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Asia-Pacific

161 articles

January 2022

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 […]

Indian authorities seize assets in alleged $162M crypto scam

The Enforcement Directorate in India seized assets of a businessman worth around US$4.9 million in a money laundering case involving a crypto scam, according to a press release on Monday.  Fast facts Nishad K and his associates allegedly perpetrated a crypto scam in which some 900 investors were cheated out of approximately US$162.4 million. The […]

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.

Jay Chou dethrones Bored Ape Yacht Club; Bitcoin dips below US$40k

Taiwanese’s superstar Jay Chou’s NFT dethrones Bored Ape Yacht Club. Meanwhile Bitcoin dips below US$40k mark.

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.

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

Kakao-backed Klaytn announces 5 partners for gaming and metaverse expansion

Klaytn, a public blockchain platform under South Korean internet giant Kakao, announced on Monday five partnerships to drive plans to become a global blockchain benchmark for the increasingly competitive gaming and metaverse space in 2022. Fast facts Klaytn is partnering with Japanese tech giant GMO Group, Indonesia’s Innovation Factory, NFT marketplace East NFT, U.S.-based entertainment […]

Aussie tennis star rides NFT wave as Australian Open looms

Australian cryptocurrency exchange BTC Markets has partnered with the country’s No. 2 tennis star Ajla Tomljanovic ahead of the Australian Open to release limited edition non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Fast facts The NFTs will be in the form of Proof of Attendance Protocol, akin to a digital concert ticket stub proving attendance,  that will allow owners […]

Taiwan icon Jay Chou’s PhantaBear NFT dethrones Bored Ape Yacht Club

A new non-fungible token (NFT) collection backed by Taiwanese superstar Jay Chou has dethroned Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) on the OpenSea NFT marketplace in trading volume, reflecting growing interest in celebrity-endorsed digital collectibles. Fast facts The PhantaBear NFT series, co-created by Jay Chou’s hipster brand PHANTACi, sold out its 10,000 algorithmically-created NFTs on Jan. […]

China’s digital yuan wallet gets 16 million downloads in debut week

China’s pilot e-CNY wallet application, currently available in a dozen major cities, topped 16 million downloads in the first week after its launch, according to two data providers. Fast facts

Hyundai plans Meta-Factory; Crypto divergence ahead

Hyundai plans to open a “Meta-Factory”, meanwhile crypto divergence ahead for the year 2022.

The Sandbox metaverse names Mega City project partners

Gaming metaverse the Sandbox announced the partners for its upcoming Hong Kong-influenced virtual cultural hub.

China’s largest food delivery platform Meituan accepts e-CNY payment

Hong Kong-listed Chinese food delivery giant Meituan, which occupies 70% of the market share, on Wednesday started to accept digital yuan for payments, as tested by Forkast.News.  Fast facts Users first need to link their wallets to Meituan in the e-CNY app; then they can pay for an order by selecting digital yuan in the […]

LG to follow Samsung adding NFT features to flagship TVs

The ability to display, buy and even mint NFTs is seeping into mainstream products from South Korea’s largest corporations.

Australian Open comes to metaverse platform Decentraland

The Australian Open (AO) is one of the biggest sporting events on the world tennis calendar, and now there is another way to watch, as this year’s tournament will also be held in Decentraland — the decentralized metaverse platform. Tennis fans will be able to participate further through buying non-fungible tokens (NFTs) linked to live […]

Tax authorities recover US$9M from India’s biggest crypto exchanges

Some of India’s largest crypto exchanges, including WazirX, blame ambiguity in the regulation of cryptocurrencies for missed tax payments.

CBDCs and the year that may reshape crypto markets

Top blockchain and crypto news: CBDCs at the crossroads. A token gesture from Samsung. NFTs survive in China.

