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Asia and Australia: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 24th to 30th June, 2019

Asia

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.

Asia and Australia

Indonesia

Indonesia unicorn Bukalapak considers Middle East expansion: After crossing the 1 billion USD valuation mark and attaining the unicorn status, the Indonesian e-commerce and marketplace platform Bukalapak is now contemplating its expansion into the Middle East, according to CNBC.

The company has expanded into five Asian markets after starting its operations in 2010, but the CEO now thinks that the company’s Muslim workforce can act as a strong leverage point to connect with the businesses and customers in the Middle-East.

Iran

Iran Blames Bitcoin Miners for Unstable Power Grid: After the recent 7% spike in the electricity consumption in Iran, Energy Minister’s spokesman has released a statement blaming the Bitcoin community for the consequential power failures and shortfalls. He added that the crypto miners are consuming unsustainable amounts of electricity as the network encourages people to utilize computing power to solve increasingly complex cryptographic puzzles.

He claimed that each Bitcoin mined in Iran consumes as much electricity as 24 Iranian households over an entire year, with most miners are now operating from mosques, factories, agricultural sites, and government offices to avail the subsidized energy prices. He warned that the bitcoin miners will now be identified and deprived of their electricity connections soon.

South Korea

South Korea to Copy Global Models in Fintech Adoption: Local firms in South Korea will be able to use global models as templates to adapt their business practices after the government’s announcement of relaxing their laws for tech startups.

The revelation was made by the country’s Financial Services Commission (FSC), who remarked that they desire to boost the fintech, hydrogen vehicles, and drones industries and spur innovation. An FSC taskforce has already reviewed 188 cases of possible financial services using new tech, now moving towards allowing financial firms to fully acquire fintech startups, currently only allowed to be only 15% acquired.

Seoul Transport Ministry to Pilot Blockchain Traffic Data Storage: Seoul has finally released a pilot launch date for its blockchain traffic data storage project as a part of its Smart City Initiative.

With the help of the Canadian tech firm, Graph Blockchain Inc, the CAD 55,000 (USD 41,700) project will be implemented to streamline and secure traffic data via the Hyperledger Fabric framework. The project will be fully up and running within the next five years and will be implemented in applications like citizen ID records, voting systems, charity aid management, and even vehicle history reports. 

India

Koinex, India’s Largest Crypto Exchange, Shuts Down: After months of suffocation at the hands of Indian lawmakers, India’s largest digital asset exchange, Koinex has finally given in and has announced their closure.

A company that saw a record-breaking trading volume of 265 USD million in December was forced to shut down after a string of draconian crypto laws by the Indian government and the consequent decline in the company’s trading volumes.

Back in April 2018, the RBI issued a circular that prohibited all financial institutions from forming or maintaining relationships with cryptocurrency companies, which led to the ostracization of the crypto community from the country’s markets. 

Reserve Bank of India Developing Blockchain Banking Platform: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced plans to develop and launch their own blockchain platform in the next year, that will host a number of blockchain applications.

This is a surprising move considering how RBI has been clamping down on any crypto activity, such as it declaring ICOs and crypto exchanges as not part of their regulatory sandbox. The model will be focused on banks in a bid to introduce crypto into the market in a manageable fashion.

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Asia and Australia: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 17th to 23rd June, 2019

Asia

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.

Asia and Australia

Japan

Regulators forcing hacked exchange to improve its model: Fisco, the investment firm that took over the assets of the hacked cryptocurrency exchange Zaif is being scrutinized and forced to improve its handling of the previously hacked exchange according to a press release from the Financial Services Agency (FSA).

The FSA report claims that a number of violations and irregularities were found in the acquisition of the hacked cryptocurrency exchange and also found out that the firm also had issues in its model. The blunt report suggests that the ““management did not recognize the importance of legal compliance.”. In a hack back in September 2018, the exchange lost over 62.5 million USD worth of coins from its wallets and was eventually acquired by the Fisco group. The Japanese government has also hardened rules for cryptocurrency exchanges in the country so that hacking attempts and their losses can be minimized in the country.

Agency reports a 170% increase in crypto related inquiries: Japanese Consumer Affairs Agency (CAA) has claimed that the number of cryptocurrency related inquiries in the country rose by almost 170% last year. The increase is among the highest in countries around the world despite a slump from last year’s increase (450%).

