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Asia and Australia: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 7th to 13th September 2018

Asia and Australia

Welcome to our weekly roundup of all important blockchain and cryptocurrency news from around the world. Follow the latest developments in the cryptocurrency space continent by continent, country by country.


Financial regulator adds more experts for crypto license applications: The Japanese financial regulator Financial Services Agency (FSA) has announced that more individuals are being added to its 30-strong team for cryptocurrency exchange license applications in the country.

Cryptocurrencies and exchanges are doing a roaring business right now with more and more players looking to enter the market. FSA is trying to strike a balance between newcomers to promote competition and security of Japanese investors.

According to reports from Japan, there are over 160 applications pending from companies in the space with some big names looking to enter the market.

South Korea

Firm offering insurance against hacking of crypto exchanges: Cryptocurrency exchange operators in the country can now get their exchanges insured against hacking attempts to cover for sizable losses that happen from time to time.

The new offer from Hanwha Insurance means that domestic South Korean exchanges will now have an option for an additional layer of security.

A representative of the Insurance company said:

“It is not a product that has to be compulsory, but it can be outlined if we discuss how much demand there will be. Even if the exchange wants to join, it will require as much coordination as the insurance and reinsurance companies need to meet in order to get insurance.”

Hacked exchanges are a big problem in South Korea as more than USD 500 million worth of coins have already been hacked from major exchanges in the country this year alone.


Government to track donations with the help of blockchain technology: The Chinese government is planning to implement blockchain technology to track charitable donations made in the country through their Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA).

The Chinese government has always been wary of donations and charities that could be misused against the integrity of the country. The ministry has announced a four-year plan for charities to enhance governmental outreach and transparency in the field. NGOs and other charitable organizations will be made to held accountable for all donations through this under-development system.


Government looking for South Korean blockchain expertise: South Korea’s blockchain expertise has found overseas admiration and demand as other countries like Uzbekistan are looking to them for developing blockchain industry in their own country.

The Central Asian country recently legalized cryptocurrency trading in the country and has announced initial regulations for mining and trading in the country as well as a state-owned coin trading platform. It is in that regards that the government has sought help from the Korean Blockchain Business Association for help. The government is also looking to offer specialized educational courses in its local universities.


Driver’s license to be based on blockchain technology: The Australian government has announced that blockchain technology will now be incorporated into public services as part of its forward-thinking approach. The government will trial a digital drivers’ license backed by blockchain in Sydney.

The move is part of a concerted effort to deploy blockchain for better governance. The move will give 140,000 license holders an access to the newly-developed secure Logic TrustGrid license.

The tech behind the blockchain drivers’ license was developed by Australian data security company Secure Logic’s platform. The company is looking to partner with the government for further projects because of the potential of the technology.


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Asia and Australia: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 24th to 30th August 2018

Asia and Australia

Welcome to our weekly roundup of all important blockchain and cryptocurrency news from around the world. Follow the latest developments in the cryptocurrency space continent by continent, country by country.


Actress takes role with Tokyo police to fight crypto fraud and cyber crimes: Japanese singer and celebrity actress Rie Kitahara has appeared in a public awareness campaign against cyber crime and crypto fraud in the country.

The campaign was an event that included 1,700 guests and focused on cyber crimes like phishing and fake websites. The police department is currently cooperating with big exchanges in the country including SBI Virtual Currencies, Bitflyer, Bitpoint Japan, GMO Coin, Bittrade, Quoine, Bitbank, Btc Box, Money Partners and Coincheck.

South Korea

Government hosts blockchain awareness hackathon: The South Korean government has announced that it will be holding a Blockchain Grand Hackathon Challenge in partnership with Korea IT Industry Promotion Agency (KIPA) and the Ministry of Science and Technology.

The hackathon challenge announced last week is a chance for blockchain developers to create solutions for social issues, distributed apps and create innovations for public and private industries. Participants will have until 28 September to sign up for the hackathon. The tournament also has a prize pot of KRW 100 million (USD 90,450).

North Korea

Government to host Pyongyang blockchain conference: The North Korean government in a first, is expected to announce a blockchain conference in the capital of Pyongyang later this year.

While North Korea is usually in the crypto news for the wrong reasons, the government has probably decided it is time to start opening up the country in anticipation of ending of tough sanctions against the country. There is little news regarding the event overall and its agenda, however.


Government considering rupee-backed digital currency to combat rising fiat cost: The Indian government and the Reserve Bank of India are deliberating the introduction of a rupee-backed cryptocurrency in the country to lower the burden of printing paper money and coins that is creating a crisis.

According to Financial Services company EY India’s Manesh Makhia:

“The idea of a central bank-issued digital currency is very promising though issues around digital counterfeiting will need to be addressed.”

The issues started with demonetization in the country that resulted in 99.3% of the money being returned to the bank with just over INR 100 billion left in the market. A rupee-backed cryptocurrency will surely solve many solutions for the country according to reserve bank officials.


Oxfam to trial blockchain app to help Cambodian farmers with pricing rice: Oxfam International has said that it is piloting a blockchain-based farming project that aims to help rice farmers get a fair price for their produce.

