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Asia and Australia Cryptocurrency News Roundup 14-20 September 2018

Welcome to another weekly blockchain and cryptocurrency 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.


Financial regulator reveals update for crypto regulation: Japan’s top financial regulator is updating the public regarding the ongoing crypto regulation deliberations. The Financial Services Agency (FSA) held its fifth cryptocurrency study group meeting on September 12, 2018 and also revealed that more than 160 companies were aiming to get into the crypto space and three current cryptocurrency operators were being reviewed.

The agency is currently reviewing different approaches towards cryptocurrency regulation in the country. The main problem in reviewing applications is a lack of manpower available at the agency and therefore, the agency is also looking for additional workforce.

South Korea

Samsung’s blockchain technology to help improve Customs Service: Samsung is set to develop a blockchain-based platform to be used by South Korea’s Customs Services. Samsung SDS, the IT wing of the electronics company is developing the new program on Nexledger, which is currently being used by businesses to help reduce wastage and increase cost effectiveness in data exchange and financial transactions.

Now the South Korean Customs Service is signing up for the platform in order to streamline the Customs process that involves millions of goods that need to be cleared. The platform will also help in detecting forged trade documentation.

Ministry of Science and Information Communication Systems to help blockchain growth: The South Korean Ministry of Science and Information Communication System has announced that it is going to announce steps to support the blockchain industry development in the country. 

During a recent meeting between the blockchain startups and Second Vice Minister of Science and ICT Min Won-ki, the minister reiterated the government’s support for the crucial futuristic technology and its development.

Min said:

“Considering the fact that there is no significant blockchain technology gap between South Korea and the other countries, it is a good opportunity for South Korea to lead the industry. The government will actively back domestic companies to help them lead the global blockchain market.”

South Korea is pacing its blockchain development nicely but there are significant challenges in place for the future.


Chinese woman embarks on a 21-day Bitcoin challenge: A Chinese woman recently undertook a 21-day Bitcoin challenge that was aired on their popular streaming service iQiyi.

The challenge involves surviving across China for 21 days with just 0.21 BTC in her mobile wallet. She cannot convert it into fiat and has to engage with real-life people to make Bitcoin transactions. The show provides valuable insight into the cryptocurrency scene in China, which despite blanket government bans, has a vibrant presence.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong firm launches stablecoin, defying Chinese ban: A Hong Kong-based investment firm has launched a new stablecoin which is backed by the Japanese Yen in defiance of the mainland China government that has overall control over the running of the special Chinese region.

Grandshores Technology group announced that a funding round will be launched in late 2018 or early 2019 by the company. The company’s announcement was bold considering China’s continuing overbearing stance on cryptocurrencies and ban on ICOs. Hong Kong is a special administrative region of the country and is looking to promote cryptocurrencies within its own little umbrella despite facing pressure from China itself.


North Queensland becomes hub for cryptocurrency adoption: Queensland in Northern Australia is becoming a new center for cryptocurrency adoption in the country with merchant adoption for Bitcoin Cash.

The region is home to the first BCH-only ATM in the country and has its own Bitcoin Cash Meetup as well. Also, there are several large and small merchants in the area that are accepting BCH. All in all, 73 of them are accepting the fourth largest cryptocurrency as payments for their customers. Residents can even buy coffee with Bitcoin Cash as well.

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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 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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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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Australia Tackles Crypto Taxation with New Crypto Classification

Australia’s tax authority has declared intentions to track citizens who hide their cryptocurrency gains offshore using data-matching services that also target “unexplained assets and wealth”.


Earlier in 2018, the Australian Tax Office (ATO) published guidelines on the taxation of virtual currencies. It highlighted Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies that behave similarly to Bitcoin as neither being money, or foreign currency, but a property deemed similar to assets, making them liable for capital gains tax.

Despite the bullish comments from Tony Richards, head of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) in June, it was evident in his eyes that the mainstream adoption of virtual currencies wasn’t to happen in the foreseeable future, which may have contributed to the “asset” classification.

“100-point” check

Also in June, ATO announced its enforcement of crypto tax requirements through a 100-point check, which is a system that will be utilizing sophisticated data-matching techniques and is a system already favored by the Australian government as well as other sectors.

Through existing data-sharing agreements with over 40 other nations, the ATO can now target crypto-investors trading on offshore exchanges. It is estimated by the country’s accounting body CPA Australia that this will be the first time ever that “hundreds of thousands” of Australian taxpayers will make cryptocurrency tax declarations.

However, ATO acting deputy commissioner Martin Jacobs believes it is impossible to tell just how many will be including gains and losses on cryptocurrencies in their tax returning this year.

End of double taxation

Up until now, there had been a “double tax” on cryptocurrencies which lifted on 1 July 2018. The 2017-2018 Budget Summary writes: “The Government will make it easier for new innovative digital currency businesses to operate in Australia… purchases of digital currency will no longer be subject to the GST.”

