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Asia's weekly TOP10 crypto news (May 29 to Jun 4)
1. Japan’s Weekly Summary
1.1 MUFG, Japan’s Largest Bank, to Issue Local Bank-backed Stablecoins on Multiple Public Blockchains link
On June 3rd, according to Ledger Insights, MUFG, Japan’s largest bank, announced that its Progmat Coin solution will issue a local bank-backed stablecoin on multiple public blockchains, including Ethereum, Avalanche, Cosmos, and Polygon. This initiative is in its early stages, and the exact timeline for the release has not been determined yet.
1.2 BitFlyer Announces Restrictions on Cryptocurrency Deposits and Transfers, Limited to Exchanges and Wallets Complying with Travel Rule link
On May 30th, according to Coinpost, the Japanese cryptocurrency exchange BitFlyer announced that starting from 15:00 on May 30th, it will only support cryptocurrency deposits and transfers from exchanges or wallets that comply with travel rules, such as MetaMask. The supported types of cryptocurrencies under the travel rules are also limited, including BTC, ETH, as well as ERC-20 tokens such as BAT, LINK, MATIC, MKR, SHIB, and others. This restriction applies only to 21 countries and regions that require information notification based on travel rules, including the United States, South Korea, Hong Kong, and others.
2. Hong Kong’s weekly summary
2.1 SFC Issues Circular on Transitional Arrangements for New Licensing Regime for Virtual Asset Trading Platforms in Hong Kong link
On June 1st, the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) issued a circular regarding the transitional arrangements for a new licensing regime specifically designed for virtual asset trading platforms. The transitional arrangements apply only to virtual asset trading platforms that offer services for non-securities tokens. During the transitional period from June 1, 2023, to May 31, 2024, these platforms are allowed to continue providing virtual asset services in Hong Kong as long as they comply with the arrangements and do not violate the licensing requirements under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing Ordinance.
2.2 Hong Kong Monetary Authority and Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates Agree to Enhance Cooperation in Virtual Asset Regulation and Development link
On May 29th, the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates (UAE Central Bank) and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) held a bilateral meeting in Abu Dhabi. They agreed to strengthen cooperation in three major areas: financial infrastructure, mutual connectivity between the two financial markets, and regulation and development of virtual assets.
2.3 Hong Kong Virtual Asset Rating Agency (HKVAC) Officially Established link
On May 30th, it has been reported that the Hong Kong Virtual Asset Rating Agency (HKVAC) has been established and will introduce services such as “Virtual Asset Index” and “Virtual Asset Exchange Rating.” The supporting institutions include G-Rocket, founded by Hong Kong Legislative Council member Wu Jiezhuang, as well as exchanges such as Huobi and KuCoin. Earlier, the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) required cryptocurrencies available for retail investors to be included in two traditional financial institution indices.
3. Russia’s Weekly Summary
3.1 Russian Government Official: Authorities Abandon Plans for National Cryptocurrency Exchange, Focus on Regulatory Framework link
On May 29th, according to Russian media reports, Russian government officials stated that they have abandoned the idea of creating a national cryptocurrency exchange and instead will establish rules for the establishment and operation of such structures. The new mechanism is expected to reduce the risk of sanctions and cyber attacks, while promoting competition. The central bank may oversee the operations of cryptocurrency exchanges.
3.2 Rosbank, Sanctioned by the United States, Launches Cryptocurrency Cross-Border Settlement Solution link
On June 2nd, according to multiple Russian media reports, Rosbank, which has been sanctioned by the United States, has launched a cryptocurrency cross-border settlement solution, becoming the first Russian bank to offer such a service. In order to use this service and pay for imported goods or services with cryptocurrencies, Russian companies must go through the KYC (Know Your Customer) process of Rosbank and B-crypto.
