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Hong Kong’s metaverse ETF; Metaverse dating on the Moon

Hong Kong prepares to launch metaverse ETF, while India tries metaverse dating on the Moon.

Sandcastles in cyberspace and the rise of the metaverse

As businesses wake up to the potential of the metaverse, we ask The Sandbox’s Sebastien Borget whether its creator-driven promise will persevere.

Crypto market rebound is short-lived as Russia tensions loom

Investor relief at last week’s slight market rebound gave way to concerns over military tensions in Ukraine, sending crypto and traditional markets reeling.

Israel added to Binance’s list of global regulatory trouble spots

Israel’s capital market watchdog is asking major cryptocurrency exchange Binance for clarifications on its services in the country and licenses under which it operates, local media reported Thursday. See related article: Binance US under probe for ties with trading affiliates: report Fast facts Binance has stopped all Israel-focused activities and marketing, the Globes reported, citing […]

Biden to order crypto oversight: report

President Biden’s executive order directing agencies to devise a comprehensive strategy to regulate cryptocurrencies and other digital assets and examine a digital dollar may be issued next week, according to Yahoo! Finance. Fast facts The order, expected weeks ago, was delayed by a disagreement between the White House and the Treasury over its scope, Bloomberg […]

Korea’s crypto unicorns; Hong Kong’s e-CNY pilot

Korea’s crypto sector spawns two unicorns, meanwhile Hong Kong is set to be an idea cross-border e-CNY test city.

Two crypto exchanges reach unicorn status in South Korea

Two of South Korea’s top cryptocurrency exchanges, Upbit and Bithumb, are among the seven local businesses that achieved unicorn status last year, the Ministry of SMEs and Startups (MSS) reported on Tuesday. Fast facts The nation’s top four crypto exchanges dominated 96% of total deposits in the South Korean market, while exchange GOPAX is attempting […]

How DeFi’s user interface problems are deterring widespread adoption

DeFi can put investors at risk if they don’t understand how it works, writes Korapat Arunanondchai. Here’s how to improve user experience.

Bybit to issue Oracle Red Bull’s fan tokens in $150M deal

Oracle Red Bull’s Formula 1 (F1) racing team announced on Wednesday a multi-year sponsorship deal with Singapore-based derivative exchange Bybit in what it claims to be the largest annual crypto sponsorship to date. Fast facts While the scale of the sponsorship hasn’t been disclosed officially, media accounts cited an unnamed source in reporting the deal […]

Pakistan’s crypto warning; Indian banks’ crypto reluctance

Pakistan’s State Bank governor warns crypto’s risks, also in India, banks show crypto reluctancy.

Prime time for crypto as Super Bowl ads make splash

Top blockchain and crypto news: Super Bowl score for digital asset exchanges. CryptoPunks holders face copyright conundrum. Hong Kong warns of NFT risks.

Philippines to provide residency through Oz token staking

The Philippines is offering residency in one of its special economic zones known as ecozones with low tax rates for users staking the utility token of Oz Finance, TOTOZ.  Fast facts The residency is offered at the Freeport Area of Bataan, one of over 400 operating ecozones in the Philippines, which is located across the […]

RBI is causing crypto hesitancy among Indian banks

India’s crypto tax plan was expected to bolster adoption, but the central bank’s hold on the banking sector puts a check on crypto-related services.

Pakistani central bank echoes RBI’s concerns over crypto

State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) governor Reza Baqir said in this year’s MASIC Annual Investment Forum that cryptocurrency risks far outweigh their benefits and threaten financial and monetary stability for developing countries. Fast facts The SBP recommended a ban on cryptocurrencies last month, with one of the nation’s largest banks quickly heeding the advice by […]

Warren Buffett invests $1B in Bitcoin-friendly Nubank

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway purchased US$1 billion of Brazilian neobank Nubank Class A stock in Q4 2021 while selling billions of dollars of stock in Mastercard and Visa. Fast facts Buffett’s holding company dumped US$1.3 billion and US$1.8 billion from Mastercard and Visa, respectively, according to a Feb. 14 filing with the U.S. Securities and […]

BSN to integrate Neo’s chain to bolster NFT issuance in China

China’s state-backed Blockchain-based Service Network (BSN) announced the addition of Neo’s Jiuquan Chain to its open permissioned blockchain ecosystem to support the legal issuance of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in the mainland. Fast facts Jiuquan Chain, powered by China-based Neo, will run as one of the 10 BSN open permissioned blockchains, as part of the BSN […]

HK watchdog’s NFT warning; DBS plans crypto expansion

HK watchdog’s sends out warning calling NFT a threat, meanwhile in Singapore DBS plans a crypto expansion

Bitcoin’s 30-day performance shows it’s not just another tech stock

As Bitcoin’s price movement began to mirror that of traditional markets, some likened it to tech stocks. Its recent price action shows otherwise.

