Asia and Oceania

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

Investors plea for lower crypto taxes: Japanese investors are lobbying for lowering of cryptocurrency taxes in the country that could be as much as 55% of the money earned by the people according to some estimates.

There are no special laws for cryptocurrency traders and according to the crypto tax rules; they are to be treated just like other traders who are charged according to various income brackets. Japanese government officials including Minister for Finance Fukushiro Nukuga and Deputy Prime Minister Tara Ase have said that any attempt to make special cases for crypto traders would be seen as unfair by the Japanese public and traders from other industries.

A petition with around 13,000 participants is hoping to lower the tax net for the crypto traders but there is no consensus in the government right now regarding the new taxation laws.

Bitcoin and blockchain seen as proponents of Japan’s next economic boom: Bitcoin and blockchain are seen as the source for the next industrial revolution in Japan according to financial services giant SBI Holdings’s Yoshitaka Kitao.

He made these comments during a blockchain conference in Tokyo this week. He also said that his company was a leading advocate for cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, investing over USD 460 million in AI and blockchain.

“There’s a lot of speculative demand around cryptocurrencies, which is why the price is going up so quickly, but people need to think about how these technologies are being used in real life and how they can improve people’s businesses,” said Kitao.

China

Court rules blockchain may provide legal authentication: In a major move, a court in the Hangzhou city in China has said that blockchain technology and its transactions can legally be accepted in courts as a legitimate piece of data with authenticity.

The court said: “We can’t exclude it just because it’s a complex technology. Nor can we lower the standard just because it is tamper-proof and traceable,”

The ruling could have a major impact on legal nature of cryptocurrencies as they are often not even accepted in courts due to non-recognition by the central bank.

Alibaba’s Jack Ma unveils blockchain-based payment system, challenges conventional system: Billionaire CEO of Alibaba Jack Ma has unveiled a new blockchain-based cross-border payment system that will reduce transaction costs from overseas payments.

Right now, the company has said that the system will help the Filipino population based in Hong Kong, China that sends an approximate HKD 4.4 billion (USD 560 million) annually back to their families in the Philippines.

“I have friends who are Filipino and they asked me when they could use Alipay to send money home because it was too expensive through banks, which charge too much,” said Ma.

The service will soon be available through Ali Pay wallets based in Hong Kong and could be used by other entities in the future.

Central bank working on new cryptocurrency: The People’s Bank of China and its digital research lab is working on a new type of cryptocurrency with 41 new patents being used in the creation of the cryptocurrency.

The central bank has previously rejected the idea of a cryptocurrency but the increasing number of patents being filed for new cryptocurrencies will complicate matters in the future. Chinese cryptocurrencies could be easily adopted around the world as it is the biggest exporter in the world.

South Korea

Hacked exchange BitHumb recovers $14 million in cooperation with other exchanges: In a major move, hacked cryptocurrency exchange BitHumb that reported tens of millions of dollars in stolen cryptocurrency has revealed that it has recovered USD 14 million of the stolen cryptocurrency by partnering with other exchanges in the country.

While Bitcoin transactions are irreversible and addresses partially anonymous, people can trace their flow through blockchain ledgers and flag addresses through them that may lead to cryptocurrency exchanges. In this case, hackers must have sold cryptocurrencies or transferred them to other exchanges’ wallets, thus making them traceable.

Bithumb’s success with this method is quite unusual and could be the start of a new type of cryptocurrency accountability.

India

India to launch IndiaChain to boost blockchain in the country: The central government of India has announced a new blockchain project in the country.

The new project will support IndiaStack, a digital program aimed at digitizing the country of a billion plus population. IndiaChain is in its ninth month of development and is aimed at reducing fraud, speeding up enforcement of contract and increasing transparency of transactions.

Oceania

New Zealand

Blockchain company helping startups with decentralized apps: Blockchain company Centrality based in New Zealand has announced that it has created an infrastructure and marketplace for decentralized apps to help startups, according to Techwire Asia.

The co-founder of Centrality believes that his company can help level the playing field for new startups and help them collaborate with each other to remain sustainable.

Australia

Reserve bank praises Bitcoin but rules out national crypto: In a rare move, a top Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) official has praised the working of Bitcoin but has categorically stated that it would not start a national cryptocurrency like Petro according to a recent speech to Australian Business Economists.

Dr Richards, the head of RBA made these remarks while comparing Bitcoin’s credibility with Australia’s dollar. Richards even admitted that he had invested in cryptocurrencies a while ago and had been following cryptocurrency circles for the last five years. He confessed that he held admiration for its design but he ruled out any official role in the Australian economy of the cryptocurrency.

 

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