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Asia-Pacific

161 articles

March 2023

Singapore police begin probe linked to Do Kwon’s Terraform Labs: Bloomberg

Singapore’s police have begun investigations linked to Terraform Labs that was co-founded by fugitive Do Kwon, according to a Bloomberg report.

Bitcoin gains, all other top 10 cryptos in the red amid Silvergate fallout

Bitcoin gained in Monday afternoon trade in Asia while all other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies by market capitalization posted losses.
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Australia’s central bank identifies CBDC use cases as it prepares pilot launch

Australia has outlined potential use cases and providers for a central bank digital currency (CBDC), with a pilot program to be launched in the coming months.

Japanese banks to launch, test stablecoins on ‘Japan Open Chain’

Three major banks in Japan will issue stablecoins on an Ethereum-compatible blockchain created by the blockchain-related tools developer G.U. Technologies.

China’s digital yuan initiative gets cold reception from Hong Kong visitors

China is promoting digital yuan to Hong Kong visitors, but has not received much enthusiasm so far.

South Korea financial regulator to clamp down on voice phishing involving cryptocurrencies

South Korea will expand the existing law on voice phishing to include crypto related phone scams.

Singapore’s DDEx eyes security token offerings, mulls adding more cryptocurrencies

DBS bank’s digital exchange, which serves institutional clients, said macroeconomic conditions last year were not suitable for security token offerings (STO), but it will explore opportunities for such listings in 2023 and plans to add more crypto tokens.

Indonesia’s Crypto First

Indonesia’s crypto coming of age could help them become a blockchain superpower

Blur NFT wash trading soars, fueling market distortions

Top blockchain and crypto news: Blur wash trading explodes. Coinbase extends developer foray with Base test. Hong Kong crypto embrace gets Beijing’s nod.

February 2023

BitFlyer founder eyes CEO comeback, share sale amid boardroom conflicts: Bloomberg

Yuzo Kano, co-founder of Japan’s largest cryptocurrency exchange bitFlyer Inc., said he plans to return as CEO, sell shares to public.

Japanese tech, finance firms sign pact to build metaverse economic zone

About 10 Japanese companies, including Fujitsu, Mitsubishi and Sumitomo Mitsui, have agreed to advance Japan’s metaverse plans with the establishment of the “Japan Metaverse Economic Zone”.

Janet Yellen urges strong regulatory framework for crypto as India leads G20 push for regulation

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told Reuters after the G20 meeting in India on Saturday that while the U.S. has not indicated any outright bans, it is critical to put in place a strong regulatory framework for the cryptocurrency industry. 

Asia’s Opportunity to Lead Crypto Regulations

Crypto industry’s interaction with regulators is important and quite common in Asia but missing in the US, says Brooks Entwistle of Ripple Labs.

South Korea’s Lotte Group partners with Polygon for global NFT drive

Lotte Group plans to expand its non-fungible token (NFT) business onto the global market through a partnership with the Polygon blockchain.

Hong Kong’s Crypto Dream

Hong Kong’s economy is shrinking, but a recent budget draft published by the government lists some changes that could help the city recover – and crypto is at the center of it all.

NBA partners Chinese fintech giant Ant Group to launch NFTs in China

NBA will partner Ant Group – Chinese tech giant Alibaba’s fintech affiliate – to issue NBA-themed NFTs and create content on Alipay.

Gate Group set to enter Hong Kong

Gate Group announced on Wednesday that it is applying for a new cryptocurrency license in Hong Kong, joining a growing list of Web3 firms entering the city.

Hong Kong’s new crypto regulation may lure Web3 firms back, experts say

Hong Kong’s proposed crypto licensing regime received Huobi Global’s pledge to return to the city, and more companies may follow, industry experts told Forkast.

Hong Kong to invest US$6.37 million to spur Web3 growth

Hong Kong is allocating HK$50 million (US$6.37 million) to develop its Web3 sector, the Financial Secretary Paul Chan announced Wednesday.

FTX Japan resumes withdrawals through Liquid Japan web platform

FTX Japan, the Japanese subsidiary of Sam Bankman-Fried’s bankrupt FTX, resumed withdrawal of customer holdings on Tuesday.

Huobi plans to move headquarters to Hong Kong from Singapore

Cryptocurrency exchange Huobi Global is seeking to relocate its Asia headquarters from Singapore to Hong Kong.

How Web3 in China is taking shape — with ‘Chinese characteristics’

What makes Web3 compelling to many is its promise to shift power from centralized players to individual users, but China is doing the opposite, writes Lily King.

Bataan Blockchain Plans

Blockchain can be utilized in numerous ways to benefit the public sector, Philippine province Bataan is getting a head start.

Hong Kong begins public consultation on crypto licensing regime

The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission is calling for public feedback on its new proposals to regulate the crypto industry set to take effect in June.

Japan to launch digital yen pilot programme in April

Japan will start a pilot programme to test the use of a digital yen in April, joining a growing number of countries seeking to launch their own CBDCs.

