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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.

Markets: Bitcoin rises above US$24,000; Solana gains most in top 10 cryptos

Bitcoin rose above US$24,000 in Monday afternoon trade in Asia while all other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies were mixed. Ether gained 0.18%, while Solana strengthened the most across the top 10 cryptos.
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Taiwan may mandate public servants to declare crypto holdings

Taiwan’s Ministry of Justice said on Wednesday that it may be adding cryptocurrencies to the list of properties for public servants to declare. 

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.

Binance expects to pay penalties to settle U.S. probes: Wall Street Journal

Binance expects to pay to settle U.S. authorities’ investigations into its business and past crypto offerings, according to its chief strategy officer.

El Salvador to establish ‘Bitcoin Embassy’ in Texas to promote adoption of digital assets

El Salvador, the first country in the world to make Bitcoin legal tender, is planning on opening a “Bitcoin embassy” in Texas.

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.

EU begins regulatory sandbox for blockchain technology

The European Commission (EC), has started a regulatory sandbox to test use cases of blockchain technologies and provide legal clarity for the industry.

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).

Markets: Bitcoin, Ether extend gains; Cardano rises most among top 10 cryptos

Bitcoin and Ether prices strengthened in Wednesday afternoon trade, along with all other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies by market capitalization. Cardano led gains at 6.91%, followed by Dogecoin at 5.21%, though prices of top 10 tokens remain subdued on the week.  
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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. 

Digital asset industry comes under fire at hearing by U.S. Senate on ‘Crypto Crash’

The cryptocurrency industry faced criticism during a Senate committee meeting on Tuesday entitled “Crypto Crash: Why Financial System Safeguards are Needed for Digital Assets.”

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. 

Truck industry as real-world crypto use case? How blockchain could replace system that leaves U.S. truckers out of pocket 

The current payment system relied on by truck drivers runs through third parties and adds costs to supply chains and consumers. Could blockchain tech provide an alternative, and would truckers trust it?

Markets: Bitcoin, Ether drop; BNB biggest loser in top 10 cryptos

Bitcoin and Ether dropped in Tuesday afternoon trade in Asia, along with all other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies by market capitalization. Binance’s native token BNB led the day’s decline across the top 10 cryptos.

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. 

Head of crypto, FX trading platform EminiFX pleads guilty to US$248 million fraud charges

Mastermind of the EminiFX fraud has pleaded guilty to soliciting investments worth more than US$248 million from tens of thousands of investors, says US DOJ.

Crypto Clarity Coming?

The UK and Europe are following suit in trying to regulate crypto. Just how far along have they come and what more do they have in store?

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.

UAE central bank to issue CBDC, promote digital asset growth

The United Arab Emirates plans to launch a central bank digital currency (CBDC), among other initiatives, to become a financial and digital payment hub.

China’s international blockchain BSN Spartan gets new push in Middle East, Africa

Red Date Technology, the developer of China’s state-backed blockchain infrastructure Blockchain-based Service Network, has partnered Dubai-based Singularity Innovations to offer blockchain infrastructure services in the Middle East and Africa, as the Chinese blockchain network continues to go global.

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?

Markets: Bitcoin, Ether extend gains; Polygon leads top 10 cryptos

Bitcoin and Ethereum extended gains on Wednesday afternoon in Asia along with all other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies by market capitalization.

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.

Markets: Bitcoin rises as Polygon gains most in top 10 cryptos

Bitcoin prices gained in Tuesday afternoon trading in Asia while Ethereum dropped with most other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies by market capitalization.

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.

Markets: Bitcoin, Ether extend losses: Solana, Polygon biggest losers

Bitcoin and Ethereum prices dropped in afternoon trading on Monday in Asia, along with all other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies by market capitalization. Bitcoin continued trading under US$23,000, while Solana and Polygon led losses. 

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.

Silvergate probed by US prosecutors over FTX, Alameda accounts: Bloomberg

U.S. prosecutors are investigating California-based cryptocurrency bank Silvergate Capital Corp. for how it handled accounts tied to now-bankrupt crypto exchange FTX and its brokerage arm Alameda Research, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, citing sources familiar with the matter.

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.

Why the cloud will be critical to US competitiveness in world finance

The future global financial system will be reliant on the cloud, especially when it comes to CBDCs and stablecoins, writes Michael Greenwald and Logan Weber.
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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.

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.

Bitcoin trades higher in Nigeria amid cashless economy drive

Bitcoin price was trading at a premium in Nigerian cryptocurrency exchanges on Monday following the central bank’s limit on ATM cash withdrawals.

Markets: Bitcoin, Ether extend gains; Solana leads among top 10 cryptos

Bitcoin and Ethereum were up in Monday afternoon trading in Asia, while all other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies were mixed. Solana led gains at 5.08%. 

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.

DOJ, FBI hack Hive Network, save US$130 mln from crypto ransomware attacks

The FBI and the DOJ have concluded a month-long disruption campaign against the Hive ransomware group, preventing victims from having to pay US $130 million.

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.  

EU looks to place limit on banks holding crypto

European Union lawmakers have voted in favor of a draft bill that imposes stricter capital requirements on banks holding crypto assets.

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.

Markets: Bitcoin rises above US$23,000; Polkadot, BNB lead gains across top 10 cryptos

Bitcoin broke the US$23,000 resistance line in Tuesday afternoon trading in Asia, with most other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies by market capitalization also higher.

Why Islamic finance is thriving despite global market storms

While much of the world economy remains mired in winter doldrums, it’s springtime for the Islamic finance sector. Mohammed AlKaff AlHashmi of Islamic Coin explains why.

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.

Crypto ads should include risk warnings, says South African advertising regulation group

Crypto ads airing in South Africa must warn potential investors of risks, according to new guidelines by the country’s Advertising Regulatory Board (ARB).

Why Europe’s DORA regulation is a band aid but not a cure

EU’s new Digital Operational Resilience Act aims to help firms withstand cyberattacks. Monica Oravcova of Naoris Protocol explains why it doesn’t go far enough.

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.

Binance among top Bitcoin receivers of Bitzlato’s illegal funds, FinCEN says

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a bureau of the United States Department of the Treasury that combats financial crimes, has named Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, as one of the top three receiving counterparties of Bitzlato Ltd. 

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.