Asia's weekly TOP10 crypto news (Jun 24 to Jun 30)
Colin Wu . 2024-06-30 . Data

1. Hong Kong Regulatory News This Week

1.1 Hong Kong Virtual Asset Trading Platform License Transition Period Ends, Platforms like Binance Still Not Fully Withdrawn link

According to Hong Kong 01, the transition period for virtual asset trading platforms in Hong Kong has ended nearly a month ago, yet some international platforms remain operational, relying solely on a popup declaration to maintain a presence. Hong Kong 01's testing revealed that major international platforms such as Binance, OKX, and Bybit are still operational. It was found that Binance continues to operate, allowing new account registrations with local IP addresses and Hong Kong identity cards. Additionally, while some platforms do not accept Hong Kong residents, they allow registration with Mainland Chinese identity cards from Hong Kong. OKX, for instance, restricts selecting Hong Kong as an address but permits registration with Mainland Chinese addresses, supports Mainland Chinese ID verification, and allows registration using Hong Kong IP addresses.

1.2 HashKey CEO: Aims to Attract 400,000 Coders from Mainland China to Hong Kong link

At the HashKey New Horizon Phase 1 event on June 26, CEO Livio Weng expressed a desire to attract 400,000 developers from Mainland China to Hong Kong, aiming to bolster Hong Kong's position as a financial center. He noted that May marked the first monthly profit in HashKey Group's history. Currently, client assets have surpassed HK$4 billion, with cumulative trading volume reaching HK$450 billion.

2. Dubai Financial Services Authority President: Introduces Two Digital Asset Frameworks to Attract Global Web3 Enterprises link

In an interview with Hong Kong's Wen Wei Po, Ian Johnston, the President of the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), outlined efforts to attract global Web3 enterprises by customizing two comprehensive digital asset regimes. The first regime, introduced in 2021, focuses on investment tokens (tokenized assets), while the second regime, launched in 2022, addresses cryptographic tokens (cryptocurrencies and stablecoins). These regimes clarify regulatory expectations, provide market certainty, and promote the vibrant development of virtual assets in Dubai. Additionally, DFSA has implemented an Innovation Testing License (regulatory sandbox) and a Technology Risk Supervision team to balance innovation with regulation, safeguard market integrity, and ensure financial stability.

3. South Korean Government to Implement "Virtual Asset User Protection Act" on July 19 link

Starting from July 19, the South Korean government will implement the Virtual Asset User Protection Act, which includes strict regulations on digital assets and NFTs. The new regulations aim to enhance transparency and security, requiring companies issuing NFTs to disclose their operational activities. Detailed guidelines issued by the Financial Services Commission specify that NFTs possessing characteristics of securities or serving as payment instruments will be classified as virtual assets and must comply with corresponding regulations. Operators failing to report activities as required may face criminal penalties.

4. Japan's Yamakoshi Village Uses NFTs to Address Aging Population Issues link

In Japan, the village of Yamakoshi has attracted 1,700 "digital residents" through the sale of Nishikigoi NFTs to help address its aging population issue. Initiated by local residents, the project has raised over $423,000 through NFT sales, which will be used for community initiatives such as organizing sports events for local children. The project received a funding of 10 million yen (approximately $62,500) from the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan to test and implement Web3 tools.

5. The Mainland of China's Regulatory News This Week

5.1 Three Employees of Cybersecurity Firm 360 Sentenced for Stealing Others' Cryptocurrency, Profiting Over 2.5 Million RMB link

On February 9-20, 2023, Hong, along with Yang and Zhang (handled separately), exploited a remote code execution vulnerability in Yapi to gain access to a target virtual currency website. They proceeded with lateral movement within the internal network, implanted malware, and controlled internal servers. After locating server source code, they analyzed and downloaded victim Su's virtual wallet address and private key. They then used false instructions to transfer virtual currency to the victim's wallet address, subsequently exchanging it for other cryptocurrencies and selling it, amassing illegal gains totaling over 2.5 million RMB. In addition, Hong was the former Deputy Director of Advanced Attack Research at Qihoo 360, and Zheng was the leader of the Weapon Team at the Advanced Attack and Defense Laboratory of 360 Company.