There are over 50 rice farmers already on board for the project which is dubbed Blocrice. Oxfam aims to pilot test the project and then introduce it across the country.


Crypto Expo Asia to be held in Malaysia: The “mega event” Crypto Expo Asia will be held in Malaysia this year, bringing blockchain professionals from across the world in the Southeast Asian nation.

The event is being organized by FINEXPO, an influential fintech company in the area and aims to bring a real show. Over 30,000 crypto enthusiasts, investors, traders, innovators and pioneers are expected to attend the event.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong looking for blockchain professionals: Hong Kong is increasing its support for blockchain development and innovation in the country and is on the lookout for more industry professionals to focus on the DLT side of things.

A talent list issued by the government of Hong Kong lists DLT skills as new professions that it needs for future development of vital industries.


Government may develop nationwide blockchain platform: The Australia Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) announced that a data consortium has been launched with the help of IBM and law firm Herbert Smith Freehills for building a nationwide blockchain smart contracts platform for Australian businesses to collaborate and do business with.

The platform will be called Australian National Blockchain (ANB) and is being presented as a future game-changer in the future. The pilot project will start using the IBM Blockchain.


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Asia and Australia Cryptocurrency News Roundup 17-24 August 2018

Welcome to another weekly blockchain news roundup from around the world. Here we present to you all the latest Bitcoin news, continent by continent and country by country. Next up is Asia and Australia.


Government Restricts Cryptocurrency Trading Websites: The Chinese government has banned cryptocurrency trading websites in the country as the digital currencies are considered illegal in the country.

But, despite the ban, there is a considerable presence of cryptocurrency circles in the country, which the government is planning to target them. There are over 206 crypto exchanges listed on and the government has reportedly shut all of their websites down in an effort to crack down on cryptocurrencies.

The government is also looking to monitor ICO activity in the country.

South Korea

South Korean City Partnering with US Company to Reduce Carbon Footprint: A major South Korean metropolis Chuncheon is partnering with a clean energy company Swytch based in the United States to boost environmental and economic stability in the city.

According to a press release by the local government, Mayor Lee Jae-Soo was in attendance when the agreement was signed between the two parties. Several other South Korean cities are also looking to use blockchain for green initiatives.

Government Finds Security Flaws in Cryptocurrency Exchanges: South Korean exchanges are one of the most vulnerable to hacking attempts as hundreds of millions of dollars worth of coins have been lost to various hacks in the last several months alone. A recent government check found exchanges having varying levels of vulnerabilities in their systems.

The Korean government recently checked 21 local cryptocurrency exchanges and identified 17 out of 85 issues that need improvement, of which 11 concerned crypto wallet management. The investigated exchanges included Upbit, Bithumb, Korbit, Coinnest, Coinlink, Coinone, Coinplug, and Huobi Korea.

North Korea

North Korean Lazarus Group Infiltrates Crypto Exchange: North Korean hacker group named Lazarus have hacked into another cryptocurrency exchange in a hacking operation called Operation Applejeus by Kaspersky antivirus lab. The group has a longstanding history of hacking South Korean banks, cryptocurrency exchanges, and government websites.

But, Operation Applejeus is the first time that the group has successfully created malware for Mac OS, the native OS of Apple. An unidentified employee of an unnamed cryptocurrency exchange downloaded the malware belonging to the Lazarus group that led to the hack. The group has also attacked the US and South Korean governments in the past.

It is not yet clear what amount of cryptocurrencies the hackers were able to gain access to in the cryptocurrency exchange.


Financial Services Agency all for Balance between Innovation and Consumer Protection: The Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA) has said that it is aiming to create a balance between technological innovation that blockchain proposes and consumer protection.

The FSA’s top regulator Toshihide Endo said that the industry needs to grow under proper regulation so that it won’t need government intervention in exchanges operating within the country. FSA has already enforced trading caps on exchanges and restricted use based on age groups.


Central Bank to Test Digital Currency: The Bank of Thailand (BoT) has announced a landmark project to see the launch of a new Central Bank Digital Currency according to a press release on 21 August 2018.

The new state cryptocurrency will use R3’s Corda platform with a Proof-of-Concept (PoC) being deliberated for wholesale fund transfers. Wholesale central bank currency limits usage to banks and financial institutions only, as opposed to a retail one that is ready for public use.


Citizens Can Now Pay Bills With Cryptocurrencies: Australian citizens will now be able to pay their bills using cryptocurrencies as two fintech startups have teamed up to provide a crypto bill payment service for citizens.

The crypto startups Cointree and automated billing platform Gobbill are behind the initiative. The system involves Gobbill accepting cryptocurrencies and then paying bills on their behalf in the form of fiat currency to the concerned authorities.

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Asia and Australia: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 10th to 16th August 2018

Asia and Australia

Welcome to our weekly roundup of all important blockchain and cryptocurrency news from around the world. Follow the latest developments in the cryptocurrency space continent by continent, country by country.


Financial watchdog publishes findings on crypto exchange inspections: Japanese financial watchdog Financial Services Agency (FSA) has recently published the results of its on-site inspections of cryptocurrency exchange operations.

