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Asia-Pacific

161 articles

January 2023

Thai regulator probes Zipmex crypto exchange amid acquisition: report

Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has written to cryptocurrency exchange Zipmex Thailand seeking clarification on whether it has been operating as a digital-asset fund manager without permission, according to a Bloomberg report. 

Digital Currency Group in spotlight over suspicious fund transfers

Top blockchain and crypto news: DCG under investigation. Lido DAO surges as Ethereum’s Shanghai upgrade looms. Hong Kong burnishes crypto credentials.

India’s CoinSwitch exchange to add non-crypto products amid punishing taxes on digital asset trading

Indian cryptocurrency exchanges faced a flurry of taxes on trading last year that saw volumes across most platforms drop as much as 90%, slashing income from trading fees. What’s a crypto exchange to do? Maybe sell mutual funds?

India’s Decimal Point Analytics gets US$750,000 grant funding to develop tokenization solutions

India’s Decimal Point Analytics (DPA), a research and data analytics firm, has received grant funding of up to US$750,000 from The Hashgraph Association, a Switzerland-headquartered non-profit organization, to develop an asset tokenization platform on Hedera’s distributed ledger technology (DLT) network. 

Markets: Bitcoin slips, Cardano leads losses in top 10 cryptos

Bitcoin dropped in afternoon trading on Tuesday along with most other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies by market capitalization. Ethereum rose further while Dogecoin led gains. 

Paycoin seeks reapproval after S.Korea suspends the payments token: report

PayProtocol, the South Korean issuer of payments-focused cryptocurrency Paycoin (PCI), will reapply for a local license to stay in business.

Slumdog Millionaire composer A. R. Rahman tunes into metaverse

Indian music composer A. R. Rahman, who won Best Original Score at the Oscars for the movie Slumdog Millionaire, has launched the ‘Katraar’ metaverse platform to promote new music creations and other art forms.

Markets: Bitcoin, Ether extend rise; Cardano leads gains in top 10 cryptos

Bitcoin, Ethereum extended gains in afternoon trade in Asia on Monday along with the top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies by market capitalization. Cardano rose the most in the last 24 hours, followed by Polygon, BNB and Dogecoin.

Hong Kong pushes ahead with crypto hub plans as tech firms, startups show interest: financial secretary

Hong Kong will continue pushing ahead with the development of the Web 3.0 industry as it aims to become a regional hub for the nascent industry despite the series of collapses of crypto exchanges, said Paul Chan, the city’s financial secretary on Monday.

Hong Kong lawmaker says e-HKD has potential to be a stablecoin

Hong Kong should make efforts to encourage the establishment of virtual assets rating agencies, and consider developing the e-HKD, the city’s central bank digital currency in the works, into a stablecoin, a Hong Kong lawmaker said in a recent media interview.

India’s Crypto Outlook

WazirX VP Rajagopal Menon sits down with Forkast to provide some insight as survival becomes a huge concern for crypto exchanges in India.

Indian crypto exchanges may lose US$1.2 trillion of trade volume in next four years: research

India’s current cryptocurrency tax structure “may lead to a loss of approximately US$1.2 trillion of local exchange trade volume in the next four years,” according to research by Esya Centre, a technology policy think tank in India.

Indonesia to set up crypto stock exchange this year: report

Indonesia plans to set up a crypto stock exchange in 2023, ahead of moving regulatory powers to securities authorities from a commodities jurisdiction.

Ripple expects SEC ruling in first half, clearer global regulations for digital assets in 2023 

Ripple Labs Inc. expects a court decision in the first six-months of this year in the case filed against the company by the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission. The SEC sued Ripple in December 2020 for allegedly selling US$1.3 billion in unregistered securities.

Crypto, digital assets account for 69% of online investment scams in Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Police received 1,503 online investment scam complaints over the first 10 months of 2022, 70% were related to cryptocurrencies.

Binance declines comment on speculation it may buy South Korean crypto exchange GOPAX

Binance declined to comment on reports in local media that it is in late stage talks to acquire South Korean digital asset exchange GOPAX.

