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Byron Bay to host Australia’s largest Bitcoin mining operation — using green energy

While it may be known locally and domestically as a tourist hotspot and home to many Hollywood A-list celebrities, Australia’s coastal town of Byron Bay is set to become host to Australia’s biggest Bitcoin mining site— and it’s going to be powered by 100% renewable energy. Fast facts According to a company press release, local […]

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?

SEC set to receive formal authority to regulate stablecoins

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission chair Gary Gensler has reiterated over time that most stablecoins are securities and should, therefore, fall under the purview of the securities watchdog. Now, Gensler is one step closer to achieving his aim of regulating stablecoins. Fast facts The U.S. Treasury Department and other agencies are putting together a report […]

Australian crypto industry watches as sole trader charges two top banks with ‘debanking’

While the government signals it is ready to promote the industry, the country’s banks remain unimpressed. ANZ has already settled its de-banking case with Allan Flynn, but as the tribunal with Westpac concluded over the weekend, what should we expect from the outcome?

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 […]

Nigeria to become 1st African country to launch a central bank digital currency

Nigeria, a country with one of the world’s highest cryptocurrency adoption rates, is set to become the first African nation to launch its own central bank digital currency (CBDC) today as President Muhammadu Buhari formally launches the eNaira. Fast facts Nigeria’s CBDC, the eNaira, was initially scheduled to be launched on Oct. 1. The launch […]

U.S. crypto miner Greenidge more than doubles Bitmain rig order to fuel growth

Greenidge Generation Holdings Inc., a U.S. Bitcoin mining and power generation company, has announced it plans to ramp up its operation across the U.S. by more than doubling its previous order with Chinese mining rig maker Bitmain. Fast facts Nasdaq-listed Greenidge said Thursday in a statement it plans to significantly expand beyond its current operating […]

How Australia’s National Blockchain Roadmap sets an example for the world

The Australian government sees blockchain’s enormous benefits and is now actively developing the technology, writes Chami Akmeemana. What can other countries learn from this?

Australia looks to regulate crypto; Ethereum hits all-time high

Australia’s Senate report into fintech regulations includes 12 recommendations for a clear digital assets framework.

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.

Kazakhstan power shortages continue as crypto miners scramble for solutions

Kazakhstan — one of the popular destinations for Chinese crypto miners as they look for more regulation-friendly shores — continues to face power shortages, with its national grid operator last week rationing power after some failures occurred in a few power units. Fast facts Kazakhstan electricity grid operating company KEGOC said in a statement last […]

Canadian crypto miner Hut 8 Mining to buy 12K new MicroBT rigs

Canadian crypto miner Hut 8 Mining announced yesterday that it would buy 12,000 new MicroBT mining machines for US$58.7 million from Inchigle Technology Hong Kong Ltd., as the mining company continues to expand its North American presence. Fast facts Hut 8 Mining said the new machines will represent an aggregate incremental production of 1.17 exahashes […]

Australia’s Senate releases long-awaited crypto report

The Senate unveiled its most comprehensive look at blockchain regulation, hoping to transform the country into a global industry leader.

2nd U.S. Bitcoin futures ETF starts trading today, and a 3rd will launch next week

Valkyrie Bitcoin Strategy Fund, the second Bitcoin futures exchange traded fund (ETF) in the U.S., is set to start trading today, while VanEck’s Bitcoin futures ETF, which also received approval this week, is expected to launch early next week. Fast facts ProShares Bitcoin Strategy Fund, the first U.S. Bitcoin futures ETF, started trading on the […]

China releases plan to merge blockchain into global trade

China’s Ministry of Commerce, along with 23 other central departments, on Tuesday jointly issued “The 14th Five-Year Plan for Service & Trade Industries.” It outlines how China will integrate blockchain into the process of global trading, including applying blockchain on bills of lading, building a blockchain-based global shipping information network, and using blockchain to record […]

Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com offers NFTs despite state media criticisms

Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com is giving away free non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to those who sign up for its annual technology conference JD Discovery, in a move to jump on the NFT bandwagon following its rivals Alibaba and Tencent. Fast facts JD.com’s tech arm JD Technology said yesterday in a social media post it is giving […]

South Korean theme park Lotte World opens on metaverse

Lotte World Adventure, one of the most popular South Korean amusement parks, is opening a virtual replica on Naver’s Zepeto metaverse. Fast facts Lotte World Adventure constructed “Magic Island,” its outdoor section of the park, onto the Zepeto metaverse, which opens tonight at 6 p.m. Korea time. Upon entering the Lotte World map on the […]

What Singapore’s novel crypto license scheme means for the future of payments

In a special Q&A, CEO Louis Liu describes the hoops FOMO Pay jumped through to win Singapore’s first crypto license and calls its regulator a ‘collaborator.’

