Asia and Australia

Welcome to our weekly roundup of all important blockchain and cryptocurrency news from around the world. Follow the latest developments in the cryptocurrency space continent by continent, country by country.

Japan

Financial watchdog publishes findings on crypto exchange inspections: Japanese financial watchdog Financial Services Agency (FSA) has recently published the results of its on-site inspections of cryptocurrency exchange operations.

New exchanges hoping to get an official operating license will now be required to submit to more rigorous oversight of the FSA as a result of these inspections. According to official data from the FSA, hundreds of companies in the cryptosphere including exchanges are in its waiting list for approval. As of now, more than USD 7.1 billion worth of assets are present in domestic exchanges across Japan with each exchange having an average of just 20 employees. This means each employee is managing as much as USD 29.7 million assets.

The agency also highlighted Anti-Money-Laundering (AML) concerns among certain exchanges as well. The investigation of the USD 532 million heist of Japanese exchange Coincheck will also resume after this internal investigation.

South Korea

Exchanges criticize tax break exclusion: South Korean exchange and blockchain associations have hit back at the new tax breaks announced by the government for new growth technologies as they appear to have been excluded from the benefits.

The decision to offer tax breaks came from the South Korean Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and they excluded cryptocurrency platforms because they are categorized as entertainment or gambling businesses and, therefore, not eligible for tax reliefs. Overall, 157 technologies across 11 areas were made eligible by the ministry.

$4.4 billion innovation plan to give fiscal support to blockchain innovation: The South Korean Ministry of Economy and Finance has outlined KRW 5 trillion (USD 4.4 billion) for innovative industries in 2019, including some for blockchain industry as well.

The official press release titled ‘Growth through Innovation Investment Plan’ revealed the increase of KRW 2 trillion for 2019. The education program intends to have 10,000 qualified workforce personnel in these cutting-edge fields in the next five years.

China

Aerospace industry turns to blockchain for invoicing issues: The Chinese aerospace industry is looking towards blockchain technology to provide a solution for its invoicing for tax issues.

According to the government website, more than 1.31 billion electronic invoices were circulating in the system in 2017 and it is forecast that it will rise to 54.55 billion by 2020 thus creating massive problems for the airlines.

The efforts to introduce blockchain technology aim to reduce the burden of these invoices including false reports and streamline the overall data sharing process.

Government releases blockchain guide for bureaucrats: The Communist Party of China (CPC) has announced a blockchain guidebook that outlines the key features of the technology and future applications, meant to be used by bureaucrats for future reference and understanding.

The tech guide covers many facets of the futuristic technology. Ye Hao, the president of the People’s Network said:

“We call on the industry peers to continue to look at the blockchain technology with a development perspective. Looking at the blockchain label from a scientific perspective, look at the blockchain industry with a strategic eye, look at the blockchain business opportunities with a calm eye, promote the sustainable and healthy development of the blockchain industry.”

IT ministry focuses on blockchain tech for data security: The Chinese IT ministry is focusing on blockchain technology for future data security applications with a blockchain research laboratory in the cards.

The ministry is looking to develop a strong ecosystem for the future applications of the technology especially in data security and management. It also intends to expand the research into other fields.

India

Government considering replacing smart travel cards with crypto tokens: The Indian government is considering replacing smart travel cards with crypto tokens for the ease of commuters.

A senior official from the finance ministry said that the committee is looking to undertake research on how to create a crypto token using a custom blockchain to help replace smart cards in the public sector, especially metro cards.

Australia

Former cricket captain Michael Clarke endorses ICO: Michael Clarke, ex-captain of the Australian national cricket team, has endorsed an initial coin offering, prompting skeptical reaction on Twitter from the wider cricket audience.

The platform claims: “…[it] combines premium education, important industry updates and a social platform, which is sure to revolutionize the way we invest and live. Our mission is to develop, advance and modernize the industry, making it more accessible, transparent and forward-thinking.”

The platform is looking to raise up to AUD 50 million in its upcoming ICO.

 

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