1. Pakistan to ban the operation of cryptocurrency services link
According to Pakistani media independentturdu, its Minister of State for Finance and Taxation Aisha Ghaus Pasha said on May 16 that the country will ban the operation of cryptocurrency services and will never legalize cryptocurrency transactions. Ban legislation is being drafted by the Central Bank of Pakistan and others.
2. Hong Kong’s weekly summary
2.1 Unit of Chinese state-owned developer Greenland to apply for Hong Kong virtual asset trading licence, CEO says link
A unit of Greenland Holdings, the largest house developer in Shanghai, which is 46.4 per cent owned by the Shanghai government, is planning to apply for a licence to trade virtual assets in Hong Kong to trading cryptocurrencies, NFTs and products related to carbon emissions. Greenland is the first state-owned enterprise to express interest in entering Hong Kong’s market for digital assets.
2.2 HKMA announces the commencement of the e-HKD Pilot Programme link
On May 18, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority announced the commencement of the e-HKD Pilot Programme, including full-fledged payments, programmable payments, offline payments, tokenized deposits, settlement of Web3 transactions and settlement of tokenized assets. 18 companies selected Only Ripple Labs is a company in the field of cryptocurrency, and the others are Alipay Visa Mastercard and 9 banks. Ripple labs is involved in tokenized asset settlement projects.
2.3 HashKey Group seeks funds at $1 billion-plus value as HK opens up link
Crypto investment firm Hashkey Group plans to raise funds at a valuation above $1 billion, taking advantage of Hong Kong’s digital asset push to try and entice potential investors. Hashkey, which operates one of the city’s only two licensed digital coin bourses, is in early-stage talks to raise $100 million to $200 million.
3. Mainland China’s weekly summary
3.1 CertiK and Alibaba Cloud form partnership to enhance blockchain security link
Recently, CertiK and Alibaba Cloud announced a partnership to provide blockchain security services for cloud-based Web3 projects. Web3 developers can now leverage CertiK’s end-to-end security solutions and Alibaba Cloud’s infrastructure to accelerate their development process and protect their applications and smart contracts. This collaboration comes after CertiK faced widespread community criticism due to a Rug incident with their audited Merlin contract.
3.2 China Telecom and blockchain research institute unveil BSIM card link
On May 16, China Telecom Research Institute and Shanghai ShuTu Blockchain Research Institute jointly released the BSIM card in Shanghai. China Telecom, along with its partners, will promote the implementation of the digital asset card BSIM in Hunan and other regions, targeting applications in the areas of metaverse digital assets, digital identity authentication, and IoT device collection.
3.3 The 9th Shanghai Blockchain International Week to be held from Sep 15 to 20 link
The 9th Shanghai Blockchain International Week, hosted by Wanxiang Blockchain Labs, will be held from Sep 15 to 20 in Hongkou District, Shanghai. The event consists of a Hackathon, Open Day, and Blockchain Global Summit, focusing on application innovation, ecosystem prosperity, and in-depth sharing across these three aspects.
4. Animoca Ventures lead hopes console giants, not ponzinomics, will save web3 gaming link
James Ho, head of the $100 million fund Animoca Ventures, the investment arm of Animoca Brands, said that Animoca Ventures is currently putting out feelers to raise a second early-stage venture fund and said certain “key Japanese console makers” had expressed interest. The first $100 million fund was unveiled in May 2022. Its focus is on seed and Series A stage investments in the crypto gaming space, and it has a mandate to allocate 10% of its capital to NFTs. He sees hope of a recovery spearheaded by major console developers, but warns they must devise “sustainable tokenomics.”
5. Russian Deputy Minister of Finance identifies Federal Tax Service as primary regulator for cryptocurrency industry link
According to izru, the Deputy Minister of Finance of Russia said that the regulatory agency of Russia’s cryptocurrency industry is firstly the Federal Tax Service, which will become the entry window for market participants; secondly, the Federal Financial Supervisory Service and the Central Bank; Apart from banks, the regulator for ordinary people involved in cryptocurrencies should be the Federal Tax Service.
