Our weekly roundup of news from East Asia curates the market’s essential advancements.
Bithumb in chaos
On Jan. 25, Yonhap Infomax reported that South Korean authorities had actually asked for an arrest warrant for Kang Jong-Hyun, chairman and owner of cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb, over embezzlement accusations. That very same day, the Financial Investigation Second Division of the Seoul Southern District Prosecutor’s Office implicated Jong-Hyun and 2 Bithumb executives of embezzlement, performing deceptive deals and breach of trust.
Authorities stated that Kang played a crucial function in controling the stock rates of Bithumb affiliates Inbiogen and Bucket Studio through the issuance of convertible bonds.
Bithumb is among the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in South Korea. Its previous chairman, Lee Jung-Hoon, was discovered not guilty last month of a $70 million scams charge associated with his activities at Bithumb. Park Mo, Bithumb’s previous biggest investor, passed away on Dec. 30 while under examination for presumably embezzling funds from Bithumb and associated business. The company is likewise presently penetrated by the National Tax Service over tax compliance events.
Binance’s 2022 yearly report
In its yearly report launched on Jan. 19, cryptocurrency exchange Binance exposed that the company got more than 47,000 police questions throughout the year. The exchange stated such demands were processed “at a record time” which it was the very first amongst blockchain companies to sign up with the National Cyber-Forensics and Training Alliance, a not-for-profit cybercrime combating system based in Pittsburg.
In action to the questions, Binance stated it increased the headcount of its security group by more than 500% and hosted 70 police workshops around the world in 2022 to assist battle blockchain-related monetary criminal activity.
In the occasion of security events, Binance likewise mentioned it would use funds from its $1 billion SAFU (Secure Asset Fund for Users) user insurance coverage program to make up for losses. The exchange likewise tightened up requirements such as NFT listings. Starting Feb. 2, Binance will delist all NFTs noted previously Oct. 2 that had a typical everyday trading volume of less than $1,000 in between Nov. 1 and Jan. 31.
In January 2022, we revealed that SAFU deserved
$1B. Due to market conditions in 2022, that worth
dropped to $735m. As of November 2022, we topped the
SAFU balance back to $1B. We made a guarantee to our
users, together with the bigger crypto environment, that SAFU
would constantly keep a substantial level.
The exchange got 14 licenses and regulative registrations in 2022. Other highlights include its $1 billion promise for a market healing fund in the middle of FTX’s collapse and investing $500 million into Web3 and blockchain companies through Binance Labs. Although it does not have a set business workplace, the exchange’s governing jurisdiction is the Hong Kong International Arbitration Center for legal conflicts. Its servers are likewise supposedly situated in Japan.
Axie Infinity’s decreasing numbers
The newest information from the site Active Player exposes that the variety of gamers of the popular beast fight P2E video game Axie Infinity, established by Vietnamese video gaming studio Sky Mavis, was up to 432,001 in the previous month. This represents the most affordable level seen because November and suggests the video game has actually lost roughly 85% of its gamer base over the previous year.
Initially a groundbreaking GameFi success, Axie Infinity has actually fallen on tough times as the crypto winter season took a toll on its play-to-earn dynamic, which was worsened by the notorious Sky Mavis Ronin bridge hack last March. New functions, such as the much-anticipated Land Gameplay release on Dec. 28, did not appear to reverse the decreasing pattern. At the time of publication, about $3.85 million worth of Axie NFTs altered hands in the previous one month, compared to $639.5 million in November 2021.
Is China softening on Bitcoin? A turn of expression stirs the crypto world
Blockchain and the world’s growing plastic issue
City of Busan’s crypto exchange
As initially reported by regional news outlet News 1 Korea, the city of Busan is working to develop a decentralized digital possessions exchange set up for operations this year. According to local authorities, the exchange will consist of trading of tokenized copyright rights for movies and video games, along with sell gold, rare-earth elements, farming and animals items, ships and realty. The Busan Digital Asset Exchange Establishment Promotion Committee prepares to collaborate with domestic monetary business and perform system tests in the future.
Bybit’s Genesis direct exposure
In a Jan. 20 Twitter thread posted by Ben Zhou, CEO of Singaporean cryptocurrency exchange ByBit, the blockchain executive clarified the exchange positions after concerns developed concerning a supposed $151 million direct exposure to insolvent crypto lending institution Genesis Global. As informed by Zhou, the direct exposure quantity is restricted to Mirana, the financial investment arm of ByBit, which $120 countless collateralized positions out of the $151 million direct exposure quantity “had already liquidated.”
Zhou declares that Mirana just handles “some” ByBit business possessions which customers’ funds are separated. In addition, Zhou stated that ByBit Earn items don’t utilize Mirana. Genesis Global froze withdrawals last November, mentioning “unprecedented market conditions,” and declared insolvency on Jan. 20, supposedly owing $3.5 billion to over 50 lenders.
Bitzlato’s path of unclean cash
According to a Reuters report on Jan. 24, cryptocurrency exchange Binance presumably assisted move $346 million in Bitcoin for now-defunct Hong Kong cryptocurrency exchange Bitzlato. Binance was likewise supposedly among the biggest counterparties to the exchange. On Jan. 23, Europol mentioned that $19.5 million were taken in enforcement actions versus Bitzlato.
Last week, the United States Department of Justice revealed a significant global cryptocurrency enforcement action versus Bitzlato for the latter’s supposed function in laundering $700 million in funds connected to dark web market Hydra and Russian illegal finance. Its creator, Anatoly Legkodymov, a Russian nationwide and citizen of China, was apprehended in Miami on Jan. 18 on charges of running an unlicensed cash transmitter. The exchange has actually because been closed down.