Category Archives: Asia DLT news

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Asia and Australia: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 12th to 18th January 2019

Asia

Asia and Australia

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.

Japan

Japanese Money Pouring into Mongolian Crypto Mining Sector: Japanese investor Ginco has announced that it is going to increase the mining capacity of its cryptocurrency mining project. The move comes after a sizeable reduction in operating hash power of Chinese miners and Japan may take advantage of it.

Ginco is expected to increase the number of miners in Mongolia from 600 to 1600 miners. The news may give hope to other miners to stay in the business despite the recent price tank and ever-increasing difficulty of mining due to ASIC chips. Ginco has also announced another service aimed at repairing existing mining facilities in the country.

South Korea

Tax Incentive for Blockchain Companies: The South Korean government has given a sizeable boost to the burgeoning cryptocurrency and blockchain industry in the country by adding the sector to the fields of research and development according to a recent communique by the Ministry of Strategy and Finance.

With the new classification comes sizeable tax benefits for the sector. The proposed amendment will be implemented in the coming month. The new categorization will allow blockchain companies to receive up to 40% fewer tax deductions with smaller companies getting a bigger share on discount percentage.

While the South Korean government has had a whirlwind relation with the sector mostly due to security hacks in some of its cryptocurrency exchanges, the new move will reinvigorate the Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) industry in the Asian country.

India

Bank Closes Account Suspected of Crypto Activity: Online bank Digi Bank has closed down several of its accounts suspected of crypto trading in the country. The move comes despite the government considering lifting the current blanket ban on cryptocurrencies by the central bank in the country.

According to a crypto trader going by the name of Indian CryptoGirl:

“We observed transactions for in cryptocurrencies, hence we are putting a credit freeze in your account. You will not be able to deposit any more funds & within 30 days we will close your account”

While the Indian cryptocurrency users may be facing difficulties right now, the current government is also deliberating hard on allowing the new digital assets to function in the country, albeit under strict regulations.

Malaysia

Government Deliberating on Cryptocurrency Regulation: While the Malaysian government is undecided on how the future of crypto regulations in the country will look like, it has however decided that some rules are needed to govern the space.

While the Federal Minister for Territory Abdul Samad is of the opinion that the government is undecided about the future of the sector, other news emerging from the country show that the government is adamant to flex its muscles when it comes to unregistered cryptocurrency exchanges and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). Illegal ICOs will reportedly face a fine of up to USD 1.5 million for unregistered operations in the country.

New Zealand

Crypto Exchange Cryptopia Shuts Down Amid Reports of Sizeable Hack: Kiwi cryptocurrency exchange Cryptopia has closed down its website after a reported breach occurred in its servers that amounted to a sizeable loss.

While the website itself reads that the company is under maintenance, tweets from Whale Alerts and other large transaction reporters show that around USD 1.8 million worth of tokens was stolen from the exchange. The exchange is yet to announce how its users will be compensated. The company also admitted the hack in a series of Twitter posts.

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The post Asia and Australia: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 12th to 18th January 2019 appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Asia and Australia: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 5th to 11th January 2019

Asia

Asia and Australia

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.

China

Government to Implement New Blockchain Laws to Monitor Content: The Cyberspace Administration of China has outlined new guidelines for Blockchain content regulation in the country. The new set of regulations called the Blockchain Information Management Regulations will be enforced from 15 February of this year.

The basic idea of the new regulations is to give the Chinese government a driving seat when it comes to regulating blockchain-related content. Non-compliance with the new regulations may result in fines up to USD 4,420.

Japan

Regulator Denies ETF Rumours: Top Japanese Financial Regulator Financial Services Authority (FSA) has denied rumors that it was considering Bitcoin Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). The statement contradicts earlier reports by Bloomberg that claimed that the top financial authority was considering accepting Bitcoin ETFs.

While Japan is one of the most progressive countries when it comes to cryptocurrencies and blockchain development, ETFs are currently banned in the country and numerous entities are working to influence the government to allow it.

