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Asia-Pacific

161 articles

February 2022

Animoca Brands, K-pop agency Cube form metaverse joint venture

Hong Kong-based Animoca Brands and K-pop agency Cube Entertainment announced on Tuesday the completion of a new joint venture named AniCube Entertainment, as Korean music labels race to cash in on their loyal fan bases through metaverse and non-fungible token (NFT) projects. See related article: K-pop agency Cube bets big on NFT and metaverse Fast […]

China customs seizes 49 second-hand crypto mining rigs for export

Dongguan customs in China’s southeast seized 49 second-hand Ant miners declared “shoe material” for export, at least the third seizure in February, state media reported on Monday.  See related article: Kazakhstan busts 13 illegal Bitcoin mining farms amid power concerns Fast facts See related article: China to ‘outdate’ crypto mining industry with more restrictions

Ant Group’s NFT arm punishes users for digital collectible resales

Jingtan, Alibaba affiliate Ant Group’s non-fungible token (NFT) platform, has placed limitations on at least 56 accounts for participating in the resale of digital collectibles, after various collections surged in popularity in online second-hand markets.  See related article: CCTV NFTs hit resale market before transfer permitted Fast facts Jingtan, developed by AntChain, said it has […]

NFT credit card in the works for top S. Korean crypto exchange

Dunamu, the operator of crypto exchange Upbit, signed a memorandum of understanding with credit card company BC Card on Monday to develop a non-fungible token (NFT) and metaverse-based credit card. See related article: South Korean crypto exchange acquires stake in major bank Fast facts Certain items purchased offline via the Dunamu BC Card will be […]

South Korea sees new metaverse ETF while forerunners lag in profit

NH-Amundi Asset Management listed its second metaverse exchange-traded fund (ETF) Tuesday that will specifically invest in metaverse-related companies in the U.S. See related article: Hong Kong gears up for its first metaverse ETF Fast facts The HANARO U.S. Metaverse iSelect ETF follows 20 key players in the U.S. metaverse, virtual and augmented reality, and the […]

16,000 metaverse trademark applications filed, unlikely to pass in China

China’s National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) said on Monday that 16,000 trademarks containing the word “metaverse” have been filed.  See related article:  Why the metaverse is a trillion dollar opportunity Fast facts CNIPA opposed the high number of filings, vowing to crack down on “malicious registrations” of trademarks, such as piggybacking on the rising popularity […]

Korea’s KB embraces crypto; China’s NFT fever

NFTs hit resale market in China despite criticism over speculation. Meanwhile, South Korean financial giant plans crypto funds.

India needs to make up its mind over crypto

Although India hoped that taxation would be a step toward regulation rather than a ban, the high tax rates and proposed rules seem to be geared toward dissuading crypto trading.

11 arrested in India’s five-year, $5.4M crypto scam

Indian authorities arrested 11 individuals over the weekend, connected with a crypto scam case that allegedly used the allure of high gains to dupe 2,000 investors out of US$5.4 million (INR 400 million), local media reported.  Fast facts Four of the accused were apprehended on Saturday after being on the run since March last year, […]

CCTV NFTs hit resale market before transfer permitted

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs), or digital collectibles, issued by China Central Television (CCTV), the nation’s largest state-owned broadcast media, are appearing in China’s largest online second-hand market for at least 10 times the original price in a pre-sale bid, even before trade embargoes on the assets have lifted.  See related article: China’s mouthpiece newspaper is giving […]

South Korea’s largest financial group mulls crypto ETFs

South Korea’s KB Asset Management launched a committee on Monday that will develop investment strategies for releasing digital asset products such as exchange-traded funds (ETFs). See related article: South Korean banks find workaround to cash in on crypto services Fast facts The ‘Digital Asset Management Preparatory Committee’ aims to be the first to launch digital […]

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.

South Korea struggles to prevent sexual harassment of minors in the metaverse

While the government cultivates the booming metaverse industry, experts say laws fail to protect youth from abuse within virtual and digital realms.

