The Latest News from East Asia: Thailand’s Airdrop, Troubles for South Korean Bitcoin Lender, Vietnam Tops Crypto Adoption, and Binance Japan’s Expansion

The Latest News from East Asia: Thailand’s Airdrop, Troubles for South Korean Bitcoin Lender, Vietnam Tops Crypto Adoption, and Binance Japan’s Expansion

Thailand is making headlines with its plans for a national airdrop, in which every citizen aged 16 and older will receive 10,000 baht ($285). The ruling Pheu Thai party is working on developing a “utility type 1” token for the airdrop and will consult the Bank of Thailand for assistance. To ensure compliance with regulations, a Know Your Customer (KYC) blockchain-based infrastructure will be implemented, which is expected to take at least six months to roll out. Additionally, users will be charged a 100 baht fee for the KYC process, and the approval of the Securities and Exchange Commission will be required. Real estate developer and crypto investor Srettha Thavisin, who recently became Thailand’s prime minister, had promised during his campaign to provide each person with 10,000 baht in basic income stimulus via “digital currency.” The funding for this airdrop will come from tax collection in the 2024 fiscal year, with a total budget estimate of 560 billion baht ($16 billion).

Troubles for South Korean Bitcoin Lender

South Korean Bitcoin lender Delio is facing challenges as it expects a recovery rate of only 50% to 70% on its assets, which hold over $1.2 billion in Bitcoin and Ether. The lender suspended deposits and withdrawals after disclosing significant counterparty exposure to fellow South Korean Bitcoin lender Haru Invest, which is currently undergoing bankruptcy proceedings due to allegations of fraudulent activities. Delio itself is under investigation by regulatory authorities for fraud, embezzlement, and breach of trust. Although the platform previously announced plans to resume withdrawals, no updates have been provided regarding the timeline for this.

Vietnam Leads in Crypto Adoption

Vietnam has emerged as a global leader in crypto adoption, with up to 19% of its population between the ages of 18 and 64 using digital assets. According to a report by Vietnamese venture capital firms Kyros Ventures and Coin 68, together with Animoca Brands, the country is home to around 200 blockchain projects and is projected to generate $109.4 million in revenue from crypto exchanges this year. By 2027, Vietnam’s crypto user base is expected to reach 12.37 million. The report also highlights that 76% of Vietnamese crypto users rely on advice from friends when making investments, a significantly higher number compared to individuals in the U.S. Furthermore, nearly 70% of respondents believe that the crypto bear market will last less than a year or has already ended. Interestingly, while centralized exchanges are seen as offering just as much utility as decentralized ones by almost half of the respondents, 90% of crypto owners still prefer decentralized exchanges.

Binance Japan is making waves with its plans for domestic expansion, aiming to list 100 coins and tokens as quickly as possible. The exchange already provides spot trading of cryptocurrencies and staking programs through its “Simple Earn” platform but currently does not offer margin trading until it obtains a regulatory license. Binance’s parent exchange boasts over 150 million users and an average daily trading volume of $65 billion. This expansion comes after cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase ceased operations in Japan earlier this year, citing challenging market conditions.

The City of Shenzhen in China has pledged 15 million digital yuan ($2.1 million) for municipal airdrops over the next three years. This initiative is part of the efforts to promote the digital Chinese yuan central bank digital currency (CBDC) and stimulate the country’s economy. Binqquan Wei, vice governor of Agricultural Bank of China Shenzhen, emphasized the efficiency of the digital yuan in handling consumer transaction receipts through its distributed ledger technology. With more than 200 participating merchants across various industries, including education, catering, pet services, elderly care, and sports, the digital yuan has shown promise. China’s central government has been actively promoting the CBDC, with test sites running in 17 provinces and 26 districts. As of now, the CBDC has accumulated over $123 billion in transactions since 2021.

East Asia is witnessing significant developments in the crypto industry. Thailand’s national airdrop plans, South Korean Bitcoin lender Delio’s troubles, Vietnam’s leadership in crypto adoption, and Binance Japan’s expansion efforts all contribute to the dynamic landscape of the region. Meanwhile, China continues to push forward with its digital yuan CBDC, as Shenzhen pledges funding for municipal airdrops. These developments demonstrate the growing acceptance and adoption of digital assets in East Asia, paving the way for further advancements and opportunities in the crypto space.


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