Asia's weekly TOP10 crypto news (Dec 4 to Dec 10)
Colin Wu . 2023-12-10 . Data

Editor:Colin Wu

1. Hong Kong’s Weekly Summary

1.1 Hong Kong Financial Secretary Paul Chan: Government Will Subject Blockchain Financial Innovation Businesses to Appropriate Regulation link

On December 7th, the Financial Secretary of Hong Kong, Paul Chan Mo-po, stated that blockchain technology is a crucial means to promote the development of financial innovation. However, he also acknowledged the associated risks. The government’s approach is to place such businesses under appropriate regulations to protect investors and financial security, preventing financial risks from spreading to mainland China.

1.2 Hong Kong Monetary Authority Prepares for the Issuance of a Second Tokenized Green Bond and Initiates Related Research link

On December 6th, Eddie Yue Wai-man, the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), announced that the HKMA and the government plan to co-organize a “Green Finance Week” in February next year. Additionally, the HKMA is preparing to issue its second tokenized green bond, expected to be launched in the coming months. The HKMA is exploring the use of blockchain technology for the redemption process to enhance operational efficiency. Moreover, they are studying the integration of blockchain and the Internet of Things (IoT) into tokenized green bonds to provide bondholders with a clear understanding of the green projects they invest in, their development progress, and the environmental impact. Yue also revealed that Hong Kong’s green bond and loan market, which raised nearly USD 11 billion two years ago, has now increased to USD 80 billion.

1.3 Victory Securities in Hong Kong and EMC Labs Launch the Victory EMC BTC Cycle Fund, Approved by the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission link

Hong Kong Victory Securities and EMC Labs jointly announced that their compliant Bitcoin fund, the Victory EMC BTC Cycle Fund, has received approval from the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission for market entry. The fund is targeted at qualified professional investors and employs data mining and industry research to actively manage Bitcoin in a cyclical manner. This fund is currently the only virtual asset fund in Hong Kong approved by the Securities and Futures Commission that can accept stablecoin subscriptions.

1.4 Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong: Allegations of Virtual Asset Fraud Involving HongKongDAO and BitCuped link

On December 6th, the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission issued a warning to the public regarding suspected fraudulent activities related to virtual assets. The entities involved operated under the names “Hong Kong Digital Research Institute” or “HongKongDAO” and “BitCuped.” The Hong Kong Police Force has taken action to block the websites of HongKongDAO and BitCuped at the request of the Securities and Futures Commission. The commission has also issued termination and cessation letters to the operators of the relevant websites, instructing them to cease providing purchase services for a token issued by HongKongDAO.

2. Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong Shyun Tsai: Singapore and China to Strengthen Personnel Exchange Through a 30-Day Visa-Free Arrangement link

According to The Straits Times, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Lawrence Wong Shyun Tsai revealed during a meeting that, with the continuous increase in flights between Singapore and China, both sides will enhance mutual people-to-people exchanges through a 30-day reciprocal visa-free arrangement. The specific details and restrictions of Singapore’s visa-free policy for China are currently uncertain. There are concerns among observers that, being a higher-income developed country, Singapore may face potential worries about Chinese individuals coming to Singapore for illicit employment after the visa-free arrangement.

3. Kazakhstan Imposes Lockdown on 980 Unlicensed Cryptocurrency Exchanges in 2023 link

In 2023, the Financial Monitoring Agency (FMA) of Kazakhstan blocked 980 cryptocurrency exchanges that were not properly registered to provide services to citizens of the country. Additionally, 9 investigations were initiated into “illegal trading operations” and money laundering activities. The Ministry of Culture and Information of Kazakhstan had previously blocked the Coinbase website in November. Currently, platforms such as Binance, Bybit, CaspianEx, Biteeu, ATAIX, Upbit, and Xignal&MT are allowed to operate in the country.

4. Henan Xichuan Procuratorate Reveals Large-Scale Virtual Currency Pyramid Scheme Involving Over 1.2 Billion link

According to Zhengyi Net, the Xichuan County Procuratorate in Henan Province disclosed a large-scale pyramid scheme case involving virtual currency. The case was orchestrated by Wang, who established the “Red Bull Decentralized Exchange” website and corresponding Red Bull Coin App through customized software, conducting pyramid schemes under the guise of “blockchain” and “virtual currency.” Within a short year, the group recruited 2,128 members, and the involved amount exceeded over 120 million yuan. The Intermediate People’s Court of Nanyang City in Henan Province ultimately sentenced the main offender, Wang, to five years and nine months in prison for organizing and leading pyramid schemes, along with a fine of 500,000 yuan.