DBS Digital Exchange hits new high in trading value

DBS Digital Exchange (DDEx), one of Asia’s first bank-backed digital exchanges, recorded over SG$1.1 billion (US$818 million) in trading value in FY2021, the company said in a press release on Tuesday. Fast facts DDEx is currently a members-only exchange that provides corporate and institutional investors, accredited investors, and family offices that bank with DBS, access […]

Russian-linked strains lead crypto ransomware in 2021: Chainalysis

Ransomware revenue in crypto in 2021 has been traced to strains connected to Russia with most of the extorted funds laundered through services that primarily cater to Russian users, blockchain forensics firm Chainalysis reported. Fast facts Around 74% of the over US$400 million worth of crypto ransomware revenue last year was directed to strains that […]

Alibaba and Canaan’s AI team up; Metahuman creates Valentine’s NFT

Chinese giant Alibaba and Canaan team up to work on AI. Meanwhile, Valentine NFTs are created by meta-human using auction data.

India government, central bank in ‘complete harmony’ on crypto: FM

The Indian government and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) are working in “complete harmony” and any decision on cryptocurrency will be made jointly, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in a press conference on Monday.  Fast facts Discussions on crypto have been ongoing between the government and the RBI — India’s central bank — even […]

Indian exchanges scramble to implement crypto tax by April 1 deadline

Exchanges say the crypto tax was announced without key directives. While exchanges await clarity, they struggle to figure out their role in the tax system.

Ethereum price expected to hit $7,609 in 2022: report

Ethereum’s price is expected to reach US$7,609 this year, although it is expected to end the year at around US$6,500, according to Australian fintech Finder’s panel of 33 crypto specialists.  Fast facts In the long term, the panel predicted that Ethereum’s price will reach US$10,810 by the end of 2025, and US$26,338 by the end […]

Cryptocurrencies are not legal in India, future uncertain: Union minister

Union minister Bhagwat Karad said on Saturday that cryptocurrencies are not legal in India and that their future is uncertain at the moment.  Fast facts Many investors and exchanges had viewed a decision to impose a 30% tax on cryptocurrency profits as a step toward validating the industry. Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, however, clarified last […]

Crypto exchanges compete in Super Bowl ad blitz

Advertisements for several crypto exchanges vied for the spotlight in this year’s Super Bowl, including one for Crypto.com that aired during the showcase halftime break. Fast facts Following a widely publicized ad featuring Matt Damon, Singapore-based Crypto.com’s new ad featured basketball star LeBron James talking to his younger self in 2003 insinuating the creation and […]

RBI chief’s crypto warning; Korean crypto execs jailed

Reserve Bank of India’s chief sends crypto warning. In addition, Korean crypto execs gets jailed

Collision or coexistence: Can CBDCs and crypto live side by side?

As more countries announce plans for central bank digital currencies, will that break crypto’s promise as the future of money?

Guilty verdicts handed down in S.Korea’s biggest crypto scam

Seven executives of scam crypto exchange V Global were found guilty on Friday and sentenced to jail time — but it might not be enough to console victims.

North Korea refutes crypto hack allegation, claims the US made it up

North Korea’s foreign affairs ministry wrote on its website Tuesday that the U.S. is behind the claim that the socialist state hacked millions of dollars worth of cryptocurrency. Fast facts The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) warned that it considers the act of spreading rumors about a “non-existent” cryptocurrency theft to be a serious […]

Crypto is ‘not even a tulip,’ India’s central bank chief says

Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das said in a press conference that cryptocurrencies have no underlying value and that they are “not even a tulip,” warning investors of its risks.  Fast facts Das’s comments come just over a week after India’s central government announced a 30% taxation plan on income from crypto assets as well […]

Will the growing regulatory heat on stablecoins stifle innovation?

As stablecoins face pressure to adopt traditional safeguards, the industry’s efforts to self-regulate should not be overlooked, writes Charlie Martin of Gro.

