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Crypto in India
4 Days ago
India On Way To Be 2nd Largest Crypto Market
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India has become the world’s second-largest crypto market in just one year, handling a whopping $268.9 billion in transactions.

The Central & Southern Asia and Oceania (CSAO) region is now a significant player in the global cryptocurrency landscape, particularly due to grassroots adoption. Despite regulatory challenges in Hong Kong and high tax rates in India, the sector is thriving.

Surprisingly, high tax rates have not deterred India’s demand for cryptocurrencies, with the Indian government imposing a 30% tax on crypto gains and a 1% tax on all transactions. Aside from volume, India also ranks highly in decentralized exchanges, centralized exchanges, lending protocols, and NFT protocols.

Although the uneven implementation of transaction taxes has presented challenges for local exchanges, the market’s enthusiasm remains strong.

According to Chainalysis’ 2023 Geography of Cryptocurrency Report, CSAO accounts for nearly 20% of global crypto activities, with six countries in the region ranking in the Global Crypto Adoption Index, including India, Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Thailand. The market is showing signs of maturity, as evidenced by a notable increase in DeFi activities and institutional adoption.

The Philippines has recently gained attention for its enthusiastic embrace of play-to-earn games like Axie Infinity, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This trend has led to increased acceptance of cryptocurrency, potentially paving the way for more sophisticated applications of digital assets. In addition to private sector initiatives, the Philippines has benefited from regulatory sandboxes, which could position the country as a leading hub for blockchain technology in Asia.

Meanwhile, in Pakistan, crypto adoption has been primarily driven by economic necessity, as citizens seek to hedge against the high inflation rates in the country. Despite a current ban on trading, there are indications that the government may be exploring regulatory frameworks to legitimize the use of cryptocurrency.

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Japanese Flag
8 Days ago
Japan To Allow Startups To Raise Funds Using Crypto
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The Japanese government reportedly plans to allow startups to raise public funds by issuing crypto assets, such as currencies, instead of stocks.

This updated system applies to Investment Business Limited Partnerships (LPS). Japan has been slow to adopt digital assets compared to the rest of the world, but this has changed in recent months.

The Financial Services Agency (FSA), Japan’s primary financial regulatory authority, made a significant move on August 31 by seeking to amend the tax code related to cryptocurrencies. This aims to exempt local businesses from the year-end “unrealized gains” tax on cryptocurrencies.

The government intends to submit the necessary legal revisions to the parliament as early as 2024.

During the WebX conference in Tokyo, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida emphasized the importance of nurturing the Web3 industry and its potential to revolutionize the internet and bring about positive social change.

Earlier in April, the Japanese Liberal Democratic Party’s Web3 project team prepared a whitepaper to suggest ways to expand the Web3 industry in line with the prime minister’s national strategy.

The Japanese Web3 team aims to overcome the bureaucratic processes to formulate regulations covering the NFTs to decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs).

Meanwhile, Binance has confirmed that it will be offering its services to crypto users in Japan from August onwards. This comes after acquiring the local exchange platform Sakura Exchange Bitcoin in November 2022, which paved the way for Binance’s return to the country.

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North Korean Hackers
10 Days ago
North Korea’s Hacks Declined by 80%, Report Says
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A recent report by Chainalysis, a blockchain forensics company, revealed that cryptocurrency stolen by hackers linked to North Korea has decreased by 80% since 2022.

However, the decrease in numbers may not necessarily mean there has been progress in security or reduced criminal activity. The total amount of cryptocurrency stolen as of September 14 was $340.4 million, significantly lower than the record of $1.65 billion stolen in 2022. The report cautions that the high benchmark set in 2022 should not be forgotten.

“In reality, we are only one large hack away from crossing the billion-dollar threshold of stolen funds for 2023,” the report said.

In the past ten days, two separate hacks have been linked to North Korea’s Lazarus Group – Stake ($40 million) on September 4 and CoinEx ($55 million) on September 12. These attacks have resulted in a loss of over $95 million.

According to Chainalysis, North Korea-linked attacks have accounted for approximately 30% of all cryptocurrency funds stolen in hacks this year. Erin Plante, the Vice President of Investigations at Chainalysis, expressed concern about the group’s continued success in stealing cryptocurrency and the added national security threat posed by North Korea.

She noted that cryptocurrency firms should train employees to counter social engineering tactics used by hacker groups to strengthen defenses against attacks, adding: “With North Korean-linked hackers in particular, sophisticated social engineering tactics that take advantage of the trusting and carelessness of human nature to gain access to corporate networks has long been a favored attack vector. Teams should be trained on these risks and warning signs.”

Meanwhile, Chainalysis discoevered that North Korean hackers have been depending more on specific exchanges based in Russia to launder illegal funds.

According to the firm, North Korea has utilized various Russian-based exchanges since 2021. One notable incident involved the transfer of $21.9 million in illicit funds from Harmony’s $100 million bridge hack on June 24, 2022.

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Crypto in Europe
12 Days ago
Crypto, Blockchain Deals Top Fintech Investments in Europe, Report Says
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Despite a downturn in the global fintech market, the crypto and blockchain industry emerged as a leader in investment in several major European markets.

A report titled “State of European FinTech” by Amsterdam-based fintech venture fund Finch Capital revealed that the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region experienced a 50% decrease in fintech investments in the first half of 2023, with total funding dropping from $27.3 billion in H1 2022 to $11.2 billion in H1 2023.

However, the crypto industry stood out in the overall financial landscape by securing a leading position in investments across several major markets.

The blockchain and crypto sector in the United Kingdom accounted for 28% of all fintech deals in H1 2023. The Netherlands saw an even higher percentage, with crypto and blockchain securing 35% of all deals. Germany and France also saw significant shares for crypto investments, with 27% and 29%, respectively.

The lending sector is currently the main competitor of crypto, as it has taken the lead in market share in Ireland and throughout the region regarding deal volume.

Despite the bearish trends in fintech, investor interest in the digital economy remains strong. A recent report shows that 24% of asset management firms have adopted a digital assets strategy, and an additional 13% plan to do so in the next two years. The report surveyed 60 investment professionals across the US, UK, and Europe, with almost half (48%) including digital assets in their firm’s portfolio.

Additionally, some crypto companies are still experiencing significant gains. For instance, CoinShares, a European digital asset management company, reported a total revenue of 20.3 million pounds ($25.9 million) in Q2 2023, which is a 33% increase compared to the same quarter the previous year.

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