Most of the requests were regarding various facets of the cryptocurrency trading and investment. Other government data shows that the cryptocurrency inquiries faced a decrease in percentage during the second half of 2018 and thus it shows a correlation with the price.

South Korea

New Responsibility imposed on Korean exchanges for user losses: The South Korean authorities have imposed new rules on cryptocurrency exchanges regarding user losses and liabilities according to report from Korean news outlet The Korean Herald.

A Fair Trade Commission has asked repeatedly hacked exchanges including Bithumb to adopt new policies to hold themselves accountable in the case of hacked funds.

Singapore

Moody ‘s throws its weight behind Singapore banks against fintech: Credit rating agency Moody’s has come all out in support of commercial banks in Singapore and is backing them against a struggle with the fintech startups mushrooming the country that seek to challenge their hegemony.

The new report titled Fintech – Singapore: Bank of the Future: Fintech threats are growing fast but large incumbents will hold their ground’ goes in depth around the topic and eventually picks its winner: the banks.

India

Libra may not be launched in India: Facebook’s flagship cryptocurrency project Libra may not be launched in India in the near future due to its issues with the topic according to a report by the Economic Times. Not just India but other countries where cryptocurrencies are officially banned will not see the addition of Libra wallets in 2020 when the project is expected to take off.

Cryptocurrencies are currently banned in India but all of that could change once the ban is lifted by the government.

Australia

Central Bank again argues against the practicality of Bitcoin: The Australian Reserve Bank is once again repeating its rhetoric that cryptocurrencies will never be used as mainstream payment options in the country.

According to a report titled ‘Cryptocurrency: Ten Years On,’ the banking regulator commemorated the tenth year of BTC’s existence while acknowledging zero faith in its future mainstream use. It clearly believes that cryptocurrencies will continue to remain a niche asset only.

Concluding, the report says:

As long as the Australian dollar continues to provide a reliable, low-inflation store of value, and the payments industry continues to work on the efficiency, functionality and resilience of the Australian payments system, it is difficult to envisage cryptocurrencies presenting a compelling proposition that would lead to their widespread use in Australia.”

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The post Asia and Australia: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 17th to 23rd June, 2019 appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Asia and Australia: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 10th to 16 June, 2019

Asia

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.

Asia and Australia

India

Indian Crypto Community Petitions Government for Regulation: In anticipation of the upcoming “Banning of Cryptocurrency & Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2019” and all the rumours and chaos surrounding it, the crypto community has started a Change.org petition titled “Implementing Regulatory Framework for Cryptoassets in India”. This is a measure to pressure the Indian government into implementing a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies as soon as possible.

The issue was also recently debated on a television show, and three Right to Information requests were also filed to back the petition. The petition asks for the definition of terms like blockchain and crypto assets, creating a regulatory sandbox for crypto assets, registering ICOs, defining KYC/AML guidelines, and updating the Foreign Exchange Management Act and the Income Tax Act.

China

Leveraged Trading Blamed for Chinese Trader Suicide: A Chinese Bitcoin trader has allegedly committed suicide after suffering a disastrous trading loss due to a highly leveraged trading position. Hui Yi, CEO and co-founder of a crypto market analysis portal BTE.TOP, lost BTC 2,000 (~USD 16.2 million) of his investors’ funds when he opted for a short position at 100x leverage.

Evidently, he miscalculated the risks as his position was immediately liquidated when the market took a swing for the worse. His death was revealed by an ex-partner when his clients started reporting about the possibility of their funds being embezzled by Yi. The considerable loss was only possible due to 100x leverage option, which offers the possibility for traders to make large profits out of small investment capital, but can also liquidate the investment if Bitcoin only moves 1% in the opposite direction the trade.

Australia:

Australian company pushes for world’s first Bitcoin ETF: An Australian accounting firm, BDO, has revealed their plans for the first ever Bitcoin (exchange-traded funds) ETF to be listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).

BDO has previously been providing services to many ASX-backed companies and will now look to expand their portfolio to auditing and assurance services for local digital assets, security tokens, ICOs, and exchanges. BDO’s Leader for Financial services, Tim Aman, expressed that this move will improve transparency and digital asset quality for institutional investors, as their auditing services will serve as a “game changer” for the industry. ETFs offer opportunities to the investors to track their assets and easier ways to hold the cryptocurrency without being concerned about the security procedures.