It later added: “Currently, consumers who use digital currencies can effectively bear GST twice: once on the purchase of the digital currency and once again on its use in exchange for other goods and services subject to the GST.”

Speaking with local media outlet the Australian Financial Review (AFR) Jacobs said, “Our feeling is that the vast majority of investors who joined the bubble in 2017 are likely to be in the loss position as opposed to a gain… The other assumption is they probably haven’t disposed of their cryptocurrency. They might just be holding it.”

Under that condition, there would be no tax implications; Jacobs did reveal that the ATO isn’t “alarmed” by the crypto-specific tax compliance risks.

He said, “Where people attempt to deliberately avoid these obligations we will attempt to take action. We have a range of existing powers that are designed to address unexplained wealth and conspicuous consumption that may arise through profits derived through cryptocurrency investment.”


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Asia and Australia: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 4th to 10th May 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.


Government levies taxes on crypto despite opposition: Thailand is the latest country to levy taxes on cryptocurrencies despite opposition at home. Thai blockchain associations were against the aggressive tax policy and the move follows the regional trend of crypto taxes after Australia and other nations levied taxes on crypto gains.

The ministry of finance had already released plans to introduce taxes for cryptocurrency trading and investment.  Thai digital currency associations voiced their concerns regarding the move and the minister responded but the move eventually took place.

The proposed 15% tax is considered stifling for the growth of cryptocurrencies and blockchain space. In addition to this basic levy, a 7% value-added tax is also levied on all cryptocurrency trades. The legislation is still in its infancy and the government has no infrastructure in place to audit the crypto taxes.

Stock exchange launches crowdfunding blockchain: The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) has announced the launch of a decentralized crowdfunding platform based on blockchain to facilitate small businesses and enterprises in the country.

The platform is named LiVE and has plans to provide a complete startup ecosystem which will also provide the necessary education for new businesses to get easier access to institutional investors as well. More than 50 companies are targeted to join the program.


Police announce blockchain-based evidence storage: The Chinese ministry of public security has announced the development of a blockchain application that stores evidence from police investigations safely and securely for long-term. The tech was patented at China’s Intellectual property office back in November 2017 and it automatically takes police data and stores it in cloud storage.

This will help solve the problem of falsified records and fake evidence, according to Chinese authorities since blockchain technology can help data become tamper-proof. Criminals will no longer be able to easily hack into the government databases and wipe out the records.

600 Bitcoin mining rigs believed to be from Iceland seized in China: Police in the city of Tianjin, China have seized a record 600 Bitcoin mining rigs in a raid, which is the same number of machines that were reportedly stolen in Iceland heists back in December and January.

The mining operation had caused a short circuit due to stealing power from the national grid after authorities found out that there was a sudden 28% increase in power consumption on one line alone.


Crypto exchanges challenge banking restrictions in top court: Indian cryptocurrency exchanges have challenged the central bank’s decision to stop facilitating the transactions of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

This is the third challenge to cryptocurrencies in the market and the most severe as all banking services have been blocked off to the crypto exchanges and they include big local names like Coindelta exchange, Koinex exchange, Throughbit Exchange and CoinDCX.

The petitions will likely be heard in India’s top court on 11 May 2018.


Binance CEO sees ICOs as future of VC: The CEO of popular cryptocurrency trading platform Binance has stated that he believes initial coin offerings (ICOs) are the future of venture capital investments. Changpen Zhao, the CEO believes that the digital crowdfunding method is not just a “good-to-have” option but a genuine future for the system.

Binance is currently based in Taiwan after previous operations in China and Japan.

South Korea

Regulators positive about crypto: The new head of the Korean State’s financial watchdog Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) Yoon Suk-heun has made some encouraging comments regarding the future legislation around cryptocurrencies.

He at least admitted that cryptocurrencies have “some positive aspects” and could have a part in the future. This seems that the confrontational situation has so far dialed down below the 38th parallel since last September’s ban when regulators had “serious doubts” about cryptocurrencies.

The top regulator also said, “there are a lot of issues that need to be addressed and reviewed. We can figure them out but gradually.”


FSA crackdown on anonymous exchanges and crypto businesses on the cards: Japan continues its love-hate relationship with cryptocurrencies with the Financial Security Agency (FSA) mulling actions against anonymous cryptocurrency exchanges and startups in the country.

It is also trying to see the exchanges delist currencies like ZCash, Monero and Dash, something that goes far beyond the normal crypto regulations that we have gotten used to in the Land of the Rising Sun.


Private and public sectors encouraged to apply blockchain technology: The South East Asian country is encouraging both the private and public sectors to invest in blockchain technology to solve complex problems that are plaguing the country including storage and application of data according to latest reports from Reuters.

The country is a challenge to administer as 250 million inhabitants are spread over a total of 17,000 islands. The Financial Services Authority has assembled a team and they are investigating the applications of the technology for the future.


Physical Bitcoin smart banknotes launched: Singaporean Bitcoin startup Tangem has announced a physical Bitcoin banknote at a popular shopping center in the island state. The banknotes are available in denominations starting from BTC 0.01 btc onwards. Each note has a chip that cost the company USD 2 to make and it stores the private keys.