Buyers snap up Olympics panda NFTs

Animoca Brand’s nWayPlay sold out second batch of Bing Dwen Dwen mascot NFTs on Thursday as prices of first set fetched 900% in average resale value.
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Hong Kong gears up for its first metaverse ETF

Hong Kong’s first metaverse-themed exchange-traded fund (ETF), the CSOP Metaverse Concept ETF, is scheduled to be listed on Feb. 21 on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong, according to a CSOP Asset Management disclosure document.  See related article: NFTs, metaverse listed as top ‘must watch’ security risks in Hong Kong Fast facts The metaverse ETF […]

Corporate social credit gets stamped on blockchain in China’s southeast

Foshan city of China’s southeastern province Guangdong launched a blockchain-based corporate social credit system with an automated credit rating function, state-backed media reported on Thursday.  Fast facts See related article: Beijing budgets $37M for government affairs blockchain platform Foshan’s blockchain-based corporate social credit system rates enterprises into four credit levels using data from various sources.  […]

Indian dating app attempts to start metaverse dating trend

Dating platform Mingout has introduced metaverse dating in India by organizing a virtual date for two of its users in a moon-based setting. See related article: Phillips to auction metahuman-made NFTs for Valentine’s Day Fast facts Metaverse or virtual dating is a nascent concept in India, and Mingout hopes to create a dating revolution and […]

South Korean university to issue NFTs to all 2,830 graduates

South Korea’s Hoseo University will issue non-fungible token (NFT) degrees and certificates to all 2,830 graduates of its 2021 batch at its graduation ceremony on Friday. See related article: Samsung-backed university to issue NFTs to select graduates Fast facts The university hopes the pivot from a paper-based degree to NFTs will improve access to administrative […]

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.

Australia’s NRL latest sporting league to ink crypto sponsorship

Australia’s National Rugby League (NRL) has announced Brisbane-based crypto exchange Swyftx will be the league’s first official crypto sponsor until 2025, with a one-year extension option. See related article: Crypto.com inks AU$27M deal with the Australian Football League Fast facts For an undisclosed amount, Swyftx will support all NRL and NRLW games and finals, as […]

Hong Kong makes apt testbed for e-CNY cross-border use

The city’s global reach, Hong Kong dollar and mainland ties make it a good fit for Chinese authorities to trial e-CNY international payments.

Animoca Brands’ new Japan arm aims to connect fans in Web 3.0 world

Hong Kong-based blockchain unicorn Animoca Brands’ Japanese strategic subsidiary started operations on Tuesday to bridge the nation’s exclusive intellectual property (IP) with the Web 3.0 ecosystem. See related article: Animoca Brands valued at US$5B after latest fundraise Fast facts The subsidiary, Animoca Brands KK, is building a blockchain-powered platform for Japanese IP holders to launch […]

GBA among approved regions for China’s blockchain-powered data hubs

The Chinese State Council approved on Wednesday a plan to build computing and data hubs that use blockchain technology to secure data in four regions including the Greater Bay Area (GBA). Fast facts See related article: China writes blockchain and digital currency into nation’s future The four hubs are set to join four more approved […]

NEO gets price bump after NFT integration on BSN

The price of NEO climbed by 6.2% over the last 24 hours to US$25.13 on Thursday morning Asia time, following China-based Neo’s Tuesday announcement of its Jiuquan Chain’s integration to China’s state-backed blockchain network. See related article: BSN to integrate Neo’s chain to bolster NFT issuance in China Fast facts NEO hit a daily high […]

Indian media giant’s Fully Faltoo NFTs sell out in 48 hours

Indian media staple Viacom18’s Youth, Music and English Entertainment Cluster (YME) released 3,000 Fully Faltoo non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that sold out within 48 hours since launching, the company said in a press release on Wednesday. See related article: WazirX launches India’s first NFT marketplace Fast facts Fully Faltoo is a local award-winning sitcom program that […]

