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October 2021

Alipay and Tencent now call NFTs ‘digital collectibles’ amid state media criticism

Tech giants banish non-fungible token references as Beijing looks down new virtual asset market.

The Philippines looks to blockchain voting for its diaspora

The nation’s elections commission wants to upgrade its voting technology to improve voter turnout and public trust. Does blockchain check the boxes?

Mastercard partners with Bakkt to offer crypto payments

Payments giant Mastercard and cryptocurrencies firm Bakkt Holdings Inc. announced on Monday they have partnered to facilitate cryptocurrency debit and credit card payments. The partnership will make it easier for merchants, banks and fintechs in the U.S. to offer a broad set of cryptocurrency services and ​​enable consumers to buy and sell digital assets through […]

Bitcoin propels crypto institutional inflows to record $1.5B

Crypto investment products saw record inflows last week of US$1.47 billion, with Bitcoin accounting for 99% of the inflows, according to digital assets fund manager CoinShares. Total crypto assets under management also reached a new peak of US$79.2 billion. Fast facts Bitcoin investment products saw record inflows of US$1.45 billion last week. “The record inflows […]

Proshares files for exemption; Shiba Inu hits all-time high

Proshares files for exemption meanwhile Shiba Inu hits all-time high

China’s BSN launches service portal in Hong Kong, Macau with digiXnode

Hong Kong-based blockchain technology company digiXnode Technology Ltd. today officially launched an exclusive service portal — for users in Hong Kong and Macau — that grants access to the Blockchain-based Service Network (BSN), China’s public-private nationwide infrastructure project to spur mass adoption of blockchain technology. Fast facts By subscribing to the service from digiXnode’s website […]

S. Korea’s top financial regulator accused of giving special treatment to Upbit

A lawmaker claims authorities gave the country’s largest crypto exchange privilege in meeting government requirements.

Tencent to establish gaming studio believed to be related to metaverse: report

Chinese internet giant Tencent reportedly plans to bet big on the metaverse — a trending idea on building a virtual world typically with the support of virtual and augmented reality technologies — and is looking to build an advanced gaming studio for that, the South China Morning Post reported on Wednesday, citing sources familiar with […]

FTX raises $421 million, valuation jumps $7B in 3 months

Just three months after closing a record US$1 billion series B, the two-year-old cryptocurrency exchange is now valued at US$25 billion. Fast facts The US$420,690,000 Series B-1 funding round saw the participation of 69 investors, with prominent names the lineup, including Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board, via its Teachers’ Innovation Platform, Singapore’s state-owned investment firm […]

Ripple expands cross-border payments using XRP with Tranglo in Asia, Al Ansari Exchange in Middle East

Despite its legal troubles in the U.S., San Francisco-based blockchain payments company Ripple has been pushing ahead to bring faster and cheaper cross-border payments using XRP in Asia and the Middle East. Fast facts Ripple and Tranglo, a Malaysia-based cross-border payments provider, today announced that Tranglo has launched its first live On-Demand Liquidity (ODL) service […]

Tesla records $51M Bitcoin impairment charge in Q3 despite profit growth

Electric carmaker Tesla Motors, Inc. (TSLA) on Wednesday reported that its third-quarter revenue surged 57% to US$13.76 billion from US$8.77 billion last year, and a net income of US$1.62 billion for the quarter. However, the company’s digital assets were hit by a Bitcoin-related impairment of US$51 million, down to US$1.26 billion in digital assets from […]

Blockchain gaming unicorn Animoca Brands closes $65M capital raise at $2.2B valuation

Animoca Brands, a Hong Kong-based blockchain gaming, metaverse and non-fungible token (NFT) company, has closed a capital raise for US$65 million at a pre-money valuation of US$2.2 billion, according to a company statement. Fast facts Investors in the round included Liberty City Ventures, Ubisoft Entertainment, Sequoia China, Dragonfly Capital, Token Bay Capital and Justin Sun, […]

Huobi Japan gets regulator’s approval to offer crypto derivatives

Huobi Japan has been granted approval to offer crypto derivatives as a Type I Financial Instruments Business by Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) — the regulator for financial services in Japan — according to a company statement this week. Fast facts Huobi Japan currently offers spot trading for 14 cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum and Huobi […]

Trick of the trade: Is SEC helping or reining in Bitcoin with ETF?

