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.

South Korea

Financial watchdog urges lawmakers to move forward with crypto bill: The South Korean Financial Services Commission (FSC) has urged the nation’s lawmakers to pass the first cryptocurrency regulatory bill in the country according to latest reports from Bloomberg this week.

Hong Seong-ki the head of the FSC’s cryptocurrency security team has already warned the security and money laundering issues associated with the country’s unchecked cryptocurrency exchanges. He said:

“While crypto markets have seen rapid growth, such trading platforms don’t seem to be well-enough prepared in terms of security. We’re trying to legislate the most urgent and important things first, aiming for money-laundering prevention [AML] and investor protection. The bill should be passed as soon as possible.”

FSC joined the probe in May this year following a request to look into Anti Money Laundering (AML) compliance by many of Korea’s exchanges. While the FSC is pushing for the new bill, it is yet clear how much support it commands from the assembly itself.

Japan

New regulator limits margin trading loans: A new Japanese internal regulator has set a limit on margin trading loans in cryptocurrency exchanges. Margin trading is a process of borrowing money to trade in cryptocurrency when the investor has insufficient money.

The new borrowing limit under the newly-formed Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association shows that Japan is ready to regulate where it matters because margin trading bears the risk of losing a lot of money. The limit right now is set at four times the deposit amount.

According to the Financial Services Agency of Japan, 142,000 cryptocurrency traders were present in Japan in April but the total number of traders is as much as 3 million according to other statistics.

Internal affairs denies links to crypto exchange inquiries: Japan’s Interior Ministry has refuted any claims of it being linked to the latest FSA investigations into cryptocurrency exchanges.

Interior Minister Seiko Noda was accused of meddling in the investigations by local crypto outlets. The current investigation involves a non-registered Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange which had previously remained unresponsive to FSA inquiries.

Noda rejected the allegations and stated that it was overall a matter of getting “an overall general account of cryptocurrency exchanges” but many in the crypto community showed their disapproval through social media.

The FSA is an autonomous organization in Japan that regulates the financial industry in the country and doesn’t take direct dictation from the government.

China

Ethereum blockchain used to overcome Chinese censorship on vaccines: According to latest reports from China, a vaccine scandal is forcing Chinese social workers to use blockchain to bypass Chinese censorship on medicines in the country.

Reports claim that ChangChun Changsheng Biotech company sold unsafe vaccines in the country, resulting in public condemnation. The story that broke through a blogger’s expose went viral in WeChat, the Chinese social media network.

But, due to the Chinese government’s hard-handed measure, the post from social media was removed by censor boards on social media. However, a group of users used a ETH 0.001 transfer with the story attached and helped break the censorship. Due to the decentralized nature of the Ethereum blockchain, it was out of reach for the Chinese authorities.

Blockchains, especially programmable ones like Ethereum and NEO, are being used to overcome censorship in the country that has some of the toughest systems in place in the world.

Chinese study reveals positive effects of blockchain: A latest Chinese study done under China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) and Tencent Holdings has reaffirmed the notion that investing in blockchain will have a profound impact on improving financial services in the country.

While China itself has banned ICOs, exchanges and cryptocurrencies, it is one of the most progressive countries in adopting blockchain in various areas of governance. Recently, a USD 1.4 billion fund was established to further blockchain progress in the country.

Iran

US accused of stealing BTC 500 from Iranian holders: President of Iran’s Blockchain Association Sepehr Muhammadi has said that over BTC 500 (worth USD 4.1 million) have been seized from Iranian citizens by US authorities.

Muhammadi said that Bitcoin confiscations were still being done to Iranian citizens in the garb of sanctions against the Iranian government. He said:

“Last year, a remarkable volume of Bitcoins which belonged to some Iranians were confiscated for unspecific reasons by the federal government of the United States, and the process of confiscation is still continuing. The owners of confiscated Bitcoins are unable to take legal action against the US inside Iran as cryptocurrencies are banned in the country. The association is looking to take international legal action, but they have not yet found a legal expert in anti-money laundering law who will handle the case.”

The best way for Iranians to avoid this controversy is to hold their coins in a wallet and not an online exchange that governments and hackers have easy access to.

India

Indian law commission recognizes crypto as online electronic payment: An Indian Law Commission has recognized cryptocurrency as an online payment method.

The lawmakers from the country are debating on whether allowing cryptocurrency should be allowed as a legally accepted payment in the multi-billion dollar sports betting industry that is currently in the process of being legalized.

Pakistan

Pakistanis looking to crypto to avoid dollar inflation: Pakistan’s national currency rupee’s recent fall against the dollar is resulting in some Pakistanis looking towards Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a safe bet, according to latest reports from Forbes.

Pakistan is suffering from foreign currency liquidity issues and that is the reason why the US dollar has jumped up to 25% since the start of the calendar year, thus causing panic in financial circles, amplified by the recent elections.

Australia

Australian blockchain innovators using blockchain to tackle election rigging: An Australian startup is using blockchain to help improve the election processes in other countries.

The project is currently being tested in Indonesia where almost every other election is branded as rigged because of widespread nature of the constellation of islands that make up the country.

The Melbourne-based Horizon State Blockchain startup is working on a test case to launch a community-voter platform in Sumatra that would provide greater transparency and accuracy.

 

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