Restoration of retail crypto trading sought in Hong Kong, FTX Japan customers withdraw the majority of assets after a three-month lockup, and NBA China to persist in minting NFTs.
Hong Kong Embraces Cryptocurrency Trading
On February 20, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) of Hong Kong initiated a consultation regarding its proposed regulatory criteria for trading platforms for digital assets. According to the SFC, all cryptocurrency exchanges operating in Hong Kong or soliciting business from Hong Kong investors must be licensed by the end of June.
The SFC further disclosed that it would seek feedback on whether licensed platform operators should be allowed to provide services to retail investors and what measures should be implemented to ensure appropriateness and token inclusion when establishing business relationships with customers.
In Hong Kong, retail cryptocurrency trading is still forbidden. As soon as it was announced that China’s special administrative region was reentering the cryptocurrency market, regular users and corporate executives experienced a surge of enthusiasm.
The CEO of Coinbase, Brian Armstrong, expressed concern that America could lose its position as a financial hub in the long term due to the absence of clear regulations on cryptocurrency and an unfriendly regulatory environment. The CEO urged Congress to pass unambiguous legislation promptly. The CEO highlighted that cryptocurrency is available to people globally, and other countries such as the EU, the UK, and HK are taking the lead.
To be fair, he did so in reaction to a tweet that said retail trading would be permitted as of June 1, but the mentality is still present. The co-founder of the bitcoin exchange Gemini, Cameron Winklevoss, tweeted at the same time:
The cryptocurrency exchanges Gate.io and Huobi Global announced shortly after that they would submit applications for licenses to operate in Hong Kong. For the purpose of being permitted to provide services to customers in Hong Kong, both exchanges declared that they would adhere to the pertinent laws. Users of cryptocurrencies and other interested parties can participate in the SFC consultation through Mar
FTX Japan Resumes Customer Withdrawals After 3-Month Asset Lock
The embattled cryptocurrency exchange FTX’s Japanese subsidiary, FTX Japan, began customer withdrawals on February 21 after having its assets locked for around three months due to an international bankruptcy action.
Customer funds were shown to be valued at 5.6 billion Japanese yen ($41.58 million) in digital currencies and 1 billion yen ($7.43 million) in fiat currencies as of Feb. 20. These assets were independently maintained in accordance with Japanese laws and regulations.
Also, the firm stated that its net assets were approximately 10 billion yen ($74.3 million) in September 2022, but they had grown to 17.8 billion yen ($132.2 million) by the time of the most recent report on Nov. 21.
Almost 6.6 billion yen ($49 million) in cryptocurrency and fiat have left the exchange since withdrawals were made available again. Users had to move their assets to Liquid Japan, a different cryptocurrency exchange that FTX had previously acquired, and then confirm their account balance in order to withdraw.
FTX Japan calculated 3,453 private individuals and 94 corporate accounts were qualified to withdraw their holdings. 1,947 fiat withdrawals and 5,697 total crypto withdrawals were made. From FTX Japan to Liquid Japan, 7,026 accounts were moved. The bulk of FTX clients, including those who use FTX US, are still unable to withdraw their assets as a result of bankruptcy proceedings.
NBA China Plans to Expand NFT Offerings
On February 21, the Chinese division of the National Basketball Association announced a partnership with Ant Financial, which is owned by Alibaba. The two organizations will collaborate extensively on NBA video content, program broadcasting, joint membership, and miniseries production.
Additionally, NBA China and Ant Financial want to conduct “multimedia NFT drops to fans” and continue collaborating on developing nonfungible tokens. NBA China has been using the latter’s Ant Chain to produce a number of NFTs with Chinese New Year basketball themes since last year.
Tencent Cloud Makes Major Advancements in Web3 Technology
On February 22, Chinese internet juggernaut Tencent’s cloud business unit, Tencent Cloud, made the announcement that it would support the growth of the Web3 ecosystem and offer technical assistance to developers to encourage its digitization.
First, Tencent Cloud revealed a new product, “Metaverse-in-a-Box, ” which, according to the internet giant, will serve as a one-stop solution that merges infrastructure, goods, software development kits, and low-code solutions largely utilized in gaming and media entertainment.
In order to achieve these objectives, the company also inked a memorandum of cooperation with Ankr, Avalanche, Scroll, and Sui. This entails the cooperative deployment of a set of blockchain API services for RPC nodes on Tencent Cloud by Ankr. As for Avalanche, it will collaborate with Tencent Cloud to offer developers effective and speedy node configurations. Tencent Cloud will support developers in constructing actual projects on Scroll and produce cloud-based game creation tools with Sui.
The Vice President of Tencent Cloud, Tommy Li, stated that Tencent Cloud Metaverse-in-a-Box caters to the requirements of diverse scenarios for customers and developers. The offering facilitates access to better real-time interactive experiences, larger-scale communication, and more secure services. It enables the rapid creation of online and video-virtualized metaverse scene applications.
Huawei Promotion Boosts DeFi Token Value by 550%
The Chinese telecom firm Huawei demonstrated the DeFi protocol Defactor in a 30-second video posted on February 21. During the video, co-founder Alejandro Gutierrez stated that the goal of the project is to establish a bridge between traditional banking and DeFi, to explore the tokenization of real-world assets, and form collaborations with start-ups and large enterprises.
Gutierrez’s words were anything from conventional from the perspective of cryptocurrency investors. Immediately after the video was published, Defactor (FACTR) tokens rose by more than 550% in less than three days. Defactor is presently participating in the Huawei International Scale-Up Program in Ireland.