Nikkei Asia: South Korea’s incoming president vows big cryptocurrency push

Nikkei Asia: South Korea’s incoming president vows big cryptocurrency push

SEOUL/SINGAPORE — South Korean President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol will take office in May with no business experience but strong ideas on one of the most contentious subjects in finance, cryptocurrencies.

Yoon, a former top prosecutor who emerged victorious last week in the closest vote for the top office in the country’s history, has promised to allow initial coin offerings, or ICOs, as part of his broader cryptocurrency pledges.

A member of the conservative People Power Party, he has also vowed not to impose taxes on cryptocurrency trading gains of up to 50 million won ($40,000), treating them the same as stock winnings.

Yoon’s proposals were welcomed by cryptocurrency advocates who expect obstacles to be removed and the door opened to increased opportunities in blockchain technology-based assets.

“We definitely welcome his stance as he is confident about boosting the industry,” said Yoon Seong-han, secretary-general at Korea Blockchain Association, a lobby group for cryptocurrency exchanges and other market participants. “As ICOs are banned now, we have no choice but to issue coins in Singapore and other countries. Ventures and startups will be able to raise money easily from investors [if the ban is lifted].”

Yoon the lobbyist is not related to the president-elect.

Singapore-based Anndy Lian, chairman of Netherlands-registered crypto trading platform BigONE Exchange, also welcomed Yoon’s stance. “He understands the importance of crypto,” Lian told Nikkei Asia. “He understands the future, and it is unstoppable.”

Stocks related to coins have rallied on Yoon’s victory over Lee Jae-myung of the center-left Democratic Party. Lee took a cautious stance toward cryptocurrencies. Lee agreed with Yoon on allowing coin issuances but was negative on treating cryptocurrencies the same as stocks.

Cryptocurrencies, which can and do go on huge price swings, have prompted concerns over how they can be effectively regulated.

Shares of Vidente, a telecom facility maker that owns a 34.2% stake in South Korea’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb Holdings, jumped 11.3% over two days last week after Yoon was elected, before falling 5.37% on Monday and 2.39% on Tuesday.

According to South Korea’s financial regulator, the country’s cryptocurrency market reached 55.2 trillion won as of December, with average daily trading of 11.3 trillion won. More than 15.2 million people in the country have accounts with 24 cryptocurrency brokers. Of those registered, 5.6 million actually trade.

Traders in their 30s appear to be most enthusiastic, accounting for 31% of all buyers; followed by those in their 40s, at 27%; and those in their 20s, at 23%; according to a Financial Services Commission report released last month. By gender, two-thirds of users are men. More than half of users had cryptocurrencies valued at 1 million won or less, while 15% held 10 million won worth or more.

Stocks have traditionally been South Koreans’ favored investment vehicle. The country’s benchmark Kospi index in 2021 experienced a record year for initial public offerings, which totaled 17.2 trillion won. The index rose 3.63% last year and had a market capitalization of 2.2 quadrillion won.

Yoon’s electoral victory of less than a percentage point was largely propelled by support from socially and economically disaffected younger men, analysts say. This disaffection has been increasing due to high inflation, low growth and more recently soaring home prices.

The victor’s embrace of cryptocurrencies also comes as U.S. President Joe Biden last week signed an executive order ensuring responsible development of cryptocurrencies and other digital assets.

“We must reinforce United States leadership in the global financial system and in technological and economic competitiveness, including through the responsible development of payment innovations and digital assets,” the White House said in a statement, describing one of the order’s objectives.

Yoon can implement part of his cryptocurrency policy through presidential orders, but his no-tax vow will need the National Assembly to revise a tax law. The legislature will also need to pass a bill to set up an agency to regulate digital assets.

This will require cooperation from incumbent President Moon Jae-in’s dominant Democratic Party, which has a majority of 300 seats in the legislature.

At least some of what Yoon proposes is likely to be achieved, according to Han Dae-hoon, an analyst at SK Securities.

“I expect Yoon’s policy to nurture cryptocurrencies is likely to be realized with the new government,” Han wrote in a note on Monday. “But we will not know until we see it.”

In Singapore, Yoon’s openness to crypto has been met with some skepticism. Although the city-state has positioned itself as an Asian hub for digital assets, its financial regulator has been selective in offering operating licenses to crypto players; only a handful of companies have been allowed to do business in the country.

