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.
Singapore, Canada Central Banks Conduct First Cross Border Blockchain Digital Currency Exchange: The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Bank of Canada are the first central banks to employ DLT for a digital cross border payment.
MAS used the pilot payment network Project UBin to link up with its Canadian counterpart Project Jasper and conducted the first-ever cross border digital currency exchange. The project aims to lower the cost of cross-border payments while speeding up the process of transmission and reception.
Japan’s Prime Minister Commissions Cryptocurrency Handbook: In preparation for the upcoming 28 – 29 June Japan G20 Summit, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe has commissioned the formation of cryptocurrency governance manual.
This is a clear move to use the G20 summit as a launchpad for the cryptocurrency handbook concept and to accelerate cryptocurrency regulation and creation of an international plan for crypto by the developed countries. The manual touches several administrative areas, such as protections against cyber attacks, customer asset safeguards, as well as standards for information sharing.
United Arab Emirates
Dubai Bitcoin Towers Aston Plaza Project Delayed: Aston Plaza, the exuberant real estate symbol of turning blockchain and crypto into “real brick-and-mortar” assets, has been delayed after a government inspection at the site.
The USD 323 million luxury residential project was launched in 2017 and is the brainchild of high-profile U.K. entrepreneurs Baroness Michelle Mone and Doug Barrowman, but is currently only 25% complete. The construction of the two-tower complex featuring 1,133 luxury apartments is spread over 2.4 million square feet, with each flat costing between $133,000 and $379,000 in Bitcoin.
India moves towards full cryptocurrency ban: In a bill titled “Banning of Cryptocurrencies and Regulation of Official Digital Currencies Bill 2019”, the government of India along with Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Central Board of Direct Taxes, Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs and the Investor Education and Protection Fund Authority are looking to ban all crypto related activities in the country. The bill will possibly be presented after the national elections are concluded in May.
South Korean Banks Bet Big on Blockchain: South Korea’s largest commercial banks are showing more and more confidence in the blockchain investment, with the likes of IBK Bank collaborating with public blockchain providers like Terra to manage a blockchain-based payment system.
Terra is founded by Korea’s biggest e-commerce platforms, TMON, which last year also made a business deal with the Kakako Group’s Ground X blockchain partner. The partnership is aimed to develop “payment services to help consumers experience a wide range of financial products and services.”
Australian Taxation Office to Tighten Tracking of Crypto Ownership: The taxation system for the cryptocurrency holders has been beefed by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) as they will now also collect information from the cryptocurrency designated service providers (DSPs) related to crypto purchases and sales.
This is a follow up of the crypto tax relief in 2018 when ATO pointed towards the need for more input for the cryptocurrency tax obligations. ATO adds that about 500,000 to 1 million Australians feel at risk when paying taxes particularly related to “unexplained wealth and undeclared taxable capital gains” like cryptocurrency.
Australian Labor Party Unveils Plans for National Blockchain Academy: In a bid to capture tech-savvy voters, the Australian opposition Labor Party has revealed their plans to establish a national blockchain academy in Perth, Western Australia, if it is elected into power in the next general election. Ed Husic, Labor party’s shadow minister, announced the AUD 3 million (USD 1.5 million) investment and termed it as a move to connect Perth with other crypto friendly cities like Singapore.
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