’s Youth, Music and English Entertainment Cluster (YME) released 3,000 Fully Faltoo non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that sold out within 48 hours since launching, the company said in a press release on Wednesday. See related article: WazirX launches India’s first NFT marketplace Fast facts Fully Faltoo is a local award-winning sitcom program that […]

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.

US NFT trademarks increase by 420-fold in 2021: report

Over 1,200 non-fungible token (NFT)-related trademarks were registered in the U.S. in 2021, a 420-fold increase from the previous year, according to data acquired by Finbold. Fast facts More than 400 trademarks were filed in the month of December 2021 while none were filed in January 2021. There were 450 filings in January 2022, a […]

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.

Crypto assets, stablecoins pose risk to global financial stability: FSB

The rapidly growing crypto market could pose a threat to global financial stability, according to a Financial Stability Board (FSB) report published on Wednesday. Fast facts The FSB, an international body that monitors and makes recommendations about the global financial system, identified vulnerabilities related to unbacked assets such as Bitcoin, stablecoins such as USDT and […]

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.

Binance US under probe for ties with trading affiliates: report

The U.S. securities watchdog has launched a probe into crypto exchange Binance’s relationship with two trading firms with ties to founder Changpeng Zhao, the Wall Street Journal reported. Fast facts The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is examining whether Binance’s U.S. arm properly discloses to users its links to two trading firms — Sigma Chain […]

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 […]

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

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 […]

Will the new multi-chain world ignite another ‘DeFi summer’?

2022 will see a flowering ecosystem of blockchains working together, writes Will Harborne of DeversiFi. Here’s what the multi-chain future will look like.

Peirce dissents from SEC’s US$100M BlockFi settlement

SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce, dubbed Crypto Mom, dissented in Monday’s US$100M BlockFi settlement, saying the punishment does not fit the crime.

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 […]

Forget synthetic wombs. Give women more opportunities in DeFi and Web3

Vitalik Buterin’s advocacy of synthetic wombs misses the point, writes Izzy Howell of Cypher. Here’s why crypto can do more for gender equality.

‘All eyes are on it:’ CryptoPunks at center of copyright legal dispute

The biggest-selling NFT collection of all time has two competing versions, threatening to undermine the value of the tokens and faith in the industry itself.

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 […]

Bitcoin hashrate reaches new ATH in 32% surge

Bitcoin’s hashrate reached an all-time high over the weekend, despite many miners being forced to move operations out of Kazakhstan. Fast facts The total Bitcoin hashrate surged by 31.7% to an all-time high of 248.11 exahashes per second in raw values on Saturday, according to data from Blockchain.com. The latest hashrate read at 209.63 EH/s […]

Phillips to auction metahuman-made NFTs for Valentine’s Day

Phillips, a global auction house, launched a nine-day non-fungible token (NFT) auction on Monday, Valentine’s Day, in Hong Kong. Fast facts Six artworks are being auctioned as NFTs. One NFT for bidding is an auction data-generated NFT “Drowning in Love” made by MonoC, a virtual artist developed by Gusto Collective. MonoC is a virtual metahuman […]

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.

Tiger Global leads $50M round in Philippine crypto exchange

The Philippine Digital Asset Exchange (PDAX) has raised US$50 million in a Series B funding round led by Tiger Global.  Fast facts UBX, the venture fund of UnionBank of the Philippines, Kingsway Capital, Jump Capital, U.S. blockchain payments company Ripple, among others, also participated in the round.  The funding round started in August last year […]

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 […]

China’s e-CNY pilot to boost Hong Kong as offshore yuan trading center

Upcoming digital yuan trial to piggyback on Hong Kong’s popular Faster Payment System for smoother cross-border transactions.

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.

OpenSea delists CryptoPunks V1 after DMCA notice from Larva Labs

Non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace OpenSea has removed CryptoPunks V1, the “wrapped” edition of the original collectibles, after receiving a DMCA notice — a takedown issue by copyright holders — from creator Larva Labs. Fast facts The V1 CryptoPunks is the original issue of the collection but were replaced with exact copies — the current V2 […]

Fan friction: What’s keeping influencers and artist communities from Web3?

