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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?
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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?

‘We’re in a crypto super cycle,’ says CoinFLEX CEO

Mark Lamb of CoinFLEX takes a 20-year view of crypto and predicts ‘infinitely bigger’ growth than imagined today, with stablecoins leading the transformation.

Building a blockchain ecosystem today for the metaverse of tomorrow

The metaverse could be life-changing for the world’s unbanked, writes Pavel Matveev of Wirex. Interoperability between the real and virtual worlds will be key.

How to avoid regulatory pitfalls in an increasingly ‘cryptoized’ world

Crypto regulations run the gamut from wait-and-see to total prohibition. What are the dos and don’ts of smart regulation?

South Korea wants to be the physical home of the metaverse

The tech-savvy nation is deemed a prime environment to grow the metaverse. What comes next, and will some be left out by a digital divide?

Survey: India wants crypto regulation clarity from Parliament

A survey of more than 1,000 digital respondents found 79% of Indians want more clarity on cryptocurrency and non-fungible token (NFT) regulations in the budget session of Parliament starting on Jan. 31, according to new survey findings.  Fast facts The survey, conducted by tax and advisory firm Grant Thornton Bharat, also found that 61% of […]

OpenSea NFT marketplace hacked for 332 ETH

OpenSea NFT marketplace has suffered a front-end attack with the exploiter withdrawing 332 ETH (US$800,000), as reported by security and data tracker PeckShield. Fast facts PeckShield noted the issue overnight Asia time, revealing the attacker received 10 ETH from Ethereum mixer TornadoCash, which was then wrapped to wETH to carry out the attack. The non-fungible […]

Where does Singapore’s crypto policy go from here?

Despite Singapore’s reputation as a crypto-friendly hub, the truth is more complicated. Is the city-state purposely keeping out small companies?

Crypto market tumbles amid uncertainty over Russia and Ukraine

Bitcoin and Ethereum fall below psychologically important levels as rising uncertainty clouds markets. Is the Fed also depressing crypto’s prospects?

Bitcoin price slumps as mining hashrate and difficulty reach ATHs

The Bitcoin mining difficulty level rose to an all-time high in its latest adjustment on Friday while the total Bitcoin hashrate also reached an all-time-high during a global cryptocurrency sell-off. Fast facts The mining difficulty level rose by 9.32% to 26.64 trillion at block height 719.712, reflecting its most difficult level in history, according to […]

NFTs and music: Is the fan outcry over NFTs’ environmental impact warranted? | Part 4

K-pop fans are waging online campaigns against their favorite artists over NFTs, denouncing the technology’s carbon footprint. How polluting are NFTs?

Why Asia is poised to be the next big market for an NFT boom

Global NFT sales are exploding in 2022, but experts predict this is only the beginning of a bigger surge in Asia.

Crypto investors are being wooed in South Korea’s tight presidential election

The top contenders jockey for position on initial coin offerings and other blockchain-based innovations. How did crypto become a critical factor in the race?

Digital dollar leaps closer to reality with new Fed paper

Though the world’s most powerful central bank does not stake a position, its discussion paper is a big step toward supporting a future US digital currency.

Guangzhou will advance digital yuan, blockchain pilots in 2022

Guangdong Province’s 2022 Government Report says its capital city Guangzhou will become a digital yuan testbed and a blockchain innovation application pilot center in 2022.  Fast facts Guangzhou applied to become a new digital yuan pilot city in September 2021.  Guangzhou is one of the major cities of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA). […]

Straight shot: How sports stars are sidestepping middlemen in Web 3.0

A pro basketball player and an ex-banker are aiming for a slam-dunk with a ‘creator first’ content platform. Calaxy co-founder Solo Ceesay explains how.

Crypto.com discloses details of US$34M hack

The fast-growing crypto exchange Crypto.com discloses large amounts of Bitcoin and Ether were stolen from 483 customers.

How creators can solve the talent bottleneck in gaming

The gaming industry suffers from a talent shortage, but blockchain technology and Gen Z’s obsession with self-expression are relieving cost pressures.

The rising tide of decentralization in mass movements

Alternative approaches to governance have never been more important, writes Alexander Filatov of TON Labs. Here is how DAOs can change the world.

Crypto clampdowns mount in Asia as authorities ponder bans

Top blockchain and crypto news: Asian governments target crypto. Managing MATIC. China’s expanding metaverse.

