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China launches metaverse lab

Top-rated Tsinghua University Friday established China’s first metaverse culture laboratory to promote the study and development of the country’s growing metaverse space. See related article:  China will soon have its first bachelor’s program in blockchain. Why isn’t the talent-starved industry more excited? Fast facts The new laboratory will be used for research in the future […]

Xiamen issues China’s first blockchain-based commemorative subway ticket

Xiamen, a major city in China’s southeastern province Fujian, Friday issued China’s first batch of digital commemorative subway tickets based on Alibaba’s blockchain, AntChain. See related article: More courts in China accept blockchain-stored evidence Fast facts The digital ticket bears a likeness to a decorative metal badge,  and is themed with a combination of Xiamen […]

Bitcoin mining difficulty drops amid market turmoil

Bitcoin miners saw a 1.26% drop in mining difficulty on Thursday, the third time this year, while the price fell to less than US$40,000. See related article: Cryptos slump over inflation, Shanghai lockdown and war concerns Fast facts The mining difficulty level is now at 28.23 trillion at block height 731,808, after it saw an […]

India’s crypto exchanges switch to P2P, bank transfers

Crypto exchanges in India are switching to facilitating user-to-user bank transfers and inward remittances to work around a withdrawal of support from the developer of the country’s ubiquitous UPI payments system, local media report.   See related article: Coinbase snafu sets the cat among the crypto pigeons in India Fast facts Indian cryptocurrency exchanges are trying […]

Chasing my first crypto wallet down a rabbit hole

In Part 1 of a special Forkast series, crypto newcomer Joel Stein dips a toe into Bitcoin and Doge by opening his first-ever crypto wallet.

Chinese state media calls for wider e-CNY adoption

Xinhua News Agency’s affiliate newspaper, Economic Information Daily, Thursday published an op ed suggesting measures for the further adoption of the digital yuan. See related article: The digital yuan’s de-dollarization Fast facts See related article:Hong Kong makes apt testbed for e-CNY cross-border use

Chinese Communist Party paper to “develop” NFTs

The online arm of People’s Daily said it will cooperate with state-owned enterprise China Arts and Entertainment Group to develop non-fungible tokens (NFTs) themed on Chinese traditional and modern paintings. See related article: Resist the temptation on NFTs, Chinese state-backed developer says Fast facts Announcement from the official newspaper of the Central Committee of the […]

Circle raises $400 mln, teams up with BlackRock to develop USDC

Circle, the issuer of the world’s second-largest stablecoin USDC, has raised US$400 million in its latest funding round with major investments from BlackRock and Fidelity Management and Research, as the stablecoin issuer looks to explore possibilities with the traditional financial world. See related article: Circle’s growth outpaces Tether as it doubles valuation Fast facts Circle […]

BSN developer’s NFT warning; LINE launches NFTs

State-backed developer delivers warning on the state of NFTs in China. Meanwhile, LINE launches a NFT marketplace.

Stablecoins gain amid stormy crypto market in Q1: CoinGecko

The stablecoin market cap grew by US$23 billion in an otherwise lackluster market for crypto assets, according to a quarterly report by CoinGecko. See related article: Bitcoin follows blue chips south amid market turmoil Fast facts Stablecoins were among the biggest beneficiaries from investor “derisking” into stablecoins, CoinGecko said in its report, with USDT remaining […]

Resist the temptation on NFTs, Chinese state-backed developer says

In an exclusive interview with Forkast, the head of government-founded Blockchain-based Service Network (BSN) cautioned against packaging NFTs as investment products despite the temptation to profit off the euphoria.

