Upbit submits compliance report: China’s e-CNY trials broaden
Welcome to The Daily Forkast, August 23rd, 2021. I’m Angie Lau, Editor-in- Chief of Forkast.News.
Coming up, South Korea’s Upbit takes the first step to become a regulated exchange under new rules. So far, it’s the only one. The crypto market is on a roll with Cardano and Solana hitting all time highs. And China expands its E-CNY ambitions and brings it to the road.
Let’s get you up to speed from Asia to the world.
First up: Upbit, South Korea’s largest crypto exchange has become the first to submit a full compliance report with the country’s top financial agency, to see if it meets the country’s new rigorous requirements for crypto trading platforms. Deadline’s coming up on September 24th.
But so far, it’s the only one to do so, and that’s got a lot of people worried.
Industry experts in Korea have raised concerns that Upbit may be the only contender to cross that line, leaving Korea’s crypto space going from dozens of exchanges to a monopoly of potentially just one.
Forkast.News Danny Park has more.
The Financial Intelligence Unit, or FIU, says it will make a decision on whether Upbit is eligible to operate in less than the 90 days it’s officially allowed to consider the report.
There are two major qualifications. First, certification by the Information Security Management System. And second, a contract with a bank providing real name withdrawal and deposit accounts for users.
Only four exchanges: Upbit, Bithumb, Coinone and Korbit had those bank contracts in place, and while Upbit’s deal with K-bank still continues, NH Nonghyup Bank says it wants to wait until both Bithumb and Coinone construct a system to comply with the Financial Action Task Force’s travel rule before renewing theirs. And Korbit has also yet to renew its contract with Shinhan Bank.
Lawmaker Yun Chang-hyun raised concerns about Upbit’s growing market share in July, stating that a monopoly would undermine fair trade.
One expert told Forkast.News that being controlled by the authorities is a bigger issue than a potential monopoly.
“Korea may have had the potential to become the center of a “digital wall street. Because [the exchanges] are limited to services that the government allows. [Korea] might lag behind and lose competitiveness.This worries me more.
It seems it is regulation over innovation in the crypto space in Korea. We will know which it will be in just one month.
For Forkast.News, I am Danny Park.
Meanwhile, the cryptocurrency market is well and truly on an upswing, if the first trading day of the week in Asia has anything to say about it.
Monday morning, Asia time saw Bitcoin breaking above the US$50,000 mark for the first time since the crypto market crashed in May. And Cardano and Solana both hit all time highs.
Forkast.News Lucas Cacioli has the latest on what’s driving the market deeper into the green.
Crypto markets crashed in mid-May when Elon Musk declared Tesla would no longer accept payment in bitcoin.
But after months of price consolidation, it looks like we are re-entering an Alt-coin bull market.
According to one analyst, this resurgence to a market cap of over two trillion U.S. dollars and bitcoin rising above US$50,000 came as no surprise.
“Bitcoin has shown a lot of resilience since the May crash. So generally what we’re seeing right now is the effect of bitcoin showing resilience. Bitcoin recovering really fast and not falling below US$30,000.”
And with bitcoin having secured its position as a potential reserve currency, there’s a new battle getting underway.
“The battle now is for the smart contract functionality, right. So it’s Ethereum, Cardano, Solana, but also a bunch of others like Cosmos, or Atom, and some other projects.”
Caselin says Solana and Cardano stand out in terms of quality, the community strength is also vital as to who will win that battle.
For Forkast News, I’m Lucas Caciolii.
And finally today, China’s trials of the E-CNY continue to expand, bringing E-CNY digital payments to the road.
An expressway in the western province of Shaanxi now has a toll lane that supports digital yuan payments, with the first successful payment being made just last week.
The Shaanxi government says digital renminbi payments will be possible at all expressway toll stations in the province by the end of September.
So why does this matter?
Well, Shaanxi Province is located in the western inland region of China, and its capital city Xi’an is one of the joint points of China’s “One Belt, One Road” western route. A significant travel point, but a symbolic political one as well.
Since October 2020, the capital city of Xi’an has been one of the second batches of E-CNY pilot cities in China. And as of June 2021, more than 1.1 million private digital wallets, and nearly 200,000 public digital wallets have been rolled out in Xi’an alone. More than 70,000 locations now accept digital renminbi payments in that city.
Frankly, these are looking less and less like pilot trials and something that looks a lot closer to a soft launch in progress in China.
And that’s 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.