Bitcoin price hits all-time high after ProShares ETF debut

Bitcoin set another record as it traded above US$67,000 Wednesday, one day after ProShares’ first-day trading volume reached nearly US$1 billion

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.

China’s crypto presence shrinks, while the U.S. rides the tide

More industry players are exiting the Chinese mainland market amid tougher crackdown.

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 […]

South Korean crypto exchanges look for new revenue sources

After iron-fisted regulations closed down many exchanges, remaining trading platforms look for alternatives to transaction fees.

37% of Singaporeans use or are keen on crypto for purchases — but more are uninterested: report

More than one-third — or 37% — of Singapore residents are already using or are interested in using cryptocurrencies to pay for purchases, according to the latest research from Worldpay from FIS, a payment platform. But nearly half — or 47% — of Singaporean respondents said that they were not interested in using cryptocurrencies for payments. […]

Chinese find ways around crypto ban; ANZ settles debanking case

Chinese find ways around crypto ban meanwhile ANZ settles debanking case

Atlas expands crypto mining operations in U.S. with Compute North

Singapore-based Atlas Mining today announced that it is expanding its cryptocurrency mining operations in the United States in a multi-year hosting service agreement with Compute North, a U.S.-based cryptocurrency mining infrastructure provider. Fast facts The deal will see Compute North providing over 100 megawatts colocation capacity — enough to power a small city — for […]

Top China retail platform to accept digital yuan during Double 11 shopping festival

JD.com, an online retailing platform ranked by trading volume as No. 1 in China and No. 13 globally by Deloitte, said it will accept electronic yuan (e-CNY) payments during the upcoming Double 11 shopping festival and will issue digital yuan coupons during the event. Fast facts The Double 11 shopping festival refers to a Chinese […]

N.Y. Attorney General to shut down two ‘unregistered’ crypto lending platforms

New York state Attorney General Letitia James has ordered two “unregistered crypto lending platforms” — one of which has appeared to be Nexo — to cease operations in New York, and requested another three platforms to provide information about their activities. Fast facts James said in a press release published on Monday: “Cryptocurrency platforms must […]

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

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

Australia’s ANZ settles in crypto debanking case

Amid a national conversation on debanking of crypto businesses, one of Australia’s “Big Four” banks — ANZ — has settled a case brought by local exchange operator Allan Flynn, who argued ANZ debanked him due to his occupation in cryptocurrency. Fast facts Flynn, crypto trader and owner of the Australian exchange CanberraBitcoin, announced the settlement […]

Coinhako launches crypto platform for institutions and HNWIs

Singapore-based crypto trading platform Coinhako has launched “Coinhako Privé,” a digital assets platform for high net worth individuals (HNWIs) and institutions, according to a company announcement today. Fast facts The Coinhako Privé platform will provide members with institutional grade digital asset services and white glove services, such as a dedicated relationship manager, personalized support from […]

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 […]

How Singapore’s crypto regulations are shaping its DeFi space

Singapore is a major crypto hub. But for whom? In this primer, Malcolm Tan explains the island-state’s regulatory evolution and which groups are no longer in its favor.

Is Estonia, once a trailblazer in crypto, now killing it off?

Estonia revoked more than 70% of all crypto licenses last year. Its recently appointed anti-money-laundering chief wants to nullify the rest.

Samsung Next, others grow blockchain portfolio despite tightened South Korea regulations

Conglomerates including Samsung continue to invest in blockchain and crypto startups despite a government crackdown on the industry.

China fuels blockchain development despite stricter crypto ban

Authorities encourage new ways to apply blockchain across various industries, although there’s no room for crypto
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20% crypto tax is critical issue in next South Korea presidential election

Candidates and possible contenders in South Korea’s next presidential election call for delaying a plan to tax virtual assets — currently scheduled to begin in January — in a bid to appeal to millennial and Generation Z voters. Fast facts Lawmakers from both the ruling democratic party and the opposition party have spoken out against […]

Crypto tax critical to Korean election: China crackdown continues

South Korean presidential hopefuls lean towards delaying crypto tax to impress younger voters.