Wemade’s WEMIX token surges after relisting on South Korea’s Coinone exchange

South Korean blockchain game developer Wemade’s WEMIX token surged after it was relisted on local crypto exchange Coinone on Thursday.

Japan’s Square Enix to launch Web3 game on Polygon blockchain, cites ‘sustainability’ benefits

Square Enix announced Wednesday that it will launch its first Web3 game Symbiogenesis on the Polygon blockchain.

Conflux Network, China Telecom to build blockchain-enabled SIM cards

Blockchain protocol Conflux Network and China’s second-largest wireless carrier China Telecom have partnered to build a “blockchain-enabled SIM card” (BSIM).

Singapore’s DBS Digital Exchange’s Bitcoin trade volume grows 80% in 2022

DBS Digital Exchange (DDEx), one of Asia’s first bank-backed digital exchanges, has reported a year-on-year increase of 80% in Bitcoin traded in financial year 2022, while the number of Bitcoin custodized with the bank doubled from 2021. 

S. Korean regulators to probe local crypto staking services following U.S. crackdown: News1

S.Korean regulators are planning to review crypto staking services on local exchanges following recent regulatory enforcements from the SEC.

Hong Kong hopes to raise US$102 mln from digital green bonds debut: Bloomberg

The Hong Kong government is looking to raise US$102 million through the pilot issuance of its digital green bonds, according to a Monday report from Bloomberg. 

Singapore’s DBS bank plans to apply for crypto license in HK: report

Singapore’s DBS Group plans to apply for a license to offer crypto to Hong Kong customers as the city pushes to become a hub for digital assets.

India discussing crypto, regulation with G20, says finance minister

As India moves forward with its one-year presidency of the Group of 20 (G20), it is discussing cryptocurrency and regulation with the group’s members, India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said. 

Markets: Bitcoin, Ether prices extend losses; Dogecoin sole gainer among top 10 cryptos

Bitcoin continued to trade below US$22,000 in Monday afternoon trading in Asia. All other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies dropped except Dogecoin.

Huobi to expand in Hong Kong as it bets on China

Huobi Global plans to expand its operations in Hong Kong, anticipating that Mainland China will soon follow the city’s recent pro-crypto shift, says Justin Sun.

Crypto Regulation Race

2023 could be the defining year for crypto regulation – but who’s leading the race to regulation and what’s the best way about it?

Binance makes Korea comeback with GOPAX acquisition

Top blockchain and crypto news: GOPAX deal sees Binance return to South Korea. Inflation fight spooks crypto markets. Chinese liquor giant gives cheers to NFTs.

South Korea prosecutors say Serbia ready to help fraud investigation into Terra’s Do Kwon

Prosecutors flew to Serbia earlier this month as part of an investigation into Terraform Labs chief Do Kwon, who faces fraud accusations related to the US$40 billion collapse of his Terra-Luna cryptocurrency project in May last year.

NFTs inspired by K-drama Crash Landing on You coming from Crypto.com, Studio Dragon

Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange Crypto.com has partnered with Korean drama distributor Studio Dragon to issue NFTs inspired by popular Korean drama series, including the hit Crash Landing on You, the exchange said on Monday.

South Korea issues guideline on cryptocurrencies as securities tokens ahead of planned legalization

South Korea published guidelines on Monday for defining what specific cryptocurrencies would fall under regulations applicable to financial securities.

Binance tells Indian crypto exchange WazirX to remove funds from its platform as feud escalates

Binance has stopped providing wallet services to Indian crypto exchange WazirX, asking it to withdraw any remaining assets held in Binance wallets by Feb. 3.

India working with IMF, FSB on crypto regulations, says economic affairs secretary

India, the current holder of the G20 presidency, has been working with the IMF and the Financial Stability Board FSB to develop a regulatory approach for cryptocurrencies.

China should reconsider its ban on cryptocurrencies, says former central bank official

China’s blanket ban on cryptocurrency trading can have the country miss critical opportunities for technological development, says former PBOC official.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida says NFTs and DAOs can bolster ‘Cool Japan’ strategy

NFTs and DAOs can help support Japan’s national strategy dubbed ‘Cool Japan’ to attract investment and expand the economy.

India’s largest retailer Reliance starts CBDCs sales

Indian retail giant Reliance Retail announced on Thursday that it has started accepting digital rupee payments to become the largest Indian firm to adopt the nation’s CBDC.

India’s Budget Disappoints

India’s position on digital assets remains status quo as the country’s parliamentary budget hearing leads to disappointment in the crypto sector.

South Korea arrests head of Bithumb crypto exchange for alleged embezzlement

A South Korean court approved the prosecutor’s request to issue an arrest warrant for Kang Jong-hyun for alleged embezzlement.

Markets: Bitcoin stays above US$23,000; Cardano leads gains in top 10 cryptos

Bitcoin traded above US$23,000 throughout Wednesday afternoon trading in Asia, while Ethereum and other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies were mixed. Cardano led gains with 2.03% followed by XRP’s 1.13%. 

