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India seeks crypto advice; K-drama joins NFT bandwagon

India seeks crypto advice meanwhile K-drama joins NFT bandwagon

Cardano blockchain successfully upgrades to Alonzo White

Input Output Hong Kong, one of the companies behind the Cardano blockchain, today announced the successful upgrade of its Alonzo testnet to the Alonzo White network. Fast facts The Cardano blockchain is in the midst of a multi-phase Alonzo upgrade that will bring smart-contract functionality to the blockchain. Each phase — named blue, white and purple […]

Hong Kong raid uncovers suspected US$155M crypto laundering scheme

Tether stablecoins linked to funds funneled to banks in Singapore and elsewhere amid worldwide cryptocurrency crime increase.

Crypto derivatives exchange Bybit launches spot trading for Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, EOS

Singapore-based crypto derivatives exchange Bybit today announced the launch of a new cryptocurrency spot trading platform. Fast facts The spot trading platform offered BTC/USDT, ETH/USDT, XRP/USDT and EOS/USDT trading pairs at its launch, and more will be introduced. Traders will be able to buy and sell crypto coins at current market prices once orders are […]

Reserve Bank of Australia is exploring a CBDC — despite skepticism

The Reserve Bank of Australia is researching the implementation of a central bank digital currency — despite not seeing a need for it.

Indian court seeks standardized disclaimers on crypto ads

The Delhi High Court has sent a notice to government agencies and crypto exchanges to seek guidelines on crypto-related advertising on national television. Fast facts The division bench of Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh sought responses from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, the Securities and Exchange Board of India and crypto exchanges […]

Euro CBDC looks to leave energy-intensive Bitcoin in its digital dust

The European Central Bank has launched a two-year project to prepare for the potential issuance of a digital euro. The central bank digital currency would be supported by an underlying architecture with a negligible environmental impact compared to Bitcoin’s hugely energy-intensive blockchain. Fast facts The ECB has begun the investigation phase of a digital euro […]

Visa to launch first Bitcoin-linked card in Australia

Australians will soon be able to use Visa cards to spend their Bitcoin holdings for the first time as the global payment giant is partnering with local fintech app CryptoSpend, the Australian Financial Review reports. Fast facts CryptoSpend allows payments to be made in several cryptocurrencies to any account in the Australian banking system, crediting […]

Polkadot chain Phala Network’s Khala wins 4th Kusama parachain slot

Privacy-focused cloud computing project Phala Network’s “canary network” Khala this week won the fourth Kusama parachain slot auction with 132,280 Kusama (KSM) contributed by 2,759 addresses. A canary network is an experimental environment for blockchain developers to build and test out their code as well as products and services. Fast facts Phala Network is designed […]

U.S. basketball player’s game-worn shoes go on sale as NFT

Ever wanted to own a piece of game-worn NBA merchandise, but without that well-worn fragrance? Now you can. Brooklyn Nets star Spencer Dinwiddie is selling a pair of shoes he has worn in-game as a non-fungible token, Forkast.News has learned. Fast facts The shoes on auction are from Dinwiddie’s K8IROS clothing range, and all proceeds […]

Grayscale’s Bitcoin bounty. Circle’s SPAC listing controversy. NFTs for thieves.

Top blockchain and crypto news: Crypto markets await Bitcoin fund release. USDC issuer opts for the back door. In China, NFT copyrights and wrongs.

ICICI blocks crypto transfers; Korea banks to report crypto crime

ICICI blocks crypto transfers as South Korean banks are to report crypto crime.

New crypto mining firms in China now in scramble to leave

The9 and BIT Mining — non-crypto firms that pivoted to crypto mining during Bitcoin’s boom — now seek to ‘expand’ overseas.
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Chinese viral news photo debacle shakes confidence in NFTs

Proliferation of copycat non-fungible tokens based on media image sparks fresh concerns over authenticity, creators’ rights.