Philippines

Philippine Central Bank Warns of Growing Crypto Use: The Philippines central bank has expressed grave concerns about the risks of the increasing use of crypto in the country, with Benjamin Diokno, governor of the Bangko Sentral Pilipinas, revealing the formation of a regulatory body to monitor the potential crypto misuse such as in terrorism funding.

Deputy governor Diwa Guinigundo also highlighted the limitations of crypto in comparison to traditional money and how it allows users to circumvent banking regulations. Despite this mistrust and hostile campaign by the government, trades on Localbitcoins in the Philippines have been steadily increasing since January, amounting to USD 4.3 million in the last week alone.

Iran

Iran Wants to Charge Bitcoin Miners “Real Price” for Power: According to media reports, Iran might ask Bitcoin mining operators in the country to start paying the full price of electricity. Iran’s Minister of Energy, Homayoun Haeri, said in a statement that the country is now looking to remove the 1 billion USD electricity subsidy offered to crypto miners due to the current dire situation of the economy.

But, such a move might not be a wise decision, especially considering how the Iranians have found cryptocurrency as the only feasible way to circumvent the US economic sanctions. And despite a government prohibition extending to the mining and trading of crypto, these activities have continued to flourish due to the low electricity rates amounting to a mere USD 0.01 per kilowatt-hour.

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The post Asia and Australia: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 10th to 16 June, 2019 appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Asia and Australia: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 3rd June to 9th June, 2019

Asia

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.

Asia and Australia

India

Indian Lawmakers Propose an Extreme 10-Year Prison Sentence for Crypto Acquisition: Indian lawmakers have reportedly drafted a bill that imposes a 10-year prison sentence along with massive fines for people who “mine, generate, hold, sell, transfer, dispose of, issue or deal in cryptocurrencies, directly or indirectly” in the country.

The proposal is accompanied by a push for India’s official digital currency, ‘Digital Rupee’. These offences will also be deemed “cognizable and non-bailable”, and after the act is implemented, all holders will be required to declare their assets within 90 days.

India Central Bank Denies Knowledge of Crypto Ban Bill: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has denied any involvement and knowledge of the controversial cryptocurrency ban bill in India.

This was revealed during the hearing of the Rights to Information (RTI) petition filed by an Indian crypto lawyer, Varun Sethi, to RBI, in which he asked about the central bank’s role. In reply, RBI claimed that there was never “any communication received from Central Government in this matter”. RBI also added that it has neither received any copies of the draft bill and not it has held any meetings or discussions on the matter.

Privacy Coins Could Boom in India: In a defiant statement, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao claimed that if India goes ahead with the rumoured crypto ban, it would actually improve the adoption of privacy coins.

Recently there have been rumours about Indian authorities passing a bill to punish people involved in the “sale, purchase and issuance of all types” of digital assets including crypto and Bitcoin. Zhao’s claims can be backed by previous instances of people turning to privacy coins like Monero whenever Bitcoins are banned or heavily regulated. He added that such a ban could “really push privacy coin adoption forward to bypass the ban.”

Japan

2020 Olympics Eyes Blockchain to Combat Doping and Verify Authenticity of Records: The International Testing Agency (ITA) is reportedly looking to implement Blockchain as a tool against tampering of anti-doping test records in the 2020 Summer Tokyo Olympics.

ITA has forged a partnership with Blockchain firm BlockFactory to create a framework and explore possibilities of using Blockchain to prevent doping scandals within reasonable cost. In particular, the focus is on the Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE ), which allows athletes to use banned drugs under justified medical conditions. To avoid any misuse, Blockchain would be used to verify and store the medical records after approval by a panel of experts to prevent any future tampering.

Australia

Australia Targets Crypto Tax Fraud in 5 Nation Cyber Sweep: The Australian government, in collaboration with the international J5 tax authorities, is currently investigating tax avoidance schemes that are based on cryptocurrency.

This follows the announcement by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) that it is updating its database to ensure a rigorous taxation system in the country. The move will also involve collecting information from the Australian cryptocurrency designated service providers (DSPs) about all crypto transactions. The ATO is currently examining 12 cases, one of them involving a “global financial institution” under allegations of enabling taxpayers to commit possible tax avoidance fraud.

