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Busan plans digital asset exchange; Tencent launches digital IOUs:

Busan plans digital asset exchange meanwhile Tencent launches digital IOUs.

The Korean city of Busan plans a digital asset exchange.

Bitcoin mining difficulty on the increase.

Tencent launches digital IOU platform.

We’ll have more on that story — and other news shaping the cryptocurrency and blockchain world — in this episode of The Daily Forkast, July 30.


Welcome to The Daily Forkast, July 30th, 2021. I’m Angie Lau, Editor-in-Chief of Forkast.News, covering all things blockchain.

Coming up, the Korean city of Busan plans a digital asset exchange.
Bitcoin mining difficulty is increasing;
and China’s Tencent launches a digital IOU platform.

Let’s get you up to speed from Asia to the world.

First up, as South Korea gets set to tighten restrictions on crypto exchanges, one city is acting as a regulatory safe haven and getting ready to start its own digital asset exchange.

Busan city is reportedly set to spend almost US$ 40 million on the project.

The city was designated as Korea’s “regulation free blockchain zone” last year, meaning blockchain developers can bring proposals to the city government that are blocked by regulations elsewhere.

But will it be a success? Well, one expert told Forkast.News there are many hurdles to clear first.

“First of all, its partner [blockchain] companies need to present innovative business models. That is the very first thing. When that’s settled, then it is the relevant government ministries outside of Busan city. The relevant authorities need to say ‘Yes, let’s do this.’ ‘This fits well with the meaning of a ‘regulation-free blockchain zone’, let’s actively make this work’. Those authorities need to review ideas with a pro-active attitude.”

A city official told Forkast.News that Busan is in the early stages of making specific plans and policies for the new venture.

Meanwhile, Bitcoin miners who quit China following the clampdown appear to be wasting no time getting back into the game.

How do we know? Well, the mining hash rate is back on the rise, having plummeted following China’s clampdown on crypto mining in the country. It’s been climbing again since early July,

According to data from That means the difficulty level calculations set to be made this weekend is predicted to increase by almost 5% after having dropped to its lowest level in 18 months at the last reading.

When the hashrate increases, Bitcoin mining difficulty also increases.

The difficulty level is calculated every 2016 blocks, which works out at roughly once every two weeks. And that difficulty refers to how hard it is for a miner to ‘dig for Bitcoin’, and that depends, of course, on the global hashrate.

With those Chinese miners making their way back online overseas, it means competition is heating up again.

But on the final trading day of the Asian trading week, it looks like it’s still lukewarm for Bitcoin, down almost 0.5%, still sitting just under that US$ 40,000 mark.

That’s as of 4 p.m. Hong Kong time today.

And this follows the broader Asia market in the red today with a lackluster debut by Robinhood on Nasdaq closing 8% down on its debut price of

US$ 38. One analyst told Forkast.News that was due to inside selling.

“So I think because of its unique customer base, the young retail investor base, it was really based on a model that’s exploded because of the pandemic, but also consists of a lot of speculation, almost 40% of the trading volume is just options and people just being very active trading there.”

Emons says it was a case of quick profit taking.

And in the top 10 for cryptocurrency, XRP rebounded up almost 6% today and Ethereum up 4.5% ahead of its EIP 1559 upgrade next week.

And finally, not got enough cash on hand, and you want to borrow from a friend? Not to worry, a Chinese tech giant may have the solution.

Tencent has added a digital IOU platform backed by blockchain technology to its WeChat app.

Called ‘Mini IOU’, it provides users with e-signing services for personal loan contracts, simply filling your names, loan amount, time period and interest rate. And it will generate an IOU note that can be sent via WeChat to your friend.

Once both sides approve, the IOU is stored on Tencent’s Zhi Xin Chain.

Using blockchain this way could ensure the authenticity of a debt and offer crucial evidence if any conflicts arise between friends.

In fact, Zhi Xin Chain, which launched in 2019, has already been used in court for copyright dispute trials. The IOU has one other function too, you can chase your loan so you don’t have to feel awkward about asking your friend to pay you back.

And that’s The Daily Forkast from our vantage point right here in Asia. For more, visit Forkast.News. I’m Editor-in-Chief Angie Lau. Until the next time.

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An unmissable weekly round up of the biggest stories in emerging tech from an Asian perspective, featuring commentary from Forkast Editor-in-Chief Angie Lau. Check out recent editions.