In other news, the FSA is looking to crack down on unregistered cryptocurrency exchanges in the country. The move will eventually bring everyone under the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act.

South Korea

7 Cryptocurrency Exchanges Pass Security Clearance: According to the South Korean Ministry of Science and ICT, only seven cryptocurrency exchanges have passed their detailed security inspection checklist. 

The extensive security survey was undertaken from September to December 2018 and covered key areas including administrative security, operational environment security, network and account security, database & backup security, and wallet security. Out of a total of 21 exchanges up for the security compliance, only seven could clear the test. The seven cleared exchanges include  Upbit, Bithumb, Gopax, Korbit, Coinone, Hanbitco, and Huobi Korea.

It remains to be seen how the uncleared cryptocurrency exchanges will be held accountable for their lack of robust security apparatus.

Pakistan/Malaysia

Pakistan Telecom Company Announces Development of a Blockchain-based Remittance System Between Pakistan and Malaysia: The first blockchain-based remittance system has been introduced by the Telenor group and is set to operate between Malaysia and Pakistan.

The new technology will be supported by AliPay’s blockchain technology and will serve the sizeable number of overseas Pakistani remittances based in Malaysia to send money back to their country.

India

Government May Legalize Cryptocurrencies with Strict Conditions: The Indian government may legalize cryptocurrencies in the country but with strict conditions according to the proceedings of a government committee formed to look into the matter.

The government committee is meeting twice per week to discuss the issue. A comprehensive financial report will be filed with The Ministry of Finance by February 2019. While it is clear that some members of the committee understand the need for allowing cryptocurrencies, yet, no final decision on the matter has been made.

In other news, India is seeking a skilled labor force for speeding up the pace of adoption of emerging technologies including Distributed Ledger and Artificial Intelligence.

New Zealand

Fake News Website Connects ex-PM with Cryptocurrencies: A fake news website was promoting Bitcoin-related investments using the image of ex-Prime Minister of the country.

The website Crypto Vault was already flagged before for its content including ads to promote fake services. The ex-PM in question John Keys has denied these rumors and also claimed that he has no investments in Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency.

Kiwi scammers seem to have taken a liking to using the image of politicians to promote shady projects. The current prime minister of the country was also on the wrong end of a similar situation in October 2018.

 

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The post Asia and Australia: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 5th to 11th January 2019 appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Asia and Australia: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 29 December 2018 – 4 January 2019

Asia

Asia and Australia

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.

India

India Drops Plans for National Cryptocurrency: A report from the Hindu BusinessLine, an Indian financial news portal has said that the Reserve Bank of India has dropped its plan for issuing its own cryptocurrency. The rising cost of printing paper based money and the ever increasing trend of mobile-based micropayment services is what had pushed the central bank to eye cryptocurrency. The research by the institution held results that were not favorable, hence the plan being shelved.

The country’s regulators have declared cryptocurrencies illegal, with the local blockchain association running a legal battle in the courts. The blockchain industry in the country has a significant volume, therefore, a positive result on the legal status of cryptocurrencies can help promote the industry to make India a major player in the industry.

Thailand

Government Trialing Blockchain Voting System: The Bangkok Post, a Thai news outlet reported that the country’s National Electronics and Computer Technology Center (NECTEC) has completed the development of a blockchain based voting system. The NECTEC is currently looking for smaller partners such as Universities and Provincial governments to test the system before deploying at a national level. The system’s developer is very confident that its voting system is strong. Yet, the country still requires a significant penetration of mobile and internet use for the system to be effective at a national level.

Adoption of blockchain-based voting systems is developing a trend in the country. Recently, Democrat Party, the main Thai opposition held its primary party elections using the decentralized technology.

