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.

China

China loses 90% of control over crypto market: Local experts in China have claimed that the government has lost control of over 90% of the cryptocurrency market, according to the UK’s Daily Express.

The Chinese government is one of the far-reaching ones when it comes to cracking down on cryptocurrencies operating in the country, especially Bitcoin. But a series of local experts in the country are now claiming that the government has lost much of the control of the Bitcoin market. Cryptocurrency exchanges are still declared illegal in the country but that hasn’t stopped Chinese from trading in them.

Central bank vows to crush foreign ICOs targeting Chinese investment: The Chinese central bank has used harsh words for cryptocurrencies in a meeting of the Internet Finance Rectification Working Group.

Pan Gongsheng, the vice president of the People’s Bank of China, has targeted initial coin offerings and said:

“Any new financial product or phenomenon that is not authorized under the existing legal framework, we will crush them as soon as they dare to surface.”

While the move is hardly surprising, it shows the insecurity of the Chinese central bank towards new decentralized entrants in the online fintech market.

Bank warns against “mythologizing” blockchain technology: A Chinese banking regulator has spoken out against idolizing blockchain.

Fan Wenzhong, head of department of China Banking and Finance Regulatory Commission, made these anti-blockchain comments during a recent speech in the 5th Fintech Bund Summit in Shanghai this week. He said that blockchain was a significant innovation but people were close to mythologizing it. He said:

“…decentralization is not a new trend but a loop, because the earliest human transactions were without central authorities… blockchain is a useful innovation, but that doesn’t mean cryptocurrencies, which blockchain has given rise to, are necessarily useful.”

The Chinese government continues to frown on cryptocurrencies while being interested in applications of blockchain at state level.

India

Indian politicians fighting over $13.5 billion in alleged Bitcoin laundering: Indian politics is abuzz with recent scandals that involve the opposition party Indian National Congress accusing the ruling Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) of laundering over USD 13.5 billion in Bitcoin through the state of Gujarat.

Gujarat state is the home state of the current head of the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and that is what makes this accusation politically sensitive. The charge is that the Ahmedabad District Cooperative Bank and its director Amit Shah received INR 7.45 billion deposits in just five days and seven other districts also received deposits worth INR 31 billion. The Congress spokesperson said:

“There were reports of the state police blackmailing some businessmen in Surat for extortion and named a former BJP legislator as one of the kingpins.”

The INC person continued and said Bitcoin was used to launder and convert the money. Crypto trading has been banned by the Reserve Bank of India starting this week.

Japan

Japanese regulators upgrading crypto and exchange legislation: A local Japanese outlet named Sankei has reported that the Japanese Financial Services Authority (FSA) is looking to update the legal foundations based on which cryptocurrency regulations have been imposed in the country.

The report from last week shows that Japanese financial watchdog is considering to switch from regulating cryptocurrency exchanges under the Payment Services Act to the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act. Under the new move, the exchanges will be required to manage private and institutional assets in separate classes.

South Korea

South Korea to adopt G20 recommendations on crypto regulations: The South Korean government is now set to implement G20 recommendations, according to latest reports from The Korea Times.

The country pledged to implement the combined G20 effort in crypto regulations and the Financial Services Commission (FSC) is now revising its guidelines for cryptocurrency exchange operators.

An official from the FSC said:

“The FSC made revisions to its rules to apply strengthened policies in order to prevent or detect money laundering and illegal activities because the regulator isn’t opposed to cryptocurrencies.”

Government launches blockchain and crypto classification guidelines: The South Korean Financial Services Commission has introduced new guidelines for cryptocurrency regulations according to latest news from the Asian nation.

The wide-ranging classification includes a detailed report that presents over ten categories of decentralized applications, cryptocurrencies, exchanges and blockchain systems. The country has also imposed anti-money laundering rules on cryptocurrency settlements from 10 July.

Australia

Sugarcane farmers use blockchain to bolster profits: Australian farmers, particularly ones involved in the sugarcane industry, are becoming more active in blockchain development and adoption. Recently, Queensland Sugar Ltd announced a partnership with Queensland Cane Owners to build a blockchain application for sugar provenance.

The four-year project has already got a healthy funding of USD 2.25 million in a small farm grant from the federal government to increase food chain clarity in the system and meet standards. Other food industries are also expected to follow suit.

Crypto classification to tackle crypto taxation: Australia’s tax authority has said that it is going to track citizens who hide their cryptocurrency gains in offshore accounts according to latest reports.

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has published the latest guidelines on taxation of virtual currencies and is going to play an increasing role in regulating cryptocurrencies.

 

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