Malaysia

Malaysia Securities Commission Recognizes 3 Crypto Exchanges: The Malaysian Securities Commission (SC) has finally registered three cryptocurrency exchanges namely Luno Malaysia, Sinegy Technologies and Tokenize Technology after passing the Capital Markets and Services (Prescription of Securities) (Digital Currency and Digital Token) Order 2019.

This implies that all crypto exchanges operating in the country must register with the SC, which will then have nine months after the registration to meet all compliance requirement by the markets regulators. The authorities also claim that this move will bring clarity and protection for the consumers and will standardize crypto usage across all businesses.

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The post Asia and Australia: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 3rd June to 9th June, 2019 appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Asia and Australia: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 20th May to 26th May, 2019

Asia

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.

Asia and Australia

Iran

LocalBitcoins imposes restrictions on accounts based in Iran: As a result of the recent US-Iran tensions, LocalBitcoins has banned all its users operating from Iran.

The peer-to-peer cryptocurrency exchange saw a recent surge in the user base from the country courtesy their hassle-free account opening procedures, but it announced the ban last Friday citing “risk-based reasons” and a need for compliance with financial regulations in Finland for the decision. The exchange added that it would allow the existing customers to withdraw the bitcoins, but won’t allow any further trading.

India

India supreme court advocate offers crypto regulation ideas: CIO of Economic Times, cyber law expert, and Indian supreme court advocate NS Nappinai has offered advice on implementing cryptocurrency regulation in India.

In an interview, she said that if implemented correctly, a functioning crypto regulatory framework would help in fostering openness about crypto trading in the country. But she also warned against a “one size fits all” approach and suggested that customized regulations for specific digital assets have to be created to regulate the reporting methods while incorporating investor protection provisions.

Australia

Australian IT worker charged for crypto mining at government agency: An Australian government contractor has been arrested after allegedly abusing his position to illegally access and use government agency computer systems, according to the Sydney police.

The charges have been filed under sections 477.2 and 478.1 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 namely for “Unauthorized modification of data to cause impairment” and “Unauthorized modification of restricted data”. It was revealed in a report that just last year AUD 6.1 million was lost in various cryptocurrency scams in Australia, with around 378,000 scams spread across all sectors costing victims around AUD 489 million.

Japan

Japan regulator to inspect crypto exchanges for AML policies ahead of FATF inspection: The financial services agency (FSA) will reportedly assess Japan’s anti-money laundering policies as part of their campaign against non-compliant cryptocurrency exchanges before the inspection by Financial Action Task Force (FATF) this fall.

Given that this year’s G20 meeting will also be chaired by Japan, FSA is desperate for a better review by FATF than the last time in 2008 when the Japanese financial institutes received the lowest possible rating back due to a lack of transparency and an “insufficient legal framework”.

South Korea

South Korean Bitcoin exchanges post highest fiat influx: During the recent crypto boom, South Korea has topped the charts in accumulating bitcoin more than any other country, as revealed by CryptoCompare. The data analytics firm reported that the South Korea exchange BitHumb received USD 16 billion+ fiat money in April 2019, with their rivals, Upbit, coming second with fiat-based capital of only USD 7.5 billion during the same month.

In the same period, US-based exchanges such as Coinbase, Gemini, and Kraken only posted investments of around USD 1-5 billion each, where interestingly the fiat statistics were more or less equal among all these exchanges before the bitcoin price boom. Both BitHumb and Upbit topped the fiat-to-crypto volume in both the months February and March as well.

Samsung Pay could soon be adding cryptocurrency integration: Samsung is contemplating the integration of cryptocurrency into Samsung Pay, which currently accounts for 80% of the total digital payments in South Korea. The decision by Samsung is seen as a move for expanding its user base, with further speculation that Samsung wants to use the blockchain technology to reduce the current transaction fees.

There are also reports of Samsung exploring the possibility of launching its own blockchain network and a token on the Ethereum blockchain, thus taking over a significant share in the FinTech industry.