Top blockchain and cryptocurrency news: Bitcoin grows up. Facebook’s metaverse journey. China’s crypto investors find a workaround.

U.S. lawmakers urge Facebook to halt Novi’s pilot launch

A group of U.S. lawmakers called on Facebook to halt its cryptocurrency and digital wallet project Novi hours after its pilot launch began on Tuesday, amid the company’s ongoing trust crisis. Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Tina Smith (D-MN) said the tech giant “cannot be trusted […]

China’s crypto investors get creative to bypass domestic trading ban

Some are registering companies overseas, via — you guessed it — Taobao vendors.

Facebook to create 10,000 jobs in the EU to build its vision for the metaverse

Facebook says it will create 10,000 jobs in the European Union over the next five years to build its highly anticipated metaverse — a digital platform that utilizes technology such as virtual and augmented reality that the company says has the potential to unlock new creative, social and economic opportunities. Fast facts According to a […]

Institutional investors pour into Bitcoin amid ETF excitement

As excitement grew over the imminent approval of Bitcoin futures exchange traded funds (ETFs) in the United States, Bitcoin investment products saw inflows of US$70 million last week — the fifth consecutive week of inflows — while Ethereum saw outflows of US$1 million, according to digital assets manager CoinShares. Fast facts According to CoinShares, the total […]

Tether fined $41M for misleading claims it was fully backed by fiat

Tether, the issuer of the world’s most popular stablecoin USDT, has been fined US$41 million by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) over “untrue or misleading” claims that its USDT stablecoin was fully backed by corresponding fiat currencies. Fast facts The CFTC said in a Friday statement that from at least June 1, 2016 to […]

SEC calls Ripple’s 30,000 legal requests in XRP lawsuit ‘abusive’ and ‘crushing’

But Ripple says its 5,000 pages of requests for admission to SEC are reasonable and could cut down on trial time.

Ripple joins Digital Pound Foundation as it looks to expand its CBDC business

Ripple, a San Francisco-based blockchain payments company, has joined the Digital Pound Foundation, a non-profit organization supporting the implementation of a digital pound in the United Kingdom, according to a Ripple blog post. Fast facts As a foundation member, Ripple will be represented on the board by Susan Friedman, Ripple’s head of policy. Other foundation […]

Binance taps former Dubai financial services official as regulatory liaison chief

Binance — the world’s biggest cryptocurrency by trading volume — today announced the appointment of Mark McGinness, former head of international relations at the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), as its chief regulatory liaison officer, according to a company statement. Fast facts McGinness’ appointment comes as Binance bolsters its compliance efforts and navigates regulatory headwinds […]

China’s state-backed blockchain network, U.S. firm team up to enhance CBDC efficiency

China’s Blockchain-based Service Network (BSN) — a public-private nationwide infrastructure project to spur mass adoption of blockchain technology — is partnering with a New York-based blockchain company to advance interoperability as BSN actively expands its global presence to lure more developers to use the blockchain network. Fast facts Cypherium, a smart contract technology provider focusing on central […]

Coinbase and Binance move to diversify; Stablecoins under scrutiny

Coinbase and Binance move to diversify meanwhile Stablecoins under scrutiny

Bitmain to supply 10K Antminer rigs to Bit Digital for U.S. expansion

Crypto miners in China may be under siege and driven out of business or forced to flee to friendlier shores. But one corner of the country’s crypto mining industry — the mining machine manufacturers — does not seem to be affected much. Chinese mining rig maker Bitmain, for example, has recently secured a deal with […]

Crypto exchanges diversify amid growing competition

As non-crypto players like Twitter and PayPal take up digital assets, Coinbase, Binance and others look for ways to expand offerings.