Japan’s messenger app LINE launches NFT marketplace

LINE, Japan’s dominant mobile chatting app, on Wednesday officially launched its non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace LINE NFT through its Osaka-based blockchain subsidiary LVC. See related article: Asia Primed For NFT Growth Fast facts Users can purchase and trade NFTs on the platform and store them on the LINE BITMAX Wallet, which can be accessed via […]

China museum chief fences cultural relics from NFTs

China’s top government agency that oversees the development of museums has called on cultural institutions to hit the brakes when it comes to non-fungible tokens (NFTs).  See related article: China’s industry lobbies join NFT bashing chorus Fast facts The National Cultural Heritage Administration Tuesday held a nationwide online symposium in Beijing on digital collectibles and […]

How the metaverse is closing the gap between virtual and reality

The metaverse promises to radically change how we work, play and do business. How do we avoid its real-world security risks and pitfalls?

Hic Hic Hurray! Scottish distillery Ardbeg to release limited-edition whiskey NFTs

The Scottish distillery Thursday announced a limited edition buried-brewed whiskey Ardbeg Fon Fhòid (Gaelic for “under the turf”) will be released along with a non-fungible token (NFT).  See related article: Lamborghini’s last all-gas Aventador to be auctioned with NFT Fast facts Ardbeg Fon Fhòid’s limited release of 456 bottles will be available for purchase on […]

OpenSea sales volume drops as challengers boast user rewards

OpenSea sales volume dropped by 67% over the past 30 days, according to DappRadar, as newer platforms offer rewards to lure users away from the leading non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace. See related article: NFT buyers dip for a second straight month Fast facts Sales volume on OpenSea totaled US$2.64 billion in the past 30 days, […]

Crypto liquidity aggregator FLUID raises US$10 million

FLUID aims to disrupt the virtual asset market-making industry by lowering fees and latency. Fast facts Blockchain investors GSR, Ghaf Capital, and 21Shares led the round. FLUID aims to tackle a multi-trillion-dollar market problem of illiquidity in virtual assets. The firm wants to enhance liquidity across spot trading, derivatives, futures, synthetics, tokenized assets, and security […]

Virgil Griffith jailed; Indian exchanges disable UPI

Welcome to The Daily Forkast – April 13, 2022 – Presented by Megha Chaddah. Coming up on today’s show: Former Ethereum developer Virgil Griffith gets 63 months in prison. Coinbase snafu sets cat among the crypto pigeons in India. Huawei becomes latest of China’s tech giants to issue NFTs.  We’ll have more on those stories […]

Bitcoin follows blue chips south amid market turmoil

Top blockchain and crypto news: Market contagion hits crypto. Ethereum developer pays price for bad Korea move. China whacks more crypto miners.

China’s industry lobbies join NFT bashing chorus

Self-regulatory bodies overseeing China’s banking and securities industries are urging members to “resolutely curb” the “financialization and securitization” wave of non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Coinbase snafu sets the cat among the crypto pigeons in India

Coinbase’s showcasing of support by government-backed National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) set the ball rolling on the cryptocurrency exchange being yanked from the ubiquitous Unified Payments Interface (UPI).

DTCC unveils prototype to support Fed-issued digital dollar

The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), one of the largest financial service providers in the U.S., unveiled “Project Lithium” to test infrastructure in support of a U.S. digital currency using blockchain technology.  See related article: 5 US digital dollar pilots launching to chase China’s CBDC lead Fast facts Project Lithium is based on blockchain […]

Chinese tech giant Huawei debuts NFTs

Huawei’s cloud computing arm Tuesday airdropped the brand’s first batch of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), making it the latest Chinese tech giant to join the trend. See related article: China’s Xpeng joins the bandwagon in selling NFTs on Alibaba Fast facts See related article: China’s Communist Party wants to regulate NFTs

Meta starts letting creators ‘monetize’ metaverse under test run

Meta, formerly Facebook, started a trial program enabling a handful of creators to charge for what they are building for Horizon Worlds, the firm’s metaverse platform. See related article: India’s biggest telecom firm latches onto metaverse Fast facts Meta will work with a handful of creators under a test program that will enable them to […]