Microsoft to acquire gaming giant Activision Blizzard in metaverse bid

Microsoft announced on Tuesday a US$68.7 billion acquisition plan of gaming giant Activision Blizzard as part of its reach for the emerging metaverse market. Fast facts “Gaming is the most dynamic and exciting category in entertainment across all platforms today and will play a key role in the development of metaverse platforms,” said Satya Nadella, […]

Fusang receives green light for US$10M equity-token IPO

Malaysian exchange will offer equity tokens representing direct shares on the blockchain, claiming it will be the world’s first fully regulated equity-token IPO.
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India crypto bill likely delayed again

The Indian government may not introduce a much-anticipated crypto bill in the upcoming parliamentary budget session, according to a report by the Economic Times of India.  Fast facts The government is reportedly seeking to reach consensus with industry stakeholders before proposing legislation.  The government may also be waiting for the Reserve Bank of India to […]

Polygon upgrade ignites token burn to make MATIC more valuable

Polygon’s upgrade, which piggybacks off Ethereum’s EIP-1559, makes MATIC deflationary while allowing users to estimate gas fees more accurately.

India PM calls for global ‘common thinking’ on crypto regulation

India Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for collective and synchronized global action to tackle the challenges posed by cryptocurrency. Fast facts Speaking at the 2022 World Economic Forum’s annual Davos conference on Monday, Modi said: “The kind of technology cryptocurrency is associated with makes decisions taken by one country inadequate to meet the challenges posed […]

S. Korean broadcaster KBS opens metaverse studio for 2022 election

South Korean public broadcaster KBS launched a recreation of its Seoul studio compound on Naver’s Zepeto metaverse on Tuesday, to promote coverage of the upcoming March 9 presidential election. Fast facts Visitors can enter and experience the digital replica of the broadcaster’s news studio, stage sets, take quizzes about the election, stroll around the history […]

BTFD is more than a meme — it’s a revolution

Savvy cryptocurrency investors now know what the biggest players have long done, writes Michal Cymbalisty of Domination Finance — ‘buying the f* dip!’

As Binance shrinks away in Asia, will it put down roots in the Middle East?

Binance’s CEO is now the richest Asian man, but the crypto exchange giant’s presence in Asia—where Binance got its start—is withering under regulatory heat.

Pakistan agency wants to block crypto portals, report says

Pakistan’s top investigation agency is looking to block crypto websites over fraud and money laundering concerns, according to a news report, less than a week after the country’s central bank recommended an outright ban on cryptocurrencies.  Fast facts Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Director-General Dr. Sanaullah Abbasi said on Saturday the agency would approach the Pakistan […]

S. Korean lawmaker takes Bitcoin donations, issues receipts in NFTs

South Korean lawmaker Lee Kwang-jae announced on Sunday that he has started accepting political donations in cryptocurrencies. Fast facts Donors can use Bitcoin, Ethereum, Kakao’s KLAY, media industry-focused NEWS, and payments-focused Paycoin, while receipts can be issued as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), according to Lee’s website.  The first donor was an anonymous professional from the blockchain […]

Chinese university warns against Norton’s Ethereum mining function

Xiamen University of southeast China is warning its staff and students to not use Norton 360 antivirus software for its Ether mining function, citing the nation’s crypto mining ban policy. Fast facts

Up to code: Bringing digital assets into the regulatory architecture

If 2021 was a breakout year for crypto, this year may mark a similar advance for regulation of the industry, says Caroline Malcolm, Chainalysis’ new policy chief.

Upstart NFT marketplace LooksRare challenges OpenSea’s dominance

The NFT platform crosses $1B in sales volume within a week after launch, but with a controversial incentive structure and so-called ‘vampire’ attack.

Fed nominee looks to Congress for guidance on US digital dollar

The U.S. Federal Reserve is deferring to Congress to decide whether to introduce a central bank digital currency (CBDC), Lael Brainard told the Senate banking committee Thursday at her Fed vice chair nomination hearing. Fast facts Republican Senator Cynthia Lummis asked whether the vice chair nominee believed that the digital dollar should be available to […]

China to launch own NFT infrastructure by end Jan, BSN confirms

A Chinese state-backed blockchain network plans to launch non-fungible token (NFT) infrastructure that has no link to cryptocurrency by the end of this month, one of its creators told Forkast. Fast facts He Yifan, CEO of Red Date Technology, a developer of the Blockchain-based Service Network (BSN), a project to spur mass adoption of blockchain […]

Bitcoin and Ethereum futures ETFs may be in the cards for India

India may soon get its first Bitcoin and Ethereum futures exchange traded funds (ETFs) pending approval by a financial regulator.  Fast facts India INX, the international arm of BSE (formerly Bombay Stock Exchange) and Torus Kling Block Chain IFSC have jointly sought regulatory approval for a Bitcoin and an Ethereum Futures ETF, according to a […]