New exchanges hoping to get an official operating license will now be required to submit to more rigorous oversight of the FSA as a result of these inspections. According to official data from the FSA, hundreds of companies in the cryptosphere including exchanges are in its waiting list for approval. As of now, more than USD 7.1 billion worth of assets are present in domestic exchanges across Japan with each exchange having an average of just 20 employees. This means each employee is managing as much as USD 29.7 million assets.

The agency also highlighted Anti-Money-Laundering (AML) concerns among certain exchanges as well. The investigation of the USD 532 million heist of Japanese exchange Coincheck will also resume after this internal investigation.

South Korea

Exchanges criticize tax break exclusion: South Korean exchange and blockchain associations have hit back at the new tax breaks announced by the government for new growth technologies as they appear to have been excluded from the benefits.

The decision to offer tax breaks came from the South Korean Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and they excluded cryptocurrency platforms because they are categorized as entertainment or gambling businesses and, therefore, not eligible for tax reliefs. Overall, 157 technologies across 11 areas were made eligible by the ministry.

$4.4 billion innovation plan to give fiscal support to blockchain innovation: The South Korean Ministry of Economy and Finance has outlined KRW 5 trillion (USD 4.4 billion) for innovative industries in 2019, including some for blockchain industry as well.

The official press release titled ‘Growth through Innovation Investment Plan’ revealed the increase of KRW 2 trillion for 2019. The education program intends to have 10,000 qualified workforce personnel in these cutting-edge fields in the next five years.


Aerospace industry turns to blockchain for invoicing issues: The Chinese aerospace industry is looking towards blockchain technology to provide a solution for its invoicing for tax issues.

According to the government website, more than 1.31 billion electronic invoices were circulating in the system in 2017 and it is forecast that it will rise to 54.55 billion by 2020 thus creating massive problems for the airlines.

The efforts to introduce blockchain technology aim to reduce the burden of these invoices including false reports and streamline the overall data sharing process.

Government releases blockchain guide for bureaucrats: The Communist Party of China (CPC) has announced a blockchain guidebook that outlines the key features of the technology and future applications, meant to be used by bureaucrats for future reference and understanding.

The tech guide covers many facets of the futuristic technology. Ye Hao, the president of the People’s Network said:

“We call on the industry peers to continue to look at the blockchain technology with a development perspective. Looking at the blockchain label from a scientific perspective, look at the blockchain industry with a strategic eye, look at the blockchain business opportunities with a calm eye, promote the sustainable and healthy development of the blockchain industry.”

IT ministry focuses on blockchain tech for data security: The Chinese IT ministry is focusing on blockchain technology for future data security applications with a blockchain research laboratory in the cards.

The ministry is looking to develop a strong ecosystem for the future applications of the technology especially in data security and management. It also intends to expand the research into other fields.


Government considering replacing smart travel cards with crypto tokens: The Indian government is considering replacing smart travel cards with crypto tokens for the ease of commuters.

A senior official from the finance ministry said that the committee is looking to undertake research on how to create a crypto token using a custom blockchain to help replace smart cards in the public sector, especially metro cards.


Former cricket captain Michael Clarke endorses ICO: Michael Clarke, ex-captain of the Australian national cricket team, has endorsed an initial coin offering, prompting skeptical reaction on Twitter from the wider cricket audience.

The platform claims: “…[it] combines premium education, important industry updates and a social platform, which is sure to revolutionize the way we invest and live. Our mission is to develop, advance and modernize the industry, making it more accessible, transparent and forward-thinking.”

The platform is looking to raise up to AUD 50 million in its upcoming ICO.


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The post Asia and Australia: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 10th to 16th August 2018 appeared first on

Asia and Australia: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 3rd to 9th August 2018

Asia and Australia

Welcome to our weekly roundup of all important blockchain and cryptocurrency news from around the world. Follow the latest developments in the cryptocurrency space continent by continent, country by country.


Court sides with exchange despite allegations of defying government crypto ban: A Beijing court took the side of a cryptocurrency exchange despite strict local rules preventing cryptocurrency transactions and trade.

In a detailed judgment, the court upheld a decision on Bitcoin trader Li Jianfeng that he must return the proceeds of BTC 5 that he got by accident back in 2017. Li liquidated the cryptocurrencies immediately after that.

The case was complicated because cryptocurrency exchanges and transactions are under a blanket ban by the Chinese government and Li’s counsel argued that the transactions couldn’t be recognized by the court but the court still ruled that Li should return the funds.

The court’s judgment said:

“In this case, whether or not Coinnice’s establishment as a Bitcoin trading platform has violated relevant rules, does not have any impact on Li’s liability to return the profits he received with no legal basis… As such, the court denies his appeal and the decision is final.”

Alibaba working on application of blockchain technology: Alibaba, one of the largest e-commerce companies in the world, is working on application of blockchain technology and already has the largest number of blockchain-related tech patents in the world.

According to Jing Xiandong, CEO of Alibaba’s financial arm: “We are the most patented company in the world of blockchain technology.”

Overall, 43 blockchain-related patents were claimed by Alibaba in 2017 alone. That is around 11% of the total number of blockchain patents filed in the space in the world. The Ant Financial System 2.0 released by the Alibaba’s financial arm is an open platform for self-operation and decentralization. Alibaba is also involved in blockchain partnerships around the world.


