Coinbase launches in Japan: Binance users take legal action

Coinbase launches in Japan while Binance users take legal action

Coinbase partners with MUFG to launch in Japan.

Users band together to take legal action against Binance outage.

And the founder of Finder.com offers crypto as covid vaccination incentive

We’ll have more on those stories— and other news shaping the cryptocurrency and blockchain world — in this episode of The Daily Forkast, August 20th.

Transcript

Welcome to The Daily Forkast, August 20th, 2021. I’m Angie Lau, Editor-in-Chief of Forkast.News.

Coming up, Coinbase partners with MUFG to launch in Japan.
Users band together to take legal action against Binance, and the founder of Finder.com offers crypto incentives for covid vaccinations.

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

First up, U.S. based crypto exchange Coinbase has partnered with Japanese financial giant Mitsubishi UFG to launch in Japan.

Coinbase says the launch forms part of its global strategy for expansion, and the partnership with MUFG, which has 40 million customers in Japan, will allow users easy access to trading using MUFG’s quick deposits service.

Japan has historically ranked very low in crypto adoption after scares like the Mt.Gox hack.

But virtual currency deposits in the country hit a record high earlier this year.

Question is, could this be the catalyst to drive this nation of super savers to embrace crypto.

Forkast.News Lachlan Keller has more.

The launch could face a rocky start as Japanese exchange Liquid fell victim to a cyber attack on Thursday, with hackers stealing a reported US$97 million in crypto assets.

That followed hot on the heels of the Poly Network, which outstripped even the 2014 Mt.Gox attack with US$600 million worth of assets taken.

However, it could also be a sign of greater things to come for the Japanese crypto market.

Indeed, attitudes towards crypto could be changing with virtual asset deposits in the country hitting a record high of 1.4 trillion yen, or about US$13 billion in March this year.

That’s an increase of almost seven times the amount deposited in the same month the year before.

Labelling itself a “remote first” company, Coinbase has been actively hiring around Asia and recently announced an expansion of its presence in India.

For Forkast.News I am Lachlan Keller.

They say no risk, no reward.

But Binance users who were burned by the crypto exchange’s outage earlier this year are now taking matters into their own hands and have banded together to take legal action.

The world’s largest crypto exchange by trading volume suffered a massive technical meltdown on May 19th, the same day the price of bitcoin plummeted over 30% amid a crypto crash.

The outage left users unable to trade and in the red when their positions were automatically liquidated. Some are now fighting back with the help of Swiss based blockchain private equity fund, Liti Capital.

Forkast.News Carolyn Wright has more from Hong Kong.

Angry customers have struggled since to resolve the dispute with Binance over the outage.

Binance terms of use stipulate that any claims are to be resolved at the Hong Kong International Arbitration Center.

Doing that is a costly undertaking however – just filing a case can set you back at least US$60,000.

But now Liti capital has stepped in.

It provides funding for cases it wants to invest in by tokenising shares in the company and paying out dividends when a case is won.

Liti capital told Forkast.News they will provide at least US$5 million to finance the claim. Claimants just need to sign up.

“We step in and we take on that cost and we take on that risk and we make it a fair fight.”

Kay says there are currently over US$20 million in claims of losses against Binance, and he expects more to come.

The case comes as Binance faces growing regulatory heat with warnings against or investigations into the company in jurisdictions including Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand and Japan.

For Forkast.News, I’m Carolyn Wright in Hong Kong.

And finally today, the latest incentive to get a Covid vaccination? Crypto.

That’s right. The rather colorful founder of product comparison platform Finder.com, Fred Schebesta, is offering to do just that.

The multi-millionaire says any Australian who’s had their vaccine since February 21st can apply for a reward of five Australian dollars worth of bitcoin. That’s around US$ 3.5.

Why? Well, Schebesta says he’s hoping it could persuade more people to get vaccinated, as well as offering the chance to get acquainted with cryptocurrency.

All people need to do to get the reward is get a jab and sign up for the Finder.com app, which allows users to purchase and hold bitcoin.

According to the data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there are around 20.5 million people aged 16 and over in the country – so, if they all got vaccinated and took up the offer, the deal could cost Schebesta over US$70 million.

Australia’s Department of Health says that at present, just over half of those people have had their first shot.

Crypto for a covid shots? Either way, longevity is the name of the game for both.

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.

THE CURRENT FORKAST

Newsletter

Sign up to receive weekly insights on blockchain & crypto in Asia.