Final Fantasy’s Square Enix stays committed to blockchain despite backlash

Yosuke Matsuda, the president of Square Enix, has reaffirmed the gaming company’s commitment to blockchain technology.

Hong Kong financial service providers gear up for retail crypto traders

Hong Kong’s financial services providers, including local brokers and fund managers, are seeking advice to prepare for new licensing requirements which will allow them to provide services to retail traders, according to a media report.

December 2022

Late Nexon CEO’s US$6.7 mln crypto stolen; hacker gets six years in prison

A group of S.Korean hackers stole 8.5 billion Korean won (US$6.7 million) worth of cryptocurrencies from Kim Jung-ju, the late founder of Nexon.

South Korea keeps betting on the metaverse, ignoring the current clunky technology

South Korea took a real shine to the metaverse in 2022, with the central government, regions and cities all interested in getting a piece of the virtual reality pie, despite criticism that the technology has a long way to go.

Japan game maker Gumi strikes US$52 mln metaverse deal with Square Enix, SBI

Japan-based game company Gumi has announced a business alliance with Square Enix SBI Holdings to grow its metaverse business.

Kraken to shut Japan operations

Kraken announced on Wednesday that it will “cease its operations” in Japan and deregister from the Financial Services Agency.

Japan plans to lift ban on stablecoins issued overseas: report

Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) reportedly plans to allow the circulation of foreign-issued stablecoins in the local market next year.

India’s religious festivals coming to a metaverse near your avatar?

India loves religious festivals, but are its citizens ready to attend such celebrations in virtual reality? An Indian startup reckons they are and launched its first effort this year, saying 20,000 avatars showed up.

Hong Kong arrests two for suspected involvement in digital asset fraud on AAX

Hong Kong’s commercial crime investigation bureau on Friday arrested two local men for suspected involvement in digital asset fraud on Atom Asset Exchange (AAX)

The last 12 months the year to forget, says India’s WazirX crypto exchange  

A lot of the troubles for India exchanges in 2022 will run into next year as they shed staff and run down reserves to stay afloat, and not all are expected to make it.

Will Bitcoin’s true value prevail in 2023? 

As crypto investors move towards self-custody following FTX’s collapse, Brian Paik wonders whether it could teach people the true value of Bitcoin, beyond hype and price speculation.

S. Korea’s Busan city crypto exchange moves ahead without global partners

Busan announced the steering committee for its flagship exchange, but it didn’t include global partners earlier linked to the project.

South Korea’s ‘metaverse’ province says will use virtual platform to expand ties with Vietnam

South Korea’s Gyeongbuk Province plans to use the metaverse to expand economic and other relations with Vietnam.

Hong Kong’s SFC appoints new chief who calls for stronger crypto regulation

Julia Leung, the next chief executive of Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) due to start her three-year term on Jan. 1, called for stricter crypto regulation when speaking at the city’s Fintech Week last month.

Hong Kong Stock Exchange debuts ‘Asia’s first’ crypto futures ETFs

Hong Kong launched two exchange-traded funds (ETFs) tracking cryptocurrency futures on Friday, the first of their kind in Asia, the local exchange said.

Japan plans to ease corporate tax rates for cryptocurrency issuers

Japan’s ruling party approved a proposal that exempts companies issuing crypto from taxes on unrealized gains on retained tokens.

Japan ruling party lawmaker calls for regulatory clarity after FTX debacle

A Japanese lawmaker called for more transparent regulations following the FTX meltdown, where investors were not warned of the risks with FTX Token.

South Korean official says no confirmation Binance pulling out of Busan city crypto exchange project

An official in the South Korean city of Busan said the authorities have received no confirmation that Binance has pulled out of a partnership to establish the country’s first city-backed crypto exchange, as reported by local media.

Sam Bankman-Fried in Bahamas police custody, faces criminal charges in U.S.

Top blockchain and crypto news: SBF denied bail, US extradition likely next. The Block chief quits over secret FTX loans. Hong Kong readies digital asset rules.