Laos

Lao PDR central bank gets tough on crypto: Laos has recently warned off their citizens and potential investors from buying crypto, thus following suit of their neighbour country Vietnam. The central bank of Laos’s Transaction System Management Department has recently warned commercial banks, businesses, and the general public against buying, selling, or using cryptocurrency for monetary transactions, deeming it an “illegal activity”.

The authorities claim that this ban was necessary due to a lack of checks and balances present for the regulation of cryptocurrency transactions. This warning holds for any investment activities involving cryptocurrencies, with banks put on high alert to monitor any crypto related transactions.

 

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The post Asia and Australia: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 20th May to 26th May, 2019 appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Asia and Australia: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 13 May to 19th May, 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

US-China Trade war may have fueled BTC price: The Bitcoin price index may have recently benefited from the recent barbs exchanged between China and USA as their mutual trade war intensifies. Ever since Donald Trump has announced the latest increase in tariffs, BTC price index has shot up more than 25%.

The Yuan itself is now at its lowest level in six months and apparently, Bitcoin price and the Chinese currency show an inversely proportional trend. 

India

Trade body calls for crypto regulation in Regulatory Sandbox: Indian tech and crypto lobbyists are now working in full swing to introduce industry-friendly regulations in the country with a latest effort to include crypto startups in the regulatory sandbox being constituted by the government for fintech sectors.

The second most populous nation in the world has a blanket ban on cryptocurrencies which is stifling the growth of the sector in the whole region. It is hoped that with the inclusion of crypto startups into the sandbox, more and more legitimacy will be given to the sector which will eventually result in better understanding and recognition by the government. 

Facebook’s Stablecoin will be tested in India: Facebook’s latest stablecoin project will be tested in India, the largest userbase of the social media service in the world. The reason is that there are some challenging laws that forbid the pairing of bank accounts with crypto related projects. 

It is yet to be seen how Facebook will handle the project in the country. 

Thailand

Central Bank Signs Partnership with Hong Kong for Central Bank Digital Currencies: The central banks of Thailand and UK have recently agreed on a partnership to jointly work on different projects including one on the development of Central Bank Digital Currencies. 

According to the latest development, Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and the Bank of Thailand (BoT) will work together on the project alongside each other as the decentralized sector becomes more and more appealing for the banking regulators around the world. 

Japan

IBM Country Head Talks Blockchain: The head of the IBM’s Japan blockchain operations Tsuyoshi Hirayama has expressed his views regarding blockchain technology and said that the application of blockchain technology differs on a case to case basis. 

He also welcomed increasing competition in the sector and hoped it would bring more benefit to the industry. 

South Korea

Hacked Exchange Bithumb Resumes Post Hack Operations: Bithumb, the cryptocurrency that had multiple hacks in recent history is now hoping to resume its services after months long hiatus. Only three cryptocurrencies, namely XRP, Bitcoin Cash and EOS will be allowed for trading for the time being. 

Bithumb has been working with law enforcement agencies to ensure the protection of its funds following the hacks and went on a rehabilitation program. 

In other news, the South Korean government is now looking to stop bringing cryptocurrencies under regular Anti Money Laundering Laws (AML) and is now looking to bring them under their own unique direct regulations. 

Australia

CommBank of Australia and World Bank do the First Blockchain Bond Bank Transactions: The World Bank and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (Commbank) have recently completed their first ever blockchain bond transaction. 

The banking institutions were able to record a secondary transaction for bond-i, a blockchain debt instrument based on distributed technology for this purpose. The bond was issued by the World Bank. 

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Asia and Australia: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 29th April to 5 May, 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.

Singapore

Singapore, Canada Central Banks Conduct First Cross Border Blockchain Digital Currency Exchange: The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Bank of Canada are the first central banks to employ DLT for a digital cross border payment.

MAS used the pilot payment network Project UBin to link up with its Canadian counterpart Project Jasper and conducted the first-ever cross border digital currency exchange. The project aims to lower the cost of cross-border payments while speeding up the process of transmission and reception.

Japan

Japan’s Prime Minister Commissions Cryptocurrency Handbook: In preparation for the upcoming 28 – 29 June Japan G20 Summit, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe has commissioned the formation of cryptocurrency governance manual.

This is a clear move to use the G20 summit as a launchpad for the cryptocurrency handbook concept and to accelerate cryptocurrency regulation and creation of an international plan for crypto by the developed countries. The manual touches several administrative areas, such as protections against cyber attacks, customer asset safeguards, as well as standards for information sharing.