Former Ethereum developer Virgil Griffith gets 63 months in prison

Former Ethereum developer Virgil Griffith was sentenced to prison and fined US$100,000 for violating international sanctions against North Korea by speaking at a cryptocurrency conference in the Hermit Kingdom in April 2019. See related article: North Korea hacked US$400M of crypto in 2021, says Chainalysis Fast facts At the conference, Griffith explained blockchain technology’s use […]

SHIB price pumps on Robinhood listing with SOL, MATIC, COMP

Robinhood added four new cryptocurrencies to its platform on Tuesday, including Shiba Inu token (SHIB), a listing the memecoin community has pleaded for since its inception. See related article: What is the real value of joke coins like Dogecoin and SHIB? Fast facts SHIB gained 30% following the news and has slightly retraced its pump […]

SFC allows HK’s MaiCapital to manage 100% digital-assets portfolio

The development allows the city to emerge as a top destination for asset managers looking to launch cryptocurrency-themed funds for professional investors. See related article: More traditional investors are eyeing cryptocurrency to diversify their portfolios Fast facts The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC)-licensed blockchain and virtual assets manager can manage portfolios that may comprise up […]

Web 3.0 startups’ latest backer is a US$150 mln fund from Cosmos founders

The fund aims to support and speed up the time-to-market of early-stage projects that have already initiated development.

Indian taxes hit trading; Bored Apes movie debut

India’s crypto tax continues to break the crypto industry’s back. Meanwhile, Bored Apes are set to have a movie debut.

Ethereum PoS move is now being tested on a mainnet shadow fork

A shadow fork of the Ethereum mainnet went live on Tuesday, bringing it a step closer to the transition from proof of work (PoW) to a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus mechanism for the Ethereum 2.0 upgrade. See related article: Can Ethereum’s proof-of-stake transition save the planet? Fast facts The Ethereum Foundation is currently working on a […]

India tax breaks crypto’s back

Trading volumes at India’s major cryptocurrency exchanges slumped to their lowest in years after new taxes kicked in on April 1, according to research by Crebaco. See related article: Coinbase’s India launch hits road bump Fast facts U.S. dollar trading volume dropped by 72% on WazirX, 59% on ZebPay, 52% on CoinDCX and 41% on […]

T Scientific to acquire 60% of S.Korean crypto exchange Hanbitco for $19.5 mln

South Korean mobile services company T Scientific announced Monday it will purchase a 60.36% stake in PlutusDS, the operator of local cryptocurrency exchange Hanbitco. See related article: South Korea crypto exchange underdogs: Where are they now? Fast facts T Scientific, a South Korean company specializing in the provision of mobile coupons and mobile commerce services, […]

China’s Xpeng joins the bandwagon in selling NFTs on Alibaba

Chinese electric vehicle maker Xpeng is selling “digital collectibles” as part of its marketing campaign to mark the 100,000th rollout of a complete vehicle. See related article: Lamborghini’s last all-gas Aventador to be auctioned with NFT Fast facts See related article: China’s Communist Party wants to regulate NFTs

How Southeast Asia’s NFT ecosystem lifts up local artists

Providing access to global customers and higher income, NFTs are changing lives in some of the poorest places in the world, writes Katherine Ng.

Need for Speed gets Hong Kong’s Animoca in driver’s seat

Hong Kong-based Animoca Brands has acquired French racing game studio Eden Games, as Animoca expands its blockchain gaming business. See related article: Animoca Brands halts services to Russians: report Fast facts The acquisition is aimed at developing a series of new blockchain-based racing games, Animoca said. The US$16 million purchase comes after Animoca bought game […]

Bored Apes set for movie debut with Coinbase

Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) will make its silver screen debut in a film trilogy produced in partnership with Coinbase, the Nasdaq-listed cryptocurrency exchange announced on Tuesday. See related article: Apes Gone Wild! BAYC ‘selling like crazy’ amid otherwise sluggish NFT market Fast facts The first film in the short animated trilogy entitled “The Degen […]

MobiKwik pulls crypto support; Twitter NFT hacker strikes again

In India, Mobikwik yanks crypto support. Meanwhile in the cyberspace, a Twitter hack promotes a fake NFT drop.