5. Binance Withdraws License Application for Abu Dhabi Investment Fund link

Binance’s investment firm, BV Investment Management, has withdrawn its license application from the Abu Dhabi financial regulator. According to the regulator’s website, Binance submitted the application a year ago and withdrew it on November 7th of this year. The license would have allowed Binance’s subsidiary to manage a collective investment fund. A spokesperson for Binance stated that the decision to withdraw the license application is “unrelated” to the settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice.

On December 10, Binance Labs clarified media confusion regarding the revocation of the Abu Dhabi license, stating that it is unrelated to Binance Exchange. The license was intended for managing funds raised from limited partners (LPs), but Binance Labs decided to focus on incubating early-stage founders and startups, resulting in lower fund utilization. Therefore, they opted to return the funds to LPs and cancel the license, as it was no longer needed. Earlier reports from Reuters mentioned that Binance’s investment subsidiary, BV Investment Management, withdrew its license application from the Abu Dhabi Financial Services Regulatory Authority. A Binance spokesperson clarified that the decision to withdraw the license application was unrelated to the settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice.

6. Indian Venture Capital Fund IAN Alpha Fund Raises $42 Million, to Invest in Web3 and Metaverse link

According to a report by DealStreetAsia, the Indian seed and early-stage investment platform, India Angel Network, has successfully raised $42 million for its second fund, IAN Alpha Fund. Investors in the fund include SIDBI, SRI Funds, and IAN Fund I. The fund will explore opportunities in various sectors, including fintech, Web3, metaverse, and Industry 4.0. India Angel Network has currently invested in over 250 startups, totaling INR 9,000 crores (approximately $989 million), with a combined valuation exceeding $9 billion.

7. Wanxiang Trust Faces Delays in Dozens of Products, Accumulated Amount Potentially Reaching Billions link

According to a report by 21st Century Business Herald, Wanxiang Trust is facing delays in as many as dozens of its products, with a cumulative amount potentially reaching billions. The delayed products involve various sectors, including government credit projects and real estate ventures. Several projects in government credit are directed towards locations such as Duyun in Guizhou, while real estate projects involve companies like JiaZuoYe and Jinke. The significant concern arises from Wanxiang Trust’s 2022 asset distribution, with an alarming 58.4% concentration in the real estate industry.

8. Shenzhen Xidi Technology Co., Ltd.’s ChiNext IPO Review Status Changes to ‘Terminated’ link

On December 8th, the official website of the Shenzhen Stock Exchange showed that the review status of Shenzhen Xidi Technology Co., Ltd.’s ChiNext IPO had changed to “terminated.” The Shenzhen Stock Exchange conducted a key inquiry into whether the company’s products involved “mining machines.” From 2021 to 2022, Xidi Technology’s LoRa gateway achieved sales revenues of 224 million yuan and 274 million yuan, respectively. Its LoRa gateway products are mainly used in the Helium Network in the United States. Pan Hao is the actual controlling shareholder of the company, holding a combined direct and indirect stake with 56.72% of the voting rights.

9. Cryptocurrency Mining Firm Phoenix Group Completes $371 Million IPO on Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) link

Crypto mining firm Phoenix Group completed a $371 million IPO on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) and saw a 50% increase on the first day of trading, with an oversubscription of 33 times. This IPO marks the first listing related to a crypto company in the Middle East. The largest business group in Abu Dhabi, International Holding Co., controlled by a key member of the royal family, purchased 10% of Phoenix’s shares in early October.

10. Do Kwon Appeals Extradition Decision to the Court link

According to the South Korean media outlet Digitalasset, Do Kwon has appealed the extradition decision made by the Higher Court in Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro. Do Kwon stated, “I cannot accept the extradition decision, so I am objecting to the court’s ruling.” With Do Kwon filing an appeal, the appellate court must review the extradition decision against him. Local sources believe the likelihood of overturning the court’s extradition decision is very small. Earlier, on November 24, the Podgorica court in Montenegro approved the extradition of Terra founder Do Kwon to either South Korea or the United States. According to WSJ, senior Montenegrin judicial officials privately indicated that Do Kwon would be extradited to the United States rather than South Korea.

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