50 ICOs apply for licenses: Increasing interest is being witnessed in the Thai crypto circles as more than 50 companies have applied for ICO permits, according to latest reports from the Bangkok Post.

The Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has received increased interest after it announced that ICOs will have to be passed by it. ICOs normally look to raise funds through crowdfunding campaigns and SEC secretary-general Rapee Sucharitakul said that it remains to be seen how many of these new ICOs will actually be given license to operate in the country.


Crypto exchanges’ self-regulator applies for official status: Japanese cryptocurrency exchanges’ self-regulation body Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association (JVCEA) is seeking official recognition from the government.

The union consists of 16 licensed cryptocurrency exchanges and are what they call security inspectors of Japanese exchanges themselves as part of a self-regulatory approach by them. The association has written up to 1,000 pages of self-regulatory measures.

The association filed for recognition and certification from financial regulator Financial services Authority (FSA) and said in the application that it is a “certified fund settlement business association” which will provide “guidance and recommendations to members to comply with regulations, laws and self-regulation rules”.

South Korea

Blockchain association presses for regulation efforts: The South Korean Blockchain Enterprise Promotion Association (BEPA) has pressed the government to swiftly pass blockchain and cryptocurrency regulation in the country.

Yoo Joon-sand, president of BEPA said in a press briefing:

“But instead of welcoming the people’s fervor for the technology, the government is focused on controlling it to address negative short-term side effects. This is essentially kicking away the economic opportunities that lie in front of us.”

The association is a powerful union with ex-politicians, academics and even former Prime Minister Lee Soo-Sung is part of its team.


Government Using Blockchain Technology in Cleaning Rivers: The Philippines government is working on a blockchain system to help clean up a local river.

The Pasig River Rehabilitation Council (PRRC) which is in charge of cleanup operations in the city is looking to partner with CypherOdin, a blockchain startup with an environmental focus to help save a river that is one of the most polluted rivers in the country.


Government planning blockchain district in Hyderabad: The Indian government’s IT division is planning a new blockchain center in the city of Hyderabad in a partnership with multinational IT services company Tech Mahindra.

The two groups signed an MoU for future work on the center. The project is part of India’s agenda to bring new technological innovation in the country.


“Time traveler” millionaire investor plans crypto bank: Aussie cryptocurrency millionaire Fred Schebesta who claims to have traveled in time is trying to establish his own bank in the country to circumnavigate strict crypto-related restrictions in place in the Aussie system.

According to Schebesta:

“You don’t have your money. The bank has your money. Have you ever gone to the bank and asked for all your money? If everyone did a bank run on CommBank [Commonwealth Bank of Australia] right now, they wouldn’t be able to service it. That’s why I’m so big on crypto. I think eventually people will go, “Oh my god, this is so messed up”, and they’ll move to where they can hold their value. Not all of their money, but some of it.”

The eccentric millionaire says he “travels” forward in time to benefit from cryptocurrencies.


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Asia and Australia: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 27th July to 2nd August 2018

Asia and Australia

Welcome to our weekly roundup of all important blockchain and cryptocurrency news from around the world. Follow the latest developments in the cryptocurrency space continent by continent, country by country.

South Korea

Exchanges could lose SME tax relief: South Korean exchanges could lose tax relief for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

A new draft bill in the South Korean National Assembly may set the course for the abolition of the tax waiver that gave tax exemptions to small businesses from 50% to 100% on income or corporate tax in the first five years of operations.

Under the new revised laws, cryptocurrency exchanges could become financial institutions, causing them to fall under the jurisdiction of Financial Services Commission (FSC).


Securities and exchange commission releases draft of ICO regulations: The Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has released a draft of regulatory guidelines that would be consulted by the government before passing any laws.

The proposed regulation requires startups and companies file applications with the SEC entailing future function of tokens and business operation of the company. The applications will need to be made within 90 days of the commencement of the token pre-sale.

The new move is seen as a way to stop illicit ICOs operating in the country.


Xiong’an City set to pilot Dream City Initiative between government and ConsenSys: In a first, the Chinese city of Xiong’an will pilot a new program that will transform the city into a “dream city”. The project is a collaboration between crypto platform ConsenSys and the Chinese government and backed by President Xi Jinping himself.

Urban development in China in the last three decades has been massive and new cities have been developed just to address the increasing need for mega cities in the country. The dream city move will see the city become a leading tech hub for the country.

According to Joseph Lubin, co-founder of Ethereum and Founder of ConsenSys:

“As one of our first major projects in the People’s Republic of China, we are excited to help define the many “use cases” that could benefit from the trust infrastructure enabled by Ethereum technology.”

The move will see the first time that a foreign crypto platform has been tasked with developing infrastructure in the country.

Hong Kong

23% of Hong Kong residents willing to invest in crypto: A survey conducted by the Hong Kong Blockchain Association (HKBA) has shown that around 23% of Hong Kong residents are considering to invest in cryptocurrencies.