Why fears of a market bubble don’t apply to Bitcoin

Crypto market downturns can dredge up bad memories of ICOs. What lessons can investors learn from the past — and how is Bitcoin different?

Twitter hacker takes over verified accounts to promote fake Azuki NFT drop

India’s Ministry of Education was one of the latest victims in a series of hacks against verified Twitter accounts promoting fake Azuki non-fungible token (NFT) airdrops.  See related article: Azuki spikes past Bored Apes in daily sales Fast facts India’s University Grant Commission (UGC), which has more than 295,000 followers on Twitter, was hacked on […]

China seizes over 3,500 Bitcoin mining rigs, hikes electricity rates

The provinces of Guangdong, Heilongjiang, and Shanxi announced Bitcoin mining equipment seizures and other measures to phase out operations that have survived waves of crackdowns that followed the September crypto ban. See related article: China takes aim at corruption in underground Bitcoin mines Fast facts See related article: Bitcoin miners unwelcome in Hangzhou despite targeted […]

China’s Sichuan province launches NFT marketplace

The cultural and tourism authority in Southwest China’s Sichuan province built a non-fungible token (NFT) trading platform to “encourage the music industry to actively adopt modern technology.” See related article: China’s Shandong TV to build NFT marketplace Fast facts The Sichuan government Thursday said a number of music companies are using blockchain technology to safeguard […]

Indian e-wallet provider MobiKwik yanks crypto support

Indian e-wallet service provider MobiKwik withdrew support for crypto exchanges from April 1, local media report.  See related article: Coinbase’s India launch hits road bump Fast facts MobiKwik’s withdrawal comes as the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) distanced itself from offering a payments gateway to Coinbase.  NPCI developed and operates India’s ubiquitous Unified Payments […]

Solana NFT sales gain pace after quiet OpenSea listing

Solana non-fungible token (NFT) sales have risen by more than 60% in the 24 hours coming into Monday morning Asia time after leading marketplace OpenSea added support for the network mid-last week. See related article: Solana NFT sales drop by 21% after OpenSea integration Fast facts This marks a reversal of fortune for Solana-based NFTs […]

South Korea’s ‘crypto friendly’ president seeks STO, IEO oversight

South Korean president-elect Yoon Suk-yeol is reportedly working with financial authorities to regulate security token offerings (STOs) and initial exchange offerings (IEOs).  See related article: A crypto bull wins the presidency: What it means for South Korea Fast facts STOs, currently being reviewed by Yoon’s Presidential Transition Committee, tokenize traditional securities such as real estate […]

Binance wins Abu Dhabi nod for another MENA outpost

The world’s largest crypto exchange received an in-principle approval from the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) to operate as a virtual assets broker-dealer, bolstering Binance’s presence in the Middle East. See related article: Binance wins crypto license in Dubai days after FTX Fast facts Binance will offer virtual asset investment and trading services across the […]

Does the NFT correction foreshadow a nascent comeback?

The market for non-fungible tokens soared, then slumped. That doesn’t worry Spores Network’s Duc Luu, who’s betting on brands to fuel its future growth.

Coinbase India setback; Hong Kong’s Bitcoin ATMs

Coinbase’s launch in India is off to a rocky start. Meanwhile, Bitcoin ATMs grow in Hong Kong.

Goldman forecasts inflation peak, as NFTs charm its clients

NFTs are seen as investments rather than aesthetic collectibles to Goldman clients, while the investment bank struggles to distinguish blue chip projects from the pretenders.

Bitcoin ATMs face existential threat in Hong Kong

Authorities in Hong Kong moving to block retail investors from accessing non-derivative crypto products could undermine the presence of Bitcoin ATMs in the city with the most crypto ATMs in Asia.