Chinese mining rig maker Canaan deploys 10K machines in Kazakhstan

Chinese cryptocurrency mining rig maker Canaan announced Tuesday that it has entered into multiple partnerships in Kazakhstan and deployed over 10,000 mining machines in the country, as the company steps up efforts to expand globally. Fast facts Canaan said in a statement it has successfully launched the last batch of mining machines online under its […]

Crypto is presidential election campaign issue for South Korea

In South Korea, a new presidential administration will be chosen in March. Here’s where the four major candidates stand on Korea’s booming virtual asset space.
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China CryptoPunk sale; Use cases key to DeFi

A CryptoPunk is sold in a Shanghai auction house despite an existing crypto ban in China.

South China’s Guangxi region looks to cross-border e-CNY trade uses

Guangxi, China’s southern provincial-level region, is researching cross-border finance, supply-chain service platforms and e-CNY applications, according to a report by local state-run media Guangxi Daily. Fast facts The Guangxi autonomous region — often seen as a gateway for Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) trade — plans to support cross-border circulation of capital, according to the […]
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CryptoPunk NFT sells for $820K, reflecting Chinese investor interest

A CryptoPunk non-fungible token (NFT) — CryptoPunk #8690 — was sold at an auction in Shanghai organized by Shanghai Jiahe Auction earlier this week for 5,232,500 yuan (US$823,300), with a starting price of 1.5 million yuan (US$236,000), reflecting growing investor interest in NFTs in China despite criticism from state-controlled media. Fast facts V.V Yu, general manager […]
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South Koreans required to report overseas crypto accounts

In South Korea, virtual asset investors with more than 500 million Korean won, or approximately US$418,935, worth of crypto assets in overseas accounts must report to their regional tax authorities beginning in 2023. Fast facts According to a new year guidebook by the Ministry of Economy and Finance, any resident or domestic corporation with overseas […]

China moves to ban internet marketing services for crypto

The Chinese government published a draft regulation on Dec. 31 stating that no organization or individual is allowed to provide internet marketing for illegal financial activities, which include cryptocurrency transactions. Fast facts The regulation, drafted by the People’s Bank of China — China’s central bank — and other Chinese government institutions stipulates that any organization or […]

Japan’s Square Enix reveals blockchain gaming ambitions for 2022

Yosuke Matsuda, president of Square Enix — the game developer behind Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest and Kingdom Hearts — recently reiterated the company’s blockchain ambitions while acknowledging ongoing concerns about the new trend. Fast facts In a new year’s letter posted on the company website, Matsuda emphasized that incorporating blockchain technology into gaming holds “the […]

December 2021

South Korea crypto exchange underdogs: Where are they now?

A regulatory hurricane swept away half of South Korea’s crypto exchanges in 2021. Who are the survivors — and are there larger lessons for the rest of the world?

Crypto in Asia: 5 top fintech regulatory stories of 2021

Countries acted to encourage — or discourage — cryptocurrency and other blockchain-based assets, sending markets wildly up and down.

What lies ahead for crypto regulations in 2022

From China’s ban to FATF’s travel rule, crypto regulations have been top of mind this year. How might regulatory impulses and current trends play out?

U.S. will be big elephant in the room in 2022, says WEF’s Sheila Warren

While China made a big moves in banning crypto this year, US lawmakers appear to be warming up to the industry, setting the stage for next year.

Hackers infiltrate Monkey Kingdom NFT community, steal US$1.3M

Hackers scam 7,000 Solana, or US$1.3 million, from would-be buyers of a new NFT collection of the Monkey Kingdom project.

These e-CNY hard wallets might get people talking at the Winter Olympics

China prepares to show off its tech innovation muscles at the Beijing Winter Olympics as it unveils some unusual-looking wallets for its new digital yuan.
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Countries will jump aboard the crypto bus in 2022 or get left in its dust, says WazirX founder

Despite the looming parliamentary debate over banning private digital currency in India, the founder of Mumbai-based crypto exchange WazirX predicts thousands of new crypto startups.

Japan’s SBI invests in Singapore crypto exchange Coinhako

Japan’s financial conglomerate SBI Holdings announced a joint investment in Singapore’s virtual asset exchange Coinhako with Switzerland-based Sygnum Bank. Fast facts The investment is made through a fund formed in Singapore named the SBI-Sygnum-Azimut Digital Asset Opportunity fund. SBI expressed certainty in supporting Coinhako’s international expansion and other startups that have growth potential in the […]
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Court overturns Korean Bitcoin ruling; Days numbered for SWIFT?