Philippines

The Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission Fails to Issue Regulations on ICOs by the Year’s End: The Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission (PSEC) has made another delay in issuing regulations over Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). The PSEC has hinted at declaring ICOs as securities and the local crypto community is eagerly waiting for an announcement from the regulator so that they can be in compliance. The regulator, though, allows unregulated sales of tokens to less than 20 individuals, organizations and other entities in a year.

The regulator has, so far, kept a positive attitude towards decentralized technology, with nearly a dozen blockchain companies in the country’s special economic zone of Cagayan. The Asian state has also granted licenses to 3 crypto exchanges.

China

Central Bank Concerned Over Rising Irrelevance of Cash: With cashless micropayment services like WeChat and AliPay on the rise, the People’s Bank of China is starting to show concerns towards cryptocurrencies. Perhaps one of the largest anti-crypto regulator in the world, the Chinese state bank has repeatedly stressed the illegal status of blockchain-based payment systems.

Online micropayments are common in Chinese society such that many vendors, hotels and merchants refuse to accept Yuan in the form of cash. The popularity of cashless transactions in the country is seen as only a stepping stone that will ultimately lead to decentralized payment systems.

Iran

Government Against Telegram’s Cryptocurrency: The Persian country’s authorities have once again stressed against the use of Telegram’s cryptocurrency, the Gram. The government has been in a strained relationship with the messaging app since the political upheaval of 2017. “One of the most important factors in banning Telegram was a sense of serious economic threat from its activities,” was explained as the reason by Javad Javidnia, the Secretary of Criminal Content Definition Task Force.

In the meantime, the Islamic Republic has announced plans for developing its own central bank backed cryptocurrency to circumvent the economic restrictions posed by the US. The Iranian banking system is completely isolated since the international money transfer service for banks, SWIFT.

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The post Asia and Australia: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 29 December 2018 – 4 January 2019 appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Asia and Australia: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 22 – 28 December 2018

Asia

Asia and Australia

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.

Japan

Government Swamped with New Exchange Applications as Year’s End Approaches: Top Japanese financial watchdog Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA) has announced that it has received over 190 applications from potential exchanges in 2019 alone with many of them being filed in the recent months.

The move happened after the FSA gave the local cryptocurrency exchange union called Japanese Virtual Currencies Association (JVCEA) the authority to self-regulate the industry. The agency also stepped up in the classification of different tokens being traded on the market and distributed them into three categories; 1. Virtual currencies with no issuers (Bitcoin, etc), 2. Virtual currencies with issuers and 3. Currencies with issuers who also distribute profits among the investors.

Japan is currently among the most innovative and open countries when it comes to cryptocurrencies and blockchain development. One of the reasons why Japan is progressing so well is its flexible laws that are currently enforced on the industry.

South Korea

Cryptocurrency Exchange Acquitted by South Korean Court: Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb has been cleared of all charges by a Korean court in a case filed by one of its affected users whose assets were stolen in one of the biggest crypto hacks of the current year.

According to the lawsuit, the user alleged that the exchange and its below-par security features were to be blamed for the hack that resulted in almost $355,000 worth of stolen funds from his account. The lawsuit was dismissed because the judge ruled that the company had fulfilled its obligation by sending confirmation messages to his phone. Still, this might not be the end of Bithumb’s legal issues.

Business School Reportedly Offering Crypto and Blockchain MBA Program: A major South Korean business school will now reportedly offer a cryptocurrency focused business degree program with crypto-specific courses including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Smart contracts, Game Theory, and App Development.

The new program will help the development of valuable human resource needed in the sector.

China

40% Chinese Willing to Invest in Cryptocurrencies: A recent survey in China shows that over 40% of the public would still be interested in investing in cryptocurrencies despite the price slump of 2018 that may well go into the year 2019 too.

According to a recent survey by a Chinese cryptocurrency media outlet PANews, out of 4980 participants, around 40% believed that they would still invest in cryptocurrencies. Astonishingly, 14.2 % had already invested in cryptocurrencies despite the blanket ban in mainland China. More than 98.2% of the populace had already heard about cryptocurrencies.

