Asia and Australia

Welcome to another weekly blockchain news roundup from around the world. Here, we present to you all the latest Bitcoin news, continent by continent and country by country.

India

India Drops Plans for National Cryptocurrency: A report from the Hindu BusinessLine, an Indian financial news portal has said that the Reserve Bank of India has dropped its plan for issuing its own cryptocurrency. The rising cost of printing paper based money and the ever increasing trend of mobile-based micropayment services is what had pushed the central bank to eye cryptocurrency. The research by the institution held results that were not favorable, hence the plan being shelved.

The country’s regulators have declared cryptocurrencies illegal, with the local blockchain association running a legal battle in the courts. The blockchain industry in the country has a significant volume, therefore, a positive result on the legal status of cryptocurrencies can help promote the industry to make India a major player in the industry.

Thailand

Government Trialing Blockchain Voting System: The Bangkok Post, a Thai news outlet reported that the country’s National Electronics and Computer Technology Center (NECTEC) has completed the development of a blockchain based voting system. The NECTEC is currently looking for smaller partners such as Universities and Provincial governments to test the system before deploying at a national level. The system’s developer is very confident that its voting system is strong. Yet, the country still requires a significant penetration of mobile and internet use for the system to be effective at a national level.

Adoption of blockchain-based voting systems is developing a trend in the country. Recently, Democrat Party, the main Thai opposition held its primary party elections using the decentralized technology.

Philippines

The Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission Fails to Issue Regulations on ICOs by the Year’s End: The Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission (PSEC) has made another delay in issuing regulations over Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). The PSEC has hinted at declaring ICOs as securities and the local crypto community is eagerly waiting for an announcement from the regulator so that they can be in compliance. The regulator, though, allows unregulated sales of tokens to less than 20 individuals, organizations and other entities in a year.

The regulator has, so far, kept a positive attitude towards decentralized technology, with nearly a dozen blockchain companies in the country’s special economic zone of Cagayan. The Asian state has also granted licenses to 3 crypto exchanges.

China

Central Bank Concerned Over Rising Irrelevance of Cash: With cashless micropayment services like WeChat and AliPay on the rise, the People’s Bank of China is starting to show concerns towards cryptocurrencies. Perhaps one of the largest anti-crypto regulator in the world, the Chinese state bank has repeatedly stressed the illegal status of blockchain-based payment systems.

Online micropayments are common in Chinese society such that many vendors, hotels and merchants refuse to accept Yuan in the form of cash. The popularity of cashless transactions in the country is seen as only a stepping stone that will ultimately lead to decentralized payment systems.

Iran

Government Against Telegram’s Cryptocurrency: The Persian country’s authorities have once again stressed against the use of Telegram’s cryptocurrency, the Gram. The government has been in a strained relationship with the messaging app since the political upheaval of 2017. “One of the most important factors in banning Telegram was a sense of serious economic threat from its activities,” was explained as the reason by Javad Javidnia, the Secretary of Criminal Content Definition Task Force.

In the meantime, the Islamic Republic has announced plans for developing its own central bank backed cryptocurrency to circumvent the economic restrictions posed by the US. The Iranian banking system is completely isolated since the international money transfer service for banks, SWIFT.

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