The new token economy offers unparalleled opportunities for content creators, writes Weiwei Geng of Unite.io. Improving user experience will be key.

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.

Indian crypto exchange CoinDCX crosses 10 million user mark

Indian crypto trading exchange CoinDCX says it has crossed the 10 million user mark. Fast facts CoinDCX had 3.5 million customers as of August last year.  CoinDCX became India’s first crypto unicorn after its Series C funding round led by former Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s B Capital and others. Established in 2018, the company’s milestone […]

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 […]

Hong Kong to propose bill to license crypto exchanges

The Hong Kong government intends to propose a licensing system for crypto exchanges, according to a discussion paper published on Monday. Fast facts The proposed amendments to the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing bill will designate any crypto exchange as a “regulated virtual asset activity” and any person who seeks to engage in this work […]

3D NFT marketplace coming to Polygon via Smart MFG

Smart MFG, a blockchain-based supply chain decentralized finance firm, has integrated with Polygon to launch Phigital, a 3D marketplace for non-fungible tokens (NFT). Fast facts Phigital will focus on interoperability of 3D assets across metaverses, and NFTs with real-world use cases. The movement of different assets and NFTs across metaverses has been one of the […]

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 […]

Binance, BLACKPINK’s K-pop agency to develop NFTs, other projects

Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, has partnered with YG Entertainment, a top K-pop entertainment agency, to develop non-fungible tokens (NFTs), metaverse and gaming projects, despite fans’ concerns over the potential environmental impact. Fast facts Binance announced Tuesday that it will provide the NFT platform and technology support, while YG will supply the content. Helen […]

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 […]

Year’s biggest rally pushes crypto market cap above $2 trillion

After a poor start to the year, the market needed some good news. Industry watchers urge caution.

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 […]

Russian lawmaker suggests minimum 15% tax for crypto miners

A prominent Russian lawmaker has proposed a personal income tax rate of at least 15% for crypto miners, according to local media reports, as the country continues to debate regulations for the industry. Fast facts Vladimir Gutenev, who chairs an industry committee at the Duma, parliament’s lower house, said at a Friday briefing that mining […]

Number of unique NFT buyers soars to all-time high in January

Unique non-fungible token (NFT) buyers hit an all-time high (ATH) in January with more than 895,000 shoppers, according to data tracker CryptoSlam. Fast facts The new ATH recorded an almost 3,000% year-over-year increase and a 6.5% month-over-month growth. The number of unique sellers grew by almost 14% from December to January with 741,865 vendors, just […]

Wash trading in NFT marketplace LooksRare can inflate prices: analysts

While sales volumes on NFT marketplaces thrive, new data show much of this comes from manipulating sales — painting the whole industry in a different light.

What I learned from my role in digitizing the yuan

CBDCs are vulnerable to hacking and the powers of quantum computing, cybersecurity expert Amnon Samid writes. Central banks must heed the warning.

FTX to buy Asian fintech Liquid for undisclosed sum

Fresh off a US$32 billion valuation, crypto derivatives exchange FTX Trading said Wednesday it will acquire its Japanese competitor Liquid Group and all its subsidiaries. Fast facts The deal is expected to close in March, according to a Liquid release. “Following FTX’s acquisition of Liquid, Quoine will gradually integrate FTX’s products and services into its […]

Will blockchain’s future be cross-chain or multi-chain?

Vitalik Buterin caused an uproar over his recent criticisms of blockchain bridges. Here is a rebuttal in support of this nascent technology.

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.

Aussie mining billionaire files suit against Meta over crypto ads

Australian resources mining billionaire Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest is taking Meta (formerly Facebook) to court alleging the social media giant breached local money-laundering laws by failing to prevent false cryptocurrency advertisements on its platform. Fast facts In legal proceedings lodged in the Western Australia Magistrates Court, Forrest alleges Meta “failed to create controls or a corporate […]

Indian crypto tax ends fears of ban as investors brace for impact

Top blockchain and crypto news: New Delhi’s crypto give and take. Malice in Wonderland? Hong Kong’s selective spot ETF rules.

Non-US XRP investors petition for congressional investigation of SEC

Lawyer for 63,000 XRP investors invites non-US investors to demand a congressional investigation of the SEC for impropriety.

