Blockchain Asia | #20

SBI Crypto Pool/Foundry/Filecoin/Xend Finance/Binance Smart Chain/Valo Labs/Huobi/India to ban crypto/South Korea's new crypto bill taking effect

Hello, I am Coco Kee. Welcome to #20 Blockchain Asia.

Quick take:

  1. SBI Crypto Pool

  2. Foundry participating in the HashCon in China

  3. Filecoin receives more support from China investors

  4. Asian investors are leading some impactful investments, including acquiring Interstellar

  5. Indian and Korean regulators are taking stronger stances on cryptocurrency

Mining

SBI Crypto Pool

SBI Crypto Pool, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SBI Holdings, Inc., has officially opened its crypto mining pool to the public. SBI Crypto Pool has been self-mining since 2017. The pool ranks #11 in mining power. More detail

SBI Crypto Pool’s partner Northern Data AG, a German company that merged with its U.S. competitor Whinstone, trading on the OTC of Deutsche Börse’s Xetra, is planning to go IPO this year.

Foundry and China

DCG’s Foundry has opened its mining pool to the public in March. Its CEO Mike Colyer will be addressing HashCon’s conference attendees in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, PRC, April 17-18.

Filecoin

Chinese stock exchange-listed company New Universal disclosed its move into Filecoin mining. The industrial factory equipment manufacturer is purchasing $90 million worth of computing and storage equipment. The9 Limited, Nasdaq listed Chinese company NCTY, also announced its plan to purchase $10 million worth of Filecoin mining machines. More detail

The majority of Filecoin’s storage power comes from Chinese companies. Will this create another scenario similar to the concentrated bitcoin mining power?

Asian Investors

  • Fenbushi Capital closed the raise of its Filecoin Ecosystem Fund of 300,000 FILs, approximately $27.6 million @91.8/FIL.

  • The first decentralized finance platform Xend Finance is launched in Africa, helping more Africans save, earn yields and address currency depreciation challenges. Most of the early backers are Asian investors, including Binance, NGC Ventures, HashKey, AU21 Capital. Xend Finance is built on Binance Smart Chain. More detail

  • South Korean VC fund #Hashed Ventures led the investment of $2 million in Vancouver-based blockchain data provider Covatent to launch a decentralized data query network. Other investors include Binance Labs, Coinbase Ventures, Delphi Ventures. More detail

  • Hong Kong-based Crypto.com announced the launch of a $200 million fund to invest in crypto startups from Seed to Series A stages. More detail

  • Different from U.S. publicly listed companies which tend to have an exclusive favor for bitcoin, Meitu, a Hong Kong-traded company, through two purchases, has accumulated about $90 million of bitcoin and ether, $50.4 million in ether and $39.5 million in bitcoin. Meitu also expressed interest in moving into the blockchain business. More detail

  • Crypto exchange Huobi’s wholly-owned subsidiary is going to launch 3 crypto funds - bitcoin fund, ether fund and a multi-strategy fund. Huobi aspires to be the Grayscale of Asia. More detail

  • Thai company Valo Labs bought San Francisco-based Interstellar for a 9-figure sum. Interstellar is created out of a merger of Lightyear Corporation, the for-profit arm of Stellar, and Chain, Inc., which is backed by Khosla Ventures, RRE Ventures, Thrive Capital, and strategic partners including Visa, Nasdaq, Citi, Capital One, Fiserv, and Orange. Valo Labs, owned by a son of the Thai billionaire Chearavanont family, is behind Lightnet, which aims to build a cross-border payment and settlement system in Southeast Asia. Lightnet is built on Stellar protocol. Last January, Lightnet completed Series A raise of $31 million. More detail

Regulations

India

Indian regulators have been flip-flopping over whether or not to outright ban cryptocurrencies. Now it appears certain the country will enforce a blanket ban on cryptocurrencies, from trading to mining. However, exchanges have seen a dramatic increase in new customers. More detail

South Korea

South Korea is tightening up regulations on exchanges. Following the withdrawal of Binance from South Korea last December, OKex will be closing down its operations there.

South Korea’s crypto bill “Act on Reporting and Use of Specific Financial Transaction Information” passed last March is taking effect this week. It requires virtual asset operators to get certified for Information Security Management System and to conduct trades through real-name accounts opened via local banks. But not all banks are open to working with the operators. Right now, only 4 exchanges have secured partnerships with banks. Huobi is one of them. More detail

Lastly, I want to recommend a video “A Deep Dive on Asia’s DeFi Market” to conclude this issue. The differences in tax structure in Asia and the U.S. dictate the differences in investors’/speculators’ behavior.

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