Terra buys US$200 mln AVAX to back UST, promote cross-chain development

Terraform Labs (TFL) and the Luna Foundation Guard (LFG), the non-profit behind the Terra ecosystem, have acquired US$200 million worth of Avalanche’s AVAX tokens, diversifying its TerraUSD (UST) reserves beyond Bitcoin.  See related article: Terra’s US$10 billion Bitcoin Bet Sends LUNA to Record High Fast facts LFG purchased US$100 million worth of AVAX using UST […]

Jack Mallers’ Strike to bring Bitcoin shopping to Shopify 

Jack Mallers announced at Bitcoin 2022 Strike’s integration with Shopify to enable merchants to accept Bitcoin payments through the Lightning Network. See related article: Twitter chief says integration of BTC Lightning Network “a matter of time” Fast facts Mallers also revealed the Bitcoin payments platform bagged partnerships with NCR, one of the world’s largest point-of-sale […]

Coinbase’s India launch hits road bump

The governing body overseeing India’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) said it isn’t aware of any cryptocurrency exchange using the platform, hours after Coinbase said users could use the same to buy and trade cryptocurrencies.  See related article: SEC threatens to sue Coinbase over high-yield savings account Fast facts Nasdaq-listed Coinbase launched crypto trading services in […]

First S.Korean bank issues crypto accounts for corporations

Shinhan Bank became South Korea’s first domestic lender to trial real-name corporate accounts for cash-to-crypto transactions, paving the way for an institutional crypto boom in the peninsula. See related article: South Korean banks find workaround to cash in on crypto services Fast facts Local regulations permit only licensed and bank-partnered crypto exchanges to offer cash-to-crypto […]

e-CNY now a payment option on WeChat Pay in all pilot areas

By offering China’s digital currency in trial as a payments option in all pilot areas, payments giant WeChat Pay is paving the way for the wider adoption of the digital yuan in the world’s most advanced digital payments market. See related article: China’s digital yuan is now in 23 cities Fast facts WeChat Wednesday said […]

Opensea’s Solana beta begins; Binance bails out Sky Mavis

Chinese state media calls for stronger regulations of NFTs. Meanwhile, Sky Mavis raises $150M to offset Ronin hack.

SEC comes around on Bitcoin ETFs

Oversight by the American commodities regulator of the Bitcoin futures ETF by Teucrium helped with the SEC approval.

Solana NFT sales drop by 21% after OpenSea integration

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on the Solana blockchain have been officially docked on OpenSea but sales have dropped by over 21% in the past 24 hours.  See related article: OpenSea’s Solana NFT integration, long rumored, is now real Fast facts While Ethereum continues to host the largest number of NFTs, Solana proponents argue that it is […]

China’s Communist Party wants to regulate NFTs

The Economic Daily, a mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party, called for stricter regulation of “digital collectibles” as investors continue to speculate in non-fungible tokens (NFTs). See related article: Ant Group, JD.com, Tencent pledge to resist speculation of ‘digital collectibles’ Fast facts See related article: WeChat bans NFT accounts, citing ‘crypto speculation’

Bitcoin down amid crypto carnival in Miami

News of officials planning to shrink the Fed’s balance sheet by US$95 billion a month weighed on risk assets globally including Bitcoin which dropped about 5% Thursday early morning Asia time. See related article: Bitcoin, crypto market on the rise along with global markets Fast facts Bitcoin fell as much as 4.7% on sell off […]

Sky Mavis raises $150 mln to offset Ronin hack, Axie NFT sales surge more than 350%

News of Sky Mavis raising US$150 million to compensate users following the around US$600 million hack on its Ronin Bridge led to a surge in Axie non-fungible tokens (NFT) sales. See related article: Axie Infinity blockchain Ronin hacked for over $600M Fast facts Binance leads the round along with Hong Kong-based Animoca Brands, a16z, Dialectic, […]

Why gamers dislike NFTs — and what might turn them around

Would gamers and developers still feel disdain for NFTs if companies used blockchain technology differently? Will Deane explores the possibilities.

