This week has of course been overshadowed by the Coronavirus tragedy that is occurring in China and other parts of Asia. However, the cryptocurrency news in Asia has not stopped. Here is our breakdown of the top news stories of the past week.
1. Is the Coronavirus affecting Bitcoin’s price?
The Coronavirus has been the focal point of discussions across the Asian continent this past week, as China tries its best to halt the tragedy. The effect of the virus, which has forced the city of Wuhan into lockdown, is widespread and has even impacted on Bitcoin’s price.
According to some commentators in the industry, the recent price gain from Bitcoin which went up to over 7,000 USD, is due in part to the outbreak of the deadly virus. This is because Bitcoin is being seen as a safe haven asset. CEO of deVere Group, Nigel Green said:
“The ongoing upward trajectory of the price of Bitcoin correlates to the spread of the coronavirus.
“The more individual cases that are identified, the more countries around the world that are affected, and the greater the impact on traditional financial markets, the higher the price of Bitcoin has jumped.”
2. Japanese messaging app, Line, to launch digital currency in April
Line is looking to launch its own digital currency for Japanese users in April, potentially putting crypto in the hands of its 700 million users. The popular East Asian social media app has had the cryptocurrency called Link since 2018, but have only just received regulatory approval. Line’s previous foray into the industry was an exchange called BitBox, which allowed its users to trade crypto.
Line has joined a worldwide trend of social media companies looking to get into the crypto business. Russian company Telegram has plans for a native cryptocurrency as do US-based Facebook. However, both attempts have hit many roadblocks, with both social media giants facing huge regulatory pressures.
3. Singapore’s crypto business regulations come into force
Last Tuesday saw the new cryptocurrency business regulations come into force in Singapore. The Payment Services Act will regulate the industry and put it in the same category as the Financial Advisers Act, Insurance Act, Securities and Futures Act and the Trust Companies Act.
The legislation has not put off that many cryptocurrency businesses who are based in Singapore, with Liquid CEO Mike Kayamori telling Bloomberg that “we welcome the Act with open arms.”
4. MimbleWimble makes big development gains
MimbleWimble, the protocol behind the privacy tokens, Beam and Grin, has seen some positive news after the latest development report for Litecoin (LTC). Developer, David Burkett shared the news on Twitter spelling out the improvements made in the past month. The developer has allowed for one-sided transactions, meaning both parties don’t need to be online to complete a transaction. He has also added database framework changes and created security audit results for Grin++.
5. India plots a Digital Rupee as national bank eases stance
A draft report from India has suggested that the nation should have its own digital rupee, a central bank digital currency (CBDC) and Indian blockchain. The document was drafted by the National Institute for Smart Governance, an organization that works for the government.
This message of crypto acceptance goes largely against the recent trend in the central Asian nation, with bans in place. The aforementioned report has criticized the polarising approach from government officials who have made crypto enthusiasts worried. However, more recently the authorities like the Royal Bank of India who had sought to ban cryptocurrencies, have rolled back on their strict approach. In a statement released during their Supreme Court ruling, the bank said that it is ok for personal use but not for “entities regulated by” them.