Turkey tells crypto firms to hand controllers’ info to tax office

Turkey’s tax authorities have told companies with cryptocurrency-related business to report information on their ultimate controllers as a part of their tax filings. Fast facts An official document states that the requirement is part of meeting Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development guidelines on tax transparency. Crypto companies must submit their first filings by Aug. 31 […]

C.R.E.A.M. Finance’s Iron Bank and PleasrDAO execute $3.5M loan with NFTs as collateral

C.R.E.A.M. Finance’s Iron Bank today announced that it has facilitated a US$3.5 million loan with cypto art collective PleasrDAO using high-value non-fungible tokens as collateral, according to an announcement shared with Forkast.News. Fast facts Taipei-based C.R.E.A.M. Finance, part of the Yearn finance ecosystem, is a decentralized lending protocol for individuals, institutions and protocols to access […]

India’s ICICI bank blocks foreign crypto remittances

ICICI bank, one of India’s largest lenders, has warned its customers against using its international remittance services for transferring any form of cryptocurrency, the Bharat Express reports. Fast facts The Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India recently made an amendment to an international remittance form compelling customers to declare: “The above remittance is NOT […]

Singapore’s Temasek posts record returns, continues investing in blockchain and AI

Singapore state-owned investment firm Temasek has announced record returns of S$381 billion (US$283 billion) for the financial year ending March 2021, up 24.5% from the year before. Fast facts According to its latest annual review, Temasek is “increasingly shaping” its portfolio in line with four trends: digitization, sustainable living, future of consumption, and longer lifespans. […]

S&P Dow Jones launches 5 new crypto indices

Financial index provider S&P Dow Jones has launched five new cryptocurrency indices, according to a company statement, bringing its total number of crypto indices to eight. Fast facts The most significant of these new indices is the Cryptocurrency Broad Digital Market (BDM) Index, which includes more than 240 coins and can be used for a […]

Crypto derivatives exchange Bybit and Ontario Securities Commission agree on enforcement proceeding schedule

The Ontario Securities Commission in Canada and Bybit, a cryptocurrency derivatives exchange headquartered in Singapore, have come to an agreement on the schedule for Bybit’s upcoming enforcement proceeding, according to the OSC. Fast facts The first hearing between Bybit and the OSC — the agency that oversees securities legislation in Canada’s largest province by population […]

UK police seize record US$408 million in cryptocurrency in money-laundering investigation

London police announced on Tuesday they have seized a record £294 million (US $408 million) in cryptocurrency in less than a month, as part of an ongoing investigation into money laundering. Fast facts According to London police, their recent £180-million (US$248.8 million) seizure in cryptocurrency comes less than three weeks after a £114-million (US$157.5 million) […]

Stablecoins promise much, but can they deliver?

As issuer Circle prepares to list and China sounds the alarm over speculation, the mood among regulators is mixed, despite stablecoins’ clear appeal to investors.

7 key developments in blockchain capital markets in 2021

In the second installment of a 2-part report, Lucas Schweiger of Blockdata examines the most notable current trends in blockchain and capital markets.

Band Protocol launches Phase 2 to bring off-chain data to DeFi

Oracle platform Band Protocol is aiming to enable data providers like Google Cloud and Bloomberg to work better with decentralized applications.

Korea crypto law applies to Binance; Samsung Next invests in Nifty’s

South Korean financial watchdog says the nation’s crypto laws will apply to foreign exchanges.

Science school’s toilets turn dumps into digital currencies

Science institute building given bio-fuel boost as users poo to accrue.
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Thai faithful pay up for religious trinket NFTs

Non-fungible tokens have gained traction across Asia, but in Thailand, the phenomenon has taken on a distinctive local twist: amulets featuring a revered abbot of a Buddhist monastery that believers say ward off evil spirits. Fast facts Crypto Amulets is a company that develops NFT amulets on the Ethereum blockchain. Founded in March, it offers […]

Japanese crypto scam leads to arrests after investors fleeced of US$54M

Police in Aichi Prefecture in central Japan have arrested four men on suspicion of crypto investment fraud, according to a report by Kyodo News.  Fast facts According to a person familiar with the matter, it was suspected that a total of at least 6 billion yen (US$54 million) was collected from more than 20,000 people […]

China explores ways to classify cryptocurrency crimes

A Shanghai procuratorate has held a seminar gathering judges, police, procurators and scholars to discuss how crimes related to cryptocurrency fit into China’s current legal framework. Fast facts The procuratorate said in a post on Monday that there had been confusion as to how to categorize cryptocurrencies. Some consider them data, while others regard them […]

NFTs and the music industry: Token gesture or transformative technology? | Part 1

In the first of a four-part series, Forkast.News looks at how non-fungible tokens may be changing who calls the tune in the recording business.

