Tuesday’s blockchain and crypto news, from Asia and beyond
Beijing maintains tough crypto stance: The head of Beijing’s Municipal Bureau of Finance has warned against Security Token Offering (STOs) fundraising. Speaking at a weekend forum, Huo Xuewen said such STO fund raisers were “illegal” in Beijing. “My advice,” said Huo, “is to only engage in such offerings when the government has legalized them.” While China is an acknowledged and active leader in blockchain development across numerous industrial and commercial sectors, it has taken a public hard line stance on cryptocurrencies and has banned trading, ICOs and exchanges.
New crypto launch shows Thailand’s regional ambitions: Despite the global cryptocurrency markets meltdown, Thailand’s blockchain sector continues to push for expansion. Thai “cryptocurrency exchange pioneer” Satang Corp plans to raise $9.9 million for a security token offering in early 2019 and it says the project has backing from the Thai government, which has previously said it hopes to become a regional centre for blockchain. Satang says the proceeds from the token offering will be used to develop an e-wallet “Satang App” and a series of “Satang Shops” in tourist hot spots.
Singapore Central Bank updates ICO guidelines: The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has updated and clarified its stance on Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). Essentially the guidelines strengthen anti-money laundering and countering and financing of terrorism measures and the move comes as Japan has also implemented new ICO regulations aimed at investor protection. The two countries are taking the lead in ICO regulation in Asia although Hong Kong is attempting to set a potentially groundbreaking regulatory framework as is Korea with the creation of a new cryptocurrency tax.
Cryptos on the HK stock exchange? “Veteran” Chinese crypto investor Li Xiaolai has joined Grandshores Technology Group, a firm listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and engaged in “construction and blockchain”. The move has sparked speculation that the company is working on a fiat currency-linked stablecoin and a series of “trusted execution environment” (TEE) applications. With Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) creating a framework for digital currency funds and cryptocurrency exchanges, could the city be set for a blockchain boon in 2019?
OKEx offers ‘Perpetual Swap’ platform: OKEx, the Hong Kong founded, Malta-based crypto exchange, is now offering what it describes as a “perpetual swap… peer-to-peer virtual derivative” trading platform. These, say OKEx, will allow traders to speculate on the market direction of digital currencies such as Bitcoin, while also offering futures contracts and spot trading opportunities. The exchange is never far from the news and in November had to hit back at claims it had manipulated markets while in September one of its owner was reportedly arrested in Shanghai. Perpetual swaps make for perpetual news.