Chinese President Xi Jinping underscores blockchain importance in transport

Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Thursday at the United Nations Global Sustainable Transport Conference the country needs to uphold an innovation-driven approach and create more drivers for development. He specifically mentioned in his remarks the integration of blockchain. Fast facts Xi said more should be done to develop smart transport and smart logistics and […]

China’s Zhejiang province busts covert crypto mining operations — some within public entities

Hidden mining tracked by IP addresses to state agencies, enterprises, institutions, schools

E-CNY soft rollout continues as Beijing Capital Airport accepts CBDC payment

The soft rollout of the electronic Chinese yuan (e-CNY) continues across China in advance of its expected formal launch in time for the Beijing Winter Olympics in February. In the latest sign, Beijing Capital International Airport has become the first airport in the country to support payment by the central bank digital currency (CBDC), which […]

Crypto mining pool AntPool to stop IP access from mainland China

AntPool, currently the world’s second-largest Bitcoin mining pool in terms of real-time hashrate, announced today that it is stopping the connection of IP addresses from the Chinese mainland beginning Friday. Fast facts AntPool said in its statement it decided to make the adjustment to abide by the Chinese government’s relevant rules on crypto mining and […]

U.S. leads in Bitcoin mining as China’s share drops to zero: Cambridge data

U.S., Kazakhstan, Russia take up largest Bitcoin hashrate shares as the exodus of Chinese miners continues.

Taiwanese fintech startup XREX collaborates with TRM Labs to ramp up security

XREX Inc., a Taipei-headquartered crypto-fiat exchange and trade technology platform, today announced a partnership with TRM Labs, a blockchain intelligence provider, to ramp up its platform’s security and enhance its ability to combat fraud and suspicious activities. Fast facts XREX said in a statement it has put to use the risk management tools developed by […]

East Asia falls from 1st to 4th place in share of global crypto transaction volume

East Asia’s share of global cryptocurrency transactions plunged to 14% in June 2021 from 31% in April 2019 when it was by far the world’s largest crypto economy, according to blockchain data provider Chainalysis’ 2021 Eastern Asia Report published today. Fast facts China’s crypto crackdown in May saw East Asia — with China the biggest […]

Another Chinese state-run media outlet faults NFT frenzy

The Chinese government-aligned newspaper Guangming Daily published an opinion article to criticize non-fungible token (NFT) hype, which is “definitely not good for the healthy development of NFT.” Fast facts The article cited Gartner, a global technology research company, and its report Hype cycle for emerging technology, indicating that NFTs are at a high point of hype. The […]

Crypto platforms Cobo, Gate.io leave mainland following China crypto ban

Cryptocurrency investors on the Chinese mainland continue to feel the chill from the country’s latest crypto ban, as more and more industry players exit the Chinese market. Cobo, a Singapore-based crypto management platform, is among the latest to opt out. Fast facts In order to reflect the regulatory requirements on the mainland, Cobo said Wednesday […]

Australian Securities Exchange to launch crypto-related ETF

Hot on the heels of a similar exchange-traded fund being approved in the U.S., the Australian Securities Exchange is close to launching the “BetaShares Crypto Innovators ETF,” which will grant exposure to global companies working in the digital asset space, according to the Financial Review. Fast facts Using the ticker “CRYP,” the ETF aims to […]

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 […]

Crypto lender Celsius bags US$400M despite regulatory heat

In spite of ongoing regulatory issues, cryptocurrency lender Celsius Network has raised US$400 million in an investment round pegging the valuation of the company at US$3 billion. Fast facts The funding was led by U.S. growth equity firm WestCap and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), a global investment group.  Celsius will use the funds to […]

TikTok’s first NFT collection auction goes live featuring rapper Curtis Roach

Popular short-video app TikTok has started its non-fungible token (NFT) auction of “TikTok Top Moments” that feature works of a series of rappers and artists, as the social media giant appears keen to jump on the NFT bandwagon. Fast facts The auction of Detroit rapper Curtis Roach’s “Bored in the House” NFT has gone live, […]

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 […]

‘Squid Game’ NFTs being traded on OpenSea

An unidentified NFT (non-fungible token) creator with user name 9194C0 on digital marketplace OpenSea has created nearly 2,000 NFTs that replicate the globally popular Netflix series ‘Squid Game’ with some being traded for more than 1 ETH. Fast facts The NFTs replicate a card that appears on the television series inviting the protagonist to join […]

China to ‘outdate’ crypto mining industry with more restrictions

The country’s top economic planner hopes to prohibit investment in what it considers an energy-intensive sector.
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McDonald’s China launches first NFT to commemorate 31 years in mainland market

Working with Chinese blockchain Conflux, McDonald’s China has launched its first NFT to commemorate its 31st anniversary in the Chinese mainland market and the official opening of its new headquarters in Shanghai. The NFT, “Big Mac Cube,” is a three-dimensional digital token inspired by McDonald’s branding and the shape of its new headquarters building.  Fast […]