Bull run or BS? Where will crypto markets go after the Bitcoin crash?

Soaring BTC and altcoin prices earlier this year drew in new investors, who now worry about the current slump. Will crypto prices rise again, or are modest valuations here to stay?

UAE central bank announces roadmap for CBDC launch

The United Arab Emirates plans to implement a central bank digital currency as early as 2023 Gulf News reports, as outlined in a road map for the Gulf State’s economic future. Fast facts This 2023-2026 roadmap includes seven objectives — including the CBDC rollout — with the aim of making the UAE one of the […]

Korean banks extend crypto contracts; Axie Infinity tokens surge

Korean banks extend partnerships with crypto exchanges — for now. And also in Korea, how to earn crypto during bathroom breaks.

South Korean crypto exchanges get breather as banks extend contracts

South Korean lenders Kbank, Nonghyup Bank and Shinhan Bank have decided to extend their affiliations with cryptocurrency exchanges until a crypto exchange law compliance deadline of Sept. 24. Fast facts Kbank’s contract ended in June, and Nonghyup and Shinhan’s end in late July. Instead of renewing their contracts with the exchanges, the three banks have […]

Gravity DEX brings DeFi into Cosmos network’s orbit

Cosmos’s DeFi capital pulling power is set to get stronger as Gravity DEX launches, with Gravity Bridge and the Emeris DeFi portal on the way.

TikTok bans crypto promotions amid concerns over targeting of young users

Ban on branded content covers range of financial services and ‘get-rich-quick’ schemes boosted by influencers with young followings.

Diamond sets record for most expensive object bought with crypto

A 101.38-carat diamond sold at auction in Hong Kong has become the most physical object ever to have been purchased using cryptocurrency, Bloomberg reports. Fast facts The HK$95.1 million (US$12.3 million) sale price nevertheless fell short of the expected US$15 million price, auctioneer Sotheby’s said. A spokesperson for Sotheby’s told Forkast.News it was unable to […]

CoinDCX introduces ETH-backed Liqueth token for Ethereum 2.0 staking

India-based cryptocurrency exchange CoinDCX has announced the launch of its new Liqueth (LQTH) token, which will enable users to stake Ether — the native cryptocurrency of the Ethereum blockchain. Fast facts Users will be able to stake ETH on Ethereum 2.0 from a minimum 0.1 ETH. LQTH, an ERC-20 token, will be generated and transferred […]

Ripple seeks to force ex-SEC director to testify on XRP next week

Despite opposition from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Ripple is pushing ahead with plans to question former SEC director William Hinman, the former head of the regulator’s Division of Corporation Finance, telling the judge overseeing discovery in the SEC v. Ripple Labs lawsuit that Hinman’s deposition has been rescheduled to July 19, according to a […]

Axie Infinity token AXS price hits all-time high, Small Love Potion also surges

The price of Axie Infinity blockchain game’s native token has been on a tear. Why is Small Love Potion (SLP), a token on the AXS ecosystem, also rising?

Derivatives will be crypto’s ‘next big thing’ says 100x CEO

Crypto industry gets the ‘overleveraged’ label and authorities are cracking down on derivatives providers. Alexander Höptner of 100x believes the pushback foreshadows the industry’s next big thing — derivatives.

Delta variant spooking crypto markets? Fresh warning on crypto payments

Market dominance suggests that investors are flocking towards Bitcoin as Covid delta variant concerns hit markets. In Thailand, authorities remind the industry of their stance on cryptocurrency payments.