The survey also revealed that a majority of the population had concerns regarding the cryptocurrencies including its mechanism but was willing to give them a chance because they were new.


Crypto mining farm found abandoned, investors missing $35M: A Vietnamese crypto mining farm owner has reportedly absconded with over USD 35 million of investor funds.

The Sky Mining Business offered investors a chance to buy shares of the coin mining company hardware and earn profit in Bitcoin. The packages included a one-time payment between USD 100 to USD 500 as well as personal use of mining device for up to ten months.

The CEO, however, had other plans as he is AWOL right now and none of the hardware and investment can be tracked down as of now. The Vietnamese authorities are in hot pursuit.


Movie theater to accept crypto as government opens doors: The largest Thai movie theater chain, Major Cineplex, is now accepting cryptocurrency payments.

There are 143 theaters under the Thai chain right now, the largest one being the Paragon Cineplex in Bangkok. The company also has a presence in neighboring countries of Laos and Cambodia.

The move was allowed by the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that is proactive in allowing cryptocurrency use in the country.


Economic woes could increase crypto usage: Economic woes in the country could increase cryptocurrency adoption in the country as traffic also experienced an uptick during the recent devaluing of the national currency.

Pakistan endured a grueling political campaign this year and the shortage of foreign currency such as US dollars could spell an increase in adoption of cryptocurrencies in the near future.


17 tons of almond exported to Germany using blockchain: The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has said that the country has successfully exported 17 tons of almonds from Sunraysia to Hamburg, Germany using a newly implemented Blockchain platform for trading.

A live trial of the blockchain technology-based system was conducted by the CBA in a first. The managing director of Industrial and Logistics at CBA said:

“Our blockchain-enabled global trade platform experiment brought to life the idea of a modern global supply chain that is agile, efficient and transparent. We believe that blockchain can help our partners reduce the burden of administration on their businesses and enable them to deliver best-in-class services to their customers.”


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Asia and Australia: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 20th to 26th July 2018

Asia and Australia

Welcome to our weekly roundup of all important blockchain and cryptocurrency news from around the world. Follow the latest developments in the cryptocurrency space continent by continent, country by country.

South Korea

Financial watchdog urges lawmakers to move forward with crypto bill: The South Korean Financial Services Commission (FSC) has urged the nation’s lawmakers to pass the first cryptocurrency regulatory bill in the country according to latest reports from Bloomberg this week.

Hong Seong-ki the head of the FSC’s cryptocurrency security team has already warned the security and money laundering issues associated with the country’s unchecked cryptocurrency exchanges. He said:

“While crypto markets have seen rapid growth, such trading platforms don’t seem to be well-enough prepared in terms of security. We’re trying to legislate the most urgent and important things first, aiming for money-laundering prevention [AML] and investor protection. The bill should be passed as soon as possible.”

FSC joined the probe in May this year following a request to look into Anti Money Laundering (AML) compliance by many of Korea’s exchanges. While the FSC is pushing for the new bill, it is yet clear how much support it commands from the assembly itself.


New regulator limits margin trading loans: A new Japanese internal regulator has set a limit on margin trading loans in cryptocurrency exchanges. Margin trading is a process of borrowing money to trade in cryptocurrency when the investor has insufficient money.

The new borrowing limit under the newly-formed Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association shows that Japan is ready to regulate where it matters because margin trading bears the risk of losing a lot of money. The limit right now is set at four times the deposit amount.

According to the Financial Services Agency of Japan, 142,000 cryptocurrency traders were present in Japan in April but the total number of traders is as much as 3 million according to other statistics.

Internal affairs denies links to crypto exchange inquiries: Japan’s Interior Ministry has refuted any claims of it being linked to the latest FSA investigations into cryptocurrency exchanges.

Interior Minister Seiko Noda was accused of meddling in the investigations by local crypto outlets. The current investigation involves a non-registered Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange which had previously remained unresponsive to FSA inquiries.

Noda rejected the allegations and stated that it was overall a matter of getting “an overall general account of cryptocurrency exchanges” but many in the crypto community showed their disapproval through social media.

The FSA is an autonomous organization in Japan that regulates the financial industry in the country and doesn’t take direct dictation from the government.


Ethereum blockchain used to overcome Chinese censorship on vaccines: According to latest reports from China, a vaccine scandal is forcing Chinese social workers to use blockchain to bypass Chinese censorship on medicines in the country.

Reports claim that ChangChun Changsheng Biotech company sold unsafe vaccines in the country, resulting in public condemnation. The story that broke through a blogger’s expose went viral in WeChat, the Chinese social media network.

But, due to the Chinese government’s hard-handed measure, the post from social media was removed by censor boards on social media. However, a group of users used a ETH 0.001 transfer with the story attached and helped break the censorship. Due to the decentralized nature of the Ethereum blockchain, it was out of reach for the Chinese authorities.

Blockchains, especially programmable ones like Ethereum and NEO, are being used to overcome censorship in the country that has some of the toughest systems in place in the world.

Chinese study reveals positive effects of blockchain: A latest Chinese study done under China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) and Tencent Holdings has reaffirmed the notion that investing in blockchain will have a profound impact on improving financial services in the country.

