Asia and Australia: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 4th to 10th May 2018

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.

Thailand

Government levies taxes on crypto despite opposition: Thailand is the latest country to levy taxes on cryptocurrencies despite opposition at home. Thai blockchain associations were against the aggressive tax policy and the move follows the regional trend of crypto taxes after Australia and other nations levied taxes on crypto gains.

The ministry of finance had already released plans to introduce taxes for cryptocurrency trading and investment.  Thai digital currency associations voiced their concerns regarding the move and the minister responded but the move eventually took place.

The proposed 15% tax is considered stifling for the growth of cryptocurrencies and blockchain space. In addition to this basic levy, a 7% value-added tax is also levied on all cryptocurrency trades. The legislation is still in its infancy and the government has no infrastructure in place to audit the crypto taxes.

Stock exchange launches crowdfunding blockchain: The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) has announced the launch of a decentralized crowdfunding platform based on blockchain to facilitate small businesses and enterprises in the country.

The platform is named LiVE and has plans to provide a complete startup ecosystem which will also provide the necessary education for new businesses to get easier access to institutional investors as well. More than 50 companies are targeted to join the program.

China

Police announce blockchain-based evidence storage: The Chinese ministry of public security has announced the development of a blockchain application that stores evidence from police investigations safely and securely for long-term. The tech was patented at China’s Intellectual property office back in November 2017 and it automatically takes police data and stores it in cloud storage.

This will help solve the problem of falsified records and fake evidence, according to Chinese authorities since blockchain technology can help data become tamper-proof. Criminals will no longer be able to easily hack into the government databases and wipe out the records.

600 Bitcoin mining rigs believed to be from Iceland seized in China: Police in the city of Tianjin, China have seized a record 600 Bitcoin mining rigs in a raid, which is the same number of machines that were reportedly stolen in Iceland heists back in December and January.

The mining operation had caused a short circuit due to stealing power from the national grid after authorities found out that there was a sudden 28% increase in power consumption on one line alone.

India

Crypto exchanges challenge banking restrictions in top court: Indian cryptocurrency exchanges have challenged the central bank’s decision to stop facilitating the transactions of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

This is the third challenge to cryptocurrencies in the market and the most severe as all banking services have been blocked off to the crypto exchanges and they include big local names like Coindelta exchange, Koinex exchange, Throughbit Exchange and CoinDCX.

The petitions will likely be heard in India’s top court on 11 May 2018.

Taiwan

Binance CEO sees ICOs as future of VC: The CEO of popular cryptocurrency trading platform Binance has stated that he believes initial coin offerings (ICOs) are the future of venture capital investments. Changpen Zhao, the CEO believes that the digital crowdfunding method is not just a “good-to-have” option but a genuine future for the system.

Binance is currently based in Taiwan after previous operations in China and Japan.

South Korea

Regulators positive about crypto: The new head of the Korean State’s financial watchdog Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) Yoon Suk-heun has made some encouraging comments regarding the future legislation around cryptocurrencies.

He at least admitted that cryptocurrencies have “some positive aspects” and could have a part in the future. This seems that the confrontational situation has so far dialed down below the 38th parallel since last September’s ban when regulators had “serious doubts” about cryptocurrencies.

The top regulator also said, “there are a lot of issues that need to be addressed and reviewed. We can figure them out but gradually.”

Japan

FSA crackdown on anonymous exchanges and crypto businesses on the cards: Japan continues its love-hate relationship with cryptocurrencies with the Financial Security Agency (FSA) mulling actions against anonymous cryptocurrency exchanges and startups in the country.

It is also trying to see the exchanges delist currencies like ZCash, Monero and Dash, something that goes far beyond the normal crypto regulations that we have gotten used to in the Land of the Rising Sun.

Indonesia

Private and public sectors encouraged to apply blockchain technology: The South East Asian country is encouraging both the private and public sectors to invest in blockchain technology to solve complex problems that are plaguing the country including storage and application of data according to latest reports from Reuters.

The country is a challenge to administer as 250 million inhabitants are spread over a total of 17,000 islands. The Financial Services Authority has assembled a team and they are investigating the applications of the technology for the future.

Singapore

Physical Bitcoin smart banknotes launched: Singaporean Bitcoin startup Tangem has announced a physical Bitcoin banknote at a popular shopping center in the island state. The banknotes are available in denominations starting from BTC 0.01 btc onwards. Each note has a chip that cost the company USD 2 to make and it stores the private keys.

It is the first hardware solution in the form of banknotes with certification for its entire hardware and electronics according to EAL6+ and EMVCo standards. The company is committed to “radically improve the simplicity and security of acquiring, owning, and circulating cryptocurrencies for both sophisticated and incoming users”.

Tangem has a presence in South Korea and Southern China, Taiwan, Russia, and Israel.

Australia

Government earmarks $700 million for blockchain research: The Australian budget has recently unveiled an allocation of USD 700,000 for the blockchain Space to “to investigate areas where blockchain technology could offer the most value for government service”.

 

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