United Arab Emirates

Dubai Bitcoin Towers Aston Plaza Project Delayed: Aston Plaza, the exuberant real estate symbol of turning blockchain and crypto into “real brick-and-mortar” assets, has been delayed after a government inspection at the site.

The USD 323 million luxury residential project was launched in 2017 and is the brainchild of high-profile U.K. entrepreneurs Baroness Michelle Mone and Doug Barrowman, but is currently only 25% complete. The construction of the two-tower complex featuring 1,133 luxury apartments is spread over 2.4 million square feet, with each flat costing between $133,000 and $379,000 in Bitcoin.

India

India moves towards full cryptocurrency ban: In a bill titled “Banning of Cryptocurrencies and Regulation of Official Digital Currencies Bill 2019”, the government of India along with Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Central Board of Direct Taxes, Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs and the Investor Education and Protection Fund Authority are looking to ban all crypto related activities in the country. The bill will possibly be presented after the national elections are concluded in May.

South Korea

South Korean Banks Bet Big on Blockchain: South Korea’s largest commercial banks are showing more and more confidence in the blockchain investment, with the likes of IBK Bank collaborating with public blockchain providers like Terra to manage a blockchain-based payment system.

Terra is founded by Korea’s biggest e-commerce platforms, TMON, which last year also made a business deal with the Kakako Group’s Ground X blockchain partner. The partnership is aimed to develop “payment services to help consumers experience a wide range of financial products and services.”

Australia

Australian Taxation Office to Tighten Tracking of Crypto Ownership: The taxation system for the cryptocurrency holders has been beefed by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) as they will now also collect information from the cryptocurrency designated service providers (DSPs) related to crypto purchases and sales.

This is a follow up of the crypto tax relief in 2018 when ATO pointed towards the need for more input for the cryptocurrency tax obligations. ATO adds that about 500,000 to 1 million Australians feel at risk when paying taxes particularly related to “unexplained wealth and undeclared taxable capital gains” like cryptocurrency.

Australian Labor Party Unveils Plans for National Blockchain Academy: In a bid to capture tech-savvy voters, the Australian opposition Labor Party has revealed their plans to establish a national blockchain academy in Perth, Western Australia, if it is elected into power in the next general election. Ed Husic, Labor party’s shadow minister, announced the AUD 3 million (USD 1.5 million) investment and termed it as a move to connect Perth with other crypto friendly cities like Singapore.

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Asia and Australia: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 15th to 21st April, 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

Chinese Firm Mines Bitcoin Secretly, End up Losing USD 23 Million: After suffering colossal losses of USD 23M due to secret crypto mining activities, a Chinese construction company, Huatie, has sold off its subsidiary, Huatie HengAn, at merely 10% of the original valuation. The subsidiary was sold for USD 2M, after being valued at USD 25M only a year ago. Huatie HengAn allegedly bought 36,500 pieces of hardware listed as “servers” from manufacturers Canaan and Ebang and allegedly used them for mining crypto instead of construction.

South Korea

South Korea Banks to Open Payment Network to Fintech Firms by December 2019: In a bid to encourage swift adoption of crypto technologies, Banks in South Korea have agreed to open their payment networks for all fintech firms by December this year. Currently, the payment networks are only accessible by the banks themselves, but this initiative will lead to as much as 10 times lower charges for database access by the fintech firms. The action will also allow the customers to access all their banking accounts using a single application and make payments.

Ex-Top 3 South Korea Exchange Closes Shop: Once standing amongst Korea’s top 3 exchanges, Coinnest has announced the cessation of all operations in South Korea, blaming lowered demand for trading and hostile regulations for the demise. The website displayed notice announcing the discontinuation of activities this week and asked all users to withdraw their funds before the 1st of May 2019. The company has lowered withdrawal fees and the minimum threshold permissible to simplify the outflux.

Japan

Japan Regulator Urges Improved Security for Offline Crypto Custody: The Japanese cryptocurrency exchanges will be required to beef up the security of their cold wallet storages, as per a Reuters report. The report states that the Financial Services Agency (FSA), the Japanese financial regulator, has concerns about the security levels of some exchanges and has warned them about the potential risks of internal thefts from the cold wallets. The proposed solution involves having multiple people in charge of the cold wallet while being placed on rotational shifts.