While China itself has banned ICOs, exchanges and cryptocurrencies, it is one of the most progressive countries in adopting blockchain in various areas of governance. Recently, a USD 1.4 billion fund was established to further blockchain progress in the country.


US accused of stealing BTC 500 from Iranian holders: President of Iran’s Blockchain Association Sepehr Muhammadi has said that over BTC 500 (worth USD 4.1 million) have been seized from Iranian citizens by US authorities.

Muhammadi said that Bitcoin confiscations were still being done to Iranian citizens in the garb of sanctions against the Iranian government. He said:

“Last year, a remarkable volume of Bitcoins which belonged to some Iranians were confiscated for unspecific reasons by the federal government of the United States, and the process of confiscation is still continuing. The owners of confiscated Bitcoins are unable to take legal action against the US inside Iran as cryptocurrencies are banned in the country. The association is looking to take international legal action, but they have not yet found a legal expert in anti-money laundering law who will handle the case.”

The best way for Iranians to avoid this controversy is to hold their coins in a wallet and not an online exchange that governments and hackers have easy access to.


Indian law commission recognizes crypto as online electronic payment: An Indian Law Commission has recognized cryptocurrency as an online payment method.

The lawmakers from the country are debating on whether allowing cryptocurrency should be allowed as a legally accepted payment in the multi-billion dollar sports betting industry that is currently in the process of being legalized.


Pakistanis looking to crypto to avoid dollar inflation: Pakistan’s national currency rupee’s recent fall against the dollar is resulting in some Pakistanis looking towards Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a safe bet, according to latest reports from Forbes.

Pakistan is suffering from foreign currency liquidity issues and that is the reason why the US dollar has jumped up to 25% since the start of the calendar year, thus causing panic in financial circles, amplified by the recent elections.


Australian blockchain innovators using blockchain to tackle election rigging: An Australian startup is using blockchain to help improve the election processes in other countries.

The project is currently being tested in Indonesia where almost every other election is branded as rigged because of widespread nature of the constellation of islands that make up the country.

The Melbourne-based Horizon State Blockchain startup is working on a test case to launch a community-voter platform in Sumatra that would provide greater transparency and accuracy.


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Asia and Australia: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 5th to 12th July 2018

Asia and Australia

Welcome to our weekly roundup of all important blockchain and cryptocurrency news from around the world. Follow the latest developments in the cryptocurrency space continent by continent, country by country.


China loses 90% of control over crypto market: Local experts in China have claimed that the government has lost control of over 90% of the cryptocurrency market, according to the UK’s Daily Express.

The Chinese government is one of the far-reaching ones when it comes to cracking down on cryptocurrencies operating in the country, especially Bitcoin. But a series of local experts in the country are now claiming that the government has lost much of the control of the Bitcoin market. Cryptocurrency exchanges are still declared illegal in the country but that hasn’t stopped Chinese from trading in them.

Central bank vows to crush foreign ICOs targeting Chinese investment: The Chinese central bank has used harsh words for cryptocurrencies in a meeting of the Internet Finance Rectification Working Group.

Pan Gongsheng, the vice president of the People’s Bank of China, has targeted initial coin offerings and said:

“Any new financial product or phenomenon that is not authorized under the existing legal framework, we will crush them as soon as they dare to surface.”

While the move is hardly surprising, it shows the insecurity of the Chinese central bank towards new decentralized entrants in the online fintech market.

Bank warns against “mythologizing” blockchain technology: A Chinese banking regulator has spoken out against idolizing blockchain.

Fan Wenzhong, head of department of China Banking and Finance Regulatory Commission, made these anti-blockchain comments during a recent speech in the 5th Fintech Bund Summit in Shanghai this week. He said that blockchain was a significant innovation but people were close to mythologizing it. He said:

“…decentralization is not a new trend but a loop, because the earliest human transactions were without central authorities… blockchain is a useful innovation, but that doesn’t mean cryptocurrencies, which blockchain has given rise to, are necessarily useful.”

The Chinese government continues to frown on cryptocurrencies while being interested in applications of blockchain at state level.


Indian politicians fighting over $13.5 billion in alleged Bitcoin laundering: Indian politics is abuzz with recent scandals that involve the opposition party Indian National Congress accusing the ruling Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) of laundering over USD 13.5 billion in Bitcoin through the state of Gujarat.

Gujarat state is the home state of the current head of the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and that is what makes this accusation politically sensitive. The charge is that the Ahmedabad District Cooperative Bank and its director Amit Shah received INR 7.45 billion deposits in just five days and seven other districts also received deposits worth INR 31 billion. The Congress spokesperson said:

“There were reports of the state police blackmailing some businessmen in Surat for extortion and named a former BJP legislator as one of the kingpins.”

The INC person continued and said Bitcoin was used to launder and convert the money. Crypto trading has been banned by the Reserve Bank of India starting this week.


Japanese regulators upgrading crypto and exchange legislation: A local Japanese outlet named Sankei has reported that the Japanese Financial Services Authority (FSA) is looking to update the legal foundations based on which cryptocurrency regulations have been imposed in the country.