Binance.US valued at $4.5B following first seed round

Binance.US, headed for an IPO, has been valued at US$4.5 billion following a more than US$200 million fundraise in its seed round. See related article: Binance US on track for IPO Fast facts Investors include RRE Ventures, Foundation Capital, Original Capital, VanEck, Circle Ventures and inclusion-focused companies such as Gaingels and Gold House, Binance.US said […]

FTX, Tiger Global invest $350M in Near protocol

Near protocol, a smart-contract enabled layer 1 blockchain, has bagged US$350 million in a funding round led by Tiger Global.  See related article: Polkadot is top crypto held by VCs and hedge funds in Q4 2021 Fast facts FTX Ventures, Republic Capital, Hashed, and Dragonfly Capital participated in the funding round led by Tiger Global.  […]

US sanctions Russian darknet market; Indian MP’s crypto warning

South Korea’s Kakao Group acquires SEBC. Meanwhile in India, an MP reveals the government’s plans for the crypto industry,

Will London be Europe’s next crypto capital?

Top blockchain and cryptocurrency news: Britain’s crypto gamble. WAVES crashing. China’s big digital yuan push.

What is the metaverse and are we already living inside it?

The metaverse is envisioned as the next iteration of the internet, introducing an immersive digital universe. Find out what this means for the future of our online lives — beyond all the marketing hype — in this Forkast.News explainer.

Former Hong Kong finance Tsar to launch NFTs

John Tsang Chun-wah, the city’s longest-serving Financial Secretary, will launch 3,000 non-fungible tokens (NFT) of his portrait, becoming Hong Kong’s first civil servant to profit from the trend. See related article: Hong Kong Exchange to trial digital assets trading in ‘Diamond’ pilot Fast facts Tsang is the longest-serving Financial Secretary since the handover. He lost […]

China’s Shandong TV to build NFT marketplace

The television station in China’s Shandong province plans to build a “digital collectibles” trading platform and issue its own non-fungible tokens (NFTs), becoming the latest state-run media outlet to join the trend. See related article: WeChat bans NFT accounts, citing ‘crypto speculation’ Fast facts Shandong Television has started developing its own blockchain to run its […]

Lightning Labs raises $70m to bring stablecoins to Bitcoin

Lightning Labs raised $70 million in series B funding to build a stablecoin and asset protocol on the Bitcoin network. See related article: Will the growing regulatory heat on stablecoins stifle innovation? Fast facts Investors include Valor, Baillie Gifford, Goldcrest, Kingsway, Stillmark, Brevan Howard, NYDIG, and others. Elizabeth Stark, co-founder and CEO of Lightning Labs, […]

Lamborghini’s last all-gas Aventador to be auctioned with NFT

The Italian luxury car maker will auction the world’s first supercar 1:1 NFT before the Aventador becomes a V12-powered plug-in hybrid.  See related article: Sotheby’s will accept Bitcoin and Ether for 101-carat diamond auction Fast facts With the Aventador approaching the end of production, Lamborghini is collaborating with Krista Kim and Steve Aoki for the […]

South Korea’s Kakao to buy into Japanese crypto exchange

Kakao Piccoma, the group’s Japanese digital-comics subsidiary, acquired a major stake in Sakura Exchange BitCoin (SEBC) as part of its global expansion. See related article: Kakao Games rebrands subsidiary to focus on crypto, blockchain, Web 3.0 Fast facts Kakao Piccoma bought out SEBC Holdings’ stake for an undisclosed amount and said it will incorporate crypto […]

Could CBDCs help banks make DeFi irrelevant?

Unregulated and fragmented, DeFi remains niche, writes John Mitchell of Episode Six. Here’s how programmable money can help banks do what decentralized finance is doing.