UK gambling watchdog takes shot at soccer NFT platform Sorare

The U.K. Gambling Commission has launched an investigation into Sorare, the French fantasy soccer non-fungible token (NFT) platform. Fast facts The gambling watchdog said that any activity on Sorare by British citizens falls outside of gambling regulations in Great Britain, since Sorare is not registered with the commission. Therefore, the notice advised Sorare users to […]

Postal Savings Bank of China tapped for development role in digital yuan payments

The Postal Savings Bank of China has become one of the appointed research and development institutions for the electronic Chinese yuan (e-CNY), allowing the bank to hold a first-mover advantage in the competition for position in China’s electronic payments market, its owner, the state-owned China Post Group, said in an article. Fast facts The bank […]

Sri Lanka to study digital banking, blockchain and crypto mining regulation

Sri Lanka has formed a panel to recommend a regulatory framework covering the growth of digital banking, blockchain and cryptocurrency mining, the government has announced. Fast facts Developing an integrated system of digital banking, blockchain and cryptocurrency mining is crucial for Sri Lanka to keep up with its regional neighbors while expanding international trade, the […]

Shenzhen has the most e-CNY pilot program uses, Chinese state-owned media says

According to a Shenzhen state-owned newspaper, Shenzhen now has nearly 120,000 e-CNY pilot program application scenarios, ranking first in the country. Fast facts In October last year, Hong Kong’s neighboring city, Shenzhen, became the first e-CNY pilot city, which rolled out the first batch of 50,000 e-CNY red packets with a total value of 10 […]

Blockchain technology to aid journalists in South Korea

A South Korean tech company is partnering with the largest organization of professional journalists in the country to develop digital tools and techniques to tackle problems in the journalism industry. Fast facts Media technology developer PUBLISH recently announced signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Journalists Association of Korea (JAK), which represents over 11,000 […]

Cryptocurrency now on the table for Aussie homebuyers

Australians are now able to buy a house using cryptocurrency, as Lloyds Auctions Australia has announced it is accepting Bitcoin for purchases of real estate in online auctions, according to a press release shared with Forkast.News. Fast facts While Covid lockdowns impacted how in-person real estate auctions could take place in Australia, Lloyds began looking […]

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 […]

China’s Jiangsu province works to wipe out covert crypto mining

China’s eastern province of Jiangsu today announced that it is cracking down on covert cryptocurrency mining activities, in response to the notice jointly issued two weeks ago by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and several other public security and information technology authorities. Fast facts The Jiangsu Communications Administration said it is strengthening its […]

NFTs and the music industry: Flatten the learning curve | Part 3

Singers and musicians are embracing non-fungible tokens, but will their non-crypto active fans buy it?

New Zealand exchange closes $12M funding round

New Zealand-based exchange Easy Crypto has closed a NZ$17 million (US$11.75 million) Series A funding round, in what may be the largest investment raised for a startup from the country. Fast facts Led by venture capital fund Nuance Connected Capital, Easy Crypto told Forkast.News the funding round was oversubscribed by 50%, helped along by participation […]

South Korea calls for legal review on DeFi businesses

As South Korea’s ongoing efforts at regulating cryptocurrency continues, a top financial services official said DeFi (decentralized finance) businesses need legal review before they are officially recognized as providers of financial services such as loan-for-consumption. Fast facts At the National Assembly’s annual review, lawmaker Oh Gi-hyoung, member of the National Policy Committee, asked Jeong Eun-bo, Korea’s Financial […]

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 […]

Ukrainian president seeks revision of cryptocurrency bill

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy returned a cryptocurrency bill to Parliament for revision on Tuesday, demanding the National Securities and Stock Market Commission of Ukraine be designated the country’s main crypto regulator. Fast facts The crypto bill had passed the second parliamentary hearing on September 8. Had Zelenskyy signed the bill, it would have made the country the fifth […]

What Powell’s ‘No intention to ban’ means for crypto

  Jerome Powell’s remarks on Sept. 30 following his testimony about the financial hardships of the pandemic caught the attention of crypto enthusiasts. Taking questions from the House Committee on Financial Services, Chairman Powell said the Federal Reserve would not seek a ban on crypto but reiterated that stablecoins should be regulated.  Bitcoin jumped by […]

CoinSwitch Kuber becomes unicorn; Australians reminded over crypto tax

Coinswitch Kuber becomes unicorn meanwhile Australians reminded over crypto tax