The report from last week shows that Japanese financial watchdog is considering to switch from regulating cryptocurrency exchanges under the Payment Services Act to the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act. Under the new move, the exchanges will be required to manage private and institutional assets in separate classes.

South Korea

South Korea to adopt G20 recommendations on crypto regulations: The South Korean government is now set to implement G20 recommendations, according to latest reports from The Korea Times.

The country pledged to implement the combined G20 effort in crypto regulations and the Financial Services Commission (FSC) is now revising its guidelines for cryptocurrency exchange operators.

An official from the FSC said:

“The FSC made revisions to its rules to apply strengthened policies in order to prevent or detect money laundering and illegal activities because the regulator isn’t opposed to cryptocurrencies.”

Government launches blockchain and crypto classification guidelines: The South Korean Financial Services Commission has introduced new guidelines for cryptocurrency regulations according to latest news from the Asian nation.

The wide-ranging classification includes a detailed report that presents over ten categories of decentralized applications, cryptocurrencies, exchanges and blockchain systems. The country has also imposed anti-money laundering rules on cryptocurrency settlements from 10 July.


Sugarcane farmers use blockchain to bolster profits: Australian farmers, particularly ones involved in the sugarcane industry, are becoming more active in blockchain development and adoption. Recently, Queensland Sugar Ltd announced a partnership with Queensland Cane Owners to build a blockchain application for sugar provenance.

The four-year project has already got a healthy funding of USD 2.25 million in a small farm grant from the federal government to increase food chain clarity in the system and meet standards. Other food industries are also expected to follow suit.

Crypto classification to tackle crypto taxation: Australia’s tax authority has said that it is going to track citizens who hide their cryptocurrency gains in offshore accounts according to latest reports.

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has published the latest guidelines on taxation of virtual currencies and is going to play an increasing role in regulating cryptocurrencies.


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Asia and Oceania: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 22nd to 28th June 2018

Asia and Oceania

Welcome to our weekly roundup of all important blockchain and cryptocurrency news from around the world. Follow the latest developments in the cryptocurrency space continent by continent, country by country.


Investors plea for lower crypto taxes: Japanese investors are lobbying for lowering of cryptocurrency taxes in the country that could be as much as 55% of the money earned by the people according to some estimates.

There are no special laws for cryptocurrency traders and according to the crypto tax rules; they are to be treated just like other traders who are charged according to various income brackets. Japanese government officials including Minister for Finance Fukushiro Nukuga and Deputy Prime Minister Tara Ase have said that any attempt to make special cases for crypto traders would be seen as unfair by the Japanese public and traders from other industries.

A petition with around 13,000 participants is hoping to lower the tax net for the crypto traders but there is no consensus in the government right now regarding the new taxation laws.

Bitcoin and blockchain seen as proponents of Japan’s next economic boom: Bitcoin and blockchain are seen as the source for the next industrial revolution in Japan according to financial services giant SBI Holdings’s Yoshitaka Kitao.

He made these comments during a blockchain conference in Tokyo this week. He also said that his company was a leading advocate for cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, investing over USD 460 million in AI and blockchain.

“There’s a lot of speculative demand around cryptocurrencies, which is why the price is going up so quickly, but people need to think about how these technologies are being used in real life and how they can improve people’s businesses,” said Kitao.


Court rules blockchain may provide legal authentication: In a major move, a court in the Hangzhou city in China has said that blockchain technology and its transactions can legally be accepted in courts as a legitimate piece of data with authenticity.

The court said: “We can’t exclude it just because it’s a complex technology. Nor can we lower the standard just because it is tamper-proof and traceable,”

The ruling could have a major impact on legal nature of cryptocurrencies as they are often not even accepted in courts due to non-recognition by the central bank.

Alibaba’s Jack Ma unveils blockchain-based payment system, challenges conventional system: Billionaire CEO of Alibaba Jack Ma has unveiled a new blockchain-based cross-border payment system that will reduce transaction costs from overseas payments.

Right now, the company has said that the system will help the Filipino population based in Hong Kong, China that sends an approximate HKD 4.4 billion (USD 560 million) annually back to their families in the Philippines.

“I have friends who are Filipino and they asked me when they could use Alipay to send money home because it was too expensive through banks, which charge too much,” said Ma.

The service will soon be available through Ali Pay wallets based in Hong Kong and could be used by other entities in the future.

Central bank working on new cryptocurrency: The People’s Bank of China and its digital research lab is working on a new type of cryptocurrency with 41 new patents being used in the creation of the cryptocurrency.

The central bank has previously rejected the idea of a cryptocurrency but the increasing number of patents being filed for new cryptocurrencies will complicate matters in the future. Chinese cryptocurrencies could be easily adopted around the world as it is the biggest exporter in the world.

South Korea

Hacked exchange BitHumb recovers $14 million in cooperation with other exchanges: In a major move, hacked cryptocurrency exchange BitHumb that reported tens of millions of dollars in stolen cryptocurrency has revealed that it has recovered USD 14 million of the stolen cryptocurrency by partnering with other exchanges in the country.

While Bitcoin transactions are irreversible and addresses partially anonymous, people can trace their flow through blockchain ledgers and flag addresses through them that may lead to cryptocurrency exchanges. In this case, hackers must have sold cryptocurrencies or transferred them to other exchanges’ wallets, thus making them traceable.