Thailand

“Bitcoin Girl Thailand” on the Run From Thai Navy after Seastead Debacle: The Bitcoin Girl Thailand, Supranee Thepdet, with her boyfriend and American Bitcoin investor Chad Elwartowski are apparently on the run after being accused of violating Thailand’s national security, a charge that could carry lead to even a death sentence. The fiasco began after the couple constructed their unique waterbody home known as a “seastead” in international waters, located 12 nautical miles from the shoreline of Thailand’s tourist island. The army insists that the couple “did not seek permission from Thailand” and are now looking to remove the USD 150,000 seastead from the water citing danger to shipping.

India

RBI Sandbox to Promote Fintech, Blockchain, Excludes Crypto: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has issued a ‘Draft Enabling Framework for Regulatory Sandbox,’ that will provide a requirements guideline for the ever-expanding fintech sector in India. This is the result of a committee titled Inter-Regulatory Working Group on FinTech and Digital Banking in India set up in 2016 which was tasked to assess the implications of fintech on the country’s economy and provide an appropriate regulatory framework.

India Retail Payments Corp Considers Blockchain: The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has announced that it will use highly scalable blockchain solutions to improve accessibility and reliability of digital payments in the country while aiming to create the “best payment network globally”. NPCI stated that they intend to develop a highly scalable blockchain solution using an open source technology, that would enable bidders to propose solutions for a DLT application in payments.

Australia

Australia’s First Government-Funded Blockchain Incubator Gets One Up on State Rivals: South Australia’s first crypto lab has just received government funding and now hopes to catch up with other states such as New South Wales and Victoria. The new lab, set to open in September has been awarded AUD 170,00 as part of the Federal Government funding that will allow 10 blockchain startups to create a workspace and hire mentoring services. South Australia is fast catching up with its state neighbours, especially after the ADC Global Blockchain Summit last month.

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The post Asia and Australia: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 15th to 21st April, 2019 appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Asia and Australia: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 31st March to 6th April, 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.

Australia

Australian Primary School Creating Mini Crypto Entrepreneurs: Australia’s Wooranna Park Primary School has started its own blockchain course and has even created its own cryptocurrency. The Victorian state school’s crypto program is run by the educational technologist Keiran Nolan and is the result of five years of curriculum planning in collaboration with Victoria’s Melbourne Blockchain Centre.

The course is now available for all students from pre-primary to year 6, with each classroom set up with a Steemit node to create ‘Immutable Authenticated Reporting’; meaning that students’ work is saved using the Steemit blockchain. The school’s Minecraft server is stored using FTP on the Storj.io blockchain, and it has even created their own cryptocurrency called Woorannacoin, which was originally a voting system for students, but now has been converted into “a learning tool on how creating one’s own currency”.

Cambodia

National Bank of Cambodia Pushes to Claim First Place in Blockchain Race: AWorld Economic Forum (WEF) report has revealed the National Bank of Cambodia as the frontrunner in becoming the first central bank around the globe to utilize blockchain technology. DLT was piloted first in 2017, and now the South East Asian country looks to deploy a blockchain payment system to turn around their currently fragmented domestic payment system. The WEF has noted that Cambodia is not alone as more than 40 other banks are now looking to rely on blockchain technology to improve their operating procedures.

Japan

Japanese Crypto Unicorn Tops $1 Billion Valuation: Breaking the USD 1 billion valuation barrier, a Japanese startup, Liquid Group Inc, has achieved the coveted and highly exclusive “Unicorn” status. The Tokyo-based crypto startup announced the feat on Wednesday, stating that it crossed the USD 1 billion valuation after securing funds from venture funders IDG Capital and crypto mining giant Bitmain Technologies Ltd.

The company raised around USD 50 million in its ongoing funding round, with the co-founders Mike Kayamori and Mario Gomez Lozada initially raising over USD 20 million in previous rounds through investors like Jafco Co and another USD 100 million through an ICO in 2017.

North Korea

North Korea’s Unlikely Relationship with Crypto: North Korea has made a reputation in the crypto industry, allegedly including includes shady operations like their government-led team of hackers, APT 38, targeting a host of online banks and cryptocurrency exchanges as well as establishing cryptocurrency scams to loot the investors.

