Our weekly roundup of news from East Asia summarizes the industry’s most important developments.
Samsung’s New Bitcoin ETF
On January 13, Samsung Asset Management, a wholly owned subsidiary of the South Korean conglomerate of the same name, successfully listed the Samsung Bitcoin Futures Active ETF on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. According to local news outlet Edaily, this ETF debuted under ticker 3135: HK and will allow him to spot his bitcoin performance by investing in bitcoin futures listed on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME). I am trying to reproduce.
The ETF also simplifies the process for investors seeking exposure to regulated Bitcoin products in Asia Pacific time zones. Park Sung-Jin, Head of Samsung Asset Management Hong Kong Office, said:
“Hong Kong is the only market in Asia where Bitcoin futures ETFs are listed and traded on the institutional market. For investors, this will be a new option.”
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North Korean hackers laundered 41K ETH
As blockchain research firm ZachXBT revealed on Jan. 16, hackers linked to the North Korean-backed Lazarus Group have stolen nearly 41,000 ether ($63.5 million) from hacking the Harmony bridge using zero-knowledge techniques. and moved to Railgun, a platform for obfuscating blockchain transactions. .
After leaving Railgun, the funds were said to have been deposited on three different cryptocurrency exchanges. On the same day, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said the exchange, along with Huobi Global, had frozen some of the stolen funds and recovered 124 bitcoins ($2.59 million).
Last June, more than $100 million was exfiltrated from the Nomad cross-chain bridge after North Korean hackers allegedly targeted the login credentials of Nomad employees in the Asia-Pacific region. After taking control of the protocol, the hackers deployed an automated laundering program to move stolen assets in the middle of the night.
The Lazarus Group has been involved in a series of high-profile decentralized finance incidents last year, including the $600 million Axie Infinity Ronin hack. This is because sanctions-plagued countries have turned to hacking and ransomware to make up for their lack of foreign exchange reserves.
Bitzlato arrested for laundering over $700 million
According to a Jan. 18 statement from the U.S. Department of Justice, Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange Bitzlato has accused the exchange of $700 million in illegal activities since May 2018, including millions of dollars in ransomware. It was closed by US and EU authorities following allegations that it processed funds. move on. Prosecutors claimed that illicit funds accounted for a significant portion of trading volume, with Bitzlato only processing about $4.58 billion worth of cryptocurrency transactions since its inception.
Anatoly Legkodimov, a Russian citizen and majority shareholder of Bitzrat, was arrested in Miami on January 17 on suspicion of conducting an unlicensed money transfer business. If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison.
Reg Kodimov, who lives in Shenzhen, China, is said to have implemented minimum customer verification requirements for Bitzrat users, saying that “neither selfies nor passports [are] Required” and allows users to sign up using information belonging to “Strawman” registrants. Authorities say Bitzlato has become a safe haven for illicit trade and the largest trading destination for dark web marketplace Hydra Market.
“Hydra Market users exchanged over $700 million in cryptocurrency with Bitzlato, either directly or through intermediaries, until Hydra Market was shut down by U.S. and German law enforcement in April 2022. also received over $15 million in ransomware revenue.”
Coinbase leaves Japan
In a statement on Jan. 18, cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase said it was suspending operations in Japan, citing difficult marketing conditions. According to the exchange, users’ Japanese Yen and crypto assets are segregated, and all customers must withdraw their crypto assets by February 16. Alternatively, users can liquidate their digital assets and withdraw yen to their fiat bank.
“Remaining crypto assets held in Coinbase after February 17th will be converted into Japanese Yen. If the customer does not take any action by February 16th, we will have to coordinate with the Legal Affairs Bureau to get the Japanese yen balance back.”
Coinbase first started expanding into the Japanese market in 2018. Another cryptocurrency exchange, Kraken, suspended operations in Japan on December 28, citing “weak market conditions.” Earlier this month, Coinbase announced that he would lay off another 20% of his staff amid the ongoing crypto winter.
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Hodlnaut’s Angry Creditors
On January 13th, Bloomberg reported that creditors of Singaporean cryptocurrency borrowing and lending platform Hodlnaut have rejected a corporate restructuring plan and opted to liquidate their remaining assets. Last August, Hodlnaut suspended all withdrawals, deposits and token swap services. The company is currently facing a police investigation for misrepresenting its exposure to the Terra USD stablecoin (USTC) and losing $190 million to investors in the subsequent collapse of the Terra ecosystem.
Japan clarifies NFT tax rules
As first reported by local news outlet Coin Post, Japan’s National Tax Agency released a document on January 13 outlining the general tax treatment of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in Japan. Specifically, NFTs are taxed when an individual creates a digital collectible and sells it to a third party, and when an individual resells it to another person.
In either case, the sale is the transfer of the right to view digital art, and is classified as business income in the case of primary sales subject to capital gains regulations, and capital gains in the case of secondary sales. Additionally, if the NFT is hacked or stolen, the individual can claim other loss deductions or include it as part of the cost if his lost NFT is a business asset.
Win 30,000 e-CNY airdrop prizes in 15 seconds
The city of Hangzhou has partnered with Chinese food delivery platforms Meituan Dianping and Eleme to airdrop a series of digital yuan central bank digital currency (e-CNY CBDC) vouchers for residents, according to reports on January 18. Once the application is complete, users can cash in on the platform of the same name to purchase artifacts for the Chinese New Year scheduled for January 22nd.
the only catch? All 30,000 e-CNY vouchers were claimed within 15 seconds of activation. Since the end of last year, e-CNY has been included in the People’s Bank of China’s M0 calculation, expanding into public utilities such as tax payments and local transportation.