Welcome to The Daily Forkast, July 26th, 2021. I’m Angie Lau, Editor-in-Chief of Forkast.News, covering all things blockchain.
Coming up, China’s Bit Mining doubles down on its overseas mining business.
Korean crypto exchange, Upbit, accused of illegal transactions.
And Ethereum creator joins the cast of animated crypto series “Stoner Cats”.
Let’s get you up to speed from Asia to the world.
First up, one Chinese company has decided it is more likely to make a fortune mining Bitcoin, than by winning the lottery.
China based Bit Mining, which was formerly known as 500.com, says it has exited the lottery related business that it started out in to focus on its overseas mining business instead.
Turns out mining bitcoin is a little bit more lucrative.
Bit Mining’s Chinese lottery related business apparently lost 9.8 million renminbi, or around US$1.5 million in the first quarter of 2021. And the company says that due to the continuing losses there, it will now dispose of it entirely. The closure is not expected to have an impact on Bit Mining’s financial position.
Now, the New York Stock Exchange listed company began its pivot towards crypto mining in December of last year, as Bitcoin prices boomed. And as part of that strategy, it acquired Bitdeer’s mining pool business, BTC.com, earlier this year.
Meanwhile, a Korean lawmaker is accusing one of its own major crypto exchanges for behaving badly, by engaging in illegal foreign exchange transactions.
Lawmaker Noh Woong-rae claimed Upbit may have illegally circulated funds overseas using its affiliated companies in Singapore and Indonesia. Noh says that those affiliates are non-operating paper companies and that the police will soon begin an investigation.
Upbit has denied all of the accusations.
It’s a uniquely Korean conundrum, though.
According to Korean customs figures that were cited by the lawmaker, almost a billion US dollars of illegal foreign transactions took place in the first half of this year. 70% of that used virtual assets to do so.
Well, Upbit fights this specific allegation. One expert told Forkast.News that Upbit’s case may not be an isolated one.
“If Upbit was a [part of] the billion dollar illegal transactions, it’s quite obvious that other exchanges have participated in similar illegal acts. When the [police] investigation begins, those [other exchanges] will be caught. Consequently, all exchanges that [engaged in the act] will be punished accordingly.”
Kim says although strict new crypto regulations are not fully in place until September 24th, illegal foreign transactions using crypto can still be punished using the existing law.
All right, onto the markets now. The first day of the Asian trading week, Bitcoin up almost 10% at just over US$ 38,000. This on a mixed Asian trading day as Sino-US relations appear deadlocked. That’s the word used by China’s vice foreign minister as talks with his U.S. counterpart began.
The first between both countries since March.
That’s as of 4 p.m. local Hong Kong time today.
And in the top ten for crypto currencies, DogeCoin and Cardano both up just over 9%. Cardano reportedly on the list of cryptos, that Amazon is considering to accept payment after Bitcoin, according to an Amazon insider in a report by UK paper, City A.M..
And finally today, for those not fully sure how cryptocurrency works, well – a cartoon cat could be set to help.
You heard me right.
“Stoner Cats” is an animated web series, where five cats get advice from their taxidermied friend “Catsington”.
And Hollywood A-listers, Mila Kunis, who’s producing the series, and her husband, Ashton Kutcher, who features alongside her, as the voices of two of the cats, have recruited a new best friend, you could say, to play the role.
So Ethereum is a general purpose blockchain . . . ”
Yep, that’s Vitalik Buterin, just hanging out in their kitchen explaining what Ethereum is.
The series aims to teach people more about the world of crypto via names and voices they recognize and trust.
The cast will all be paid in the Ethereum, by the way. And if you want to watch, you’ll need to buy an NFT via their crowdfunding campaign.
So you get cats, NFTs, and Hollywood. A powerful crypto combo for the 21st century.
And that is The Daily Forkast from our vantage point right here in Asia. For more, visit Forkast.News. I’m Editor-in-Chief Angie Lau. Until the next time.