Chinese Taipei (Taiwan)

Miner Hit with $3 Million Power Theft Scandal: A Taiwan-based miner has been charged by the police for mining $14 million worth of cryptocurrencies from $3 million worth of stolen power. Known only as Yang, the miner will face charges in a local court.

According to police sources, Yang used rewiring to reroute electricity for mining purposes which is illegal and considered theft of essential commodity.

India

New Indian Committee may be Favourable to Bitcoin: India may have banned cryptocurrencies in the latest move but a new governmental committee in the parliament may have pro-crypto leanings according to latest reports.

According to a member of the committee, the government may be looking to partially legalize cryptocurrencies because there is a general consensus that cryptocurrencies cannot be deemed as completely “illegal” as the central bank has declared them to be.

Australia

Anti-Encryption Bill May Affect Operations of Blockchain Companies: A new law passed by the Australian parliament may affect the blockchain startups operating in the country.

The new bill named Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment Assistance and Access Bill 2018 will tighten the laws on privacy and will give government sweeping powers that they can use at their will. The move is similar to the law passed in the US named “Warrant Canary” that gave more powers to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

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The post Asia and Australia: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 22 – 28 December 2018 appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Asia and Australia: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 14 – 20 December 2018

Asia

Asia and Australia

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.

Japan

New Regulations Released for Protecting Investors: The Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA) has recently released new regulations for cryptocurrency exchanges in the country. The move comes despite new self-regulatory moves by the Japanese cryptocurrency exchange association in recent weeks.

The new regulations are aimed at addressing different hacking incidents, privacy issues and margin trading within exchanges. In addition, the regulation also targets Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and their workings. According to FSA, more than 11 meetings were held by an agency study group before finally proposing these new regulations.

The Japanese Virtual Currency Exchange Association is yet to devise a strategy based on these latest regulations.

South Korea

Port Receives Blockchain Updates for Logistics Purposes: A partnership between different government ministries is working to modernize the logistics system of the South Korean port of Busan using decentralized technology. Busan is one of the largest and busiest ports of transit in the world.

The South Korean ministries of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP) and Ministries of Oceans and Fisheries are working together on this project with the main intention of increasing container efficiency. The trial will begin this month at the Busan port.

Busan port is also partnering with IBM and its shipping platform for increasing efficiencies.

China

Media Alliance Looking to Use Blockchain for Copyright Protection: Recently, a media copyright protection alliance was formed in the Chinese capital of Beijing to use the latest technological advantages for media copyrights preservation purposes, states a segment from state-run International Finance News.

According to Qi Huisheng,  Secretary of the former Communist Party group of the China Association of Journalists:

“Reporters and newspapers should establish copyright awareness, solve common problems in copyright protection through technology and other means, and actively communicate with relevant technical teams to protect original copyright…”

It is yet to be seen how the new alliance will act in the future for this purpose.

Hong Kong

Government to Tighten Crypto Laws After a Lax Period: The Hong Kong government’s securities arm, Securities and Exchange Commission is set to tighten the laws related to cryptocurrency regulation in the country.

The move includes the commissioning of a temporary regulatory sandbox for companies before they attempt to ask for a license to operate. Hong Kong has historically seen one of the laxest laws when it comes to cryptocurrency regulation in the world but now the government seems focused to introduce tougher legislation to have more control in the matter.

New Zealand

Research Shows Economy may Benefit from Blockchain: A New Zealand-based study has shown that the Kiwi population will benefit from adopting blockchain technologies. The research titled Distributed Ledgers and Blockchains: Opportunities for Aotearoa New Zealand‘ was conducted in the country by Callaghan Institution, a state-run innovation and research hub.

The research found out that the country’s burgeoning Information Technology (IT) sector will be complemented by the adoption of the new distributed approach. The sector already generates more than 16 billion dollars for the economy and employs 100,000 people.

