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Asia and Australia Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 30 November – 6 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.

China

Chinese Regulator Declares Security Token Offerings Illegal: Chinese authority Beijing Municipal Bureau of Finance has declared Security Token Offerings (STOs) illegal in its jurisdiction. The move came during a wealth management forum organized by the bureau.

Huo Xuewen, chief of the Beijing Municipal Bureau said:

“I will issue a risk warning to those who promote and issue STO tokens in Beijing. My advice is to only engage in such offerings when the government has legalized them,”

ICOs have been declared illegal by the Chinese government but they have so far been silent on STOs. With the latest move, at least within the jurisdiction of the Chinese capital, STOs are now illegal.

Japan

Police Investigating Increasingly Suspicious Cryptocurrency Activities: Japan’s National Police Agency (NPA) has announced that there seems to be a sharp increase in suspicious cryptocurrency transactions in the country between January and October of this year.

According to the police report, 5944 cases on cryptocurrency exchanges were recorded that could be tied to tax evasion or money laundering. The figure is an 8-fold increase from the same period in 2017. It is yet to be seen what the government may decide to do with them.

Government Implementing ICO Regulations to Protect Investors: The top financial watchdog of the country Financial Services Agency (FSA) has announced a new set of regulations for ICOs in the country to help protect the funds of investors according to local news outlet Jiji Press.

The new regulations will force companies and organizations willing to undergo ICOs to register with the Financial Services Agency (FSA). Further regulations on exchanges, payment services, and financial instruments are also being implemented.

The government is also working on cutting down tax evasion figures in the industry. The National Tax Agency of Japan (NTA) is in the process of developing a dedicated tax auditing system for the cryptocurrency sector that will seek data from cryptocurrency exchanges and other financial services platforms involved with cryptocurrencies.

A recent bill tabled in the country’s parliament will authorize the tax agency for this purpose.

South Korea

Government Considering Crypto and ICO Tax Laws: The South Korean government is working to tax cryptocurrencies and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) in the country according to the incoming Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki.

According to The Korea Times, the new top financial wizard of the government has submitted a written reply to the Korean National Assembly on this topic during his confirmation hearing. He said:

“A task force consisting of experts from relevant government agencies including the National Tax Service and the private sector will be formed to examine overseas examples and hammer out the taxation plan.”

While the new Minister is in favor of taxation regulations, he is calling for caution as there is no tried and tested way of doing it.

Malaysia

Central Bank Wants to Regulate Cryptocurrencies: The Securities Commission and Central Bank of Malaysia have released a joint statement containing an outline for regulation of digital assets and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) in the country.

The statement provided at least some clarification on where the government was headed regarding this matter after the popular Mahatir Mohammad formed government at the center following general elections.

Australia

Western Australia Gets First Crypto Center: Western Australia is looking more and more appealing to the cryptocurrency industry after the first blockchain center was inaugurated in Perth earlier this week.

While the area is well-known for the mining industry that contributes to more than 92% of the entire state’s exports, the cryptocurrency genre may become the goldmine of tomorrow as interest spikes in the sector.

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Japan Implementing ICO Regulations to Protect Investors

Japan, FSA, cryptocurrency, regulations

The financial regulator of Japan is going to introduce a new set of regulations for ICOs, aiming to protect the funds of investors. This was reported by Jiji Press, a local news outlet.

The news outlet reported that organizations and companies wishing to execute ICOs will need to register with Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA). This comes at a time when FSA is rumored to introduce bills that would see exchanges, payment services, and various financial instruments have their regulations redefined.

Jiji reported that the regulations come “in view of a number of possibly fraudulent ICO cases abroad” and they would help “limit individuals’ investment in ICOs for better protecting them.

Last month, FSA’s Study Group on Virtual Currency Exchange Industry concluded its tenth meeting. The group has classified tokens according to three categories: virtual currencies that do not have an issuer (like BTC), virtual currency that does have an issuer, and virtual currency that not only has an issuer but also distributes profits.

The first two categories of tokens come under settlement regulations of Financial Instrument and Exchange Act, while the third type is subject to investment regulations of the same act.

In recent times, Japan has introduced a number of regulations in the crypto space. Back in September, the FSA had implemented screening procedures to make sure exchanges were properly conducting risk management. It had also declared in October that stable coins were a form of prepaid payment instruments and were not subject to same regulatory scrutiny that cryptocurrencies were subject to. The FSA is systematically regulating the whole crypto sphere within the country. It has even imposed regulations on crypto wallet service providers.

All of the moves, although seeming to throttle the crypto industry, are actually bringing in due diligence and anti-fraud measurements.

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Asia and Australia: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 23-29 November 2018

Asia

Asia and Australia

Welcome to another weekly blockchain news roundup from around the world. Here we present to you all the latest in cryptocurrency-related news, continent by continent and country by country.

