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Survival race of SK exchanges; Ethereum powers digital passports in HK | The Daily Forkast

50 crypto exchanges apply for ISMS in South Korea while Hong Kong sees the birth of a blockchain passport for Covid vaccinations.

50 of 60 crypto exchanges in South Korea race to apply for Information Security Management System (ISMS) — the first step to an official VASP license.

ASEAN Financial Innovation Network (AFIN) and R3 to launch CBDC sandbox.

Hong Kong meets Ethereum-powered Covid-19 digital passports.

More on that story and other news shaping the cryptocurrency and blockchain world in this episode of The Daily Forkast.


Welcome to The Daily Forkast, June 16th, 2021. I’m Angie Lau, Editor-in-Chief of Forkast.News, covering all things blockchain. Coming up — an Ethereum-powered Covid passport, a sandbox for CBDC, and the clock is ticking for Korean crypto exchanges. Now let’s get you up to speed from Asia to the world.

50 out of 60 crypto exchanges in South Korea — that’s the number that are looking to survive in the nation by applying for the Information Security Management System or the ISMS. This will be the first step for exchanges to meet the requirement of the country’s new, rigorous standards for crypto service providers.

The ISMS certification is important here because it verifies that companies meet local standards for information protection, and crypto exchanges are no exception.

Through the certification, exchanges must prove that they can harbor crypto transactions in a safe, transparent, and legal way. Korea Internet and Security Agency, or KISA confirmed to Forkast.News that 20 exchanges have already obtained ISMS, an additional 30 have applied, and out of this 30, eight applications are now being processed.

But it really is only the beginning for these exchanges. They’re waiting for another FSC mandate — another regulatory mandate for exchanges.

Exchanges must also secure a working relationship with a local bank to provide real-name accounts for exchange customers. Now, the problem is local banks are actually reluctant to take that risk that can undermine their brand. Any exchanges that fail to comply by September 24th will be forced to shut down.

All right. A quick look at the markets now where Bitcoin slipped half a percent down, staying just above the US$40,000 mark by 04:00 p.m., the end of trading day here in Hong Kong. And in the top ten for cryptocurrencies, it was read across the board with Uniswap faring the worst. It ended the day down just over 4%.

And speaking of currencies, interest in CBDCs continues to gather pace here in Asia. This time, though, it’s moving beyond the realm of government to the private sector. Nonprofit ASEAN Financial Innovation Network, or AFIN, has partnered with software company R3 and they plan to launch a digital currency sandbox. Now, according to an announcement, the collaboration will provide financial institutions and fintech with tools to build CBDC applications for new payment rails and multi-currency payment systems.

“One of the things which we released recently as part of the sandbox is the cross atomics swap functionality. In simple terms, what it allows you to do is remove the need for clearing in the payments flow, which allows or enables faster settlement. It reduces the counterparty risk.”

Across Asia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and Thailand have all launched projects to explore wholesale and retail use of CBDCs.

And finally, this — an Ethereum powered Covid passport is launching in Hong Kong. The Chinese University of Hong Kong, together with Ethereum software company ConsenSys, has developed a health passport capable of storing records such as Covid test results, temperature checks and immunity status all on blockchain.

“It allows you to deploy both private networks as well as main nets access. So it brings you reach, but it also brings you privacy. And the data related to COVID and the data related to patients are very important and private data which we want to enable with the best blockchain technology today available – that is Ethereum.”

The Hong Kong platform will be first tested with hospital staff before expanding to larger groups.

And that’s The Daily Forkast. I’m Angie Lau. Until next time.

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