Korea’s new FSC chair speaks; Axie Infinity to work with governments

Korea’s new FSC chair speaks meanwhile Axie Infinity to work with governments

South Korea’s new FSC chair speaks on crypto at confirmation hearing

Axie Infinity developer says it’s willing to work with governments on tax

And in a Forkast exclusive, Antinalysis declares itself out and proud.

We’ll have more on those stories — and other news shaping the cryptocurrency and blockchain world — in this episode of The Daily Forkast, August 27th.

Transcript

Welcome to The Daily Forkast, August 27th, 2021. I’m Angie Lau, Editor-in-Chief of Forkast.News.

Coming up, South Korea’s new FSC chair has some thoughts on crypto. Axie Infinity says it’s willing to work with governments on tax. And in a Forkast exclusive, Antinalysis declares itself out in proud.

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

In South Korea, the fate of crypto for the country could fall in the hands of the newly nominated Financial Services Commission chairman, and he had plenty to say at his confirmation hearing this morning.

As crypto adoption grew, so did the concern of regulators, especially under the former FSC Eun Sung-soo’s leadership. But what will new leadership bring? Will this new FSC chief help or hinder the crypto industry in South Korea?

Forkast.News Danny Park reports.

Handpicked by the president, Koh Seung-beom is a financial regulatory veteran previously working for both the FSC and the Bank of Korea.

The upcoming September 24 deadline for crypto exchanges to meet the FSC requirements has led to exchanges in a panic. But the FSC has said no to repeated requests for an extension to a grace period. At the hearing, lawmakers Yoon Chang-hyun had asked Koh his opinion on the matter.

“It is difficult to change our [policy] structure at this point. It might send the wrong signals. Whether extending the reporting deadline is really the way to protect the users, still needs to be thought over.”

It seems the new head may not be any more compassionate to crypto exchanges than the last.

So far, only one exchange has met the FSC’s strict criteria. Any and it looks like that could be many that fail to meet the requirements for disclosure in less than a month.

For Forkast.News, I’m Danny Park.

Taxing crypto gains in gaming, it’s not a problem.

Sky Mavis, the Vietnam-based developers of hugely popular play-to-earn game Axie Infinity, say they are happy to work with governments.

The move follows tax authorities in the Philippines reportedly announcing that earnings from such play-to-earn games are taxable.

So what might this mean for players, many of whom have been earning a decent income from the game?

Forkast.News Carolyn Wright has more.

In a statement, Sky Mavis say the proud to contribute to the digital economy by allowing players to earn an income, but they encourage all players to abide by local laws.

The developer goes on to say that with this shift in the nature of work, it’s important to speak with governments, and they hope such discussions can empower gamers.

According to data from Playcounter, more than 40% of all Axie players live in the Philippines, with some making US$300 to US$400 a month.

This in a country where the minimum monthly wage is a mere US$170, and whose economy has been hit hard by the pandemic.

One gamer told Forkast.News they hoped for more clarity on how such a tax would work. Such discussions could be set to help answer that query.

For Forkast.News, I’m Carolyn Wright.

Meanwhile, the global chip shortage crisis is now hitting crypto miners and it could be costly.

China-based Bitmain, one of the world’s biggest producers of cryptocurrency mining rigs, confirmed in a social media post that it’s facing a 20% price rise in the chips it buys from Taiwan semiconductor manufacturing company, better known as TSMC.

Now, Bitmain uses TSMC’s wafers in its flagship Antminer S19 series, but despite the increased costs, the company says it will strive to increase production of those rigs.

Whether we’re going to see the price increases passed on to miners buying those rigs, we’re going to be monitoring that.

But some in the industry aren’t overly concerned. Winston Hsiao co-founder of Blockchain FinTech company XREX told Forkast.News that while a chip price jump affects the cost of manufacturing mining machines, he thinks the impact to the industry as a whole could be minimal and that the market values of the currencyies being mined is actually the bigger concern.

True that.

And finally today, in an exclusive interview, Forkast.News got the lowdown on why Antinalysis is now out and proud.

That blockchain analysis tool that allows users to check how clean their bitcoins are and how risky it is to hold tokens with links to illicit activities, we launched earlier this week.

It had been shut down after suggestions that it would be used by criminals with malicious intent. Their spokesperson, using the name Pharoah, told us the tool was launched to help users understand where their funds actually come from and what data blockchain analysis firms collect from them.

While they cannot help users gain access to that data, they can offer a glimpse into what it is and how it could be used to lock them out of their accounts.

Pharoah also said that privacy is, quote, a basic human right and that wanting to protect it is not equivalent to doing something illegal.

Pharoah also says Antinalysis was initially running only on the Dark Web to test out whether it had any issues with anti-money laundering laws.

But following the relaunch, it’s now available for everyone on a proxy site on the clear net, which is the publicly accessible part of the internet.

For all to see, well, up to a point.

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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