Our weekly roundup of news from East Asia brings you the most important developments in the region. This week, we cover Thailand’s plans for a national airdrop, Delio’s asset recovery rate, Vietnam’s booming crypto market, Binance Japan’s expansion, and Shenzhen’s commitment to digital currency airdrops.
Thailand: Crypto UBI on the Horizon
Thailand’s ruling Pheu Thai party has announced plans for a national airdrop, where every citizen aged 16 and older will receive 10,000 Baht ($285). The party intends to consult the Bank of Thailand in developing a “utility type 1” token for the airdrop, which will be powered by a know-your-customer (KYC) blockchain-based infrastructure. The process is expected to take at least six months to roll out, and users will be charged a 100 Baht fee for the KYC process. The approval of the country’s Securities and Exchange Commission will also be required for the solution. Real estate developer and crypto investor Srettha Thavisin, who was elected as the prime minister of Thailand, promised the basic income stimulus via “digital currency” during his campaign. The funding for the airdrop will come from tax collection in the 2024 fiscal year, with a total budget estimate of 560 billion Baht ($16 billion). However, the digital tokens distributed in the airdrop will have limitations. Users will only be able to spend the tokens within four kilometers of their residence, they will be valid for six months only, and they cannot be converted into cash or used to settle debts.
Delio: Asset Recovery Rate at 50-70%
South Korean Bitcoin lender Delio, which holds over $1.2 billion in Bitcoin and Ether, is expecting a recovery rate of just 50% to 70% on its assets. The troubled platform suspended deposits and withdrawals on June 14 after disclosing significant counterparty exposure to fellow South Korean Bitcoin lender Haru Invest, which also suspended deposits and withdrawals amid allegations of fraudulent activities. Haru Invest is currently undergoing bankruptcy proceedings. Delio, on the other hand, is under investigation by regulatory authorities for allegations of fraud, embezzlement, and breach of trust. The platform had previously announced plans to resume withdrawals, but no updates on the timeline have been provided.
Vietnam: Leading the Crypto Adoption Race
Vietnam is ranked first in the world for crypto adoption, with up to 19% of its adult population aged 18-64 using digital assets. The country is home to around 200 blockchain projects and is expected to generate $109.4 million in revenue from crypto exchanges this year. Vietnam’s crypto user base is estimated to grow to 12.37 million by 2027. Among the highlights of the report, 76% of Vietnamese crypto users invest in digital assets based on advice from friends, a number 2.5 times higher than individuals surveyed in the U.S. Additionally, nearly 70% of respondents believe that the crypto bear market will last less than one year or has already ended. While almost half of the respondents think that centralized exchanges offer just as much utility as decentralized ones, 90% of crypto owners still use decentralized exchanges.
Binance Japan: Listing 100 Coins
Binance Japan, led by CEO Tsuyoshi Chino, announced plans to list 100 coins and tokens as soon as possible. Currently, Binance Japan offers spot trading of cryptocurrencies and staking “Simple Earn” programs. However, margin trading is not available unless the exchange obtains a regulatory license. Binance’s parent exchange has surpassed 150 million users, with an average daily trading volume of $65 billion. Binance Japan’s expansion comes after Coinbase decided to cease operations in Japan earlier this year, citing difficult market conditions.
Shenzhen’s Commitment to Digital Currency Airdrops
During a government-sponsored conference promoting the digital Chinese Yuan central bank digital currency (e-CNY CBDC), officials from the City of Shenzhen pledged 15 million Yuan ($2.1 million) for municipal e-CNY airdrops over the next three years. Binqquan Wei, vice governor of Agricultural Bank of China Shenzhen, highlighted the efficiency of the e-CNY in facilitating consumer transactions. The platform currently has over 200 merchants across 11 key industries, including education, catering, pet services, elderly care, and sports. China’s central government has been actively promoting the e-CNY CBDC as a means of stimulating the country’s economy amid a recession. The CBDC has already surpassed $123 billion in cumulative transactions in 2021, with test sites running in 17 provinces and 26 districts.
In conclusion, this week’s developments in East Asia highlight the growing adoption of cryptocurrencies in the region. From Thailand’s plans for a national airdrop to Vietnam’s booming crypto market, East Asian countries are embracing digital assets. Binance Japan’s expansion and Shenzhen’s commitment to digital currency airdrops further demonstrate the region’s enthusiasm for blockchain technology and its potential to revolutionize traditional financial systems.