Asia's weekly TOP10 crypto news (Mar 11 to Mar 17)
Colin Wu . 2024-03-17 . Data

1. South Korea’s Weekly Summary

1.1 Cryptocurrency Exchange Trading Volume in South Korea Surpasses Stock Market link

On March 10th, the trading volume on South Korean cryptocurrency exchanges reached a record-breaking 11.8 trillion Korean won (approximately $90 billion), surpassing the trading volume of the South Korean stock market. By the close of trading on Friday, the trading volume reached 11.47 trillion Korean won ($87 billion). The top five exchanges in South Korea by trading volume were Upbit with 8.8 trillion Korean won, Bithumb with 2.7 trillion Korean won, Coinone with 1.764 trillion Korean won, Gopax with 552 billion Korean won, and Coinone with 320 billion Korean won.

1.2 South Korea’s National Tax Service to Establish Comprehensive Virtual Asset Management System link

The National Tax Service of South Korea is planning to establish a comprehensive virtual asset management system to prevent users from evading taxes using virtual assets and to achieve fair taxation. At the end of February, the tax authority selected GTIC as the leading company for the project of the virtual asset comprehensive management system and initiated a consultation process lasting approximately four months. The system aims to effectively analyze and manage the information collected from mandatory submission of virtual asset transaction records. Based on the consultation results, proposals for system construction will be distributed, with plans for the system to be operational by 2025.

1.3 South Korea’s Personal Information Protection Commission Investigates Worldcoin link

The Korean Personal Information Protection Commission is currently investigating Worldcoin, and Worldcoin has stated that it welcomes the regulatory investigation in South Korea. Earlier, on March 4th, the Korean Personal Information Protection Commission announced that it was investigating whether Worldcoin’s method of collecting iris information complies with regulations. If any illegal activities are found, appropriate measures will be taken in accordance with relevant laws and regulations.

2. Hong Kong’s Weekly Summary

2.1 Hong Kong Monetary Authority Introduces Stablecoin Issuer “Sandbox” link

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has announced the launch of a stablecoin issuer sandbox in response to consultation on proposed legislation for regulating stablecoin issuers. Through this sandbox initiative, the HKMA aims to communicate regulatory expectations to institutions interested in issuing fiat-backed stablecoins in Hong Kong and gather feedback from participants on the proposed regulatory requirements. Applicants are required to demonstrate genuine intentions and a reasonable plan to develop stablecoin issuance businesses in Hong Kong, while proposed operations under the sandbox will be conducted within a limited scope and with manageable risks.

2.2 Hong Kong’s First Batch of Listed Bitcoin ETFs Expected to Be Less Than 11 link

According to HashKey Exchange CEO, Livio, given that the United States has authorized trading for 11 Bitcoin spot ETFs, it is anticipated that the initial number of ETFs listed in Hong Kong may be fewer than this figure. Discussions and preparations for an Ethereum spot ETF in Hong Kong are underway, with the potential for Hong Kong to transition from a follower to a leader if such products can be launched earlier than in the United States. Earlier reports indicated that 10 financial institutions are planning to apply for approval to launch Bitcoin spot ETFs in Hong Kong.

3. Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Enacts New Digital Assets Law link

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has enacted new legislation regarding digital assets. Effective as of March 8th, this law aims to ensure that the DIFC keeps pace with technological developments and provides legal clarity for investors and users of digital assets. It is reported to be comprehensive legislation that delineates the legal characteristics of digital assets under property law and specifies how stakeholders can control, transfer, and manage digital assets.

4. The Mainland of China’s Weekly Summary

4.1 Chengdu Police Warn Against Criminals Using Public Security Authorities’ Handling of Virtual Currency as Pretext for Illegal Activities link

The official public security account in Chengdu recently reported that during their recent operations, they discovered instances where criminals and intermediary agencies falsely claimed to have connections with public security authorities, even going as far as forging signatures of public security officials and fabricating fake contracts for handling virtual currency cases. These fraudulent activities were aimed at deceiving third-party companies or individuals into paying deposits or “operational funds” as part of scams. The police department issued a warning, stating that virtual currencies seized during the investigation of criminal cases by public security authorities are handled strictly in accordance with the Criminal Procedure Law and relevant procedural regulations. After the investigation concludes, the virtual currencies are transferred to the procuratorate and eventually disposed of by the people’s court according to the law.

4.2 National Committee Member Yuan Xiaobin: Exploration of Cryptocurrencies Related to Technological Innovation Should Be Conducted link

The official WeChat account of the Supreme People’s Court mentioned in an article that during the Two Sessions, Yuan Xiaobin, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and chairman of the management committee of Zhonghao Law Firm, suggested clarifying the relationship between digital currency, cash, and deposit currency, establishing smooth mechanisms for free exchange, and corresponding procedures, and ensuring compatibility among different currencies and exchange processes. Additionally, it was recommended to explore cryptocurrencies related to technological innovation. Furthermore, Dong Jin, a National People’s Congress (NPC) deputy and director of the National Blockchain Technology Innovation Center, suggested accelerating the legislation related to emerging technologies such as blockchain, effectively preventing and resolving risks during the development of technology, providing clearer legal guidance and policy environment for enterprises and individuals, and leading the healthy and high-quality development of the digital economy.

