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Korean banks extend crypto contracts; Axie Infinity tokens surge

Korean banks extend partnerships with crypto exchanges — for now. And also in Korea, how to earn crypto during bathroom breaks.

Korean banks extend crypto exchange account contracts.

Axie Infinity token prices surge.

Korea’s Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology offers crypto-rewards for bathroom breaks.

We’ll have more on these stories — and other news shaping the cryptocurrency and blockchain world — in this episode of The Daily Forkast, July 12.

Transcript

Welcome to The Daily Forkast, July 12th, 2021. I'm Justin Solomon of Forkast News, covering all things blockchain filling in for Editor-in-Chief Angie Lau.

Coming up, Korean banks extend contracts with crypto exchanges — albeit temporarily, Axie Infinity token prices surge, and the latest way to earn your crypto rewards — bathroom breaks. Let's get you up to speed from Asia to the world.

The only three Korean banks to offer real-name accounts for crypto exchanges have all decided to offer temporary extensions on their contracts with those exchanges. Their contracts with Bithumb Coinone, Upbit and Korbit will only be extended to September 24th.

Why? Well, that's when new government regulations designed to make trading safer and more transparent come into place. On top of demanding government regulations, banks have come up with their own set of rules for exchanges.

"The new guidelines distributed by the Korea Federation of Banks to local banks all over the country is vast in content and very particular. So for crypto exchanges, they need extra time to prepare and submit their plans to meet the new standards. This also means that banks will need more time to examine the plans, according to the guidelines."

Last month, we reported that auction house Sotheby's was to make the sale of a diamond of over 100 carats possible using cryptocurrency for the first time ever.

Well, the hammer came down here in Hong Kong at HK$95.1 million, or around US$12.3 million, according to Sotheby's. That's the highest price for any jewelry or gemstone purchased with cryptocurrency. Spokesperson for the auction house told us they can't disclose which cryptocurrency the buyer chose to use for their 101.38-carat diamond, but they had said that Bitcoin or Ethereum would both be acceptable when announcing the sale.

And speaking of cryptocurrencies, a quick check of the markets now. Bitcoin up just over 2% at a little over US$34,000. That's as of 4 p.m. Hong Kong time today. And in the top 10 for cryptocurrency, a day of mainly green. We saw Binance Coin up almost 5% and Uniswap up 4%.

Over in the gaming world, players of Vietnam-based Axie Infinity have seen token prices surge. According to data from CoinMarketCap.com, the game AXS token hit, an all-time high of US$19.52 over the weekend, up 275% since the start of the month.

Axie Infinity is a play-to-earn game where players train and battle creatures called Axies — all of which are NFTs — which have to be bought on the Axie marketplace.

There's been a significant increase in the number of users since the marketplace migrated to the Ronin sidechain on the Ethereum network at the beginning of May. And according to data from TradingView.com, the price of the ecosystem's Small Love Potion token, which is essential for breeding Axies, has doubled in value since July 1st.

However, getting into the game can prove difficult. The cheapest price paid for an Axie over the weekend was almost US$350. The most expensive ever sold went for the equivalent of US$130,000 at its time of sale.

Can't afford to buy yourself and Axie? Well, how about gaining rewards for bathroom breaks instead?

Korea's Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology is offering just that. A visit to their eco-friendly toilet will see deposits being converted into biogas and organic fertilizer.

Users will also be flushed with rewards in the form of digital currencies known as FSM or Feces Standard Money, which can be spent in shops on campus.

"The value standard of FSM is not within gold, human labor, or time. It is a currency that is based on the very intrinsic value of a human being. Everyone has to poop. If there is value to poop, that means everyone is valuable. That is the philosophy that FSM started with."

Earning crypto for answering nature's call.

And that's The Daily Forkast from our vantage point right here in Asia. For more, visit Forkast.News. I'm Justin Solomon of Forkast.News. Until next time.

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