1. Mainland China’s weekly summary
1.1 Stablecoin issuer CNHC raises $10 million in funding led by KuCoin Ventures link
Chinese fiat CNY stablecoin issuer CNHC raised $10 million in Series A+ funding. KuCoin Ventures led the funding, with Circle and IDG Capital participating. It is currently issued on the Ethereum and Conflux blockchains.
1.2 Ho Wan Kwok arrested by U.S. DOJ for cryptocurrency fraud involving $634m link
Chinese exiled businessman Ho Wan Kwok was arrested by the U.S. Department of Justice, involving 12 charges and confiscated funds of $634m. The allegations include that he obtained $262m by fraudulent use of cryptocurrency exchanges, stablecoins, and trading coins.
1.3 Goldman Sachs raises China’s GDP growth forecast for Q1 and 2023 link
On March 16, Goldman Sachs issued the latest report on March 16, saying that it decided to raise the China GDP growth forecast for the first quarter and the whole year from 2.7% and 5.5% to 4% and 6%.
1.4 PBC to cut the reserve requirement ratio for financial institutions link
On March 17, the People’s Bank of China announced its decision to cut the reserve requirement ratio for financial institutions by 0.25% on March 27, 2023. China expects CPI to rise to 3% in 2023 from 2% the previous year.
1.5 XCMG: BAYC 3489 is the ambassador of the Metaverse link
On March 17, XCMG, a Chinese construction machinery group, announced that its BAYC 3489 is the ambassador of the Metaverse. XCMG is a listed company in China with a market value of more than $11b. It will also launch the For Real NFT series on Ethereum with Zen Spark Technology.
1.6 Beijing’s work plan for Internet 3.0 industry development: AI and blockchain take center stage link
On March 18, Beijing issued a notice on the “Work Plan for Promoting Innovative Development of Beijing’s Internet 3.0 Industry (2023–2025),” in which artificial intelligence ranked first in specific areas, emphasizing support for the development of AIGC (Artificial Intelligence Generated Content) technology. Blockchain ranked second, emphasizing support for research and development of technologies such as blockchain-based digital identity and supervision to support the construction of a credible virtual system for the Internet 3.0.
2. Hong Kong’s weekly summary
2.1 Kaiko to relocate Asian HQ from Singapore to Hong Kong link
Crypto data provider Kaiko said it plans to relocate its Asian headquarters from Singapore to Hong Kong in light of positive signals from Hong Kong’s crypto policy. Hong Kong is launching a Web3 competition to Singapore, but businesses will still worry about the freedom and security of Hong Kong under Beijing’s tightening control.
2.2 Chan Mo-po: Embrace Web3 technology and become a leader in innovation link
On March 17, Hong Kong Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po stated that each generation of technological innovation has disrupted many existing business models, and in the face of the increasingly mature decentralized Web3 technology, Hong Kong must actively embrace it and dare to become a leader in this wave of innovation.
2.3 Signum Digital has approved to launch an STO platform for professional investors link
Signum Digital has received approval from the Hong Kong SFC to launch an STO platform for professional investors. The platform will issue tokens that are traded on the blockchain and associated with various asset classes, such as private equity, real estate, art, and collectibles. Signum claims that this platform will be the first of its kind in Hong Kong.
3. Huobi Korea announced a rebranding as “High Block” link
The current major shareholder is Zhao Guofeng, Chairman of Huobi Korea, who reportedly bought out Huobi Korea’s shares from Li Lin. It plans to shed its “Chinese exchange” image through extensive brand remodeling and position itself as a domestic company in Korea.
4. Korean government reportedly discussing IEO legislation among 17 pending cryptocurrency bills link
According to the Seoul Economic Daily, there are currently 17 cryptocurrency-related bills awaiting passage in the South Korean parliament, including legislation on initial exchange offerings (IEOs), which has been the subject of extensive discussions, with the government expressing willingness to promote it. Experts believe that exchanges conducting IEOs could properly manage projects and improve trading stability.
5. Binance restricts Russian users from using USD or EUR for P2P trading link
According to Forbes Russia, Binance has shut down the channel for Russians to buy and sell dollars and euros through its p2p service. Additionally, the exchange prohibits EU citizens from buying and selling Russia rubles through P2P.
6. Animoca Brands Japan commits to invest in SmartRetail Group link
Animoca Brands Japan announced its investment in SmartRetail Group, an outdoor digital signage provider that offers motion-based advertising technology, anonymous facial recognition technology, and consumer insight solutions to retail partners, including convenience stores, gas stations, and vending machines. SmartRetail Group has clients located in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Taiwan. Its future goal is to establish an EOOH (Everything Out of Home) platform that integrates Web3 into real-life situations and provides consumers with Web3 incentivized options, such as offering NFT items every month at convenience stores or vending machines.
7. Turkish private bank Akbank acquires cryptocurrency exchange Stablex link
Akbank’s subsidiary applies to become major shareholder of Stablex, a cryptocurrency exchange platform, in Turkey. Majority of Turkey’s cryptocurrency businesses currently cooperate with Akbank. Additionally, Bitfinex has also announced yesterday that it is starting to offer services in Turkey.
8. Coin98 Insights recently released “2022 Vietnam Cryptocurrency Market Report” link
According to the Coin98 Insights report, about 200 blockchain projects are currently operating in Vietnam, and Vietnam has more than 16.6 million cryptocurrency holders, second only to Thailand among Southeast Asian countries. Among them, Coin98, Axie Infinity and Kyber Network are the three most famous blockchain projects in Vietnam.
9. Ava Labs accelerates push in Asia with senior hires in Japan, Korea link
Ava Labs (the “Firm”) is accelerating its expansion into Asia Pacific with new hires in Japan and Korea. Justin Kim, the Firm’s first Head of Korea, and Roi Hirata, the Firm’s first Head of Japan, will focus on growing adoption of the Avalanche public blockchain (AVAX) within their regions with a particular focus on business and community development.
10. Coinbase announced a new strategic banking partnership with Standard Chartered link
On March 15, Coinbase announced a new strategic banking partnership with Standard Chartered, as well as an upgraded retail platform, Singpass, where customers in Singapore can transfer funds to and from their Coinbase accounts for free using any local bank in Singapore.