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Banks take on enterprise blockchain; WeMade entrust crypto to KODA | The Daily Forkast

Banks in Singapore are leading blockchain and DLT developments while South Korean game developer WeMade entrusts its US$130 million crypto holdings to KODA.

Banks are headlining blockchain and distributed ledger technology developments in Singapore as Deutsche Bank and Singapore and Hashtacs — or STACS — announce the completion of Project Benja, which tested an end-to-end bond lifecycle management. 

In Korea, game developer WeMade is entrusting its US$ 130 million crypto holdings to the Kookmin bank-backed custody service KODA. 

And a Japanese gaming giant Sony reveals its patent for esports betting in crypto.

We’ll have more on that story — and other news shaping the cryptocurrency and blockchain world — in this episode of The Daily Forkast, May 18.


Welcome to the Daily Forkast, May 18th, 2021. I’m Angie Lau. Let’s get you up to speed from Asia to the world.

Blockchain and distributed ledger technology advancing at a rapid pace today in Asia. Once upon a time, many even wondered whether banks could keep up with all the rapid innovation. In Singapore today, those banks are taking the lead, and in this case, report that it’s not just innovation, there’s an enterprise case to be made.

Deutsche Bank, along with Singapore and Hashtacs — or STACS — report that Project Benja has been finalized. Now, Project Benja is a proof of commercialization on digital assets, and it tested an end-to-end bond lifecycle management to create what is called a ‘Bond in a Box’ DLT platform.

Benja has tested integration with CBDC initiatives such as the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s Project Ubin and even private stablecoin projects such as the Facebook-backed Diem, formerly known as Libra.

We caught up with R3 head of Asia Pacific, Amit Ghosh, who’s bullish on how banks have been entering the digital asset space of late.

“Various use cases are in play right now across trade, capital markets, digitization of assets, which is what you heard in the news today. And especially in Singapore, all the leading global and local banks are experimenting as well as launching in production in some cases.”

This follows earlier moves by Singapore via its sovereign fund Temasek. In March, Temasek-backed Astrea tokenized private equity bonds on the iStox platform.

In Korea. KODA, the digital asset custody firm of the country’s largest bank, Kookmin Bank, signed a big client, KOSDAQ-listed Korean game developer, WeMade recently revealed that it holds over US$130 million worth of crypto, and it’s now entrusting its crypto holdings to Kookmin Bank-backed KODA.

WeMade’s blockchain subsidiary, WeMade Tree, has also signed a contract to entrust its Bitcoin digital asset to the custody service. Blockchain watchers in the country say Korea developing its own custody service is a big deal for the industry.

“If the custody business develops without major complications, it may affect the banks to endorse it as a new extension of the financial industry, and have institutions start viewing cryptocurrency in a more positive light.”

In other words, costody may be the missing link between institutional investors and the country’s crypto industry, whose prospect has been less than stellar lately.

All right, catching up with Bitcoin and friends. Bitcoin still seeing red down 0.2%. And the top ten for cryptocurrencies, not a bad day for Litecoin here, up 5.2%. Polkadot also up slightly, announcing its pre-production ecosystem, Kusama now ready for parachains.

Meanwhile, in Japan, tech giant Sony, the company responsible for all those PlayStations in our living rooms and so much more, revealed that back in 2019 it filed for an esports crypto betting patent. Yeah, that’s right. Sony has yet to announce when crypto betting will be open for the billion-dollar esports industry, though.

But the gaming giant has been interested in crypto for a long time. In 2018, the company revealed that it was working on a crypto wallet of its own.

So what does this all mean?

Well, it seems like Asia is starting to pave the way with Japanese-Korean gaming firm Nexon recently announcing their 100 million dollar Bitcoin shopping spree to NFT projects from the likes of game developer Animoca Brands, the inevitable marriage of gaming and crypto starting to take shape right here in Asia.

And that’s the Daily Forkast. I’m Angie Lau. Until next time.

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