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Korea stands firm on NFT games; Laos introduces crypto regulations

Korea stands firm on NFT games, meanwhile Laos introduces crypto regulations

Bithumb approval sees South Korea’s big four exchanges all fully licensed. 

South Korea’s Game Rating and Administration Committee stands firm on NFT game ban.

Laos issues new regulations for crypto miners and exchanges. 

We’ll have more on those stories — and other news shaping the cryptocurrency and blockchain world — in this episode of The Daily Forkast November 22.

Transcript

Korea stance on NFT games, has got us talking this week.

Welcome to The Daily Forkast November 22, 2021. I'm Megha Chaddah of Forkast.News, covering all things blockchain.

South Korea's Game Rating and Administration Committee has reiterated its ban on NFT games. We'll take a look at what that means for both developers and gamers and a whole lot more coming up.

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

Let's kick off with some of the top stories out of Asia today.

Bitcoin mining difficulty has come closest to the level it was at just before China's clamped down on the mining sector and the crypto crash that followed back in May.

The difficulty level, which is a measure of the computing power required to mine Bitcoin, dropped four consecutive times immediately after China intensified its clampdown.

But according to data from BTC.com, last week's adjustment saw an increase of almost 5%, the ninth increase in a row. However, a slight fall is expected for the next adjustment.

Meanwhile, South Korea's Bithumb exchange has crossed the finish line with its compliance report to the latest crypto regulations being accepted by the country's Financial Intelligence Unit.

All four of Korea's major crypto exchanges, Upbit, Bithumb, Coinone and Korbit are officially licensed, having fulfilled all criteria of the crypto law.

That means that they can operate cash-to-crypto services. The small exchanges, FlyBit and GDAC have also been registered under the FIU. However, as they have not secured a bank partnership providing users with real name bank accounts, they are limited to offering token-to-token services only.

You can find out more at Forkast.News.

Staying in Korea, NFT games once again the talk of the space.

The chair of the Game Rating and Administration Committee said once again that it cannot allow NFT games. However, he added that not all blockchain based games are banned.

Forkast.News Danny Park has more on what that means.

Both blockchain based and play-to-earn, NFT games are globally popular with South Korean developers like WeMade seeing huge success.

It's play-to-earn game, Mir4 was at number eight on the game's platform, Steam's most played chart Monday afternoon Asia time.

However, Korean game developers are not able to release their NFT games back home as encouraging speculative behavior is banned.

Speaking at a debate on NFTs in the Metaverse future, Korea's Game Rating Committee chairman explained that unless the law restricting speculation has changed, the committee will continue to ban NFT games that allow in-game earnings to be cashed out.

Be that as it may, Kim said, the committee will welcome blockchain based games that steer clear of cash flow and NFTs. But he doubts any such games will be developed as they don't bring in profit.

One expert told Forkast.News the current regulations stifle growth and should be loosened up.

[I think] the law should be partially amended to be more receptive towards some [of the games]. We call it the regulatory sandbox, which allows a grace period of 2 to 3 years, and when there’s a problem, the regulators apply a higher level of control.

Kim says behind Korea's strict policy in gaming stands a culture where children's education is number one, which makes video games the boss villain.

For Forkast.News, I'm Danny Park.

Over in Laos, the government has issued new regulations for crypto miners and exchanges.

The Southeast Asian nation says companies must be wholly Lao owned with a stable financial status. In addition, they must make a security deposit of US$5 million with the Bank of Laos.

Forkast.News Timmy Shen has more.

As reported by the Laotian Times, the country's Minister of Technology and Communications specified, in addition, that mining companies should use at least 10 megawatts of power under a six year extendable contract with the national electricity provider.

The new rules also offer perks for crypto miners, with the government saying it would exempt foreign transmission and import fees for mining operations.

Listing rules for the industry come after the country authorized six firms to trade and mine cryptocurrencies back in September. That move ended a ban on crypto mining that had been imposed in 2018.

According to World Bank data, Laos is one of the poorest countries in Southeast Asia, with a per capita gross domestic product of just US$2,630 in 2020.

And report from U.S. Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration shows that in practice, the Lao economy is highly dollarized with the currency frequently being used for private transactions involving imported goods.

Alongside the new regulations, the Central Bank of Laos is also exploring the possibility of a CBDC having enlisted Soramitsu and blockchain company based in Japan to study the matter back in October.

For Forkast.News, I'm Timmy Shen.

And that's The Daily Forkast from our vantage point right here in Asia. Hit like, hit subscribe appreciated always. Help us reach our goal to reach more of you. For more, visit Forkast.News, I'm Megha Chaddah. Until next time.

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