China

Chinese Investors wants Government to Regulate Fintech Markets: President of a major Chinese financial investment company is of the opinion that China should regulate the fintech market since the uncontrolled check is leading to many subpar platforms being launched which would ultimately prove to be disastrous for the country’s industry.

Vince Zhang of Phoenix Finance was speaking on CNBC’s East Tech West when he made the suggestion. He was worried that the industry was at “a very big risk” without proper management and control. “A lot of companies are not [there] in terms of their business plan, in terms of their risk management process, in terms of their overall management… A lot of these corporate control mechanisms are not in place.”

South Korea

Government Announces Plans for Blockchain E-Voting System: The South Korean government has announced its plans to test blockchain technology for an e-voting system. The National Election Commission will oversee the trials with the help of the Korean Ministry of Science and ICT. The trials will be run by Seoul National University’s own Blockchain Society in conjunction with the Korea Internet and Security Agency.

Electronic voting using decentralized ledger technology such as blockchain is gathering interest and momentum in recent months.

Philippines

Manila Residents Pay in ETH for a Local Beach Cleanup: Manila residents have paid in ETH for cleaning up one of the dirtiest plastic-filled beaches in the city. The burgeoning population of the Philippines and lack of recycling culture has resulted in a lot of problems for the local beachgoers, so much that the public paid for a cleanup drive on the beach with ETH.

The cleanup was carried out by ConsenSys, a blockchain solution company founded by Ethereum co-founder Joe Lubin. He said:

“In Manila, participants will be paid in ETH for spending a few hours cleaning up one of the most heavily polluted beaches in the world. Bounties Network and ConsenSys Impact are proving a new model where people fund causes directly without intermediaries.”

In the future, citizens will be able to use a Dapp to receive rewards in ETH for work like this.

Malaysia

Government to Release Crypto Regulation by Q1 2019: The Malaysian government is considering to release cryptocurrency regulations in the country by early 2019, according to a local news piece quoting the country’s finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.

According to Lim:

“It is not that we wish to obstruct (cryptocurrency) as we are keeping an open mind. But it is still subject to existing laws.”

Malaysian cryptocurrency issuers will also now be required to get central bank approval before trading in the sector according to Eng.

Hong Kong

Port Operator Joins IBM Blockchain Shipping Platform: Second largest container port in Hong Kong has joined Maersk and IBM’s TradeLens blockchain shipping project. Modern Terminals, the said port was the latest to join the blockchain shipping project that has seen other partners join from around the world.

TradeLens is one of the most notable platforms launched in the blockchain shipping sector. It has more than 230 docks and 20 operators present around the world from Europe, North America to now Asia Pacific region including PSA Singapore, Port of Bilbao, PortConnect and Port of Philadelphia.

Australia

Aussies Relying Less on Cash: The Reserve Bank of Australia’s Governor has admitted that Aussies have dramatically reduced their reliance on cash thus making way for digital cash. Contactless payments now amount to as much as 60% of all electronic transactions in the continent.

According to Governor Philip Lowe:

“For some decades, people have been speculating that we might one day go cashless – that we would no longer be using banknotes for regular payments and that almost all payments would be electronic…”

While the RBA is skeptical about Bitcoin, the admission is seen as positive news by the Australian crypto community as the rising cashless transactions can become the gateway for future crypto adoption.

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Asia and Australia: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 16-22 November 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 Cryptocurrency Projects being Tested After Slump in Prices: Chinese cryptocurrency projects including big miners have been hit by the recent slump in prices of Bitcoin with some even halting operations for the time being.

With many of the projects no longer feasible for the operators, there are growing concerns regarding the future of the market, but unsurprisingly, many are standing firm at the moment.

Japan

Government to Regulate Cryptocurrency Wallet Providers: The Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA) is expected to impose new regulations on cryptocurrency wallet providers according to an account of its latest meeting.

The agency has been actively trying to regulate the cryptocurrency industry and recently concluded its ninth study group meeting. The major topic of the recent meeting was wallet providers because FSA currently doesn’t impose any regulations on wallet providers. The agency decided to bring them under their jurisdiction because they manage money transfers and storage of digital currencies.

South Korea

New Project to Adopt Blockchain for Beef Supply: A new project in South Korea will see blockchain technology being used in the beef supply chain to create more transparency for consumers.

According to local Yonhap news, the project is being conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs in partnership with the Ministry of Science and ICT. The pilot will be conducted in the North Jeolla Province by December and it will then be launched countrywide by January 2019 for slaughterhouses.

Government Looks to Blockchain for Smarter E-Government Initiative: The South Korean government is looking to Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) in its vision for a smarter e-government initiative. 