4. Bali Government to Crack Down on Foreign Tourists Using Cryptocurrency Payments on the Island link
On May 29th, according to Indonesian media, the government of Bali will crack down on foreign tourists using cryptocurrency as a payment method in hotels, restaurants, tourist destinations, shopping centers, and other places. Wayan Koster, the Governor of Bali, stated on Sunday that violations including the use of cryptocurrency as a means of payment will be dealt with firmly. Strict measures may include deportation, administrative sanctions, criminal penalties, and closure of establishments. This comes after recent reports of a murder-suicide case in Bali, where the male suspect, who had invested in cryptocurrency, killed the female victim before taking his own life.
5. South Korea’s weekly summary
5.1 South Korean Police Department Holds ‘Virtual Asset Exchange Work Meeting’ with South Korea’s Top 5 Cryptocurrency Exchanges, and Binance link
On May 30th, according to the Korean Economic Daily, the Korean National Police Agency held a “Virtual Asset Exchange Working Meeting” with the five major cryptocurrency exchanges in Korea and Binance. The police plan to establish a system through this meeting that can not only be used in the five major exchanges in Korea but also in Binance to verify cryptocurrency wallet addresses and request fund freezes. The Korean police also plan to expand this system to 36 exchanges nationwide.
5.2 Dunamu, Upbit’s Parent Company, Reports Q1 2023 Net Profit of $247 Million link
On May 30th, the latest quarterly report released by Dunamu, the parent company of Upbit, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in South Korea, showed that the consolidated operating revenue (sales) for the first quarter of 2023 was 304.8 billion Korean won (approximately 231 million US dollars), operating profit was 211.9 billion Korean won (approximately 160 million US dollars), and net profit was 326.3 billion Korean won (247 million US dollars).
6. Full Text of Beijing Internet 3.0 White Paper: Distinguishing from Web3, with Emphasis on Artificial Intelligence and Metaverse link
According to the full text of the Beijing Internet 3.0 White Paper, it mentions that the concept of Web3 has been popular overseas for many years, and its core key technologies include blockchain, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), privacy-enhancing technologies, distributed autonomous organizations, social computing networks, on-chain data analysis, content security, etc. It also states that in April 2014, Gavin Wood, the co-founder of Ethereum, first systematically expounded the concept of Web3. However, it later differentiates Web3 from Internet 3.0, focusing more on artificial intelligence and the metaverse, with only a small mention of blockchain, particularly in relation to NFT content.
7. MAS, Singapore’s Financial Regulatory Authority, Requires Stricter Customer Due Diligence for Digital Token Payment/Cryptocurrency Companies link
On June 2nd, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) issued a new notice regarding “exempted entities providing specific payment services,” requiring digital token payment/cryptocurrency companies to conduct more rigorous customer due diligence, including the identification and reporting of “high-risk customers” they serve.
8. UAE Central Bank Issues New Guidelines for Licensed Financial Institutions to Combat Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing link
On May 31st, according to ZAWYA, the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates (CBUAE) has issued new guidelines for licensed financial institutions (LFIs) on anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT). These guidelines take into account the standards set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and discuss the risks associated with dealing with virtual assets (VA) and virtual asset service providers (VASP). The guidelines will come into effect within one month.
9. FATF Urges Qatar Central Bank to Take More Active Measures in Identifying and Sanctioning VASPs Violating Its Crypto Ban link
According to a report released on May 31st by global anti-money laundering regulatory agencies, Qatar has taken little to no action against cryptocurrency companies that have violated the ban announced in 2019. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has urged the Qatar Central Bank (QCB) to be more proactive in identifying and sanctioning virtual asset service providers (VASPs) that violate its cryptocurrency ban. (CoinDesk)
10. CoinDesk: Survival Strategies of India’s Six Major Cryptocurrency Exchanges link
On May 29th, according to an interview by CoinDesk with six major cryptocurrency exchanges in India, each of them has entered survival mode since the Indian government imposed high taxes on cryptocurrencies last year. CoinDCX has diversified its operations and recently raised $135 million in Series D funding. WazirX’s strategy involves renegotiating contracts with partners. CoinSwitch has transitioned from a cryptocurrency exchange to a cryptocurrency investment platform. ZebPay relies on previous bull market gains or investor funds. BuyUCoin stated that it has never raised funds but now has global investors showing interest. Giottus has planned a two-year cost reduction and efficiency improvement strategy.