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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 […]

Hong Kong CBDC project looks to commercialize for cross-border payments

Eddie Yue, CEO of Hong Kong Monetary Authority lays out the future of the territory’s digital currency at a Hong Kong Academy of Finance event.

Will Basel Committee’s proposed rules for crypto banking fly?

The standards-setter for banks around the world wants to subject crypto like Bitcoin to higher capital requirements. What do industry players think?

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

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

Ethereum’s London hard fork to launch Aug 4

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

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

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

IBC Group moves out of China; Pavilions Hotels to accept crypto

IBC Group becomes the latest to seize Bitcoin and Ethereum mining operations in China as crypto gets the nod from Pavilions Hotels and Resorts.

CoinShares acquires Elwood’s Global Blockchain Equity Index

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

Why decentralization is essential for protecting user data and privacy

Centralized data management is outdated and vulnerable to hacking, says Li Jun of Ontology. Here’s how blockchain can make data more secure.

Cryptocurrency tax holiday gets South Korean lawmaker’s vote

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

Bitcoin exchange data suggest selloff’s peak has passed

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

Pavilions hotel chain to begin accepting crypto as payment

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

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

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

Barclays bank blocks customer payments to Binance

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

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

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

IBC Group to move all its crypto mining out of China

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

Aussies look to crypto for retirement; Vietnam embracing crypto?

Aussies may be leaning towards crypto for retirement funds while Vietnamese Prime Minister greenlights pilot crypto program.

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

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

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

Ether hits two-week high as Ethereum’s London upgrade nears

The price of Ether has jumped to a fortnight high as Ethereum’s London EIP-1559 upgrade draws close and investors look to get back into alt-coins.

South Korean crypto exchanges tighten personal trading rules for employees

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

Philippine bourse eyes role as crypto exchange

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

Wuhan incubator plan aims to boost blockchain sector

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

Marathon Digital boosts Bitcoin production 17%

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

Crypto ‘Michelin Guide’ to rate tokens in South Korea

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