Binance to take $200M stake in Forbes

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, plans to take a US$200 million stake in Forbes through a private placement, making it one of the two largest shareholders of the 104-year-old business magazine. Fast facts The investment comes as Forbes seeks to go public on the New York Stock Exchange via a deal with a special […]

S.Korean gaming giant Netmarble partners with Binance for GameFi

Netmarble revealed Thursday that it has formed a strategic partnership with Binance to establish a global blockchain gaming ecosystem. Fast facts Binance will provide its blockchain platform and tech infrastructure to Netmarble. Netmarble will build a new sidechain on the Binance Smart Chain (BSC) for developing GameFi and an initial game offering (IGO) on the […]

Bandai Namco plans IP metaverse; Russia’s crypto flip

Japanese gaming giant Bandai Namco plans on a metaverse with their IP meanwhile, Russia does a crypto flip.

Indian crypto tax creates more confusion than clarity for traders, exchanges

The announcement of a crypto tax dispelled fears of a ban but left exchanges wondering whether they may be hurt in the long run.

JPMorgan predicts $150,000 Bitcoin price in the long run

American banking giant JPMorgan predicts Bitcoin’s price will approach US$150,000 in the long term, strategist Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou wrote in an investors note cited by Bloomberg. Fast facts Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, is currently trading at about US$43,830, but JPMorgan pegs its fair value at around US$38,000, about 15% lower than its current […]

Crypto to be OK’d for circulation in Russia, as ban concerns fade

Russia’s central government agencies reached an agreement to regulate cryptocurrencies by mandating licenses for exchanges and taxing large transactions on Tuesday, shelving concerns of a blanket ban proposed by the central bank last month.  Fast facts Russian business newspaper Kommersant reported the government and the Bank of Russia are preparing a draft law by Feb. […]

PBOC pushes E-CNY standardization; CoinDCX hits 10 million users

PBoC pushes for e-CNY standardization, meanwhile Indian crypto unicorn CoinDCX hits 10 million users

AssangeDAO strikes crypto gold

WikiLeaks founder’s legal defense fundraising bonanza. Shiba Inu’s big new leap. NFT fever rises in China.

What is Web 3.0 and how will it shape the crypto future?

By returning data ownership and reshaping human-machine interactions, the third generation of the internet promises an interconnected future.

Memecoins prove their staying power, despite industry skepticism

Last weekend’s rally shows there is still life left in memecoins. Industry insiders weigh in on where they stand in the long run.

US seizes $3.6B worth of Bitcoin stolen in 2016 Bitfinex hack

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has seized over US$3.6 billion worth of Bitcoin linked to crypto exchange Bitfinex’s hack that occurred in 2016, as the country ramps up efforts to combat crypto crime. Fast facts The DOJ said Tuesday in a statement that it has arrested two individuals for allegedly laundering proceeds of 119,754 […]

Kakao Games rebrands subsidiary to focus on crypto, blockchain, Web 3.0

Kakao Games announced Tuesday that Friends Games, its subsidiary, will now become Meta Bora to focus on blockchain-based games and entertainment supporting its Bora cryptocurrency. Fast facts “We will work our hardest to help the development of the Web 3.0, such as in blockchain and the metaverse, by integrating Kakao Games’ game industry network and insight […]

Bybit teams up with Cabital for more fiat-to-crypto options

Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange Bybit has teamed up with Cabital, a Hong Kong-based crypto wealth management platform, to offer users more fiat on-ramp pathways to buy crypto. Fast facts Bybit said Tuesday in a statement that through the partnership, its users can use EUR and GBP to buy crypto on the Bybit platform and transfer crypto […]

Bithumb goes for Olympic gold; India crypto tax questions

South Korean crypto exchange Bithumb goes for Olympic gold, meanwhile in India clouds cast over crypto tax questions

Exchange to drop NFTs for each S.Korean medal at Beijing Olympics

Bithumb, one of South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, says it will distribute digital art non-fungible tokens (NFTs) for traders who meet the criteria every time South Korea wins a medal at the Beijing Winter Olympics. Fast facts Held jointly with blockchain-based sports content platform 300FIT, the NFTs will be accessible to traders who have transacted […]

Polygon raises $450M led by Sequoia Capital India

Ethereum layer-2 scaling solution Polygon has raised US$450 million from several big name investors including Sequoia Capital India, SoftBank, Galaxy Digital and Tiger Global, boosting its war chest as demand for its services grow.  Fast facts Polygon is one of the most prominent Ethereum scalers whose tools allow developers to create decentralized apps (dApps) and […]

Japan’s Mitsubishi UFJ to issue yen-pegged stablecoin: report

Japan’s largest bank, Mitsubishi UFJ Trust (MUFJ), plans to issue a yen-pegged stablecoin in 2023 for instant settlement of securities transactions, according to Nikkei Asia. Fast facts By accelerating the settlement process, Mitsubishi UFJ hopes to cut costs arising from settling securities transactions by fiat, which usually takes a few days to process. Japan’s Financial […]

North Korea gains from cyberattacks; Russia crypto mining tax?