Court overturns Korean Bitcoin ruling, also are the days numbered for SWIFT?

Bitcoin sent by mistake, recipient will not be punished for keeping it: South Korea ruling

An investor who received $1.25M in Bitcoin by accident will not be criminally penalized, raising questions on the legal status of cryptocurrencies.

Delay likely for India’s crypto bill; Crypto’s landmark year

Delay likely for India’s crypto bill, none the less 2021 becomes crypto’s landmark year.

Game company Nexon America now accepts crypto for in-game payments

Asia’s gaming giant Nexon’s US subsidiary supports cryptocurrencies for players in buying items inside its popular online games.

Court in Beijing says losses caused by crypto mining deals not protected by law

In a contract dispute case, a Beijing court in Chaoyang district on Wednesday ruled a legal arrangement for Bitcoin mining to be invalid, signaling how China’s legal system may view future crypto-related disputes. Fast facts In May 2019, the plaintiff, Fengfu Jiuxin company, signed purchases and services contracts with blockchain technology company Zhongyan Zhichuang, with the latter […]

Venture capitalists are falling for play-to-earn gaming startups

Games like Axie Infinity are now the darlings of big investors. Does it matter that revenue is falling and many players earn less than the minimum wage?

Chinese mining rig maker Canaan secures purchase order from Genesis for 30K units

While China continues to stamp out cryptocurrency mining, the mining rig producers continue raking in the deals. The latest: Canaan, a Chinese crypto mining rig maker, has secured a follow-on contract from Genesis Digital Assets for 30,000 units of Avalon Bitcoin mining machines, with another 150,000 units to be executed. Fast facts Back in August, […]

Matrix Resurrections NFTs reward moviegoers who reserve tickets in South Korea

Lotte Cinema, one of South Korea’s largest movie theater chains, is giving away NFTs (non-fungible tokens) of the movie “The Matrix Resurrections” to people who reserve tickets to the latest addition in the popular science fiction series that depicts life in a simulated reality. Fast facts In collaboration with Warner Bros. and NFT tech startup […]

Myanmar’s resistance routes funding through Tether

Top blockchain and crypto news: Can stablecoins bankroll democracy? Nike swooshes into the metaverse. Animoca and Bored Apes venture deeper into the gaming jungle.

Tezuka Osamu’s Astro Boy NFTs auctioned on OpenSea

Legendary Japanese manga artist Tezuka Osamu’s beloved “Astro Boy,” which was first published in 1952, has been made into NFT (non-fungible token) collectibles, one of which was listed on OpenSea for auction. Fast facts With the help of NFT solution startup double jump.tokyo, Tezuka Productions launched its first official NFT art project — “From the […]

Australia on track for a crypto boom by 2030, EY report says

The report says the country’s crypto industry could swell by up to 30 times its current size in the coming decade.

China’s Zhejiang province busts dozens of state-owned entities for mining crypto

An internet authority in East China’s Zhejiang province has identified in July 4,699 IP addresses in the province that were involved with cryptocurrency mining, and among them 183 addresses were related to 78 state-owned entities, according to a Tuesday article published on the website of China’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), the country’s anti-corruption […]
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Hong Kong-based Brinc closes $130M funding led by Animoca Brands to fuel Web 3.0 growth

Brinc, a Hong Kong-headquartered venture capital focused on Web 3.0, today announced that it has secured US$30 million in a Series B round and an additional US$100 million for startup investments. The funding was led by Animoca Brands — a Hong Kong-based blockchain gaming, metaverse and non-fungible token (NFT) company — to further fuel Brinc’s investment in […]

US SPAC’s refusal to merge with Hong Kong crypto firms raises questions

Crypto 1 will consider acquisition targets worldwide but steer clear of digital assets companies in China and Hong Kong. Are the lights dimming on a major crypto hub?

