Asia's weekly TOP10 crypto news (Feb 12 to Feb 18)
Colin Wu . 2024-02-18 . Data

1. Japan’s Weekly Summary

1.1 Japan’s Financial Services Agency Urges Financial Institutions to Strengthen Monitoring of “Illegal” Cryptocurrency Transfers link

The Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA) is encouraging financial institutions in the country to strengthen monitoring of “illegal” transfers to cryptocurrency trading platforms. The National Police Agency in Japan has analyzed and concluded that fraudulent activities causing losses related to illegal transfers primarily involve the use of cryptocurrency transfers. The FSA advises financial institutions to cease transfers to cryptocurrency trading platforms if the sender’s name differs from the account name.

1.2 Bitcoin Hits Historic High Against Japanese Yen, Reaching ¥7.9 Million per Coin link

Bitcoin reached a historic high of 7.9 million yen on the Japanese cryptocurrency exchange bitFLYER this Monday. In comparison, the price of Bitcoin in terms of US dollars stood at $52,000, marking a 32% difference from its all-time high of $69,000 in November 2021. This price differential reflects the pressure faced by the Japanese yen due to the Bank of Japan’s (BOJ) continued loose monetary policy and inflation resurgence. Japan’s core inflation surged by 3.1% in 2023, marking the highest increase since 1982, while the yen depreciated by 8% in 2023.

2. South Korean Regulatory Body Plans to Prevent Unqualified Cryptocurrency Exchanges from Accessing the Korean Won Market link

The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) under the South Korean Financial Services Commission has announced its 2024 work plan, aiming to prevent unqualified virtual asset exchanges from entering the Korean won market and strengthen report screening and anti-money laundering (AML) checks. In the first half of the year, the FIU will conduct preliminary reviews, considering money laundering risks, market operational capabilities, user protection, and other aspects. In the second half of the year, it will undertake thorough purges to expel unqualified virtual asset business operators. Additionally, the FIU plans to enhance business reporting requirements by revising the Specific Financial Information Act in the first half of the year to prevent unqualified virtual asset business operators from entering the market.

3. Indonesia Elects Presidential Team Supporting Cryptocurrency link

Indonesia has elected a presidential team supportive of cryptocurrency. Former Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto and his running mate Gibran Rakabuming Raka will serve as the next president and vice president. They secured nearly 60% of the votes and are expected to take office in October. This signifies Indonesia’s continued pursuit of cryptocurrency-friendly policies. Prabowo has stated that his team will strengthen regulatory oversight on tax compliance for stock and cryptocurrency traders.

4. Hong Kong’s Weekly Summary

4.1 Crimes Involving New Technologies such as Virtual Currencies are Not Mainstream in Hong Kong link

Hong Kong Independent Commission Against Corruption Commissioner Woo Ying-ming Danny, in an interview, expressed vigilance towards the potential misuse of new technologies for criminal activities, such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, or virtual currencies. He mentioned that while these cases are not currently mainstream in Hong Kong, they will be addressed by referencing the experiences of other countries or regions.

4.2 Hong Kong Police Have Developed Tracking Technology for Virtual Asset Transactions to Expedite Interception of Scams link

Hong Kong Police Commissioner Raymond Siu Chak-yee stated that the Hong Kong Police Force has developed its own tracking technology for virtual asset transactions to expedite the interception of scams. He emphasized that many virtual assets involve complex fund flows through various wallets, and the goal is to quickly identify these flows through analytical systems for swift interception. Commissioner Siu also stressed the importance of citizens enhancing their awareness of fraud prevention, including downloading the police’s anti-fraud application.

5. Ethiopia Collaborates with Hong Kong’s West Data Group on a $250 Million Project link

The state-owned Ethiopian Investment Holding Group has signed a memorandum of understanding with Data Center Service, a subsidiary of Hong Kong’s West Data Group, for a project valued at $250 million. The collaboration aims to establish cutting-edge infrastructure for Bitcoin mining and artificial intelligence training. Previously, mining service provider Luxor Technology estimated that Ethiopia has become one of the largest recipients of Bitcoin mining machines globally.

6. US Treasury Official: Hamas Uses Cryptocurrencies for Very Limited Funding link

Brian Nelson, the Deputy Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, testified on Wednesday that the terrorist organization Hamas receives minimal support in the realm of digital assets, contrary to earlier reports of it receiving millions of dollars in cryptocurrency. “Frankly, terrorists still prefer to use traditional products and services,” Nelson stated.

7. MEXC Exchange Bans Numerous Users from Mainland China Without KYC Verification link

MEXC Exchange has recently started to mass ban users from mainland China who do not complete Know Your Customer (KYC) verification, allowing only contract closure and withdrawal permissions for those who are banned. Earlier, platforms like Bybit and KuCoin also implemented similar strategies.

8. Aptos Foundation Announces Collaboration with Web3 App Jambo to Launch JamboPhone link

The Aptos Foundation has announced a joint venture with the Web3 app Jambo to introduce the JamboPhone, priced at $99. It comes preloaded with the Aptos ecosystem wallet Petra and JamboApp, providing direct access to the Aptos ecosystem and other ecosystems. Currently available in over 40 countries/regions, it aims to enable digital economies for users in Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America.

9. Com2uS Announces Collaboration with Oasys to Develop Web3 Games for the Japanese Market link

South Korea’s largest mobile game developer, Com2uS, has announced a collaboration with the Oasys blockchain project to strengthen its Web3 gaming infrastructure and expand into the Japanese market. This partnership is expected to launch two Web3 games based on globally renowned IPs, including “Summoners War: Chronicle” and “The Walking Dead: All-Stars.” Oasys has previously collaborated with SoftBank, Sega, and Ubisoft.

10. Zhu Xiaohu: Bullish on AI Chips and Bitcoin-Related Stocks in 2024 link

Venture capitalist Zhu Xiaohu of GGV Capital posted on social media, stating: “The most reliable investments in 2024 are AI chips and Bitcoin-related stocks: mining machines > MSTR > Coin > BTC.” Zhu Xiaohu previously purchased Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFTs in April 2022, participated in STPEN’s running-to-earn-money project in May, and expressed his intention to return to China and invest in crypto in January 2023 on his social media circle.

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