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 […]

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 […]

State-backed newspaper is giving out NFTs amid unclear regulation

A new NFT gallery owned by the People’s Daily online arm is airdropping this week its first batch of “digital collectibles” minted on Tencent’s blockchain since the gallery’s opening last January. Fast facts Digital collectibles is a phrase now commonly used by Chinese companies to avoid the term “NFT” since Chinese state media began denouncing […]

Fifth S.Korean crypto exchange crosses regulatory finish line

South Korean crypto exchange GOPAX revealed Tuesday it has partnered with Jeonbuk Bank to provide clients with real-name withdrawal and deposit accounts, qualifying the exchange to offer cash-to-crypto services. Fast facts After registering its new partnership with Korea’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), GOPAX is set to become the fifth digital asset exchange that offers Korean […]

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 […]

Genshin Impact developer launches HoYoverse, teases metaverse

Popular video game Genshin Impact developer miHoYo announced on Monday the launch of HoYoverse for its global expansion while hinting its entry into the metaverse race. Fast facts The China-based game developer wants to provide a virtual world with a “high level of freedom and immersion,” miHoYo CEO Haoyu Cai said in a statement.  MiHoYo […]

RBI calls for crypto ban in India, again

T Rabi Shankar, the deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of India, the country’s central bank, proposed an outright ban on cryptocurrencies on Monday, assuring the central bank’s position to prohibit digital assets has not changed since the 30% tax on crypto income was announced.  Fast facts Shankar said he found no merit in the […]

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 […]

Hong Kong’s Ocean Park brings virtual attractions to The Sandbox metaverse

Hong Kong’s Ocean Park announced on Monday that it is entering The Sandbox metaverse to offer virtual experiences through non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and gaming, as visitors to its physical venue dropped throughout the pandemic.  Fast facts The government proposed last January that it will transform the physical theme park into a resort and leisure destination […]

S.Korean regulators to strengthen watch over NFTs and the metaverse

A South Korean financial watchdog announced it will strengthen monitoring of new trade assets, including non-fungible tokens (NFTs), in its annual work plan released on Monday. Fast facts The Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) said it will prepare countermeasures against factors that cause damage to consumers in the rapidly growing digital assets market. Earlier this month, […]

NFTs, metaverse listed as top ‘must watch’ security risks in Hong Kong

A Hong Kong government-run internet security watchdog has listed risks associated with non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and the metaverse as a top “must watch” security threat this year, while both trends continue to thrive in the city. Fast facts The Hong Kong Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination Centre said in a statement last week that criminals […]

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.

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 […]

Bitcoin hashrate reaches new ATH in 32% surge

Bitcoin’s hashrate reached an all-time high over the weekend, despite many miners being forced to move operations out of Kazakhstan. Fast facts The total Bitcoin hashrate surged by 31.7% to an all-time high of 248.11 exahashes per second in raw values on Saturday, according to data from Blockchain.com. The latest hashrate read at 209.63 EH/s […]

Samsung-backed university to issue NFTs to select graduates

South Korea’s Sungkyunkwan University will issue non-fungible token (NFT) certificates to three students who won in-school competitions at the institution’s upcoming online graduation ceremony on Wednesday. Fast facts Sungkyunkwan University said NFT certificates can be used any time as official proof of graduation without the risks of losing the original or fear of forged copies.  […]

Phillips to auction metahuman-made NFTs for Valentine’s Day

Phillips, a global auction house, launched a nine-day non-fungible token (NFT) auction on Monday, Valentine’s Day, in Hong Kong. Fast facts Six artworks are being auctioned as NFTs. One NFT for bidding is an auction data-generated NFT “Drowning in Love” made by MonoC, a virtual artist developed by Gusto Collective. MonoC is a virtual metahuman […]

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

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.