Binance to shut down yuan trading on C2C platform after China’s crypto ban

Binance — the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world by market value — is set to close down the yuan trading feature on its customer-to-customer platform on Dec. 31, the company said today in a statement, in a move to “meet regulatory requirements of the local government.” Fast facts Binance also said it will conduct […]

Hex Trust integrates Hedera Hashgraph into custody platform

Hong Kong-based digital asset custodian Hex Trust has integrated enterprise-grade public blockchain network Hedera Hashgraph into its Hex Safe custody platform, the company announced today. Fast facts With the integration, Hex Trust’s Hex Safe custody platform will support HBAR — the Hedera network’s native cryptocurrency — and tokens issued using the Hedera Token Service (HTS), […]

Ripple to fund solar energy projects in the U.S.

San Francisco-based blockchain payments company Ripple has partnered with Nelnet Renewable Energy, the renewable energy investment business of NYSE-listed Nelnet, on a US$44 million clean energy fund to support solar energy projects in the United States, the company said. Fast facts The solar projects financed by the Ripple Nelnet Renewable Energy Fund are estimated to […]

China’s national blockchain network to expand to Turkey, Uzbekistan

China’s Blockchain-based Service Network (BSN) — a public-private nationwide infrastructure project to spur mass adoption of blockchain technology — is setting up more portals overseas, as it moves a step closer to more international exposure. Fast facts Red Date Technology, the company China tapped to manage its BSN, announced today that it is working to […]

Tether fires back; Easy Crypto closes Series A funding round

Tether fires back while Easy Crypto closes Series A funding round

Tether lashes out at report that claims it is not 100% backed

Tether is facing another round of scrutiny as the world’s number one stablecoin responds to a damning Bloomberg report published yesterday that claimed — among other things — that Tether is not fully backed as the company claims and is using its reserves to make crypto-backed loans. Fast facts In the article, reporter Zeke Faux […]

Crypto exchange Binance looks to Ireland for regional HQ

Binance — the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world — is looking at setting up regional headquarters in Ireland, according to Reuters. Fast facts “Historically, we claim that we don’t have headquarters. We are actually just in the process of establishing a few headquarters in different parts of the world,” Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao told […]

India gets second crypto unicorn within two months

Indian crypto exchange CoinSwitch Kuber has become the country’s second crypto unicorn after raising US$260 million in a Series C funding round, the startup announced. Fast facts The latest funding round drew in marquee investors — it was led by Coinbase Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz (a16z). Existing investors Sequoia, Paradigm, Ribbit and Tiger Global also participated […]

Judge makes XRP holders ‘friends of court’ in SEC’s lawsuit against Ripple

A US court has denied XRP holders’ bid to join the SEC v. Ripple lawsuit as third-party defendants, but XRP advocates say being ‘amici curiae’ is still a win.

How should the world tackle crypto criminals and digital dangers?

Top blockchain and crypto news: US leads charge in ramping up cybersecurity. Crypto fans crow as Facebook flops. China bears down on metaverses.

Ripple partners with Qatar’s largest bank to improve cross-border payments

Blockchain payments company Ripple has partnered with Qatar National Bank (QNB) to improve cross-border payments and launch a new remittance platform, Ripple announced on Tuesday. Fast facts QNB will pilot RippleNet, a network of banks and other payment companies developed using Ripple’s technology, with QNB Finansbank in Turkey as part of a group rollout, the […]

Top South Korean exchange accused of listing faulty tokens for fees

A lawmaker claims Upbit earned hundreds of millions by listing sketchy cryptocurrencies, while the exchange rebuts that it follows fair and strict standards.

Global bodies propose regulatory standards and greater oversight for stablecoins

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI) and the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) today published a joint report proposing that international standards for payment, clearing and settlement systems should be applied to “systemically important stablecoin arrangements.” Fast facts The BIS, CPMI and IOSCO report comes amid the […]

What are the biggest challenges for institutions that adopt crypto?

What does it mean to provide ‘institutional’ crypto services, and what role does blockchain technology play? Robert Cooper of Digivault explains.

Bitcoin funds lead 7th consecutive week of inflows: CoinShares data

Bitcoin investment products saw inflows of US$69 million last week amid improving investor sentiment, according to digital assets fund manager CoinShares. Fast facts “We believe this decisive turnaround in sentiment is due to growing confidence in the asset class amongst investors and more accommodative statements from the U.S. Securities [and] Exchange Commission and the Federal […]

Why domestic and overseas Chinese should worry about China’s crypto ban

In a special Q&A, a Canadian law advisor who works with Chinese clients breaks down the ban’s potential legal boundaries and concerns held by overseas Chinese.