South Korea’s WeMade invests in blockchain property startup Kasa

South Korean video game developer WeMade revealed today it has invested in Kasa, a blockchain-based digital asset-backed securities (DABS) trading platform with a focus on prop-tech — where information technology is applied to real estate economics. Fast facts Kasa is a platform where users can invest in commercial buildings with small amounts of money, similar […]

South Korea’s Danal to allow crypto as payment for BMWs

Fast facts Blockchain-based payment platform Danal Fintech announced a new service plan that will allow BMW vehicles to be purchased with Paycoin (PCI) in its new partnership with Samchully Motors, the domestic dealer of the luxury automobile line. The recent announcement makes the first case in South Korea where an automobile can be paid in […]

US SPAC Crypto 1 closes IPO, says won’t pursue ‘business combinations’ with any Hong Kong crypto firms

Crypto 1 Acquisition Corp., a U.S.-incorporated blank check company, has completed its initial public offering (IPO) with gross proceeds of US$230 million, according to a company statement released Friday. Fast facts The company’s units commenced trading on the Nasdaq Global Market under the ticker symbol “DAOOU” on Dec. 7. Acting as a special purpose acquisition […]

In Hong Kong, a look at how the blockchain revolution in gaming continues

Gamers and developers gather at the annual Digital Entertainment Leadership Forum to discuss how video games may evolve in the future.

Binance’s Singapore entity pulls license application for local crypto exchange

Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, announced today that its Singapore entity Binance Asia Services has withdrawn its application to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) for a license to operate a regulated crypto exchange in the country, according to a company statement. Fast facts The exchange had operated in Singapore under an exemption that […]

India PM Twitter account hacked, fake tweet claims Bitcoin is legal tender

India prime minister Narendra Modi’s Twitter account was hacked on Sunday morning, with the attacker posting a false tweet about India officially adopting Bitcoin as legal tender. Fast facts The tweet also said the government has bought 500 Bitcoin which will be distributed among citizens. This was the second instance of Modi’s Twitter account getting […]

China’s Yunnan province eradicates illegal power supply for Bitcoin mining

The energy authority in Southwest China’s Yunnan province said it has eliminated the illegal power supply from small and midsize hydropower stations to Bitcoin mining, as China continues to intensify its clampdown on crypto mining. Fast facts In a Friday post on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like microblogging platform, the Yunnan authority said as of the end […]

Horses are joining humans as metaverse pilgrims

Blockchain gaming unicorn Animoca Brands announced yesterday a partnership with Aquis Farm — a major racehorse-breeding business owned by Hong Kong’s billionaire Fung family — to bring equestrian activities into the metaverse. The blockchain specialist will leverage Aquis Farm’s equestrian intellectual properties to develop blockchain games and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).  Fast facts “Aquis recognises the […]

Bitcoin hashrate recovers six months after China’s crypto ban

Bitcoin’s hashrate has almost fully recovered just six months after China’s crypto ban sent miners fleeing to more hospitable shores. Fast facts Despite the recent price crash, the total Bitcoin hashrate stood at 180.5 million terahashes per second, almost approaching its all-time high of 180.67 million TH/s back in May, according to data from Blockchain.com. The hashrate took […]

Polygon goes deeper into ZK tech by acquiring Mir for $400M

India-based Layer 2 Ethereum scaling platform Polygon has acquired zero-knowledge technology developer Mir for US$400 million as part of Polygon’s continued focus on ZK tech. Fast facts Mir will help Polygon build its new project — Polygon Zero, a highly scalable, Ethereum compatible ZK rollup. A zero knowledge protocol is a cryptographic algorithm that allows […]

India’s crypto bill to impose jail and US$2.65M fines for violations

India’s proposed rules for digital assets would ban cryptocurrency for payments while the Securities and Exchange Board regulates exchanges. Will it become law?

Shinhan, Standard banks demo cross-border stablecoin remittance

The transaction, using the Hedera Consensus Service network, bypasses intermediaries, lowering fees.

