Here is the past week of crypto and blockchain news in review, as originally reported by Cointelegraph Japan.
In the crypto space in Asia last week, new data concerning Bitcoin (BTC) use in Hong Kong shows that residents are using crypto to hedge against the possibility of capital restraints, while the Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA) is undertaking new regulatory actions.
Hong Kong bitcoiner explains local BTC demand
On Aug. 31, Cointelegraph Japan reported that Leo Wies, chairman of the Bitcoin Association of Hong Kong, said that he is buying Bitcoin because of his fear of possible future capital restrictions. According to Wies, more Hong Kong residents are buying BTC as local unrest intensifies.
Still, he believes that buying Bitcoin is not a sign of protest, but is rather a way to prevent capital lock-in as the possibility of local authorities introducing capital control becomes ever more tangible. Wies said, “It is better to buy Bitcoin now rather than buy it later.”
Hodl Hodl welcomes Chinese users
Localbitcoins competitor Hodl Hodl, a peer-to-peer Bitcoin exchange, announced changes to the platform to allow Chinese users on Aug. 27. Per the announcement, the platform changed its captcha system to allow access through the Chinese censorship firewall, translated almost all the website to Chinese and launched support in Chinese.
FSA actions of the week
The Japanese Financial Services Agency recently requested 34 more workers to comply with the amended Fund Settlement Act and the revised Gold and Commercial Code. The FSA requires system development including supervision and monitoring to respond to crypto asset margin trading, initial coin offerings, hot wallet management and new regulations on wallet companies.
Local expert comments on crypto initiatives
Shimohiro Shimo, the representative director of Japanese blockchain firm Consensus Base, commented on Facebook’s Libra stablecoin and major crypto exchange Binance’s Venus project in an interview with Cointelegraph Japan. While he admits that information concerning the projects is limited, he said that what differentiates them is that Venus’s purpose is not financial inclusion, but to replace credit cards, while Libra’s purpose is broader.
He concludes that Libra is a currency that can be used widely for global online payments, international remittances between individuals, games and more. Venus, on the other hand, would be linked to the legal currency of the country where Binance operates, and can be used for online payments in local areas, local interpersonal transfers, store payments and other purposes.