5. Thailand’s Weekly Summary

5.1 Thai Cabinet Approves Tax Exemption for Cryptocurrency Profits on Tuesday link

Local media in Thailand reported that the Thai Cabinet approved a tax exemption on cryptocurrency profits on Tuesday, aiming to encourage fundraising through token investments. The decision reflects an acknowledgment of the significance of investing in digital tokens, which will serve as another tool for domestic business operators to raise funds. Under this exemption, investors holding investment tokens who have already had 15% capital gains tax withheld will not need to include these profits when calculating their income tax, effectively putting an end to double taxation.

5.2 Thai SEC Allows Launch of Private Funds Investing in US Bitcoin Spot ETFs link

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand has amended its regulations to allow the launch of private funds investing in exchange-traded Bitcoin spot ETFs in the United States. However, only institutional investors and “ultra-high net worth individuals” are eligible to invest in these private Bitcoin ETF funds. With the approval of spot Bitcoin ETF trading by the US SEC, spot Bitcoin ETFs are now classified as securities rather than digital assets, enabling Thai securities firms to invest in them.

6. OKX Singapore Subsidiary Receives Conditional Approval for Major Payment Institution License from Monetary Authority of Singapore link

OKX has announced that its subsidiary in Singapore has received in-principle approval for a major payment institution license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). This preliminary approval brings OKX closer to its goal of providing digital payment token services in the city-state. Upon obtaining the full license from MAS, OKX will be permitted to offer digital payment token services and cross-border transfer services in Singapore. MAS has previously granted full licenses to, Circle, Coinbase, and Ripple.

7. Mudrex to Offer US Bitcoin ETF to Indian Investors link

The cryptocurrency investment platform Mudrex will offer US Bitcoin ETFs to institutional and retail investors in India, initially listing spot ETFs from companies such as BlackRock, Fidelity, and Franklin Templeton. Headquartered in California, USA, Mudrex is backed by Y-Combinator and operates a subsidiary registered with India’s financial regulatory department.

8. Classic MMORPG Game “MapleStory” to Launch Web3 Version Based on Avalanche link

The South Korean game publisher Nexon Group has announced that its classic MMORPG game “MapleStory” will launch a Web3 version based on Avalanche. In collaboration with Ava Labs, “MapleStory Universe” aims to provide players with a new experience based on Web3, with NFTs at the core of its value ecosystem. “MapleStory” boasts a 20-year history and has accumulated over 180 million users globally.

9. Nearly 20 Million Chinese Internet Elites Engage in Web3 Entrepreneurship Wave link

Folius Ventures announced that the 15–20 million strong elite group of Chinese internet professionals is emerging as a formidable support for Chinese entrepreneurs in the Web3 arena. It is expected that within the next 3 years, this group will see 1–2 top-tier teams entering the Web3 entrepreneurship wave every week. The Web3 infrastructure has matured sufficiently, with significant improvements in transaction costs, accessibility, development, modular solutions, and economic model design. In the next 12 to 18 months, there may emerge some profoundly impactful applications.

10. LTP and Gate to Co-host Liquidity2024 Institutional Digital Assets Annual Summit link

LTP and Gate will jointly host the Liquidity2024 Institutional Digital Assets Annual Summit, scheduled to take place on April 5th in Hong Kong. This summit will focus on the compliance of professional trading in digital assets and its integration with traditional finance.

“Liquidity2024” serves as a premier annual event in the global digital asset field, aiming to build a platform dedicated to professional trading. This summit is specifically tailored for trading institutions, asset management companies, exchanges, custodians, banks, service providers, and regulatory bodies, offering the latest information, technological innovations, regulatory dynamics, market trends, as well as sharing strategies and practical experiences.

“Liquidity2024” will delve into key topics shaping institutional digital asset management, including the impact of BTC halving and spot ETFs on buyers, strategies to enhance liquidity and capital efficiency, progress in institutional infrastructure (such as custody and banking services), the potential of tokenization and RWA, and the evolving landscape of institutional CeFi and DeFi trading infrastructure.

Expected attendees include Mr. Thomas Kwok, Legislative Councilor of Hong Kong, Mr. Wang Yang, Dean of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Mr. Gerald Goh, Co-Founder and CEO of Sygnum Singapore, Mr. Jamil Nazarali, CEO of EDX, Ms. Clara Chiu, Founder and CEO of QReg Advisory (former SFC), Ms. Joy Lam, Chief Legal Officer of Binance, Mr. Donald Day, COO of VDX, Ms. Giselle Lai, Deputy Chief Investment Officer of Fidelity International, Mr. Jack Yang, Founder and CEO of LTP, Mr. Kevin Lee, CEO of Gate.HK, and other distinguished guests.

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