Bithumb’s success with this method is quite unusual and could be the start of a new type of cryptocurrency accountability.


India to launch IndiaChain to boost blockchain in the country: The central government of India has announced a new blockchain project in the country.

The new project will support IndiaStack, a digital program aimed at digitizing the country of a billion plus population. IndiaChain is in its ninth month of development and is aimed at reducing fraud, speeding up enforcement of contract and increasing transparency of transactions.


New Zealand

Blockchain company helping startups with decentralized apps: Blockchain company Centrality based in New Zealand has announced that it has created an infrastructure and marketplace for decentralized apps to help startups, according to Techwire Asia.

The co-founder of Centrality believes that his company can help level the playing field for new startups and help them collaborate with each other to remain sustainable.


Reserve bank praises Bitcoin but rules out national crypto: In a rare move, a top Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) official has praised the working of Bitcoin but has categorically stated that it would not start a national cryptocurrency like Petro according to a recent speech to Australian Business Economists.

Dr Richards, the head of RBA made these remarks while comparing Bitcoin’s credibility with Australia’s dollar. Richards even admitted that he had invested in cryptocurrencies a while ago and had been following cryptocurrency circles for the last five years. He confessed that he held admiration for its design but he ruled out any official role in the Australian economy of the cryptocurrency.


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Asia and Australia: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 8th to 14th June 2018

Asia and Australia

Welcome to our weekly roundup of all important blockchain and cryptocurrency news from around the world. Follow the latest developments in the cryptocurrency space continent by continent, country by country.


Bank to use blockchain for credit blacklist: Suning Bank, one of the biggest retailers in China has announced that it is testing a blockchain-based system that will allow it to reduce credit fraud.

The low credit scores will be recorded on the blockchain and and will be used in collaboration with other banks to reduce credit card and loan fraud. China is investing a lot in blockchain technology, especially in the banking sector to increase transparency.


Monero miners to face charges: Japanese police is investigating three suspected Monero miners involved in a crypto jacking case, according to latest reports by Japanese daily Mainchi.

The miners used a software called Coinhive, a Monero mining script in a crypto jacking conspiracy that set up websites to include the script that cause the visitors’ computers to slow down as their CPU was drained.

Criminal charges are expected to be placed on these individuals in a first for Japan.

South Korea

Crypto exchange suffers major hack: Latest news from South Korea reveals a massive hack inside CoinRail, one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in the country, as reported by Reuters.

Roughly USD 37 million in altcoins were stolen in the hack but the claim was not verified by the exchange company itself. The exchange’s ranking is 9oth in the world with as much as USD 2.5 million in daily trading volumes.

Bitcoin’s massive drop last week was also amplified by the exchange hack that resulted in prices touching the lowest levels since the year’s start. A renewed mistrust in exchanges is going to a concern for the future price of all major cryptocurrencies.

Banks initiate blockchain ID system: The South Korean Federation of Banks (KFB) has announced a new blockchain-based ID system called BankSign that will be implemented as early as July.

The new initiative is anticipated to replace to the outdated current system that has been in place for the last 20 years and has resulted in numerous fraudulent activities.

A spokesperson of the KFB said,”[It is] the first project co-developed by the local banking sector utilizing blockchain technology. While BankSign will start off by providing the service in the banking sector, we will work with the government and other public organizations to expand its usage.”

The project itself is built on the Nexledger blockchain developed by tech giant Samsung.


Securities regulator enforces crypto rules: The Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand has announced new laws for cryptocurrency on 8 Jun that are seen as a milestone to legalize cryptocurrencies in the country.

The SEC Thailand’s decision is in contrast with other countries including China that has banned cryptocurrencies. It has instead declared cryptocurrencies as digital assets that are legal but need to be regulated.

As part of the legalization efforts, seven cryptocurrencies have been cleared for trading on cryptocurrency exchanges and they include Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, Stellar and Ripple.


Coders earn ETH by promoting new crypto projects: A non-profit company based in Afghanistan that gives young women coding lessons is partnering with a network that will allow these coding professionals to earn Ether for fixing issues in crypto startups and participating in bounties. A bounty is a simple job that results in reward of tokens for the person who does the job.

The startup, Code to Inspire (CTI), is partnering with The Bounties Network for this freelancing endeavor that will have a dual purpose of empowering women and promoting remote-learning in the mostly rural country.


Local tax office hunting crypto traders avoiding taxation: The Australian Tax Office (ATO) is on the hunt for unregistered cryptocurrency traders, according to latest reports coming from the country.

While Bitcoin appreciated several times over last year alone, a lot of money was made by ‘hodlers’ and traders in the cryptocurrency business but after the passing of crypto taxation regulation, the ATO is now on the hunt for all Bitcoin profiteers.

According to Liz Russel, senior tax agent: “There is a long-running debate over what cryptocurrency actually is – whether it’s an asset, currency or collectible – but the ATO has made it clear that it treats cryptocurrency as an asset. That means it’s subject to the same capital gains tax (CGT) provisions that apply to real estate and shares.”


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