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Crypto resilient to Omicron: Japan speeds up on CBDC

Crypto resilient to Omicron meanwhile Japan speeds up on CBDC

China’s Qihoo 360 builds crypto mining tracker.

Crypto market proving resilient in face of Omicron concerns.

Japan to pick up pace with CBDC plans. 

We’ll have more on those stories — and other news shaping the cryptocurrency and blockchain world — in this episode of The Daily Forkast December 2, 2021.


The crypto markets reaction to the spread of Omicron has everyone buzzing.

Welcome to The Daily Forkast December 2, 2021. I’m Angie Lau, Editor-in-Chief of Forkast.News covering all things blockchain.

Well, worries over the Omicron variant have seen wobbles across global markets, but how will the crypto market weather the storm? We’re going to take a look at that question and a whole lot more coming up.

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

Kicking off with some of the top stories coming out of Asia today.

First up, Qihoo 360, this is a Chinese internet company best known for its antivirus programs. Well, it’s built a system that can help the Chinese government track crypto mining activity, which it banned, by the way.

The company says it detected a daily average of 109,000 active mining IP addresses in November, and that the system can provide data including geographical location, network type and connection frequency.

Now, the company is not without controversy, here it was placed on the U.S. Bureau of Security and Industry’s Entity List in 2020, having been identified as representing a risk for supporting procurement of items for military end use.

Meanwhile, in fundraising news, decentralized exchange aggregator 1Inch Network has closed a US$175 million Series B funding round.

Led by Hong Kong based Amber Group, other investors included VanEck, Alameda Research, Celsius and the Gemini Frontier Fund, who bought the network’s native 1Inch token at a discounted price in the round.

Now, 1inch says it will use the cash to facilitate entry for traditional financial institutions into the DeFi space.

And you can find those stories and a whole lot more at Forkast.News.

Well, stock markets across the globe took a tumble as a new COVID variant Omicron was announced. There’s fear that the world could grind to a halt once again as countries put up barriers.

So what does this news mean for the new economy powered by crypto? Let’s bring in Michael Wu, CEO and founder of Amber Group, to find out.

Angie: Great to see you again, Michael.

Michael: Thank you, Angie. Great to see you as well.

Angie: All right. Hope we are all staying safe here. But the emergence of the Omicron variants spooked crypto markets. In fact, it spooked global markets worldwide. We saw major currencies tumble over the weekend before recovering in cryptocurrency land. How worried are you, Michael?

Michael: So I’m definitely worried about Omicron, but I’m less worried about the crypto market, to be honest, as as we as we saw later on this week, you know, crypto prices already started to recover.

Michael: Ethereum is back to almost its historical high again. I think the virus or, you know, the ongoing pandemic definitely will continue to have impacts on global markets, including crypto.

Angie: And talking about Omicron, a little known token by the same name, has shot up after the virus emerged at one point this week, it was up over 659%. And one popular crypto Twitter account tweeted, quote “If this isn’t a sign of a giant bubble, I don’t know what is”. What are your thoughts?

Michael: Well, I tend to disagree on that one. Something we have to understand is a lot of these less known or illiquid tokens, they had very little liquidity to start with, so it really took probably one big buyer, either mistakenly buying it for whatever reason or, you know, trying to jack up the price. And it really wouldn’t take much money to to to pull it up a few hundred percent.

Angie: Absolutely the future of the new economy here. Michael Wu, CEO and founder of Amber Group. Thanks for joining us.

Over in Japan, it looks like the digital yen idea is picking up steam. Japanese legislators are urging the central bank to pick up the pace on CBDC development.

Plans for the country’s CBDC project have been modest so far, however, with other nations, including China, racing ahead, the pressure is mounting.

So will the Bank of Japan step up to the plate?

Forkast.News Danny Park has more.

The BOJ began experimenting with CBDC back in April, but there are no plans to issue a digital yen just yet. However, politicians in the country say the central bank digital currency project needs to speed up. Takayuki Kobayashi, the Minister for Economic Security, said the country needs to be ready to issue a digital yen and that progress on CBDCs in other nations may impact Japan’s national security.

The speed of China’s CBDC development could have prompted the statement, as it has already tested the digital currency in 10 major cities, with expectations that the e-CNY will be officially introduced in time for the Beijing Winter Olympics in February. But does the CNY pose a threat to Japan?

“Whichever country comes up with a good digital currency first, that’s likely to be copied. And so it’s rather like, you know, you’re setting out the the ground rules for how these are going to work going forward. And that’s a worry for a lot of people because obviously the way that China treats personal data and the amount of data that it carries on its own citizens is is much greater than any other country in the world, basically.”

Sullivan says China aims to push the US dollar out and make the digital renminbi the currency for Asia.

In the meantime, Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has made economic security plans a top priority on his agenda.

For Forkast.News. I’m Danny Park.

And that’s The Daily Forkast from our vantage point right here in Asia. Hit like, hit subscribe. And we really appreciate growing our subscriber base. It helps us reach our goal to reach more of you. For more, visit Forkast.News. I’m Editor-in-Chief Angie Lau. Until the next time.

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