Wemade appeals against the court ruling in favor of WEMIX delisting

Wemade Co. filed an immediate appeal against the court’s Dec. 7 decision that rejected the developer’s request to disallow four of the nation’s largest crypto exchanges from delisting its native cryptocurrency, WEMIX.

Why local currency stablecoins are needed in non-US countries

Stablecoins in USD are becoming the digital world’s default currency — which burdens ordinary crypto users and monetary policies in smaller nations, writes Wei Zhou of Coins.ph.

Hong Kong mulls regulatory requirements for local licensed crypto exchanges: report

The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) is drafting regulatory requirements for the local licensed crypto exchanges, in light of the FTX debacle, according to a report on Monday by Hong Kong public broadcaster RTHK

S.Korea discusses control over crypto listings after WEMIX delisting

S.Korean authorities may mandate companies to pursue direct approval from regulators to list their crypto on local digital assets exchanges.

Terra cryptocurrency fugitive Do Kwon flew to Serbia last month, South Korean prosecutor says

Interpol fugitive Kwon Do-hyung flew to the Republic of Serbia last month, South Korean prosecutors told Forkast, confirming local media reports.

Wemade to buyback US$10 mln in WEMIX after delisting verdict

Wemade, a S.Korean blockchain game maker, announced that it will buyback and burn US$10 million worth of its WEMIX token to stabilize its value.

Hong Kong’s virtual asset licensing regime to take effect next June

Hong Kong passed the amendment to the bill that includes a licensing regime VASP on Wednesday, which will come into effect on June 1, 2023.

South Korea’s Wemade shares drop, WEMIX token plunges after delisting verdict

The South Korean blockchain game maker’s WEMIX cryptocurrency will be removed from the country’s four major cryptocurrency exchanges that collectively account for more than 95% of the country’s crypto trading volume.

S.Korea court dismisses Wemade’s injunction, local exchanges to delist WEMIX

A Seoul court has dismissed the injunction filed by Wemade Co. Ltd. to stop four local digital asset exchanges from delisting WEMIX cryptocurrency

Hong Kong’s race to launch first crypto-linked ETF begins

Three Hong Kong-based asset management firms have applied for exchange-traded funds (ETFs) tracking Bitcoin and Ethereum futures for retail investors.

S.Korea central bank puts hand up to regulate stablecoins

The Bank of Korea (BOK) claimed it needs the authority to monitor and supervise stablecoins, according to the South Korean central bank’s report published on Monday.

Majority of ‘wealthy’ South Koreans say no plan to invest in crypto, cite lack of trust

The majority (58.3%) of South Koreans with assets of 1 billion Korean won (US$760,000) said they don’t plan to invest in cryptocurrencies.

Innovation vs Regulation

Innovation and regulation are mutually exclusive in the world of crypto – and in the aftermath of the FTX collapse, getting the balance right is key.

Australian crypto exchange Swyftx cuts 40% of jobs amid fallout from FTX collapse

Australian cryptocurrency exchange Swyftx cut 90 staff members — or 40% of its workforce — to prepare for a “worst-case scenario” in the market from the collapse of FTX.com.

Wemade in talks with Binance for custody of WEMIX cryptocurrency

Wemade Co. Ltd. said its in talks to have Binance Institutional Services take custody of its native cryptocurrency, WEMIX.

Digital ID Ready?

As the Philippine government ties to roll out a hugely ambitious ID system, we take a look at how blockchain could make data more secure.

S.Korea court to settle MIR4 maker Wemade, WEMIX legal battle

Following a hearing on Friday, the court is expected to finalize its decision on an injunction Wemade filed against four exchanges.

S. Korea energy conglomerate builds US$84 mln metaverse fund

Daesung’s venture capital subsidiary recently established a fund worth 110 billion Korean won (US$84.5 million) for expanding investments into metaverse startups.

FTX collapse will blunt activities of North Korea hackers, analyst says

The collapse of FTX.com and its far-reaching impacts will hinder North Korea’s ability to profit from cryptocurrency hacks, says one analyst.

South Korea’s Shinhan Bank starts ‘metaverse’ services, according to local media

Shinhan has opened a metaverse to provide financial and non-financial services, claiming to be the first bank in the country to provide such a platform.

