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Korea crypto damage assessed; Initium’s news based NFTs sell out

Korea crypto damage assessed meanwhile Initium’s news based NFTs sell out

Korea’s crypto regulation damage assessed.

Initium media’s news-based NFT collection sells out.

China’s Bitmain seals crypto mining deal with ISW Holdings.

We’ll have more on those stories — and other news shaping the cryptocurrency and blockchain world — in this episode of The Daily Forkast, September 9th.


Welcome to The Daily Forkast, September 9, 2021. I’m Angie Lau, Editor-in-Chief of Forkast.News, covering all things blockchain.

Korea’s crypto regulation countdown is now well underway as some crypto exchanges face regulatory extinction, others getting some good news from traditional banking partners. All that and more coming up.

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

First up – Korea, there is a face-off coming as the country faces imminent mass closures of crypto exchanges.

The Korea Fintech Association has come together to figure out the impact on investors. The association has been highly critical of the financial authorities that force investors to unwind their tokens and switch to other exchanges that don’t actually support those tokens. There are actually 44 such tokens.

Once those exchanges shut down, it’s goodbye to those tokens. And that’s not the only danger here, but breaking news to share, there’s a plan afoot to fight back.

Forkast.News, Danny Park got the lowdown from the association’s president Kim Hyoung Joong.

A minimum US$2.5 billion – that’s the estimated amount of damage the mass closure of exchanges is going to cost the investors. And that’s just the 44 specified cryptos that will disappear. Adding all the native so-called kimchi tokens affected could see the total soar to US$8.5 billion.

That’s the revelation from the forum, which gathered industry officials and experts to discuss the deadlock Korea’s new regulations have put them in.

Members expressed concern that the regulations are deliberately set to work against them, and the Korea Fintech Association’s president warned they jeopardise the future of the industry.

“It’s so much harder to run an innovative financial business in Korea. On top of that, investors stop investing in crypto produced in Korea, and invest their money in foreign crypto.”

Kim also insists that Korea learn from Japan, where authorities have taken a more active stance in registering 16 exchanges.

Meanwhile, the head of Korea’s Finance Consumer Federation adds that, as the regulations may affect many innocent victims, action against the government is a possibility

“We will research cases with unilateral damage to financial consumers. If possible, we will prepare for a possible class action against the government.”

In more positive news, the remaining three of the big four, Bithumb, Coinone and Korbit should now be safe, after their real name bank account contracts were extended.

That means they now comply with both stipulations within the regulations ahead of the September 24 deadline.

For Forkast.News Danny Park.

Meanwhile, over in Hong Kong, Initium Media’s first NFT collection has completely sold out.

The works focus on news events that Initium says had a significant impact, and with stories produced by Hong Kong’s recently closed Apple Daily also being preserved via blockchain, could news-based NFTs be on the rise and why do they matter?

Forkast.News Timmy Shen found out more from Initium’s Executive Editor and Head of Audience Development.

The Chinese language news site, which recently relocated its headquarters from Hong Kong to Singapore, released an NFT collection called The Erased.

It features stories of migrant workers from Beijing who were evicted in 2017 as part of the city’s low and population evacuation campaign.

The artworks sold for 0.3 ETH or just over US$1,000.

Susie Wu, the Executive Editor of Initium told Forkast.News that NFTs serve as a record of historical moments that could otherwise be easily forgotten.

And the outlet’s Head of Audience Development, Yung Hsin Chang, said it’s an interesting way for media companies to seek new revenues.

And Initium is ahead of the game on that already accepting a variety of cryptocurrencies as payment for subscriptions and now plans for the collections along similar lines.

And it is just one sign of a growing trend of embracing NFTs as a storytelling method. In July, Taiwan’s Lootex sold NFTs of Hong Kong manga series Buddha’s Palm that was first published in the 1980s, and Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post published a litepaper announcing the launch of Artifact, offering a standardized way of recording snippets of history as NFTs that are tradable in the marketplace.

Seems like the feature of news could be NFTs, not newspapers.

For Forkast.News, I’m Timmy Shen.

And finally, today, demand for crypto mining hardware in the U.S. is showing no signs of letting up.

China’s Bitmain, one of the world’s biggest producers of cryptocurrency mining gear, has sealed a deal with ISW Holdings, a company which is shortly to be renamed BlockQuarry.

Miami-based Bit5ive is also in on the deal, providing power, hosting, and project management services.

ISW will host 56,000 Bitmain mining rigs and pair it with 200 megawatts of power at the company’s “Pod-City” location in Georgia.

The company also says it aims to have the first 20 megawatts of power paired with rigs and running next month, with a full rollout complete by October 2022.

Now, ISW says the whole project will cost US$ 62 million, but it expects it will produce revenue of US$10 million a month once it is at full capacity from hosting service fees, which means its revenue will not be contingent on market prices for crypto.

Now, as you know, North America has emerged as a hot spot following China’s clampdown on crypto mining with deals last month, including Vancouver’s Hive Blockchain Technologies purchase of 4,000 rigs from China’s Canaan in August and Marathon Digital Holdings deal for 30,000 rigs from Bitmain.

You know what this all means? All this activity is adding up, and we’ve seen global hash rates only going up since the low that followed China’s clampdown.

Low no more. And that’s also being reflected in prices, too.

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.