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Korea’s love for crypto continues; Crypto exchange Bilaxy hacked

Korea’s love for crypto continues while Crypto exchange Bilaxy hacked

Data shows Korean love of crypto remains strong, despite new regulations.

China banks release data on e-CNY progress.

Hong Kong-based Bilaxy crypto exchange suffers US$21 million hack.

We’ll have more on those stories — and other news shaping the cryptocurrency and blockchain world — in this episode of The Daily Forkast, August 30th.

Trascript

Welcome to The Daily Forkast, August 30th, 2021. I’m Angie Lau, Editor-in-Chief of Forkast.News, covering all things blockchain.

We are now just under four weeks away from South Korea’s new crypto exchange rules from kicking in.

This has the potential to change the landscape of cryptocurrency trading in the region. That story and more.

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

First up, despite the strict new regulations on exchanges, crypto adoption in South Korea still going strong.

New data shows nearly two and a half million new users actually joined the four major exchanges in the country – UpBit, Bithumb, Onecoin, and Korbit from April to July of this year.

Doesn’t matter the age either from teens to grandparents. Those two groups are actually among the converting adopters of crypto Korea.

Forkast.News Danny Park has more.

Tough regulations may be scaring off exchanges, but not investors in Korea.

According to data from lawmaker Yoon Doo-hyun’s Office, 2.43 million joined the four major exchanges in the second quarter, with deposits exceeding US$6 billion as of July 31st.

Notably, a significant number of teens and those aged over 70 are among those new sign-ups.

28,000 of the new users on Upbit were teens, who contributed to a total of 3.4 million U.S. dollars worth of deposits held across the four major exchanges, while the post-Korean War generation in their 70s made over US$35 million worth of deposits.

Upbit continues to dominate the market as the only exchange so far to apply for a business license to the Korean authorities. It has 4.7 million users, which is 3.6 times as many as second-placed Bithumb and eight times more than third-placed Coinone.

One expert told Forkast.News Upbit’s dominance could go either way if they end up in a monopoly.

“If its monopoly continues, [Upbit] may raise the fees as the only player in the market. In that case, users will experience damage compared to an oligopoly. But when it becomes a natural monopoly, it may rather lower the [transaction] fees. The best example is electricity [in Korea] Only one company supplies electricity in Korea. It reduced transaction costs and Korea has the cheapest electricity in the world”

With the new regulations set to be fully enforced from September 24th more new Korean crypto users could be set to seek refuge in Upbit.

For Forkast.News, I’m Danny Park

Meanwhile, in China, we are learning more about how deep China’s E-CNY efforts are going.

The latest data on the progress from four of the country’s state-owned banks, which have started to include details on the uptake of the digital currency in their semiannual reports, for the very first time, by the way, is showing how advanced this is actually going.

China Construction Bank, which is one of the four, says it alone has handled a total of almost 19 billion digital yuan or almost US$3 billion worth of transactions. And development looks set to continue at a pace with widening usage scenarios in the pipeline. The rollout of E-CNY is gaining pace.

Forkast.News Timmy Shen has more.

China Construction Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and Bank of Communications all made mention of progress with the digital yuan in their reports.

They say as of the end of June, they had almost 12 million personal wallets and around two million corporate wallets between them.

And according to Beijing Business today, in a bid to further its digital yuan development, the Postal Savings Bank of China now has a dedicated digital yuan department in its head office.

Meanwhile, in yet another example of the widening variety of scenarios that digital yuan and can be used for, according to a report from mpaypass.com, an ICBC branch in Shenzhen has partnered with Tianjin-based Home Credit Consumer Finance to launch what may be the nation’s first E-CNY consumer loan pilot.

For Forkast.News, I’m Timmy Shen, Taipei, Taiwan.

And finally today, yet another crypto exchange has been hacked. This time, it’s Hong Kong-based Bilaxy.

Bilaxy’s Ethereum hot wallet was attacked on August 29th With 296 cryptocurrencies worth US$ 21 million stolen.

The attack took place in less than an hour, and the exchange has instructed users to not send any funds to the Bilaxy accounts since then.

As of the start of the trading week in Asia on Monday, the exchange’s website still displayed the message “temporary system maintenance.”

Many users responded on Twitter, not just to complain about Bilaxy, but expressing broader concerns and frustrations, really over the safety of their assets, particularly in light of the multiple attacks we’ve seen over the past few weeks.

According to the Blockchain security company SlowMist, which tracks attacks across exchanges, blockchain, decentralized applications and wallets, there have been 20 hack events so far this month.

It is a wider industry issue here. It’s clear that there needs to be more invested in the security game when it comes to exchanges. The bottom line is that investors can’t trust their trades.

Well, that bottom line will eventually disappear.

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.