North Korea hacked US$400M of crypto in 2021, says Chainalysis

State-backed hackers from North Korea stole cryptocurrencies worth about US$395 million last year across at least seven cyber attacks, according to Chainalysis, a blockchain data company. Fast facts Several of the attacks were likely led by Lazarus, a group of hackers believed to be backed by North Korea’s primary intelligence agency, the Reconnaissance General Bureau, […]

Palau to issue stablecoins in digital overhaul, president says

Palau will issue a stablecoin to support plans for a digital overhaul of its economy, according to its president. Fast facts President Surangel S. Whipps, Jr. said the Pacific archipelago was also working on establishing a crypto exchange, a corporate registry and digital wallets for each resident in its digital revamp. Palau is planning a […]

Crypto ‘finfluencers’ are attracting a new following — of regulators

Online influencers may be improving crypto-financial literacy for millions of people. But regulators have growing concerns.

This is what DeFi banking will look like in the future

Traditional banks are not going away and decentralized finance is here to stay, writes Edan Yago of Sovryn. Here’s how an amalgam of the two can take shape.

Hong Kong outlines stablecoin regulation plan to check financial stability risks

Stablecoins and CBDCs will likely co-exist in the city, experts say, as Hong Kong looks to thrive as crypto hub.

Korean prosecutors demand life; HK plans new crypto regulation

Korean prosecutors demand life, as HK plans new crypto regulation.

Pakistan’s central bank recommends ban on crypto, reports say

Pakistan’s central bank has recommended that all cryptocurrencies should be officially banned in the country, according to multiple local media reports, in response to an ongoing lawsuit before a provincial high court.  Fast facts In a report submitted on Wednesday to the Sindh High Court, which is hearing a case on cryptocurrencies, the central bank […]

Hackers demand 0.042 Bitcoin from Chinese supermarket

A computer database at a supermarket in eastern China is being held hostage by cybercriminals demanding 0.042 Bitcoin, which amounts to US$1,832, according to a Chinese media report. Fast facts

S. Korean prosecutors seek life sentence for crypto execs in fraud case

Prosecutors in South Korea are demanding life sentences for seven former executives of a now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange who were charged with defrauding investors of just under US$1.9 billion. The executives are not yet convicted, and the trial judge will deliver a verdict on Feb. 11. Fast facts The executives of V Global allegedly took about […]

Kazakhstan crypto mining fortunes falter as regime unplugs internet

Top blockchain and crypto news: Bandwidth bust in Kazakhstan. Binance chief CZ tops rich list. Digital yuan app adoption grows.

Webtoon Solo Leveling NFTs sell out quickly after S.Korea launch

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) based on a wildly popular fantasy action digital comics series backed by South Korean internet giant Kakao have sold out soon after launch on Wednesday. Fast facts The NFTs, launched by Kakao Entertainment, are based on webtoon Solo Leveling, which has amassed a whopping 14.2 billion views globally since its launch in […]

Telecoms giant China Unicom accepts digital yuan for phone bills

China’s No. 3 telecoms provider has started accepting payment for phone bills in digital yuan on its app, in the latest move by a major firm to advance the country’s fledgling central bank digital currency (CBDC) efforts.  Fast facts Since earlier this week, China Unicom customers have had the option of using digital yuan, also […]

New NFT marketplace challenges OpenSea’s dominance

New non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace LooksRare has outsold market leader OpenSea just a day after launch, reaching US$275.5 million in sales volume in the past 24 hours. Fast facts This compares with almost US$120 million in sales volume for OpenSea over the same period, according to DappRadar. Like its main competitor, LooksRare, which launched on […]

NFTs may be the next killer app for video games, but some traditional players object

Developers adopt NFT technology to promote staple video game franchises, but reaction from a number of gamers has been negative.

Arming up for a better fight against crypto-related crime

The current technologies in use do little to deter crypto money laundering, writes Dr. Mark van Staalduinen. What can nations do about this?

Kazakh crypto miners remain hopeful, assess satellite option amid unrest

Internet blackouts are partially restored but access remains unpredictable to support full crypto mining, industry players say.

Is Bitcoin’s rocky start to 2022 a sign of things to come?

The 2022 crypto market has had a tough start as Bitcoin and Ethereum dipped below significant price points. But crypto experts say it’s not all doom and gloom.

China officially labels crypto mining as ‘obsolete’

China’s top economic planning body has officially designated crypto mining as “obsolete,” reinforcing government efforts to stamp out the industry entirely.  Fast facts

US central bank chief says he will tackle higher inflation

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell will reiterate his pledge to prevent entrenched inflation, in testimony released before his Senate nomination hearing on Tuesday.  Fast facts “We will use our tools to support the economy and a strong labor market and to prevent higher inflation from becoming entrenched,” he said in a statement prepared for delivery. […]