However, the report also said that banking restrictions are hampering the development of the DLT sector and that is why only a small portion of the ICO industry made it to the Kiwi shores. The research calls for urgent action by the government in this regard.

Iran

Students Using Bitcoin to Transfer Money After Sanctions are Reimposed: Iranian students living in the United Kingdom are using bitcoin for international money transfer after the USA unilaterally imposed sanctions on the country again. The sanctions were especially hit hard on the SWIFT international money transfer system that is controlled by the US and such that Iranians face a lot of trouble in sending money from abroad.

A small number of Iranian students living in the UK are now using Bitcoin to transfer money. The number may grow in the future as the people run out of options.

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The post Asia and Australia: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 14 – 20 December 2018 appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Asia and Australia: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 7-13 December 2018

Asia and Australia

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.

China

Chinese Government Increasingly Using Blockchain to Increase Big Government Initiatives: The Chinese government is increasing the use of blockchain technology, the core tech behind the creation of cryptocurrency for increased surveillance, financial checks and other forms of government outreach.

According to some experts in the Blockchain field, the Chinese government’s initiatives are ironic considering blockchain was actually the technology that was supposed to limit government interference in various matters.

The view was narrated by CoinShares Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Treasury Meltem Demirors who tweeted:

“My dystopian nightmares are slowly becoming reality. first Venezuela forces its citizens to hold worthless “petros”, now China is debasing the idea of cryptocurrency to eliminate cash and censor access to payments and banking services”

While Bitcoin may become bigger than China itself eventually, the dose of irony is very much a reality these days as the distributed technology continues to be used by the governments to limit rather than expand civil liberties.

South Korea

Virtual Power Plant to be Built in Dusan: The South Korean city of Dusan will now be home to the first virtual electricity power grid in the country with blockchain technology playing a key role in the process. Busan, the second most populous city in the country will see an increase in distributed electricity generation as a result of this intelligent grid being started in the country.
The 4 billion Wong ($3.5 million) project will be first of its kind in the country as a virtual power grid is a distributed system in which multiple power producers including independent smaller ones like solar farms can contribute to the grid thus creating a cloud power network.

Energy management company Nuri Telecom will partner with Busan City Gas and Korean Industrial Complex for this crucial project. It will eventually be presented in an energy competition in 2019.

Cryptocurrency Exchange Association to Create Healthy Crypto Ecosystem: Seven major cryptocurrency exchanges in the country are working with each other to create a better environment for crypto investors. Recently, they agreed and signed an agreement for the creation of a sound cryptocurrency ecosystem’.

Local exchanges including Upbit, Bithumb, Korbit, Coinone, Gopax, Coinplug (Cpdax), and Hanbitco signed the agreement to help increase investment in the sector and also create a positive ecosystem that punishes money launderers.

The move comes after the Financial Services Commission (FSC) reportedly initiated moves to tighten their hold on cryptocurrency trading in the country.

Japan

Ten Years Prison Sentence Sought for Mt Gox former CEO Mark Karpeles: Japanese prosecuting authorities are seeking a whopping 10-year sentence for the top official of defunct cryptocurrency exchange Mt Gox that suffered one of the biggest breaches in history with more than $450 million disappearing from its accounts. 

Authorities are blaming Karpeles for embezzling more than 340 million JPY from the exchange which was reportedly swept under the rug after the infamous hack of 2014. However, a softer sentence may be expected after Mt Gox announced that it intends to reimburse all the investors in fiat earlier this year.

Australia

Australian Beef to be Sent to China Using Blockchain Technology: An Australian logistics insurance company is testing a pilot blockchain technology called BeefLedger to handle beef shipments to Chinese customers.

The National Transport Insurance (NTI) has been in the insurance business for 45 months and is the country’s biggest truck insurer. Using the new blockchain system, the company intends to improve food security and animal welfare in the country.

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The post Asia and Australia: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 7-13 December 2018 appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.