Anson Zeall — emeritus-chair of the Association of Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Enterprises and startups Singapore, a lobby outfit for over 400 businesses — said it remains to be seen how many of Yoon’s promises will be fulfilled.

“Action speaks louder than words,” he told Nikkei Asia. “We need to see what they [South Korea] come up with.”

Lian of BigONE Exchange voiced a similar sentiment.

“Singapore’s menu still has its advantages,” he told Nikkei. “[South] Korea’s money control[s] needs to be relooked [at] in order for crypto to move up another level, so Singapore is still in an advantageous position.”

 

Original Source: https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Cryptocurrencies/South-Korea-s-incoming-president-vows-big-cryptocurrency-push

Anndy Lian is an early blockchain adopter and experienced serial entrepreneur who is known for his work in the government sector. He is a best selling book author “Blockchain Revolution 2030”.

Currently, he is appointed as the Chief Digital Advisor at Mongolia Productivity Organization, championing national digitization. Prior to his current appointments, he was the Chairman of BigONE Exchange, a global top 30 ranked crypto spot exchange and was also the Advisory Board Member for Hyundai DAC, the blockchain arm of South Korea’s largest car manufacturer Hyundai Motor Group. Lian played a pivotal role as the Blockchain Advisor for Asian Productivity Organisation (APO), an intergovernmental organization committed to improving productivity in the Asia-Pacific region.

An avid supporter of incubating start-ups, Anndy has also been a private investor for the past eight years. With a growth investment mindset, Anndy strategically demonstrates this in the companies he chooses to be involved with. He believes that what he is doing through blockchain technology currently will revolutionise and redefine traditional businesses. He also believes that the blockchain industry has to be “redecentralised”.

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Crypto’s big year: The five best crypto investments of 2021

Crypto’s big year: The five best crypto investments of 2021

2021 has been described as a breakthrough year for cryptocurrencies. Increased regulation of crypto-assets has led to more mainstream acceptance.

We saw the UK’S Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) weigh in on cryptocurrencies earlier this year by providing new UK guidance on the taxation of staking rewards and derivatives.

In the US, a 2021 bipartisan bill, which has a provision to levy taxes on digital currency transactions, imposed new tax reporting obligations on cryptocurrency brokers.

Such regulatory action has set the groundwork for cryptocurrencies to be considered a legitimate asset class.

In the UK roughly 2.3m adults are holding crypto-assets, up from 1.9m last year, according to data from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

In November 2021, there were a 8.3m transactions on the Bitcoin network. Total fees incurred for all transactions on the Ethereum network that same month amounted to $1.82bn, a 34.6% increase from October 2021.

Other significant crypto developments include a Mastercard and Island Pay partnership this year that saw the launch of the world’s first central bank digital currency-linked card, along with news from PayPal in October 2021 of a new service that enables customers to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrency directly from their PayPal account.

And one of the world’s most well-known basketball teams, the Dallas Mavericks, announced this year that it will be accepting cryptocurrency payments for official merchandise and tickets.

The overall market capitalisation of all cryptocurrencies has grown from $500m in December 2012 to $782bn in December 2020, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 150%.

On 8 November, the cryptocurrency market soared to a new all-time high when it reached a global market capitalisation of $3tn for the first time, according to data from CoinGecko.

Best crypto investments of 2021

“This year has been an exciting one for cryptocurrency investors who have witnessed bitcoin hit two all-time highs, not to mention the rise of meme coins such as SHIB and DOGE, as well as lesser-known rising stars like LIGHT and XRDOGE,” Anndy Lian, chairman of BigONE Exchange and chief digital advisor for Mongolia’s national productivity agenda, told Capital.com.

“For example, a high performing crypto like AXS is seeing top players earning up to 1,500 smooth love potions (SLP) a day. It’s worth noting that Sky Mavis’s core revenue (the developer which created Axie Infinity and also raised $152m to help grow the game) is tied closely to AXS’s year-to-date performance.”

Let’s therefore take a look at the top five cryptocurrencies of 2021.

Shiba Inu (SHIB)

Shiba Inu is a meme currency created in August 2020 by the anonymous founder Ryoshi. It’s based on the Ethereum blockchain, like many other cryptocurrencies, but what stands out about the project is its declaration of being a community-run token led by 120,000 members who participate in spontaneous community building within an ecosystem that’s run by its own decentralised exchange (DEX).

