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.

Japan

Financial Regulator Declares Drop in Crypto Inquiries: The top financial regulator of Japan, Financial Services Agency (FSA) has announced that there has been a drop in crypto-related inquiries reported to the agency during Q4 2018.

In Q3, around 1231 inquiries related to cryptocurrencies were asked by the public but in Q4, only 788 were filed signaling an almost 36% drop. While there has been an increase in the number of inquiries in other regions, signifying a rising level of interest in cryptocurrencies among the public, latest statistics from Japan shows that either the Japanese public is getting more aware of crypto regulations or the interest in the sector is cooling down. Only time will tell what it actually is.

South Korea

Telecom Company to Help Launch Local Cryptocurrency: Gimpo area in South Korea is looking to launch a local cryptocurrency in the region and has awarded the contract to a local Telecom company KT Corporation. The new token named K Token will be available for the public in April of this year and tokens worth 11 billion Korean Wong will be launched in the initial phase.

As part of the pilot project, only merchants will be allowed to use the newly localized cryptocurrency. They will also be able to convert the coins into fiat on request. The local cryptocurrency approach is gaining traction around the world and many local governments are looking to launch their own currency in order to promote cashless transactions and increase transparency.

China

Billionaire Claims Patience Needed for Bitcoin Investment: Chinese Zhao Dong, one of the largest Over the Counter (OTC) traders in the world has said that the crypto community will need to show patience if it is to reap its profits. He claimed that it might be more than a year before the next bull run is witnessed.

He made these comments during an appearance in a WeChat group called “The Public Chain Alliance Crossing The Bulls And Bears Elite Team”. Zhao has previously claimed that Bitcoin will touch USD 50,000 by 2021 but investors need to show patience before it can actually reach that level.

Indonesia

New Rules Tough on Crypto Trading: New cryptocurrency futures trading rules announced by the government are being viewed with apprehension by the cryptocurrency community according to the local daily Jakarta Post.

The new rules state that crypto traders have to deposit 80 billion (USD 5.7 million) in order to take part in trading activities. the Trade Ministry’s Futures Exchange Supervisory Board (Bappebti) has also placed other restrictive measures against trading as well.

Cryptocurrencies are currently illegal in Indonesia but still, under the wraps a lot of trading takes place with Bitcoin traders even surpassing the number of stock market traders in the country last year.

Australia

IBM Brings Blockchain Water Conservation Projects in Australia: IBM is working on a new range of water conservation projects in Australia with a combination of the Internet of Things (IoT) sensors.

The initial pilot programmes will be used to track sustainable underground water usage in a country where water is scarce in many areas. The new platform is expected to use the company’s flagship Hyperledger blockchain system that is being used in other industries as well.

IBM is also trying to get into other industries including financial services and government branches to help expand the use of Hyperledger system.

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