Asia’s weekly TOP10 crypto news (Apr 15 to Apr 21)

5 min readApr 21, 2024

1. Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party Releases 2024 Web3 White Paper link

Last week, the ruling party of Japan, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), released the 2024 Web3 White Paper. The paper calls for making Japan a center of Web3 by granting legal status to DAOs, considering the issuance of a local Bitcoin ETF, promoting permissionless innovation, stablecoins, and tax reform.

2. Russian Central Bank Endorses Cryptocurrency for International Settlements link

Russian Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina has stated that the bank will support expediting the development of a bill that supports the use of cryptocurrencies for international payments. However, Nabiullina emphasized that these payments should be introduced under an experimental sandbox legal framework. The institution has historically opposed the circulation and use of cryptocurrencies for domestic payments due to these assets not being under the control of national regulatory agencies. However, the central bank is open to exploring their use for foreign settlements. In contrast, the exploration of using central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) for payments has been conducted without any exploratory sandbox initiatives.

3. South Korean Won Surpasses US Dollar in Cumulative Trading Volume in Q1 2024 link

In the first quarter of 2024, the South Korean won surpassed the US dollar as the most commonly used currency in cryptocurrency transactions. During Q1, the cumulative trading volume of the Korean won on centralized exchanges reached $456 billion, exceeding the trading volume in US dollars ($445 billion). In March, the cryptocurrency trading volume in South Korea briefly surpassed that of the country’s stock market. The dominance in the local market is held by five fully licensed exchanges: Upbit, Bithumb, Coinone, Korbit, and Gopax, with Upbit consistently commanding over 80% of the South Korean crypto market share on most days.

4. Hong Kong Citizens Can Purchase Bitcoin and Ethereum Spot Contracts Directly Through Securities Accounts link

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) of Hong Kong has approved at least three fund companies to collaborate with licensed exchanges, allowing citizens to purchase spot Bitcoin and Ethereum using their securities accounts. Currently, investors who wish to buy virtual currencies need to open accounts with cryptocurrency exchanges. Several fund companies have announced that they have obtained licenses from the SFC and are partnering with two licensed exchanges in the market to launch virtual asset fund products. This means that citizens can directly purchase spot Bitcoin and Ethereum using their securities accounts without the need to open accounts with exchanges.

Gary Tiu, Executive Director and Head of Regulatory Affairs at OSL, stated that he does not believe Hong Kong cryptocurrency ETF products have been included in the list of eligible securities for the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect (Southbound Fund). He stated, “I don’t believe these products have been included or will be immediately included,” but he believes the market is optimistic about the potential for inclusion in the future. Tiu also mentioned that there is a possibility or potential for these products to be included in the market, although no regulatory agency has taken a clear position on this matter yet.

5. Binance Prepares to Return to India, Facing Approximately $2 Million Fine link

Binance is preparing to return to India by paying a fine of approximately $2 million. Binance will re-enter as an entity registered with the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) under the Ministry of Finance. Binance intends to comply with all applicable laws, including the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and the Voluntary Disclosure of Income and Assets (VDA) tax framework.

6. Record-breaking Heavy Rainfall Disrupts Plans for Token 2049 Attendees in Dubai link

Record-breaking heavy rainfall in Dubai has caused widespread flooding, resulting in stranded taxis, grounded flights, and disrupting travel plans for Token 2049 attendees, causing chaos. Garrison Yang, CMO of io net, noted the high density of crypto enthusiasts in flooded Dubai, with many coming together to assist each other, and several groups like alfaDAO actively rescuing stranded individuals. Somnia’s Marketing Director, Michelle Kang, mentioned paying over $350 with two other attendees to reach Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah from the airport, a journey that typically takes 45 minutes and costs $55 under normal circumstances. The severe weather also led to many flights being canceled or diverted to neighboring countries like Oman and Saudi Arabia.

7. Global Government Relations Director and Product Director of OKX Resign Recently link

According to sources, long-time executive Tim Byun, who was responsible for global government relations at OKX, and Wei Lan, the product director, have recently departed from the company. Tim Byun served as CEO of the U.S. subsidiary Okcoin from 2018 to 2020 for two years before transitioning to a government relations role. Wei Lan supervised much of OKX’s trading desk activities. The exchange group is consolidating its various parts under the single OKX brand, eliminating separate U.S. branding. Other recent departures include OKX’s global chief compliance officer, Patrick Donegan, who held the position for only six months. OKX declined to comment on these departures.

8. Tether and Fuze Forge Strategic Partnership to Enhance Digital Asset Education in Turkey and the Middle East link

Tether has announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with digital asset infrastructure provider Fuze to enhance digital asset education in Turkey and the Middle East region. Both parties will engage in strategic cooperation on educational initiatives in the digital asset field, including cross-border payment solutions, compliance, regulatory framework development, and education for local financial institutions.

9. Hong Kong Actor Tony Leung Shares Anniversary Party Photos with Wife Carina Lau, Featuring Azuki as the Background Element link

Hong Kong actor Stephen Fung shared photos of his wedding anniversary celebration with his wife, Shu Qi, on social media. The background elements in their photo included Azuki. Currently, Stephen Fung’s Twitter profile picture features Azuki 114. According to blockchain data, he purchased this digital art piece for 7 ETH (approximately $20,000) in November last year. His wallet address (0xd2…8c7a) currently holds 6 Azuki tokens and 15 Azuki Elementals. Stephen also attended the Azuki Hong Kong K11 exhibition in 2022.

10. Israeli Missile Strikes Location Inside Iran link

On Friday, a U.S. official confirmed to ABCNEWS that Israeli missiles hit a location inside Iran. The official could not confirm whether locations in Syria and Iraq were also targeted. According to Iran’s FARS News Agency citing local sources, an explosion occurred in the Iranian city of Kajawostan, northwest of Isfahan. Kajawostan is located near Isfahan Airport and the Iranian Army Air Force’s Eighth Hunting Base.

On Saturday, a senior U.S. official stated that on Friday morning, Israeli fighter jets launched three missiles outside Iran, with the strike being very limited in scope. The Israeli target was an anti-aircraft radar station near Isfahan. The purpose of this attack was to send a signal to Iran that Israel possesses these capabilities but does not intend to escalate the situation. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken denied U.S. involvement in Israel’s retaliatory strike against Iran.

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Colin Wu, Chinese journalist, won 2013 China News Award