In May 2021, Shiba Inu made the headlines when it sent half of its total supply – 50tn coins – to Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin through his publicly available ETH address.

SHIB entered into the top 10 biggest cryptos on 28 October this year as the eighth highest-ranking coin on CoinMarketCap, jumping ahead of Dogecoin and Polkadot. That same day, the coin had achieved an all-time high of $0.0000844, a rise of 173% over the preceding seven days.

Last month, SHIB was listed on Kraken, one of the world’s largest digital asset exchanges, after a community-led Twitter post grabbed the attention of over 80,000 users.

SHIB’s price soared by more than 10% on 22 December to $0.00003638 after an unknown whale (a term used to describe individuals who hold a large number of coins of a particular cryptocurrency), added 4trn Shiba Inu tokens, valued at $136m, to their wallet on 21 December 202

SHIB tops the list as the best performing cryptocurrency of 2021, with a year-to-date return of 47,240,054%. As an indicator of wider adoption, 390 merchants worldwide accept SHIB as a payment. The dog-themed coin has the biggest 24-hour trading volume in this list at $2.4bn, dwarfing that of its competitor GALA’s trading volume of $566m. It’s currently (23 December) the 13th largest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation at $19bn, according to CoinMarketCap.

Gala Games (GALA)

Gala Games, a blockchain gaming developer that allows gamers to use their unique non-fungible token (NFT) characters in gameplay, was launched in 2019 with the goal of redefining the world of gaming. The project offers a whole range of different blockchain games. Since its launch, it’s sold 26,000 NFTs and attracted 1.3m monthly active users to its ecosystem.

A distinguishing factor for the project is the fact that all GALA tokens run on a network that’s secured by its own set of 50,000 Founder Nodes.

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Given that users can even steer the direction of development and gameplay by voting on which games will be published on the Gala Games platform – a governance process that can have a direct impact on the overall trajectory of the Gala Games ecosystem – GALA is one of the best performing cryptocurrencies of 2021.

Furthermore, Gala Games entered into a partnership with Polygon, a layer-2 scaling protocol for building and connecting Ethereum-compatible blockchain networks in March 2021, which has allowed it to benefit from a decrease in transaction fees. In September this year, the company announced that its Town Star usership has been increasing at a high rate.

Other positive catalysts for GALA include three listings this year. First the coin was listed on Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, on 13 September. On 16 September, Bibox, an artificial intelligence digital assets trading platform, also listed the Gala Games coin, followed by the well-known crypto exchange Coinbase on 16 November. Overall, the crypto has pleased investors with a 38,026% year-to-date performance.

On 18 September this year, the GALA coin value rose 488% to the all-time high of $0.1236. It currently (23 December) ranks 48th in the list of cryptocurrencies by market capitalisation at $3.3bn.

CEEK VR (CEEK)

CEEK VR is a leading developer of hardware and software products that facilitate the omnichannel distribution of virtual reality (VR) experiences for the purpose of connecting music artists, athletes and other digital content creators directly to their fans in virtual worlds. The company is known for providing several channels of VR content (both originally created and professionally licensed) using patented headsets.

CEEK VR has secured high-profile partnerships with the likes of Universal Music, Apple and T-Mobile, with CEEK VR’s bundles being sold through major US retailers such as Best Buy and Target.

One possible reason for CEEK’s growth – a utility token used for transactions throughout the fully immersive CEEK VR network – is that the company claims to unlock new revenue streams for music artists and creators by offering them opportunities to directly reach their fanbases.

The promising cryptocurrency jumped to an all-time high of $1.20 on 29 November this year. It pleased investors with a 27,419% year-to-date performance. It currently (23 December) ranks 135th in the list of cryptocurrencies by market capitalisation at $522m.

Axie Infinity (AXS)

Axie Infinity is a popular Pokemon-inspired digital pet gaming metaverse that rewards users with play-to-earn opportunities such as collecting, breeding and raising creatures known as Axies.

The project, which entered the scene just four years ago, hit a milestone in October this year when Axie Infinity reached two million daily active users.