Crypto on the beach: FTX and other players find paradise in the Caribbean

This week, FTX announced it is moving its headquarters from Hong Kong to the Bahamas, as the larger Caribbean region takes on a bigger role as host to virtual currency exchanges.

Singapore grants crypto licenses to DBS and Australian exchange Independent Reserve

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) today granted licenses to DBS Vickers (DBSV), the brokerage arm of DBS Bank, and Independent Reserve, an Australian cryptocurrency exchange, to provide digital payment token services under the Payment Services Act (PS Act). Fast facts Formal approval from MAS, which follows its earlier “in-principal approval” granted to both companies […]

September 2021

Ripple launches $250M fund for NFT creators to build on XRP Ledger

Ripple, a San Francisco-based blockchain payments company currently embroiled in litigation against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, has launched a US$250 million “creator fund” for content creators, brands and marketplaces to build non-fungible token (NFT) use cases on the XRP Ledger, according to a company blog post. Fast facts Ripple’s latest move to expand […]

China fallout hits mining; Korea digital custody competition heats up

China fallout hits mining meanwhile Korea digital custody competition heats up

Ant Group and Tencent obtain the most blockchain patents in China: report

China saw a fivefold increase in blockchain patents last year despite the Covid-19 shutdown.
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China’s BSN to set up foundation in Singapore to fuel international expansion

China’s Blockchain-based Service Network (BSN) — a public-private nationwide infrastructure project to spur mass adoption of blockchain technology — is moving a step closer to more international exposure, as the company behind it is working to register a foundation based in Singapore. Fast facts Red Date Technology, the company China tapped to manage its BSN, […]

Crypto funds see 6th consecutive week of inflows led by Bitcoin: CoinShares data

Cryptocurrency investment products saw inflows of US$95 million last week, with total inflows over the past six weeks of US$320 million, according to digital assets fund manager CoinShares. Fast facts “The continued inflows suggest the recent headwinds for digital assets, such as the widened China ban, were seen as buying opportunities for investors,” wrote CoinShares […]

IOHK has big plans for Cardano, including Dish, Chainlink partnerships

At the Cardano Summit over the weekend, IOHK founder Charles Hoskinson revealed a slew of partnerships and other developments for the Cardano blockchain

Binance to restrict Singapore users from buying crypto and spot trading on Binance.com

Amid growing regulatory heat, Binance — the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume — will restrict users in Singapore from buying cryptocurrencies using fiat, spot trading and liquid swaps on its main Binance.com platform starting Oct. 26, according to a company announcement. Fast facts Binance is advising Binance.com users in Singapore to cease all […]

Damage to South Korean crypto market limited despite mass closure, regulator says

South Korea’s virtual asset industry is expected to withstand major regulatory reconstruction

FTX CEO: This is the canary in China’s crypto ban coal mine

Amid China’s new clampdown, why is DeFi surging and the RMB-to-crypto market important? Sam Bankman-Fried analyzes what it all means and why FTX is leaving Hong Kong for a new home.

Chinese crypto exchange Huobi looks to the world as China shuts the door on crypto

Huobi’s diversified businesses outside of China reached nearly 70% in terms of trading volumes, and have been on the rise, its co-founder tells Forkast.News.

China’s crypto ban: what you need to know

How is China’s latest clampdown on crypto different from its previous bans — and how do authorities plan to catch the scofflaws? Henri Arslanian of PwC breaks it down.

