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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.

Davos kicks off

Climate action and Ukraine were key discussion points on the first day of the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos.

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.

El Salvador establishes legal framework for all cryptocurrencies

El Salvador has passed landmark legislation that establishes a legal framework for all cryptocurrencies to build on the country’s “first-mover advantage.”

Markets: Bitcoin, Ether rise as investors await US inflation data; Polkadot gains

Bitcoin and Ether rose in Thursday afternoon trading in Asia, along with all other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies, as investors anticipate signs of slower inflation in the upcoming Thursday release of the U.S. Consumer Price Index for December.

Binance obtains approval in Sweden to fuel Europe expansion

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, has received regulatory approval from the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority to operate as a financial institution to manage and trade in virtual currency, as part of the exchange’s continuing expansion in Europe.

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.

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.

US prosecutors, SEC probes Digital Currency Group: report

U.S. prosecutors and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have started to investigate cryptocurrency-focused conglomerate Digital Currency Group (DCG), Bloomberg reported on Saturday, citing unnamed sources.

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.

Will crypto’s real-world impact become more evident in 2023?

Crypto Council’s Sheila Warren hopes to see more of crypto’s real-world use cases emerging in the media next year.

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.

U.S. banking regulators warn against cryptocurrency fraud, contagion risks

The U.S. Federal Reserve, FDIC and the OCC have issued a joint statement to warn banks of the risks with crypto assets.

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.

Bahamas regulator denies FTX CEO’s claims over seized assets

The Securities Commission of The Bahamas has rejected “material misstatements” made by FTX’s newly-appointed CEO, John J. Ray III

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.

Bahamas regulators hold US$3.5 bln of FTX assets, to be delivered to customers, creditors

The Securities Commission of the Bahamas is temporarily holding US$3.5 billion of digital assets seized from FTX Digital Markets

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.

Why digital assets need regulations now more than ever

In times of market volatility, regulation can restore confidence and public trust in crypto, writes Albert Isola, Gibraltar’s minister for digital and financial services.

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.

Markets: Bitcoin, Ether extend gains; XRP biggest winner in top 10 cryptos

Bitcoin and Ethereum extended gains on Tuesday afternoon in Asia along with almost all other non-stablecoin top 10 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization. XRP was the biggest winner, rising nearly 4.8% in the last 24 hours.

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.

Blockchain gets religion? Taiwan temple mints NFTs of local sea goddess

A centuries old Taiwan temple dedicated to a popular goddess has latched onto non-fungible tokens or NFTs as a means for worshippers to get access to pilgrimages and other events.

Bitcoin hashrate drops nearly 40% as deadly U.S. storm unplugs miners

The Bitcoin network hashrate has dropped by more than 38.8% from its peak on Wednesday, as many U.S.-based miners have been forced to switch down their facilities due to deadly blizzards. See related article: British Columbia suspends new electricity connections for crypto miners Fast facts See related article: Bitcoin mining difficulty rises 3.27% in latest […]

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.

Bankrupt miner Core Scientific may sell facilities under development: report

Core Scientific said it may sell some of its mining facilities under development that could be worth up to a gigawatt of power after it filed for bankruptcy protection.

US bill set to demand know-your-customer from crypto companies

Top blockchain and crypto news: US senators push for crypto KYC. SBF faces the music in US courts. Alibaba Cloud to launch blockchain node.

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.

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried set to return to the U.S. on Wednesday

Sam Bankman-Fried, former CEO of FTX, has signed documents in the Bahamas for extradition and is scheduled to the U.S. on Wednesday.

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.

Sam Bankman-Fried extradition in doubt after confused court hearing in Bahamas

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried appeared in court in the Bahamas, but did not agree to be extradited to the U.S. 

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.

US lawyers, Bahamas liquidators trade barbs over who rules FTX bankruptcy jurisdiction

Sam Bankman-Fried has reportedly made a second application for bail in the Bahamas – this as lawyers feud over control of the FTX bankruptcy, raising concern the sour grapes may seep into efforts to have Bankman-Fried extradited to face fraud charges in the U.S.

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.

Animoca founder says Asia is ‘moving on’ from FTX fiasco

Asia’s cryptocurrency community is “on the path of moving on” from the FTX fiasco, following the arrest of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, said Yat Siu, cofounder and chairman of Hong Kong-based blockchain gaming studio and venture capital firm Animoca Brands.

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.

US Senator Elizabeth Warren submits crypto know-your-customer bill in wake of FTX collapse

As U.S. prosecutors line up charges against Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of the collapsed FTX cryptocurrency exchange, Senator Elizabeth Warren is seeking to pass bipartisan regulation to rein in the “dark underbelly” of the crypto industry.

FTX Probe Begins

SBF was arrested by Bahamian authorities just a day before he was due to testify before Congress – but his successor has been revealing much about FTX’s collapse.

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.

FTX an ‘old-fashioned embezzlement’ says new CEO as US authorities charge Bankman-Fried with fraud

Members of a U.S. Congressional hearing expressed frustration about the timing of Bankman-Fried’s arrest, saying they wanted him to testify under oath so the public could get the answers they are seeking about the collapse of FTX.

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.