Indonesia central bank releases whitepaper on digital rupiah, to develop wholesale CBDC first

Indonesia’s central bank has released a whitepaper detailing plans for its central bank digital currency (CBDC), as the country looks to “advance digital transformation.”

It’s time for more institutions to adopt blockchain and crypto: Opinion

Despite the myriad benefits of blockchain and cryptocurrency, institutional interest remains mixed in Asia Pacific. What lessons should the industry learn from 2022 to overcome the barriers to adoption?
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November 2022

Philippines’ Blockchain Future

The Philippines might have moved on from Axie Infinity and other NFT collections, but its still steaming ahe

Binance re-enters Japan with acquisition of regulated Sakura Exchange BitCoin

Binance returned to the Japanese market with the acquisition of regulated crypto exchange Sakura Exchange BitCoin (SEBC), according to a blog post on Wednesday.  See related article: Binance to help S. Korea’s Busan build first city-backed exchange Fast facts See related article: Crypto exchange Binance in regulators’ crosshairs as scrutiny mounts 

Philippine Blockchain Week: Blockchain adoption struggles in the Philippines as businesses ‘invest to survive’

Blockchain adoption in the Philippines is struggling because businesses are focused on survival, according to Dr. Donald Lim, lead convenor at Philippine Blockchain Week in Manila.

S.Korea requests warrant to bring Terra-Luna cofounder Daniel Shin into custody

A court in South Korea will review if prosecutors are allowed to arrest and bring Terraform cofounder Daniel Shin and seven others into custody, for charges including fraud.

Swiss crypto bank SEBA Bank expands to Hong Kong

Swiss crypto bank SEBA Bank announced on Wednesday the opening of its Hong Kong office to serve global institutional clients as part of its Asia-Pacific expansion. See related article: Hong Kong said it remains upbeat on digital assets after FTX debacle  Fast facts See related article: Hong Kong needs engineering talent to reclaim role as […]

S. Korea’s Wemade files injunction against country’s top 4 crypto exchanges

The blockchain game maker fights delisting of its symbolic WEMIX crypto token.

S. Korea releases ethical guidelines for the metaverse

South Korea’s science ministry released a guideline of core ethical principles for metaverse application participants.

Markets: Bitcoin, Ether gain as China eases Covid rules amid protests; Dogecoin jumps

Bitcoin and Ether both rose in Wednesday morning trading in Asia, with all other non-stablecoin top 10 cryptocurrencies also gaining ground as China on Tuesday said it will relax some Covid rules in response to protests.

India to roll out retail CBDC on Dec. 1

India will launch its retail CBDC pilot on Thursday with plans to gradually expand trials, the RBI announced on Tuesday.

Blockchain is transforming capital markets, and Singapore is leading the way: Opinion

Asset tokenization and DeFi hold tremendous potential for the finance sector, writes Han Kwee Juan of DBS Bank. Here’s how the Singaporean government is at the forefront of change.

U.S., S. Korea applied for over 75% of world’s metaverse patents: report

Companies based in the U.S. and South Korea have filed for more than 75% of patent applications related to the metaverse, VR and AR.

Australian fintech firm launches new AUD stablecoin, AUDE

Australian blockchain fintech startup Ettle Pty Ltd. has completed the first transaction on its recently launched Australian dollar-pegged stablecoin, AUDE.

Singapore’s Matrixport eyes US$100 mln fundraiser at US$1.5 bln valuation

Singapore-based crypto lender Matrixport is hoping to raise US$100 million at a valuation of US$1.5 billion, according to a Bloomberg report citing unnamed sources.  

S.Korean Wemade’s stock falls 30% after exchanges announce WEMIX token delisting; CEO blames Upbit exchange

The delisting poses a great obstacle to the game maker’s growing blockchain empire, while Wemade’s CEO blames the crypto exchange

Singapore police say they are investigating crypto lender Hodlnaut on fraud allegations

Singapore’s white-collar crime unit is investigating Hodlnaut on allegations of fraud, according to a statement on the website of the Singapore police dated Nov. 23.