Tiger Global leads $50M round in Philippine crypto exchange

The Philippine Digital Asset Exchange (PDAX) has raised US$50 million in a Series B funding round led by Tiger Global.  Fast facts UBX, the venture fund of UnionBank of the Philippines, Kingsway Capital, Jump Capital, U.S. blockchain payments company Ripple, among others, also participated in the round.  The funding round started in August last year […]

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 […]

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.

China’s e-CNY pilot to boost Hong Kong as offshore yuan trading center

Upcoming digital yuan trial to piggyback on Hong Kong’s popular Faster Payment System for smoother cross-border transactions.

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.

E-CNY chief says digital dollar poses no threat to China

China does not expect significant impact on its monetary system if the digital dollar were introduced, said Mu Changchun, director-general of the People’s Bank of China Digital Currency Initiative on Wednesday. He spoke at a panel organized by the Atlantic Council think tank to support the release of the International Monetary Fund’s report on central […]

UN approves NFT standards proposed by Tencent, Ant Group: report

The United Nations specialized agency for telecommunications standardization, ITU-T, has approved a non-fungible token (NFT) technical framework proposed by Chinese tech giants including Tencent Holdings and Ant Group, state-owned media reported.   Fast facts The framework, which introduces an NFT standard, proposes technical and security requirements for digital collectibles on the blockchain.  The international standards approved […]

Pac-Man owner Bandai Namco to invest $130M in metaverse

Bandai Namco is investing 15 billion Japanese yen (US$130 million) into building an “IP Metaverse” with its array of games and content, the Japanese entertainment conglomerate announced on Tuesday. Fast facts “Through the IP Metaverse, we will establish communities among Bandai Namco and fans, as well as among fans themselves,” the company wrote in its […]

AssangeDAO strikes crypto gold

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

Indian crypto exchange CoinDCX crosses 10 million user mark

Indian crypto trading exchange CoinDCX says it has crossed the 10 million user mark. Fast facts CoinDCX had 3.5 million customers as of August last year.  CoinDCX became India’s first crypto unicorn after its Series C funding round led by former Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s B Capital and others. Established in 2018, the company’s milestone […]

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 […]

Hong Kong to propose bill to license crypto exchanges

The Hong Kong government intends to propose a licensing system for crypto exchanges, according to a discussion paper published on Monday. Fast facts The proposed amendments to the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing bill will designate any crypto exchange as a “regulated virtual asset activity” and any person who seeks to engage in this work […]

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 […]

China state-backed paper’s NFTs surge in price on second-hand market

“Digital collectibles” issued by Shanghai Securities News are trading at least 13 times their original price on China’s largest second-hand trading platform, despite state media’s criticism of the non-fungible token (NFT) frenzy.  Fast facts In China, the phrase “digital collectibles” is often used to avoid references to NFTs. The collectibles are now available on the […]

Binance, BLACKPINK’s K-pop agency to develop NFTs, other projects

Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, has partnered with YG Entertainment, a top K-pop entertainment agency, to develop non-fungible tokens (NFTs), metaverse and gaming projects, despite fans’ concerns over the potential environmental impact. Fast facts Binance announced Tuesday that it will provide the NFT platform and technology support, while YG will supply the content. Helen […]

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 […]

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 […]

Indian investors want government to reconsider crypto tax rate

Over 54,000 crypto investors have signed a petition urging the Indian government to reconsider a planned 30% tax rate announced earlier this week.  Fast facts Blockchain and crypto education provider Crypto India co-founder Aditya Singh started the petition on Thursday to stop the government from comparing crypto to “social evils like betting and gambling.” The […]

‘Baby Shark’ to bite into P2E pie with planned mobile game

The beloved Pinkfong Baby Shark franchise is getting its own blockchain-based play-to-earn (P2E) game, set for a worldwide release in the first half of this year, South Korean developer CityLabs announced on Thursday. Fast facts The Baby Shark Bubble Pong Friends game has been teased as a bubble-shooter puzzle game where players transact in cryptocurrencies […]

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 […]