It is the first hardware solution in the form of banknotes with certification for its entire hardware and electronics according to EAL6+ and EMVCo standards. The company is committed to “radically improve the simplicity and security of acquiring, owning, and circulating cryptocurrencies for both sophisticated and incoming users”.

Tangem has a presence in South Korea and Southern China, Taiwan, Russia, and Israel.


Government earmarks $700 million for blockchain research: The Australian budget has recently unveiled an allocation of USD 700,000 for the blockchain Space to “to investigate areas where blockchain technology could offer the most value for government service”.


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Asia and Australia: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 27th April to 3rd May 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.

The Korean Peninsula

Korea peace treaty inscribed in blockchain: The historic Korea peace declaration by North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and South Korea’s Moon Jae-in on 27 April 2018 was immutably recorded on the Ethereum blockchain. The move was done by Ryi Gi-Hyeok, a prominent South Korean game developer, after the two leaders met at the demilitarized zone on the border.

Rye coded the two Ether transactions, including the Panmunjom Declaration, one in English and the other in Korean. He explained:

“I just thought it took too long for the South and the North to give way to each other… After finding out what I could contribute to this historic achievement as a developer, I found the Panmunjom Declaration on the Blue House homepage and recorded it on Ethereum.”

He has further plans to launch a website to keep all important historic records in permanent, immutable storage on Ethereum.

Samsung posts record-breaking quarter thanks to crypto mining surge: South Korean tech giant Samsung’s investment into ASIC chips for Bitcoin mining seems to have paid off as the company posted a record operating income for the first quarter of 2018 and a profit of $14.5 billion.

Vice president, investor relations, Robert Yi was of the opinion:

“In the semiconductor business, earnings increased significantly year-over-year thanks to favorable memory market conditions driven by a strong demand for server and graphics memory as well as earnings improvements in both System LSI and foundry businesses led by increasing demand for chips used in flagship smartphones and cryptocurrency mining”.

Bank of Korea considering blockchain as part of cashless society concept: The South Korean cryptocurrency scene is exploding after Samsung announced record profits from ASIC chips sales and now the Bank of Korea is considering cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology as part of its “cashless society concept”.

The bank has announced the official launch of its cashless society project on its 2017 Payment Report, according to a post from TokenPost on 1 May 2018.


Crypto enquiries tripled in 2017: The Japanese Financial Security Agency (FSA) has released figures of cryptocurrency enquiries and they have gone up by more than three times since the same time last year. Over 3.5 million people have been trading in cryptocurrencies in Japan and the new figures confirm the massive spike in public interest in cryptocurrencies since the course of last year.

What is interesting is that most of the enquiries were from the 40s and 50s age groups and were regarding the legitimacy of ICOs and the security of the exchange platforms. It seems the older Japanese generation is also getting into cryptocurrencies.


Binance more profitable than Deutsche Bank: Binance, one of the biggest exchanges in the world, has outperformed the mighty Deutsche Bank in terms of profitability, according to latest figures from both of these organizations. Binance posted a profit of USD 200 million between January and March, while Deutsche Bank only recorded net gains of USD 146 million, significantly under a targeted USD 456 million amount.

Binance was originally founded in China but since then moved to Japan before eventually settling in Republic of China (Taiwan).


Singapore fast tracks patents and crypto ride-hailing: The Singapore government has just announced its Fast Track Fintech initiative that is aimed at accelerating the patent approval process for fintech areas including cryptocurrencies and blockchain-based payments.

The development was announced by Low Ling, the senior parliamentary secretary for ministry of trade and industry. His office said:

“The incorporation of blockchain technology to improve the security and efficiency of clearing and settlement across borders for transaction and payment is deemed as a Fintech invention.”

Hong Kong

Government finds crypto not implicated in financial crime increase: The Hong Kong government’s investigation into criminal activity has revealed that criminals are still more likely to use conventional methods of money transfer rather than cryptocurrencies to move black money from one place to another.

Normally, cryptocurrencies are blamed for most of the money laundering efforts in criminal circles but this investigation proves that conventional systems are more likely to be used in this space than cryptocurrencies.


UNICEF announces mining project to help fund education: UNICEF Australia has announced a cryptocurrency mining initiative in which computing resources from donors will be used to mine cryptocurrency which in turn will be used to raise fiat money to invest in education.

The project is called the Hope Page and will be used to mine the cryptocurrency Monero using donors’ computer processing power that can be anything from powerful ASIC miners to a regular PC with GPU.

UNICEF launched a similar project back in February to help the Syrian civil war crisis.

Stock exchange okays plan for blockchain: The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) has announced plans to replace its old clearance and settlement system with a blockchain-based alternative as early as 2020.

The idea had been in the pipeline for some time since 2015 but the decision arrived back in December last year when the stock exchange announced plans to become the world’s first stock exchange to employ blockchain technology.

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