The Ministry of Interior and Safety (MOIS) announced that technologies like DLT, AI and IoT will be used to address particular challenges in realizing this dream.

Blockchain to Power New Micro-Grids in South Korea: South Korea’s largest power provider KEPCO has said that it is planning to launch microgrids in the country with blockchain technology at their backend along with other innovative solutions.

Kim Jong-gap, the president and CEO of KEPCO said that the future of microgrids lies in energy-efficient systems and increasing green outlook of the system. The end goal of the initiative is to supply stable power with increased efficiency to the customers.

North Korea

Government to Host First International Blockchain Summit in Pyongyang: The North Korean government has announced to hold the first cryptocurrency summit in the country according to a recent press release on the government website.

The conference will be held from 18-19 April 2019 and will host experts from around the world.

According to the website:

“International experts in the blockchain and crypto industry will gather for the first time in Pyongyang to share their knowledge and vision, establish connections and discuss business opportunities.”

It is yet unclear how many people have actually signed up for the event since North Korea is not regarded by many as a safe destination to travel.

India

First Crypto Bill Expected in December: India’s first crypto bill is expected in December according to sources within the Indian government. Cryptocurrency exchanges and trading are currently banned in the country following a tussle between the government and the exchange operators.

While it remains a contentious topic, the crypto community would be looking towards the new bill with hope.

Australia

Payment Company Allows Users to Pay Bills with Cryptocurrencies: IvyPay, a payment company in Australia has announced a new service that will allow the members of the public to pay bills with cryptocurrencies. 

IvyPay’s latest service will allow more cryptocurrency adoption in the country since the current use cases remain limited.

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Asia and Australia: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 2nd to 8th November 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.

Japan

Startup to try crypto payment option for limousine rides: A Japanese company is going to offer the services of limousine rides at airports with cryptocurrencies as a means of payment.

Remixpoint Inc, in partnership with Hinomaru, a Tokyo limousine company, has announced a trial for cryptocurrency payments for its limousine services in Japan. According to Bloomberg, the trial run will currently be limited to Tokyo and a few other major airports in the start.

The trial is expected to start later this month.

South Korea

Lawyers working for protection laws for crypto investors: The Korean Bar Association has called the government to establish a friendly regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies and blockchain industry in the country.

The government was urged on this matter by Bar Association president Kim Hyun. He said, “We urge the government to break away from negative perceptions and hesitation, and draw up bills to help develop the blockchain industry and prevent side effects involving cryptocurrencies.”

The effort comes after the Korean government increased its efforts to contain the domestic blockchain regulation by burying them in rules and excluding them from tax incentives reserved for venture capital firms.

China

Oldest mining pool in China shut down: Chinese owned cryptocurrency mining pool BTCC is finally shutting down its servers on 15 November. There are no concrete reasons given behind this sudden closure at the moment. The company has also requested all the miners to move their hashing power away from servers before the closure.

BTCC was established as early as 2011 and grew to become one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world before the Chinese government shut the exchange operations down. The firm was eventually acquired by a Hong Kong-based investment fund.

Reserve bank targets token airdrops: The Chinese clampdown on cryptocurrencies continues after the Peoples Bank of China (PBoC) came forward to remove the footprint of cryptocurrencies by declaring airdrops illegal.

The bank will now ask cyber authorities to enforce these latest anti-cryptocurrency rules.

Taiwan (Chinese Taipei)

Legislators tighten crypto anonymity through AML Legislation: Taiwanese parliament has introduced new cryptocurrency regulations on anti-money laundering (AML) into state law to avoid money laundering in the country.

The move comes after congressman Jason Hsu proposed an amendment to the AML Control Act in an effort to make cryptocurrencies face the same legal course as fiat currencies last month. Now the law has passed and exchanges will be required to use real names for cryptocurrency transactions rather than an alias.

Thailand

Blockchain upgrade to pin down errant taxpayers: Thailand’s tax system recently got a blockchain upgrade for catching tax evaders in the country. The system will provide a more efficient method for tax returns and tax refunds.

Ekniti Nitithanprapas, the head of the Revenue Department, said that blockchain and machine learning are now being used to catch tax avoiders in the country.

Malaysia

Securities commission to regulate ICOs in 2019: Malaysian Finance Minister YB Lim Guan Eng has announced that the Malaysian Securities Commission will introduce a regulatory framework in the country in 2019 for the cryptocurrency industry.

The regulations are expected to ensure a fair and orderly development of the new market.

Australia

Monero pioneer honored with researcher reward: A Monash University professor who co-founded the Monero network and blockchain has won a major Australian award.

Joseph Liu was given the title of Researcher of the Year at the 2018 Digital Disruptor Awards for his efforts in blockchain technology and its role in new economic and social systems.

 

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