It is also reported that nearly all of the funds stolen have been moved into the DPRK’s missile and nuclear development program. But there have been reports of resistance as well, such as the North Korean dissident group, Cheollima Civil Defense (CCD), devising an innovative way to bypass the travel sanctions and selling 200,000 visas on the Ethereum blockchain, which are valid for use once the country gets rid of Jong-un. The project claims that the money collected will be invested to bring the dictator down from power. So far, it has raised the CCD around USD 14,000, with the 100th visa being sold last week.

South Korea

Two South Korean Unis to Create Blockchain Campus: South Korea’s two finest institutions, Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) and Yonsei University, have joined hands to create a combined blockchain campus that will induct students from both universities.

The campus will focus on blockchain research other than creating specialised curriculums and establishing a connection with entrepreneurial programs. POSTECH will also create a blockchain-based group intelligence knowledge sharing system called Engram and a voting survey system titled ‘Voting for students’. There will also be a reward system using a cryptocurrency called Neurons that could even be used at university cafeterias.

China

Despite Crypto Ban, China Leads Rest of the World in Blockchain Development: Although there has been a strict ban on crypto activities in China, it is still the leading breeding ground for blockchain technology, contributing as much as 25% in a particular niche of blockchain projects.

According to Beijing-based data provider Blockdata, China is leading the world in new blockchain projects, contributing to 263 progressive projects ranging from the financial services to logistics, public services, healthcare, supply chains, and smart manufacturing.

 

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The post Asia and Australia: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 31st March to 6th April, 2019 appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Asia and Australia: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 23rd February to 2nd March 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.

South Korea

ICONLOOP Denies That It Is Looking to Undertake an Ipo: Rumors concerning the launch of ICON’s Initial Public Offering (IPO) have been denied by ICONLOOP (South Korean company developing ICON).

Previously, a local media house reported that an anonymous source from the banking sector confirmed ICONLOOP’s plan to get listed on Korea Exchange by 2020. Moreover, Mirae Asset Daewoo Co. (a brokerage firm) was requested by ICONLOOP to lead the efforts of an IPO. The said news immediately gave rise to these rumors.

Singapore

Singapore’s GIC May Have Funded Coinbase, Says Report: Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte. may be involved in funding Coinbase, reports Bloomberg. According to various sources, Coinbase received around USD 300 million in terms of funding. In October 2018, against all the odds, Coinbase’s funding round gave it a valuation of USD 8 billion. However, both the parties have refrained from commenting on the matter.

Ranging from government bonds to private equity, GIC has a diverse investment portfolio. Reportedly, GIC has invested in over 40 countries and has a worth of over USD 100 billion.

Thailand

Thai Securities and Exchange Commission Updates the List of Approved Digital Assets: The list of approved digital assets that can be used as base trading pairs and in initial coin offerings (ICOs) has been expanded by Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), notes an official statement.

The updated list now includes Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum Classic (ETC) and Litecoin (LTC). However, the said list already consists of Ethereum (ETH), Stellar (XLM), Bitcoin (BTC) and Ripple (XRP). All the digital assets present in this list can be used in compliance with Thailand’s national regulations. Nevertheless, none of the listed currencies can be used as legal tender, clarified SEC.

India

Supreme Court of India Orders the Union of India to Finalize Crypto Regulations: The Union of India has been ordered by the Supreme Court of India to present a regulatory framework for the crypto sector within four weeks. In case the Union is unable to present the framework, the Court will be prompted to come up with its own decision.  Moreover, the Supreme Court has refused to hear any case until a proper regulatory framework has been worked out.

Advocate Vijay Pal Dalmia (earliest petitioner in the case) maintained that the Union of India has been given the last opportunity to regulate the crypto sector.

Japan

Japanese Tech Giants to Launch Tamper-Free Education Certificates: Sony and Fujitsu will join hands in order to provide tamper-free education certificates backed by blockchain technology, announced Sony.

A field trial has been launched by Sony Global Education and Fujitsu Research Institute to evaluate the feasibility of using blockchain technology in order to manage exam grades and course records. Moreover, Human Academy (serving foreign students) will be a part of the said trial.

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