Our weekly East Asia news roundup is your go-to source for the latest and most important developments in the industry. This week, Hong Kong exchanges are heating up with some major announcements and strategic moves.
First up, we have Hashkey Exchange, which is making waves as one of the first regulated crypto exchanges in Hong Kong. The exchange has announced a significant move to provide insurance coverage for clients’ assets stored in its hot and cold wallets. This policy will cover 50% of digital assets in cold wallets and 100% in hot wallets, with potential payouts ranging from $50 million to $400 million in the event of a claim. Partnering with fintech OneDegree, Hashkey will also co-develop novel crypto security solutions to enhance its financial, technical, and service infrastructure, providing comprehensive protection to its customers. Livio Wang, COO of Hashkey Group, stated, “Getting insurance cover from OneInfinity by OneDegree not only fulfills the Securities and Futures Commission requirements, but we believe the collaboration can also enhance our financial, technical, and service infrastructure to provide our customers with comprehensive protection.”
In line with its growing success since receiving its license in August, Hashkey plans to submit four major altcoins for listing approval to the Hong Kong Securities & Futures Commission. The exchange has seen significant growth, with over 120,000 customers and a cumulative trading volume exceeding $10 billion.
Not to be outdone, BC Technology Group, owner of licensed exchange OSL, has received a substantial $91 million strategic investment from BGX crypto group. This news comes on the heels of reports that BC Technology Group was seeking to spin off the OSL exchange for $128 million. With Hong Kong crypto exchanges gaining traction, the entrance barrier for users and token developers is seemingly high, as evidenced by Hashkey’s announcement that token developers must pay a non-refundable application fee of $10,000.
The Block, a prominent crypto media publication, has made a fresh start with a $60 million investment for 80% of its equity from Singaporean venture capital firm Foresight Ventures. The CEO of The Block, Larry Cermak, expressed the importance of this investment, stating, “The deal gives The Block a fresh start ahead of the bull market and provides us with more capital to build out new exciting products and expand our footprint into Asia and the Middle East.” Forrest Bai, CEO of Foresight Ventures, emphasized that “the purchase of The Block marks a crucial milestone, substantially strengthening Foresight Ventures’ position in the cryptocurrency sector.”
Moving to China, a third Chinese court has voided a crypto investment contract, citing that cryptocurrencies contravene the spirit of the country’s crypto ban and are not protected by law, at least in civil disputes. The ruling follows other precedents set by Chinese civil courts earlier this year, reinforcing the government’s stance on crypto activities. However, there has been clarification that certain criminal acts pertaining to virtual currencies, such as theft of nonfungible tokens, are prosecutable under the penal code.
Shifting our focus to the Philippines, the Bureau of Treasury (BTr) has announced its intention to issue tokenized bonds worth the equivalent of $180 million in an effort to digitalize the government bond market. These tokenized bonds, which will be maintained in the BTr’s Distributed Ledger Technology Registry, signal a step towards the wider use of DLT in the government bond market.
In July, it was reported that nonprofit The Blockchain Council of the Philippines is working with the Department of Information and Communications Technology to foster Web3 adoption in the country. This partnership aims to educate and collaborate with local stakeholders within the Philippine blockchain ecosystem, indicating the nation’s push towards embracing digital currency and blockchain technology.
From cutting-edge developments in Hong Kong to digitalization efforts in the Philippines, this week’s East Asia news roundup delivers the latest and most pertinent updates in the region’s burgeoning crypto industry.