Bitcoin price tumbles below $50K as Evergrande defaults

Chinese property giant Evergrande has defaulted on its debt to global investors, credit rating firm Fitch Ratings reported today. Fast facts Fitch has downgraded Evergrande to “Restricted Default” after its deadline to pay interest due on two dollar-denominated bonds passed on Monday. The actual payments were due a month ago and the grace period expired […]

Hong Kong VC firm Chiron Partners raises $50M to back Terra

Hong Kong-based venture capital (VC) firm Chiron Partners announced Wednesday the launch of a US$50 million fund to support the Terra blockchain ecosystem. Fast facts Chiron Partners will use the fund, namely the Chiron Terra Fund I (CTI), to invest in innovative projects built on the Terra ecosystem, such as decentralized finance (DeFi) applications and […]

Hong Kong sees high engagement with crypto, Visa research shows

A new survey published Wednesday by Visa shows that 18% of Hong Kong residents are active cryptocurrency investors, while 13% are passive investors, representing the second-highest engagement with crypto just after the U.S. Fast facts The survey collected 6,430 online responses from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Germany, Hong Kong, South Africa, the U.S., and the U.K. […]

What is Polygon (MATIC) — ‘Ethereum’s internet of blockchains’?

Polygon envisions a world where value can be exchanged without borders. In this Forkast.News explainer, find out how Polygon works and why its MATIC token is defying crypto market gravity — again.

Singapore-based NFT market Brytehall to auction physical artwork of a bicycle

Singapore-based Brytehall is to co-host a new non-fungible token (NFT) art auction with bike manufacturer Specialized on Dec. 16, to sell an artwork of a bicycle named “enishi-E” created by Japanese artist Kosuke Masuda, both physically and digitally in an NFT. Fast facts Kosuke described the bike to be auctioned as an “alive” one, for […]

Binance acquires 18% stake in HGX securities exchange in Singapore

Binance is acquiring an 18% post-money stake in Hg Exchange (HGX) — a private securities exchange that has obtained a recognized market operator license by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) — through Binance Asia Services, the blockchain ecosystem and cryptocurrency provider behind Binance, according to a company statement released Wednesday. Fast facts Binance’s investment […]

China’s PBOC wants to link e-CNY with Hong Kong’s Faster Payment System

Mu Changchun, director-general of the People’s Bank of China’s digital currency institute, said today the central bank is working with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) to test cross-border payment features for the e-CNY, China’s much anticipated central bank digital currency (CBDC). Fast facts Mu said at a webinar, jointly organized by the PBOC and […]
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S. Korean blockchain VC Hashed under tax investigation as CEO denies tax evasion

South Korea’s National Tax Service (NTS) recently launched an intensive tax investigation into blockchain and crypto venture capital firm Hashed, while its CEO denies any involvement in slush fund raising or tax evasion, according to local media reports. Fast facts Hashed confirmed that it had cooperated with the 4th Bureau of Investigation from the Seoul […]

Suzhou will set up China’s first blockchain pilot demonstration zone

Suzhou, a city located in Jiangsu province, will set up China’s first blockchain demonstration pilot zone, supported by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), according to a local media report. Fast facts MIIT agreed to Jiangsu Province’s request for support to set up a pilot zone for blockchain in Suzhou and said it […]

Tencent Cloud wins bid to build massive blockchain platform in Beijing

The Beijing Municipal Government announced the bidding results for the city’s blockchain and computing power platform. Tencent Cloud and government-tied enterprise Beijing Microchip Sensing Technology won the bid and will be paid US$37 million to build the system. Fast facts According to the bid’s quotations, Tencent Cloud will provide the cloud service for the blockchain […]

Tough measures in India’s crypto bill; NFTs a hot Christmas gift

Tough measures in India’s crypto bill meanwhile, NFTs are becoming a hot Christmas gift

Japanese crypto firms team up to form a metaverse association

Four of Japan’s virtual currency firms established the Japan Metaverse Association (JMA) yesterday with aims to promote metaverse technology and improve the framework for implementing user protection measures. Fast facts The Japan Metaverse Association aims to help the country become a forerunner in the race toward the metaverse by collecting and sharing essential information from […]
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Australia announces biggest overhaul to payments in 25 years — eyes now set on crypto

As part of a broader attempt to address Australia’s payments industry, the government offers a roadmap to where crypto regulation can lead in 2022.