North Korea is benefits financially from the crypto cyberattacks. Also, is Russia looking to tax crypto mining soon?

India’s digital rupee to run on state-backed e-wallets

The Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) digital rupee will run on a government-mandated electronic wallet that will allow the central bank to be the middleman between merchants and customers, a top government official told the Press Trust of India.  Fast facts The government official said the nation’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) is likely to […]

Indian crypto investment turns to armed robbery, over $267K looted

An Indian auto parts dealer became the victim of a US$267,000 cryptocurrency scam after local police closed the case on what was determined to be a hoax call on Friday, local media reported.  Fast facts 29-year-old victim Vinay Jain told police on Saturday that he had been robbed by the accused who had promised him […]

North Korea funds missiles with cyberattacks on crypto exchanges: Reuters

North Korea has been funding its nuclear and ballistic missile programs with profits from cyberattacks on crypto exchanges, Reuters reported, citing a confidential United Nations (U.N.) report. Fast facts “According to a member state, DPRK cyberactors stole more than US$50 million between 2020 and mid-2021 from at least three cryptocurrency exchanges in North America, Europe […]

Crypto donations rise by 1,558% on The Giving Block in 2021

Charitable donations on crypto philanthropy platform The Giving Block rose by 1,558% in 2021, the company announced in its annual report. Fast facts The Giving Block’s crypto donation volume increased in each quarter of 2021 and surpassed US$69 million in total donations, with an average of US$10,455 worth of crypto per donation. As cryptocurrency is […]

US taxpayer rejects IRS refund for staking rewards

A U.S. taxpayer fighting the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) over whether newly created tokens are taxable income announced Thursday that he has rejected the government’s offer of a refund in order to force the government to clarify its policy. Fast facts On Thursday, Joshua Jarrett shared on Twitter that the IRS had offered him a […]

$10M in NFT money laundering, fraud likely to grow in 2022: report

The two most popular NFT-related crimes, money laundering and wash trading, resulted in illicit profits of US$10 million in 2021, according to a report released Wednesday by blockchain forensics firm Chainalysis. Fast facts While the US$10 million of global NFT criminal activity is relatively small, Chainalysis reported a spike in the use of illicit funds […]

India crypto tax: Exchanges cheer, investors jeer

A 30% tax doesn’t legalize cryptocurrencies but exchanges no longer worry about a ban, while investors would pay taxes at twice the rate of other asset gains.

Aussie mining billionaire files suit against Meta over crypto ads

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

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

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

Crypto adoption may rise as industry self-regulates

Crypto regulations are lagging the market’s needs, and the industry should help create order to gain greater public trust, writes Imgesu Cetin of Defy Trends.

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 to place 30% tax on crypto income

Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in her budget speech on Tuesday that a 30% tax will be levied on income from all cryptocurrency or digital assets transfers.  Fast facts The levy on cryptocurrency will also apply to non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and gifts, where the recipient will be taxed. In case of losses from crypto […]

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 […]

Meta sells stablecoin Diem project for $182M

Meta (formerly Facebook)-backed stablecoin project Diem’s intellectual property and assets have been sold to cryptocurrency bank Silvergate Capital Corporation for US$182 million, both entities confirmed on Monday. Fast facts “[W]e identified a need for a U.S. dollar-backed stablecoin that is regulated and highly scalable to further enable them to move money without barriers,” said Silvergate […]

FTX reaches US$32B valuation after closing $400M series C

The owner and operator of cryptocurrency exchange FTX.COM announced Monday it closed US$400 million in a Series C fundraise that now values the company at US$32 billion. Fast facts Investors participating in this round included Temasek, SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and Tiger Global, among others. The company said all of the investors have participated in […]

Warner Music partners with The Sandbox; Crypto Lunar New Year gifts

Warner Music partners with The Sandbox for metaverse, meanwhile crypto still a niche gift for lunar new year

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.

Apple to turn iPhones into payment terminals

Apple is planning a new service that will allow small businesses to accept credit card payments directly on their iPhone without additional hardware, according to a report by Bloomberg. Fast facts Apple’s move has stoked speculation that the company may be paving the way for its devices to also allow crypto payments in the future. […]

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 […]

Russian ministry against crypto ban; Korea plans metaverse protection

Russian Ministry of Finance against the latest crypto ban, meanwhile in Korea, there are plans to protect metaverse users.

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?