5.2 Jiangsu Court Reveals Case of Using USDT to Collect Drug Money link

Jiangsu Province courts have released details on 7 typical cases involving drug trafficking and related crimes. In one instance, Li Gang was sentenced to three years in prison for selling and transporting drugs, as well as money laundering involving USDT. Li Gang received drug proceeds in USDT, subsequently selling it for RMB. The article highlights criminals increasingly using "Internet + logistics delivery + electronic payment" methods for drug transactions. Similarly, Guangdong prosecutors shared a case where Tang used virtual currency trading platforms to convert received virtual currency into RMB, then transferred the funds to Alipay and deleted the platform's software and transaction records. Tang was sentenced to six months in prison and fined 2,000 RMB for drug trafficking and money laundering offenses.

6. Animoca Brands Exploring Listing in Hong Kong or the Middle East link

Animoca Brands is exploring the possibility of conducting an initial public offering (IPO) in crypto-friendly markets such as Hong Kong or the Middle East, aiming to achieve this goal potentially by 2025. Founded by Yat Siu in 2014, Animoca Brands operates as a Web3 gaming software company and venture capital firm. It owns several subsidiaries including The Sandbox, Blowfish Studios, Quidd, and GAMEE.

7. South Korean Crypto Venture Capital Firm Hashed Announces Expansion into Abu Dhabi link

Seoul-based crypto venture capital firm Hashed Ventures is forging a new partnership with Hub71, the global tech ecosystem in Abu Dhabi, UAE, to expand its operations into Abu Dhabi. CEO Simon Kim of Hashed Ventures stated that the company plans to establish a local office in Abu Dhabi and is exploring opportunities to raise funds in the city. Hashed Ventures has previously invested in Yuga Labs, dYdX, Axie Infinity, TerraUSD, among others.

8. Newhuo Technology Releases 2024 Mid-Year Report, Net Profit Approximately 101.2 Million Hong Kong Dollars link

Newhuos Technology, a Hong Kong-listed company, released its 2024 interim report. According to the report, Newhuo Technology achieved a gross profit of approximately HK$32.1 million and a net profit of about HK$101.2 million in the first half of 2024. The company also recorded a reversal of impairment loss amounting to HK$78.81 million during the period.

Furthermore, Newhuo Technology completed the sale of its FTX claim on May 28, 2024, generating a profit of approximately US$19,500,088.87 (approximately HK$152,219,643.73). Additionally, as of the mid-year of 2024, Newhuo Asset Management and its partners have issued a total of 8 funds, with assets under management (AUM) exceeding US$70 million.

9. Taiwan Singer Chen Linjiu Sent to Taipei Prosecutor's Office for Alleged Fraud Related to Hong Kong's JPEX Exchange link

Chen Linjiu last year accepted 320,000 USDT as a brand ambassador for JPEX, and is now suspected of involvement in fraudulent activities related to JPEX in Taiwan. Hong Kong authorities seized JPEX's local operations last year and arrested dozens of suspects. The Taipei prosecutors have not yet formally charged Chen Lingjiu. Currently, Taiwan requires virtual asset service providers to comply with anti-money laundering laws, but JPEX has not registered with the Financial Supervisory Commission for anti-money laundering compliance.

10. HKUST Vice President Wang Yang: Mining Ban Unwise, Hands Over 4 Billion HKD in Taxes to the United States link

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Vice President Wang Yang stated at the Hashkey New Vision Phase 1 event on June 26th that Hong Kong should not expel cryptocurrency companies that do not serve Hong Kong citizens. They also bring vitality to Hong Kong's virtual asset ecosystem. Completely banning mining is unwise and has resulted in a $4 billion tax windfall for the United States. It might be better to have state-owned enterprises engage in mining or participate through equity, ensuring risk control. Domestically, there may be a reconsideration of what digital assets entail and whether we should embrace them. They are inevitably part of the development path, especially in Belt and Road Initiative countries, which will eventually lead to the tokenization of RWAs. The current issue arises whenever cryptocurrency is mentioned, immediately posing a challenge in terms of control. However, China's strategy may indeed need to tread this path. If Trump returns to office, China will need to quickly reassess all these policies.

Wang Yang admitted that in 2012 and 2014, he twice dismissed Bitcoin and blockchain as fraudulent, thus missing opportunities. Hong Kong's pace in service provision seems too slow, indicating contentment with the status quo. Hong Kong should aspire to higher goals, demonstrating determination and even a sense of mission, to lead the entire region's development, including the future trajectory of blockchain technology.