The Latest Developments in East Asia’s Crypto Industry

The Latest Developments in East Asia’s Crypto Industry

Hashkey Exchange, a regulated crypto exchange based in Hong Kong, has recently announced the introduction of insurance coverage for its clients’ assets stored in both hot and cold wallets. The coverage will provide 100% protection for digital assets in hot wallets and 50% coverage for assets in cold wallets. In the event of a claim, the policy will pay out between $50 million to $400 million. Hashkey Exchange has partnered with fintech company OneDegree to co-develop innovative crypto security solutions, including managing server downtime, data backup, and load control. This collaboration not only fulfills the Securities and Futures Commission requirements but also enhances the exchange’s infrastructure to provide comprehensive protection to its customers.

In addition to the insurance coverage, Hashkey Exchange has revealed its plans to submit four major altcoins for listing approval to the Hong Kong Securities & Futures Commission. Since its license approval in August, Hashkey has experienced significant growth, with over 120,000 customers and a cumulative trading volume exceeding $10 billion. These expansion plans indicate the exchange’s commitment to offering a wide range of cryptocurrencies to its users.

BC Technology Group Secures Strategic Investment

Another licensed crypto exchange in Hong Kong, OSL, which is owned by BC Technology Group, has announced a strategic investment of $91 million from BGX crypto group. The CEO of BGX, Patrick Pan, believes that this investment reflects their confidence in the digital asset market’s immense potential. This strategic move comes after BC Technology Group was rumored to be considering a spin-off of the OSL exchange for $128 million, which the company denied. This investment indicates the growing interest and traction of Hong Kong crypto exchanges in the market.

While Hong Kong crypto exchanges are gaining popularity, there are significant barriers to entry for both users and token developers. In November, Hashkey Exchange announced that token developers must pay a non-refundable application fee of $10,000 to list their coins or tokens on the exchange. Moreover, the total cost for the listing process, if approved, can range from $50,000 to $300,000, including due diligence or advisory fees. These high costs and requirements may limit the accessibility of the exchange for smaller token developers and potential users.

Crypto media publication, The Block, has received a $60 million investment from Singaporean venture capital firm Foresight Ventures. This investment, which accounts for 80% of The Block’s equity, will provide the publication with additional capital to develop new products and expand its footprint into Asia and the Middle East. The Block will continue to operate as a separate company, but the investment marks a significant milestone for Foresight Ventures in strengthening its position in the cryptocurrency sector.

Legal Status of Cryptocurrencies in China

A third Chinese court has recently voided a crypto investment contract, stating that cryptocurrencies contravene the spirit of the country’s crypto ban and are not protected by law in civil disputes. The plaintiff in this case had lent a significant amount in Tether (USDT) to a friend for altcoin investments. However, heavy losses led to a lawsuit demanding the return of the principal. The presiding judge ruled that transactions between cryptocurrencies constitute “illegal activity,” and virtual currencies do not have the same legal status as legal tender. While China has enforced its crypto ban since 2021, the government has clarified that certain criminal acts related to digital currencies, such as theft of nonfungible tokens, are prosecutable under the penal code.

Tokenized Bonds in the Philippines

The Philippines’ Bureau of Treasury (BTr) is planning to raise $180 million from its domestic capital market through the issuance of tokenized bonds. These one-year fixed-rate government securities will be offered to institutional investors in the form of digital tokens and maintained in the BTr’s distributed ledger technology (DLT) registry. This initiative is part of the National Government’s Government Securities Digitalization Roadmap, aiming to provide a proof-of-concept for the wider use of DLT in the government bond market. In collaboration with the Department of Information and Communications Technology, the Blockchain Council of the Philippines is working to promote Web3 adoption in the country.

East Asia’s crypto industry continues to evolve and make significant strides in terms of regulation, infrastructure development, and market expansion. The introduction of insurance coverage, strategic investments, and tokenized bonds demonstrate the region’s commitment to embracing cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. However, the high barriers to entry for users and token developers, as well as the legal complexities surrounding cryptocurrencies in certain jurisdictions, present challenges that need to be addressed for the industry’s future growth and widespread adoption.


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