6. South Korea’s weekly summary
6.1 South Korean prosecutors investigate Congressman Kim Nam-guk for alleged cryptocurrency holdings link
On May 15, according to the Chosun Ilbo, South Korean prosecutors investigated the accusation that Congressman Kim Nam-guk held WEMIX tokens worth $4.5 million, and searched the account information of Kim in exchanges such as Upbit and Bithumb. The charges include violations of political funding laws, tax evasion and concealment of criminal proceeds. Last year, Kim transferred around 800,000 WEMIX from Bithumb to Upbit. Upbit believed that this was an improper transaction and reported it to the government.
6.2 Bithumb’s Q1 2023 operating profit drops 80% YoY link
According to Digital Asset, the operating profit of Bithumb, South Korea’s second largest exchange, in the Q1 of 2023 was US$12.11 million, a YOY decrease of 80%; revenue was about US$37.88 million, a YOY decrease of 60%. More than 90% of the Korean market share is occupied by Upbit.
6.3 Han Duck-soo calls for cryptocurrencies in property registration of senior officials link
On May 17, South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-soo said that cryptocurrencies should be included in the property registration of senior officials. Currently, cryptocurrencies are not registered, and top officials decide whether to disclose them based on their personal judgment. The Bureau of Congressional Affairs is asking whether it owns cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin when declaring assets this year.
6.4 Cryptocurrency-related homicide prompts stricter regulation in South Korea link
The recent brutal incident triggered by the loss of cryptocurrency assets has compelled South Korean lawmakers to push for stricter cryptocurrency regulations. Last month, in the capital city of Seoul, a woman was kidnapped and murdered in a dispute related to losses in cryptocurrency. The proposed legislation aims to consolidate 19 different cryptocurrency-related policies into a single bill. It is expected to be approved during the plenary session of the National Assembly at the end of this month.
7. Montenegrin prosecutors appeal the court’s bail decision for Do Kwon link
The Montenegrin prosecutors have appealed the court’s decision to grant bail to Do Kwon, the co-founder of Terraform Labs. The court will soon make a ruling on the appeal. Currently, Do Kwon remains in custody, and the bail amount has not been paid. Previously, the court accepted a bail amount of $436,000 provided by Do Kwon, who is charged with the criminal offense of forgery. The court ordered his release upon payment of this amount.
8. Ankr partners with Dubai Multi Commodities Center to support Web3 businesses link
POS node and Staking service provider Ankr has announced a strategic partnership with DMCC (Dubai Multi Commodities Center) to provide support to over 550 Web3 member businesses in the DMCC Crypto Center. The collaboration will provide support to over 550 Web3 member businesses in the DMCC Crypto Center.
9. Singapore’s weekly summary
9.1 Coinbase expands Singapore services amid international expansion drive link
On May 17, Coinbase announced that it is introducing no-fee purchases of USDC for customers using SGD, allowing users to earn rewards for holding USDC on the platform and rolling out USDC order books for more experienced traders — allowing them to trade over 200 assets against USDC. The company is also enabling staking for ETH, SOL, ADA, ATOM and XTZ for customers in Singapore.
9.2 Singapore’s Whampoa Group plans to set up digital bank in Bahrain link
Whampoa Group, a prominent private family office in Singapore, plans to set up a digital bank in Bahrain. The goal is to establish the bank by year-end and provide banking services as well as the trading, custody and asset management of digital tokens. A government spokesperson for Bahrain said the nation’s central bank has “granted an in principle approval” to Whampoa Group for the venture.
10. Denpasar Police: Man kills woman and commits suicide in Bali murder case link
On May 17, according to Indonesian media, the Denpasar Police in Indonesia concluded that in the recent murder case on Bali Island, the male suspect, identified as Mr. Li, killed Ms. Cheng and subsequently committed suicide by using a broken beer bottle to inflict injuries on his neck and other parts. The two individuals had a dispute, and the exact reason is still unclear. Earlier reports in the media mentioned that the male suspect had invested in cryptocurrency.