Axie Infinity boasts an annualised total revenue of $1.41bn and an all-time NFT sales volume of $3.81bn, with more than a million traders having bought or sold Axie Infinity NFTs in upwards of 11m transactions since launch. Given these metrics, it’s understandable that AXS has returned 17,391% year-to-date.

With meta-related coins up 37,000% this year, Axie Infinity has possibly benefited from the virtual land acquisition phenomenon within user-owned internet economies that saw a Axie Genesis Plot sell for 550 ETH last month, highlighting the real-world utility of play-to-earn gaming. This made Axie one of the most profitable cryptocurrencies this year.

16 merchants worldwide accept AXS as a payment. It currently (23 December) ranks 28th in the list of cryptocurrencies by market capitalisation at $6.1bn.

Anyswap (ANY)

Anyswap (rebranded to Multichain) is a fully decentralised cross-chain swap protocol founded in July 2020 that was originally positioned as a cross-chain decentralised exchange (DEX).

It provides interconnect infrastructure for 25 different mainstream public blockchains, including Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain and Polygon. The company has amassed more than 300,000 users and claims to be market-leading in terms of speed, security and decentralisation.

The project’s infrastructure has been developed for the seamless flow of on-chain asset interoperability, meanwhile the company is most well-known for providing a real-time cross-chain router protocol (CRP) system that allows assets on all networks to interoperate with each other.

ANY has been one of the most volatile cryptos this year. The token achieved an all-time high of $27.61 on 21 December this year, and has delivered a year-to-date performance of 14,560%. It currently (23 December) ranks 246th in the list of cryptocurrencies by market capitalisation at $376m.

 

 

Original Source: https://capital.com/best-crypto-investments

Anndy Lian is an early blockchain adopter and experienced serial entrepreneur who is known for his work in the government sector. He is a best selling book author “Blockchain Revolution 2030”.

Currently, he is appointed as the Chief Digital Advisor at Mongolia Productivity Organization, championing national digitization. Prior to his current appointments, he was the Chairman of BigONE Exchange, a global top 30 ranked crypto spot exchange and was also the Advisory Board Member for Hyundai DAC, the blockchain arm of South Korea’s largest car manufacturer Hyundai Motor Group. Lian played a pivotal role as the Blockchain Advisor for Asian Productivity Organisation (APO), an intergovernmental organization committed to improving productivity in the Asia-Pacific region.

An avid supporter of incubating start-ups, Anndy has also been a private investor for the past eight years. With a growth investment mindset, Anndy strategically demonstrates this in the companies he chooses to be involved with. He believes that what he is doing through blockchain technology currently will revolutionise and redefine traditional businesses. He also believes that the blockchain industry has to be “redecentralised”.

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Linfinity | A Small Step in Blockchain, A Big Step in Supply Chain

Linfinity | A Small Step in Blockchain, A Big Step in Supply Chain

Recently, Linfinity CEO Anndy Lian accepted an exclusive interview with The Business Times in Singapore and expressed a series of views and opinions on Linfinity project of“Building a Trusted Supply Chain Ecology”.

Because the traditional supply chain structure is too “centralized”, the manufacturing, logistics and sales information in the production process can not be digitalized and intelligentized to serve the business activities of modern enterprises. The two characteristics of block chain distributed structure and traceability provide the possibility to solve this problem.

Anndy Lian is an early blockchain adopter and experienced serial entrepreneur who is known for his work in the government sector. He is a best selling book author “Blockchain Revolution 2030”.

Currently, he is appointed as the Chief Digital Advisor at Mongolia Productivity Organization, championing national digitization. Prior to his current appointments, he was the Chairman of BigONE Exchange, a global top 30 ranked crypto spot exchange and was also the Advisory Board Member for Hyundai DAC, the blockchain arm of South Korea’s largest car manufacturer Hyundai Motor Group. Lian played a pivotal role as the Blockchain Advisor for Asian Productivity Organisation (APO), an intergovernmental organization committed to improving productivity in the Asia-Pacific region.

An avid supporter of incubating start-ups, Anndy has also been a private investor for the past eight years. With a growth investment mindset, Anndy strategically demonstrates this in the companies he chooses to be involved with. He believes that what he is doing through blockchain technology currently will revolutionise and redefine traditional businesses. He also believes that the blockchain industry has to be “redecentralised”.

j j j