Hong Kong to mandate stablecoin licensing as early as this year

The HKMA said in a consultation conclusion that algorithmic stablecoins will not be allowed in the city.

January 2023

South Korea regulator recommends unified crypto disclosure system to protect investors

South Korea’s Financial Supervisory Service has recommended a unified system for mandatory disclosure from issuers of cryptocurrencies.

A crypto regulatory storm front is coming in 2023. Are we ready for it?

Laws to prevent another FTX blowup, crackdowns on crypto tax cheats, and a ruling on Ripple are likely imminent. A bull’s eye is also on DeFi, writes Gergo Varga of SEON.

S.Korea to adopt crypto tracking software in the first half of 2023

The South Korean Ministry of Justice (MOJ) announced Thursday that it will adopt a cryptocurrency tracking system within the first half of 2023.

More bad news for South Korea’s Bithumb exchange with “Kimchi coin” manipulation allegations

Prosecutors raided the Bithumb crypto exchange on Thursday on allegations of price manipulation and fraudulent transactions in local tokens,

Apple, New York Times, Hong Kong Government listed among FTX creditors

Lawyers for the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange, FTX.com, filed a document with a list of its institutional creditors on Thursday, which included major technology firms, publications and government bodies.  

Japan’s financial regulator aims to lift ban on foreign stablecoins by June this year

Japan plans to introduce regulations by June this year that will allow domestic investors to trade certain stablecoins from overseas.

India’s CoinDCX exchange says crypto tax rules are reducing government revenue

India announces its full year budget on Feb. 1, the last before general elections in 2024, and the cryptocurrency and digital asset industry is lobbying the government for changes in tax rules, among others.

Accelerator Graviton to help Indian Web3 start-ups get funding

India-focused accelerator Graviton has announced an initiative to help Indian Web 3.0 start-ups get up to US$50,000 in funding

Indian Budget Ahead

India’s crypto tax laws have caused local trading volume to plummet and the industry is hoping for better news in the upcoming budget session.

S. Korean city Busan to launch digital commodities exchange, shelves crypto

Busan, South Korea’s second-largest city, announced Thursday that it will launch a digital commodities exchange in the second half of this year.

National Australia Bank to launch AUDN stablecoin: report

National Australia Bank, one of the four major banks in the country, has created a stablecoin AUDN for cross-border transactions and carbon credit trading, according to an Australian Financial Review report. 

Coinbase asks Japan customers to withdraw holdings as it halts operations

Coinbase Global Inc., the world’s second largest cryptocurrency exchange by trade volume, has asked customers in Japan to withdraw crypto and fiat holdings by Feb. 16, as it halts operations “to conduct a complete review” of its business in the country.

China NFT platforms expand into Hong Kong in face of compliance risks on mainland

Hong Kong’s new digital asset-friendly policies could set the city up as the home for secondary NFT marketplaces from China as trading of ‘digital collectibles’ remains a gray area on the mainland.

Thailand’s SEC issues new regulations for crypto custody services

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand issued new rules for cryptocurrency custody services on Tuesday.

South Korea launches online metaverse replica of capital city Seoul to improve public services

S. Korea’s capital city opened the first stage of ‘Metaverse Seoul’ on Monday, which it claims is the first city-backed public metaverse in the world.

S. Korean court says NFT game items are speculative, adds on to P2E ban

A South Korean court ruled against the release of a blockchain P2E game last Friday after determining that in-game NFTs promote speculation.

Monex Group expresses interest in bidding in upcoming sale of FTX Japan: Bloomberg

Tokyo-based online brokerage Monex Group Inc. indicated it may join the bidding for the Japan subsidiary of the failed FTX cryptocurrency exchange.

CEO of South Korea’s V Global US$2 bln crypto pyramid scheme gets 25 years in prison

Lee Byung-gul, the CEO of V Global, will serve 25 years in prison after his conviction was upheld by the Supreme Court of Korea on Friday.

Crypto lender Hodlnaut’s creditors reject restructuring plan, prefer liquidation: report

Creditors of Singapore-based crypto lending and borrowing platform Hodlnaut have rejected a proposed restructuring plan and wish to liquidate the company.

Why is it harder to arrest Terra-Luna founder Do Kwon than FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried?

South Korea’s attempts to extradite the founder of the collapsed Terra-Luna stablecoin will remain hamstrung while the courts in Seoul dispute the charges against him.

Coinbase to cut jobs, shut down most of its cryptocurrency operations in Japan

Coinbase, the world’s second largest cryptocurrency exchange by trade volume, is cutting jobs and closing down most of its operations in Japan.

Hong Kong crypto exchanges to follow same laws as traditional finance

Hong Kong has passed a new licensing regime on for crypto exchanges that will subject providers to the same legislation and rules as traditional finance.

India’s WazirX crypto exchange releases proof of reserves, says 90% of user assets in Binance wallets

Some 90% of user assets at WazirX, India’s largest crypto exchange by volume, are held in wallets at Binance while the remaining 10% are stored in hot and warm wallets, revealed WazirX’s proof of reserves that the company released on Wednesday.