Chinese blockchain Conflux partners with GIGXPAD to tokenize real-world assets in Africa

GIGXPAD, a decentralized finance (DeFi) project based in Africa, is partnering with public blockchain network Conflux to tokenize real-world assets, according to a company statement shared with Forkast.News. Fast facts The collaboration, which marks the Chinese blockchain Conflux’s first use case in Africa, will see GIGXPAD deploying a decentralized crowdfunding platform on Conflux. According to […]

Cardano to host storefront for developers to upload their DApps

With the Cardano blockchain now supporting smart contract capabilities, developers will soon be able to upload their decentralized applications (DApps) and make them available to others through a Plutus dAppStore, according to a blog post by Input Output HK (IOHK) ahead of the Cardano Summit taking place this weekend. Fast facts “The store will provide […]

Crypto unicorn Amber Group eyes listing in U.S. despite lack of regulatory clarity

Amber Group, a Hong Kong-based crypto financial services company, is eyeing a direct listing in the U.S. within the next two years, Amber Group co-founder and CEO Michael Wu told the South China Morning Post in an interview. Fast facts Founded in 2017, Amber Group propelled to unicorn status this year following its US$100 million Series […]

Bhutan to adopt Ripple’s XRP technology for CBDC pilot

Ripple’s win in Bhutan comes as it suffers a setback in a US court as judge rebuffs Ripple’s request for SEC’s internal trading decisions over XRP.

India may not be ready to follow El Salvador’s lead, but don’t rule out cryptocurrency, finance minister says

Nirmala Sitharaman says ‘a futuristic thing can’t be shut out’ as the country considers crypto regulation, including a possible blanket ban.

After Singapore, Binance pulls back from Australia under growing regulatory pressure

Following similar moves in Singapore, embattled crypto exchange Binance — the largest in the world by trading volume — is ending its derivatives trading in Australia by year’s end, according to a company blog post on Tuesday. Fast facts Aussie traders will have 90 days to reduce or close their positions on options, futures and […]

Crypto exchange Coinbase nixes plan for lending product after SEC lawsuit threat

Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States, has dropped its plans to launch its high-yield-generating “Lend” product following the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s threat to sue the exchange if they did. Fast facts Coinbase Chief Legal Officer Paul Grewal disclosed in a blog post earlier this month that the company had received […]

Solana funds see institutional investment inflows despite recent network outage

Despite suffering a network outage due to a denial-of-service attack that took the Solana network offline for 17 hours on Sept. 14, Solana funds continued to see inflows of US$4.8 million last week, according to digital asset manager CoinShares. Fast facts “This suggests investors were happy to shrug-off the attack, seeing it as teething problems […]

Upbit becomes South Korea’s first newly registered crypto exchange

Upbit can operate as a virtual monopoly as it becomes the country’s first licensed business to handle cryptocurrencies.

Boba network announces mainnet launch of layer 2 optimistic rollup

ETH 2.0 is expected to address transaction speeds and gas fees on the world’s number two blockchain, but a growing number of layer-2 protocols are looking to solve those issues today.

Binance faces US probe for possible insider trading and market manipulation

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, is reportedly now under investigation for possible insider trading and market manipulation by the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Fast facts According to a Bloomberg report that cited unnamed sources, investigators from the CFTC — the agency that regulates the U.S. derivatives markets — […]

India’s largest public bank bars payments to crypto exchanges

Most banks distance themselves from virtual asset platforms as the country’s central bank lobbies for a ban.

Crypto exchange Binance wants centralized headquarters amid regulatory heat

Under scrutiny around the world, the largest cryptocurrency exchange wants to do a better job engaging with regulators.

Avalanche’s AVAX token surges to all-time high after $230M fundraise

AVAX — the native token of the Avalanche blockchain — today surged to a new all-time high of US$68.34, according to CoinGecko data, boosted by news of a US$230 million investment into the Avalanche ecosystem. AVAX has increased by 60% over the past seven days. Fast facts Launched in September 2020, Avalanche is an open, […]

Why Cardano’s Charles Hoskinson says DeFi is ‘up for grabs’

As Cardano’s Alonzo upgrade goes live, founder Charles Hoskinson of IOHK calls DeFi a ‘bubble.’ How does he think the regulation that is sure to come will reshape DeFi in the future?

Canaan reports record revenues; Korea says no to crypto tax delay

Canaan reports record revenues meanwhile Korea says no to crypto tax delay

Canaan sees strongest ever quarterly sales results

Leading Chinese crypto mining hardware manufacturer attributes robust revenue to ‘substantial increase in total computing power sold.’