Secret Ukraine crypto farm shut down amid suspected power theft

Cryptocurrency miners blamed for blackouts as government eyes excess electricity for mooted state crypto mining operation.

China closes high-profile blockchain center, citing ‘registration’ issues

Closure of center comes despite — or perhaps because of — professional pedigree of crypto exchange founder board members.

Cardano overtakes Bitcoin as most-held crypto on eToro trading platform

Cardano leapfrogged Bitcoin as the most held cryptocurrency on social trading platform eToro in the second quarter of 2021, the platform reported this week. Fast facts Bitcoin, which led the cryptocurrency bull run at the start of the year, saw a 42% increase in demand, but slipped from first to second place behind Cardano. Cardano […]

BIS: cooperation essential for CBDCs to improve cross-border payments

In a new report, BIS says countries must work together and design CBDCs with interoperability in mind. Hong Kong and Singapore lead mCBDC efforts.

Crypto prices continue to fall: Is the market ailing from the Covid Delta variant?

The price of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency continue to slide as global failure to contain the Covid Delta variant lead to worries of another economic downturn.

Hong Kong manga finds virtual home on blockchain as authorities silence publishers

NFTs offer haven as authors self-censor amid intensifying crackdown on free expression.

Special series: ‘Let’s get serious’ — how blockchain is revolutionizing payment systems

Though Dogecoin and NFTs dominate headlines, their underlying technology — blockchain — is transforming our world in more meaningful ways, according to authors Kosrow Dehnad and Joe Duncan.
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Bitcoin parallel currency plan proves a hard sell in El Salvador

El Salvador’s government may face challenges in making Bitcoin legal tender, as more than three-quarters of the country remains skeptical of the plan, according to a report by Reuters. Fast facts A survey of 1,233 people across El Salvador earlier this month found that 54% of people said Bitcoin adoption was “not at all correct.” […]

SEC says Ripple not entitled to testimony on XRP from ex-director

Is William Hinman a former ‘high-ranking’ SEC official exempt from disclosing his prior communications on XRP, or must he provide testimony to Ripple?

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 […]

Penalties for kimchi premium abusers; Digital yuan on trial again

Korea issues penalties for kimchi premium arbitrage as China holds its 15th digital yuan pilot trials.

US$1.5B South Korean ‘kimchi premium’ crypto scheme prompts 33 arrests

Customs officers use foreign exchange law to shut down cycle of foreign remittances and arbitrage.

Key takeaways from FATF’s latest report on virtual assets

The Financial Action Task Force — the global anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing standards-setter — this week released its second 12-month review on virtual assets and virtual asset service providers, and called on countries to implement the revised FATF standards, including travel rule requirements “as soon as possible.” “The global nature of the underpinning technology […]

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 […]

Stablecoins could pose risks to global financial system, Chinese central bank official says

Warning comes as Beijing ramps up efforts to internationalize China’s currency through launch of digital yuan.

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 — […]

How is blockchain going to disrupt capital markets?

In the first of a special two-part report, Lucas Schweiger of Blockdata explores what the future of capital markets could look like with blockchain-based infrastructure.

Ethereum: London calling. Will the SEC ever approve Bitcoin ETFs? Foreign miners reap rewards amid China crypto crackdown.

Top blockchain and crypto news: Ethereum upgrade, torque of the town. SEC in snafu over Bitcoin ETFs. Crypto miners flourish amid China fallout.

Meitu to lose big on BTC investments; SK banks warned over crypto laws

Chinese tech giant forecasts a US$17.3 million loss in its BTC investment as more musicians in Asia lean towards NFTs.

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 […]

Software firm Meitu loses US$17.3M on Bitcoin

Higher value of Ether investments softens blow to value of Bitcoin holdings.

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 […]

Binance suspends SEPA euro deposits as CZ calls compliance a ‘journey’

Facing an onslaught of regulatory scrutiny, Binance CEO calls crypto regulations ‘positive sign’ of a maturing industry and announces new hires in compliance.

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 […]