India FM: RBI to issue blockchain-based digital rupee

Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman confirmed at the parliament budget session on Tuesday that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will issue a digital rupee based on blockchain, as she proposed the issuance for financial year 2022-23. Fast facts “Digital currency will also lead to a more efficient and cheaper currency management system,” the minister […]

Thailand scraps proposed 15% crypto withholding tax after backlash

Thailand has axed plans to apply a 15% withholding tax on crypto transactions after a backlash from crypto traders within the country, the Financial Times reported. Fast facts Last week, Thailand’s financial authorities announced plans to tighten regulation on the industry — including the 15% tax — aimed at limiting the widespread adoption of digital […]

Solana wallet Phantom brings valuation to $1.2B after $109M Series B

Phantom announced that it has raised US$109 million in Series B funding led by investment firm Paradigm to raise its valuation to US$1.2 billion, the Solana-based crypto wallet announced on Monday. Fast facts Its app also launched for iOS devices on Monday after its browser extension wallet on Solana gained nearly 2 million monthly users […]

Five questions about the digital yuan at the Winter Olympics

All eyes will be on Beijing for the upcoming games — will China use the spotlight to officially launch its CBDC?
and

When the going gets tough, the tough get their wallets out

The recent crypto price plunge has done little to rattle new investors. Are they just buying the dip, or is there more to it? Q9 Capital’s James Quinn explains.

Are crypto e-red packets a thing for the Lunar New Year?

Digital payments are commonplace in Asia, but gifting crypto as lucky money remains niche.

Hong Kong to pilot international trade settlement for mBridge this year

Hong Kong’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) project with three other central banks and the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) will enter its pilot stage this year to test international trade settlements, a Hong Kong government official said. Fast facts Christopher Hui, Hong Kong’s Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, said on Wednesday the […]

What is OpenSea and why is everyone talking about it?

OpenSea is the world’s largest open marketplace for NFTs. Find out what’s driving everyone there in this Forkast explainer.

SEC scrutinizing crypto lending by Celsius, Gemini, Voyager: reports

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is scrutinizing the cryptocurrency companies Celsius Network, Gemini Trust and Voyager Digital about their practice of paying interest on crypto token deposits, Bloomberg.com reported on Thursday. Fast facts The SEC has begun an enforcement review focused on whether these tokens are unregistered securities, the report states, citing unnamed sources […]

Why governments have powerful incentives to develop digital currencies

CBDCs can increase financial inclusion and prevent crime, according to blockchain expert Tiana Laurence. What’s not to like about state-backed digital money?

Regulatory uncertainty has not slowed down India’s crypto sector

With new products and services being launched and international exchanges setting up camp, crypto startups thrive despite the shadow of a crypto ban.

Sexual harassment in metaverse triggers S.Korean government response

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 […]

Russia’s finance ministry calls for crypto regulation, not ban

The Russian finance ministry called for the regulation of cryptocurrencies on Tuesday, opposing the central bank’s proposal last week to ban crypto mining and usage. Fast facts Ivan Chebeskov, director of the finance ministry’s financial policy department, told Russian outlet RBC that a ban on crypto transactions and mining could hamper the country’s growth in […]

Amid SEC lawsuit, Ripple buys back stock and raises value to US$15B

San Francisco-based Ripple Labs announced Tuesday that on the heels of a strong year it bought back the shares it sold in a 2019 fundraise and is now valued at US$15 billion. Fast facts The blockchain payments platform developer is in the middle of a 13-months-long lawsuit filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission […]

Cybercriminals launder $8.6B in 2021, up 30%: Chainalysis

The amount of cryptocurrency used in money laundering activities increased 30% in 2021 compared to the year before, but represents a smaller portion of total transactions, according to an annual crypto money laundering report by Chainalysis, a blockchain data analytics firm.  Fast facts Cybercriminals laundered US$8.6 billion worth of cryptocurrency last year, with the total […]

Crypto mining’s Great Migration continues — out of Kazakhstan

Political chaos and power shortages are causing miners to flee a nation that only recently became the world’s second-largest Bitcoin producer.

Crypto market suffers mauling as bears go berserk

Top blockchain and crypto news: Market chills make investors shiver. Hacking storm at OpenSea. Has Beijing tamed NFTs?